Monthly Archives: June 2011

Surgery is today

Today is surgery day. It is just before 6:00 a.m. on Wednesday and Zac and I are gearing up for our drive to the hospital. I think I am more excited than nervous for this surgery because I have hope that this will all FINALLY be over after this procedure, and that I will also be able to get on with my life without pain. I’m looking forward to recovering and working out again. I am looking forward to riding my bike. I’m having the arthroscopy and a notchplasty. The notchplasty is where they will shave down some of my bone where the ACL impingement is catching and the scope is also going to remove the screw that is sticking out of my tibia that I can feel. Eeeww! Bye bye screw!

Still waiting

I’m still waiting for the new insurance company to approve my surgery, which was scheduled for last Wednesday. The procedure was previously approved, however the insurance company changes and now I am the one who suffers because of the terrible process that is worker’s comp. I am beginning to worry that if I need the osteotomy, I will not be able to go back to work when school starts up. School starts the beginning of August. Yikes. Hopefully this process speeds up some time soon.

Reasons Why My American Pit Bull Terrier is Like a Child

Before we adopted Zoey, we did a lot of research on her breed. Unfortunately, the media has given American Pit Bull Terriers an unwarranted stigma that even I was wary of before we adopted her. After just a bit of research though, I learned that these dogs are actually quite remarkable animals that do not deserve the negativity they receive. While researching, I remember reading something about the intelligence of an APBT. I read (and I do not know where I read this) that these are smart dogs with very humanistic traits and qualities. Now that Zoey has been a member of our family for eight months now, I could not agree more. She really does act like a human child and sometimes I think she thinks she is one. Here are the top five reasons for why my American Pit Bull Terrier is like a child.

1. She loves to play dress up

Zoey loves bandanas, her collar, dressing up, and looking pretty. In fact, when we take her collar off for baths, she hates it. She gets so excited when she wears bandanas that she prances around the house in them. One day, she even got out her pink bandana, brought it to Zac, and put it on his chest because she wanted to wear it.

2. She pouts when she does not get her way

When Zoey does not get her way, she pouts. She will lay either on her bed or by the sliding glass door and curl up in a ball facing away from us. She will then begin her series of loud, exaggerated sighs showing her frustration. This lasts for at least several minutes.

3. She gets upset when she is punished

If Zoey does something she isn’t supposed to do, we correct her by saying, “wrong,” or, “OHHH, wrong.” She hates this. She hates being punished more than not wearing her collar. She sadly hangs her head in shame and slowly begins to glance up, as if she is looking to us for approval. She will then continue to be sad until we show her that we are no longer mad at her. Once we reassure her, she is back to her spry self.  

4. She loves running through the sprinklers

Kids love running through sprinklers on a warm summer day, and so does Zoe. We’ve only had her since October, so now that the weather is nice outside, we are truly seeing just how much she loves running through the sprinklers and chasing the water stream from the hose. Running from sprinkler to sprinkler, she circles our back yard vivaciously chasing each sprinkler head when we water the grass. Also, she loves the jet stream from the hose. She will chase it, jump up to get it, and even stand on her hind legs to reach it.

5. She loves hideouts, forts, and exploring mysterious spaces

One thing I learned from my little brother growing up is that forts and hideouts always make things better, and Zoey could not agree more. Zoey has made her own fort in our house. She will crouch down low and go behind our couch. She will also hang out and nap behind our couch and in between our couch and recliner. That space is her space – her secret hideout.

 

Give Old Shoes New Life

My tried and true running shoe for more than six years was the Asics Gel Kayano. I do not know how many of these shoes I went through during my glory days of running, but it is safe to say I bought at least three or four new pairs of these bad boys each year, especially when my mileage increased significantly.

For feet, nothing beet trying on a new pair of Kayanos. It was always like slipping my feet into a cloud. It was amazing. Getting a new pair of running shoes was electrifying. I could not wait to get them on and get them dirty. With my new kicks, I would explore the roads and the trails and feel so free.

But seeing as how my running days are in the past, it is time for me to fully let go of my running shoes. I am not saying to forget about running altogether, but it is time to move on and contribute my shoes to the greater good of running. It is time to donate them. Since my February 2010 injury, I’ve been holding on to them as if having them would let me run again. I’ve even held on to the ones I planned on donating early last year. However keeping these shoes lined up in my closet only serves as a daily reminder of what I can no longer do. It is time for my shoes to get new use.

When donating old running and athletic shoes, people have quite a few options besides just dropping them off at the local donation center.

Here is a list of potential places where you can donate your old running shoes.

Give Running

http://giverunning.org/usc.aspx

This organization serves the greaterLos Angelesarea serves the underprivileged.

Recycled Runners

http://www.recycledrunners.com/

This drop off organization provides an online network to find local running shoe donation spots.

Soles4Souls (This organization’s name reminds me of a Shakespearean pun in The Tragedy of Julius Caesar)

http://www.soles4souls.org/

This organization is based inNashvilleand focuses on giving them to people in need. Soles4Souls has a worldwide reach and helps people inKenya,Thailand, and other places.

Nike ReUSE a Shoe

http://www.nikereuseashoe.com/where-it-goes/sports-surfaces

http://www.nikeoutletstores.biz/

You can donate athletic shoes of any brand to this program to recycle them into new athletic surfaces. Nike grinds the shoes up and uses them for playgrounds, tracks, and even new shoes. I also believe that Nike and Nike Outlet stores have in-store donation bins.

There are also many other places to donate your shoes. This is just a small list. I haven’t decided where I will donate mine yet, but right now I am thinking about donating them to my local Nike Outlet store to save on shipping.

Sigh…..Next Summer

As a teacher, I have ten weeks off during summer. While I still work during the summer putting lesson plans together, gearing up for the next year, and improving my old lesson plans, I do it all on my own time. Two years in a row I’ve needed knee surgery over the summer, which is not a fun way to spend my summer vacations, but I know I am very fortunate to have these ten weeks off to recover before stepping foot in a classroom filled with 38 teenagers.

Next summer will be different though. I am fully optimistic about the outcome of this surgery. I have a doctor who is looking out for me and my best interest. Furthermore, my doctor is an avid cyclist, so he knows how much endurance athletics means to me. Even though I am switching from running to cycling, I still yearn to be on the road and cover many miles. Now, I just get to cover those miles even quicker. Anyway, next summer will be different and will be amazing for two reasons. First, I should be fully recovered by then and I will be able to spend my summer mornings on my road bike. I should be able to log in significant mileage and hopefully train for one of my first long-distance tours. I don’t want to set a goal on a specific race and date yet, but I know I want to complete a century ride. In addition to my amazing cycling schedule next summer, I will have the freedom to go to the gym for weight-training and yoga whenever I want. In my opinion, it is the perfect way to spend the first part of the day.

Secondly, next summer will be different because Zac and I are planning our summer vacation now. We are going toOahuduring the summer. I cannot wait because we were not able to do the kind of activities we wanted to do inMaui earlier this year. We are hoping to get in some decent hikes and possibly some zip lining. Next summer also is the summer for my 10 year high school reunion. I cannot believe that it is already here. Hopefully the reunion is not the same week as Oahu.

Where we will stay in Oahu. It isn't on Waikiki beach, but a bit further away. Beautiful!

Gearing up for Surgery

Today was my last appointment before surgery. At my pre-op appointment, the doctor reviewed the procedure with me and answered my final questions, although even going into surgery there is one major question: which surgery will I be having? The answer to this big question, unfortunately, cannot be answered until I am under anesthetic and the surgery starts. The surgery is on Wednesday, June 15. For sure, I know that I am having knee arthroscopy surgery. In this procedure the doctor will remove the protruding screw from my tibia, clear out scar tissue from my two prior surgeries, and fix the ACL graft impingement. He will also check the stability and intactness of my ACL graft because my right knee is not as stable as it should be; furthermore, he will check my medial meniscus. If my medial meniscus is in bad shape, which he thinks it very well could be, he will perform an opening wedge osteotomy on my tibia. This is a preventative procedure which will significantly help alleviate the stress placed on what is left, if anything is left, of my medial meniscus. If the doctor decides that this procedure needs to be performed for the betterment of my health in the future, and he told me that he will do to me what he would want someone to do to him, this procedure changes my rehab significantly. During an opening wedge osteotomy, a doctor opens up the patient’s leg just below the knee and clears away all of the tissue and muscle to expose the bone. The doctor then saws the bone in half and inserts a small, wedge-shaped bone graft to open up the space where the meniscus is supposed to be. The procedure is completed by placing a plate over the broken tibia and securing it with several pins. If my meniscus is in bad shape and I end up needing this procedure, I will most likely stay in the hospital for one night rather than leaving shortly after the procedure.

The worst thing about this whole surgery is going into the operating room not knowing what will happen. I will not know what procedure I had until I awake from anesthesia. I am preparing for the osteotomy and hoping to just have the arthroscopy. My doctor told me that just the arthroscopy will help alleviate the pain and restricted motion I currently face on a daily basis, but that if my meniscus is in bad repair, I will only experience more pain down the road if the preventative osteotomy isn’t performed. The goal is to avoid osteoarthritis and total knee replacement, both of which are strong contenders in my future.