Adding Insult to Injury: Flat Pancakes.

Blah. The last 4 months have not been kind to my efforts to become the next greatest thing in the world of running. I’m still nursing a sore hip after an elegant and eloquent tumble down the stairs that I already mentioned here.

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My nasty bruise on a ginormous photo of my hip. I feel really great about posting this picture here. Also, that other thing is either a mole or a small planet around which my bruise is orbiting.

Additionally, I abandoned the gym and heavy weight lifting after a year of battling shoulder and back strains. Frustrated, I went back to my basics. Chocolate and wine. And after resting and munching my way through 20 lbs., I went back to my other basics. Jillian and her ripped in 30 days broken promises grated on my nerves though, so I briefly branched out into the Iron Strength for Runners DVD.

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Stronger, faster, injury-free running?!? YES, YES, and YES, PLEASE!!!

Unfortunately, thanks to its plyometrics, after a week I was left with a swollen and angry knee that could barely make it to a right angle. My knee is slowly on the mend but is not ready to run yet, and I even had to give up my lengthy walks in favor of sleeping in. Well, that could probably be argued, but MAN, I needed sleep. I’ve had minimal energy in the last 6 months or so, and found myself sneaking in “recovery naps” after my previously energizing walk/jog sessions. I also turned 45 this week and chalked my lack of energy up to age as well as probable further deterioration of my cardiac function. Turns out my thyroid is once again out of whack, explaining my current sub zero metabolism, my penchant for weight gain, and my lethargic attitude. True, my cardiac function could still be contributing, but it is a relief to discover an alternative component that can be easily remedied.

In honor of my 45th birthday, I treated myself to my first mammogram.

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Yippee!! Do I know how to party, or what?!?

Technically, I had one shortly after my son was born, but my “suspicious lump” was indiscernible within my then massive milk field. Thankfully, it turned out to be nothing more than a clogged milk duct. Since then, I’ve successfully averted all other attempts by my doctor over the last five years to schedule the test, but finally succumbed to the pressure (Literally. HA!). I haven’t intentionally avoided the procedure, I just figured logistically I’m not equipped with much opportunity for lumps to hide. Also, I tend to be overloaded with tests and visits related to my challenged cardiac function, so other systems tend to fall to the wayside.

The medical intake form was mostly straightforward with questions about cancer and any signs or symptoms I was experiencing, all of which were negative. They really should have rephrased the question, however, when they asked if I had any complaints with my breasts. I thought about asking for another page to expand upon my lengthy list of grievances but settled on “they’ve become sad, droopy pancakes,” and handed my synopsis over to my technician.

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It’s like looking in a mirror.

She was pleasant yet still serious and goal oriented as she led me back to the imaging room. I donned the medical gown as directed and wondered if she actually thought I could be hiding something in my modest, broken-down bosom. I stared and the Xray machine and silently questioned whether I would have sufficient hoist-able material to image on the tray before me, but my technician was undaunted. She expertly commanded my pancakes forward only to be further flattened by the apparatus. My defibrillator briefly presented a challenging obstacle course of sorts, but eventually my technician was able to navigate around the chunky device. It didn’t erroneously misfire and to the best of my knowledge it remains adequately connected to my heart, so I consider the whole ordeal a success. But any remaining perky-prone part of my meager bust was undoubtably obliterated during this procedure, as if to reinforce and commend the havoc wrought from breast-feeding and punctuate the laws of gravity.

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Gabby’s latest drawing of me. She sees how it is.

To the best of my knowledge, there is no comparable imaging procedure for the male counterparts. Any man still reading this far into my blog is absolutely cringing at the thought. Surely an improved imaging technique could be devised in this technologically advanced day and age?!? As none has been invented yet and it remains the gold standard for early breast cancer detection, I will continue my rendezvous with this bust busting, chest compressing device on an annual (or at least semi-annual) basis.

Fortunately, my mammogram was completely normal (Hooray! …No one likes lumpy pancakes!). The lab work that was done simultaneously, however, revealed my wayward thyroid function. Now with my meds adjusted, I optimistically await new, surging levels of energy that will allow me to resume my musings in the running world. In the meantime, I’ve embraced yet another DVD set in the hopes of improving my flexibility and core strength: PiYo.

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PiYo. Not to be confused with “Pie!! …YO!”

It’s a combination of Pilates and Yoga and there are a dozen or so workouts included in the series of discs. The instructor, Chalene Johnson, is actually encouraging and positive, which is new. She doesn’t yell at me like Jillian used to do. Not that I mean to dis Jillian. We’ve been through a lot together, and she has earned a special place in my heart. But Jillian is more of a tough love, drill sergeant kind of coach and the change is nice, at least for now. As for the workouts, I suck. I’m an inflexible idiot frantically trying in vain to keep up and swing my leg into a standing split while my children and husband gaze on in confused horror, unable to identify what exactly I’m doing, certain I should not be doing it.

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Even the cat is concerned.

But I’m getting better and I haven’t managed to injure myself further as of yet, so there’s that. Then again, the journey has just begun…

 

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