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Surgery Chronicles: Day 4

First things first: my surgery went very well. The doc told me so as I was coming out of my slumber, but he also spoke at length with my parents. There were no complications, no real surprises, and if the healing goes as it should, the doc said he doesn't see why I shouldn't be able to get back to running—very welcome news!

My doctor, by the way, is Matthew Werd, at Foot and Ankle Associates in Lakeland. I fretted a lot over which surgeon to choose; I'd had three consultations, and it came down to two. One was an orthopedist I'd seen for injuries, and she happened to have performed bunionectomies on two of my coworkers, who were happy with their results. But her recovery program seemed far too good to be true. Walking around within a few days, no boot, and the second foot done within 10 days of the first. Maybe it would have been perfectly fine, but in the end I decided I wanted the more cautious approach, albeit with a much longer recovery period. Nonetheless, I'm…
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Surgery Chronicles: The Night Before

In the past week, I ran my last run, I swam my last swim, and I rode my last ride—at least for a while. I did four distinct loads of laundry (which I did not know was possible for me); I stocked up on necessities—toilet paper, hygiene things, dry goods, some frozen foods, medications/supplements; I pre-made a couple of foods I knew I'd want afterward; I typed up all the necessary (and some unnecessary) details of my surgery to send in emails to my family and my employer; I drank a large glass of water mixed with a disgusting packet of detoxing/alkalizing powder the past three nights, because the guy at Whole Foods told me I should and I was too afraid of what might haven if I didn't; I made readily available my yoga mat, ab roller, and dumbellls and pulled out my book of yoga anatomy that shows seated and supine poses—for when the motivation stikes me to exercise; I made sure everything I'd want was accessible—not too high or too low, as I won't be able to lift heavy t…

My New Happy Place: Seminole Heights Community Acupuncture

Seminole Heights is kind of the "it" place in Tampa these days, and here is just one more reason to love it. Although the clinic I visited has been around for many years prior to the community's popularity, I only recently discovered it and decided to try it out.
I've tried acupuncture several different times over the past decade or so, first to treat allergies, then to help alleviate a new and undiagnosed pain that set in several years ago. It's always been difficult to tell whether the acupuncture helped; it's not an immediate, magical solution to a given problem (although I did feel nearly immediate relief from head pain in a recent visit). For persistent or chronic problems, it takes repeated sessions, patience, and an open mind. But it also costs money (naturally), and the rate I was paying at the previous practitioners' offices was not sustainable, so I never continued the treatments for very long.

I'd found out about Seminole Heights Community…

Surgery Chronicles: Start Here

I alluded in my last post to upcoming foot surgeries I'd soon be posting about. I'm now 19 days away from the first one, and my thoughts pretty constantly revolve around how my life will change after that when I wake up from my "twilight" sleep after the first operation. In my best frame of mind, the scenario is like this: I'll spend a few weeks out of commission, getting some forced rest, spend a few weeks in a boot, limited exercise, and my right foot will be recovered. Then I repeat on the left foot and by fall I'm back on my feet again. That's the Twitter version. But the version that most often plays out in my head is more like a volume of books, with the details of every day painstakingly planned, agonized over, and wondered about. How will I make food? Bathe? Focus on work? Get the mail, take out the trash, do laundry? Will I be in a lot of pain? Will I go crazy during my long days isolated at home? Will people forget about me? Will I get the resul…

2017 and Beyond

If this sounds like a very late new year resolutions post, that's because it is. I never quite finished expounding on my goals for the year, but I wrote 10 things down, so I figure it's worth posting. Plus, I'm going to have lots of cause to post more in the coming months, as I (plan to) chronicle my upcoming foot surgeries, so I may as well resurrect the blog now.I started out last year's resolutions post saying, "This past year was one of the most challenging years of my life." But 2016 has proven to be a hearty rival. The year was heavily mixed with positive and negative events, emotions all over the place. The good: I ran again, I swam, I came back to yoga, I wrote a lot (just not here), I blossomed at work, I loved my family hard. The bad: I injured myself again and couldn't run, I gave up on biking (but later picked it back up), I floundered trying to find purpose, I distanced myself from friends, and I nearly drowned in my anxiety. But I tried, in …

I Adjust

I set out several weeks ago to train for a marathon, knowing there might be a chance I'd have to change my end goal to a half marathon. And so that has happened. Maybe my training plan was too ambitious for where I was in my body, having spent the better part of a year not running and generally trying to avoid being on my feet, or rather my foot, and then slowly coming back to running over the course of four months. I started with a two-mile test run one week, then three miles, gradually adding on a couple more low-mile run days per week. So to expect to go from that careful, measured reentry to a full-on marathon training was perhaps unrealistic, though hopeful. And that I was hopeful is okay; for a time when I wasn't running, I was not hopeful and had forgotten that it was okay to have hope.

But back to my current reality. When I did my farthest long run since April 2015, 12 miles, my body did not support it. Both feet hurt, my hips hurt. And not just in the typical pavement…

A Love Letter to My Nieces, Ages 2 Through 6

To my darling nieces,

You in your barely lived lives have taught me so many lessons about how to live mine. Here are the ways you have inspired me:
You enjoy simple pleasures, like jumping crumbled waves in five inches of water, holding me next to you so I'll do the same. Over and over and over again.

You love life vigorously, and you don't want to miss a moment of it. This love causes a fear of missing out, or FOMO, and it keeps you up at night. Literally. 
You seek individuality. Like wearing different shoes on each foot, or outfits you created because you love the separate pieces, even though they don't match by any stretch of the imagination, and despite my best urging toward a nice-looking alternative. 
You want to be active for no other reason than to enjoy the physicality of movement. Sometimes, in fact, you can't sit still. Can't do it. 
You know what you want in life and you're not afraid to go after it. Even when it's a toy that isn't yours bu…