Tag Archives: physiotherapy

Lost poster for season one

Weekly picks for April 6-12

I’ve been doing little else but – OK that’s not quite true – I’ve been doing a lot the last week. A team of superb health-care professionals knocked me out safely, grafted a piece of ligament from my shin onto my torn ACL, fixed the torn meniscus, and closed me back up. I was sent home that same morning.

Lost poster for season oneWhen my daughter couldn’t get there right away they seemed impatient to get me dressed and ready for when she did arrive to get my groggy butt out to the car. I guess they needed the bed for someone else? Anyway, still very loopy from the anaesthetic, my daughter and I stopped by a pharmacy to get my prescriptions filled. While we waited she took some (I imagine) hilarious video of me which she has promised not to share on any social network.

No worries, I recuperated at a friend’s place on the Island for a few days, then Ken drove me back home to Vancouver, where I’ve been trying to do my exercises and get rid of the need for medication that makes me foggy. Mission accomplished on both counts. No, I can’t bear all my weight yet, nor walk more than a few steps. But I’m working on it. And I’m onto Tramacet only, soon to be Tylenol only for pain relief.

Huzzah modern medicine.

While I’m on crutches, you’d think I’d be reading a lot, right? Well, yes. That and binge-watching Netflix. But here’s what I have been reading:

Frequently Asked Questions following Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction Surgery (PDF), Rebalance MD. 

Here is the only motivation I need for doing my icky, painful exercises. According to the FAQ: “In general, between 80-90% of people are able to return to their pre-injury level of activity after a primary ACL reconstructive procedure.” And it’ll only take 6-9 months!

So I’ve graduated from the seemingly endless wait, despairing of ever being able to run again, to the work of learning now to walk again. I get stronger every day, and I expect to ditch the crutches in another week or two. Hoo. Ray.

The Psychopath Inside, by James Fallon.

A funny thing happened when Dr. Fallon, a brain researcher, compared a bunch of brain scans as a favour for a colleague. He asked the colleague, who was studying Alzheimer’s disease, to mix in scans from Dr. Fallon’s own family, and make all the scans anonymous (Because science!). Fallon found the scan of a psychopath mixed in with all the others. Odd, because he thought all his psychopath brain scans were in another study, another pile. Turns out (spoiler alert!) the scan was his own, shaking his idea of what makes a psychopath, what makes people violent criminals, and the role of nurture versus nature in socialization and personality development. It’s a pretty interesting read, but gets a little bogged down in self-aggrandizing detail at times. But then, what did you expect from a narcissistic scientist with psychopathic tendencies?

Prepare to be Shocked! What happens when you click on one of those “One Weird Trick” ads? Alex Kaufman, Slate.com

I’m just endlessly fascinated with what makes people do what they do, and make the choices they make; or rather how others get people to make the choices they make. I guess it’s part and parcel of my profession. The One Weird Trick marketers know their audience, is what it comes down to. And it isn’t you or I.

Here’s what I’ve been listening to, watching:


OK I admit it. I’ve listened to no podcasts in the last week. Ken and his daughter urged me to watch LOST so I could share in their fandom. (No, I never did jump on the bandwagon while it originally aired.)

So, still on pain meds and drugged up the wazoo, I started watching. Now I can’t stop. Sayid, what were you doing with Shannon in the first place? You like ‘em shallow and dumb? I expected more from you. Kate, get over your daddy issues and go for the good guy for once, will ya? Jack, you can’t save everyone, and quit running off into the jungle and leaving a settlement of 40 people behind, you’re their only doctor for crying out loud! Michael, you should have drowned Sawyer when you had a chance, and I’m sorry about your boy.

And Locke. John Locke. The very first episode sent me running for my old philosophy textbooks (oh right, individualism, natural rights, no absolute monarchy, we’re all free, etc). By the third episode, Tabula Rasa (!), I was thoroughly hooked. I imagine there have been graduate papers written already about the significance of this character and what he represents in the human political psyche. I’d look them up, but I have several seasons to get through first …


Getting over DNF heartbreak – Part II

Last post I asked “How do I get over a DNF heartbreak?” after I had to pull out of the Queen City Marathon because of injury. I didn’t get too many responses, though I appreciated the messages I got: that it’s happened to the best of us and I’ll bounce back to run again.

Knowing all that, how do I handle it in the meantime? A Google search for steps to recover from running heartbreak turned up nothing, but there was a LOT of advice on relationship heartbreak. Now here’s something I know a little somethin’ somethin’ about!

I turned to my favourite relationship/sex advice duo: Em and Lo. They wrote the book on heartbreak and have a 10-step plan for getting over a breakup.

I’ve stolen translated their advice in abbreviated form here and adapted it for running, and I am following it to a T:

1. Numb the pain…for approximately seven days (two weeks max, in extreme circumstances). Everyone needs time to hit the wall, overeat, drink themselves silly, and generally self-medicate. Rent Shirley Valentine Spirit of the Marathon with a good friend. Get drunk on box wine. Go to a Saskatchewan Roughriders football game with your son. Lean on your friends, especially those who insist on referring to your ex as F**face running habit as crazy. Make a breakup playlist new workout playlist. Don’t feel guilty about crying yourself to sleep at the side of the road as other runners fly by. Briefly consider sexual reorientation taking up lawn bowling. Get drunk again.

2. Cut the cord. As tempting as it may be to call your ex go straight to the finish line looking for closure, hoping to be friends (i.e. “frexes”) watch everyone else cross the finish line, pretending that medal is really yours, this is not the time to concern yourself with F**face obsessing on why you got injured mere days before the race. Just go home and put that ice pack on your knee.

3. Think negatively about your ex (the race), especially if it helps you manage step 2. Avoid looking back on your relationship training with rose-colored hindsight or beating yourself up about what you did wrong. (Yeah – that course was way too flat anyway. I need more hills …)

4. Git ‘er done. After you’ve broken down, it’s time to rebuild yourself. You have it in you: start that political blog, dust off your bicycle, take that fiction writing class get thee to your physiotherapist and DO THOSE STRETCHES THEY GIVE YOU DAMMIT— after all, you’re more than someone’s other half just another injured runner.

5. Give back to the community. Nothing like volunteering at the local orphanage a marathon in your community, or raising money for a good cause to put your heartache in perspective.

6. Give yourself a “breakover.” If revenge is on your mind — and we know it is — get back at your ex injury by getting in the best shape of your life, getting the best haircut of your life, getting the laser hair removal you’ve always wanted …. (or at least a pedicure!)

7. Mark the occasion of moving on. Have a breakup DNF party with all your friends. Burn his effigy your race bib.

8. Go shopping! It may sound a little Tri-Delt, but retail therapy can work by temporarily filling up that void inside you just long enough to get you through the next day.  (W00t!: I’m getting new trail running shoes!)

9. Go on the rebound. Take up cycling, swimming and pool running for a while. We know you’re not here yet, but don’t underestimate the benefits of distracting yourself with the joys of being single cross-training so that you won’t be tempted to indulge in any late-night Googling “I’ll-just-try-an-easy-one” runs or other spying on your ex 5K races.

10. Think positively. This is not the death of sex and love running long distance. This is the beginning. Say it again: This is the beginning! Now sing it: “I will survive!” Because you will survive. And you will metabolize race again. Remember, dating injury is your chance to find better sex and truer love cross-training activities and re-learn your love for running. Take comfort in the fact that, with every passing day, as the pain subsides, you’re that much closer to your destiny (BOSTON!).