Oh Boy

How about one final 2016 entry?  I am so ready for 2017.

Running

I got a few runs in last month after mostly recovering from the head cold from hell. I ran the Ballard Turkey Trot (lots of fun but I couldn’t really breath despite taking it pretty easy) and 2 more runs that progressively felt better on my lungs. Unfortunately, a few hours after running an easy 7 miler I felt a little twinge in my lower back after lifting a light bag of groceries. The next morning it really hurt to bend forward and by the next morning (after a sneeze in the shower) I had a blown out back (spasms, cursing, inability to move without screaming — aka hell).

This has happened once before a few years ago. I visited my doctor (mainly to refill my muscle spasm meds) and he told me some people are just susceptible to this kind of back issue and if I weren’t as physically fit as I was I’d probably get them more often (I believe this is true because Robert also has this issue but it hasn’t bugged him at all since he started running). In any case, more than 2 weeks later I still have a bit of pain and haven’t been running or doing anything more than a lot of walking. I actually don’t think it’s a disc or back problem at all but rather piriformis syndrome since my left glute/hip/hamstring has been hurting just as much as my lower back. For a short time, I was worried that I had a stress fracture but it really feels 90% better now and I can jump on it. I’m going to keep stretching it (cobra pose, cat/camel pose + other gentle yoga), add in some light strength training (bridges, planks) and hopefully I’ll be pain free soon. Running may or may not happen for a while. I’m in no hurry.

Ballard Turkey Trot finish @ Golden Gardens
Ballard Turkey Trot finish @ Golden Gardens. I love a rainy PNW beach in November.

Health (other)

Apparently my body didn’t think having a big old cold was enough fun so it also decided to make a little cold sore on my lip. I’ve had cold sores all my life (maybe one every 2 years or so) but haven’t had a big problem with them since I’ve become a regular runner so I was bummed to get one again. Luckily, they now sell fancy new meds that work really well and I caught this one really quickly and it was gone within a few hours BUT a few days later I had this weird “zit” under my eye that looked suspiciously like the beginning of a cold sore or a chicken pox blister. I didn’t touch it at all and it faded after a few days. I figured I’d dodged a bullet but then my eye started to feel irritated and within a week it was clear it wasn’t getting better but getting VERY BAD.

In the end, I was diagnosed with herpes simplex keratitis. Don’t Google Image that. It will make your eyes hurt. It really is one of the most painful things I’ve ever had to deal with. I can handle 3 days of back spasms. I can handle childbirth and marathons. This? This was something else. Something horrible.

Thankfully I am on the mend. I’ve been to my eye doctor 4 times now and have one more visit next week before I’m all clear to start wearing contacts again and go off viroptic meds. There is some scarring so I’ll have to have my prescription updated (just in time for fancy new glasses) and am no longer a candidate for Lasik (which I wasn’t even considering anyway). Oh, and it might come back again. Just like cold sores on the lip. If this happens to me again, just shoot me.

Hey, Robert. Take of photos of the frames I picked out. Thanks. Um, who is this old lady in the photo?
I asked Robert to take a photo of the frames I picked out. Upon looking at the photo my first thoughts were a) my poor eye and b) who is that old lady?!

Good things

Finally, after 6 weeks of misery and being home sick for so many days (I think I missed about 8 days of work, plus so many doctors visits) I feel 99% back to normal. Normal for me right now is about cooking all the good foods, hanging out with the family, kissing my cats, listening to cheesy holiday music, and drinking a few beers. Ho ho ho. Happy Holidays.

Santa came to Chuck's Hopshop!
Santa came to Chuck’s Hopshop! Kids, pizza, beer!!

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