Saturday, June 21, 2014

Water Works

It's been five full days since I got my epidural on Monday, and I have come a long way since.

In physical therapy on Wednesday, I did my first bit of exercise: two sets of 10 wall squats and two sets of ten rows with a bungee cord while sitting on a balance ball. Plus, I did about one mile of walking, not all at once, but spread throughout the day.

I woke up on Thursday feeling very sore from this exercise. Ha. Muscle atrophy much? So I took the day off. I did some walking, though. Just about a half mile... enough to get some shopping done. :)

Yesterday (Friday), I got into the pool. My physical therapist says that actual swimming is a no-no (it compresses the L5S1 disc even more than cycling or swimming), but I am allowed to tread water and do a little water jogging. So I decided to do 20 minutes of really easy water jogging. Maybe I should call it water slothing. I was moving sloooow.

Today I did some actually water running, though. I strapped on the flotation belt and did 30 minutes straight of pretty high intensity running. I concentrated on trying to keep up a high cadence (I can only manage about 140-150, but that's a good start). I was sweating and breathing heart and--best part--there was no pain.

I can still barely manage even half a calf raise with my bad leg, but I am more determined than ever. Being able to get a real workout in the pool was so encouraging. I realized just how stressed out I was about losing my fitness and having to start from absolutely nothing when I start running again. I'm hugely relieved to find out that I will at least be able to maintain cardiovascular fitness. When I start running again, I'm going to have noodle legs... but at least I won't have noodle legs and pitiful lungs. I'll take what I can get.

I follow up with my primary doctor and the epidural doctor on Monday morning, and then I have physical therapy on Tuesday. I'm hoping that my work (and patience!) this week earns me some good reviews from them all!

Happy trails, friends.


  1. I'm sure it must feel nice to be able to do *something* physical without pain. My poor friend who had the herniated disc last year basically spent like 2 months on her back. Hopefully it will just get better from here!

    1. It felt AMAZING. It really really calmed me down. I guess you could say that I'm addicted to exercise? Psychologically dependent on working up a sweat? A neurotic nut case? Check. Check. Check.

      My heart goes out to your friend. I hope she's back to herself at this point.