Thursday, January 16, 2014

Don't you just love pain?

Do you?  Do you enjoy pain?  The burn, as you force yourself faster and farther up a mountain?

I sometimes like such torture.  A super in shape friend half my size, invited me hiking, out off highway 22.  I jumped at the chance.

We didn't arrive early, but were only headed 2 1/2 miles or so, up to a little lake.  I was a bit concerned, about keeping up with her.  She hikes all the time.  I don't.

This was a few years ago.

The gradient to the lake, while uphill, was not bad.  She anteloped ahead.  Periodically, she'd wait on a log, until I caught up, then take off again.  I was jealous.  And humbled.

Once at the lake, me being drawn to water like a bee to a flower, I went in for a swim, despite the lake water's glacier origins.  You know me and water!  I figured, as I came out, dripping wet, we'd just be hiking back to the car anyhow.

But my fit friend laid out a challenge.  Pointing up the peak, she said most of her friends wouldn't go there with her, couldn't make it up.  It was about three more miles to the top, switchback steep, never ending climb.

"You'd never make it," she concluded.  My eyes fired over.  "Yes I would," I said, jaw set.  "Let's go!"

She wanted me to fail, give in, I bet.  I never did, although I was on my knees crawling by the time we were near the top.  There were unbelievable views of Mt. Jefferson along the way.  I had bad shoes, to boot.

Going back down was even harder on my knees and my feet, already chewed to hell from the rough terrain, getting them wet swimming, and being bad shoes to begin with.

Darkness had fallen on the forest by the time we got to the car.  I was high on the accomplishment.

I lost two toenails, from constant trauma to my toes from the hike in bad shoes.

I did not think I could do it, hike over ten miles, half of that being extreme "up", when I hadn't really exercised much in years before that, but I did it.

I am facing another such challenge now.  Doesn't seem like it would be as hard.  I had pain in my groin and right hip before the trapping I did on the Lebanon Let Em Breed colony in late November.  But that one day, worn out, out there in the turkey shit lawn, carrying a trap with a big cat in it, something did something and suddenly I could not walk, or even lift an empty trap, or take one simple step up.  I had to call someone to come load up the cats I'd caught and even the empty traps.

I couldn't move really without screaming or wanting to for three or four days.  Gradually the pain level subsided so I could function.  At night, however, the pain stormed back, waking me, if I wasn't already.  And it still is.

I got exercises from a physical rehab doctor and have been doing them.  Am up to 50 reps, but the pain continues, and in some ways, is worse.

The pain started as a terrible sharp jab in my lower left abdomen and butt.  I remember when it happened out there, I was lifting and twisting to turn, and slipped in turkey shit with one foot, caught myself, even while carrying that heavy trap with heavy moving cat in it.

At night, the pain would feel like a straight line right across the juncture of my butt and thighs, but also would travel in moaning groaning deep aches, down the top of my left thigh and tighten like a band above my knee.  When I sit the pain would be in my butt again.  I couldn't sit comfortably or sleep lying down, unless I took a swallow of Nyquil, which wipes me out.

The exercises helped the pain in my lower right calf go away, but not the major pain that makes me yell at night.

I wound up on the web, searching for answers.  I think I did something to my sacroiliac joint.  You know, where the tailbone joins the pelvis.  It's sort of a joint but not really and bears the weight of the body.  I remember after hurting myself out there not being able to lift even an empty trap.  Having something light in my hand puts force on that joint, but not much else.

I broke my tailbone when I was in high school.  My boyfriend was showing off on an ice rink, racing around the small rink bent over at high speed.  But he lost control and slammed into me.  I went up over his back and hit the ice hard, with my butt, breaking my tailbone and juxtaposing at least one vertebra above that.  Now that was painful and I had to carry around a donut cushion to sit on for months, which made me the subject of mockery amongst other kids.  That's life.

I've had at least two maybe three sacroiliac joint sprains since then, most of them occurring when I was younger.  I was never sure what that was, when I'd be told that.  I'd have to stay in bed, use crutches, and take aspirin.

I used to tell my PCP, before he quit, with my bowel problems, which he thought were caused by either adhesions from surgery catching during peristalsis or endometriosis attached to the outside of my colon (I have that bad), doing the same, catching on things to twist up my intestines during peristalsis, that suddenly it would be like there was a release, if I twisted and stretched the right way.  Sure, an adhesion or endometriome caught on something might slip free suddenly, but I wondered if something else was in the way.

There is a ligament that goes right from where I initially had terrible pain to your back. I wonder if it was that.   Also I used to say my left side was too tight, a feeling it was pulling up towards my ribs.  I think this is a long standing issue, and may be related to my leg length difference, which is about an inch, shorter on the left side.

Websites about hip tendon and ligament stretches or tears, bursitis, and sacro iliac pain all say leg length differences make these problems much worse.  I've got to resolve the leg length problem.  Hack off an inch or an inch and a half on the left.  "A little off the left, please!"

I don't know that's what I have now.  But I found different exercises that I hope might help.  I'm not going back to the physical rehab doctor.  The visit cost $500.  Medicare paid just under half and the rest got written off.  I can't be costing medicare that kind of money without trying every possible option.

Pain isn't fun and this has gone on too long.

In other news, Slinko's war with Slurpy isn't good.  Since he's come out as tame, he wants with me all the time, and goes after Slurpy, for some reason.  I don't know why.   But it's not acceptable.  I need to get a squirt gun again.  I haven't quit finished the connecting tunnel from the garage overhead run to Catlandia, the garage room/cage I built to hold the Lebanon colony cats.  I hope to finish that today, to give the cats more space, since the Lebanon cats left hold the spare bedroom hostage.   I'm not having much luck finding them suitable placements.  Four have left, which tain't bad, considering the rescue initially was of 60 cats and kittens.  Being down to 13 really is pretty darn good.

But is it easy?  No.  But nothing good is easy.   I have faith in the end I will find them placements.  And also a placement for sweet Slinko, a boy who wants to be loved, all the time, and to play and who doesn't like Slurpy, the sweetest torti on earth.  He gets along with everybody else.

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