Monday, April 14, 2008

Surviving the Swim

It has been quite a challenge this past week. I am still waiting to go to a physical therapist. I was scheduled to go to UC Davis but they wouldn't take me because I wasn't a patient of their's. How ridiculous is that! We asked UCSF to find me another physical therapist. Instead Courtney ended up finding someone with the help of my sports physical therapist. (I have to have one that deals with nerve damage.) I am hoping to finally get some outside help this week!

So what have I been up to! Everyday I have been doing band exercises. I am seeing a lot of improvement in strength but my hamstring is still incredibly weak. I can't pull the band all the way back on my own. I get frustrated often but I know it will get stronger with time. Soon I will be able to go to the gym which will help! I have a loop around my house that I have been walking. Every time I walk I get a little better and faster. I started timing myself. I get a little faster each time. Yesterday I did two laps. I also walked 300yards without the walker. Courtney and my Dad were pretty excited.

I still have no feeling in my foot. We have to tie it up with an ace bandage so it doesn't drag when I walk or cause me to walk funny. It is hard to imagine that I may have to do this for the rest of my life. In fact this is what stresses me the most. Sometimes I lose it and cry at night. I think about how I won't be able to race as a pro and possibly never race again. I have run for over 15 years and I just can't believe I may never be able to run again. I pray and pray and pray that God heals my entire body and gives me feeling back in my foot. Then I pray that God helps me to deal with this. I don't like to rely on my Dad and Courtney ALL the time. I can't just jump up and get a glass of milk. I have to slowly pick myself up, grab my walker and then slowly walk into the kitchen, try to balance myself while I open the fridge and grab the carton of milk. I continue to try and balance myself while I pour the milk in my glass. Then I have to drink it there because I can't hold the glass and try to walk back to where I was sitting. Every thing I took for granted before is difficult for me to do now. It is hard not to get a little depressed at times especially when I see people running or riding their bikes. I often think "I should be doing that. I should be riding my bike and getting ready for Xterra Temecula." Then I realize how lucky I am to be alive, to be able to walk as well as I am. It could have been so much worse. The tumor could have spread, or I could have lost the nerves in my hamstring or calf and not been able to ever walk again. Then I count my blessings!

One good thing is that Courtney contacted someone to try and build something I can use to walk and maybe even run with. I am determined to get back on my bike and run even if it isn't to return as a pro. I just want to get on my bike and ride some trails. I have been in training mode for so long I haven't been able to really enjoy riding.

In the meantime I keep working hard to get stronger. I can't wait until the incision on my stomach heals so I can swim. It is healing nicely but the doctors want me to wait for six weeks to avoid any problems. I also have to be careful about lifting weights that use my abdominal muscles. After all, my entire inside was taken out to remove the tumor. I am still sore in this area.

I will keep you all informed of my progress! Thank you to everyone for your support and for all of your emails. I enjoy reading all of your stories and encouraging words. Please keep them coming! And a HUGE Thank You to all that have donated gift cards and money. It has been such a tremendous help. Your support has helped us to pay a lot of our medical bills! Our dogs are grateful to you as well. They are so excited to have food and treats for the next few months. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

I want to let all of you know that I will be attending Sea Otter. I will be hanging out at the Cannondale booth, signing autographs and answering questions. Please drop by and say hello. I will also be at Xterra Temecula. I will be doing the Mountain bike University with Mike Vine and hanging out to cheer folks on in the race. Please feel free to come up and say hello! I look forward to seeing everyone.

Until next week . . .

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