The Verdict

Thursday, November 5, 2015 by Anna Leida

The Jury is Back, Ladies and Gentlemen. Met with a charming young physiotherapist student today, who bent my leg for 45 minutes, had me hopping on one leg, bending over and do just about everything except standing on my hands while singing "hey-ho". The first doctor in a long while I have decided to trust. The verdict: Muscle overstrain. No joint, no cartilage, no fracture :)

The verdict is great, the sentence not so good: No running until maybe after Christmas :( On the other hand, I can do cycling and workout, so the work continues. The goal is new and obvious - spend this time building up the necessary strength to do this, while using my trusty Old Girl on two wheels to satisfy the need to get outdoors. Me and her will go on trips to scout out new routes to run, once I can do that again. In the meantime - MORE DOTA!!!

DOTA

Sunday, November 1, 2015 by Anna Leida

The unexpected standstill is into its third week and I am crawling with ants in the pants, but am beginning to think that rest is needed now. Have tried swimming and biking, because neither hurts very much, and it makes me feel like I am still working, but now it has started to become more and more painfull in between excercises. This is not good. Since saturday, I can hardly stand on it. And on top of it all I always seem to dive head first into the abyss of despair every time I am immobilised for some longer period of time. A few days in bed seem to be enough to start thinking suicide...

So, what to do about it? Thankful enough, a friend invited me for a gaming weekend, so that helped keep my mind destracted. Now I am back home, supposedly going back to work. Instead, the whole mountain of depression seem to have landed on me, only so much bigger since it was delayed a few days. *Sigh*

Strategy number one was to dig down under the pillows for a day, continuing gaming. It did not help.* Day number two was half the day brooding over the fact that I did nothing at all the day before. Now I am taking a short break from brooding, writing on the blog, and the plan is then to go back to doing brooding for the rest of the day, mainly over the fact that I probably will get nothing done tomorrow either. See - we are changing perspective from past to present. This is an improvement! Looking forward, as the happ-go-lucky life coach would say. The reason is I finally decided to go see a doctor about the leg, to make sure I am doing it right. Doctor is on Thursday, today is Tuesday**, and like I usually do, I think I may have put my life on standstill while waiting for the verdict. The Jury is Out, Ladies an Gentlemen, and I will go play some more Dota.

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* The game in question is the new old wonderful same of Dota 2, which I can highly recommend for every strategy games fanatic who like to spend hours and hours perfecting the gameplay. There are characters and ways to play with more moderate learning curve too, of course, but in the long run, Dota is for those who really want to get complicated. Just don't forget to Invoke a Coffee Break once in a while... The game is one of those who has "Depth", as my friend put it, strongly emphasising the word. And I agree, I am hooked already.

** I may have to explain here something for those who scrutinize details, that I write on this blog with a few days delay. Now that I write this text, it is Tuesday, but it will probably not end up online yet in a couple of days. It turned out that way, since I started writing locally at first, before the blog even existed, and then did not want to post all at once. It turns out it also works well because I do not always have a network available when I want to write, and this way I will have a buffer of a few texts to launch, even if I don't feel like writing for a while. Not to mention a second chance to correct for spelling! Anyway, this is the reason why publishing date may not always match the text description.

The Temptation

Thursday, October 29, 2015 by Anna Leida

I have been walking Dog in the morning again for some time, instead of cycling. Today, for the first 500 m or so, the leg didn't hurt a bit. Immediately, Brain started making plans. "Tomorrow, maybe I can run a little bit and see how it goes". "No, a little too soon, but on Thursday, I will do it". Then the pain hit again, and with that the clouds covering the sun. Very depressing day.

In the story of Pandoras box, the box is first full of decease, scourges and ailments of mankind, before they are released when Pandora curiously opens the lid. She hurries up to close it again, but all of the content already escaped. Only hope remains in the box. The end of the story is usually told as a positive ending - hope is still with us. Didn't anybody wonder what hope was doing in a box of scourges in the first place?

Hope is sometimes the worst of them all.

The Flat Tyre

Tuesday, October 27, 2015 by Anna Leida

How depressing to write this in the third post. But then again, it is a blog about rehab :)

If I expected everything to go straight with the wind, I completely forgot that the wond never blows straight in the first place. I have now hit my first serious bump in the road, a crippling pain in my right hip. It was preceeded by a mild pain in the left foot and my old right knee, known to give me trouble from a skiing-accident as a kid. The only difference is this one did not pass after a few days, and I saw it fit to leave it a week and change to some cross training while I let it rest. We'll see how that goes.

The resting week has now lasted for almost a week, and since I saw it fit to switch all walking and running for cycling, Dog now has to suffer being wheeled for his morning pee, instead of walked. He is not happy about it. I expect it goes a little to fast, and doesn't allow for the same frequency for stopping-and-sniffing as usual. Hopefully he will get used to it.

Worried that I will loose too much shape again while resting the leg, I have taken up an hours workout every day. In hindsight, this is probably something I should have done before, and maybe this bump in the road could have been prevented. But after eight weeks of successfully increasing both speed and distance, I must have gotten over-confident. The pain is back to teach me a lesson! It's walking a fine line, because overcoming pain is really what physics exercise is all about, but it is important to know the difference between damaging pain, and just mere pain. But at the same time as I am sulking over having to rest again, this time the pain makes me happy. After a year of regular setbacks with pain in placed I hardly know existed, it's a relief to finally have pain in a familiar place. After all, legs are supposed to hurt when you run.

The Decision

Monday, October 19, 2015 by Anna Leida

In 2014, when I first moved to England, in the excitement of being in a new country, I decided to undertake a footwalk in my closest vicinities, the Pennines, from the southern White Peaks to Hadrians Wall, a total distance on the map of about 250 km. As I intended not to miss any sight-seeing along the way I expected it to take the better part of the year, if I walked a distance each weekend. But as I did not knew many people yet, I felt I had plenty of time. I started from Ashbourne in late spring, and in the beginning of the summer had reached about the latitude of Manchester. It is a beautiful area, whose shifting weather and mix of deforested rock, grass and sheep makes it somewhat similar to the Fjalls, the treeless northern mountainrange of my birth country, though in smaller scale. Some pictures from this beginning of my journey can be found among my photos.

But, as things somtimes happen, this did not come to pass. One day at work I noticed I was oddly out of breath with even the slightest movements, and the day after it was hard to even move around the house. As it was in the middle of the summer I blamed the heat, but as the problems did not go away after a week, and worsened after two, I grew more and more worried. Eventually I couldn't move at all and had developed a fierce pain in my chest, which worsened every time I tried to breathe. At hosiptal, it turned out I had multiple blood clots, spread all over both my lungs. Needles to say, that brought all walking that year to a very definitive end. Instead of long afternoons on a hilltop, my exercise schedule now consisted of walking back and forth through the house for a few minutes every one or two hours. Now after a long time of gradual increase in physical activity, I started slowly running again, almost precisely a year after the diagnosis. Not the worst thing I have ever been through, but not a year I will remember as one of the best of my life, that's for sure.

I have always considered myself to be in fairly good shape, perhaps a waning such as I passed 30, but still a shape I could count on being there when I needed it. The experience of being completely confined to bed was a new experience for me, as well as the task of bringing my own body up from an absolute bottom. And here I thought I was at bottom after a week working on the forest, or after a long-winded stomach flu. Ha - I was merely dipping my toes in the abyss!

Once I started to feel as if I could live and not just survive again, I started thinking about how to best spend another of my years. Should I take up where I left, and continue the walk, or was it time to start something new? After all, a road passed, for whatever reason, is a road not taken, and turning around in the maze of life is never a good idea. Instead, I decided to aim for something bigger, that I had dreamed about my whole life - a long trip on foot across the country, all in one stretch. This will be my goal for the year 2016 and this blog is my diary and log towards that goal.