Life in the Slow Lane

There’s not much new to report today. I go for my second follow up with the surgeon tomorrow, and I’ve got a busy week ahead as I get ready for my trip to Amsterdam (and I plan to take lots of photos, which I will share here). That quote from the Austin Powers movie (I think it was Goldmember) keeps running through my head about two things Austin’s father can’t stand — people who are insensitive to other cultures and the Dutch! I’m eager to see Amsterdam and what it has to offer, and maybe a few windmills. Maybe I’ll bring back some wooden shoes.

I got a letter from my insurance company about the astronomical bill I received last week. Apparently, the provider appealed their decision not to pay. I’m just hoping it doesn’t fall on me!

Since I haven’t been able to run, I’ve been going for walks in the evenings. There’s a walking path on our side of the townhome complex, and the evenings have actually been nice enough to spend outdoors. I never realized how many lizards we have! I haven’t talked much with the neighbors, but have noticed the same folks walking in the evenings, some with their dogs. A friend said I needed a dog to walk, and the idea appeals to me. But we really don’t have the room, and are not home enough. I would probably need to hire a dogsitter if I went that route.

Anyway, I’m eager to see what the surgeon has to say tomorrow, and to find out how much longer I’ll be doing the physical therapy exercises. I do need to ask him for a referral for some further treatment — my left IT band and hip flexor are bothering me, and I think I may have plantar’s. I think they are related to the back — I may have been compensating in other areas. So there will be more physical therapy exercises at home, and likely some more waiting. Just hopefully not too much more waiting! I’m ready to get out of the slow lane.

Stormy Weather

The stormy afternoon weather matches my mood perfectly today.

Before my surgery, I was told that I had met my deductible for the year, that all I would have to pay was a $300 deposit fee with the surgeon. After that, I didn’t hear anything else about any other bills. Since the surgery, I haven’t had a co-pay for other medical-related visits. I even got a nice refund back from the center that did my shot and through which I was doing a different round of physical therapy from the one now. I thought I was in the clear.

Yesterday, I received a letter that dispelled that notion. Apparently, the bill is from the anethesiologist (I’m guessing that’s it — it doesn’t really come out and say it). When I saw the amount, I did a double take, almost stopped breathing, and nearly dropped the letter. It’s not like we have sacks of money laying around (and who does, except Scrooge McDuck). The amount is way more than what’s in my savings account.

I enclosed a letter with the receipt in the return envelope, saying that there must be a mistake and referring them to my insurance company. My husband told me I shouldn’t worry about it, but I can’t help it! My fear is that it’s not a mistake, and of course, how on earth would I get the money? By robbing Scrooge McDuck?

I think the real reason it’s bothering me so much is that I’ve been wondering if the surgery was worth it. When will I be able to run again? Am I hoping for something that’s not to be? I’ve been stretching and doing my physical therapy exercises, and biding my time, waiting for that moment that I’ll feel fabulous again. I know that I’ve always tried to put on a brave face, especially for this blog. I want it to be about running and the positive steps I’m making to get back to running, not a never-ending pity party! But it’s hard to be brave all the time. And I’m thinking that the improvements will come gradually, not in one shining moment, like clouds suddenly parting in the sky. The changes may occur so subtly, they may not fully register.

Saturday mornings are still strange to me, with no long runs. I’ve been missing my running group, and missing out on a habit that has become a lifestyle to me. I find myself floundering at times. I have attempted to distract myself with things, but I’m still feeling the void left by not running. Yet it would be too easy to let myself get mired in the muck. So I persevere on, still stretching, still doing my exercises on the ball, and still waiting.

I’m also keyed up today because I’m doing the opening and closing remarks for a work event Tuesday morning. Now, I did volunteer for this, and I think it will be something that will benefit my career at my company. But I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. I spent Saturday at my parents, rehearsing my speech, and going over YouTube videos to gather tips for public speaking. I feel like I’m prepared, though I do plan to run through it a few more times before Tuesday.

So I’ve got a lot on my mind, which has created for my stormy mood on a stormy day. But hopefully, the clouds will disappear soon.




Music to My Ears

Given that I haven’t been running, I’ve found myself with lots of time on my hands. I’ve been walking and doing my physical therapy exercises, as well as gearing up for a busy time at work. It has been hard not running, especially yesterday morning, when the weather was so cool. I did sit outside with my coffee and enjoy the breeze, but it’s not the same as doing my weekly long run.

One way I’ve been filling my time is taking piano lessons again. I’ve played off and on over the years, but haven’t formally studied since college. While he was looking for a guitar teacher, my husband found a music school not too far from us that offers piano instruction. So on Sunday afternoons, I’ve been taking a half hour lesson with a teacher.

I thought I was going to be the oldest student, but I’m not (there are a few of us around, according to my teacher). My lesson is sandwiched in between younger students — it’s fun to see the little kids, lugging their violins and guitars in, parents trailing behind. Going to the studio brings back memories of when I was kid. I took piano lessons initially, then later flute lessons when I joined band in the sixth grade.I remember lugging my music books (and flute) to lessons, hoping that I’d practiced enough. Even when I did practice, I would get nervous sometimes and make mistakes (I’m still doing that — it’s funny how some things don’t change!)

While I miss running, it has been nice to indulge in the first passion of my life, music. I’ve been going through pieces that I’ve tried practicing on my own, but need help with. I may finally be able to play through my Charlie Brown Christmas book (jazz pieces give me a harder time than classical) this year!

The ‘cross training’ exercise has been fun, but trying to remember all my theory has been a little strenuous. During one lesson, I actually thought I was going to blow a fuse, trying to remember chords! I still love Chopin, and am still not a fan of Bach (I liken him to kale — something that’s supposed to be good for you, but I just can’t stomach). It’s been fun going through the stacks of music, playing through old movie soundtracks. It’s also like a diary — I associate pieces with particular times in my life. I can look at the songs I played in fourth grade (and see the stickers I got, signalling I had done a good job on a piece), or see what piece I played for my Christmas recital my junior year of high school. It’s fun to see where I started in terms of skill, and to see how far I’ve come and where I can still go.

Hearing that I can run again will definitely be music to my ears, but for now, this kind of music will have to suffice. But I can live with that for a while.