I don’t know what to do

So… It’s time for the next installment of “MizunoGirl’s Back injury”  (Cue theme music…)

I’ve actually been overwhelmed with the moving house and adjustment to new job, and multiple other challenges.  But I finally started to feel settled, and for a bit of time the fog that I’ve felt since this injury lifted a bit.

Since the surgery I’ve continued to have radiculopathy and pain.  I’m completely unable to run, or cycle.  I can swim…and Swimming has been something I’m doing a lot of.  I can do some fitness exercises, but they do aggravate the situation. I do them anyway because they bring me a tiny bit of joy in this joyless situation.

My Surgeon would like to do a fusion.  He feels it is the only option for me.  After such a surgery I really would be unable to return to running.  Now…I’m not running now… so…. perhaps I should just go get a fusion. I don’t think he gets it. Honestly if I hear the words “lifestyle modification” one more time… I will modify lifestyle, once I see all options are exhausted.

I did a tiny bit of research and found out that a FEW surgeons across the country are doing a different surgery.  A Direct Repair of the Pars Defect. In carefully selected patients, they have had a 90% success rate.  So after reading that, I went in search of someone who would evaluate me for such a thing.

Click here for the Sad Trombone sound effect  


Yes, No one really does this.  No one wants to do it.  After some further reading, I discovered that “technique” is involved.  In other words, it is easier to do a successful fusion than it is to perform this procedure.  SO, fusion is offered. LAZY.

So.  Undaunted, I actually contacted the hospitals where the research authors came from.  Amazingly… I got a stellar response from Johns Hopkins and also the University of Miami.  I had sent the U of Miami folks an email, and got a call back saying the Physician wished to see me, he felt he could help.

Imagine my shock and awe when I discovered I had inadvertently selected the HMO plan for my health insurance and I was not covered for this surgeon.

Imagine my continued shock and awe when the University of Miami stated they would not allow me to self pay for the visit. Their reasoning makes perfect sense, this physician is a very in demand specialist and he will only see people with an intent to do surgery on them…thus, unless I could cough up the 60 grand or more that the surgery was going to cost, it isn’t worth it for him to come up with a plan.

I called back my insurance plan and was told, “Just pick a different doctor”

More shock and awe.  I called ALL the neuro surgeons on the plan. (Sounds hard but there are only really 4 groups on the plan.) NONE will see me since I am less than a year out of surgery.  Freaking specialist in Miami will be happy to see me, but not these yahoos.

It turns out if any of these guys feel that it’s important to refer me out, the insurance company would consider it.  As you might imagine… outward referral is a hassle for everyone involved, and since they all feel that Fusion is the answer…. No dice there. Plus there is that sticking point.  None of the neurosurgeons except the original one will see me, and he is being kind of snooty… “We don’t refer out”  My level of frustration is now 10/10.

I have an appointment with my primary care physician to see if HE can refer me out, which is very unlikely.

Other odd options:

Quit my job for 2 weeks and be rehired.  Seriously could do that.  but not so sure my bosses would go along with that mess.

Enroll in “Obamacare” and drop my coverage through work. The kicker is that in Florida the Obamacare plans have pretty steep fees.  They cost about 300 a month and have a large 6-7K deductible to be met.

Wait until annual enrollment to change plans to the one that covers some out of network physicians and is more expensive.  I would be able to use it in January.  I don’t know what that deductible would be….it also seems to be kinda a long wait.

My last option is to cry to my director.  This is seriously affecting my quality of life, and it is certainly taking a load of time.  She may be able to influence people, but unlikely. I talked to HR and while they were actually quite kind, there did not seem to be anything they could do. Honestly, sometimes people are just stuck.

The entire situation is disheartening and I really feel depressed.  Not you know, “blue”  or “sad”  but seriously miserable. I do not want to get out of bed, I don’t want to go to work, I don’t want to train….it is all requiring a herculean effort.


My coach has helped brighten my situation.  He read out loud- one of the research articles while we were training. This sounds nice, but he did it in funny cartoon voices.  It was truly spectacular.  It was like  a “My coach wins all the prizes moment”  I texted him some of my pain today and while he wasn’t like Holding my hand or singing Kum By Yah… he did remind me that this wasn’t the end, just a bump in the road.


Holy Moly.

I do not know what to do.  Not one bit.

Snarky Post

So.. I’ve been feeling the need to post…and I’ve tried.  But so many things going on are a little more private than this blog has been.  (Amazing to me how many people I know have discovered it… Hello Michael, Matthew, etc)

So in short:

Job:  Seems to be going OK.

New House: If I can get shut of the old apartment all will be well, I believe.

Training: Training is going as well as can be expected I suppose.

SO that said I just want to express some snarky opinions.

Snark ONE: Friend of mine (very overweight) started to promote “fitsticks” a vitamin supplement which incidentally also had several of the same ingredients that some bad diet pills have. Sold it to another friend…this friend started posting about how she was losing weight, feeling healthy.

Today both posted that they are sick.  Both posted pictures to show they are as chunky as ever.  What is it about these products that  make people part with hard earned money?

I have refrained from asking why their Fit sticks did not keep them healthy…and also from asking if they are going shopping for a new wardrobe yet, since they should be super thin by now. But boy did I want to.  No substitute for a healthy diet and regular exercise.

Second Snark:  Man in gym who I have known for a long time, fairly good friend of mine. Made some polite but “suggestive” statements…which were well received by me,because he is after all a friend of mine, single and someone I enjoy.  2 days later…same man pretends I do not exist. 5 days later, can’t stop texting me. 7 days later, I no longer exist again.

WHY DO THIS?  If you aren’t interested, be not interested.  Don’t be and then not be and then be again.  It is very hurtful and super confusing. My head is like spinning like  a top. I’m sure there is some sort of psychotic reason for this, like low self esteem or trouble making up your mind, but…for heavens sake, talk to me, don’t be a jerk.

Third Snark:

Do you all remember the intern?  Oh yeah.  The intern.  Got hired to do a job at our gym.  I was told by a coach that many complaints regarding performance at the job have come up, including complaints about “attitude”  Yes, Validation. Love what the coach said, “Next time you say you don’t like someone, I’ll take it seriously because you were spot on about her.”

For her sake, I hope things will improve.  That sucks to totally suck at your job.

Fourth Snark: If you are my friend, but only call or text when you want information about a mutual friend (Of which you are only “Facebook friends” and I am a real in person friend) You might not get the reaction you want. That behavior isn’t classy, and you are not so much my friend any more.  I can tell a sincere concern for others and a desire to know gossip. And if I have not heard from you in about a month, yes expect me to totally feel Used for Information, and to not cough any up!  What is with people?

I may be all out of snark.

that would be a good thing!


Continuing the swim….

Through life I suppose.

Last Friday I moved at least I got 90% of my stuff moved.

This weekend I am still moving the last odd 10% of things.  It’s those moments when you look at something and try to decide if it is worth moving, etc.  In addition, I am cleaning the apartment which is super annoying.  I mean, I understand the concept, but we ALL  know they are going to have it repainted and re carpeted, so this insane attempt to clean the carpet is really just irritating on my part, since I know they are going to throw it out anyway.

On the plus side, I do really like my new home. It is open and easy to clean and practical and just the right size.

The dog is not quite adjusted.  I realized after 3 days that some of his issue was the size and the fact that it still is “empty”. Things echo.  I solved the problem by shutting the door to several of the rooms.  Eventually I think I can start to keep doors open if I need to.

I have to say it was a great relief to have the move done and I imagine after I finish and turn in the apartment keys I will be even more relaxed.

Work has been pretty nice lately.  This month ALL my meetings went well, and I FINALLY (after 8 months) seem to be starting to fit in and learn some of the “rules” of the road at the new facility.  Our little department is a bit beleaguered and tired.  I’ve had several successes lately with applying the National Health Safety Network criteria “rigorously” (as in:  I read every sentence and find every loop hole to make penalty inducing infections “go away” legally).  This is rare.


And while it sounds horrible from an outsider perspective, it really isn’t.  infections never “Go away”  but if they can be tied to a more appropriate source it helps in so many ways. For example if a patient has an abscess in the body and a blood stream infection, it is very likely that the blood infection came from blood traveling through that area where the abscess is present.  (Blood goes everywhere! it keeps us alive!).  So we can tailor our infection prevention actions in more precisely if we know where things are coming from. Otherwise we can put all sorts of controls in place and then…nothing changes because we didn’t address the sources appropriately.  So I’ve been enjoying work pretty well.  I get to serve on some interesting committees with interesting personalities, and my schedule is really my own to keep. I think this more than anything was a sticking point at my old job.  Work could however, change in a heartbeat.  So much goes on behind the scenes that is blog worthy but totally would be blog in-appropriate, that the blog about work sometimes sounds bland.  Never bland.   Infection Prevention and a committed Preventionist will save lives…This is certain.  Not sure now that I want to work for this organization forever, but it’s a great place to be right now. While physically I did not love moving, I’m always up for an adventure.

Old Coach and I are FINALLY on speaking terms again. He apologized for being a bit of a jerk around the time of my surgery. I apologized for being stubborn.  We don’t really chat daily, but I do like that we talk occasionally.  He is essentially my total “big brother” and like many family members, you can get really angry at them, but never stop loving them.  I am very glad to bury that silent hatchet and turns out it’s been something that has been bothering him as well.  On the other hand, I do not actually want to go back to him for coaching.  He is super supportive of what I’m doing with the Swims, but I think he likes having the role of “Cheerleader”  rather than the involved analysis of the coaching.

New coaching is working out rather well.  He is pretty amazing.  Funny, thoughtful, encouraging, passionate, smart and compassionate.  Lots of people are all of these things, but struggle to know when to employ them.  I am often humorous at the wrong times, etc.   He actually does fairly well with that. The one thing, which is like my old coach and I think is a “guy thing” is that he can be kind of moody as well.  One day we are training and having a good time, and the next day he seems preoccupied and is all business.  He always does a good job, it’s just the running hot and cold that can be a bit confusing.   He’s been out of town this week on this drive cross country, so I decided to do “ALL the things ALL the time” Predictably, by about Wednesday, I was feeling some soreness in many spots.  I have got to stop with all the things!  Unlike my old coach, he’s been completely available to me via email or text and I suspect he doesn’t really mind texting some back and forth, so while he’s been road tripping I’ve still been benefitting from guidance, and actually been enjoying our interactions. Oh and did I mention that I am getting stronger, by leaps and bounds?  Get that man a freshly ground French Pressed cup of Joe.


I do not fell 100% confident about the swim yet. I’m struggling with some nutritional aspects of training, as well as just the logistics of such a long swim, but I have a bit of confidence that it shall all come together as it should.  I asked my new coach if he wanted to come down to the Keys for the event and he seemed receptive, but I don’t know how he will feel about it on consequent days. It would be awesome to have him there, firstly to have that coaching support right there would be great, but also because he is in general a fun person who enjoys a lot of the same things I do, so I might get a snorkel, hiking, seafood eating buddy out of it as well… and what’s wrong with that? DSC_4958-12One thing I’ve discovered several times about the keys now, no matter what happens down there….I always have fun.  Excited for September….



Just Keep Swimming…

Wow, I’ve been so busy and physically tired, I have not had time to update my dear 3 readers!  (How I love you my three readers!)

Things are coming along pretty well now,   I closed on the house today.  The actual closing was not a big deal.  My poor realtor showed up at the wrong time…we had rescheduled because of the holiday and the wire transfer, and I didn’t think to tell her.  She made a pretty penny off of her one time showing me the property!  That said, she left me a card with a gift card in it, so that was a nice gesture, and I think if I had needed more she would have done more for me.  I did the walk through the other day and seeing the home in it’s finished state did make me eager to MOVE in!  It’s so nice and clean and with tile through 95% of it, it will be easy to keep clean!    So It has been a few weeks of feeling very adult. It also involves a great deal of things that essentially are one time things, that are throwing my regular routine off.  Usually I have one or two of these things each week, but with the house closing it is about 20…and so for a moment there after signing all the papers, I actually felt a bit like hyperventilating when I thought about hooking up the power, trying to move, meeting the neighbours etc.  I did get over that with some deep breaths…I will probably not feel 100% comfortable until the entire move is complete and I’m done with the apartment.

Training is going better than I could have expected.  I think new coach and I have kind of figured out what works for each other and it seems to be working.  I am getting stronger and can see progress.  He really has been able to provide the right balance.  He is always willing to acknowledge my frustration with starting over, but he somehow moves me past that so I don’t wallow in it.  He also seems to have a similar sense of humor, and so there is actually more fun than I imagined when I started to work with him.  He gets me!  He really gets me! I never actually knew there was a side of humor in him before, so a delightful discovery.


We both noted today that we were being observed by my old coach today.  Apparently he noted it first and ignored it.  I of course… had to react.  Interestingly, A few words from the new coach seemed to allow me to brush that off.  So, making progress through my situation there.  I think this could be very successful.  I’m glad I took a chance on a new person, it felt very risky after being with Coach Skeletor for years.  I had no idea how much more fun it could be.  The kids swim coach also continues to help out and provide pointers and advice, so it’s nice to feel that there are people on my team who are interested in success.  That said, I am still struggling with speed.

Work is also coming along; it remains my biggest challenge at this point in time. Things are starting to fall together, and I am starting to make key connections with the right people.  Our organization is a bit of an “old boys network” people are open and accepting, but at a slow pace sometimes.  For someone like me who is a bit of a “Sheldon”  anyway, this can feel like an eternity. I just keep finding supporters and trying to avoid the haters.

All that said.  I am getting there. I enjoy going to work, for the most part, and the people I work with.  One of the pitfalls in my work is that it can be easy to make an error, and all of our data is very public.


Many times I discover that an area wants certain data or benchmarks later rather than prior to a date that they wanted it.  This is so frustrating.  The demand for data is never ending.  I’m appreciative on the one manager I have that does not make such demands….would that they were all that relaxed.

So by the end of June I expect to be fully out of the apartment hovel.  Wahoo!


Time Poverty

Hello Blog-o-verse…

Seems I’m operating in a severe “time poverty” mid set.
I am always running a touch late for stuff I want to do…getting up a bit later…not getting enough sleep, and feeling rushed.

I close on the house this coming tuesday so I am sure that is part of it.  As soon as I close I know there are a few things that will need to be purchased (My 12 yr old TV is often losing sound, so it is finally time for a flat screen, I figured when I moved would be the perfect time…).  In addition there is the MOVING STRESS.


I just find myself feeling like all I do is go to the gym, go to work, go back to the gym, and then rush around like a crazy woman at home.

Over the weekend I did do some preparation work for the week and this week was somewhat easier.  So hopefully it will continue to even itself out. So far I’m finding that having all 5 outfits planned for the week ahead really helps.  Restocking the gym bag on Sunday and making sure to empty it by Wednesday helps.  if I do not empty it, I end up with a huge heavy bag with about 3 pairs of shoes… Pre-planning meals obviously helps.  Also just picking one to two pressing things to handle each day has allowed me to chip away at an ever growing list of bills, mail forwarding, responsibilities etc.

Even with all this, I just feel entirely like I’m missing things, and that things that are out of the ordinary events really throw me off.  I mean little things, this week we had a baby shower and I was supplying the cake.  Just making the time to walk into the store and select a cake and frosting totally made my day feel again rushed and off.  This should be easy!

Hopefully after I get moved and settled some time in June, this will all kind of dissipate a bit.  But if not, I am just not sure how to get my time back.

Anyone else feel this way?  What are your strategies?

Well…today was a surprise.

So… Normally today I would have my session in the “Endless Pool”images-9 images-8 Unknown-3

This is pretty much what my session looks like each week.  Lots of video, some chat from the coach.  I don’t know why but I kind of love the endless pool.  I think because it gives current to swim against…so it’s interesting.  I DO NOT love being videoed so much, but it’s pretty cool that I am able to have that service.

It is working.  I swam in the morning this week and one day while I was endlessly logging laps, the very awesome swim coach said to my kayaker (conveniently also my lifeguard that morning), “Hey I have not seen MG in a while, how is she?”  Kayaker, said, well, she’s over there in that lane, been here for almost an hour…. Apparently, I have improved so much in the last 3 weeks he failed to recognize me.  He said he was amazed at the amount of progress I’d made in such a short time. So Wowsers. It really made my whole week to hear that.

So plus one for the endless pool and my new coaching.

New Coach was out of town today so no sessions this week, so I decided to swim long in the morning and then do a weights workout in the evening.

I was feeling pretty good, the time on the miserable ARC trainer was OK, and the weights were going along well.  Then I got to the pull ups, and since I need assist right now, the machine is located near physical therapy.

So Random. My old coach decided, after LITERALLY 4 MONTHS that he should “see how I was doing”.  I had imagined this a couple of times and always sort of imagined being sarcastic and nasty to him, but of course… I couldn’t. We talked a bit. He asked me if I missed running…. what a question.  No, I don’t miss running, right? Only every few seconds…. It was a little strange as he also asked how my swimming was going. Apparently he has been keeping track of what I’m doing, but you know, totally not talking to me. In addition, He really wanted to share some of his own news with me that I truly DO NOT CARE about.  Life is really too short to hold on to hurt or be angry, but that wasn’t easy.ee2a504c0f943d9a3b70e344382bb6a3

I kind of felt like he was abandoning me all over again.  The situation we were in was difficult, and I think moving on was for the best but boy does it still sting.  So where are we now?  I’m not sure, but I actually think I want to avoid much interaction.  That encounter did not do anything to enhance my day…..New Coach is back tomorrow, though I probably won’t get a chance to talk to him… I will feel more secure with him in the building. All I can say is thank goodness for New Coach and Swim Coach.  I’m seeing a lot of improvement, and I just have to let that past go…


So….this week started out with a Miserable MG.  It ended pretty well however.

I am having a few challenges at work. I do not like to use the words “challenges and opportunities”  as code words for enormous problems that must be fixed, but I do have some challenges.  My supervisor is currently very overworked, and I took over her units.  She is one of those people (as am I) that has a hard time letting go.  Thus… it has been a challenge to wrestle these things away from her, even though technically she let them go. This can be very tiring and because she has not shared certain things with me it can lead to a lot of mis information.  I’m finally getting through it and getting to build my own relationships with people.

So whatever, on Monday I just felt like the whole world was against me.


There were a lot of irritable surgeons and nurse managers, but oddly as the week unfolded, most of the things came out “in my favor” if you will.  I like my job, and it is infinitely better than my old job, but there are still rough moments. Still, the week ended so much better than it started, I do have hope. I still do feel unfocused, as I have a lot of rules to operate within that I didn’t have at my past job, and that level of red tape requires some getting used to, but I feel I will manage.

Training is also a bit unfocused.  I’m working with my new coach and it’s working out, but I’m unsure about his open water experience. As he rightly points out, I’m so fresh out of surgery none of that really matters.  I’m essentially doing Rehab…with a lot of swim meters and yards. Since the intern has departed we have been working pretty well together.  I’m a bit frustrated with the strength exercises, but in fact, we aren’t really allowed to load anything axially. Axial loading exercises put compressive forces on the spine. It is unfortunate, because I love many of those exercises, so we are stuck with a paltry few things, pull ups, dips, stir the pots, some glute activators and a lot of balance type exercises.  In a few more weeks I think we are going to add in the some loads, but they will be light.

I think a lot about wether my cobbled together swim plan is going to allow me to get to the finish. But I also have a lot of swim time, which is pretty silent and allows me that time to debate.  I’ve asked the coach a few times for extra training, but he has pretty much told me that I’m still rehabbing so he doesn’t want to dictate anything I do that isn’t supervised and that what I’ve been doing seems to be pretty adequate.

We shall see, it’s a tough one that swim.

As far as my back… well.  I had some low back pain today on the swim.  I do still get some tingling and odd sensations in my toes.  My left first two toes are entirely changed, but I’m used to them now.  So, all’s as well as it can be!