Wednesday, September 14, 2011

An Interesting Experiment

During the past couple weeks I’ve become very aware as to how my diet accelerates or minimizes my pain. I’m not having nearly as much pain as I was having in the earlier weeks. I would categorize the pain level at a 4, which is a huge improvement as I had been at a pain level 8 for far too long.

Over the past few weeks I’ve found that when I eat grains-good whole grains-such as steel cut oats, brown rice or nice fresh corn on the cob, I begin to feel more pressure in my spine which in turn leads to more nerve pain descending down my arm and into my hand.

One evening we met Tyler and Amanda for dinner at Granite City . I had a slice of bread, well, maybe two, with my salad and I couldn’t believe the inflammation I suffered from the next day. At first I thought it could have been from the sodium that was probably in the grilled chicken, and in part could have been. In my notes (yes, I journal everything) I jotted down how miserable the pain was and wondered why it had accelerated. I continued to jot down how I was progressing, activity, diet, etc. In looking at my notes I finally realized that when eating grains I was indeed suffering more pain the next day.

I consume essential fats and take EFAs which reduce inflammation. I have since researched grains and the effect they have on inflammation. It’s too bad that my PT or Dr or someone had shared this information with me when I first injured my back. Maybe they didn’t know, maybe it is a farce, maybe I am making it up in my head. No.

Of course, in correct doses inflammation is a boon, necessary for healing and protection of germs and other foreign invaders. As my discs heal, I probably won’t be so sensitive to grains. Time will tell.

Because I’m not running 100 miles a week at this time whole grains aren’t at the top of my list of foods to be consuming so they aren’t that hard to limit or cut out. I’m eating meats, vegetables, fats, fruits and nuts. I know, right! Where's the raw, the vegan? Still whole, organic, healthy foods. I added meat back in a while ago. I’ve gone off the Splenda (again) and I’m feeling really well. I’ve even begun the Challenge to give me something to focus on besides healing. Lord knows I’m not focusing on running or lifting or yoga or CrossFit right now, sad but true. It will come, it will come!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Not Feeling So Superior

Sadly I am not at the Superior Trail Races this weekend. I still feel quite a bit of pain in my back as well as nerve pain going down my arm. I'm not sure which is worse. Both are especially horrible when I drive. The drive to Lutsen was just too much for me. I forgot that I hadn't updated this blog in quite some time, I guess I update Facebook much more often. I have had four sessions with my Physical Therapist. Traction is my new favorite activity. Friday I had 30 minutes and it was awesome. As the device pulls my head from my neck, the spaces between my discs is lengthened, removing the pressure from my nerves. Ah, relief! After Fridays session I didn't feel pain for an hour, a great improvement! I progress every day. Last week I was still devouring Advil first thing in the morning with an ice pack to my neck. I was taking pain reliever every four hours. I haven't had any today ;) Topaz and I have been able to get back out to Lake Maria for walks. I don't know when I'll be running again. Eventually. I find myself missing my active self so very much. My day began with an easy run with Topaz, lifting at the gym, maybe a hard run in the PM, some, yoga at CorePower. I REALLY miss CorePower! More so than Gold's. I can't wait to get back to CorePowers vinyassa hot yoga. My body is craving that stretching and my mind needs the focused intent. I may try the beginning vinyassa next week. It's been difficult, that is for certain. I put away the idea of racing this weekend but I surely thought I'd go up to Lutsen, spend the weekend aiding the runners, rooming with Alicia, Bill and Matt again. Not so. Chin up, could be worse!