Saturday, September 28, 2013
Feel as though the past two months have been mostly wasted...sitting in this empty apartment - not a single visitor or phone call - watching the shin splint injury healing, which it is doing. Of the three points of injury, only the muscle / tendon tear attached to the index toe (next to the big toe) is still on the mend.
Last week, took the first of three walks with SAM...each 1.5 to 2 hour duration, avoiding any steep hills. The completion of each walk resulted in some swelling...less with each walk. There is, however, no pain.
Most of my leisure time has been spent re-reading books from my small library. Interesting how much "new" information I find even after reading the same stuff a number of times. Glad I have not thrown - or given away - books.
Having little exercise for many weeks, the ole' body is badly out of shape. Sitting or lying down to read for hours on end also leaves sore places, especially in my back. Was a bit concerned at continued breathing difficulty wile lying down...especially lying on one side or the other. Spent 1.5 weeks staying awake most of the night(s) for fear I might stop breathing while sleeping. The breathing restriction seems centered in my upper back above and behind the Heart. Standing, the restriction goes immediately away.
Spent half of one night fascinated by a series of chest pains...very like a heart attack... During this episode, drank swallows of water during each pain, which seemed to flush out the cause. ever since my 1995 heart attack, I keep drinking water close by. Have discovered that stomach gas often produces chest pain(s) very similar to the heart attack pains. Drinking a swallow or two of water flushed the "gas" away, relieving the pain. Have come to the decision that if the pain persists after drinking the water, best to look further. So far - after 18 years - I'm still here.
Oh, my, the little worries of advancing age.
Have one other malady: Arthritis in both hands. Left hand thumb started acting up some 15 years ago. Since pushing SAM some thousands of miles, both hands are now becoming arthritic, with the restrictions / pain moving into the wrists.
It is my discovery that energetic walking allows the LYMPHATIC SYSTEM to do it's job, which among other things, flushes the body, removing toxins - indeed, removing virus, bacteria, and all other "invaders" including CANCER cells - from the body. My take is that Arthritis is nothing more than build up of irritants in the joints...removable by and through the Lymphatic System.
Disclaimer: No, I am not a Doctor...nor do I have any formal training in matters medical...I share here in my blog that which I have discovered...to be used or ignored. Many might, however, find it interesting and perhaps rewarding to do a bit of research on the Lymphatic System.
My apartment lease is being renewed next month. Terms switch from yearly to monthly; i.e., residents can terminate residency after a 30-day notice.
FALL is upon us here in the Pacific Northwest. Rain and intermittent strong winds have been daily occurrences. Temperatures have also dropped during the past two weeks.
I have given SAM a full overhaul, adding some details to enhance her performance. She is fully protected from the weather and stays dry in the most severe conditions. I owe much to many who have assisted me with SAM during our journey...with special thanks to BROKEN SPOKE Bike Shop in BISMARK, and STEFFAN BIKE in DICKINSON, North Dakota.
Work opportunity has slowed as Winter approaches. I have resumed job search - part time or full time - which I am confident I will find shortly.
In the interim - awaiting March 2014 when Montana snows and cold abate to allow SAM & ME to complete our interrupted USA crossing - will begin local short excursions with SAM.
I must return to daily intense exercise. It is intense exercise that allows my Lymphatic System to function to it's fullest.
It is my Lymphatic System that allows this old body to remain healthy and - as coined for SPIA (Seniors Performing Incredible Acts) by my Bellingham Teens in Juvi - walk 1.5 Marathon distances day after day after week after month after year.
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
On a beautiful 85 F. sunny Bellingham day, I remain a cripple...cripple in that since the leg has finally lost most of it's swelling, I can visible see the extensive damage received from the Shin Splint injury while walking North Dakota.
Since stepping off the fish processing assembly line, it is now 1.5 weeks. Understanding that ALL my medical care - beyond MEDICARE - has been terminated, there is no "professional" care available. My VA application is pending, but for the moment I am dependent upon my own observations and - after referring to medical books - my self-determined treatment. Damage to the left leg / foot is as follows:
!. TENDON OF EXTENSOR HALLUCIS LONGUS (left leg) has torn adjacent to the ankle bone. The tendon is healing...at present retaining a small marble size lump which is sensitive to touch, especially to rubbing from shoe while walking.
2. TENDONS OF EXTENSOR DIGITORUM LONGUS (for toes # 2, 3 and 4) have also received stress tears, with all three tendons still locally swollen with pea size bumps sensitive to touch. Swelling for toe #2 is significant enough to make it difficult to put on a shoe...and is sensitive to even short walks (5 - 10 minutes).
The toe tendon tears appear to be at the splice point of the tendon and the muscle lying above the metatarsals.
#2 metatarsal swelling is pronounced, leading me to suspect potential bone damage, as that point of injury is NOT appearing to improve.
Bottom line: I seem to have sustained severe damage...compounded by standing 10 - 13 hour shifts in one spot, resulting in the entire foot and leg to the knee swelling to calf-size.
Now that the swelling has mostly gone down, the damage is visible. Any bone damage is not visible without X-Ray, but if the bone were broken, pain should be much more severe than it is.
Needless to say, I am walking only as absolutely necessary; I.e., driving to the supermarket every three or four days.
In the interim, I stay in the apartment, icing a couple times a day, using arch-supported house slippers on carpeted floors . To keep blanket pressure off the foot, a full size pillow is used to support the bed cover(s) away from the foot.
Because of the injury, I am leaning toward a 6-month renewal of the apartment lease...then put everything into storage, and returning to the roads as a homeless walker. The $$ saved from having no rent to pay should make it possible to continue walking with little or no $$ pain. I remain in good spirits, confident that the injuries will heal quickly and properly.
Perhaps during the next 6 - 7 months, I will be fortunate to discover a "sit-Down" job to help pay medical bills incurred during the past 3+ years.
I appreciate the expressions of concern. Will continue to post every few days...and in event of any significant moments.