Wednesday, December 2, 2015

December 1st: Let's just add more crazy to the fire.

Pretend I remembered to hit 'Publish' on this yesterday (on Tuesday)...please?

Ahh December 1st. Hello to a new month and all the fun and excitement and...

...okay we'll stop there. Along with my morning coffee today, I got to read that my company's CEO has resigned (as in: They decided to replace him.). Our Q3 results were...not this isn't exactly surprising, but it still makes you stop and think about things...all those what-ifs that await us in life. *Sigh* I'm a bit sad, because he was definitely older-man attractive, and had a sexy German accent going along with his good looks. Don't judge. It made watching infoshares bearable. Maybe they'll factor those characteristics in when choosing his replacement...?

A girl can hope.

In other news...I hope your Monday yesterday wasn't as Mondayish as mine. Mondays always seem extra Monday-y after holiday weekends, and I spent all day with a strong case of I-wish-I-was-still-under-the-covers hovering in my head. That is, up until I went to see the last Hunger Games movie with my friend Kate.

Don't judge us! Kate is a YA (Young Adult) Librarian, and I love me some YA fiction, so we like to bond over such books (and then rebond over the movies). And oh em gee guys, the movie was so good. It was the perfect end to a Mondayish day. It was like seeing the original movie all over, though slightly more serious, and they did a great job of wrapping up the series.

But moving on!

I really just popped in to update you on this tendinitis thing a bit before I completely submerge my evenings and weekend in studying for my next CPCU exam (which I'm taking on the 10th).

First: Doctor Stuff

I briefly mentioned in this post from October that my previously private-practice Orthopedic Surgeon's office merged with a local hospital system on October 1st. It turns out that, when the switch happened, my insurance company dropped the doctors out of the network. The hospital system and all other treatments are still covered (phew, since I've done how much PT there thus far...), but when I checked with United today, they told me the doctors aren't covered.

I spent a lot of yesterday freaking out about this. All the angry-adulty things went through my head...
  • 'But...I've met my in-network deductible!'
  • OMG my out of network is TWO GRAND more?!'
  • *hyperventilate*
  • *hyperventilate*
  • 'Just don't go in to the appointment until you sort something out with them.'
When I checked in for my appointment I hesitantly asked the receptionist if the doctors at the practice are covered by my insurance. She asked what insurance I have, I told her United and she said, "Oh jeez. Did they send you a letter or something and tell you they're not in-network?" I said I had called them and they told me so.

She proceeded to explain that, for some reason, when the switch happened the insurance companies removed the doctor's from their list of in-network physicians, even though every single doctor who works in the hospital system is technically in-network. The bottom line was don't worry, we've got it taken care of.

Phew. Simple solution afterall! Stupid insurance company though, making me panic all day.

Now on to Physical Therapy.

I mentioned last week that my PT was extended another 4 weeks. Like I said then - my progress note was very positive, but I'm not back to where I want to be. Dr Gent confirmed yesterday that it's a good idea for me to continue with PT, and he's confident that the next few weeks will do the trick (otherwise he'll need to redo some x-rays and stuff to check my ankle).

If you're curious, I still have trouble with:
  • too much walking
  • higher impact activities - I'm not yet back to running, or training for Hustle Up the Hancock
  • I still experience a lot of soreness and some limping after my workouts (if they're tough ones)
Yes, I wanted to be "better" by now. I actually had a dream last night about running a 5k and PRing, and it sucked to wake up and know that's no where near real right now.

Basically, I  didn't want to have to book in more PT on top of my already maddeningly busy December schedule. But I did. Twice a week for the whole month, I'll continue to show up for it (I'll be seeing Amy and another new-to-me PT, Theresa).

The good news is that last week we started two new therapies and both seem to be helping a lot.

The first, which Amy (my Physical Therapist through all of this, for any new readers) decided we should introduce kinesio tape into my care. If you watch any professional athletics, you've probably seen people wearing it - I remember seeing it used a lot during the 2012 Olympics, and that was the first time I'd read about it.

Like this guy.
It basically adds support to injured muscles and tendons, while still allowing flexibility. She's taped me up twice, and it seems to be helping during workouts - particularly after swimming.

BUT! That's not the best part.

I swear Amy did magic to me on Wednesday.

After I finished my warm up (elliptical) and a few exercises (leg press and calf raises) she told me she wanted to try a manual soft-tissue therapy on me called Astym. She'd just gotten the kit that day after much delay (because of the health system merger) and was so excited. She said it's supposed to be really good for realigning scarred and congested tissues, especially in people who have tendinopathies - like me!

I'm not kidding when I say it was magical. First off, my calves were super tight on Wednesday from Monday's PT and my workout on Tuesday. For a lower leg tendonopathy, Astym treats the muscle bellies and attachments of all the muscles from the foot to the hip. So Amy set about frictioning each attachment point, and then draining the muscles all the way up and down my leg. The whole process took about 20 minutes.

When I stood up afterwards, all of the tightness in my leg had disappeared. It was like walking with a cushion under my left leg. My right calf was still tight and sore, and my left was totally fine. When I went swimming the next morning my right leg still felt a bit stiff (even though I'd been stretching it) and my left leg felt loose and powerful. It was amazing.

The effects lasted about three days, and after my workout on Sunday I had some of the usual soreness that's affected me since spraining my ankle in September. I'm really excited to see where this goes - I'll only be seeing Amy for four of the eight appointments I have this month, but I'm sure Astym will make an appearance again since I had such great results the first time around.

Also, in case you wanna laugh, the tools look a bit...naughty.
That one on the right? That's what did so much magic on my calf. The others she used for frictioning localized spots (tendon attachments).

And...that's it!

I could regale you with tales of what I did all weekend, but we'll leave it here for now. I really just wanted to update about PT and the Astym technique, because if you have a tendinopathy it may be worth looking for someone who performs this (or a similar) manual therapy.

Back to it being Wednesday...I have more PT tonight. It's my first appointment with Theresa and I'm excited to have a second look at my injury and recovery plan, and to see what kind of ideas she has for it.

Peace out, kids. See you in a few!


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