A Release Of Pain: Good News/Bad News

Two weeks today. Two weeks ago, I said I was going into the hospital for a surgery that was hopefully going to be a game changer. A life altering decision that unless you suffer from migraines, you would never understand the weight that came with it. Today marks two weeks since my surgery.

And yesterday – I had my follow up with my doctor. I have good news and I have bad news. 

The good news is, everything is looking amazing. The incision is healing cleanly. I had three sutures that he had to remove himself, two at the very top of the incision which I didn’t feel at all, and one at my neck that was sticking out uncomfortably. I feel significantly better without that lower one there anymore as it isn’t catching on my shirts.

The pins and needles feeling, the achy muscle – bad bruise feeling in my head is normal and expected. It’s the muscle healing and the nerve re-learning how to function without the muscle suffocating it. There are still some spots on my head that are numb, and while that worries me slightly, it too is normal. I was told this could be the norm for the next 6 – 8 weeks. The only real issue I have is when I try to wear my sunglasses (they squeeze to hard on my head, behind my ears) and trying to lay down to sleep (that pressure on your head thing… yeah…)

The bad news is, I’m forbidden to run for another 3 weeks. Idiot Runner Girl can’t run. This is frustrating beyond all understanding. I already have 6 weeks of no running under my belt. Another three will put me at almost 2.5 months of no running. Getting healthy is a bitch.

The logical part of me is realizing that this makes complete sense: the last thing I want to do is jeopardize the work that has been done. The jarring and pounding movements of running can easily ruin the work that has been done. The muscle needs time to heal correctly and low impact work outs like bike riding, elliptical, and walking is the better option. The nerve needs to heal. It’s the right thing to do, and it’d be stupid to try and run when the doctor told me under no certain terms am I allowed to run right now.

The emotional part of me freaked out. Weight wise, I’m way heavier than I ever wanted to get to again. I have my first half marathon in 5 weeks. I have the cruise wedding I’m in coming up in 8ish weeks. I’m not comfortable in my own skin, and I’m a sucker for high intensity work outs like Insanity or Les Mills. And now I can’t run again? For another 3 weeks? I’m frustrated, heart broken, and seriously trying to find a way to make things happen even if I can’t run.

I accidentally picked a fight with Dreamboat about it as well. Being the hard core logical guy that he is, he kept saying riding the bike to help my breathing and my heart rate is the best way to go until we know what my body can do. Me? I saw it as the easy way out. Elliptical and walking is better than the bike, which is so passive.

“Who is a better athlete, you or Lance Armstrong. Doping aside,” he asked. Clearly, it’s Lance Armstrong.

“But he does more than just ride a bike,” I retorted. We ended up going to sleep facing away from each other: he slept like a baby, I tossed and turned all night. When I apologized via text message later today, he did too saying he understood where my frustration is coming from, and that all I needed to do was focus on what I can work on now without screwing up my head.

I need to sit down and map out a plan for the next three weeks. I see alternating riding the bike and walking for 30 minutes every day in my future, while jumping on a squat and lunge challenge. I want to add the plank challenge as well, but am uncertain as to if I can do it or not yet. I’ll post my calendar for September when I have it completely mapped out. That was supposed to happen today, but instead I worked on a million and one different things for the bridal shower I’m throwing my bride to be friend Dawn in a few weeks. I’ll find time to work on it tomorrow or Thursday while at work.

Oh yeah – I also go back to work tomorrow. After two weeks of basically nothing, I’m excited and disappointed at the same time. If this is what life is like as a housewife – minus the surgery and the pain of course – I could get used to it. I even discussed it with Dreamboat, and he laughed at me.

“You need to be more active than that,” he said. True – but it’s nothing a gym membership to the YMCA couldn’t fix. 🙂

My second follow up is on September 18 – and maybe then I’ll get the all clear for running and will be able to focus more on the Suburu Half here in Jacksonville on Thanksgiving, and the Space Coast Half Marathon a few days later. It does – however – put the half marathon in jeopardy. I don’t know if I can do it, and haven’t decided to put the race off till February. But I’m thinking about it and will hopefully have a decision made by this weekend.

Everyone has been commenting about how much happier I seem to be. It’s weird because I don’t feel any different emotionally. Physically yes… Dreamboat said he thinks it’s because I’m finally accepting that the migraine pain could very well be behind me.

Finally – there is a chance that A Release of Pain is very, very real.


3 thoughts on “A Release Of Pain: Good News/Bad News

  1. growingtowardthesun says:

    Jamie, I was contemplating this surgery when I saw your story on the news. I am 40 years old, so that makes 25 years of headaches. This is just the sign I needed that I am headed in the right direction! Thank you.

    • jljohnson says:

      Hi Allison!

      My insurance (Aetna) covered the proceedure, with an out of pocket expense of only about $600.

      Out of pocket cost I got quoted was $8000, but I would talk to Dr. Falluco’s staff to see if that number has changed or not. 🙂

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