Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Netflix & Chill After Partial Meniscectomy

Aero being a therapy dog

I am now 4 days post-op and feeling pretty good. When you are the mom of a toddler, the actual procedure can be described as “a refreshing nap”! During the prep, we got done and had about 20 minutes of waiting, so they asked “do you want us to dim the lights and lower your head back?” Yes, please! They then put me under general anesthesia for about 45 minutes (thank goodness it wasn’t a spinal block, as you may recall my trauma from the birth story) and when I woke up they gave me ginger ale and Cheez-its and I didn’t feel groggy at all. It really was like I had a nice refreshing nap! 

Two little holes in my knee
Two little holes in my knee

Swelling and pain have been pretty minimal as I spent the first 48 hours icing, and hanging out in my Normatec boots, while debating if the discharge instructions meant I wasn’t allowed to shower for 2 days or if I could do it with waterproof bandages over my steri-strips (Kevin made me wait, and he was right…). 

Taking it easy with Mama

What I watched:

  • Bel Air on Peacock
  • Senior Year on Netflix Z
  • Bling Empire Season 2 on Netflix

(Yes, I literally “Netflix and chilled” my knee).

Hitting recovery hard means ice cream in my JFK mug :)
Also coincidentally my favorite flavor of Ben & Jerry’s…

And, my mini reviews! (The latter 2 actually came out on Netflix ON surgery day.)

Bel Air: I started watching this months ago and you know, #MomLife, it takes a knee surgery for me to get to actually finish it. I grew up watching Fresh Prince in the 90’s so I was kind of excited that this is a more dramatic version (a la All American from the CW). Uncle Phil is skinny! Will and Carlton hate each other! Hillary is an influencer! Will actually got in a fight (in West Philadelphia near a playground where he spent most of his days) and his momma got scared, and sent him to live with his auntie and uncle in Bel Air! It was really good. Geoffrey the butler AKA “head of security” was my favorite. He was so savage! I really hope The Slap doesn’t affect them coming out with Season 2.

Senior Year: I was class of 1999 in high school and just turned 40, so this was super full of nostalgia as Rebel Wilson plays a class of 2002 senior who falls into a 20-year coma and wakes up as a 37-year-old. I definitely LOL’ed and loved the Britney Spears “Crazy” music video remake. Rebel looks somewhat unrecognizable from her Pitch Perfect “Fat Amy” days, as she dropped a ton of weight to get healthier, but at the same time, she has the very same mannerisms where you wonder if most of her roles are the same character. I still found her hilarious and enjoyed the heck out of the movie.

ALSO—you know it’s a movie because the football player boyfriend and rival cheerleader are both still hot 20 years later. That doesn’t happen in real life! Our high school football team got cut after my freshman year and the players all transferred to the other school across town. About 10 years after I graduated, I bumped into one of the formerly hot football players when he was working as a personal trainer at 24-Hour Fitness and I was in the thick of pro triathlon training. I remember him performing at the middle school talent show doing the shirtless Samoan fire stick twirling dance! Time was not his friend and he followed me out of the parking lot to give me his phone number. 

Bling Empire, season 2: OMG. Now, I don’t typically enjoy reality tv shows about rich people (like the Kardashians or Real Housewives), but you know, representation matters even in terrible trashy reality tv. So consider those 4 or so hours I wasted my contribution to AAPI month. My impressions—Kevin, stop trying to date your friends (it just makes everything awkward in their small friend circle). Kane, stop stirring up s***. He is the worst gossip and so obnoxious! I love that they showed Jaime’s super cringe date. And the Cherie and Jessey backstory that got dropped like a bomb pretty early on, DAMNNNNN, no wonder he didn’t want to get married in season 1. I was stunned they just POOF disappeared after episode 3. They could’ve had a chance to explain their side of the story, and I think that says everything. Overall, it is very hard to sympathize with super rich folks and their rich people problems.

Anyway, back to recovery. It wasn’t a meniscus repair, just the little fragments got “cleaned up”, so there are just 2 holes in my knee and I’ve been allowed to WBAT—weight bear as tolerated. No crutches needed. I abstained from walking the dog or getting in a car the first 2 days and on Monday took Aero out on a couple of walks.

During my second walk, the orthopedic doc’s office called to check how I was doing, which was nice! I got cleared to do some light cycling on the trainer (“only to improve range of motion, NOT FOR CARDIO”), was told not to “OVERDO” the walking the dog, and any other restrictions? “NO RUNNING!” Okay, okay! I actually wonder if they flagged my chart, which does actually specify that I’m a retired pro triathlete, haha! 

I alsod got my first PT evaluation Monday night from my neighbor. My range of motion is looking pretty good. She is not just a physical therapist, but also a personal trainer, marathoner, and running coach, and I’m hiring her to help guide me back to recovery safely. This whole thing has been a big wake-up call to stop training so haphazardly! 

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

AAPI month podcast interview, and 10 hours of sleep

I was on another podcast! It’s been 13 years since I qualified for my pro card, and last week I was honored to be the interviewed as the first Asian-American female pro triathlete on the Tri Beginner’s Luck Podcast for AAPI month. I was introduced to the host Michanda by my good friend Becci in DC, because just like the state of Delaware, the triathlon world is small. 

It was super fun and we laughed a lot! We talked about how to pronounce “prosthetist”, if I would ever go pro again, and my thoughts on peeing on the bike. You can check it out here or wherever you get podcasts (iTunes etc).

Unbeknownst to me, the Zoom call also was recorded (I knew about the audio part obviously) and then put on YouTube (oops I would’ve washed my hair and looked somewhat more presentable). So you can also watch me looking like a scrub:

It also covers stories from my teenage triathlete days where I spent all my Chinatown scholarship money on a road bike and my first sprint triathlon (doggy paddling FTW) to how I’m currently “living my best life” and the story of putting together our Crazy Fit Asians JFK 50 team.

Obviously it was recorded before I sneezed my meniscus out of place (about 2 months ago because Ainsley just turned 17mos and I mention that she is 15mos old). Surgery is Friday and I am remaining both optimistic and realistic. I’m going to do everything I can to make it to the starting line healthy and able to tackle the challenge…BUT also get the expertise I need so I don’t do anything stupid that would compromise my long term health.

Also got to celebrate Mother’s Day weekend by hitting a huge milestone—felt comfortable enough for Ainsley to stay overnight at her godmother’s house so I could go on a fancy date with my husband and proceeded to sleep 10 hours in a row for the first time in forever and ever. MAGICAL!

Until next Tuesday, when I can report on how “the scope” went, send positive vibes this way please! 

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

...recalculating... Bumps In the Road

Happy Asian-American Pacific Islander Heritage Month! I'll try to get back to my #newblogTuesday blogging streak each week this month to celebrate and elevate AAPI voices. First, here's an oldie but goodie of me and my rugrat in our matching Asian American Girl Club outfits:

Back when she was still onesie size

I actually need to get her the kid size shirt now!

Welp, I got my MRI results back last week and...

The good news:

JOINT FLUID: No significant knee joint effusion.
BONE MARROW: No evidence of fracture. 

The bad news:

MEDIAL MENISCUS: There is free edge radial tearing of the body and posterior. There is subluxation of the midbody along with a meniscal flap fragment, best visualized on images 18-20 of series 6. There is a horizontal oblique undersurface tear of the posterior.

So it turns out that I did quite a number on my medial meniscus from that silly sneeze. I have since heard from 2 friends that have thrown their backs out from a sneeze, so I feel slightly less silly. I admit I was pushing my luck thinking I could just go on a 20-mile fun run on hillier terrain without a proper buildup (obviously I got a little cocky after that 23-mile run I pulled out of my butt). I have also since learned that breastfeeding hormones can cause your ligaments to be more lax, so I give the toddler partial blame and we have put together a concrete weaning plan this next month. ;)

aborted "epic long run once a month" training plan

The good news about the bad news:

I’ll be having a little “clean-up” procedure—ok technically it’s a surgery, but it’s arthroscopic and lasts only 45 minutes. I’ll be able to walk without restrictions the same day and full recovery is expected within 3-6 weeks. It’s scheduled for next Friday, 1 month exactly since the fateful sneeze.

When I look back at the last 5 years (I could go back more, but then I just start sounding like I’m full of excuses), every year has had some bump in the road or two as far as physical activity…

2017: hit by a car while biking for the second time = neck issues
2018: fell during a trail race and hurt my shoulder (supraspinatus tear of the rotator cuff)
2019: tore something in my foot (partial tear of lateral cord of plantar fascia) in June and then had pneumonia in July
2020: pregnancy!
2021: postpartum!

Which is kind of funny (not really funny) because I consider myself pretty injury proof. This data begs to differ. Let’s just say after 2017 and 2018 incidents, I finally signed up for Aflac supplemental accident insurance that was offered at work!

So once I'm recovered, I’ll just look back on this as another bump in the road. I just need to stay consistently active, injury free, and not do dumb things. I'll do whatever it takes to keep me active until the day I die! Sometimes I feel like an old school car GPS, where you go off course and that friendly female robot voice says "RECALCULATING..."

And I am laughing, reading my Q1 update in March: "So I may be pivoting my season opener to be a local trail race. TBD. I don’t like to commit until I’ve had more consistent training and tend to sign up for most races last minute as #MomLife can be unpredictable..." That season opener ain't happening this month. I'd say other than a global pandemic, this is as unpredictable as it gets!

But I'll be smart this time and do what I can to be careful and running around again like this little squirt.

I also encourage you to celebrate AAPI month with a poke bowl or boba drink!

side note: haven't let her try boba yet 
as she might still choke on the boba bubbles!