Where, oh where is Christmas?
My news is that I'm scheduled to have a little surgical procedure on Feb. 12.
I don't embarrass easily (as you know only too well if you've ever read my blog), but for some reason, I am embarrassed about this: I have urinary stress incontinence.
Excuse me for a minute.
Voice inside Jeanne's head: Jeanne, it's not like it's a moral failing or anything! It's not like you killed someone!Hello my name is Jeanne, and I have UI. And voices in my head.
Another voice inside Jeanne's head: Yeah, but if I was smarter, this wouldn't have happened!
Hand of first voice inside Jeanne's head: Dope slap.
I "leak" when I run, walk, talk, sit, sneeze, cough, move, live, or breathe. If this fact makes you queasy, imagine how I feel about it.
I had to tell so that the rest of my story will make sense. But first, let's learn a bit about UI:
Between 12 million and 25 million Americans are thought to have UI. Exact numbers are not known: many who have the condition are too embarrassed or pessimistic to seek treatment. But according to the National Institute of Aging, at least one in ten people over age 65 has the condition. Women are more likely than men to get UI because it can be caused by the physical trauma of past pregnancies and by the muscle weakness that sometimes results from a drop in estrogen at menopause.I don't quite fit into any of those groups, except I did have one enormous child 20 years ago. And I'll be 50 in February (Feb. 7 to be exact: mark your calendars!).
—from the AARP's cutely named "Oopsie Daisy" site (gag me)
It's nice to know I'm not alone. And I'm betting that some of you out there have this problem too.
So,the upside is that I should be cured after this procedure.
The downside is that, post surgery, there can be no aerobic exercise—nothing, not swimming, biking, elliptical, nada— for—are you ready?—twelve weeks. I can walk fast, but that's it. And that's only after at least two weeks of total rest. No lifting weights, either. (And yes, I've tried all the other treatments, rest assured.)
You know what happens when you go two weeks without exercise. You can imagine what visions are dancing through my head just thinking about twelve weeks with no exercise.
And now, please whine with me and pity me, because twelve weeks of no training takes me into May and that means: No Cherry Blossom 10 miler, no St. Patrick's Day 10k, no Mother's Day 10K, no George Washington Parkway 5k ... waaaah, all my favorite races!
It also means quite a loss of muscle tone and endurance and, unless I'm extremely careful, weight gain.
OK whining over. I don't have cancer, I don't have any incurable or painful disease, I need to thank my lucky stars.
And I decided immediately that I would spend the time between now and Feb. 12 getting into the best shape of my life.
I started this week by taking a drastic step: I gave up sugar. Great time of year for that, right? So far, so good.
Next, I sampled some classes at a drop-in gym one block from work.
So here's what my week looked like:
Monday, 6:30 a.m.: A one-hour Reebok strength-training class that kicked the stuffing out of me. I still hurt from it.
Tuesday: 7 a.m.: Ran my first three miles since Spain. 11:30 min pace. I was sucking air the entire way. Not pretty, but my leg didn't hurt.
Wednesday: 9:15 a.m.: Second strength-training class with same instructor as Monday. Going to this was a pain because I had to get to work early, work, change, leave work, etc., do the reverse, and her class on Wednesday is very different than on Monday. A lot more talking, a lot less working. And NO OFFENSE TO the SAHMs out there, because I would cut off my arm to be one, but the class was populated by mostly rich Bethesda SAHMs, who had nothing to talk about but getting their hair done and the burden of the holiday and its many parties, and getting their grass manicured and their feet cut (or was that the other way around?), anyway: not for me.
Thursday: 6:30 a.m. this morning. Yoga (not Bikram) class. This was also a killer. KILLER.
So, I consulted my trusty, (if two-timing), highly unpaid coach for a plan that made sense, and this is what I got:
Now, this I can live with! And I hope it does the trick.
3 days of running: 30-45 minutes. Go easy. You're just trying to maintain right now.
1 day: yoga (which I consider core strength training)
1 day: upper-body and core strength training
1 day: spinning class
I realize this is 6 days of exercise. If too much, drop down to 2 days of running.
I had to tell my colleagues the situation, and one of them asked: Do you have any evidence that getting into great shape now will result in less loss of muscle tone after surgery?
But I'm pretty sure that I read somewhere that going into surgery healthy should speed recovery time. (Tammy, help a sistah out!)
So that's the story. Blood and gory.
Merry Christmas you old Building & Loan!