Stopped in the Middle of a Swim Lane…

9-21-13 Weekend BursaFriday, 20 September 2013

Isn’t it amazing what we don’t know about this body we’re walking around in.  Last week I had an MRI done of what is thought to be an inflamed  ischiogluteal bursa — on the sits bone.  The ortho doctor called to tell me “there’s a dark spot on the MRI.  it could be a blood clot, it could be something else, it could be nothing.”  What in the heck is a blood clot, now that I might have one.  (I’m not looking on the internet.  I don’t what to know all the bad things it could be.)  In my head a blood clot is a little clump of blood cells in the vein.  And sometimes a little bit of the clot breaks off and travels to the heart and causes a heart attack.  And other times a blood clot in the brain causes a stroke.

Clearly, that elementary high school biology back in the dark ages isn’t giving me the in-depth background I need for today’s needs.  I wonder if I need to go to medical school next?  (Or nursing?)  (Or just take a biology class.  Which would be the easiest — as long as there are no frogs to dissect and as long as Terry Tierney is not my lab partner.  Terry made me clean out the stinky over-Xmas-break experiment when we were in high school.)

So I went over and had the second MRI done this morning.  First they put me into the machine and took a picture “plain”.  Then they injected dye into me (although the stuff was clear in the glass bottle) and took more pictures.  I have an appointment Monday AM at 8:15 to have the doc tell me what’s what.  I’m hoping there’s some Physical Therapy and continued rest.

Next, in between answering questions, etc. at work (I’m off today), I went swimming.  I tried to incorporate input from Mike Henderson and Coach Steve.  (I never change just 1 thing at a time.)

I have been swimming out-back-rest.  Occasionally, I swim out-back-out-back-rest.  But that is the stretch goal.  (Yeah, yeah, I’ll get better.)  And I have to have a long rest after that.  Mike suggested that I swim out-back-out-rest.  So add 1 25-yard lap instead of two.  I did that today.   I managed to do all my laps in threes.  (I’m officially switching from counting out-back 50 yards as a lap — going to just counting each 25-yard lap.)  AND, I did 18 laps.  Two more than I’ve done before.  18 laps is 450 yards which is 1,350 feet which is 1/4 mile.  With 5 rests in 18 laps instead of 5 rests in 16 laps.  Who knows if that’s good or not.  I think I’m building endurance.  I do know that when resting on the side of the pool I was seriously panting, which I think indicates elevated heart rate.

I tried Coach Steve’s breathing technique.  I have been blowing out the air while my face is underwater so I’m empty when I turn my head to breathe.  The Coach says hold the air in for added buoyancy.  I can see that.  To today I tried that.  In the end, I had to consciously count strokes and blow the air out during the third stroke, rather than a big push-out of air right before the breath.  As I found in running, and these days in walking — I tend to push against the count, when if I can relax into the count the whole thing is easier.

So I’m counting along, in the very last lap for the day, when the thought came into my head, “I’m spending an hour in the pool with the Coach?”  The thought was so shocking I stopped swimming and stood up.  I can’t do this for an hour.  Yet.  I re-gathered my wits and finished the lap.  Hopefully there will be some resting…but knowing him, not much.

Then I went to see Allen Arnette who has taken more biology than me.  He explained that the “blood clot” could be a pooling of blood in the bursa or the tendon, or in the capillaries that web through all the tissues and organs and carry the nutrients to the body.  I sorta remember how that works.  He was completely nonplussed by the “blood clot, nothing, or something in between”.  He suggested physical therapy and rest would be prescribed.

Went to Costco and bought watermelon for tomorrow and licorice.  Ate Chinese food.  Came home and loaded the car for tomorrow.  Getting up at 4:30 for 6 AM start (and happy to be able to do it!!)




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