Saturday, March 26, 2011

Sheherezade XI: 2010 A Year in Review!

Wow, what a delightful time out last night! My husband and I drove up to San Francisco to catch this year's fund raising installment for the Playwrights' Center of San Francisco at the Stage Werx Theatre, Sheherezade XI: 2010 A Year in Review.

Again, we were presented with 8 short plays, all centered around events that occurred last year. From somber to hilarious, we were taken on quite a journey!  I have never cried so much, followed directly by so much uncontrollable laughter.

With all of the recent news out of Japan, I had all but forgotten the plight of the fishermen in the Gulf Coast, but Rachel Ferensowicz, Charles Lewis III and Richard Egan brought all of that destruction and worry right back into focus in Oil and Water.

And who could forget the San Bruno gas pipeline explosion? I certainly won't, after the great performances by Philip Goleman, Wesley Cayabyab and Shubhra Prakash in Emergency Contact.

Another favorite of mine was Many Winters, featuring Heidi Wolff and Rachel Ferensowicz. Rachel and Heidi took us through a heartbreaking tale of losing a child, and the great weight it puts on the mother's shoulders. Could she have prevented the loss? Was there something society could have done? When does the grieving end?

Lighter plays covered such topics as the psychic octopus, Paul der Krake (played by Wesley Cayabyab), iPads (iWhat), and an intriguing take on Prop 8 (Prop Ate).

The only disappointing thing, for us, was the audience was not full. This is a wonderful show, benefits a great group and should be sold out every night! The benefit runs through April 9 - seven more shows. Go get your tickets now!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Baby steps to recovery! Milestone this week!

Sorry I haven't posted much lately on how I've been recovering from my 3 cm x 1 cm tear in my quadricep tendon, let's just say it's been more than a bit depressing.

Recovery has been very slow, as I've additionally damaged my low back from walking around for 6 weeks with a knee immobilizer on (damage was compounded, I believe, by sitting at a computer terminal, as my leg/low back could never be properly positioned - not even with help of ergo specialist).

I am angry that my orthopedics PA did not give me crutches at first, nor have any advice or help for working at a computer, but that's water under the bridge now.

I don't want to go into details at this time, but suffice it to say that I essentially stopped writing and gave up most hope when both my physical therapist and physician recommended I transition into chronic pain management, as I had recovered as much as possible. In their expert opinions, as my physical therapist put it, "We've been doing this a long time. We know when someone has achieved all the benefit they can from physical therapy."

At that time, I could barely walk without pain and had hardly any strength in my left leg.

For those of you that follow my blog or know me in real life, you realize that getting news that I was not going to be able to walk a short distance to dinner from my house was devastating.

In addition to the low back pain, floating/electric pain down my left (injured) leg, and major muscle atrophy I also have unexplained spasms in my thigh adductor muscles. I've lost total hip flexibility (yoga's been tough!) and am frequently surprised by pain in that area.

I know, plenty of folks have it worse off than I do, so that's enough complaining for now.

On to the bright spots: my sister-in-law is a physical therapist and had examined me over the Christmas break, and she believed I was fixable. Through her determination and my husband's inspiration, I requested a new physical therapist from Kaiser. I was pleasantly surprised when they had no issue reassigning me.

My new physical therapist is wonderful. With her help, plus deep tissue massage and recently chiropractic adjustments, I'm back on the mend.

Here were my New Year's Goals:
  • Sit without pain
  • Get in and out of bed/car without pain and like a normal person (as opposed to the old lady method)
  • Drive my manual transmission Mustang with a heavy clutch
  • See the bottom of my left foot
  • Sit "Indian style" (which I believe is now called "criss cross, apple sauce")
  • Walk all day without nerve pain in left leg
  • Ride my bike to work
  • Ride a pleasure ride
  • Downhill Ski
Now, 2 months in, I've met the following:
  • Driven my Mustang (w00t!)
  • Walked all day without pain
  • Skied (many thanks to my Skiers Edge, which I was able to do rehab/retraining of my muscles in the comfort of my own home). Don't worry, I just did some easy runs at Badger Pass and Bear Valley. No blacks or moguls for me this year :-)
  • and..... drum roll please.... Rode my bike to work *both* ways this past Monday! With no pain!
I have to really focus on form and keeping my abdominal muscles really tight to do it, but I did it!

Has anyone ever had their thigh adductor muscles go into spasm? I'm hoping for some insight here - everyone seems to be stumped.

There is hope yet :-)

Thank you all for your support! Every day I am a little bit better. I will keep doing retraining and physical therapy until I am there.