It's been a week since I had the botox injected into my legs, and just like I used to blog my weekly training, I'm going to try to blog my weekly experience after receiving the treatment, and hope to change the posts to "Boston Marathon Training week 1, 3.0" or something. For now... Lets just get me past these days where the Botox is still setting in! Like I said in my last post, even though I document so much on Instagram, that's really only helpful for people in this moment. It's hard to find someone's experience documented on instagram a few years later... so much scrolling involved!!! But it's very easy to google and navigate blogs, and they were very helpful for me.... but not enough posts! So... I'm going to really try to get back to the weekly training recaps and tagging anything relevant to the McGinley Method to help people navigate this in the future. Even if it doesn't have the exact outcome I want and hope for, I think the information will help people make the best decisions for themselves.
I'll try to keep my weekly updates shorter... and probably switch to a Monday-Sunday week once I'm actually running (that's how I like to log my mileage etc.) But today is my last asynchronous day of the year, and I did all my lesson plans two weeks ago in case I really needed rest after the Botox... SO... I've got the free time now, I'm gonna take it!
Friday April 23, 2021. - The treatment was Thursday and in my last post I somewhat touched on these days... but I'll give a little more of a window into my experience so far. Friday we spent most of the day in the car driving from Casper, Wy to Boulder, Co to visit Matts closest friend. Matt met Jack in an interview for his job. Jack was his boss for a short period of time, then they ended up on different tracks within the company. Every Thursday when I climb Matt and Jack literally schedule a phone call to chat. It's not often you have friends that you can really chat on a deeper level with, and the pandemic has been tough on my 11 out of 10 extroverted husband... so I think this was really good for him! It was important to me to let him have the time he needed because we spent a lot of money, and ENERGY on me for so long... and it made me happy that the trip could serve two purposes for both our mental health's. We had some celebrating to do for Jack as well, so the timing was nice for both of them (still wondering if Matt can expense his flights since they ended up talking about work for 95% of the trip, haha!) During the drive I enjoyed answering a lot of questions on instagram about the procedure, insurance, the Boston Marathon, and some other questions that I saved in my story highlights.
When we got to Jacks, the guys went for a run and I sat on the couch drinking probably the first glass of wine I've had in years, and basically didn't move. We went out to eat, (the second time I've been to a restaurant in a year, yay vaccines!), and then stayed up until 1am (3am at home) and just had a good time discussing life. Jack and I don't know each other too well... just through Matt, so it was cool! My legs were just very sore. Very much like dry needling like I had said in a previous post, but I had instructions to not really do much of anything the first two days because the Botox could move around to other muscles or something... Don't quote me on the specifics, but I wanted this to work so bad, tell me to sit, I'll sit!
Saturday, April 24 2021- We had to get to the airport in Denver for about 2:00pm, so we got a late brunch with Jack and then as fate would have it, another one of Matts coworkers, Betsy, was in town with her boyfriend. I haven't seen her since the Boston Marathon a few years ago. I was reminded... Holy Crap I signed up for that thing!!!! The three of them made plans and I just tagged along. I was way more cranky today... mostly because we stayed up really late so I woke up really late, and even though the clock said 11:00 when we ate and that would normally be a fine time for brunch, my stomach said 1pm and I underestimated how hangry I'd get. I think I was still recovering from the fasting the day before, as well. Plus my legs were sore. Lots going on! Some of the blogs I read people had no problem walking around town after... That wasn't my experience. I don't know if it's just the bruising, but I think when I did the treadmill run to failure I actually did what I usually do... cause all sorts of soreness that probably will linger until the botox fully kicks in. So legs were cranky, stomach was cranky, and I was happy to have my mask hide my bitch face until I ate. haha! There was an emotional release going on as well. I spent the last 3 years trying to figure out what was wrong, and now that I know what it is.... it's just... been a lot to process. Even more to process the fact that my posterior tibialis leg pain, which goes back way beyond the last 3 years, wasn't normal. I just thought it was from training because I don't know my legs any other way! I definitely was trying not to get overwhelmed and cry at the prospect of not having that pain... and then cry at the prospect that all these opportunities I had and worked for and fell short of due to leg pain maybe could have been different, and then cry at how lucky I am to have been able to afford this treatment... and then cry that what if I do all this and it doesn't work anyway... Needless to say I wasn't the most fun to be around. It's not that I wasn't happy, it's just that I felt like I was in a really really long fight, and now I needed to regulate my hormones, relax, and get back to homeostasis... and as talkative as I am, I'm not an extrovert in the sense that I gain energy from socializing. It's exhausts me (even though I enjoy it!) So all of this was a lot! Thanks to the masks and my sunglasses I could hide my affect a bit and just hang out and appreciate that Matt was having a good time and that I really am moving onto the next phase in this journey. I've thought that 1000 different times, but this time I'm sure. I'm not sure of the end result, but getting the diagnosis was amazing and I had a lot of emotions to process on the whole experience. Our flights home were smooth, but exhausting as always... I was happy to be home!
Sunday- Classic.... When you actually don't have kids at home waking you up, you wake yourself up. haha! I missed the kids, Matts mom was driving them home but I relaxed all morning catching up on my DVR recordings (#priorities). I wasn't sure if I was experiencing placebo effects or if the Botox was starting to work... but waking up without tingling feet was a new experience. Lots of crying today because I wasn't trying to hide it from anyone... mostly happy tears because already my posterior tibialis felt better than... EVER... I kept saying to Matt "it's probably placebo!" and he was like "no way, you are hypersensitive to every single thing. I'm sure you're already feeling it! I watched how much botox he put in, there's no way you aren't feeling it"... and probably he is right. I'd be nice to have my hypersensitivity actually benefit me for once! ha! I was happy to have the kids back and Raea is so sweet... One of the first things she asked was how my legs felt. Maebel on the other hand? I asked her to come give me a hug and she eye rolled at me and then said "why"... #threenager. We did the usual Sunday night things. Meal Prepped, got things ready for school... and I whined all night about how short vacation was... but part of me was excited to go back to work and see how things felt there.... That was dumb.
Monday: A few people I work with have been very privy to everything I've been experiencing in the last few years. Ironically my legs really didn't start to bother me REAL bad until he last 3 or 4 years. We got a new building during that time and instead of creaky wooden floors we had concrete floors. For a long time I attributed my increase in pain to concrete floors. Maybe that was part of it, but I literally would see people walking around in dress shoes wondering how it was possible. I have not worn a dress shoe in over 2 years. I have only worn something that isn't sneakers to weddings and only wear shoes that fit my custom orthotics in them (which is no easy feat!) I switched to sneakers every single day a while back because without them I couldn't walk by the end of the day (but yeah, I'd still lace up and try running). HOW did I normalize this? I'd say things like "my legs expired from too much running' but in hindsight, how was it that my legs, my very strong very well trained legs, couldn't walk on the same floor that many out of shape and/or much older women had no problem walking around on...? I probably should have figured this out earlier, but I've just gotten so used to blaming myself for everything... After work I took an epsom salt bath because my legs were sore AF and I had shoulder aches from all the flights and travel as well. Someone get me a chriopractor! I watched "The Good Doctor" and nearly dropped dead that they actually showed an extremely similar surgery to the one I would have had if I didn't find Dr. McGinley. These small little signs feel like reminders that I'm on the right path. Matt and I got a good laugh out of it!
Tuesday: Another day where I woke up with no posterior tibialis pain and NO numbness in my feet. I made a joke while getting treated that I was probably going to have a hard time getting back to training because it would require more discipline with my sleep etc. Dr. McGinley laughed and said "I can't help you with that"... but I'm thinking maybe he might have. Still To Be Determined, but I've been sleeping in pain for a while... and without the numb feet I've felt like I'm sleeping deeper... Or maybe it's the fact that I don't google my symptoms into the wee hours of the night and then have bluelight screw up my biorhythms... I don't know... But if my sleep can continue on this path I'll be happy! Two miracles in one!
I called Insurance today. They still did not finish reviewing my appeal so I amended it and added the CTA findings to my grievance. The fact that the exact test they denied was the exact test I needed to confirm the diagnosis that I have been trying to get for over a year is just shameful. Insurance put up so many blockades to make this take so long.... and they are going to pay for it! In the end it's probably a good thing I didn't get this diagnosis a year ago, because I feel pretty amazing about getting the botox treatment as opposed to the surgery. Taking this one day at a time but patience is not something I'm good at. I was really sore after work today so I put in for a sick day for Wednesday. The guidelines McGinley gave me said to do things "as tolerated"... I must admit I expected to tolerate things more than before treatment instead of less.... but I can tell that I'm walking funny, so maybe the compensation is already starting to happen. I'm sore in places I'm never really sore and limping a little bit... and I think I need a day off to be in an environment where I can walk at my own pace and make sure to be balanced instead of trying to keep up with 3rd and 4th graders. My foot is most sore. I feel like I'm rolling a bit to the outside of my foot so by the end of the day it's pissed off. I've got to be much more intentional with my movement patterns.
Wednesday: Like I said, I stayed home from work today. I followed up a bunch with insurance again (you know it's bad when they have your number saved and pick up saying "hello, Caitlyn") and then mostly rested and foam rolled. There's no doubt I have a new pair of legs. My muscles are achy and sore in all new places, but overall I felt really good today. No limping like yesterday... and I still have another week before the botox is in full effect. I wonder how much my legs will change from here until day 14... This soreness seems to be part of the process but... emotions are high! I'm just trying to remain as calm as possible. I decided to do some warm up drills just to try to slowly build more balanced movement patterns (video below). Matt talked me out of trying to run. I just want to run without posterior Tib pain. I've never done that before! So instead I did lots of single leg stability It felt so good! But also I was sore AF later. I did an epsom salt bath again and then foam rolled.
Thursday: No tingling feet again when I woke up, Wooo HOoo! No posterior tibialis pain! Wooo HOoo! Really good night of sleep, Wooo HOooo! ....but achilles was sore AF and plantar fascia was also sore AF... and then I started freaking out thinking I did something wrong with the epsom salt bath. I really don't want to be that high maintenance person that needs check-ins 24/7, but epsom salt baths are built into my week so much, that I should probably find out if they are allowed. Botox is a toxin... and theoretically epsom salt can flush out toxins... so.... FUCK! Did I mess this up? I sent an email to Jen, the nurse, and she responded quickly and put my mind at ease. Phew! She also let me know I can foam roll and stretch and do whatever I needed for any other muscle soreness; she read my mind, basically! Work was brutal. Big tantrum from one of the students and I had to call for help because I really couldn't deal with it yet. I just don't trust my legs... but I don't doubt that this is part of the process. I didn't read any other blogs about this phase. Maybe everyone else is more patient for the first 2 weeks to pass... I probably should have taken this week off but... Next week is another "first day of school" so I wanted to make sure I was ready. It's like groundhog day this year. A new first day of school every day. First day of Remote School, First Day of Hybrid School, First Day of School 5 days a week with 3 feet apart... I feel like the rules and expectations have changed so much and we're constantly told to "give parent's grace"... but no one is giving teachers grace. I'm just trying so hard to "show up" for so many people... But probably I should just ask for help more and chill out a bit.
Friday: My last Asynchronous Friday. I'm spending today trying to do what I should have done all week: Rest. Had the best night of sleep in a while. Same good signs of no tingling and no pain along my shins. I don't think I'll ever stop appreciating that feeling! But Sore AF in so many other places. It is clearly an imbalance. It's more in my IT band today. Again, I think I'm rolling to the side of my foot when I'm at work because I'm not good at engaging my "new" calves yet... so when I'm trying to keep up with a tantrumming moving kid, my movement isn't as thoughtful and as a result I'm limping or walking weird. I'm not surprised to be sore or even upset about it. He did say it would happen. It's more just the questions I have: "did it work" "how well did it work" and "how much different will it be next week" (when the botox fully sets in) ... These questions are hanging over my head, and I'm not a patient patient. BUT if I had surgery I'd have all those same questions with a longer amount of time to wait, and would be on heavy pain meds with gnarly scars... I'm just trying to taking cues from the pain on what I can do better and what I'm doing right.... It's going to be all good, I think! I'm just excited to no think about it any more and start really confimming it one run at a time!
Summary: So Far this has been a very very worthwhile experience. From the moment I went to the Webinar I knew I wanted to do this, and I feel really fortunate we were able to make this first treatment happen! I think it is working, and feel confident in my decision. Although I wish that I had more info about these 2 weeks from other people... because maybe I would have taken work off... but, hopefully this blog can help someone in the future! Next week will be even tougher I think since I will have full 5 days a week of work, and Hybrid learning ends so I need to get Raea ready every morning (which is impossible because she refuses to wear anything that I pick and changes 800 times) ... So just higher stress level in general... But tomorrow is May 1st. Our last full month of school! I think I can speak for every teacher on the planet... THANK GOODNESS!!!!!
Welcome to my blog! I've been blogging for a long time on various platforms. My intention has never been to reach the masses, but rather to give myself a chance to reflect and journal. I feel it at least challenges me to be somewhat coherent, however you can expect ramblings and grammatical incorrectness here!
I've recently been diagnosed with CECS and fPAES and had it treated with BOTOX of all things... So I suspect to see more and more people looking for answers with that in the future and hope to continue blogging so there will be easy to access follow-ups as that was helpful for me.
NOTE: Apologies that some of the pictures incorrectly load sometimes. I try to keep up with the glitches, but can't always! Hope it doesn't impact the blog experience for all the PAES visitors.