Tag Archives: fitness

Do I LOOK like a gynecologist?

You know those completely innocent comments that end up sounding not-so-innocent?

I was with some friends the other night, and I had a question.

“I’m going to ask this question, and I know it’s going to sound odd, but there’s a reason behind it.”

Everyone paused and looked at me, eyes wide, already half-laughing in apprehension.

“Do you have a speculum-like tool I can use?”

Silence. Then, “I’ll ask. What would you need something like that for?”

“Well, I need to…” Then I thought about the words that were about to come out of my mouth, and how they would make the prior request sound even worse, and I doubled over in laughter. “I need…” Laughter. “I need…” Laughter. “I need…” Laughter.

Finally, after several minutes, I was able to compose myself just slightly. “I need to get a ball inside a rubber hose.”

See, here’s the full story. I bought a Pilates bar, which has stretchy rubber hose-like bands to create tension. Well, me being as short as I am, the bands are too long for me, so I thought I’d cut some of the length off. The bands have balls in the ends of them to stop them from coming off the bar. It seems simple enough to me to simply remove the balls from the bands (which I’ve already done), cut some length off (done), then reinsert the balls. Except, I can’t get the balls back in. So I’m trying to somehow “MacGyver” it.

I have to get the ball into this rubber hose, which requires stretching the hose wide enough to get the ball in, and getting the ball deep enough so it won’t slide back out. (And, WOW, that sounds bad.) Someone came up with the idea of greasing the ball and the hose (lubing it, if you will – might as well go all out), but my thought is, won’t it then just slip out?

Anyone have any thoughts? (Or a speculum-like tool?)

Pilates Bar

This ball needs go inside this rubber hose

So it looks like this

I think my body is revolting

Not revolting as in “ew, gross,” – although, it’s heading that way.  Revolting as in my body is The Colonies to my British rule.

(Warning – this may go into TMI territory – you’ve been warned.)

I have been on Mirena for three and a half years.  I love it – I can’t say enough about how great it is.  The first year I was on it, I barely had a period – I had maybe 3 very light periods.  After the first year, I got a regular cycle.  Every 28 days, on the dot.  It lasted about 3 days, and was incredibly light.

Then, about 5 months ago, my cycle became wonky.  It’s irregular.  I never know when it will start.  Over that time I’ve also gained entirely too much weight.  (And, dear friends, if you say any of those god-awful platitudes, I swear I will strip down naked and prove it to you.) 

Of course, last October my pap smear didn’t go well, and I’ve been having to go back every three months for a biopsy on the cells.  They haven’t found cervical cancer, and this last time they actually think my body is trying to heal itself.  But I wonder if that has anything to do with the irregular cycle and the weight gain.

Or maybe it’s a thyroid issue.  But I hate blaming my weight on something like that, and I hate taking medication for anything.  I don’t really believe in taking medication to fix a problem, because I think it should be solved the same way it happened – naturally.  (Says the girl who pops excedrin at the first sign of a headache.)  I’m not holistic or anything like that by any means – quite the opposite, in fact.  I just think that Americans are over-medicated, and I don’t want to be a part of it. 

So I’m going to keep track of everything I eat and every exercise I do for a couple of weeks, via www.fitday.com.  And then, if things haven’t improved on the weight issue, I’m going to the doctor.


So, last Monday I went to physical therapy, the beginning of my seventh week.  From the beginning, I’ve been able to run 4-6 minutes before the knee starts hurting, and it hasn’t gotten any better.  I was determined that this would be my last week.  If it’s not getting any better, then it can’t get any better.  I’m incredibly discouraged, I’m pissed off and sad, and nothing is helping.

So Monday I got on the treadmill.  And less than five minutes later I was off.  It’s really all I can do not to cry, not to kick the treadmill, not to walk out.  The PT can see it, and I know he’s feeling pretty discouraged, too.  He looks at me for a full minute, and says, “Lay down.”  So I lay down, and he does an ultrasound, to get the circulation going in the knee, and he thumbs through his anatomy book.  He gets done with the ultrasound and says, “Take off your shoe.”  So I take off my right shoe, and he says, “Lift your toes.”  And I do.  And he says, “Are you lifting them?”  “Yes, can’t you see I am?”  And he has me hold them up and resist as he tries to push them down.  And I can’t even hold out for a millisecond.  So he says, “Take off your other shoe.”  And he has me resist with those toes. 

And the toes on my left foot are, like, fifty times stronger than those on my right foot.  “Did you feel that?” he asks.  Um…YEAH.

He grabs the anatomy book and starts showing me how there is a ligament that connects the tibia and the fibula – in this diagram you can see where they join on the outside of the knee.  That’s the ligament that hurts (based on a five minute test where he pushed and pulled on my knee and I yelled OW!! every time he hit that spot – feels like a bruise, really).  Now there’s only one muscle that goes over both these bones (sorry, not sure which one it is), and as we know, strengthening the muscles around the knee helps hold everything together, thus alleviating pain.  If you put your hand on top of your shin and lift your toes, you’ll feel that muscle work.

So he made me start doing toe curls – which really are as funny as they sound.  You wrap a band around the top of the toes to hold them down, and then you raise your toes up to work that muscle.  So I started doing those on Monday afternoon. 

Wednesday I went back in to the PT.  And ran for 8 minutes!!!  This is two minutes on top of my usual “top time.”  I really only stopped because (a) I was afraid to push it, and (b) I haven’t run that long in a while – I was kind of tired!! 

Both me and the PT were extremely happy, of course.  Friday I went in and ran for 10 minutes

I’m a happy camper. 🙂