Passing gas. Kicking ass. Walking the roads less traveled. All for positive change.
A Major Setback
September 19, 2011Posted by on
Sorry I haven’t posted in a while. But then at the same time it doesn’t matter as almost nobody reads this.
Had lots of shit going on what with the East Coast Earthquake, Hurricane Irene, and lots of other stuff. However not having been hit hard by either that’s trivial compared to what’s holding me back this time around. My knee. Or more accurately the hemaangioma at the bottom of my left quad that I mentioned earlier. All in all the pain has been mostly under control since I’ve been active but apparently as I learned even that’s not enough in the event of a major bleed way too much blood and swelling to squeeze out/away by flexing or by just being active as in the case of small bleeds.
It started the Sunday before the week of the East Coast Earthquake and hurricane Irene. That morning I woke up on the floor as I was doing the usual training exercise that night to better acclimatize me to camping out. When I woke up I realized there was a problem. It hurt a lot. Like never before. I had trouble standing up almost had to do a one legged squat essentially to do so. Just lucky my bed was nearby, not that I could get good leverage with my arm. But still… My good leg somehow did most of the work there.
It was painful. So much blood and swelling that bending my leg to 90 degrees was quite painful. Felt like it would explode. Common tasks such as just sitting down at my desk, or on the toilet, or putting on my shoes/socks became extremely hard. So was actually flexing my quads because again just squeezing the muscle resulted in obscene pain/pressure. Even a tiny bit. To get into bed times I had to lift my bad leg with my good leg. Absolutely couldn’t flex the quads.
After that second MRI giving me the answer to the problem with my knee we saw a specialist. Again since it was a benign tumor and wasn’t bothering me at the time since I was active we were told by the doctor that it can be surgically removed but again since it wasn’t a threat it wasn’t necessary to do that. I wasn’t sure what to do. Like on one hand I want the problem fixed on the other I’m not that wild about my leg being cut open you know what I’m saying. That Sunday going into Monday, that night I knew OK this has to be done. Couldn’t really fall asleep because of the pain. The damn thing was a bastard. Can’t sleep. Can’t sit and work properly. Can’t enjoy the ANW3 finals(but still even the pain didn’t prevent me from thinking boot camp is lame and marveling at David Campbell’s badassery, he fucking had the Ultimate Cliff Hanger).
Obviously immediately within the next few days my mom makes a bunch of phone calls and when we get a date for the surgery. I almost flipped out. September 22nd. More than a month of waiting. Didn’t know how I’d last considering the pain and how hard it was to function.
Luckily after a week in this considerable pain it slowed down and over some more time almost stopped. Now as I’m waiting these last three days and for the past while I’m not even limping. However that week was incredibly hard. Also it had its scary moment namely during the earthquake. I was messing around on my computer when I felt it. I don’t believe I previously experienced an earthquake yet instantly I knew what it was. I was scared. Again in situations like this taking the elevator is dangerous but with the state of my knee I was really worried about how I’d get down from the 5th floor. I honestly thought I was dead at that point. I had no way of knowing the quake would end almost as soon as it started. Also realized how serious of a problem my knee was. Granted if a sufficiently strong sudden earthquake hit I’d be dead bad leg or not. But still… My mom was at work. My dad and sister at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden where neither of them felt anything. That one was wow shook me to my core.
Anyway obviously as you can see there will be a delay of about three months. Even if the problem came back to stable if a major bleed happened once it could happen again somewhere far less forgiving. Thus I’ll have to stand down however grudgingly until this is resolved.
I’ve been told that the recovery time is 6 weeks. Even after the surgery I will be able to walk a bit. Get to the bathroom, kitchen, etc but little more. I’ll wait a little over 2 months to ensure that I’m properly recovered and my muscle is healed after being cut through. Thus until at least December there will be no expeditions.
Not to say I won’t be putting the downtime to good use. October I use purely for recovery/research and development. November is where I start attacking the multiday barrier again. The first half I sleep on the floor. Get my cushy ass used to sleeping hardcore. The other half I take it outside. Obviously need to think up a good portable shelter design to not freeze to death. In light of the previously mentioned experiences sleeping on the floor I have again considered maybe getting the traditional sleeping bag/tent but at the same time I can’t sleep in a mummy position and the costs are obscene. There’s no easy answer but I’ll see what I can do.
December I start walking again. Take some time to get back in shape then crack the multiday barrier though when that will be I do not know.
Again this downtime just absolutely sucks. Just gonna try not to lose my mind until I can walk again.
Also this gives me more time to work on this site. Granted I won’t be posting as often but I still may post updates on the situation periodically. Also need to finish the about page. There’s just so much this walk is all about for me that I’m having considerable trouble releasing coherently the mere tip of the iceberg of what drives me. Sometimes I wish more people just got who I am and more importantly what this walk is about. A lot of what I’m trying to convey is just common sense. At times I don’t even know why I bothered writing an about page. But it’s hard believe me. I honestly didn’t think it’d be that difficult to let this stuff out. And to think I considered developing a blog with Django just to learn and flex my coding muscle… Lucky I backed out though that had more to do with most free web hosts supporting PHP and not Python… I’ll fight on sentence by sentence. Hopefully I’ll actually finish it at some point in time.
Not to mention must upload previous expedition photos to fotki.com and link to there from here. Said I’d do it but somehow that slipped my mind.
Finally I may do something crazy I’ve been thinking about doing. Namely talk to Nate Damm who is walking from Lewes, Delaware also to San Francisco. He is a couple of days away from crossing into California as I write this. When I see where he is on the map and pictures and videos of the cool shit this guy does it’s literally all I can do not to cry because I’m not doing that kind of stuff. This dude is so awesome I think I’m also starting to develop a mancrush on him. So Levi Meeuwenberg is no longer alone. =-P
First and foremost hopefully become friends with him. He seems to be one of the few sane people in a world gone mad. Also wanna learn from him and hopefully later interview him more formally to get tips for sharing here to help anyone else who wants to walk like this. Obviously in the event an interview happens please do tune in. I won’t be asking the usual questions people do in these things I have some very unusual and in some cases perhaps even awkward questions to ask. We’ll see what happens.
Again I’m just really nervous. Nate is badass. After I recover from the immediate effects of the surgery I’ll drop him an email or give him a call just gotta gather up the guts. I don’t know why I’m this nervous about this. You’d think I was asking a girl out or about to be beheaded or something. But I guess when you’re a badass thats just how people feel about talking to you. Even when you’re a friendly badass the aura of badassery still scares others away. Again wait and see folks. I’ll try to do this.
Thus in conclusion I may be down but no way in fuck have I given up. Good things to come soon no matter what happens. I will do these walks.