Meniscus, You’re a Bum

This morning I received some frustrating news in regards to the knee pain that I’ve been experiencing.  I initially hurt my {left} knee last spring while running the Rock ‘n’ Roll USA Half Marathon…  I hit a pothole and rolled my ankle, which then caused my knee to twist.  I’m proud of myself for finishing the race, but the last few miles were both a mental and physical struggle.  At least I got a pretty shiny medal {and a huge bruised grapefruit on my knee} to show off.

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I met with my orthopedic the following Monday but we decided to hold off on doing a MRI because I found out that same weekend that I was pregnant.  He gave me a list of rehab exercises to do and I visited my chiropractor regularly.  I continued to stay active throughout my pregnancy, but primarily stuck to the elliptical, stationary bike, and walking.  I ran a few times but only a mile or two.

I know that chiropractors are a touchy subject, but to each their own so please respect my decision.  I have a lot of respect for my chiropractor and appreciate how realistic and honest he is with his patients.  He tries his best to help, but has no trouble admitting once he’s exhausted all of his resources and it’s time to move onto another approach.

My freshman year in high school I had an intense shoulder pain which negatively affected my ability to play basketball and lacrosse.  I met with my orthopedic who suggested that I make an appointment with a physical therapist and a chiropractor.  He hoped that at least one of them would have a solution to alleviate my pain before he even began to discuss surgery with me.

The physical therapist worked on strengthening exercises, but regardless of my strength my shoulder was still popping and grinding.  The chiropractor tried various stretches, but he too wasn’t able to provide me with a “fix.”  They both tried their best, but ultimately I had surgery to remove a bone spur and my bursa lining.

I appreciated that my chiropractor, physical therapist, and orthopedic all worked together towards one goal and kept me {the patient} in mind.  And that’s what they’re doing this time, too.

My chiropractor thinks that I most likely partially or fully tore my meniscus.  It hurts after I run, during speed work and lunges/squats, and whenever I try to sit cross-legged.  I’m doing strengthening exercises, icing, using the foam roller, and meeting with my chiropractor now on a weekly basis.  I’ve tried a few different braces, but none had done the trick.  Essentially I’m trying to do everything within my power before I go back to the orthopedic.

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But wait, how can I still be walking if I partially/fully tore my meniscus?  I asked the same thing, plus many more questions this morning…

If you tear your meniscus, can you still walk?  Yes.  You might feel pain when you bend or squat, but it all depends on the severity of the tear.

What is your meniscus?  It is a rubbery C-shaped disc of cartilage that acts as a shock absorber between your thighbone and shinbone.

How common are meniscus tears?  They’re the most common knee injury.

My knee occasionally pops, could that be related to the tear?  Yes.  The most common symptoms include pain {check!}, swelling and stiffness {check!}, clicking or locking {check!}, and weakness {check!}.

What’s the treatment?  It all depends on the severity of the tear.  Your doctor most likely will recommend one of the following: the RICE {rest, ice, compression, elevation} protocol, surgery, and/or physical therapy.

So what does that mean for me right now?  At this time I’ve been given the green light to continue exercising but with caution – to stop whenever it starts to hurt and to ice daily.  My chiropractor and I are going to give it another week or two, but if there isn’t any improvement I’ll schedule the MRI.

Note:  I’m not a doctor and the information above should not be interpreted as medical advice.  The symptoms of a torn meniscus may be similar to other medical conditions and/or problems.  Always consult your doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

— Allison

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10 Random Tidbits 1.30.15

Tidbit 1:  Ryan brought home my favorite tulips and Oreos over the weekend.  The best part – the Oreos were buy one, get one free.  The worst part – we’re already on the last row of the second pack.  If you haven’t tried the Birthday Cake Oreos yet, don’t.  We’ll eat them for you.

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Tidbit 2:  TGIT returned last night!  Finally.  Hooray!  Who watched?  Don’t share any spoilers in the comments below, I didn’t get to watch because it started after my bedtime…  I’m hoping to find some time to catch up today during naptime.

Tidbit 3:  We love giraffes and thanks to Evie’s favorite book Giraffes Can’t Dance, all giraffes are now named Gerald.

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Tidbit 4:  Evie and I have attended Stroller Strides classes for the past two weeks through a free class pass and we’re so excited to be joining as members in February.  Not only is it a good workout, but it’s a great opportunity for us to meet other local moms and their babies, and weekly play dates, monthly moms night out dates, and educational events.

Tidbit 5:  Some of the best recipes start as accidents.  I planned to make stuffed peppers but ended up with too much filling, so I made an Unstuffed Pepper Casserole.  The best part – it only requires four ingredients, plus bell peppers…  So I guess that’s really five ingredients.

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Tidbit 6:  I went bananas for this That’s Bananas! 31 Creative Ways to Cook With Bananas roundup by Greatist.  I started to pin the recipes, but quickly realized that I was pinning every recipe…  I foresee banana bread in my near future.

Tidbit 7:  Our sweet baby girl came down with her first cold last week.  We were using a bulb syringe that the hospital gave us, but our pediatrician suggested that we purchase a NoseFrida the Snotsucker.  The thought of putting a tube in her nose and sucking grossed me out, but I quickly got over that once I saw how well it works.  Not to mention, it’s more gentle on her itty-bitty nose.

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Tidbit 8:  I mentioned yesterday that I haven’t figured out how to blog with a baby yet.  Well, I’ve come up with two possible solutions: work at Starbucks {she typically falls asleep soon after we get into the car} or stand at the kitchen counter while wearing her in the carrier.  I did the latter yesterday while typing this post.

Tidbit 9:  I’m in need of some new workout gear {aka “the mommy uniform”}.  Whenever I’m shopping and something catches my eye, I search for my size, add it to the pile, and keep looking throughout the store.  But when it’s time to pay, I end up putting the items back or telling the cashier I’ve changed my mind.  I have no trouble purchasing baby clothes though.

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Tidbit 10:  I recently learned that our favorite soymilk brand also makes dairy-free yogurt.  Has anyone tried it?

P.S.  Today is my momma’s birthday!  We’re lucky to have such a caring, supportive, and loving momma and grandmomma in our lives.  We love you so much! XO

— Allison

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5 Things to Help You Stay Healthy in 2015

Healthy has many different meanings.  To some, healthy is a physical quality, while others believe it’s a combination of both the body and the mind.  It could mean an overall feeling of happiness.  It could mean illness-free.  It could mean reaching a goal weight or fitting into a certain pair of pants.  Regardless of what healthy means to you, we all can agree that striving for a healthy lifestyle is a positive thing but may look different on one person from the next.

5 Things to Help You Stay Healthy in 2015

In honor of the new year and to help you take a step in the right direction, I’ve created a list of five things that can help you stay healthy in 2015…  Plus one bonus item for all of the other new parents.  Some of the items are pricy so let’s pretend money isn’t a factor.

1.  Fitness Tracker {$100 – $150}

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There are numerous fitness trackers on the market nowadays and each has its own little something that the others don’t.  Bracelets, clips, watches, there’s a style to fit every lifestyle.  Some of the most popular ones that I hear about include: Garmin Vivofit, Fitbit, Nike+ FuelBand SE, Polar Loop, and Jawbone UP.  Most of them calculate activity level, calories burned, and steps taken, while some can also track distance, heart rate, and sleep quality.

Last Christmas I received a Nike+ FuelBand SE.  As someone who loves numbers {I’m a sudoku addict} and has a competitive personality, it’s been a great accessory.  I enjoy reviewing my stats on a frequent basis, comparing my numbers to past weeks, setting goals, connecting with friends, and engaging in friendly competitions.  I just synced back up as of January 1st and think it’ll be a great motivator to work towards my pre-baby fitness level.

2.  Road ID {$17.99 – $29.99}

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Whether you wear it on your ankle, wrist, or loop it through your shoe laces, a Road ID is not really a health gadget, but rather a safety must-have.  There are only so many miles a person can run on the treadmill before going crazy and must hit the pavement.

No one enjoys thinking about the risks involved with running outside {or any outdoor activity}, but the reality is that accidents happen.  Whenever I leave the house Ryan tells me to have fun and “be safe.”  A Road ID can’t prevent accidents from happening, but it can provide important information if something ever was to happen and someone found you.  You can personalize your ID band to include: badges, an inspirational message, and vital health information.  You can even get one for your pup.  I don’t have a Road ID, but I plan to order one in the immediate future.

3.  JUNE by netatmo {$99}

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I never heard about JUNE before I researched items for this post.  But wow, it sounds really cool!  Like many, I enjoy sitting outside by the pool or at the beach in the summer, but with my history of melanoma I tend to be more cognizant about slathering on the sunscreen.  Despite my best efforts though, I occasionally still burn.

JUNE measures sun exposure and provides real-time advice via smartphone.  It can suggest the best SPF lotion based on your skin and UV levels, when lotion needs to be reapplied, if you should cover-up, or when it’s time to move into the shade.  Plus, it looks like a nice pendant bracelet.  My only hesitation is that I wouldn’t want to have a white stripe around my wrist because that’s where the band was positioned.

4.  Brita Sport Bottle {$9.99}

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We found these Brita Sport Bottles at our local grocery store and have been using them for over a year.  I use it daily when I’m out running errands, at the gym, and we even took them with us on our cruise this past summer.

The bottles are BPA free, dishwasher safe, and remove chlorine while leaving a healthy amount of fluoride.  The filters last for approximately two months or 40 gallons.  Just imagine how much money you’ll save when you stop buying plastic water bottles – the average person consumed an average of 300 bottles per month!  Plus, when it’s time to replace your filter you can simply drop it off or mail it out so it can be recycled.

5.  Withings Aura {$299.95}

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Did you know, you sleep for about 1/3 of your life?  That’s a lot of time spent with your eyes closed.  Although, as a new mom I’d like to challenge that statistic.

The Withings Aura helps users monitor and improve their sleep quality.  Users place a discrete pad under their mattress that monitors sleep cycles based on body movement, breathing cycles, and heart rate.  Concurrently, the Bedside Device analyzes sound, temperature, and light throughout the bedroom and notes any changes in the quality of sleep.  The following morning, users can review their sleep data which is graphed to show their different sleep stages {light, deep and REM}, as well as information such as duration of sleep, time it took to fall asleep, and number of wake-ups.

And one last thing that can help new parents in 2015…

Mimo Smart Baby Monitor {$199.99}

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I don’t think this gadget necessarily is a must-have, but it could be fun to try.  The Mimo Smart Baby Monitor measures baby’s respiration, body position, skin temperature, breathing, and activity such as when he/she wakes up or rolls over.  Additionally, it monitors sleep activity which is what I’d be most interested in since some nights Evie will sleep for six hours straight, while other nights she’s flipping and flopping like a fish out of water.  One thing that I wonder about is the monitor when the baby rolls over – is it uncomfortable?  Does it stay attached?

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post, there are no affiliate links, and I received no compensation whatsoever.  I created this list based on personal experience and products that caught my eye.

Question:  What app/gadget helps you to stay healthy?

— Allison

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