Monday, March 21, 2011

The Great Orthotic Experiment

Day 2:

The progress continues. Today I was able to pad my foot enough to avoid some of the existing blister pain. I also removed the original insole to make more room for the orthotic (since my boots are custom and very tight fitting).

I was able to do some things that I hadn't even dared try since surgery (Quickstep choctaw, for example) since the outside edge had been too unsteady and it just seemed impossible.

I think I may have always had this problem but was able to muscle through in the past. Now that my muscles are not nearly as strong as they were pre-surgery, I must use good technique to do things and can't just get through them by pushing harder. My balance is also different now and my new hip alignment has exacerbated the problem.

This isn't going to fix everything, but it certainly makes it easier not to fight my own body all the time. I didn't realize how much I was doing that until today.

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Great Orthotic Experiment

Day One:

Brief history - I have always had very flat feet but no pain and no pronation
problems with walking. I have always had the tendency of rocking over easily
to the inside edge of my skate when I don't want to, so have to really force
outside edges. I managed to do OK for many years skating freestyle and figures,
but in ice dancing always struggled and just thought it was caused by other
factors (laziness, bad hips, weak muscles, tuning out my coach).

Fast forward, two hip re-creations later, I'm still re-learning how to skate. I moved my blade over and considered shimming it several months ago, which helped slightly. But I still didn't feel secure and stable on outside edges. It occurred to me that perhaps I'm pronating in my skate even though I don't do so in shoes. On a whim I just thought I'd try orthotics in my skates even though I don't pronate.

And, Voila, today I held real outside edges with no struggle. They felt right.
They sounded right (without that scrapey, "it's about to change to an inside
edge so I have to force it" sound). Some of the things I had to muscle through
in the past just to stay vertical seemed suddenly easier. It made a HUGE

I didn't have time to try very much and the new orientation of my foot meant a
blister formed so I'll have to fix that, but ... but ... but ... well, this is
all very exciting. Wish someone had told me (or I had figured out) to do this
years and years ago. What a difference it would have made! I had heard about
orthotics but since I didn't pronate off the ice it never occurred to me I might
need to fix what was happening to my feet inside my skates.

Happy birthday to me!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Flirting with Mediocrity

Yesterday was my first time on the ice since the week before the Costa Rican travel accident. Skating was mediocre as expected, but considering the time off and the fact that I'm still sore, I am OK with mediocrity.

I have an appointment with Dr. Mayo April 12th (soonest available) but I think I may end up canceling it since I am improving and there is clearly no boney damage to my hip joints. In my (haha) medical opinion it's just soft tissue damage which will resolve over time. Sara, Dr. Mayo's PA, confirmed this was her suspicion as well but said if I'm not better by April 12th I should come in, so that's the plan.

Based on yesterday's mediocrity I now have a goal to strive for on the ice. I plan to compete in the All Figures competition in the Novice Twizzle event.

Novice Twizzle Demo:

Even on days when I can barely walk I can usually do a decent twizzle, so might as well showcase that strange rotational ability somehow. I did several patterns yesterday and realized later I had done them slightly wrong, but no matter. I have several months to perfect the pattern. I am referee for the competition but see no reason why I can't make a fool of myself as well!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Post Vacay Decay

Back from my Costa Rica vacation, where I did not skate but did swim, zipline, body surf, hike and drink beer without hip pain. An unfortunate accident having to do with a car seat on the last day jammed both legs into my hip sockets, leaving me sore and unable to skate or exercise at all since my return.

I've left a message with Dr. Mayo to find out if I should come in for an examination. I am finding it difficult to limp since both hips (and my back) are sore. Which leg do you favor when they both hurt? I've got the cane out but I always hate to use it ... so many questions from people who have recently seen me doing just fine without it. Crap.

Will post more later but I'm hoping it's just a matter of rest and time and ice and NSAIDS, and that it's soft tissue injury and not a fracture.