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  1. 6 months later ...

    by , September 15th, 2017 at 12:44 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    It's been 6 months since I posted, and a tumultuous 6 months it has been! Here's the summary:

    1. Good: In April, I went on a lovely vacation to Paris and northeast France (medieval tour) with a friend.

    2. Bad: In early May, I had a pec minor release on my right side, mostly to allow more room for collateral veins (axillary and subclavian closed despite Dec. surgery). My dr said it was the largest pec minor tendon he'd ever seen on a woman. A fairly minor surgery, but then a freak accident on the treadmill spawned a hematoma on my chest that lingered for weeks.

    3. Good: Went off to CA with my hematoma to see my daughter graduate from college.

    4. Bad: On May 22, had the major VTOS surgery on my left side. Once again, my rib was massive. My dr had thought it highly unlikely that I could have bilateral VTOS -- so rare -- but lo and behold my mid subclavian vein was clotted/compressed (though not nearly to the degree of my dead loss right side). After the surgery, my vein was still compressed, so I had another balloon venoplasty for my 5th surgery.

    5. Really bad: The recovery from this surgery was difficult and more painful. They also took out my pec minor tendon this time, which was efficient but meant a larger incision. A couple weeks later, I got very sick and was couch bound. Then, I was plagued by shingles. It was a good 8-9 weeks of pure unadulterated hell. I don't recommend it to anyone.

    6. Really Good: As a reward for survival, I planned and went on a smashingly fun trip in mid-August to Croatia, Slovenia and Montenegro with my daughter before she went off to grad school in Boston.

    7. Mixed: Inexplicably, though I look much the same, I lost 8-9 pounds with months of being a couch potato and no change in diet. Mostly muscle loss, I think.


    And so September rolled around, and I passed my "no swimming for three months" ban. It's essentially been 10+ months out of the pool with the exception of a few swims in February. In retrospect, I'm glad I stopped swimming in March and waited for surgery on the other side. I was correct that I had another clot, and swimming could have been hazardous.

    Cautiously, I swam twice a week the first two weeks of September, mostly slowly. Felt incredibly weird. My right arm, while much better, is still slightly swollen due to the closure of the main veins. My dr, a national VTOS expert, really has no prognosis for me. He doesn't have any patients who have been elite masters athletes and then had failed VTOS surgeries. (To be clear, the surgery was successful in terms of decompression, but the veins were just permanently damaged from swimming and genetics.) So I am in unknown territory. Of course, the odds are stacked against me without proper circulation. But I think my circulation has likely been compromised somewhat for years (hence dying on 100s despite adequate training) and my training is kick-based.

    And so ... I persist and will see what comes. I think it will be a fairly long "comeback." A successful VTOS surgery might involve a year long comeback. But I've been out 10 months with 5 surgeries and have closed veins on the right side ... I do have a doppler ultrasound checkup on both sides in mid October. This is anxiety causing because, of course, I have never once received any good news from my dr and am hoping my left side vein is still open. On the upside, as a testament to his surgical skill, I seem to have lost zero range of motion and have no nerve damage. And I've read that getting rid of the pesky pec minor tendons may lessen one's predisposition to rotator cuff problems.

    Anyhoo, I went to Pitt last night and did the sprint workout. I obviously am not "sprinting" at this juncture, but bumbled along happy to see some teammates. Used fins, which I am sure I will be doing for a loooong time while my thoracic area re-adjusts to swimming.



    Swim/SCYPitt

    Warm up:

    150 (arrived a bit late and missed 250)
    8 x 50 various @ :55
    8 x 50 kick w/fins @ :55

    Main sets:

    2 rounds:

    4 x 100 @ 1:30 (I alternated free and flutter kick)
    1 x 50 EZ @ 2:00
    2 x 25 sprint, 1 kick + 1 swim @ :40
    1 x 50 EZ @ 1:40
    2 x 50 fast, 1 kick + 1 swim @ 1:10
    1 x 50 EZ @ 1:40
    1 x 50 fast kick @ 1:00
    1 x 50 EZ @ 2:00
    1 x 50 fast swim @ 1:00
    1 x 100 EZ swim
    1 x 100 fast
    1 x 200 EZ (did 150s)

    Total: 3350


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


    Not surprisingly, only breaststroke and kicking feel halfway normal. On a couple of the 50s fast kick, I went 100ish pace and was surprised to come in at 25-26. So I can apparently still dolphin kick, though the power and punch are missing. Did a couple DPS 50 breasts at 31. At the very end of the workout, I cruise kicked a 100, working on SDKs, and came in at 1:04 with not much effort. I felt beat after this longish return practice. The treadmill does not transfer to the pool! I will venture back to the gym at some point, but will only do very light weights. I don't feel up to yoga yet; way too much weight and pressure on my shoulders/chest.

    I felt really happy after that workout.

    Updated September 17th, 2017 at 09:47 AM by The Fortress

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    Swim Workouts