Tuesday, August 26, 2014


I might have a torn labrum in my right hip. Major bummer. I am trying conservative treatment (PT, stretching, foam roller) and hoping for the best.  Starting dry needling later this week. That should be interesting.

Joined the Y this weekend and am going to start swimming. Most cardio, including walking and biking, bother my hip. I'm hoping swimming will be pain free.  Time to get back into shape by trying new things. 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Vitality Vox Box Review, including Flawless Future Powered by Ceramide Caplet Serum and more

This box arrived the same day I was notified it was on it's way. These products were complimentary for testing purposes from Influenster. This is my third Vox Box since becoming a member of the Influenster community. I was familiar with a few of the items in this box and had previously heard of most of the brands.

Pure Leaf. I discovered this brand over the summer during our road trip home. During the trip I decided not to drink soda and was looking for a non sugary drink. This hit the spot! This tea is very refreshing (especially when it is hot outside). My only problem is being able to find it unsweetened in stores where I live (Welcome to The South!). I like that this is a natural tea without preservatives or added colors. I would definitely recommend this tea to others. #loveofleaves

Softlips CUBE: I just started noticing this in stores this week and was curious about it. I was surprised and excited to see it in my Vox Box. I got the pomegranate blueberry flavor. It is very addictive as are all softlips products in my opinion. It goes on smoothly and feels great. I love the cube! What a cute way to package this product. #GetCubed

Elizabeth Arden Flawless Future Powered by Ceramide Caplet Serum: This product is slightly sticky initially after application. After it dries it makes my skin feel soft and silky. I do not plan on buying this due to the price ($60 for 1 oz!).  It has made my skin feel smoother over the course of using it and the sample was enough for me to use twice daily for several days.  http://www.elizabetharden.com/Flawless-Future-Powered-by-Ceramide-Caplet-Serum

Bikini Ready Energy Gummies: I hadn't heard of this product nor the brand prior to receiving this sample. I think the two gummies I had were grape flavored. They tasted good, but left a grapey after taste. I did not feel any extra energy after eating the gummies. #bikinireadylifestyle

First Degree Advanced Burn Cream: I didn't have a burn to test this on, so I tried it out on some mosquito bites. This cream goes on smoothly and is not oily. It has a very light smell. I would be interested to see how this feels and works on a burn. #burnshappen

Playtex Sport Fresh Balance: Have not used these yet, but am excited for a free box of tampons- they aren't the cheapest things, are they? #playon

Sunday, May 25, 2014


As I have mentioned, The Best Man and I did a "quick" 3 week trip to Europe. We went to London, Paris, Barcelona, Salzburg and Munich.

Many people have asked us to pick just one favorite city. I can't do it. I can narrow it down to 3, but that's cheating, isn't it? My top three would be Paris, Salzburg and Barcelona. I loved the art and pastries in Paris (and probably would have loved the wine had it been more reasonably priced for me to try the good stuff). I love, LOVE, L.O.V.E. The Sound of Music and thus loved our short stay in Salzburg. We did a bike tour and got to see over 20 of the sites from the movie. The food was also fabulous. And finally, Barcelona. Ah. The food, the culture, the architecture. I loved it all. While there we took a train down to Sitges, a beach city south of Barcelona. In the future, I would love to stay there and enjoy the beach and food.

We just started our "long drive back to Virginia" last week. We will be going to around a dozen national parks. So far, we have explored Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park. We did a one night trip into the backcountry in Sequoia. The only time I have backpacked was our Grand Canyon REI trip with Tod and Tom in 2012. The logistics were crazy, especially, never having done it on our own before. The hike up to Twin Lakes took about 5 hours with about 3,000 ft of elevation gain. Part way up, we started seeing patches of snow.  Thankfully, we knew there would be some snow up and had packed several extra layers. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I would camp in the snow. What an experience!

I will try to post more as we continue on this trip, however internet is hard to come by up here in the mountains.

We are currently staying at at KOA just south of Yosemite and will head into the park tomorrow.  Then its off to the San Francisco area (hello, wine country!) at the end of the week.

Have a happy and safe Memorial Day!

Edit: I will try to post pictures when I have a faster internet connection. 

Mary Kay VoxBox from Influenster Follow Up

Got home a week and a half ago from a whirlwind trip in Europe (5 countries in 3 weeks) and was finally able to finish trying all the complimentary Mary Kay products I received from Influenster the day I left for the trip.

The two products I took with me on the trip where the cream eye shadow in apricot twist and the lip gloss in mango tango. I wore the eyeshadow almost every day. The color is perfect for summer and can easily transition into fall.  The same goes for the lip color. 

I was hesitant about the gel eyeliner as I am not that great with applying regular eye liner. It was very easy to use with the applicator brush included. I normally do not go with black eyeliner (I use a gray or dark brown instead), so I was surprised to find I liked the jet black. The mascara looked great with only 1-2 coats, however took longer than any other mascara I have used to dry. This left my lids speckled with mascara after one blink.

The translucent powder would work well to set a foundation. Using it alone did not provide me with enough coverage.  The blush and bronzer completed the look and both are great to add a summer glow.

Overall, I really liked the products. The sizes of the samples were great and the products are of high quality. In the future, I would consider purchasing the cream eyeshadow and/or the lip gloss. I do think the prices are a bit high for what I would prefer to pay. 

Here is a picture of the finished look:

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Influenster Mary Kay Vox Box

I received my first Vox Box from Influenster today. Perfect timing because we are getting ready to head to the airport. The box was full of Mary Kay products that are complimentary for testing purposes. I have already tried the lip gloss which I love. The color is lovely and it has a beautiful shine. I am bringing along the cream eye shadow on my trip and will try out the rest of the products when I return.

Now to fix my hair before I hop on that plane! Look out Europe, Here I come!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

First post op follow up

I now have more empathy for my patients after my follow up yesterday with the surgeon. He deemed my leg "hypersensitive" after demonstrating how to perform a deep massage to the anterior compartment. I then cried like a baby in front of everyone. The good news? My incisions look awesome! Below are some pictures before and after they were cleaned up and the steri strips were changed.
 Distal incision before getting cleaned. 

Both incisions prior to getting cleaned; steri strips on. 

 Both incisions after getting cleaned up; new steri strips.

Smiling after getting cleaned up. This was after wiping away all the tears. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

My experience with chronic/exertional compartment syndrome and compartment release/fasciotomy

Disclaimer: Please do not use my experiences to diagnose yourself or someone else. If you think you have compartment syndrome please see your primary care provider or orthopedist.

I was starting to give up the idea of ever running again when I spoke with two of my former classmates whom suggested I may have compartment syndrome.  I immediately scheduled a follow up with my orthopedist to see if this was the case and what to do about it.

There are two forms of compartment syndrome: acute and chronic. Acute compartment syndrome normally occurs following a traumatic injury.  The injury causes swelling in the compartment.  The fascia around the compartment is not flexible and does not allow any relief of the pressure. This is a medical emergency and is treated with a fasciotomy.  This is an incision along the length of the skin and fascia to relieve the pressure. The second type of compartment syndrome is chronic or exertional compartment syndrome. This is often seen in athletes of repetitive sports (think running, cycling). There are multiple theories regarding what causes chronic or exertional compartment syndrome.  Some of these are biomechanics, tight or adhered fascia, or poor venous return. Most research shows that the best treatment for chronic exertional compartment syndrome is a fasciotomy.  However, it is recommended to try conservative treatment first (stretching, physical therapy). The fasciotomy or compartment release for chronic exertional compartment syndrome is not as invasive as that performed for acute compartment syndrome.

A diagnoses of chronic compartment syndrome is based based on history, symptoms and signs during a physical exam. My symptoms were pain in my lower leg and sometimes in my foot during the following activities: walking, running, stationary bike or cardio on the elliptical machine at the gym. If left untreated, the swelling in the compartment can cause compromise to nerves, muscles and arteries (ie.numbness, tingling, paralysis, tissue death).

A pressure compartment test is the "gold standard" for diagnosing compartment syndrome. For chronic compartment syndrome, the pressure in the compartment is taken pre and post exercise (1 minute after and then again 5 minutes after).  A large needle is stuck into the compartment and then a catheter is inserted to test the pressure.  My pressure was elevated at rest and then increased with exercise. This along with the clinical signs I exhibited confirmed my diagnosis of chronic compartment syndrome.

Since I had failed conservative treatment (physical therapy, stretching, taping, etc.), I decided to have the fasciotomy.

I am now one week post op.  The pain has been tolerable for the most part. I am now able to walk from one room to another in the apartment without crutches if my pain is managed. I am starting to wear the walking boot as that is what I will need to wear to return to work later this week.  The boot puts a lot of pressure on the incisions and I can not wear it for very long.  This is only the second day that I have tried wearing it. Initially after surgery I was put in a splint. However, I had that removed the day after surgery because it was putting too much pressure on my heel which caused pain and burning. The incisions look great (from what I can see; they are covered with steri strips) and I am just starting to have bruising throughout the front of my leg.

Below are some pictures of the incisions. If you are squeamish don't look. I don't think they are too graphic, but I work in health care and am somewhat desensitized to seeing clean, intact wounds. A word of warning: I wouldn't google image or video search "fasciotomy" unless you want to upset your stomach.  I have watched half a dozen surgeries and see post op incisions frequently at work, however some of the pictures and video that come up regarding faciotomies are quiet graphic (especially if you are thinking of having the surgery done!).  (Do keep in mind that most of them are for acute compartment syndrome and the surgery is much more invasive than that for chronic compartment syndrome.)

 Hanging out on the couch. Day of Surgery (DOS).
 Distal incision POD # 1. Taken just after getting the splint taken off.
Elevating my leg on the patio while enjoying the view.

As far as recovery goes, it will be a full 3 months until I am able to "return to sport," which for me is running. I will be able to bike and eventually do the elliptical prior to that 3 month mark. I will try to keep this updated throughout my recovery process.  Check the labels for "compartment syndrome" and "fasciotomy" and hopefully (this summer!) under "run"!