Friday, September 30, 2005

Knee pain

My life is just one big injury/problem area. If it’s not my knee, it’s my heart. If it’s not my heart, it’s my back. If it’s not my back it’s my teeth! And now it’s my knee again!!!!

I have no idea what happened but my left knee (the one that was operated on 18 months ago) has been a bit sore this week. Then yesterday it started having sharp stabbing pains through it, on the inside of my knee right where one of the arthroscopy scars is. It got worse throughout the day and last night is was causing quite a bit of pain. I even dreamt about my knee pain would you believe…

Today every 5 minutes or so, I would get this sharp throbbing pain in my knee that would last for a few seconds and go away. Apparently from the look on my face it was obvious when I was getting the pains!

I don’t get it while I’m walking though, it’s really only while I’m sitting down, and given that I sit down at my job, by about 10:30am I was very much over it and booked myself in for the physio at 2pm.

The physio said that my left VMO was a whole lot weaker than the right one. She was impressed with the right one, and apparently it stood out, but she couldn’t even see the left one. My ITB’s were quite loose, which she was also impressed with and surprised about. She was thinking that my ITB’s were tight which was causing patello femoral syndrome. She thought that given that I’m just getting back into training that it was just tight, but that theory got blown out of the water.

So there’s not much strength in my left VMO, my glutes are really weak (which is also what I was getting told after my knee op), and my knee was sore when she was massaging over the main scar from my scope. So her theories were along the lines of (a) that either when I was jogging last week or walking on the weekend I may have just pulled something that was tight from scar tissue around that scar, (b) because the VMO and glutes are weak, getting back into training is just going to be hard on that leg while it’s weak, and I might have just aggravated something in my leg which connects to my knee or (c) I’ve twisted my knee somehow and just done some minor damage to a muscle or something either in that area, or elsewhere that’s referring pain to that area.

I also remembered that after my job last week my quads and hammies were feeling quite tight, so maybe that had something to do with it.

So she’s given me some exercises to strengthen my glutes and VMO, told me to massage over where the scar is a couple of times a day, and to make sure I keep my leg fairly straight, especially in bed, because I’m a side sleeper, and your knee can twist a bit in bed if you lie on your side, and you can put pressure on it the wrong way while you’re sleeping.

The pain was a bit better this arvo, less often and not as painful, so hopefully with a couple of little exercises it’ll be fine.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Chocolate Truffles

Sorry, this is more so I don't lose it. A friend gave it to me and said it's really good :-)

Chocolate Truffles

90g Butter
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
3 cups cocoa pops
300g Cadbury dairy milk chocolate
45g copha
1/4 cup granulated roasted nuts (optional)
90g milk melts

Beat butter & condensed milk until creamy, stir in the melted milk melts and granulated nuts, then place bowl in freezer until set. (more than 2 hours)

Roll mixture into balls (about the size of 10 cent coin) and roll in cocoa pops until covered. Place on baking tray (tray to be covered with grease proof paper) then put back into fridge while you melt the Cadburys chocolate and copha together.

Remove balls from fridge and dip one at a time into melted chocolate and copha. Allow excess chocolate to drain off before placing back on covered tray.

Leave in fridge until set. (overnight is probably good)

Sunday, September 25, 2005

7 and a bit k walk

I met up with Aki yesterday to do a walk around Lake Ginninderra. We were going to swim afterwards, but my head cold certainly wasn't any better, and I think I have an ear infection, so I decided a swim was a bad idea.

But we did the 7k loop of the lake plus a little bit extra - we were going to go out along another path, but my ear was beginning to get quite painful as the drugs were wearing off, so we turned back after a couple of hundred metres.

We kept a pretty easy pave and my heart rate stayed at about 90 or so. I was tempted to walk faster because my heart rate was quite low, but I really have to change my attitude.

The doc says I shouldn't get my heart rate over 140, so my competitive nature makes that "keep your heart rate at just under 140 the entire time you train". I want to keep pushing the limits, but I have to just try to keep in my mind that I will never be able to get back to where I was, and I am getting back into it to get some fitness back and keep myself healthy, not to try and constantly push myself to my limits to prove that I can...

So hopefully we'll go again next weekend, and I'll try to make weekend walks a regular thing, if not with the lovely Aki (who's regular pace is a lot faster than mine!), then with anyone who'll go with me :-)

Saturday, September 24, 2005

What the????

There was another tragic cycling accident this morning in Sydney with one cyclist dead, and another with "inknown injuries".

The way the Sydney Morning Herald has reported it is "Cycling accident causes M4 delays". WHAT THE????

Like the most important thing in that story was that the roads were slow for a while rather than a cyclist got killed. How freaking ridiculous. Like those pesky cyclists are always getting themselves killed and causing traffic delays.

SMH - think about the human side of the story, and the terrible loss that the cyclists family is feeling, rather than the precious traffic situation. Write a REAL story next time!

Friday, September 23, 2005

Bleuch - head cold

I've been fighting off a head cold all week. As soon as I lie down to go to bed I start coughing, and my the morning when I wake up I've had blocked up yucko sinuses, earache, sore throat and this cough. By the time I've showered, the sinuses are feeling better, the cough has subsided, and I'm just left a bit of an earache and sore throat.

My voice started getting croaky yesterday, and today I'm coughing (not too bad still, but annoying enough), have a sore throat, the earache is quite painful, the sinuses are hurting and my voice is very croaky. I feel fine otherwise. I could do with a nap, but that's about it :-)

I went to the chemist to get something to help the sinuses and earache, and he was about to give me stuff that he reckoned was the bees knees for sinusitis, when he asked if I was on blood pressure medication. D'oh!!!! Because most sinusy medication has pseudoephedrine which gets your heart rate up, it doesn't go too well with my Noten which is supposed to be lowering heart rate/blood pressure. So all I get is some nasal spray and some yucky medicine for my cough. Great...

Good to know to watch out for medication containing pseudoephedrine though!

I'm supposed to be going for a walk/swim tomorrow with Aki, so hopefully it doesn't get worse. If it stays just as it is I should be fine. We've also got to do a pre-inspection clean tomorrow, and I think Andrew would kill me if I was sick for that :-)

I'm a pony!

You Are A: Pony!

ponyWho doesn't love a pony? You are one of these miniature horses, renown for your beauty and desired by many. Full of grace, you are a beautiful and very special animal, with a long, flowing mane that blows in the breeze.

You were almost a: Puppy or a Parakeet
You are least like a: Turtle or a GroundhogThe Cute Animals Quiz

I don't know if I'm known for my beauty, or if I'm desired by many, and I certainly don't have any grace, but I do have a long flowing "mane" that old ladies seem to think is so luscious..... :-)

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

5k jog - yay!

Woohoo! I went out at lunch with the aim to just go for a nice walk as it was a very pleasant 20 degrees. I had my iPod, so I was set.

Once I got out there, I couldn't get my fast walking heart rate over 100 bpm, so I decided to jog a bit. My easy jogging HR stayed in the low-mid 130's which was exciting, so I kept at it. I was jogging up the short side of the lake between the Kings Ave-Commonwealth Ave Bridges, so I thought I'd just jog to C'wealth Bridge, then jog back to work. At C'wealth, my heart was staying at the mid 130's still, and I was still feeling good, so I decided to do the longer side on the other side of the lake from C'wealth-Kings Ave Bridges. I walked the Bridges themselves as the incline always gets my heart rate going, but jogged the rest of the flat bits without stopping! I did stop for 5 minutes to say hello to Michael Still who had gone for a lunchtime ride, but that was it.

Average HR was 128, my max. was 146, I travelled about 5k, probably jogged a little over 4k of it, and took about 48 minutes (excluding talking time).

Swim squad last night

Squad last night had a fair few drills, so we didn't do as much distance wise as Monday night, and once again I was a bit late so missed the first bit.

Wednesday nights are a bit slower, and we were sitting around a bit waiting for people which makes things a bit easier, but there was 3 of us taking turns at leading the lane, so that was good for me to make sure I was swimming consistently at a good pace so as not to slow others down. Great to lead the lane!

Ave Hr - 122, max - 151 (oops...)

Cranky cat

I got home from swimming and the cat came sat on my lap and proceeded to start growling and attack me! She's normally very sweet natured and it was very bizarre.

I ended up throwing her off my lap because well... she didn't seem to realise that if she had a problem with me that she could just leave!

Then she came back and sat on my lap again, purred for a bit then attacked me again!!! She went pretty nuts as well. I'm wondering if she doesn't like the smell of chlorine... I've just got back from the pool and reek of it.

I can't think of any other reason why she would come and sit on my lap then decide to attack me!!!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Aortic aneurysm information

I’ve discovered that there’s not much information readily available on the internet regarding Familial Aortic Aneurysms and Thoracic Aortic Dissections (which is the genetic condition my dad and aunt died from and what I am at risk of).

So last night I made up a webpage of the research I’ve done on aneurysms and dissections which can be found at It’ll be a work in progress so if anyone has any websites, newspaper articles, magazine reports or anything useful please email it to and I’ll add it to the website.

The aim is to have a central page that people who are in a similar situation can find through Google and discover lots of useful information.

With a condition such as aortic aneurysm, which has a high mortality rate of people who actually have a dissection, information is the key. If you do not know you are at risk, it is unlikely you will get the scans you need to be able to detect it. A large amount of aneurysms are found by accident when other tests are being done. I would have never gone to the cardiologist if I hadn’t have gotten chest pains, despite my dad and aunt’s deaths. I thought I just had to get an ECG which as I discovered is completely different to an echocardiogram!

I’m sure when there’s two sudden deaths like in our family, most people would prefer not to talk about it as it is a painful thing to talk about. Unfortunately as it is a genetic condition, it HAS to be talked about and people need to be aware of the consequences. Even those young and fit are at as much a risk as those older and less fit.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Just keep swimming!

I've signed up for a 4 person girls team for the annual Sri Chinmoy Triple Triathlon, and I'll be doing the long swim leg and the short swim leg. The long swim is a 3.5k swim from Grevillea Park Beach (near the Boathouse Restaurant) to Acton Ferry Terminal in Lake Burley Griffin, and the short swim is just 1.2k in Lake Tuggeranong from Tuggeranong Town Park out to the left a bit, then turning around to swim back towards the Town Centre, getting out near KFC.

The long swim is a bit scary, but with a wetsuit and hopefully someone to paddle a kayak next to me to keep me on course I should be fine! I'm actually looking forward to it in a "glutton for punishment" kind of a way :)

So I went to swim squad last night, and missed out on the start, but got in a good 2.7k and felt pretty crap when I started and was at the back of the lane, but got stronger as I went along, and ended up overtaking about 5 or 6 people to be in the middle on the lane for the rest of the session, which is always good for the confidence!

We did a few 400m sets, which felt really comfortable, and I even felt as though I could have kept on going (but I didn't as it was already 8pm). My HR averaged 127 and my max was 147.

I'll swim again at squad tomorrow night, and aim to do a long continuous swim Friday night after work.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Quiet weekend

Didn't get up to much exercise-wise this weekend. I was hoping to do a swim, but didn't get a chance! Yesterday we got up, put the washing on, went and had breakfast at the cafe down the road, went to a computer fair to get some bits and pieces for the computer, then went babysitting for a friend from work. We got there at about 11:30am and didn't get home until 6pm-ish so it was a pretty big day! The kids were great. There's a 5 and 8 year old girl and a 20 month old boy and they're all very cute and well behaved which makes baby sitting easy!

They were really good, we cooked, watched a DVD, read some books, watched the girls do their Irish Dancing. The older girl is competing at the Australian Champs next weekend, so she's pretty talented and great to watch! As it had started raining by then and was very cold outside, we went and played at kid's rampage, which is a kid's indoor playground which was great for all the kids! We also got 2 bottles of wine as thanks which was nice! I'd offered to babysit so they could have time to themselves, so we didn't expect anything at all.

I've been unwell for a couple of days and took half of Thursday and Friday off, so we had restful morning and lay in bed for a while. We also did some shopping at a few different places, sorted out a few things at home and before we knew it, it was 5:30pm!

I'd planned to go for a swim, but didn't have time. I didn't get to swim during the week either. I was feeling a little off all week, and by Wednesday I was beginning to feel really listless and definitely not in the mood for swimming!

Hope to go for a couple of swims this week though and ride in a couple of times. We'll see how it goes :-)

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Such a tomboy...

I got a Corporate scarf today to wear if I so choose to. It's quite nice - it's got browns and blues through it with aboriginal style animals on it and has Quarantine written across it.

Problem is that I have no idea how to wear it. I rarely wear girly clothes. I've certainly never been a scarf person - I think they look a little airline hostess-y but I have a shirt that matches it, so I'll give it a go. Hopefully Google can save me and tell me how to wear it.... :)

Monday, September 12, 2005

What is it with service people????

We had a removalist coming out this morning to assess our stuff for being shipped to the States. They were due at 9:30am. I rang up at 8:30am to confirm this. I'd gone in to work early, so I could leave at 9:15am and be back by 10:30am or so.

The guy still hadn't arrived by 10am, so I called up and the girl who answered the phone said "Oh he's right here, I'll check with him what happened". WTF??? Why is he there???? Then she comes back and says that he forgot he had a 9:30 appointment (even though I rang earlier to confirm, and asked them to let the guy know that if I wasn't there at 9:30, I wouldn't be far away). She said that he's on his way and he'd be here within the hour. Has Fyshwick suddenly become a suburb of Cooma??? Why will it take an hour if he's on his way??? She promised me she'd get him moving and he might be able to get here within 30 minutes. So it's now 10:40 and he still isn't here.

So there's about 2 1/2 hours wasted out of my day.

While I was waiting I also called up to see where my passport is, as I got an email last Monday saying it was processed and I should receive it within 4-5 working days. Today is the 6th working day, so I thought it was worth checking. Passport office said it had definitely been sent and gave me the Australia Post tracking number for it. So I called them and they said it definitely arrived at the local post office and I should have received a card in our mailbox telling me I can go pick it up. I didn't. So once I discovered I had at least 30 minutes to kill, I popped down to the post office (about a 2 minute drive down the road). Apparently they received it last Tuesday. They've been having troubles with the local postie and he FORGOT to leave a notification card in our box when he couldn't get someone to sign for it.

What is it with people providing a service FORGETTING to do vital parts of their job??? I mean Kent removalists forgot to turn up, and the postie forgot to let us know we had mail.

Grrrrr. 10:46 and still no removalist.

Update: He finally turned up a little after 11, and I finally got back to work just before 12. Someone then asked me where I'd been all morning. Poor bugger copped my full rant....

Update 2: The guy from the removalists was a salesperson kinda guy in full suit and tie. He wasn't a low paid disgruntled employee who doesn't give a stuff. He was well dressed, well spoken and had a nice car. No excuse for someone like that to be so disorganised!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Surefire way to make it rain

Ride to work in the morning!! I was so proud of myself for finally getting back on the bike and riding to work. Now it's raining, it's cold outside, I'm tired and have no motivation to ride.


Update: It actually wasn't a bad ride home, it wasn't too wet and I just left a bit early and took it easy and got home before it was dark. It's kinda good not having Andrew able to easily pick me up, made sure I HAD to ride home :-)

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

2 x walks done

Tuesday I just got out for 40 minutes during lunch, but it was nice to get out!

Today I did the 5k bridge to bridge, and it was a lovely sunny 21 degrees, with a slight breeze blowing - beautiful! I wore my heart rate monitor today, so walked the first half, then in the last half I did a few short jogs. The first jog my HR shot up to 150 or so, and I kept slowing down to try and drop the HR, but I ended up going back to a fast walk.

I did that a few more times and by the last jog, my HR was sitting around 135, so that was good! I think next time I'll keep alternating and just walk to lower the HR when it gets too high.

I might even be able to jog 5k one of these days :-)

Monday, September 05, 2005

Australian Idol

See what happens when I don't train!! I end up getting hooked on Idol... sheesh. :-)

Anyway, I'm really pleased Emily Williams got through!! She's got an awesome voice, and I've liked her from the start. Especially being an "Inala girl" she probably hasn't had as much of an opportunity as a lot of the others when it comes to singing lessons and that sort of help. I think she could go a long way, especially internationally.

You go girl!

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Still sore

Back's still sore and we were looking after a 6 year old (Ashlin, our flowergirl from the wedding) for most of the day. Nothing like the enthusiasm of a 6 year old when you've had a crap nights sleep to really wear you out! I got very tired and cranky by this arvo - lucky Andrew is the kind of guy who rather than getting cranky back, puts me to bed with a cup of tea and some panadol!

I had been planning on going for a ride tomorrow with Carolyne since we missed today's ride due to my back being sore. I think I'll give the ride a miss again. It would be nice to go for a swim, and our neighbour Kirsty is keen, but I'll just see how I go tomorrow.

I have a massage at 2pm (which was booked in 1 1/2 weeks ago) which has turned out to be very timely! I'm sure after a massage and an easy day tomorrow I'll be right for Monday.

This week I'd like to make swim squad once, go for at least 2 5k walks, and if I manage to bring my bike back from work and fix the seat, ride in to work at least once. Weather for the week is looking a bit dodgy, so I'll do more if I can, but I think that'll be about my limit!

Friday, September 02, 2005

Blogger frustration

I don't if it's just me, but before when someone had commented on your blog, you'd click on their name and it would take you to their Blogger profile. From there on the bottom of the screen it would show their blogs, and you'd just click on their blog to get to their actual blog page.

Now when you click on someone's name it just shows their profile and doesn't have any links to their blog, so you can't read theirs, unless you know the actual blog address. If someone commented on my blog, I would always go to their blog and see what they've been upto. How annoying.

Sore back - no walk, but nice stroll

My back has been killing me today!! I assume this is from my walk yesterday, I just have no idea why a fast 5k walk would bugger up my back.

My back felt stiff when I first got out of bed, and it was twinging a bit. I was really feeling it by the time I got to work, and sitting down all day did not help at all. Everytime I got up I was in pain, and walking was terrible. I was walking with a limp holding my back - I felt like an old woman!!

It's the usual spot that get sore, and I know I should really be doing some strengthening exercises, but I'm pretty confident that once I get back into exercise this help my back immensely. I'm really glad I'd booked a massage in last week for this Sunday - I definitely need it now!

I'd planned to go for another walk at lunchtime today, but knew it just wasn't a smart thing to do. So one of the girls from work, Vicki, wanted to go the National Gallery which is less than a 5 minute walk from work, so we wandered over there and strolled through the Gallery for a while. It was really nice, and while my back was hurting a bit it was good not to be sitting at my desk! It's great to be able to do that during lunch.

I nearly got kicked out though when I pointed to the plaque next to a Monet because it had a little picture of headphones and a number. I was just pointing out that you must be able to get a headset that explains the painting to you, but apparently I got too close to the painting itself and an alarm starting going, and a security guard starting walking towards us!! We got away from there quicksmart and I kept my hands behind my back for the rest of our wander.