Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Sunday, August 1, 2010
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Thursday, July 8, 2010
My therapist did another extensive evaluation on me and said that the placement of both my feet and my hips is contributing to my knee pain. Also the flexibility in my knees is continuing to be a big problem resulting in a lot of trauma when I do high-impact sports like running.
In my next appointment I had another therapist who did a separate evaluation and said the flexibility in my knees combined with the tension of the tendons on the outside of my leg is pulling my knee caps to the outside of my legs and resulting in a lot of trauma to the inside of my knees. He also said my hips were both causing and being affected and my limping is causing a lot of wear and tear to my right hip.
His evaluation had to be one of the most painful things I've experienced in a long time. He also confirmed that almost all of the muscles and tendons around my knees are very inflamed and in need of rest, therapy and strength training.
Finally, off to the orthopedic surgeon today.
I gave her the notes from my therapy sessions and she did ANOTHER evaluation and said, "You cannot run."
Just to make sure we were being brutally honest I asked her if I would be able to handle the requirements of Marine Corps training and life and she said, "Absolutely not."
She said the flexibility of my hip, knee and ankle joints cause for a lot of space between the bones and impact causes a lot of trauma and bleeding which leads to the swelling and bruising I've been experiencing. She said if I kept it up I would destroy my knees and that she is going to write a letter stating I will not be able to safely complete Marine Corps training.
She recommended I continue with my therapy and keep doing low-impact exercises but sustained high-impact and weight bearing exercises will probably never be possible for me without pain and trauma that could become permanent.
On a good note she took an x-ray and said I don't have arthritis but that she would like to do an MRI to make sure the cartilage of my knees hasn't torn (whatever that means).
I'm very depressed by this news.
I called my recruiter and told him. His response was, "Suck it up."
He then said we would talk to the SNCOIC at the next poolee function in the upcoming week.
I guess we'll see what happens.
Seeing my brother for the first time in four years was great medicine to me. I love my brother very much and even though he's a bit cooky at times, he's still a great guy. I've missed him a lot.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Friday, June 4, 2010
Since hurting my knees, being sick, taking weeks off to go to MI to be with my mother-in-law before she passed away, and then having to go back for the funeral when she did, I have done absolutely no running.
Yes, I have been able to swim but there is no good substitute for running.
Yesterday was the first PT I was able to make since enlisting.
We started out with pull-ups and the flexed arm hang for us girls and at least I did 64 second there. Next we went out and stretched and did some warm up exercises that I was keeping up with.
It was about 90 degrees and I had had less than a glass of water all day. This was my biggest mistake.
Then the recruiter came out and said we were going on a nice, long run.
How should I say this? I thought I was going to die!
In the three mile circuit, about half way my whole body went bone dry. I stopped sweating, my mouth felt like it was full of sand and my tongue felt like it was swelling up. My side started cramping and, as you can imagine, I started slowing down.
Bless his heart, there was another poolee who fell back with me and didn't leave me the entire time. He even helped me find a water fountain.
Needless to say, our recruiter was... disappointed.
Okay, angry is more like it.
On the way back the same poolee stayed next to me, talking to me, encouraging me the whole way. He even stayed with me during the walking-off period and to get a drink. I'm confident that he will make a FINE Marine as he truly took the "leave no one behind" to heart. No matter how irritated I'm sure he was with me he didn't show it even though others made comments along the lines of, "I wonder who's going to drop out of boot camp?" and the like.
I don't blame them for those comments or thoughts but I wasn't horribly affected by them either.
I have that determination to go and to succeed and I know that my run is something I need significant work on.
So, I'm getting to it and going to run at least three times a week. Here's hoping that nothing else happens that will interfere.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Should I cut my hair? How do I do my hair? Do I have to cut my hair? If I cut my hair, what is a good length? How long is too long? Is it easier to have short or long hair?
I'll admit it. I've asked those questions myself.
The answers are as unique as the individuals asking them. There are female Marines who swear that short is best and some that vow longer is better. Some female Marines I have heard from said they were glad their hair was short so they didn't have to fuss with it and others have said they were glad their hair was long so they didn't have to worry about it growing out or getting in their eyes.
I have been battling that question myself and debating whether or not I should cut my hair or grow it out.
While I was debating I let my hair grow deciding that if I chose to grow it out then at least I'd have a head start knowing that I could cut it at any time.
By chance, I wandered into a salon in Michigan where my stylist just happened to have an aunt in the Marine Corps and, after learning that I was joining the Corps this fall, had quite a bit of advice about my hair.
"Grow it long," she said.
She went on to explain that with my wavy, almost curly hair and no opportunity to really style my hair I would end up with unruly waves that would get into my eyes, stick out all over the place and generally be hard to manage without styling products like a blow drier, mousse and a nice round brush.
I had to give it to her. She knew more about my hair in five minutes than I was able to figure out all through high school.
My hair, when short and left to its own devices can take on a frightening life of its own.
She went on to explain that each woman is different. If one has very regular and controlled curls that are predictable or stick straight hair with no wave at all they could easily get away with a short wash-and-go bob that would be hassle free.
For those of us with unruly hair, however, it was easier for us to go with longer hair and tie it back.
She explained about not using too much mousse or gel and perfecting the military sock bun before I even left for Boot Camp so that my hair would be a quick and easy fix and not a source of stress.
I'm happy to say that after five or so times of trying to do a sock bun I finally got it right.
So, in case you are wondering what I did, I'll tell you.
1. My husband donated one of his socks to my cause. I read somewhere that dress socks make the best sock bun socks and so I asked if he would give me one.
I used a tan sock so that it would be as close to my natural color if any sock were to poke through.
2. After cutting off just the toe portion of the sock at the toe seam, I rolled the sock up starting from the toe side and working my way to the ankle side. The reason for this is that the ankle side is more stretchy and will hold the sock together better.
3. With my hair still damp (a recommendation from the hair stylist) I made a low pony-tail and secured that with a scrunchi.
4. Then I placed the sock around my pony-tail.
5. I fanned my hair around the sock using a comb to make sure the sock was evenly covered.
6. Next I used a second scrunchi and placed that over my hair and bun to make the bun look even.
7. I twisted and pinned the excess hair that was sticking out.
Below is a good video to show the process.
I guess, when it all comes down to it, I will do what I need to do and deciding on what to do with your hair before leaving for Boot Camp, for a female, is a bit scary. My theory is simply that I can always cut it, I can't put it back. I will try it long and if it gets to be too much for me I will chop it off. It's not like I have anyone to impress in Boot Camp.
There are those who say something silly like, "Why don't you just do a GI Jane?" (If you don't know what that means it's just when a girl shaves off her hair like Demi Moore's character in the movie GI Jane did). To that, I would respond that the "GI Jane" hairstyle is actually against military grooming standard regulations.
As per the Marine Corps Grooming Standard:
The requirement for hair regulations is to maintain uniformity within a military population. Women's hairstyles require non-eccentric styles. Female Marines will be well groomed at all times and when in uniform will abide by the following:
Hair may touch the collar, but will not fall below the collar's lower edge. Hair that would fall naturally below the collar's lower edge will be neatly and inconspicuously fastened or pinned. During physical training periods in which physical training clothing is worn, hair will be allowed to fall naturally, without being fastened or pinned. This does not apply when conducting physical training in the utility uniform.Hair will be styled so as not to interfere with the proper wear of the uniform headgear. All headgear will fit snugly and comfortably around the largest part of the head without distortion or excessive gaps. Hairstyles which do not allow the headgear to be worn in this manner are prohibited.
Faddish and exaggerated styles to include shaved portions of the scalp other than the neckline, designs cut in the hair, unsecured ponytails and styles which are distinctly unbalanced or lopsided are prohibited. Multiple braiding is authorized. If hair extensions are used in the braiding of the hair, the extensions must have the same general appearance as the individual's natural hair. Braided hairstyles will be conservative, and conform to other guidelines listed herein.
So, there you have it, girls. Don't shave your head.
There are other people who say, "Why worry about it?"
Well, I'll tell you why. According to a good female friend of mine who served as a Drill Instructor for a number of years, you only have a select amount of time to "master" your hair or the Drill Instructors get out the scissors. And, according to her, when the Drill Instructors get out the scissors it is guaranteed to be the worst hair cut of one's life.
To us women, our hair can be our identification and when my cold, hard husband heard of this even he winced and said, "That's COLD."
It is cold. The humiliation. The sadness at losing your hair to a Drill Instructor's scissors. No thank you. If I'm going to lose it it's going to be on my terms.
This is why I don't blame any gals who wish to cut their hair before they go. I think everyone should do what she thinks is best. I've decided to go with long hair. Because of that decision I've also decided to master the sock bun LONG before I ever get to Boot Camp. I'll let you know how it all turns out for me when I get back in January.