Saturday, November 6, 2010

Bummed out

Welcome to the pity party.

I'm bummed out with a bum shoulder.

I had a doctor's appointment last Monday, finally finding a general practitioner who was taking patients.

We talked about the usual things ... my general health, my level of activity, etc and so on.

Then I dropped the bomb. Look, there's something wrong with my shoulder. It probably happened some time in August when I was splitting time between shortstop and second base, depending on whether I was playing women's or co-ed ball.

What kind of wrong with your shoulder, she asked.

The pain is localized in the anterior delt, not like the last time I tore my rotator cuff when the pain was more lateral and posterior delt. That was my supraspinatus ... a little time, a little physio, a little rest and it went away.

Not this time. No rest, no working the shoulder with functional movements on the band, nothing is making the pain go away.

What do you think it is, she asked.

I think it's a SLAP tear of the labrum, I said.

She put me through the usual run of movements, asked me lift my arm this way, hold it that way and place my hand on the centre of my back, palm facing out.

Oh Jesus no, I said. That ain't happening. Just taking my bra off at night hurts like a mofo, I said ... OK, maybe not in so many words. I'm way more polite in certain social situations. Believe it.

I think you're right, she said. I think it's a SLAP tear.

But we have to send you for an MRI to be sure.

In the meantime, no movements over your head, no rotational movements.

Well, what the hell else is left, I wondered. That takes out shoulder press, lat raises, bentover flyes, lat pulldowns, rows ... pretty much all my upper-body lifts.

By Thursday, I had a phone call from her receptionist. I'm scheduled for my MRI, she told me happily ... in February.

In fucking February. Goddamn February.

Four fucking months from now.

I get that I live with universal health care and that means I have to wait my turn. I get that I'm still functional even though I'm not pain-free.

But four months?

Fine. So I call in a favour and enlist the assistance of my friend and favourite local trainer, Terri Champagne. You'll remember I tried doing her boot camp a few months ago but had to bail because of my stupid shoulder.

She doesn't want me doing any upper-body lifts at all, given the amount of pain I am experiencing. Hell's bells, washing my hair in the shower is a bitch some days.

Instead, I'm to work on my legs and core. I can do yoga but take care with inverted poses, like downward dog. And no shataranga for me.

Flippin' fantastic.

She suggested pilates, so I went to Best Buy and picked up a DVD to go along with my yoga ones.

I'm setting a goal to make this a positive thing, to hit a three-plate squat — even if it's just for one rep — by the time I go for my MRI. And to have as strong a core as I did a few years ago when the Soldiers of Fitness guys called me Cadet Abs.

That doesn't mean it will be smooth sailing after the MRI, of course. It's only then we'll know whether I'll be scheduled for surgery or be put into physio or whatever.

But, hey, there's nothing wrong with having the most powerful legs I've ever had, is there?


I haven't done a recipe in a good long while. I suppose I haven't done a whole lot of cooking either. Life has been under the gun, on the run.

But here's a good one out of a long-ago Clean Eating. It probably would have been better for me if I hadn't been eating salt-and-vinegar chips with herb and spice dip all through the food prep.

And hey, did you know oats are a soluble fibre which helps lower total and low density lipoprotein (LDL), or 'bad' cholesterol?

Spicy Thai Chicken

1 cup natural quick-cooking oatmeal
5 tsp lime zest, divided
2 tsp ginger, finely chopped, divided (oh, I just used the powdered stuff, chopping ginger is a pain in the you-know-where)
1 tbsp unsweetened coconut, shredded
1 tbsp roasted unsalted peanuts, chopped
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 egg white
16 oz boneless, skinless chicken, sliced into four 4-oz pieces and pounded thinw ith a mallet
Olive oil cooking spray
1 mango
2 navel oranges, peeled and sectioned
1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup Thai or regular basil, shredded
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Put oatmeal, 2 tsp zest, 1 tsp ginger, coconut, peanuts, cayenne, oil and garlic in a food processor. Pulse five or six times until finely mixed.
2. In a large wide bowl, beat egg white with 1 tbsp water. Pat chicken dry with paper towel, dip in egg white then dredge in oatmeal mixture. Place chicken on cookie sheet misted with cooking spray. Then lightly spray chicken breasts with cooking spray and bake for seven minutes. Turn down oven to 375 F and continue cooking for 10 to 12 minutes.
3. While chicken is cooking, peel and slice mango into 1/2-inch pieces. In large bowl, place mango, oranges, remaining lime zest, remaining ginger, lime juice, red pepper, basil, salt and black pepper. Toss well.
4. Serve one chicken breast with 3/4 cup of mango salsa.

Nutrients per serving
Calories, 360; total fat, 10 g; saturated fat, 2.5 g; carbs, 27 g; fibre, 5 g; sugars, 15 g; protein, 39 g; sodium, 105 mg; cholesterol, 95 mg.

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