Meniscus is a fun word

I mentioned last weekend that I’ve had some knee pain. Turns out it’s less generalized and more acute, resulting in wincing when I go down stairs or my foot turns just so. The pain is very localized on the inside part of my right knee.

My coworker, who has torn many things (meniscus and ACL, I believe) and had 2 knee surgeries, assures me the pain would be much greater if I needed to go to the doctor. Nevertheless, she advises I go in a week if it’s still painful and that it is probably a mild meniscus tear, given the motions that hurt it.

In the meantime, I’m really disappointed I can’t run this week. After below freezing weather, it’s been in the 40’s. Ice is melted, sun is out, and not being able to run SUCKS.  I went back to last year’s posts from when I was in a walking boot to find workouts for this week.


Addiction – Part 2

In Part 1, I wrote about finding out that my brother is addicted to heroin.

I’m crying as I write this and it is difficult to explain the extreme and visceral response, but I’m as sure to cry when thinking/talking/reading about it as I am when cutting onions.

My brother and I didn’t really grow up together.  He’s technically only my half brother even though we could pass as twins if we were the same age.  He’s my dad’s son from his second marriage.  His mother “loved” me, but was too stupid and/or too jealous of me and my dad to actually treat me nicely (I used to pretend I was Cinderella and she was my wicked stepmother).  She coddled the shit out of my brother, though, while I bounced back and forth between my mom’s house and my dad’s house.

By the time my mom moved out of the state and I spent most of my time at my dad’s house, he had divorced my brother’s mother and she retained custody of my brother.  As I said, she coddled him, and he chose to keep living with her because he is lazy and selfish and dependent.  These are traits that have nothing to do with his drug habit.  Whether it’s nature or nurture, I can’t say — I just mean that his bad habits don’t excuse his bad personality traits.

We grew closer when we both visited my dad’s house on weekends while I was in college, but since then, I only see him a few times a year.  We love each other, very much actually, but we’re just not integral to each other’s lives.  I go months without talking to him.  I try to be there for him, but it’s like my best friend from college – when you don’t see each other every day, it is really easy to lose touch.

I provide all this background to try and explain why I was so surprised that I was so upset.  Obviously having someone I love be addicted to heroin was sad and shocking.  I just didn’t expect this sickening knot to form in my stomach every time I think about it.  I felt guilty for feeling so badly – like I was trying to get sympathy or attention or something.  Technically, my brother being in rehab has no direct effect on my life.  I could make the logical argument that is has a great effect on my dad’s well-being, and he is a frequent and important part of my life.  But all of these logical arguments don’t add up to the hurt and internal torment I have experienced, am experiencing, will experience.

I feel bad writing that.  I feel guilty.  Isn’t my brother the one going through the hurt and torment?  Isn’t he the one deserving of sympathy, not me?

Then, the more I think about, hurt turns into guilt and guilt turns into anger.  Why should I be hurt and feel guilty about it?  He’s the one doing this to himself, to my dad, to his mom, to our family.  He’s the one who stole things, who forced my dad to miss work, to be in court, to forcefully remove my brother from our home.  My brother is the one causing all this.  He’s not hard working, or nice, or grateful, or thankful for any of our help.  He’s angry and resentful.  This isn’t fair to us.  Fuck him.  He doesn’t deserve our help.

That anger goes on.  It grows.  Then it cycles back into sadness, grief, and guilt.

I can’t remember anything else that has made me feel any emotions this strongly.  No break up, no death.  I have trouble explaining it.  I guess that’s why they call it a family disease?

Just in case somebody got to this post who is struggling with addiction, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is a good resource to find treatment.


My Education in Addiction – Part 1

FYI For most of you who are here to read make up reviews and running updates, this is a pretty serious post.  It’s taken me 2 years to start trying to write it, and it’s going to take more than 1 post to unpack all the baggage.  This is my personal experience with having an addict in my family.  It is not meant to give advice or preach or help.  It’s just meant to share how I felt when someone in my family went through this struggle.  More posts to come.


No matter the news – big or small, good or bad – my dad’s emails are never more than a few sentences, always without proper capitalization, always nonchalant. Two years ago this September I received the following from him:

hey sweetie
how is the new place and grad school going?
Have some bad news…… I had to have [your brother] committed to a drug addiction facility. He is addicted to heroin and has been using for a year. He didn’t want me to tell you but I know had to. He went in on Tuesday and will be there for at least 2 weeks up 30 days.
I know you have a lot on your plate right now there is nothing you can do, he cant have visitors. I talked to him yesterday, he knows he needs to be there.
On a lighter note …..GO PATS!!!!!
Love you

Yep, how’s school, your brother is a heroin addict, go pats.  I rode the bus to work with FH only 3 times that year, which means that on any given work day, there is a 1.1% chance that I am on the bus with him.  Usually I leave much before him, but I was either running late or he had to be in early.  The day I received that email happened to be one of the days we were together in the morning.  I honestly don’t know what I would have done if it had been one of the other 98% of days I go to work by myself.  I immediately went into shock, handed him my phone, so he could read the email, and we got off at the next stop.

We sat in an Au Bon Pain for about 20 minutes without buying anything.  I was sobbing while intermittently asking, “Heroin?!  Who does heroin?!?!  I don’t even know anything about heroin.”

The sobbing continued off and on all day.  This was chick-flick, ugly, movie crying.

I called my dad in the afternoon to get the details.  They had started to notice stuff missing a few months prior.  Then my brother was driving around with random appliances in his car that he was “selling for friends.”  Then my grandmother’s jewelry was missing.  We have no idea how much disappeared.

He was living with his junkie girlfriend and her junkie mother.  She was just a “recreational” user, not “addicted.”  He, however, couldn’t make it a few hours.  He spent half his time at the pawn shop.  The other half with his dealer or in bed.

My dad had put him into a detox facility and my brother checked himself out.  My dad picked him up, and the gf was with him.  They were going to beat this together.  My brother wanted to go to an outpatient day program.  Right after he went downstairs to his room to “just go and nap real quick…real quick.”  Yeah, right, asshole – was essentially my dad’s response.

In Massachusetts there is a section (35, to be exact) of the law code that allows you to involuntarily commit an adult to a rehab facility if there’s a bed (or jail if there is not) if they are a danger to themselves (click here for more info on that law).  This law is a blessing.  There was no other way to get my brother away from the stuff.  There are some stipulations, though.  If you go to court to section someone, the police leave with you to go pick that person up.  If you can’t find them, you have to go back to court the next day.  They also won’t cross state borders.  Since my brother’s mother lives in New Hampshire, and my brother was known to disappear, my dad had to act fast, even though his ex-wife did not agree with him.  This is her 21-year-old baby, after all.

My dad had to face his irate, sick, angry, shaking child in court who was going through hell and back.  If you don’t know what heroin withdrawals look like, you can youtube it.  Or just take my word for it, it’s horrific.  People die, not from the chemical withdrawal, but from dehydration from the sweating and vomiting.

My dad got my brother committed.  Luckily there was a bed in a rehab facility.  My brother called my dad a few days later to thank him…

…And to let him know that there was a syringe on the kitchen counter behind the knife block full of heroin.  My dad followed his instructions to bend the needle in half to prevent anyone from using it in the future.

And thus began my education in heroin addiction.


Just in case somebody got to this post who is struggling with addiction, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is a good resource to find treatment.


“Manageable, but not Sustainable”

That’s how I described my tendinitis to my coworker yesterday.


Right now, every run causes some sort of pain, but with ice baths, rest days, and ibuprofen – it is manageable.  I have just shy of 4 weeks left to the half marathon and I can manage to keep running until them.  Hopefully, to keep running enough to finish the race in 3 hours.

But not sustainable.

If that race were not coming up, I would take 1 – 2 weeks off from running, all the while working my PT regimen.  Then I would start with 2 mile runs x 4 times per week = 8 miles per week.  Then I would increase my weekly mileage by the 10% rule, with every 4th week being a “rest” week.  That’s how I should have been training for the half marathon.  It is how I would have been training, had it not been for the sprained ankle and being laid up for 2 months.  I write this to point out that the increases I’m making right now are not smart, and cannot be sustained in the long term.  This should be my training program for the half marathon.  It is 18 weeks long.  I’m doing it 8 weeks and, frankly, I will probably not be able to walk without a limp for at least week.  I will take a few weeks off after that, rehab myself, and run recreationally.

  1. 8 miles
  2. 8.8 miles
  3. 9.6 miles
  4. 8 miles
  5. 10.5 miles
  6. 11.5 miles
  7. 12.6 miles
  8. 10.5 miles
  9. 13.8 miles
  10. 15.1 miles
  11. 16.6 miles
  12. 13.8 miles
  13. 18.2 miles
  14. 20.0 miles
  15. 22.0 miles
  16. 24.2 miles
  17. 20.0 miles
  18. 26.6 miles