Injured Giving Birth, Skater Blogs Way to Olympics

PHOTO Former competitive skater, Sarah Granger, who has had rare nerve damange since childbirth.

Sarah Granger, a blogger and former skating champion from California, knows a lot about pain and perseverance.

The 36-year-old mother from Menlo Park was bedridden for two years after she sustained pelvic nerve injuries giving birth to her now 4-year-old daughter.

"It was like my entire abdomen was on fire," said Granger. "I would stand up, feel pressure and shooting pain. I would have a timeline of X amount of seconds or minutes that I could stand or sit before it would go exponential so fast that I would have to go lie down."

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What she was able to do was blog. During the two years she remained bedridden, only able to nurse her infant daughter lying down, she began to write about her pain, politics and eventually about the sport she loved most -- figure skating.

But now, Granger -- who watched her father struggle with paralysis from polio and become a successful lawyer, -- is trying to overcome her own disability by blogging and tweeting her way to the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.

She has been selected as one of five semi-finalists in a contest sponsored by Microsoft to obtain official press passes to the games and access to all the Olympic skating stars.

"When I watch figure skating as a skater, I know what it feels like to do well and to fall and get up again," she told

"My muscles remember that feeling, and the live experience is just so much better," said Granger, who writes for blogher. "The Olympics is such an emotional experience for the competitors as well as the spectators, I just want to be a part of that experience."

Microsoft, in its launch of Office 2010, will send one woman and one student blogger to the 2010 Olympics with official press credentials. Granger was selected from a pool of entrants by judges, five-time speed skating medalist Bonnie Blair and CollegeHumor bloggers Jake Hurwitz and Amir Blumenfeld.

Web voters will determine if she makes the final round to be announced in January.

Granger said she is doing this for her daughter Julia.

"She doesn't understand now at her age why I can't do all the things with her that both of us would like, but I'm hoping she will later, and she'll be able to read what I've written about it and know how I was feeling at the time," she said.

"It's sad to me when someone else takes her to gym class or to an amusement park or bowling for the first time because I haven't been able to do these things," said Granger.

Pain of Pudendal Neuralgia is Chronic

Granger was recently diagnosed with pudendal neuralgia, a painful condition that is caused by inflammation of the pudendal nerve, which lies in the sacral area of the pelvis.

Sometimes, the nerve gets pinched or entrapped, resulting in inflammation and irritation. Triggers can include a difficult child birth, squatting exercises or physiological abnormalities, according to the Society for Pudendal Neuralgia (SPuN).

The exact number is not known, but there may be as many as 300,000 Americans with the condition and only a "handful" of specialists who know how to treat it, according to Dr. Mark Conway, director of maternal and child health at St. Joseph's Hospital in Nashua, N.H.

Pudendal neuralgia is also known as "cyclist's syndrome" because of its association with repetitive stress from biking and was first recognized in France, where the sport is popular, said Conway.

The obstetrician has made multiple trips to France to learn surgical techniques that have shown promise in alleviating pain.

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