Throwback and Step Forward

I love #TBT posts. It’s so interesting to look back on where we’ve been in life. Sometimes it’s a blur how long ago something happened, other times it’s a shock so much time has passed. Personally I like to be reminded of ways I’ve changed and ways I’ve stayed the same to evaluate my progression of goals. Posts talking about college humble me to the fact I’m still very new in my profession. Posts talking about being scared for a 5K remind me to be kind to others and not to complain constantly when I didn’t accomplish 26 versus 25 miles.

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The above image is hands down one of my top 3 (if not #1) pictures from my racing career. The Eco Run 5 miler. My first ever race. I had NO IDEA what I was doing. I had NO IDEA 5m wasn’t the same as 5k or what any of it meant. Nothing will ever feel like that first race. The excitement, the fear, the uncertainty, the pride. The girl in the old t-shirt, Sketchers shoes and bib plastered to her chest would go on to complete 2 marathons, 5 50Ks, over 25 half marathons and countless other distances. She would wear the ambassador uniform for MARATHON BARS, Aquaphor, and Gore-Tex. She will “come back” from heart surgery, torn hamstrings, gallbladder removal, kidney stones and multiple struggles with depression, anxiety and PTSD.

It’s easy to see (I think) why this latest round of “character building struggles” is annoying to me. Easy to see why I don’t want to deal with it anymore. I’ve accomplished a lot, I’ve experienced a lot, and in the back of my head I’m still shouting “WHEN WILL IT END”. When is my time to simply live and be comfortable? When is it my time for things to just flow and everything is rainbows and kittens?

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My boyfriend posted this image on FB a few weeks ago. It seemed really silly to me at the time. When I came out over surgery last week he held my hand and said “Babe. You’re a lion”. It was another silly moment at the time, but I keep thinking about it. Maybe he is right? Eh of course he is right!

Sure I could be a sloth. It’s relaxing and comfy. Staying in the trees, eating leaves, growing some algae or something. People would acknowledge me, and Kristen Bell would lose her shiz over me, but is it really what I want? Being a lion is amazing. People look forward to seeing you, people are mesmerized by you. Not just because of the sleekness of your body, or the glorious nature of your mane if you’re a male, but for what you represent. Lions respect all levels of life (according to Disney) lions have power, but don’t abuse it (still according to Disney). Lions have easy fun days down by the watering hole, and days where they have to hunt. Lions work together to survive.

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I don’t want to be a sloth, I want to be a lion. I want to lean on those in my pack when I am weak and I want to step up when it’s my turn to be a leader. Just because we’re all in the desert doesn’t mean we’re on the same mission. Just because we look and act alike, doesn’t mean we’re on the same mission.

Working on my lion skills is a priority right now. Getting back on my feet to be a strong member of my pride and to find those who belong in it as well. I’ve done some really interesting things since I started running in 2007, and I’m not done yet. Who knows what’s next, but I know this isn’t the end.

I’m a Swiss Cheese

It’s been almost a week since my surgery. I knew the time would fly, but I didn’t really think about how quickly it would fly. The afternoon of my procedure (or maybe it was the next day) I received an email letting me know my FMLA was approved. Now I was going to take the time off as sick time anyway and this was approved well in advance, but it’s nice to know when push comes to shove these two weeks can’t be held against me.

We left for the hospital around 900 for the 930 check-in time. As I have decided I am a pro at surgeries now, I gave zero effs and wore my pajamas and a robe to the hospital. Hey I was not about to deal with buttons and zippers or strings in recovery. When I arrived I immediately felt silly for what I was wearing. The head nurse told me not to worry about it. I also didn’t care because I hadn’t peed since midnight since I was afraid of being cathed, After they stole my pee and I settled in for a few quick words with the boyfriend they called me back to prep. This is where a handful of other nurses and patients laughed (supportingly) and said I knew how to dress. This greatly perked me up.

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About an hour later my Mom joined and we all chatted while I waited for the various doctors and support staff. The usual “What’s your name? Birth-date? Why are you here?” Was asked a zillion times. They gave me a TAP Block which was a weird series of shots in my abdomen which was supposed to numb the area and help block pain for about 20 extra hours, this cuts back on the need for narcotics. It works too!

Soon enough I was wrapped in warm blankets and drifting off to sleep. It’s weird how compliant medication can make you. If I am every kidnapped I am screwed. I hate people touching me, but give me meds and I have zero issues with my arms and legs being strapped down. Yep, totally screwed if kidnapped.

This was the first time I was ever afraid of being put under anesthesia. Probably because I have such a good life right now, I was afraid of anything going wrong. Luckily everything went very smoothly. They weren’t able to remove the cyst because of the location. Apparently the jerk cyst was trying to grow INTO the Fallopian tube and this is what was causing all the pain! YIKES! They drained it and said everything else in the girl parts department looked good. YAY!

In recovery I was given a glorious spread of graham crackers and saltines, I was also given a lovely 28oz water bottle and now I have TWO and this makes me more happy than it should. Haha. Another nurse asked how I got it and I told her I simply asked nicely. Which is true. I try to be a very quiet and well behaved patient.

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Mom and Dave took excellent care of me the last few days. Mom worked 3-11 and Dave worked 7-3 so there was about 30 minutes each day I was alone. Mom knows me and pretty much just threw warm quilts on me and let me sleep. Dave was a lil more aggressive in his recovery tactics and made me move around and stuff, claiming I’ll heal better if I try. Not sure I believe him. He ruined my lovely post-surgery-narcotic induced sleep. Haha. Oh and my 5 pound papillon also worked hard as a nurse.

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So yes, everything went well. I have more holes in my middle now. They’re healing. For the first time in months I can eat and drink normally. Plus use the bathroom normally. I didn’t realize how bad it was until now when there isn’t an issue. I keep joking that I just want to be lazy and fat, but as I start to feel better, what I really want is to just feel GOOD again, in whatever capacity that might look like.

Thank you all for the well wishes, and I plan to talk about my slow and steady process back to running. Wish me luck.

Well, Hello There!

I had no intention of writing a post today. It somehow felt like the right thing to do though. It has been a few months of being out of my routine and I kept running away instead of manning up. It was easier to keep comfortable in my chaos than to create new chaos with change, even when more healthy.

After running the two marathons in November I planned to take December off. Except I forgot what a distance like that can often do to a person mentally. All the months of prepping and worry, over in a few short hours. Too much of a task to sign up for another one so quickly, and without a goal I felt aimless. Sure there were the holidays, there was the play, and there was my new love. All of these should have been things within in my life though, not the reason for it.

During play rehearsal in January I stated to feel sick. We all know I very rarely get sick. I even threw up, which I used to be able to count on one hand all the times I’ve done that as an adult. The pain on my lower right side persisted and I lived in fear of another kidney stone since it has hurt there SINCE September. Oddly I don’t remember the chain of events at this moment, but I somehow finally managed to get myself an ultrasound. They discovered a fairly sizable cyst on my right ovary. Fast forward to more testing and observation and we are in present time. Still in pain, still occasionally unable to walk, throwing up and other issues. I go in for surgery on Wednesday. They are removing the cyst, making sure it isn’t cancerous and possibly taking the ovary.

I am terrified of something going wrong. I am thankful SOMEONE finally took my pleas of pain seriously, but incredibly enraged this could have been dealt with MONTHS ago if someone would have believed me.

Due to the pain I’ve had very limited physical activity. Due to self-soothing I’ve done a lot of terrible eating. Thanks to my meds I just don’t care. They keep my even despite everything in the world changing around me. Sometimes this is good, such as scary surgery. Sometimes this is bad, such as limited excitement when shopping for a house.

I still know what is good and bad though. Often I wonder about coming off the medication, because I want to fully engulf myself in the joy of being in love and creating a future with someone. Most of the time I’m glad I’m on them though, because the past has taught me I don’t deal well with medical issues and my body.

So that’s where I have been hiding. I don’t know how exciting another week of Wendy’s and Netflix and almost throwing up can be to anyone. How walking at lunch leads to terrible pain 9 times out of 10. It sucks and it’s embarrassing and I guess the truth of the matter is, by not blogging, I didn’t have to think about it. Yet, I never stop thinking about it, so why not find some stuff to write?

Happy Pi(e) day friends.