Friday, October 29, 2010

I Couldn't Sleep

My nerves were absolutely shot Thursday night. I had joked about all the forms I had to sign that mean I had to acknowledge this foot surgery could result in worsening of the condition, loss of feeling to the limb, paralysis, stroke, need to amputate the limb and even death. When the PA was going over the forms and she rattled off all of the surgical risks, she said, "If you understand these risks and agree to the procedure, please sign here." I looked at her and said, "Oh yeah, sounds like a great deal. Sign me up!" People always say that the only minor surgery is surgery happening to someone else. As the day grew closer, that saying laid heavier and heavier on my heart!

I tried to stay busy that night. Thankfully I had a great diversion; the Texas Rangers were playing the second game of the World Series (their first Series appearance in the history of the team). In between innings I was gathering my supplies and packing my bag for the following day. Diva and Captain Awesome noticed what I was doing and made requests of what to take to the surgery center. I added their suggestions to my pile.

1. Diva's dog "Maxie": She has had this puppy dog since she was four. Maxie has gone through various surgeries; herself mostly with her front, right limb. She's lost stuffing and her nose. Diva told me to take her. She would make my feel safe and comfort me.
2. Captain's dog "Mommy Daisy": After he heard Diva ask me to take Maxie, Captain told me I could take his Blue Blankie - which is his security blanket. However, he changed his mind and said he just couldn't go without Blue Blankie and asked me to take Mommy Daisy instead. Mommy Daisy is Captain's version of Maxie, only younger and darker.
3. Get well card: Not long after Diva learned that I was having surgery, she stayed after school and visited her favorite teacher from last year. Together they made a get well card for me. Diva asked me to please take it with me so I would remember that she cares about me.
4. Cleansing cloth: I was told not to wear makeup during the surgery. I had to go to work to clean up all of the items on my to-do list and there is NO WAY I was going to go to work without make up.
5. iPod: Doctors never run on time, do they? Needed the music to keep my mind off of the tick tock of the clock.
6. Promise Me book: This is the story of the Susan G. Komen organization, an organization that is very dear to me. I brought this for the same reason as the iPod.
7. Purple cross over backpack: With being on crutches, a purse isn't the most practical option for me to carry... Well, all the junk I carry in my purse.
8. Purple yoga bag: Even though Friday was our Halloween party at work, I couldn't go to work in my "Surgical patient pajama outfit." So, I packed a bag with my pj's for the ride home.
9. Meds: Mmmmm... The good stuff. I was told to stay on top of the pain and bring the drugs to the surgery center. There is some good stuff in that bag!
10. Crutches and boot: Doing what the peeps told me. They told me to bring them, so I did. Did I use them? Nope!

At eight o'clock the kids and I moved into my bedroom to finish watching the game (KISA was at a soccer game). Inning after scoreless Ranger inning, I finally gave up and went to bed (thankfully it was before the San Francisco massacre of the Rangers in the bottom of the eighth inning). Before the kids were put to bed, Captain Awesome was worried that I was going to be hurt during my surgery. He asked me what the doctor was going to do. I decided to just explain the bone spurt - the other procedures were just too technical for him. I explained how my bone was growing a hook that hurt my foot. With his hands, I showed him how your heel is mostly flat but mine wasn't. I asked him if he understood and he very articulately explained it to me. The next morning, he had to show KISA what he learned (see picture).

I went to bed but did not fall asleep. Whether it was the blinking light of my laptop or the swoosh, swoosh, swoosh of my ceiling fan, I could not fall asleep. The Hubs came home from his soccer game and I was still awake. I was finally able to doze off and was awaken to a blood curdling screaming cry. Captain had a nightmare and was in our room saying, "Mommy I miss you." He was hysterical. I shot out of bed to comfort him. I held him while I swayed back and forth. I let him to settle into bed with me and snuck a peek at the clock... Well, that was about 45-60 minutes of sleep, possibly. Score one for Syl!!!

After Captain was calmed down and fell asleep, the freight train in my bed was now keeping me awake. KISA is having some sinus/cold issues which was causing his snoring to be exceptionally loud. (Love you, KISA) I grabbed my purple earplugs. Yes, purple - is there any other color? Placed them in my ears and they just didn't do a darn thing for me. Frustrated, I went to sleep in the living room. It was a good decision, for about five minutes. Daisy, KISA's dog, has her bed in the living room and she was also sleeping.... And she was also snoring and dreaming. Between her snores and legs rapidly moving (I guess she was dreaming that she was running), I was feeling a strange combo of frustration and delirium.

About the time I was determining whether or not I should yell or cry, Hubster went into the kitchen and began making breakfast for me. The anesthesiologist had called me the afternoon prior and went over the rules and regulations of anesthesia. He said that I could eat up to 4:00am, day of surgery. Woo hoo!!!! At this point, things were getting better and better. At first I was told that my surgery was going to be scheduled at 2:45 and I couldn't eat after midnight. Yikes! Then, I received a call that informed me there had been cancellations and my surgery was now scheduled for 12:45 and the midnight rule still applied. So needless to say, after I was told the magical time was 4:00am, I was ecstatic. The hubby stepped up to the plate, literally, and made sure I had food in my belly so I was as comfortable as possible. I truly have the best guy. Yet another reason why I call him KISA.

So, with hubs in the kitchen, I decided to crawl back under the warm covers on my bed. Captain was still there so I cuddled up to his royal cuteness. I don't know if I was hoping to get some sleep in, but if that was my intention it wasn't a lucid thought. I blame it on sleep deprivation. Not long after I was back in bed, KISA came in with my breakfast - migas. I had been craving this dish for a couple of days and he decided to make it for the first time. As I told my aunt - only after she asked - "The gringo migas were great." Ha, ha. I ate up the yumminess and was again frustrated. I was beyond tired, but knew I couldn't get any sleep. I got up and took a shower. Sleep was pointless at this point. After my shower, I think I might have gotten thirty minutes to an hour worth of sleep. It's all a blur.

I went to work for a couple of hours because my to-do list had grown longer and longer the day prior. I had not second to waste. I found that to be a blessing in disguise. I was so busy that I couldn't really think about how hungry I was; however, I couldn't' stop thinking about how thirsty I was. I'll spare you those details. At 10:27, I received a phone call from my boss man. "Sylvia, it's almost 10:30, don't you need to get out of here?" I confirmed his statement. "Well, get going. Don't be late. But I have a question before you go...." I just had to include that in this blog because I was really tickled by that exchange. "You gotta get going, get out of here, but before you do can you help me?"

We arrived at the surgery center at 11:15. I overheard that they were running ahead of schedule. In the waiting room, I saw a number of individuals and only one pair. Hmmm... Was I one of only two folks waiting for surgery? You have to bring a responsible person to drive you home and take care of you. This lobby must be mostly those "responsible people". How ahead of schedule were they running? I tend to over think things. That statement isn't surprising to those that really know me

I filled out the paperwork and settled into one of the chairs, turned on my iPod and broke open my book. I listened to about four or five songs until they called my name. I was putting things away and saw the nurses face... She was obviously in a hurry. I followed her and immediately thought, "This chick needs to switch to decaf." She explained that we needed to "book it" because my doctor was running ahead of schedule and does not like waiting. She rattled off instructions for me to get ready in the restroom. I hadn't even gotten my clothes off and she was knocking on the door, "Are you ready yet?" Geez women! I just got in here. When I got out of the restroom, she just kept saying, "We gotta book it. He's rocking and rolling. We gotta book it." Don't' get me wrong, she wasn't being rude. She was actually starting to make me giggle. I asked her how ahead of schedule he was running and they told me 45 minutes. Rock on!

I finally got to the stretcher and it was my turn to hurry them up. I started giving my orders, "OK, I'm here. Give me the drugs. I'm sleep deprived. I'm tired. Put me to sleep." My doctor stopped by to say hi. He drew a winky face on my big toe and walked away. He can be so weird sometimes. I mean, I already wrote on my foot to let them know which one they need to cut open. The anesthesiologist came by to give me the "good stuff". He said hello and asked if the hubby actually got up and cooked me breakfast. By the way, my husband is a hero in that surgery center. The story of him getting up at 3:00 to fix me breakfast spread amongst the nurses. They informed the anesthesiologist he could take some lessons from my husband. Ouch! I did say hello and quickly added, "Come on. I'm tired. Put me to sleep." They got my husband to come sit by me before they wheeled me off. During that time, I'm sure his ego got more inflated by them telling him how wonderful he is. I don't remember the anesthesiologist pushing the plunger into the IV to give me the sleepy drugs. I don't remember him leaving. I don't remember being wheeled away and I definitely don't remember the conversation my hubby told me I had with the guy. KISA was told he had 45 minutes to get lunch before I got out of surgery. He would need to be there when I got out.

The next thing I rememer is being told I need to wake up. The nurse got me some water and crackers. I was still so weak that I couldn't even bite through the cracker. My sweet husband was there and broke it up into small pieces. Have I mentioned how lucky I am? He is a true sweetheart. I was able to get dressed and head home. I couldn't wait to get home and crawl into my bed. We pulled into the garage and the hubby came to my door with my crutches. I attempted to hold on and walk with them, but I was still too weak. Hubby's ex-wife had lent us a wheelchair that she purchased after she sprained her ankle. It came in handy because I had no idea how I was going to get into the house otherwise.

I was weak and off balance all night. My first attempt to use the restroom had me fall over three times. KISA was really good about giving me my pain meds and ice pack on time. I was prescribed Percocet and this was my first time to take it. I was unaware of the side effects. However, the rats running on the treadmill, black bugs flying across the room, feeling things crawl on me and my hands bleeding as I washed my face were all clues to indicate that hallucinations were one of the side effects.

KISA was also sweet enough to bring me flowers. Not traditional flowers. Not even more than one. It was one flower... Made out of icing... On top of a red velvet cake. I laughed after he explained the cake was "flowers" he got for me. Oh man, I better hurry up and get better so I can start exercising again! If anyone has ideas on how to exercise while on bed rest, LET. ME. KNOW!!!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I Run, But I'm Not a Runner... Or Am I?

This may sound a little strange, but stay with me...

There is a constant kidding that my hubby and I partake in. It is his way of gently making fun of his beloved and my way of lowering my own expectations. The other day, at my doctor's office, I was discussing why my foot discomfort was creating such a disruption in my life. I started the sentence with, "Because I run..." Notice I did not say, "I'm a runner..." The variations of the statement made in my doctor's office can include, "I like to run..." or "When I run..." or "I am training for..." I avoid the words, "I'm a runner" like the plague. Needless to say, once hubby and I got into our car after that doctor's visit, the harassment began. Almost in his best childlike "nah nah nah nah boo boo" voice, Hubster said, "So 'because you run', not because you are a runner, huh?" Or something like that - I try to drown him out when he's trying to be cute.*

I go to specialty running store for my shoes, because I run. I can spend hours in a sporting goods store looking at running gear and training items, because I run. I have a special savings account to pay for registration fees, because I run. I subscribe to multiple websites that will send me email notifications regarding races in my area, because I run. I receive gifts that help me in my training because everyone knows I run. I have Hal Higdon's training website bookmarked on my iPhone, because I run. I am sane (relatively) because I run. Yet, I am not able to refer to myself as a "runner".

I may have uttered the words, "I'm a runner" once and quickly retracted that statement. There is something in my mind that is holding me back from saying those words in lieu of "because I run." I think I would feel like an impostor if I attempted to say those words out loud. Let's face it... I am no Kara Goucher or Paula Radcliffe. Nor am I Dimity McDowell or Sarah Bowen Shea. By saying, "I'm a runner" I feel that I would be putting myself in the same category as these women. The only thing that we have in common is that we are all mothers and we enjoy running. Hubster might disagree with that statement, too. He seems to be under the impression that I also am a sponsored runner since all I work out in is Nike apparel, but I digress.

The playful "You're a runner. No I'm not" argument ensued for a little bit until hubby had to state the obvious (in his mind). He said, "You're a runner because you have an orthopedic surgeon and are having surgery on your foot to help you get back to running." He reveled in victory as he left me speechless. I had no words to combat his statement. So I sat in silence instead of telling him he was right.

That's right. The doctor appointment we were at on this particular day was a foot and ankle specialist that I have been seeing for about a year. It turns out that my running "career" is over for 2010. On Friday, I will have surgery on my foot to finally (God willing) get rid of this pain that has been bothersome since last year. It appears that 97% of individuals will respond well to various, more conservative types of treatment. Another 2% need a little bit more aggressive forms of treatment. Then there is that 1% that require surgery.** Oh, lucky me. I reviewed the synopsis that my doctor wrote down to give to the surgical center. He described my condition as "recalcitrant". My lucky readers get a two-for-one today. A blog AND a vocabulary lesson. Recalcitrant means "stubbornly resistant to authority or control".*** My daughter, Diva, and I laughed about this for a while. Isn't it ironic that my stubbornness extends all the way to my foot? I have a new accusation to throw at my daughter when she is being, well... Recalcitrant.

With all this being said, I will have no journey to blog about. I still won't be able to conquer my first half-marathon this year. A day or two after I was told I will have surgery, I went for a run. I know... Insane. But I figured, they're are going to fix what's wrong - why not get my money's worth? I took it easy and did a pathetic sub 15 minute mile. It was the best bad run in my history. I was smiling the entire time. I took in the joy that I was missing by trying to PR and push myself. Although I will miss my runs, I will make myself follow the plan prescribed by my doctor to have a speedy and accurate recovery. Although I will not have running stories to tell, I will be using the prompts distributed by Mama Kat and her writing workshop which can be found at A friend turned me onto this site and I hope it will bring some of the sanity I find while I run.

By the way, because I run, I have already registered for a half-marathon on March 27th (to benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure).

*I know you're reading this KISA, I love you. Smooches.
**These are statistics given to me by my doctor.
***Thanks Google!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Is This Plan B or Plan C?

My coveted first half-marathon was not conquered when I planned to complete it. I got so much support and advice from my running buddies following my failure. I love being a part of this running "cult" (I only use this word because there are so many people that still don't understand why we run). I took a week off to rest my mind and my body. My first run back on the schedule was a 5K. The race I chose was the MK5K (Mary Kay 5K), proceeds go to domestic violence and organizations geared towards women's cancer. I gave Hubster my best pouty face and asked him to join me. It worked.

I really enjoyed my first race back. The weather was beautiful. My hubby was jovial. We started off the event by watching the kids run the one mile. It was so cute. I automatically missed my kids and started envisioning them running with me. I loved watching these kids participate. The spectators cheered them on as they rounded the corner to make it to the finish line. Then, it was OUR turn.

It wasn't my best time, but it wasn't my worst. Here's a note to all those race directors out there: Do not make the course go uphill right before the finish line! I believe that I finished approximately 246th out of 900. Heck, I'll take it!

When I got home, my foot was HURT-ING!!!! I cannot remember if I hopped from the garage to the shower or if I leaned on Hubster to make it there. I do remember that while I was in the shower, and the water began hitting the bottom of my foot, I felt an excruciating pain. It brought me to tears in the shower. The first thought that came to my mind: "Please, I can't stop running!" I placed myself in the boot - the less fashionable orthopedic walking boot - and decided that I would wear it when I wasn't exercising. That lasted one workout. I began permanently wearing it.

So, as I sit here a week later, I'm trying to determine what my next move might be. Plan B was to start prepping for White Rock in December. That what the 5K signified. Having to take a week off of training, I've begun to question if I'm ready to start training again. I've begun to question if I will be ready. I began to wonder if I should start working on a Plan C.

The foot hurts and the ass is getting fat. I'm not exactly sure what to do at this point.