Tuesday, July 22, 2008

12 Miles

Just in case anyone is wondering, it's hard to run 12 miles. I did this on Saturday for the first time and completed it in just under 2 hours. After the marathon, I don't think I will be doing many long runs beyond 10 miles.

So what hurts? Both of my quads, my left knee and the toenail on my second toe on my left foot. I guess that's not bad considering. And did you notice that I DIDN'T say right hip? Great, huh? I must be recovering from that unpleasant injury.

But, I will take the pain! First off, it's nothing compared to what my patient honorees have endured this year, and secondly, I read a great quote the other day: "If you ran without sacrifice, congratulations, YOU JUST JOGGED!" There is a difference between jogging and running. (I WANT to be a runner!)

Next Saturday I will run 10 miles, the next Saturday I will run for 60 minutes (around 6.25 miles) and the following Sunday, August 10 (which just so happens to be my Dad's 72nd birthday--he is one of my patient honorees!), I will run in the Chicago Distance Classic. This is a half marathon--13.1 miles. Wish me luck.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Epitome of Laziness

This is Bella's idea of breakfast in bed! She got a new bed yesterday since she had outgrown her first one. I guess the idea of getting out of it is far too daunting for her! She'd rather just stay in it thank you very much!

Lucky for her, she's cute!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Wide Awake Surgery

I'm no stranger to the O.R. The first 18 years of my life yielded no stitches, broken bones or problems of any kind really. However, the second 18 years of my life have proven much different. I have had hospital stays, surgeries, stitches, staples, shots, and a myriad of other "fun" treatments in the hospital. And although most have revolved around childbirth, I have had 4 surgeries that were non-child-producing since Halle was born 5 years ago. My husband is beginning to think that he got a faulty model. I'm surprised that he hasn't dumped me back on my dad's doorstep asking for a refund (or a trade-in!)

But, my most recent visit to the O.R. was by far the most interesting. It started around the first of the year when I noticed a small bump on my left wrist. Or was it a bump? I wasn't sure. I asked Johnny to inspect it and he didn't see anything. Hmmmm. That's weird. I hadn't noticed that my wrist was so bony before.

Days later my suspicions increased and I determined that I indeed had a small bump. The lovely bump continued to grow and I was forced to seek medical attention. "Here," said Dr. Nelson, "wear this lovely wrist brace 24/7 and see if keeping your arm mobile decreases the bump (aka cyst.)"

I followed Dr.'s orders yet the bump never subsided. Instead, I began to get these lovely shooting pains up my thumb. Now I still had the weird bump AND my thumb hurt. I was done with the brace.

Said lovely bump continued to increase in size. It's all I could see when looking at my arm! The perfectionist in me came out and I again sought medical attention. This time I saw an orthopaedic doc. She declared that I indeed had a cyst on my wrist and that the only way to get rid of it was to cut it out. "Great, " I thought, "cut away!" But it was not that easy. She said that it required a small surgery. Would I prefer to be knocked out or just have a local? I immediately agreed to the local--my body does not enjoy being put under. Great. It was settled. Big mean bump would soon be extracted.

Day of surgery rolls around (Monday 7/14), and I head off to the Dr.'s office alone. She's just taking out the cyst. No big deal. But wait a minute. I am directed to the Surgery Center's entrance. I was beginning to understand that they were going ALL THE WAY INTO MY ARM TO CUT THIS BOOGER OUT! Yikes. I knew it was serious when they traded me a hospital gown and a pair of ugly socks for my street clothes. And the ties were all broken off and it made it quite drafty.

OK, like I said, I'm no stranger to the OR. I kept waiting for the nurse to bring me a twilight drug, or start an IV, or something, but they never came with anything like that. They just walked me back into the Operating Room and told me to hop up on the operating table. Not my idea of fun. I have vague recollections of other OR's but I was soaking everything in first-hand this time. All the sterile instruments, the bright lights, the uncomfortable table. They did have something really neat, though! OR's are really cold, and they constantly bring you blankets from an oven somewhere. Well, this time they had a blanket that inflates with warm air and keeps you nice and toasty the whole time. I was really thankful for this in the beginning.

So after they strapped me to the table and covered me with blankets, they began to inject numbing agent into my arm. I made the mistake of looking over at my wrist, and it looked like they had injected a small lemon under my skin. And my fingers began to get all tingly. After a nice long arm bath with lots of soap and water, they were ready to cut me open. Luckily they placed a big drape over me so I couldn't see what they were doing. But I have to tell ya, NOT seeing what they were doing but feeling the dull tugging almost creeped me out. What was I thinking electing to stay awake for a surgery?? I still cringe when I think of the scraping I felt--no pain mind you--just a weird scraping on the bone. Really, people shouldn't be aware when their bones are being scraped. And I was no longer thankful for the warm air that was spreading over my body from the lovely air blanket. I think I broke out into a sweat. Now I know why they give you an amnesia drug when you sign up for a surgery. It prevents the nightmares.

OK, so I admit that I'm being a little dramatic. It's all for my story-telling effects. It really was strange knowing that they were cutting up my arm and I was completely aware of this and actually allowing it. The lengths we will go to to get rid of bumps! And getting a local was totally the way to go. I was able to drive myself to the surgery center, walk-in, walk-out, and drive myself back home. All in, the surgery took 10 minutes (this is from open wound to suture. I was actually at the hospital for several hours). All the fanfare of the sedation would have messed my day up for hours.

But, as with any surgery, I fail to think about the after effects when I'm not 100%. I didn't think about going without the use of my hand for days on end. It's a bummer, let me tell you. (Parker would agree, too! He has become my left arm!) I am glad to announce that I can finally type. And although I was happy to dodge the laundry in the beginning, I've realized that we don't have an infinite supply of clothes. Halle thought for a minute this morning that she was going to have to go commando! Lucky for me she had overlooked a few pair in her drawer!

Anyway, I left the surgery with a mean-looking wrist wrap. I took all that off today and my wrist looks really gross. I guess it's only been 4 days, but still. In one week from today I will go in to have the stitches removed. By then the reality that I traded in a bump for a scar will have hit me full-on. Brilliant!