Saturday, February 16, 2019

What Did You Expect?

I survived an entire week of work in the office. As silly as it sounds it was huge for me. Last week I made it two days and basically needed the entire weekend to recuperate. I was smarter this week and opted out of a few events and stayed in the office, which I think in the long run helped.

I will say though, the funniest thing out of all of this are some of the comments I have received. I'm not totally sure what people thought I would look like when they saw me. Maybe something like this:

I mean, that's the only logical explanation because almost everyone that I saw throughout the week either said, "Wow, look at you, you look amazing!" or "Wow, you're standing!"

Yeah, I look totally normal, and if you didn't see me walk with the walker, you'd have absolutely no idea. It's funny, but it's also one of those weird things I'm struggling with when it comes to this injury.

I only have 2 weeks and 5 days with the walker and then I can safely return to the background of everyday life that I relish.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

From Zero to Marathon

I went back to work on Wednesday. I had told my boss come hell or high water I would be at my desk that morning. I honestly cannot tell you just how amazing it was to be back at my desk. It was the normalcy I craved. Now, don't get me wrong, it didn't come without some babying, and constant checks to see how I was. I have a feeling that will continue until I ditch the walker.

I worked at the office Wednesday and Thursday, full days. Friday morning though, I woke up, started to get ready for work and Scott finally looked me in my clearly exhausted eyes and said, "just work from home today." He was so right. My friend Leona compared it to marathon training and how after a few hard runs you need to either dial back your miles or rest. So, reluctantly, I did just that.

I've mentioned it before, but the mental games that come with this injury are by far the hardest. I look fine by all accounts, and if you saw me at my desk (and didn't see the walker), you would never know I'm two weeks post-op. And the reality is I don't know if anyone really knows how much it takes a toll on me.

Something I have mastered over the years is the stoic face while in the midst of a crisis. Maybe it's the years of PR training, maybe it's my Eastern European heritage, who knows. The point is, in a crisis, I will never show my cards. You will never see me cry (unless you are deep in the inner circle), you may see a slight fluster, but that's it. When my son took a ball to the ribs at practice and dropped, I portrayed the calm parent, but on the inside, I was screaming. When my daughter went through a fence on her horse and flung to the ground, I didn't scream, I didn't yell, I was calm on the outside. In the midst of all of this, I've shown a calm face, a smile, an "I'm totally okay" but inside I'm screaming, I'm wailing, I'm defeated.

Staying home on Friday was a giant pity party. I was upset with myself. Upset that I couldn't make it another day in the office. That I was weak. I cannot tell you how many times I was reminded that I'm still healing, that I'm actually probably going too fast. I was reminded of all that I've accomplished in the two weeks, and yet, it's not good enough for me.

I know this is going to be a long process. I know this is going to be a challenge both physically and mentally. I'm thankful for my friends and family who talk me through my pity parties. The amount of support I have is ridiculous honestly. It's so much more than any one person normally has, and I am so grateful for it.

Each day brings a new victory and I'm hoping to accomplish more this week than last week. And by accomplishing more, I mean actually work and go places, not accomplish watching more documentaries on Netflix.

Only 3 more weeks with the walker. Okay, 3 weeks, 4 days, and 16 hours from the moment I write this. But who's counting? Me...that's who.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

With Patience Comes Healing

I'm officially two weeks post op today. It's been an extremely long two weeks. I have been tested physically but mainly mentally/emotionally.

The first week literally beat me up. I cried, I screamed, I threw pillows and I threw several pity parties for myself. It sucked. It sucked so much.

Week two just messed with me. I was physically feeling better. I was splitting time between the upstairs and downstairs. I was going out of the house. Everything was getting easier. But I still couldn't do everything I wanted to do,  and really I still can't.

The surgeon was great today. I think he enjoys the fact that I am significantly younger than most patients for this surgery, so I'm an exception to his rules. He cleared me to drive, he cleared me for work, and he cleared me to start putting 20lbs of weight on my leg. I don't really know what that would be, so to be safe I just won't do more than just tap my foot on the ground.

I am incredibly thankful for everyone that has either come over to hang, texted me ridiculous things to make me laugh, flown down from Chicago (what up Tay Tay) and most importantly fed my family. Honestly, I don't know what we would have done without all those meals!

I'm pretty excited to head back into the office tomorrow, I even get to drive myself (shout out to the Doc for getting that approved!). Now let's hope these next four weeks fly by!

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

But the Reality is...

That this sucks. This whole experience has been on the most mentally and emotionally draining experiences of my life. I have cried more over the dumbest (well, in my mind) things and have had full on breakdowns.

Today I went to my GP so I could get a referral for my follow-up with the surgeon (yeah, I don't get it either). While I was there the nurse asked if I had been feeling depressed and I laughed and said well I have been in my bed for a week so...

But the reality is I have been, how could you not be? The highlight of my day yesterday was that I can downstairs and got to sit on a barstool. I can't sleep because I'm on my back, which I'm sick of being on my back.

I can't do anything alone. I have to have someone on hand for everything. I'm an insanely independent person so the fact that I need Scott to get me in and out of the shower, car, you name it, makes me insane.

I also know people are walking on eggshells to a point to not upset me or give me a case of FOMO (that's fear of missing out, Mom), but the reality is, it sucks. I know everyone else is living their best life, you don't have to hide it. Scott felt guilty for running the other day and I laughed. Why? It sucks, but it is what it is.

I know this is going to be a long process and it's only starting (151 days until July 1st, thank you, Shelly!). Each day will have its own unique struggle, but it will also have its own unique little victory. Today's victory? I made it downstairs, in the car, and into the doctor's office with no pain.

Only 151 more days to go...

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Best Laid Plans

My plan for 2019 was big. Well, not huge, but my plan was to get as close as possible to a 2:15 half, to run races I hadn't done before, to start cycling, and maybe do some duathlons. But as we know, the best-laid plans go awry.

Let me set the scene for you...I found a bike. Okay, I didn't find the bike, my husband's friend found a bike. I fell in love with the bike. It was white with light pink accents. It was beautiful. I went away to Jekyll Island with some of my running friends for a 10k and he was set to get the bike. The seller bailed.

No bike.

Then my husband found a red bike for the same price. It was pretty, it was red, it was sassy. It was mine. I got the photo of the bike on the back of my husband's car and I could barely contain my excitement.

I have a bike!

I ordered a helmet, bike shorts, a jersey, gloves, and finally went to get shoes. Now, let me share something about myself. I'm stubborn. You know the phrase stubborn as a mule? That's cute. I'm worse.

I went to a local bike store to get fitted for shoes. I decided I would go straight for clip-in shoes.

Clip-in. Shoes.

Scott tried to talk me out of them, he really did, but realized it was an effort in futility. We got home, I snagged some lunch, put on my adorable running tights and cycling shorts, helmet, and snazzy shoes. Scott had me practice a few times in the garage while he was holding the bike, I had him adjust the tension on the clips so it was easier to clip in and out. I walked my bike to the top of the driveway, hopped on, clipped in and...


I hopped back up. I was totally fine. I got back on, clipped one foot in, threw my other foot up and it wouldn't clip and I wobbled and down I went...hard. Really hard. Like I screamed hard.

I curled up in a ball, I wailed, struggled to get up. Scott got me back into the garage and asked if I was okay. I was in denial. Just get ice, I'm fine. He humored me for thirty minutes and made me get in the car.

Go big or go to the ER, right?

We got to the ER and my leg muscle was spasming. I went for an x-ray and did everything to not flip off the x-ray tech when she asked me to roll on my hip. Oh, the one that is radiating with pain? This one? Throw all my body weight on this? Kiss my ass.

Then we waited. I had an 800 of Motrin and that totally took the pain away. Omg I almost couldn't type that because I was laughing so hard. Anyway, we waited and I heard the page from radiology for my doctor. I could see him from my bed and I saw his head tilt when he looked at his computer. Shit. Then I saw him walk to the printer. Well shit. Then he walked towards my room. I looked at Scott and said, "I broke something."

I was right.

I broke my femur right at the socket. I was lucky because I was pretty compressed so it never displaced. But nonetheless, I broke my femur.

Everything after that was rapid fire. I heard surgery, maybe tonight, don't drink any water, you're getting admitted. I just stared and tried to wrap my head around the fact that I now would not be able to run the half marathon I was signed up for on Sunday.

I was admitted shortly after and spent the night waiting. The next morning I met the surgeon. I would be getting 3 pins placed in my femur.

I'm friggin' bionic.

Or something like that.

Anyway, I had surgery and spent another day in the hospital. Huge shout out to my friends for coming and keeping me company (and for the snacks!).

I've been home since Wednesday and it's been an adventure. I'm stuck in my bed until my follow-up and I have the sweetest walker this side of the nursing home. I already know that I'm probably not running until July at the earliest and it's killing me. Now I just wait and see what the plan is for rehab and moving forward.

I really do want to say thank you to everyone that has checked on me, visited, brought my family dinner, sent flowers, sent inappropriate memes, you name it. Thank you to my sister for coming down to help out, even though I think the main reason you came down was to skip the sub-arctic temps in Chicago.

But I couldn't do it without Scott. Thank you for letting me freak out, throw a pillow, cry, sob, wail, cuss, and have the biggest pity party. Thank you for being the best nurse I could have!

Now let the countdown to July begin....

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

2018 Recap and Plans for 2019

Part of me is surprised that it is 2019, and then the other part of me is like OMG finally! 2018 was kind of a really long year, is it just me?

2018 had its share of challenges for me, but it also had a ton of milestones. I completed my first (and only?) Goofy Challenge. Yes, that's 39.3 miles in two days...back to back...because I'm clearly Goofy. It was some of the coldest conditions I've run in for the half and then for the full, we had a 20-degree temperature swing from race start to finish. It was disgusting! But you know what? I did it, and I bet my previous marathon time. And it did it all with my squad beside me.

I also crushed the Princess Half Marathon. I have been chasing a finishing time of 2:30 for a long time and this year I wanted it more than I've ever wanted anything in my life. I ran with two members of my squad and they got me to mile 7.5 ish before telling me to run and if they caught me they'd kick my ass. It was when I hit the fountain in EPCOT after the turnaround that I knew I could do it. It was within my reach. I dug as deep as I could and when I passed the 2:30 pacer that I had lost around mile 5 I started to tear up. I did it. I did it with seconds to spare, but dammit I did it.

Oh, and I did this little thing called the Chicago Marathon. My niece and I signed up through ALZ Stars and planned to run together. Somehow I got a 43 minute and change PR. While that was awesome, nothing, and I mean nothing, beats running those 26.2 miles with my niece. To see how far she has come in her running and to
have her right there with me was the best thing I could have ever asked for.

I do not have any big races planned for 2019. Right now my focus is to run races I've never done before. I want to explore. I want to work on speed. I want to work on stamina. Basically, I want to be the best version of me, both running and personally, that I can be. I cannot wait to see what 2019 brings me. Thank you 2018 for serving me a giant slice of humble pie, now watch in 2019.

Monday, December 31, 2018

Parenting Corner: Leading By Example

The past few years I have been lucky enough to work somewhere that allows me to have the time between Christmas and New Years off to spend with my kiddos. Not only does it make it easy as far as childcare is concerned it also gives me and the kids a chance to have some time together, just the three of us. I always try to find things for us to do that are new and exciting. This year I added a volunteer aspect to our adventure. We would spend two days with the kids at the Central Florida Dreamplex Dream Academy Camp. 

The Central Florida Dreamplex is an amazing organization. They give children and adults with physical and developmental disabilities the opportunity to grow by meeting recreational, fitness, and social needs. I became aware of the organization a little more than two years ago through a friend that works there. I hold this organization very near and dear to my heart and if my schedule allows I jump at the chance to help out. I was thrilled the kids would be able to help this year with me. 

Now I also had my concerns going into two days at the camp. And let's be serious, what was I thinking signing up for two days not knowing how the kids would handle one!? I had a feeling my dude would be fine, but my little miss? She was another story. I knew they were both overwhelmed when we arrived. It is a lot to take in when you do not know what to expect. I was so pleased that they both settled in and by the end of our shift they were begging to come back the next day. 

I cannot even fully express the feeling I had when I looked over and saw a child sitting in my son's lap and the way he was speaking to him. It was so sweet, so tender, so caring. And my daughter? To see her running around with the kids in the gym and treating them like any other kid made me happy beyond belief. After two days, they both made the comment that the kids at the camp are just kids and should have the same opportunities as everyone else. I knew at that moment I made the right decision in bringing them there. Their eyes were opened and their hearts a little fuller. 

Now, I didn't write all of this as a humble brag. At the end of the day I simply want my kids to be caring human beings (read: I don't want to raise assholes). I want them to be the first to invite someone to sit with them. I want them to stand up for others. I want them to be the ally that someone may desperately need. The only way I can think to do that is to show them. At the camp, they became at ease once I was on the ground with the kids and had someone in my lap playing. We as parents need to show our kids what we want to see in the world. 

I am not the perfect parent by any means (literally the day after they did these amazing things one threw a shoe at the other and gave them a black eye...see it's all about balance), but it is my hope that maybe, just maybe I can get through to them and they will be the caring global citizens that I would like them to be. And who knows, maybe this will be their passion in life? 
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