Thursday, December 31, 2009
I am thankful of 3 fantastic furry daughters (one of whom is farting away right now and doesn't smell so fantastic), healthy parents, great friends, I'm running, I'm alive, I have a job and a good life right now.
I hope everyone has a great 2010 and it finds everyone healthy, wealthy (or wealthier) and wise!
Live long and prosper.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
I'm allergic to the new antibiotics, Septra, so I have to go back and might get the PICC line back in. Boo hoo. Not happy. Oh well, the sutures are out. The skin coming off the hands is gross, but what is really gross is the skin coming off the bottoms of the feet in large and thick sheets. Uggh. Think worse blisters ever. I just coat the feet in Penaten (sp?) zinc cream, wear two pairs of socks and get out there and ignore it.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
I get there and make it to the pre-surg clinic with a little help from some volunteers inside the hospital. I was taken into the back right away (so lucky, since I didn't have the strength to sit in a chair.) I lay in a stretcher while nurses and doctors came to look at me with pity for what was hours, but for me, was a well-earned rest. I slept a lot of the wait.
I was brought into the hall outside the OR room and met with the surgeon and his residents. They used me as a teaching example of a bad drug reaction. The anesthesia person and her medical student felt sorry for me and gave me IV Benadryl. I could not stop scratching the inflamed skin. I would have scratched more, except I would have frequent waves of weakness. Finally I was brought into the room. I could not wait to be 'put under' if only to be taken away from the torture of itching and pain for a brief time.
I woke up in the recovery room in an instant. That is what it always feels like, that you close your eyes in one second and wake up in the OR in another. The time on the clock looked like 5 hours had passed. I was spending the night in the recovery room, but I was rolled to the other side of the recovery room. I had an IV going, pumping fluid into me. I had counted 3.5L of fluid going into me during the night, but I didn't pee hardly at all. I slept rarely, and when I did, it was only for a half hour at a time. I got pain meds and benadryl every 4 hours. I texted K and she would pick me up in the morning to bring me home.
I looked horrible over the next couple of days. The drug reaction continued. My skin swollen, then shrunk as I started peeing again. Some of the rash looked permanently tattooed to my body and is still there to this day 10 days later. The top layers of skin all started falling off. I gradually started seeing my eyes again, everyday the swelling started going down and down. The weakness continued for days and just these past few days that I have started walking in the neighbourhood, 3K, 5K, etc. Hopefully, my strength comes back and I can start running again. The IV PICC line is still in my arm, but they have started me very slowly on another antibiotic and I am just nervous that I start having another reaction, or the infection comes back with a vengence.
Day by day.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
I don't know how much longer I could have waited. I probably would be dead.
Monday, November 23, 2009
I've been having fevers and feeling weaker steadily since Thursday. Saturday night, everything went to hell. I started in full rigors, shaking, clenching teeth, the whole thing. I started taking acetaminophen to try and break the fever all night and started burning up in fever. I almost considered calling 911 during the night, but I figured that if I got some tylenol in me, I could get a handle on this.
By the morning, the fever was broken and I was drenched in sweat, but got up and let the dogs up when I passed out in the kitchen. Oops! The room was still spinning when I let the dogs in and fed them from the sitting position on the floor. I got up to find the phone just in case and fell again. Oops! This time, I knew the infection was probably in my blood. I wasn't sure how much time I had to be conscious, especially if this was sepsis so I had to make a decision. Time to call in the professionals. I unlocked the front door, put the dogs in the spare bedroom, went to go lay down and called 911. They were there within the minute from what it seemed to me. I had 4 fairly good looking guys all in my bedroom staring down on me. Of course, when something like this happens, your house is a mess (more messy than usual). I was just soaked in sweat. I looked sooo sick. They took me to the hospital right away. I was in an ER bed being treated within 30 minutes of calling 911.
Tons of blood tests, wound swabs, IV antibiotic and fluids, CT and chest x-ray later, the infection has finally spread to the lymph/blood. It took awhile! Just shows how stubborn I am. I kept an infection at bay (with IV antibiotic help) for two weeks. The infection still hasn't spread to my brain or my lungs yet and they wanted to admit me for more IV antibiotics (there are no beds in the hospital so I would have spend a couple of days in the ER), but I can do this at home (hell, I do it for a living). So now, I'm giving myself the IV Vanco and the IV meropenum. Home care and the pharmacy were a little upset I was being discharged, but everything is going well so far this morning and I feel weak, but no fever. The pain is worse around the wound and the lymph nodes around it are particularly sensitive, but the T#3s are okay for now. The great thing is my surgery will be moved up and I expect a call soon.
I have a whole team of unofficial home care nurses that are hard asses on me and a few official ones. Right now, I'm just laying low and waiting. Thanks for everyone's support. I'm just planning my next training programme and readjusting my goals. I'm planning on restarting this 100 runs in 100 days starting January 1st!
I will not let this get me down!
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
I have absolutely no appetite today except for coffee.
Friday, November 13, 2009
Check them out so the web bots will find them! Their new site isn't being picked up by search engines yet.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
A picture of my new PICC line in my upper right arm.
I got a PICC line put in on Monday. Everything went fine, but I was nervous leading up to it. I had to spend most of the day at the hospital for the PICC line insertion, then going to the ID clinic for my first dose of IV Vanco and doxycycline. The IV Vanco took 90 minutes! I wish I had brought a book or something though, because the time went by soooo slowly. I have not felt like reading lately, but maybe I should start ordering some books and start on them. Home Care came and saw me and said that all my equipment would be coming to the house. It arrived shortly after I got home. Medical supplies have taken over my house. Boxes and boxes. The bags of IV Vanco have taken over the fridge. I have an annoying little CADD IV pump that is easy to use (I've already found out the code and adjusted the times), but is really a pain to lug around.
The home care nurses are supposed to come and attach the IV CADD pump, change the dressings and the idea is to leave the IV attached to the PICC line for 24 hours and it is supposed to give me my two 12 hour doses, plus a TKVO dose during the day, but I can't handle having the little blood pusher attached to me all day, so I disconnect it and flush my own PICC line so I can try and live as normal as possible. I don't think the home care nurses have a problem with this (that I have encountered so far), since they know what I do for a living and they are too busy as it is, but I am trying to work as close to the surgery date as possible (a date I have not gotten yet).
I worked one shift with the PICC line in and I gave myself the Vanco during evening shift. An arm warmer helped hide the existence of the PICC line very sufficiently. My great co-workers changed my PICC line dressing for me also.
I am really, really sad and frustrated at the fact that I had to stop running Sunday. The pain is too great and you can feel the ripping through the skin of the chest, no matter what I wear on top of it. I am replacing that with speedwalking, but it just not seem to be the same. I just hope I can start running as quickly as possible after all of this is done. I am trying to keep up my milage just the same, but of course it's going to drop from the last month (my highest month and weeks ever were just previous). I would like to keep myself above 30K no matter what.
This is how far the stimulator has come out since my last dressing change.
PS: I woke up with absolutely no pain this morning! *cross fingers, cross fingers* I can hardly believe it. It's such a beautiful day outside too. I am sooooo very tempted to disconnect myself from the IV and go for a run. Really. Later on this afternoon though, when the IV is done and my next dressing change is done, I might just get into my running clothes and do another speedwalk around the neighbourhood and see how it goes and maybe do a light jog if things remain the way they are. I am just feeling so wound up I could really use a run for sanity.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
Today though, I pulled off 7+Km but I don't know how. The pain over the stimulator is insane right now. The small hole that all the drainage was coming out of has gotten bigger and you can actually see the stimulator through the hole in my chest pretty clearly. I don't know if the pain if from the drainage or the hole actually ripping, but it pretty much stops you in your tracks when you are running. Everything is pretty much bundled up pretty tight on my chest so there is no "bouncing" to aggravate the stimulator area, but I think the stimulator is doing its own bouncing in there in amongst its pool of filth that it is festering in. Uggh.
I promise to myself though, that if I do finally break this challenge, that I pretty much have to be dialing 9-1-1 while doing it. I have ran myself to the ER before though!
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Saturday, October 31, 2009
It was the worse news possible I could hear. I am actually taking it as well as can be expected, because I am trying not to look down the line at my future. One step at a time is all I can take right now.
I am sooooo grateful for the support of my family and friends. It takes some of the everyday stressors that you have to worry about with such a burden so much easier. I won't have to worry about Peanut, Latte or Stella or anything like that.
I plan on working right through the PICC line and antibiotics crap, but I obviously will not be able to work after the surgery and the post op period. Hopefully, I can get back ASAP after that post op stuff is over (I am hoping 4 weeks, but they let you back after 6 weeks). but that might not be up to me. I really hate how Occ Health would want to keep me out longer.
My running milage this week has been fantastic. I've been under so much stress since this has started and running long has really helped the stress and thinking about everything. I hope I can continue running for as long as possible, but I don't know how much I will be able to do after the surgery. I will probably keep up with walking though, until cleared for running.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Running is great. It was in the rain and almost soul cleansing. Unfortunately, when I came back, I get a voice mail saying my doctor wanted me to report to ER right away and I was to have a neurosurgery appointment (with a different surgeon than the first one) on Friday. Things are finally moving fast, but it is very overwhelming and I am not handling it very well. I have decided not to report to ER tonite, but will first thing in the morning. I have theatre tickets for tonite and we are going out to dinner and I want to have fun and forget this stress first.
I can't go to the doctor right now. I have no one to look after the dogs. I have to work. I have to run. And now this thing has chosen the most content I have been in a long time to attempt to come out of my chest like a little alien. I am so pissed off about this. Uggh. How long can I go trying to forget this is happening to me? At least until next week? I hope I have that long.
PS: The image is not of my actual breast. This is the lump the VNS has made underneath the tissue above the breast. Its like I actually have three lovely boobs. Uggh. That is actually drainage coming from the ulcer site. It is clear (thankfully) with a yellow tinge to it (for all my nursing friends).
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Today, I'm going to have my mid week longish run, tomorrow, I'm going to have a smaller distance run, then Friday I'm going to do my long run. I'm just going to do my regular run commutes on the weekend, and pick up again next week. Nice!
Monday, October 19, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
I might just do 2010K in 2010.
Monday, September 21, 2009
After what I thought was a quiet couple of weeks, I have a seizure last Wednesday and one today. Uggh. Seizures suck. I actually knew yesterday that I really pushed last weekend, with running (although they were easy runs) about 19K over two days, and waking up early (for me) for the Army Run. Plumb tuckered myself out and probably brought on today's little incident. Now I feel drained and I'm trying to counteract it with coffee. It never works. Post seizure tiredness does not respond to coffee. It never stops me from trying though.
The Army Run was amazing though. I woke up a little late and I wanted to run 5K downtown to the start line for the 5K, run the 5K, then after the M&G, run home the 5K for a total of approximately 15K for Sunday. Well, I was fussing around the house for wardrobe ideas, because it was cold in the morning, and I knew it would warm up fast during the morning, so by the time I got to the Pretoria Bridge, I saw the leaders of the 5K speed past. And, of course, Colonel By Drive was blocked for the race, so I couldn't have even crossed to get to the start line. Oh well. *roll eyes* No big deal. I saw J race by and she saw me.
I finally got downtown and headed for the pre-half-marathon hoopla. Met up with a few people, saw D and A and C, and a few others. Got to watch the big cannon go off for the start. Wow, what a noise!
Met up with J and J at Starbucks and we walked up to Pretoria Bridge to see the leaders of the half come and cheered on everyone else. It was perfect weather for a race!
I found out that the article in iRun about me came out that day, and I got to see people looking through the magazine at the post-race hoopla. It was a wierd feeling that so many people were reading about an article about what I face all the time. I hope people realize that I try to make all that a small part of my life and not all of it. It's funny how I hide or underscore that part of my life with my running or social friends and now they will all know about it. I also think that I really don't "fit" in as well as running friends because I'm a beginner, and I don't have the fitness level as many of they do. Something like my health condition just separates me more. Socially, you just can't date people if they know about it, and if they do know about it, it just doesn't last long, because you gain another "mother," in my experience. Boyfriends in the past have just become too obsessed over how you are feeling, or the amount of seizures, or afraid something is going to happen. I hate that. It just makes me feel more separated and less "normal." I don't hide it in my professional life, because I do use my health experiences to understand and deal with patients to make me more empathetic towards what my patients are going through. Also, if you are open about it in your professional life, it becomes harder for an employer to discriminate against you, because everyone knows they are doing it and the employer is more aware of hiding anything that might seem discriminatory. They still do it, but just in a more underscored way.
PS: You can read the article here: http://www.irun.ca/issues/article.php?id=203&intIssueID=12#Carrie or pick up the magazine at any Running Room. I want to thank Jo-Jo for nominating me. It is a special thing to think that someone actually finds what you do to be inspiring. I guess it makes me feel all warm inside, but there are so many people that inspire me that I never really thought that other people would feel the same thing about me.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Please visit this site to find out more if you are interested in an explanation:
The implantation of the second unit didn't go as well as the first, and it is believed that the tissue holding it in place broke or ripped, making the device slip out of place in my chest, allowing pulling on the wires that go up my neck. This has resulted in constant pain and tension up my neck from the wires and surgical adhesions (scar tissue) grow around the device and break with activity, also resulting in pain. I haven't had a lot of problems lately - it seemed I had reached a point of enough scar tissue had grown around the device to actually hold it in place for an extended period of time.
On Friday, though, I irritated the wire by patient care at work. The wire is threaded subcutaneously over my collarbone and somehow I stretched the wire and irritated it a lot. The next day, the swelling and pain was spreading up my neck and became very visible. It didn't abate all weekend. I had to call in sick on Tuesday, since the pain and swelling got bad enough to not allow me to sleep very well the night before. I thought it got better on Tuesday night and I was able to sleep. I think the swelling has gone down significantly today, so I'm not as concerned. I just have to learn to be more careful. I just hate that I have to be so careful with this implantation when I didn't have to be the last time. Scar tissue, I guess, isn't so stable and is subject to ripping.
Work is going well. I just hate that I am doing my job as best as I can and am probably doing it better than I used to with a better attitude, but I am still being judged on what I cannot help. It's not in the forefront, I just know it is happening. Paranoia? I don't think so. My next meeting to see how competent I have been this past month is near the end of September. I have done my best. I work surrounded by nurses that have less experience, less critical thinking skills, less caring, less nursing skills, less stress coping skills, less knowledge and I will still never be as good of them because I am epileptic and that is a label that sets me apart, even though it is not apparent to the visible eye and I don't work like I have any deficit at all. It just sucks.
Running is going really well. Dropping down to the 5K at the Army Run has allowed me to love just running for myself, rather than training for something. I have to learn that I shouldn't just go from training programme to training programme, that I should have space in between to rest my body and mind. It is a hobby, not a job. I like the idea just heading out, with a rough plan, and enjoying the time in my head and the space all around. Beautiful!
Thanks for all your comments . . .
Friday, August 28, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
I had a lot of fun, but even though the trails at my parents' place were technical, they were no match for the trails at Camp Fortune. The hills! J said when racing at a ski hill, expect hills and no doubt, there they were staring you in the face when you got there. I knew this was going to be an incredibly difficult race right off the bat. And looking up that ski hill, that wasn't even the worse of it.
The first hill looked more difficult than it was. It was a steady climb at a doable angle. I was surprised I didn't burn myself out at the beginning, but I kept it slow and steady and ended up dragging up the back of the pack by the top with a few fellow stragglers (more about them later). I walked across the first bridge, as it was only a one person bridge and we were warned about bridges before the race being moss-covered. After that, you ended up under tree cover, but the climb did not end. The climb continued, on and on and on. I did walk a couple of steeper parts for only a small section, but kept on running the rest. Slow and steady was the key. Finally, a downhill stretch and I still stuck with my BOP gang and we became a team. We ran along a flat stretch of a stone road and turned what we found out was the wrong way. One girl stayed at the bottom, one climbed halfway up and came back down, and I continued up to the top of the long, long climb. When someone yelled (it ended up being the sweepers) up at us that we had made a wrong turn, I rolled my eyes and headed back down. The group ended up staying together up the switchbacks through the forest. There were endless switchbacks up and up and up. We all ended up walking most of it. The two sweepers behind us were great. Encouraging, offering advice about the trail, talking, a pair that were a lot of fun. The climb up was endless. I had started to make the decision that the halfway mark at the top of the ski hill, I was going to bail. I just couldn't see myself climbing this much over another 4 km. When we finally got to the top of the ski hill, I sat down on a rock at the water station and got a glass of water and said that I was done. No more climbing. The volunteers asked if I needed a ride down to the bottom and I said that I would walk. The sweepers said that if I was going to walk, they would walk down with me, but they were following the race trail. Then I decided, WTF, I'll finish. It became flat and downhill for a bit, and I gained a second wind, and started to run again. Awesome.
The trail was amazing. The trail was really, really technical. Probably too technical for me but did I have fun. There were more climbs after that and it was beautiful to look down from the top of the hills into the valley below. I wish I had brought a camera. When there became more downhill and flat stretches than uphill switchbacks (of which there were a lot), I started to run with more of a faster pace. It was in this area the enduro leaders were starting to lap me. They were amazing! Leaping, flying over rocks and roots. You could hear them yelling, whooping, singing through the forest (_E_, you were one of the loudest!) They were all so fun and encouraging. I fell around that area into a big lump of mud. Awesome! I was now very dirty! Trail running is so much fun! Finally I got to the downhill towards the finish line and got high-5s from people and I leaped over the finish line with flourish.
I don't know what happened to one of my BOP'ers. The one girl I saw at the end of the race didn't finish and stayed up at the water station. She didn't know what happened to the other girl either. She did say that she said she was continuing on. I didn't see her at the end, but I know from the list of finishers that I wasn't last, so hopefully, she was the one who finished behind me. She said her goal was just to finish because it was a big accomplishment for her. I agreed with her along the way but I wish we could have stayed together. The sweepers were great company and were asking about my epilepsy and the weird sounds the VNS made along the way. They started asking when my breathing started sounding horrible, and that's when they learnt about me being epileptic.
The whole atmosphere was great. I much prefer this kind of race over a big road race anyday. I will be back at this race and I plan on being at the 5 Peaks ARK race in the fall.
Dad came with me, as we drove down from North Bay the night before. He couldn't get over how much fun this race looked. He was busy telling me when so-and-so came in, or who needed first aid, etc. I have to thank him for driving me there today for sure.
Monday, August 10, 2009
I had an interview today with a magazine! That is all I'm going to say about it until the article comes out. Wait for the surprise . . . if you can!
Sad . . .
I stayed home from work today because of a bad migraine that started last night. Probably because of the humid weather that moved in. It didn't really clear up until noon, but the googly, cross-eyes stayed most of the afternoon. I felt a little out-of-sorts. I kept wondering to myself if I sounded a little crazy during the said interview that I mentioned above.
The dogs and I spent some time outside and they spent most of the time in their new little kiddy pool. Everyone was having fun until Peanut started to get all lethargic and panting heavily. She had drank a lot of pool water (but she usually drinks heavily, just not often). She went to go lay down deep into the cedar hedge. I decided she must be hot and called them inside to the central air. Peanut comes in and continues to pant and circles and lies down and gets up and circles and pants, and lies down and gets up and circles . . . well, you get the picture. It didn't look comfortable. She pees on the kitchen floor (a whole lake!) while I try and get her back outside. She does the same thing outside and wants to lie deep inside the cedar hedge. Her tummy looked a little bloated, but not alarmingly so (as in bloat). She remains lethargic. I take her for a little walk around the yard. She poos. She pees. Everything is working okay. I let her inside, where the same behaviour continues and she looks like she wants to go outside again. I take her outside again. She lies in the grass in the shade. I sit in the grass beside her and give her a big hug. Please don't leave me. I don't know what I would do. Please be well. Please don't be in pain. Please let this pass. I'm not sure I can handle something like this. I'm not strong enough to deal with this. My little yellow angel, please be well. She doesn't look comfortable. I consider taking her to the vet, but I don't know for what. She is pooing, peeing, her ears pick up when I say 'supper.' She has bowel sounds. Her pulse feels normal. I dunno.
I google some signs & symptoms of the most dangerous things I can think of - like bloat. She is not displaying anything like that at this time. I feed all three dogs. Peanut cleans her bowl, and proceeds to lick clean both Latte's and Stella's bowl. We all go outside. Latte and Stella go and play and Peanut sits beside me. I give her another bear hug. Please be well. And she lets out a large burp.
After that, she seems to regain some energy. She chases a frisbee, although not in her usual competitive way. We go inside while I eat my supper. She lies on the floor without the 'get-up-pant-circle-lie-down' thing. She looks comfortable. She falls asleep and starts to fart. And fart. And fart.
Happy . . .
I have never been so happy to smell dog fart.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Stella found a yellow jacket nest in the backyard in a crack in the foundation of the house (that I didn't know was there because it was below the grass). They became really aggressive and stung Stella at least 5 times at that time and Peanut at least one in the nose when she went to see what was going on. Latte stayed far, far away because she's a scaredy-cat (and might be the smarter one of the bunch sometimes). I sprayed water on them, because at the time, I thought it was a fallen paper nest somewhere, but they all just poured out of the hole and flew in an angry rage. I just threw the hose down (still running) and ran into the house.
After a Google later, I poured dishwashing machine gel (lemon fresh!) into the hole and ran water, under the theory that the smell and the soap would make them abandon their nest by the morning. Wrong. They were pissed off all night and into the next day. Yesterday and this morning, I thought I should just wait it out until the fall when they all die off and just mono-caulk the crack or call Denis to fix the crack in the foundation and then the problem would just fade away. The yellow jackets could have their space, and I could have mine.
Wrong. The yellow jackets keep going after and stinging Stella, even when she is no where near the nest. I was hanging the laundry and one started buzzing my face. I don't have an epi-pen here and that made my decision. I Googled a BBB pest exterminator (http://www.bbb.org/) and got Capital Pest Control (http://www.regionex.com/). I gave the place a call and he was here in a half hour. He bombed the buggers! The nest will be 'angry' for up to a week, and he said he would return in one week to see the state of the nest and a possible re-bombing. I have a 3 month guarantee with it for only $126 (including GST). Best money spent in a long time. Problem solved.
Now I have to figure out how I'm going to get the laundry back on the line . . .
Saturday, August 1, 2009
I was starting to think about other runners and how people impart their running philosophy on yourself. It's hard to tell people that they are wrong imposing their ideas on yourself, but what works for one person, does not work on others. The reason I started running, and the reason I keep running is not the same as someone else. I just find that long-time runners really emphasize getting faster, winning, speed and I don't think these are goals for me. Those are goals for them. My goals are simple. Keep running. Keep moving. Enjoy. Do new things. Go farther. I am not a competitive person. Maybe that is why I am more excited about the trail race in August and no longer the Army Run. I am actually more excited about the Winterman half than the Army Run, since it is more in adverse conditions.
Maybe that is why I imploded on my run yesterday. I knew this idea of other people's expectations and judgments was weighing on me during my run yesterday.
I like running with K. I didn't like running with other people before. I am slower than most runners and feel like, or am told that I am dragging the group back, but I am out there to enjoy myself just as everyone else and don't mind if people go ahead of me. But the theme of imposition of others saying 'we' are running at this pace and I should try to improve to get up to that pace. I don't enjoy running at a faster pace as of yet. I am slowly improving and I am comfortable with that. That is how you keep running. If it is no longer fun, why get out there? I am not competitive. To me, it isn't about the races, it's about the running.
That is why I enjoy running with K. I didn't think I would. She is much faster than me. But her really long runs are 10K. When we go running, I tell her to run at her own pace, and I'll run at mine. We see each other frequently, because she will stop and rest and I will slowly putt-putt up behind her and meet her. (I'm the turtle, she's the hare.) We both really love trail runs. She doesn't like running in races and it's not my favourite thing either. I think the only thing I like about races is the support on a long run and the closed off route, plus the hoopla that goes with it, and meeting other people. I hate the competitive nature of it. I hate that people can run really well and still be disappointed if they are two minutes off a goal time. It would be nice to add someone else to our small group that has the same running philosophy.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
At work, I am finally allowed to have a patient assignment, although I still have to work with another nurse. I presented another note from my neuro and the hospital occ health doctor still had reservations about having an epileptic working as a staff nurse. I have told him over and over that I've been a staff nurse for years and it wasn't an issue before. What an asshole. Oh well, I am happy I am almost back to normal at work.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
ETA: Those Montrail Hardrocks worked like a charm. I was sticking to rocks like Spiderman!
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
I haven't had any problems as of yet, but I think being extra cautious is the best thing.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
My holidays are coming up and I am thinking of a 'staycation.' I am going to start planning out some activities to do around Ottawa that I have always wanted to do, but never had the time. Some of the best museums in the country are here and I have never been through them. I would also like to see the art gallery and go to Gatineau Park. It is still brewing in my mind and am working on the plan.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
This week hasn't been very good for running. Work, and the damn seizure have cut into my run plans. I'm planning on changing that today though.
My back hedge is getting cut down today by my neighbour. I have mixed feelings about it. On one side, my backyard privacy is getting removed and my quiet is going away. Now every time their young sons scream and carry on, its piercing sound disturbs me even more. On the other side, my backyard extends by 10 feet and the mosquitos should be reduced by a great deal now. The sun will be extended by almost 2 hours on my patio. Hopefully, the fence they are planning on building by the end of the month should take care of some of the privacy.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Sunday, May 31, 2009
I feel so blah. I had a very unmotivated run. I barely made it out there. I just made a deal with myself with just going outside and doing 20 minutes. I'm just mentally blah. I don't know why. Okay, maybe I do. I've achieved this Very Big Goal, and now, my head is going - so what? I'm still in the same place I was in before. I'm not an athlete. I don't have this beautiful new life. I'm still taking all these pills. I still have seizures. Nobody is in the kitchen cooking my supper right now. A big cloud did not open up and all my problems are still in my lap. I guess the post-race let down has begun.
I also did something a little stupid. My bangs were getting a little long and I cut them (I always cut my own bangs), but I cut them so short that I look like a Vulcan now. Great. Maybe I should give Spock a call.
So my solution is just to Keep. It. Simple. If I have to, just go for a 20 minute run a day - until I get out of this funk in my head. Stop thinking negatively. Things happen. Continue on. Set new, small goals. Smile. :)
Monday, May 25, 2009
I was surprisingly calm at the start line, me with my fairy godmother. Maybe I shouldn't have taken that Ativan. Nope, it's a real fairy godmother - Jo-Jo, all decked out in orange tuile, multicoloured flowers around her wrist and neck, a sparkly tiara, and a silvery streamy wand. What more could a girl want running her first half-marathon? Cynthia (Framboisine) found us in our corral (how could she not?). She was running with a bum knee and if she was going to run, she was going to be entertained.
Start Line to the Gates of Hell (Hull - however it's pronounced)
I think the start happened when the long 11 minute walk to the actual start happened. I thought everything was going swimmingly - the weather was beautiful, the temperature wasn't too bad, the company was great. The fairy godmother was blessing other runners and spectators alike. We crossed the Claudiere Bridge and Jo-Jo asked, "Is this Hull?" and then the fires from the bowels of the earth sprang forth and the baking began. Hell (Hull for the Locals) Dante had it all wrong. Hell can be only reached by crossing the Chaudiere Bridge during Ottawa Race Weekend during the Half and the Marathon. It is not composed of 9 rings of sin and fire. It is an endless array of hills and turns with relentless heat, and not a stitch of greenery to be found. It seems in fashion in Hell to grow concrete in your front lawn. You know you are in Hell when they serve petrochemicals that they call 'water' at water stations. The fairy godmother seemed at home in this place. She became bad cop while Frambo became good cop. They switched occasionally when I became incoherent in the heat of Hell. I tried to close my eyes and hoped that I would not die in this place, my body swept aside with the discarded gels and Gatorade cups. I don't think the evil fairy godmother and her partner Frambo would let me. They would just wake me out of my near death experience and make me suffer all over again.
Jo-Jo's Phrase of the Race: "I know you are hot and in pain, but I don't care, that's why they call this a race."
Passed out of Hell and onto the Alexandria Bridge. There was such a lovely cooling breeze coming down the Ottawa River. I wanted to stop and let it take all the heat and pain away, but my captors would not let me. The silvery wand turned into a whip and I was herded into Purgatory (downtown Ottawa). I was just happy to see a grade that could finally be catagorized as "flat" or "downhill." Maybe that gel I took in Hell (my first gel - I was that needy) finally started to work, but my legs started to find something in them again and I started into a shadow of my goal pace again. I thought I was starting to feel a little better again along the Colonel By side of the Canal. But it is Purgatory - Frambo's knee started to get aggravated again. My heart sank when I looked across the Canal and saw other half-marathoners on the Queen Elizabeth side getting close to the finish. I knew I had a long way to go until I was in their shoes. Stopped for a pee break in a portapotty just before Bronson Bridge. I thought I was going to have to call medical to get me off because my legs kept holding me down. I told my legs that Purgatory wasn't the place to stay, we had to continue. So off we went. I started to get a little fuzzy in the details after Bronson Bridge. All I remember is swearing a whole lot, with my fairy godmother and Frambo dancing ahead of me, yelling at me not to stop running. My legs told me not to listen to them, that they were silly. Fairy Godmother and Frambo told me not to listen to my legs. I was confused. They kept telling me we were almost there. I knew we were not. So confused. Legs were making sense though, they hurt! But Fairy Godmother and Frambo wouldn't hear of it. I think I hated them then. At 3K to go, I was asking anybody's god would just come and end this or make the finish line closer. Fairy Godmother and Frambo got mini cowbells and started ringing them at me constantly to keep me running. I then asked all the gods to shove those bells up their rear. Tee hee hee. Up ahead, I see what looks like the finish line. I was so relieved. Frambo decided to play bad cop and say that wasn't the finish line. I yelled **** but had little energy to make it loud enough to display my disappointment.
I ran to the finish line. It wasn't pretty. Marg was there waiting. Everyone gave me a big hug and I think I cried for a few minutes. I then wiped my tears away, got my aluminum looking stole, received my gold spinny medal and went straight for the paparazzi.
A lot of thanks goes out to Fairy Godmother Jo-Jo who was ON MY @SS the WHOLE WAY. I whined and complained for a large part of that 21.1K and she didn't take it at all! Another big thanks goes out to Frambo, who stuck around for the entertainment and got it in spades! The volunteers, spectators and race organizers were fantastic!
My dad was proud of me and said he knew I could do it, but felt sorry for the fairy godmother, because he said that 'you probably bitched and complained the whole way.' My mum has never said she has been proud of me. Not for 40 years. She just realized from my dad how far a half-marathon was. She posted this on her Facebook page that afternoon: (spelling and grammar errors left in)
My daughter who is eptilectic just ran 21.1k in ottawa this am/ am so proud of
her, yes after her operation of a pacemaker she,s been going strong
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Even my year goal of running 1000 km in 2009 is halfway finished. I'm less than 4 km away from 500 km. I can't wait to run the half-marathon, and continue to train for the next one (Army Run in September). Upward and onward!
Friday, May 8, 2009
The half marathon is in two weeks. Sunday is my last long run before the half. I'm confident I'm ready and I feel calm so far going in. Work on the other hand, is causing conflict within my calm inner world. Oh well, not everything can be perfect. Let's just say I would take contentment over happiness anyday. 'Nuf said.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
I took the day yesterday to sit outside in the sun and play frisbee with Peanut, Latte and Stella. They had lots of fun and it took my mind off of the darkness in my head. I cleaned the kitchen too, which helped. I am planning an adventure run. I am not pre-planning a route, just going out to run, do an errand, and enjoy the day. Hopefully that will bring up my spirits. :)
Thank you to everyone that left a comment. I have taken them and used them to heal what this last seizure took out of me.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Om . . . Poor puppy Stella. She is trying to curl beside me but she doesn't understand.
PS (added later): I don't know if the above described post-ictal feelings at all, but at least it was raw and what was true at the moment it happened. Edited for frequent spelling errors. Obviously I can't spell or type after seizures.
Sent on the TELUS Mobility network with BlackBerry
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Most of the run was on the Rideau River Pathway. I'm trying to run on asphalt/pavement more than concrete sidewalks to save my legs as I get up in distance. It seems to be working, because I have more residual soreness in my legs the next day after long distances.
Friday, April 24, 2009
Had a seizure. Ho-hum.
The days are getting warmer and warmer. I can't wait to start complaining about the heat.
The days are getting closer to my first half-marathon. I am getting nervy! I can't place my finger on what makes me the most nervous about the whole race experience. I think it is the crowds. I know I can do the distance.
Monday, April 13, 2009
The only thing that kept me going was the music on my iPod for the most thing. That kept me concentrating on moving forward. As soon as I lost my concentration, I was thinking about my breathing, my feet, my hips, my legs, how tired I was, etc. I also kept thinking about not running the half in May - that I wasn't ready. I'm not sure if I'm burning out, if this is just an small bump in the road, if this is physical exhaustion - I don't know. I might be overreacting. But with this half coming up fast, I should figure this out by this week. I'm running out of time.
I know I left this 'Half-marathon to complete' programme goal time up in the air; I did say I wanted to do it in the allotted time limit. I know I just wanted to complete my first half and just to think that I've been only running less than a year, but as training for this has gone so well, and I have been steadily improving - I've actually formed a goal time deep within my malformed brain of 'sub-3.' I wanted to do this first half race at a comfortable, conservative, enjoyable pace, which to me right now is 8:30/km, but this last run was horribly higher than that. I was going to concentrate on a better time for the Army Run.
I'm going to spend the next week just working hard, hitting all my runs, and reevaluate after next Sunday. If I still feel like this at the end of this week, I may make this week the cut-back week and decide that this is all mental. I know I can finish this. That is not the issue. I can run this like a zombie. It is my mental attitude I need to work on. That is my strength.
I'm going to cheer up this post with some more doggie humour. Stella ate the cord of my blender and my Nike Triax watch band this week. I haven't been using the blender this winter, but I use the blender to make fruit smoothies during the summer. I guess that is not going to happen. This is why I need to start buying cheap appliances now. The crappy thing about the Nike watch (the heart rate monitor strap is fine) is that I can't just go out and get a new band, since it is a completely single unit. I was exclusively using the Garmin now, but was using the Nike watch for work. Crap. It now has become a pocket watch. She started pooping black and was a little worried she finally ate something that caused some damage and she would cost me $$$ at the vet, but the black had red plastic flecks in it that matched the watch band. She was back to normal by the evening. Cleaning up the backyard, I found at least 5 or 6 dishwashing sponges in pieces in the backyard poo-poo mess. I ended up buying some cow leg bones at the pet food store (PetValu) which really grosses me out (I'm a damn vegetarian), but she hasn't chewed anything non-food since they were bought on Saturday. I hope that is the (gross!) solution to her driven need to chew everything in sight.
No seizures this week. Actually, I should state that no seizures got far. The stimulator took care of one. I have noticed these uncontrollable tremors of my legs and arms after that seizure that didn't go far. The pain over the surgical area has gotten a lot worse this week. The adhesions that are attached to the stimulator are horrible. My chest looks more and more malformed. I ran out of duct tape to put over it. I am afraid the pain will not go away this time or I won't get used to it again. I am trying to lay off the Advil this past week because my stomach feels gross again. It might be time to switch over to the Tylenol #1s again. I hate narcotics though. I haven't taken any lorazepam for a month either. I hate taking so many meds just to prevent seizures that are going to happen anyway. My mum and dad keeps researching epilepsy surgeries. I wish they would stop telling me about them and just understand my reason for not going through it. I guess that makes them feel better.
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Speaking about the dogs - last night, while I was sleeping, the dogs started jumping around at the foot of the bed, either wrestling or fighting over spots and the foot of the bed collapsed, which led to the head of the bed breaking through the floor air vent. This woke me up in a hurry and it is just so stressful to be standing in the middle of the night, looking at the destruction that happened in just a few short moments. I tried to go back to bed on a collapsed bed, just for the remaining few hours, but I couldn't sleep on such a steep angle. I tried to put the mattress on the floor, but the steel centre bar of the bed was the only thing that didn't collapse, and this is what was keeping the mattress off the ground, but led to the mattress dipping to the right or the left if there was pressure put on those sides.
Fine. I was up. I took a nap on the couch in the living room, but was just too tired to go to work. Exhausted. Drained. Eventually, I got enough energy to tackle the bed, to see if it could be salvaged and put back together, or else throw out the bed and put the mattress on the ground. I slowly took everything apart and discovered the foot of the bed was weaker because it was put together wrong. I straightened out some of the bent bolts with a hammer, and put the bed together properly (while taking frequent rests since I was too tired to concentrate and got frustrated). After it was all together, I took another long nap.
I slept in the bed last night and everything was fine. But fighting and fooling around are no longer to be tolerated by doggies in the bed.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
The pain is bad lately on my VNS surgical site. I can see a lot of adhesions that have formed and are pulling in the surface tissue. Advil and Tylenol #1s is trying to keep it at bay, but my gut hurts too. These next couple of days off, I'm going to totally lay off the pain killers and hopefully settle the stomach.
Friday, March 13, 2009
Thursday, March 5, 2009
I am getting ever so closer to the 90 lbs lost since January '08 - right now, at 85 lbs lost. I have lost exactly 10 inches off my waist, 8 inches off my hips, and 9 inches off my chest (gulp!). The ultimate goal is Bettie Page's 36-24-36, which is the reason why I am using BPs pics as my avatar on Running Mania all the time (if anyone really wanted to know). Her weight was 128 lb, and my ultimate goal is 130 (I am also the same height that she was).
At the rate I am going, I still have a lot more work to do, but it is now nice to know that it's not just a pipe dream. The measurement I am most proud of - I have lost 17% of my body fat! No private gyms, nobody monitoring my diet, all real world, no private trainers, no TV cameras - all me, all the time. No surgery, just moving my ass - first walking, then running since last May.
The work is still ongoing. I still have a lot of work to do and it has been fun so far. I know that, along with losing all this weight and improving my fitness, I have made a positive life change and there is no going back. I just feel better - more vitality! What running does to your self-esteem is amazing! If you can complete that distance, run up that hill, there is nothing that can stand in your way!
The journey continues . . .
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
I went running this afternoon and I was dressed - TOO WARM . . . could that be a sign? I also don't want to jinx anything, but on my Weather Network jiggy on my laptop, it says that Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday are all going to be above zero. Wonderful!
Seizure on March 1st. Nasty one too. I blame the pharmacy for delivering my Keppra 3 days late. They always make it sound like this is the rarest drug on the face of the earth. NO ITS NOT STUPID PHARMACY PEOPLE!!! Do your job. Idiots.
Spring is coming! Everyone jump for joy!
Friday, February 27, 2009
Epilepsy Facts (from CURE)
Epilepsy affects over 3 million Americans of all ages – more than multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, and Parkinson’s disease combined. Almost 500 new cases of epilepsy are diagnosed every day in the United States. Epilepsy affects 50,000,000 people worldwide.
In two-thirds of patients diagnosed with epilepsy, the cause is unknown.
Epilepsy can develop at any age and can be a result of genetics, stroke, head injury, and many other factors.
In over thirty percent of patients, seizures cannot be controlled with treatment. Uncontrolled seizures may lead to brain damage and death. Many more have only partial control of their seizures.
The severe epilepsy syndromes of childhood can cause developmental delay and brain damage, leading to a lifetime of dependency and continually accruing costs—both medical and societal.
It is estimated that up to 50,000 deaths occur annually in the U.S. from status epilepticus (prolonged seizures), Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP), and other seizure-related causes such as drowning and other accidents.
The mortality rate among people with epilepsy is two to three times higher than the general population and the risk of sudden death is twenty-four times greater.
Recurring seizures are also a burden for those living with brain tumors and other disorders such as cerebral palsy, mental retardation, autism, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, multiple sclerosis, tuberous sclerosis, and a variety of genetic syndromes.
There is a strong association between epilepsy and depression: more than one of every three persons with epilepsy will also be affected by depression, and people with a history of depression have a higher risk of developing epilepsy.
Historically, epilepsy research has been under-funded. Federal dollars spent on research pale in comparison to those spent on other diseases, many of which affect fewer people than epilepsy.
For many soldiers suffering traumatic brain injury on the battlefield, epilepsy will be a long-term consequence.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
2 cups of brown rice
1/4 cup of wild rice
4 cups of vegetable broth
1/2 cup of dried TVP chunks
1/2 cup of vegetarian bolonaise sauce (PC Blue Menu)
Put the above ingredients in rice cooker and set to cook.
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 shallot, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
1/2 cup celery, finely diced
1/2 cup carrot, finely diced
1 red pepper, finely diced
1 can of black beans, drained
rest of bottle of vegetarian bolonaise sauce
pepper to taste
cajun spice, to taste
tabasco sauce, to taste
1. In wok over medium heat, lightly brown shallot in oil. Add diced garlic, celery, carrot, red pepper. Cook until soft. Add black beans, sauce and spices and simmer under low heat. 2. When rice is cooked, add mixture in wok to rice. 3. Enjoy!
Makes plenty+++ Pack for lunches or dinners.
Running since pneumonia is going surprisingly well. I'm picking up and adding milage like I wasn't even sick. I am not liking this little lapse back into winter though, but we are expected to get above 0 Celsius tommorrow.
Stella has been getting back into her destructive self again. I thought that this was slowly going by the wayside, but the past two times coming home from work, she has destroyed stored furnature down in the basement (which is now closed off to her) and last night she destroyed a couple of photo albums (Peanut & Latte's baby albums) and started chomping down on the TV stand. I've been coming home for lunch on 12 hour shifts (and incorporating it into a small run) to alleviate her anxiety (if that is what it is - I'm not sure it is yet) but last night I was just gone for an 8 hour shift. She is more hyper than usual lately. I really don't want to start crating her during the day when I am gone, in case that adds to her anxiety, but I soon might have too. If I leave thinking I have dog-proofed everything, she just goes for stuff she hasn't gone for before.
No seizures again since last post. I am starting to feel a little anxious myself, since it's been a little while, and I'm due. The monkey's back on my back, waiting to strike.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
I am so happy and honoured to have Jo-Jo (aka "Bunny Girl") offer to be my pacer during my upcoming goal race, the NCM half marathon. It will be quite refreshing to have her with me, since I was starting to feel increased anxiety about my first half marathon, even though it is 3 months out. I just want to have fun and get over the finish line during the allotted time. No stress involved. Once the first is over with and I know I can finish one, the second will not be so anxiety-ridden.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
In the meantime, the Blackberry went for a crap, so I need to go to the Telus store and get it exchanged. I was supposed to go to the doctor, but I don't think I'll be able to fit that in. I have to go to the hospital and get my CPR refresher course and I have a Maniac meet & greet in Kanata all tomorrow. I will not be able to do all of these things, plus my run tomorrow, since I do not drive and all of this takes time to go from one place to another. So much to do in one day and so little time!
The furnace is off and I had to call the furnace guy and am waiting for the off-hours guy to show up. Supposedly, someone is supposed to be here in 3 hours, which makes arrival between now and midnight. It is getting cold in here!
Friday, February 13, 2009
On a brighter note, I ordered a Garmin Forerunner 205 today and can't wait to start running with it once I kick this pneumonia is the ass. I got a new fuel belt with it too, all from MEC (http://www.mec.ca/). The fuel belt has a double water bottle holder at the back (one for water and one for my mix of Gatorade/water) and lots of little pockets for gels, cell phone and such.
Luckily, no seizures this week.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Monday, February 9, 2009
Redid the header, changed the layout, Added some permanent pictures of the girls to the side. I hope you like!
Friday, February 6, 2009
I haven't ran since last weekend and I haven't done any worthwhile physical activity since Monday. Blah. The body really, really wants to get out there, especially since the weather is looking more and more favourable, but the lungs have been taken over by an evil entity. I am so running tomorrow, no matter what. If I have to do 1:1s than I will. The great thing is that I have been feeling stronger and stronger with each run and have been seeing improvements lately. I am not worried falling behind in my half-marathon plan, since I changed the plan. I am presently running ahead of the plan, so the amount of runs I have missed this week with being sick is not concerning me at all. I have room to make that up. Plus, spring is going to be so encouraging to get out and run, after running in such crappy, cold weather all winter.
At least Peanut, Latte and Stella are having a good time with me being here all day. Latte and Stella are playing together more. Latte is starting to become more and more confident with playing with Stella. It's good to see. I weighed Stella yesterday, and grew a little concerned about her weight. She is at least 10 pounds underweight for a female puppy her age (and that is 10 pounds underweight of the lower end of the weight range). She is eating like a pig and she is quite active, but she does look skinny for a Lab. I would rather her be underweight than overweight, but because of her activity level, I increased her food to see if she can just add another 5 pounds to her frame. I would be comfortable with her being only a couple of pounds underweight rather than a full 10 pounds underweight.
Luckily for me, I haven't had a seizure with this chest cold. The last time I had a seizure with a serious chest cold, I got pneumonia (probably aspirational), about two years ago. That was nasty. I had to go on antibiotics and everything and almost got hospitalized. I could see why people die of pneumonia. You are so aware of every breath you take because it draws so much energy to do so. I am really pleased with the amount of seizures I have been having since December (I have only had two seizures since then). I haven't had a lot of pain from the surgical site either, but have felt the wires pull in my neck, which isn't painful, but just uncomfortable.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Feeling a little run down and fighting off a cold today. Called in sick to work because I have a cough and chest tightness that has taken over the upper part of my lungs and lower part of my throat. I am hoping that intense hydration and rest might fight it back, since I feel it hasn't taken hold yet.
Peanut, Latte and Stella are quite happy with me calling in sick. I, on the other hand, instead of resting, am looking at all the work I should be doing, like laundry, dishes, sweeping, tidying, . . . I am dying to run today, but that really flies in the face of resting and hydrating and helping my body fight this off. I might do some Power Yoga today.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
1. I wanted to be a coroner growing up.
2. I started out university planning on becoming an environmental lawyer. I left university wanting to get into medical school, but had to wait until my health got better.
3. The last thing I ever wanted to do was nursing. I was considering engineering. Nursing was chosen because my gramma told me I was meant to be a nurse.
4. I miss my Gramma Marcotte every day.
5. I've considered ending my life several times because of my seizures when I was younger.
6. I love being alone.
7. I cannot sleep unless my dogs are with me.
8. I'm terrified of flying and of heights.
9. I love my job.
10. A doctor told me that I have a mild form of Asperger's Syndrome. I don't believe that.
11. Don't ever touch my toes. Ever.
12. I have never been in love. Ever.
13. My epilepsy controls my life more than I let on.
14. I played violin in high school.
15. My life insurance beneficiaries are my dogs. Really.
16. I cut my own hair.
17. I broke someone's heart and still feel a little bad about it, even though it was the right thing to do.
18. I didn't do my taxes last year, but I know I don't owe anything.
19. I can have surgery (a right temporal lobectomy) that might end my seizures, but I refuse on the fear I will be a different person.
20. I have a real hard time meeting new people. I feel nervous and awkward inside.
21. I have a tea cup collection.
22. I rarely watch movies. I'd rather read the book.
23. I don't believe in ghosts.
24. The idea of eating meat horrifies me.
25. I fear my parents' no longer being there for me.