Thursday, April 30, 2009

Relief . . .

Just back from a soul-filling 13K run. All is right with the world right now. :)

Need to climb back up on the (proverbial) horse . . .

I haven't gone for a run since the last post. I think the last seizure really took a chunk out of my confidence. I need to get out there today just to get some humanity back. Seizures don't usually leave me with this much residual 'depressive' feelings because I am so used to them. I don't know why but I don't want to analyze it.

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

Post ictal thoughts . . .

I have seizure. I am done. All I can think about is pain. Not physical pain, but soul pain. I feel pain deep in my thoughts. I feel alone and I cannot share these feelings with anyone because no one has a scrambled egg of a mess of a brain as I have. I want to understand what is going on in a plausable way in my head, but there is no answer. All I can remember is a day I was caught in the rain and a thunderstorm trying to find a way to the hospital in North Bay when I knew I was going to have a seizure. There was no way I was going to get there in time and I could not find help on Jane Street. I ended up having a seizure on someone's porch on Jane Street, alone. In the rain - because the porch didn't provide enough shelter from the storm. No one came to the door. That is how I feel right now. Alone. Because no one can help me and sometimes I am tired of being the only one who can deal with this. Alone.
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

17K run . . .

Sunday I ran 17K. I probably thought a year ago that would never be able to say that without lying. Well, I can honestly say I ran 17K. It's amazing how far I've come. I was sore Monday, mostly my abs and my quads, but 90% of the soreness came from my abs.

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

Quickly getting over leg injury . . .

I suffered a bit of a setback at the beginning of this week. I pulled my calf muscle in my right leg and had to rest it for a couple of days and ice it. I didn't run for 3 days because of this. I couldn't take any Advil, since I am developing a little gastritis/ulcer from all the Advil I've been taken. It didn't matter, though, because without the Advil, the muscle seemed to recover on it's own. Yay!

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

Disappointing long run . . .

Yesterday was a disappointing day. I ran only 15K when I was supposed to do 16K. That might not seem that bad, but the first 2/3rds of the run were right into the wind and it just sucked the energy right out of me as it continued. I just couldn't get any sort of ideal pace up. I just remained so damn slow throughout. The only time I picked up the pace was when the wind was behind me for a short 5K and by that time, I was just drained and couldn't capitalize on it at all. I am just going to be so damn slow through this race. If I keep this up, it is going to take 3+hours to complete. I am keeping up the endurance, but am not improving on speed at all.

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

Thoughts about my job . . .

Today I got a nice little present from a pharmacist at work. She bought me a latte from *$ for setting up a printer on her computer at her work station. As a nurse, you have to be a plumber, an electrician, IT, McGyver, therapist, maid, cook, problem solver, saviour, etc, etc, I find. All things to all people. I just want to fix things and make people content.

I don't talk a lot about my job on my blog. Maybe in order to be sane, you have to leave everything there, "compartmentalize" the stuff that goes on there and don't bring home the drama and tragedy that numbs you to it. I don't know if that is good or bad in the long run, but it gets me through the day, and I feel I better handle it than some. I've seen what it's done to people I work with. Divorce, high blood pressure, mental problems, anger, stress, relationship difficulties. I don't want to bring it home so it consumes me and live it beyond the confined of the hospital. People should only be exposed to that kind of stress a couple of times in their lives - the death of a loved one, a close call, a serious health scare, an accident. We are exposed to this on a daily, sometimes hourly basis. I've seen evidence of what it's done to me. Higher blood pressure at work, stress, anger, more seizures, lack of sleep, previous lack of care about my own health before I started taking care of myself. Running has really helped and concentrating on putting goodness and nutrients rather than crap into my body. The dogs have helped. It makes me realize how precious our human life is and how fleeting it is. We can go for an instant from nurse to patient, to deceased. How many dead peole have I talked to right before the end? How many last words have I heard? Too many.

This reflection has come from the news that a former fellow nurse much younger than myself is dying of cancer. She has two children that are so young now, that they will not remember her when they grow up. That is sad.

Something I found on Facebook:

"Patients aren't always satisfied with how well nurses communicate," a recent Medicare survey revealed. Well, nurses had no trouble communicating with me after I defended them (last) Sunday. Nurses from recovery rooms, coronary care, pediatrics, geriatrics, ER and Trauma units e-mailed me across the country. Here's what they had to say:

Come walk in our shoes for a 12-hour shift. Come see the joy, the tragedy, the comedy, the 100 ways we are pulled and pushed, then rate my "pleasant greeting", "answers call light in timely fashion", "states name of patient."Use the bathroom now, because you might not get the chance again until your shift ends.

Wear comfortable shoes. Don't worry if they're clean. They'll end up with blood and vomit on them.

We are the patient's advocate, the doctors' eyes and ears, and everyone's scapegoat. We can page your doctor but we can't make that doctor magically appear. We check your stitches, wipe your blood, drain your pus and empty your bedpan. Nursing is a tough job, but we're tougher. We've been yelled at by administrators, supervisors and doctors. We've been kicked, slapped, punched, spat on, and sexually harassed by patients in various states of delirium, mental illness, arrogance, and intoxication. We've even had chairs and food trays thrown at us. We work mandatory overtime, weekends and holidays. We eat Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners with coworkers.

We deal with families who ignore visiting hours, bring food to patients on restricted diets, and insist on staying the night even though it's not a private room. We deal with the Florida son who orders us around to show a parent he's neglected for years that he cares.

We cannot be at your side every waking minute. We have 10 other patients. We cannot answer 5 call lights at once. We can't stop doing CPR on a patient because you ran out of tissues. We are not maids, beauticians, or cocktail waitresses. We are professionals with college degrees. We hate that we can't spend more bedside time with you.

Swearing at us will not make us move faster. Taking better care of your health would help. Quit smoking. Lose weight. Start exercising. Stop drinking. How do we survive? We ignore the nasty comments, the demanding relatives, the crazy staffing grids. We count to 10 before speaking. We pray every morning for strength and wisdom, patience and empathy. We drive home tired and frustrated, telling ourselves over and over, "I'm not the nurse I want to be, but I'm the best nurse the hospital staffing allows me to be." We fall asleep praying for the ones who won't survive the night. There is no finish line, ever.

Nursing is demanding, fulfilling, and we can't imagine doing anything else. Nothing beats washing blood and glass off a car crash survivor, stabilizing a broken neck, saving a diabetic's leg, keeping a cancer patient in remission. The day we send a patient home we relish the unbelievable resilience of the human body and spirit.

We did not become nurses for the hours, the salary, or the glamour of it all. We became nurses to make a difference. We don't ask for much. One sincere Thank You makes all the thankless hours worth it."

PS: I wish Nicole & her family all my sincere sympathies. I wish things had turned out better for you. You deserved better.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

No med changes . . .

I was at neuro clinic today and I don't have to change my meds at this point. That makes me happy.
Running is going well, I'm getting better and better, slow and steady.
Not much else to report. :)