runfessions: running disappointment + a fresh start

Running disappointment is pretty much the theme of these last weeks of the year. I had huge goals and plans, and I fell woefully short, even if it wasn’t my fault. We are entering a new decade, however, and it’s time to air it all out.

Let’s join up with Marcia’s Healthy Slice and talk it out on this last Runfessions date of 2020.

runfessions

I runfess…

That I am incredibly disappointed with how my year in running ended. Accidents happen but this was NOT how I wanted to go down. My goal was 1,019 miles for the year, and I crashed to a halt at 869.14.

running disappointment

I runfess…

That physical therapy is HARD. I’m not one to back down from a challenge, but this is ridiculous. Each 60 minute session with the PT leaves me exhausted, sore, and in need of a nap. I know I should be proud for my progress, but I tend to feel defeated by what I can’t do yet. Diligence is key, and I’m sticking with it, no matter how discouraging it gets.

running disappointment

I runfess…

That I miss being active. Sure, I can do stretches. some cycling, and light weights, but that’s not boosting my heart rate and working up a sweat. I miss the community of running and 9Round. Sitting around has never been my jam, but here I am, sidelined. It’s frustrating and the running disappointment is so very real.

running disappointment

I runfess…

That it’s hard to focus on the “what’s next”? I am registered for several races in the New Year, and one by one, I’m making the decisions to DNS. Part of the reason is I am unable to actually drive myself to said races, even if I could manage to speed walk my way through the distances. It’s been years since I haven’t had solid race plans and I don’t like the way it feels. The running disappointment is real.

running disappointment

I runfess…

That it was weird not receiving any running related gifts this year. Not a one. I mean, I get it. I might as well wait until I’m out of the boot to get new running shoes and whatnot. That being said, I am incredibly appreciative for a pile of new books (now that my brain isn’t foggy from meds, I’m reading constantly). Plus, I now have a new hobby to help occupy my time.

I runfess…

That I haven’t been wearing my Garmin religiously. Since the surgery, all my skin has been hyper-sensitive and the band has given me a bit of irritation. Ugh. Of course, that means I’ve had my eye on new Garmin, and I think I may treat myself to one when I make my comeback. Out with the old, am I right? Maybe the Forerunner 245 Music?

I runfess…

That despite all the running disappointment, I am trying to see 2020 as a fresh start. Maybe, in relearning to walk and to run, I can break some bad habits in form and training. In my efforts to build up my leg, maybe I can push myself with heavier weights and more attention to my weaker muscle groups. The new year might not be starting out as planned, but there’s certainly plenty of room to make something of it. Positive attitude is everything, right?

running disappointment

Here’s hoping 2019 brings you a few more days of wonderful things and that 2020 is full of fresh starts!

What would you runfess?

What do you do when you’re discouraged by your own limitations?

2020 goals: taking on the new year

It’s kind of hard to think about 2020 goals, especially from where I’m sitting with an ankle full of metal and a walking boot. However, ’tis the season, and I think having some clear-cut goals will be beneficial to me.

2020 goals

Lose the Boot.

First and foremost, I have to get out of this boot. My goal date is January 20, and I am doing everything in my power to to accomplish this task. I know I’ll be much happier in a lace up brace, than clomping around in this awful apparatus.

2020 goals

Relearn How to Drive.

This isn’t a fitness goal, exactly, but this girl needs her independence back. I didn’t mind not being able to drive in the early days of my accident when I didn’t want to go anywhere anyway, but now it’s starting to grate. Mr PugRunner has been a freaking rockstar as far as handling everything, but having to ask for rides and making sure it meshes with his schedule is demoralizing.

2020 goals
unsplash-logoJulian Hochgesang

Maintain my Weight Loss.

I told you that dropping some weight was an unexpected side effect of my accident. Well, losing weight has never been a hardcore focus of this blog, nor has it been a primary goal, but I may as well capitalize on the natural consequence. Since November 23, I have really given up most snacking, and I haven’t even been super into dessert. I used to eat ice cream every night, but I can’t tell you the last time I had some. Am I missing it? Not really. No point in reintroducing habits that are no longer in my regimen.

2020 goals
unsplash-logoDavid Calavera

Run a Half Marathon.

I haven’t run a half marathon in a while, and obviously any plans for an early 2019 race were pretty quickly dashed. One of my friends suggested I join her for the St. Jude Memphis Half Marathon and I think that’s going to be the one. I have until December 2020 to train, it’s in a new (to me) state and it’s for a great cause. Mr PugRunner said that when I talk about this race, my face lights up, so I know it’s a great goal.

2020 goals

Run 500 Miles.

While it’s a huge setback, from my days of 1000 mile goals, 500 seems reasonable. My PT team seems certain that I will be back to running so I am going to old myself accountable to that.

racing season

Reach 200 9Round Workouts.

This one is actually a little scarier. The idea of slamming my leg into a heavy bag fills me with dread. However, I love and miss kickboxing and how strong it made me feel. I want to recapture that feeling and get myself back.

october runfessions

Pay It Forward

My family has been the recipient of so many kindnesses and blessings since the day I fell. Sometimes, it’s overwhelming to even think about it. In 2020, a big goal is to pay all that kindness back and forward. Giving of ourselves to others is truly the heart of humanity and community, and I hope I am worthy of the task.

2020 goals

I am linking up for Tuesday Topics with KookyRunner and Zenaida

Please visit these lovely bloggers, plus check out some of the other blogs on the link-up, and don’t forget to share your own post, as well!

What are your goals for the new year?
What’s one thing you plan to do for yourself in 2020?

week #51: winter break + the hint of a christmas comeback

Happy Winter Break! Ok. It’s hard for me to say “happy anything” right now, considering my condition, but little man is off from school for the next few weeks and the holidays have truly begun. Granted, I haven’t been able to participate in much, but things are looking up.

Sunday – rest

Sunday was a bit of a quiet day. For some reason, my leg was bothering me again and I was struggling with sleeping at night. Boo.

I had another visit from some friends on their way out to a night in St. Augustine. These little drop-ins have done wonders for my emotional state. even if I don’t have the energy to get out of bed, I love getting to see my favorite people.

Monday – rest

I was so incredibly excited for Monday because I had my 10-day post-op appointment! Personally, I try to schedule all my appointments as early as possible, but in this case, we go when there is room in the schedule. By the time 3:00PM rolled around, I was out of my mind.

You can read the details here, but the short version is that I was able to walk right out of there, like a (slightly wobbly) boss.

winter break

PS: Mr PugRunner completed his 100th 9Round workout! I am so proud of him!

winter break

Tuesday – walk

Per doctor’s orders, it was time to start walking. Little man played escort on his skateboard, and I found myself able to walk about five houses down my street. I was exhausted, and not at all impressed.

winter break

Little man also made mention that this year didn’t feel very Christmas-y. Of course, I feel awful about it. I love making holidays and occasions magical and special and this year I just haven’t been able to do it. To make up for it let him open a gift from his aunt, uncle and cousins.

winter break

Wednesday – walk

When little man came home from school, he said he wasn’t feeling well. He didn’t have a fever (99.3), but he was tired, didn’t have much appetite, and said his legs were achy. I sent him off to shower and bed, and he was dead asleep by 7:30.

Since he wasn’t able to help me out, Mr PugRunner joined me for this walk, and I got about twice as far. The boot is heavy and awkward, and definitely leads to tiring out way faster than usual.

Thursday – walk

Mr. PugRunner checked on little man in the morning. Still no fever (in the mid 99 range), but still not himself. He had one more midterm so I suggested he go to school, take the test, and then Mr PugRunner would pick him up. With all the flu, strep, and norovirus going around, I saw no point in making him stay if the rest of the school hours were devoted to movies and non-learning.

Usually I am pretty militant about school attendance, but we have been through the wringer and I felt zero guilt about letting him start his Winter Break a little early. He took a massive nap when he got home and that absolutely sealed the deal on my decision.

As an added bonus, we got a beautiful morning nap, with this snuggle bug. I’m taking advantage of all the extra sleep this winter break.

winter break

I had the loveliest visit from my running buddy, S. She took me for my afternoon walk since little man was snoozing and Mr PugRunner was trying to catch up with work. It was so nice seeing her.

winter break

Friday – physical therapy, 60 minutes

I woke up at 4:00 AM on Friday because I was that excited to get started on physical therapy. We were there even before the therapist (yes, I’m that eager). Mr PugRunner waited with me until I filled out all my paperwork and got started, and then he went off to 9Round.

The PT, G, assessed the situation. He put me through some stretches and paid me a huge compliment by saying that I already have great range of motion and strength in my ankle and leg. We discussed more stretches and he put together a print out of homework. He told me that I am going to do great because I seem super motivated, was healthy and active before the accident and acknowledged that I am ready to put in the work.

Before I left, he put me on the recumbent bike for five minutes with no resistance and it felt amazing just to have my hip and knee moving again. Mr PugRunner and I celebrated with a coffee!

Winter break

We were supposed to go out to dinner with a big group of friends, but I was flat-out exhausted from PT and bailed.

Saturday – pt exercises + chest + recumbent bike

I was ready to get moving on Saturday morning. We decided that we could go to our neighborhood gym, because they have a bench where I can stretch my legs for the workouts, and then a bike I can ride for my cool down. While there, I can also do some weights for my arms.

winter break

Following that, we got cleaned up and went to our annual White Elephant party with some old friends. It was a nice afternoon, even though I couldn’t make it the entire time. I was glad that the boys got a little break from taking care of me and it was nice to chat with friends.

winter break

Goal-getting

Our winter break started just a wee bit early, but quite frankly, we could all use the break. I really don’t know what the upcoming days will hold, but I do know I’m getting stronger and stronger and feeling a bit more like myself.

While I won’t be getting in any more miles this year, I am glad that I can start getting some movement back in my ankle and leg. It’s also such a relief that I can do a little lifting, even if it’s limited for balance reasons.

My goals for the week include weaning off my crutches entirely and completing all my PT exercises as instructed. I think both are super attainable.

I’ve also been reading again. My brain was so fuzzy with all the medications and pain that it was hard to concentrate. I’m glad I can use my downtime somewhat productively.

I am linking up with the new Weekly Rundown, with Confessions of A Mother Runner and Running on the Fly! Check them out!

Will you be joining me at any of the Best Damn Race Ambassador Crew! Don’t forget to register with my BDR discount code RUNSWITHPUGS to save on any distance at any BDR location!

bdr discount code

How was your week in training?

Do you get any time for a winter break or a vacation through the holidays?

five post-surgical side effects i didn’t see coming

I knew there would be post-surgical side effects. Atrophied muscles, soreness and decreased range of motion were all part of that list. I was ready for those things and the challenges they would bring.

There were, however, some side effects for which I was entirely not prepared.

post-surgical side effects

Increased Sensitivity

My entire right leg is just a bundle of nerves from the knee down. Sure, there is soreness at both surgical sites, but there is also this awful jangling all over. It’s like a razor burn everywhere and it stings when anything touches: air, blankets, my pants. I think it’s getting better as the days pass, but in the meantime, it’s an unwelcome and distracting side effect.

post-surgical side effects
unsplash-logoisrael palacio

Dry Skin

Speaking of my right leg, and probably directly to the jangling, is dry skin. Who knew that three weeks of being encased in a splint would lead to shedding layers of skin like some kind of snake? Not me. Again, this came as a complete shock to me, and I’m trying to hydrate my way back to a point where I can use lotion without it stinging.

post-surgical side effects

Weight Loss

I really thought I would pack on pounds after surgery. After all, I was literally on my booty for weeks, resting and elevating and icing. I haven’t necessarily watched what I was eating, just because we have been gifted so many delicious meals from friends. Well, the contrary turned out to be true. We don’t actually have a scale in the house, but based on the way my clothes fit, I’ve dropped some weight.

Granted, my reduced mobility means I can’t really get to the snacks and junk, but I still find it crazy seeing as how there is no concerted effort to exercise. I’m not complaining, but it is interesting to see how hard my body is working without my realizing it.

post-surgical side effects
unsplash-logoi yunmai

The Walking Boot Is A Torture Device

Not to be dramatic but I loathe the walking boot with the fire of one thousand suns. Here I am, working so hard to get back to bearing my full weight on my injured leg and the very thought of sliding into the boot fills me with dread. It’s stiff like a ski boot, heavy, and awkward. My calves and shins are bruising from the stiffness and the front of my ankle aches from trying to bend against the rigidity. It’s infuriating that the one thing I need to get stronger is the thing that’s causing me the most distress. I was absolutely not at all prepared for that post-surgical side effect.

post-surgical side effects

Fear

I don’t want to say that I’m fearless, because that’s not true, but before surgery, I felt a lot more brave. Now, I feel that I’m being overly cautious and mindful of risk and injury. There’s nothing wrong with being wary, of course, but it’s been a long time since I was afraid to go out or backed down from presented challenges. I need to get over it, because this is 100% not me.

post-surgical side effects

Would you have anticipated any of these side effects?

Which would be the hardest for you to deal with?

We are joining up with Fridays With Fairytales and Fitness! Go check them out and join in the fun!

10 days post-op: the road to recovery

Well, I guess it’s safe to say I am on the road to recovery. We met with Dr. S. on Monday for my post-op appointment. I had no idea what to expect, and I confess I was terrified.

road to recovery

We arrived a little early. Walking with crutches is doable but it takes just a bit longer to get around, especially on unfamiliar surfaces. Mr PugRunner usually pushes for the wheelchair, but I’m really tired of feeling like I can’t do anything. He dropped me off at the entrance and let me wait for him while he parked.

road to recovery

First Look

The office wasn’t as crowded as when we were there for my consult, and that made me feel little more at ease. They called me right back, and the nurse started to take my blood pressure before announcing it was time to open the splint. Spoiler alert: that never ends well. Typically, I tend to have low blood pressure, but it spikes when I’m nervous. Oops.

She went ahead and snipped through the layers of gauze and bandage. I was full on shaking the entire time. It was really hard to see my dominant leg so atrophied and flaky. B was very sensitive to my discomfort (as was Mr PugRunner), and continued to tell me that everything was looking so good and so normal. She was especially reassuring when it came down to the layers of pads full of dried blood.

According to B, my incisions were “beautiful”. They were closed, dry and showed no signs of infection. I told her that we did not share the same definition of “beautiful” and she was quick to remind me that, again, what I was seeing was all normal.

Dr. S’ Diagnosis + Instructions

Dr. S came into the exam room and was very pleased with what he saw. He checked the stitches a little more closely, tested me for reflex and sensation in my leg, foot and toes and was happy to move to to the discussion of next steps on my road to recovery.

My stitches would come out right there in the office. I would get my walking boot and he wanted me to start putting pressure on my leg right away, using the crutches for support as needed. He also ordered a lace up brace. This will come into play at my 6 week appointment, but Dr. S. advised I could use it now for sleeping instead of the hard boot. He prescribed physical therapy (twice a week), and made it clear that I need to be consistent (like there’s any chance I won’t be). He had the nurse give us a set of resistance bands to bring to PT, so I guess resistance training is in my future.

Driving is a hard no for quite some time.

Towards the end of January, we will meet again to assess. Obviously, my mental countdown has started.

Orthopedic “Souvenirs”

The worst part of the appointment was having the stitches removed. I can handle pain, but pressure and tugging is something else entirely. Mr PugRunner knew I had been having anxiety about this part and worked on distracting me while the next nurse did her thing. She was very professional and gentle, but it was awful all the same.

From there, CJ, the Orthopedic Technician, came in to fit me for my newest footwear. For the foreseeable future, I need to keep my ankle wrapped in a compression bandage. I also have a fancy boot, like this.

road to recovery

CJ showed me how to wrap my ankle, how to properly lace on the brace and how to strap into this boot. And that was that.

It was incredibly awkward putting weight down again. Through all of this, there is some disgustingly awful bruising on my heel and bottom of my foot (to the point I actually thought I broke my heel), and that’s been the bulk of my pain and discomfort. I desperately need that to heal so I can deal with

Til Next Time…

road to recovery

I am optimistic about where this road to recovery will lead. At least, I’m trying to be. That first night was really hard – I was crushed by horribly overwhelming thoughts about how far back I am and what I need to do to overcome this. This is going to be one hell of an emotional roller coaster – it was one thing to sit and rest but now it’s time to put in the work to get back to my life. I start PT on Friday and I’m anxious to get started!

And yes, I did have a shirt made for the occasion. It was a hit at the office and made me feel better about the whole thing.

I am linking up for Tuesday Topics with KookyRunner and Zenaida

Please visit these lovely bloggers, plus check out some of the other blogs on the link-up, and don’t forget to share your own post, as well!

Have you ever had stitches?

Any advice for me before I start PT?

week #50: working with a less than jolly holiday

I usually really thrive in the jolly holiday season. It’s my happy place, full of family and friends and festivities. I absolutely adore the decorations, the menu planning and the get togethers. Missing out on so many of those things with the boys because of my injury has been so awful and I’m struggling emotionally because of it.

Sunday – rest

My morning started with some tears. Little man and I were planning to join my friend and her son for a holiday race. The boys would run the 5K and we were taking on the 10K. Obviously, I wasn’t doing any K, so C offered to take little man for the 5K. I was so happy he could still go, but pretty sad I couldn’t be there.

jolly holiday

They even brought me my t-shirt and medal. When C told the staff member I had missed out because of a broken leg, they couldn’t hand over the bling fast enough. It was so thoughtful.

jolly holiday

I’m sure it didn’t help my emotional state that my pain block had completely worn off, and I was hurting. It wasn’t unbearable, but it wasn’t great either.

To add insult to injury (literally), I also wasn’t up to going to the St. Augustine Moms Donuts with Santa event. Mr PugRunner didn’t want to leave me, so friends swooped in to the rescue yet again. Of course, I didn’t get to be a part of his annual Santa photo, and that broke my heart. That jolly holiday feeling was fading fast.

jolly holiday

I did get a little smile though: my friend sent me this:

Monday – rest

To be honest, I slept most of Monday. I was bone-tired and couldn’t keep my eyes open if you paid me. Mr PugRunner check on me periodically to make sure I was having my meals and my meds, but other than that, it was lights out for me. In my actual life, I’m not much of a sleeper, so this was unusual.

The good news is that the sleep was probably great for my healing and gave the guys a bit of a break since they didn’t have to do much to take care of me.

Tuesday – rest

I was a bit more awake on Tuesday, although I still took a decent nap. It was a quiet day, and we got a little help from friends so that little man could go to Scouts, while Mr PugRunner attended an HOA meeting. Have I mentioned our friends are amazing? They are.

Wednesday – rest

By midweek, things were good. Nothing much to share but a selfie with my best guy.

jolly holiday

I also got a special snuggle from Bentley. He’s not much of a cuddler but he just seemed to know I needed love.

jolly holiday

Thursday – rest

I think I felt the best of the week on Thursday. I was uncomfortable, but not terribly so. At this point, I really didn’t even need the pain meds anymore, and I was happy for that, although I still wanted to take it day by day.

Friday – rest

I guess I could say TGIF but it was just another day. I had made it through the night without meds, which was a huge win, and felt fairly decent.

While the boys were helping at our community Santa event (yup, I missed that, too),

jolly holiday

I had two visitors. First, my neighbor came over to chat and then another friend brought Chinese takeout so we could chat and chow down on lo mein.

jolly holiday

It ended up being a super late night for me and I was really happy to get to bed. My stitches were really starting to pull inside my splint and while it’s not painful exactly, it’s extremely unpleasant. I slept terribly: every time I was about to doze off, I heard the sound my ankle made when I fell and then I was wide awake again. Ugh.

Saturday – rest

My anxiety kicked in hard as the day went on. My leg tingled all day. There was one party I wanted to attend in the evening and I kept getting panicky about it. I started getting nervous about the removal of my stitches and about what my incisions will look like. I’ve never been incredibly vain, but my lower legs are probably my best feature and the idea of big scars on both sides of my ankle is a little upsetting. It’s been something I’ve kept pushed to the back of my mind, but for some reason, my brain decided to pull it out.

Mr PugRunner finally took a stand and told me that he would take me to the party (it was close to home) and make sure I got in and settled ok. He would pick me up whenever I wanted, or I could hitch a ride with a neighbor who was also attending. I hadn’t been out of the house in forever, so I agreed.

Putting on makeup was exhausting. I almost called the whole thing off after that fiasco, but held tough. With Mr PugRunner’s help, I was able to get out of the house and to the event. Once he had me inside and I was installed on a couch, I felt a little better and stayed about two hours. We forgot to take a group photo while there (the conversation was just to go), but there’s the first makeup and real clothing I’ve had in weeks.

jolly holiday

Goal-getting

My sights are still set on Monday. I am so nervous for my post-op appointment and I hate that I have to wait for mid-afternoon for it. I have no idea how I’m going to sleep tonight, or how I’m going to make it through the day. There is no telling what my leg looks like and I’m just so sad about it being atrophied and gross, but it is what it is.

On the other hand, I am so hopeful to get cleared for PT and get back on both feet. I know it’s going to be hard work and painful, but I think (hope) I’m ready for the challenge.

While I did plan to do some upper body workouts, I’ve been too tired. This makes me feel terribly unproductive, but using my crutches has certainly been good for my arms, so I’m not worrying too much.

So, fun side effect of all this is I’ve lost some weight. We don’t have a scale but the dress I wore on Saturday night was actually snug when I bought it and I was considering returning or exchanging it. When I tried it on for the event, it was swimming on me. This is absolutely the result of having no appetite, eating small meals and not snacking. I wasn’t trying to lose weight, but I guess I’ll take it as the only positive in this crappy situation.

I am linking up with the new Weekly Rundown, with Confessions of A Mother Runner and Running on the Fly! Check them out!

Will you be joining me at any of the Best Damn Race Ambassador Crew! Don’t forget to register with my BDR discount code RUNSWITHPUGS to save on any distance at any BDR location!

bdr discount code

How was your week in training?

Any words of advice for the PT and upward climb ahead?

what to expect when you’re expecting surgery

From the minute the EMTs dropped me off at our local hospital, I knew I was expecting surgery for my broken bones. There wasn’t really a question about it. The ER doctor consulted with the ortho on duty and the only thing keeping them from operating right then and there was the obscene swelling.

expecting surgery

I don’t spend a lot of time at the doctor. My last surgery was almost eight years ago (a tonsillectomy), and so I felt very overwhelmed when expecting surgery this time. Both my gallbladder removal and tonsillectomy were more planned and less pressing, so it was less of a big deal, but this has been completely life changing.

Today, I’m sharing the experience.

Surgical Consult

Once I knew I was expecting surgery, I went with the orthopedic surgeon to whom the ER referred me. We did some cursory research to make sure I was in the best hands, and we were fortunate that our hospital of choice works with one of the best orthopedic groups around. They work with a lot of athletes, too, and that was important to me.

I met with Dr. S a few days after my trip to the ER. He reviewed the x-rays and medical records (since they were connected, the ER was able to digitally send everything right over), and we agreed on an “Internal Fixation,” with screws affixing one bone on one side, and a plate and screws affixing everything on the other. Could I let everything heal on its own? Yes. However, this would greatly increase my recovery time and my risk for arthritis.

expecting surgery
courtesy of KCBJ
internal Fixation on an injury similar to mine.

Obviously, there are no guarantees, but I’m down for faster and fewer risks. We all felt comfortable moving forward asap.

PACE (Preoperative Assessment Communication Education)

Our PACE appointment was scheduled just over 24 hours prior to my surgery. We met at the main surgical center, although not where my actual procedure was scheduled (just next door).

The purpose of this appointment was to review financials, medical history, procedures and labs in advance of the surgery. All in all, it took about two hours. Even though we were ready and expecting surgery, we needed to all be on board.

First, I had to fill out a rather extensive medical history and check in with our payment plans. Mr PugRunner took care of the financials and deposit in advance, so that sped up the process.

We met with a nurse, who recorded my height, weight and vitals. With that done, we confirmed the actual procedure as well as chatted about my medical history. For me, this was quick. I have birthed one child, had two prior surgeries (gallbladder removal and tonsillectomy), have no major medical conditions, take no regular medications and “suffer” from allergies to ibuprofen and adhesive. The nurse made note of all these things, reviewed procedures over the next 24 hours, and took two vials of blood.

expecting surgery

The Night Before

I had an entire folder of instructions regarding the night before preparation. The first rule was to remain calm.

expecting surgery

Per directions, we washed all the bed linens and I took a complete shower and washed my hair. They wanted my pores closed so no shaving. Two-three hours after my shower, I had to do a complete wipe down from head to toe with pre-packaged antiseptic wipes. Then it was into clean pajamas and into bed for as good a sleep I could manage.

The Morning Of

Since I was having general anesthesia, I was cut off from solid food after midnight. In the morning, my cutoff for liquids was 8:45am for a 1:15pm procedure. I could have water, black coffee, apple juice or cranberry juice, but that was it. Yes, friends, I was hangry. There was no way of avoiding it, however.

I was also not to take another shower. I couldn’t use makeup, lotions or deodorant, and I had to remove all jewelry or anything loose. Nothing fancy on surgery day.

At the Surgery Center

We arrived at the surgery center at 11:15, per instructions. Two nurses took me right back to get me started. They asked me to confirm my name, birthdate, and the procedure I was having. I needed to give a urine sample (no matter how many times you tell them you’re not pregnant, they still want to check), so we decided we could just do all the prep in the restroom.

expecting surgery

Fortunately, I have zero shame and the nurses, M and B, were super sweet. They helped me undress (everything off for a two hour surgery), do another scrub down with a second set of treated wipes, and get into the hospital gown. I gave my sample, and then had to swab out my nostrils with antiseptic swabs and use an antiseptic mouthwash.

They helped me to a bed and set me up with an IV. I have really terrible veins, and B struggled. I clenched my jaw while she worked (I know it’s hard and I hate to make the nurses nervous when I know they’re trying), and M told me it was ok to say “ow.” She took over and placed the IV in my opposite forearm.

At this point, they invited Mr PugRunner to come back and wait with me. This was probably the hardest part of the day – just sitting in a bed, waiting on and expecting surgery. I was hungry and nervous and that didn’t improve as the moments passed.

Transition + Anesthesia

At about 1:10PM, M and B wheeled me to the other side of the surgery center. I had to give up my contact lenses, which rendered me close to blind. Mr PugRunner was allowed to stay long enough to meet the ansthesiologist, Dr. M, and say hello to Dr. S. The doctors asked me (surprise) my name, my birthdate and the procedure I would be having and Dr. S marked my right foot. Guys, I was so emphatic that we were working on my right leg because I read too many ridiculous things online about incorrect surgeries.

Dr. M. started me on some Versed to calm me down (my heart rate was creeping up again) and we decided to do a pain block in my leg. The benefit to this was ensuring that I had close to no pain when I came to, and reducing the amount of time I was on pain pills after.

The entire process is done via ultrasound, which is cool. Dr. M had two entry points: one to the right of my right kneecap and the other on the inside of my right thigh (only the two most sensitive places to get a needle, am I right?). He worked in tandem with M to maneuver the needle and deposit the numbing agent. It was pretty uncomfortable, so one of the assistants came to stand by my head to talk me through it. I’m not a complainer, and it was noteworthy how in tune the team was with my emotions. I’m sure they deal with it all the time, but I think it’s so important that they recognized when I was getting upset and moved right in to distract me.

Off To the OR…

Things really sped up at this point. One of the assistants worked on unwrapping my now numb leg and got it in position. They put the surgical cap on me (with bad jokes about a party hat) and it was time.

The team wheeled me into the OR, and I remember being so anxious again. S appeared out of nowhere and I kind of feel like her entire job was making sure I was comfortable. She held my hand when they put the mask for anesthesia on my face and rubbed my arm a bit. I didn’t like being on my back, with the bright light and knowing everything was happening around me, but I was out in minutes.

adjusting fitness goals

Waking Up + Recovery

Apparently, I had a pretty aggressive wakeup after my tonsillectomy, but this time, it went perfectly. I was disoriented for a few seconds, and also a bit queasy. The nurse alerted Dr. M. immediately and he added another dose of Zofran to my IV.

Since I couldn’t see, I asked the recovery nurse, A, if she could get my contacts: I knew that vision would help, and she was happy to comply. I’m at pro at putting them in with no mirror, and felt so much better once I had full vision. A asked if I thought I could eat and I about kissed her. Yes. Yes, I could. The nurses had brought in Chick-Fil-A for lunch earlier, and I got to smell it the whole time I was waiting.

In order to get food, I had to be moved from the bed to a recliner. The transfer was fine. I didn’t need much help, and was actually relieved to be sitting up. A offered me graham or animal crackers (I chose animal) and water, juice, Coke or Diet Coke. Diet Coke never tasted so good, friends. At this point, Mr PugRunner was allowed back, and this is the part where he got emotional.

Discharge

Once I had something in my stomach, it was time to go home. Mr PugRunner helped to the bathroom so I could back in my regular clothes. I had great mobility, considering.

On our return, Dr. S. came to check on me and announced everything a success. Discharge was fairly easy: it was more of the same rest and elevation, as well as plans for pain management. I got prescriptions for pain medication, more Zofran for anymore queasiness, and a battery operated cooler that pumped ice water through a tube into a splint to help with swelling.

expecting surgery

I was so ready to bust out.

All I wanted was to get home to shower, and then eat all the things. I was warned to stick to clear liquids and broth, but I was ravenous and decided it was worth the risk. The chips and salsa and fajita rice bowl were everything I dreamed of and more.

All in all, I had a positive experience. Obviously, I wasn’t thrilled to need or have surgery, but it was a means to an end and just part of an unfortunate accident. There was a lot to navigate, both mentally and logistically, and I’m grateful we were able to make everything work out.

Every day I’m getting stronger, and at this point, I am very much ready for my post-op appointment on Monday. I want some of my energy and independence back and I want to bee able to enjoy at least some of this season with my family. My emotions have been very up and down: I try to stay positive but I can’t deny there’s been some sadness, anger and even depression in the mix.

This, too, shall pass.

I think the hardest part is behind me now, and I can start to focus on the brighter days ahead. Fingers crossed for good news on Monday!

How have your medical/surgical experiences been?

How are you getting everything done this holiday season?

2019 bling: my year in medals

Much as I hate to admit it, my quest for 2019 bling is over. Prematurely, if I do say so myself. There are a lot of things I can do with a broken leg, but running races is just not one of them. This is absolutely not the way I wanted the year to end, but I will try to focus on the fact that I ran a lot of really wonderful races this year, with a lot of wonderful people.

2019 bling

The First Bling of 2019

I opened the year with the Resolution Run 5K. This was a new-to-me race, with a new-to-me course. I loved pretty much all things about this race, including the long-sleeve t-shirt and the really pretty medal. It’s fabulous to start the year on a strong night and this first piece of 2019 bling was a winner!

2019 bling

The Last Bling of 2019

This was not supposed to be my last piece of 2019 bling, but that’s kind of how it worked out. Actually, I wasn’t expecting a medal of any kind for this year’s Pink Up The Pace 5K because it’s not something the event usually offers. I never minded, because PUTP is a local charity that does so much good for members of the community with breast cancer, but it’s also nice to get a little something at the finish line.

2019 bling

The Unblingy Bling

This year, I had the privilege to run the AJC Peachtree Road Race on July 4. Despite the fame of this particular 10K, the Peachtree does not offer medals to its finishers. Participants can purchase a commemorative medal, but the true prize of the Peachtree is the Finisher’s T-Shirt. Can I hang it on my medal rack? No. Do I love it so much? Yes. Yes, I do.

2019 bling

The Unicorn Bling

Part of my overall goals include running a race one every state. This year, I checked Massachusetts off my like when I ran the B.A.A. 10K on our summer vacation. Since the Boston Marathon is most likely not in my running future, I was stoked to score a unicorn from the same organization. This is probably my favorite of the 2019 bling.

2019 bling

The Bling I Didn’t Earn

This past Sunday, I was supposed to run a 10K with friends, which some of our kids ran the 5K. Seeing that I was fresh off of surgery, 6.2 miles wasn’t even remotely possible, but little man still got to go run with his buddy and my friend. What I didn’t expect was that they they would bring home a medal for me. I was so touched by the gesture, and this medal will serve as a reminder for me to always stay strong, no matter what.

2019 bling

All told, I earned 15 medals towards the 2019 bling count. It’s a lower number than in the past, but I also missed at least three races in these last weeks of the year, so there’s that. On the plus side, I’ve got my eye on the huge prize of making a huge, blingy comeback in 2020!

What kind of bling did you score in 2019?

What was your favorite medal?

I am linking up for Tuesday Topics with KookyRunner and Zenaida

Please visit these lovely bloggers, plus check out some of the other blogs on the link-up, and don’t forget to share your own post, as well!

week #50: countdown to weight-bearing

This week, the focus was entirely on my surgery so I can get back to weight-bearing. We wanted the procedure scheduled and done. Of course, we had our share of hiccups and delays, but I can spoil enough to say that we are very much on the path.

Sunday Рrest

Sunday was a bit of a long day. The boys got stuck in traffic heading home from Orlando, and I was super eager and anxious to see them. Of course, they had the best time, but I was so glad to have them home.

Monday – rest

Mr PugRunner called the scheduler at the surgeon’s office for an update. We didn’t expect to have news during the holiday week, but with Thanksgiving over, we were ready for a move. Once again, there was a snag with red tape between our insurance and the hospital, and once again, Mr. PugRunner headed off to the rescue.

He literally took himself to the surgery center and personally spoke to one of the administrators to get the t’s crossed and the i’s dotted. I don’t know how, but he got it all handled so we could proceed.

Tuesday – rest

It’s funny – when you can’t really go anywhere or do very much, how the days all run into each other. I did some work and some online shopping. Between naps, I watched some TV and read. So exciting.

Wednesday – rest

By the time Wednesday rolled around, I had mostly stopped taking my pain meds, and was co-existing with my injury. The splint remained unwieldy and uncomfortable, but I was getting along just fine, albeit with two broken bones. It’s definitely bizarre not to be weight-bearing on a limb I use so much, but I had also gotten used to it by this point.

Thursday – rest

Our pre-op (PACE) meeting was scheduled for Thursday morning. We spent about two hours at the hospital, going over paperwork, medical history, allergies and getting last minute directions for the surgery. I think I kind of zoned out a bit. My anxiety was in high gear and I would have been just as happy to proceed without the extra meeting.

surgery

I was exhausted by the time we got back home, but I had to stay downstairs so we could do a laundry load of bed sheets and pack bags. Little man was going to stay with a friend after school the next day,

Highlight of the day? Getting some new pajama pants delivered. I’ve been living in them, since they are the only things that fit over my splint.

weight-bearing

Friday – rest

At long last, the big day had arrived. I’ll do a full post on the surgery, but I will admit it was a tough day. I’m not a patient person, and I get very anxious waiting, especially for something like a fairly big surgery.

weight-bearing

The experience could not have been better, as far as it goes: everyone was so kind and compassionate, and did everything in their power to put me at ease.

Dr. S was pleased with the outcome as well. From his standpoint, everything went according to plan. I was thrilled to hear there were no surprises and nothing additional to have to deal with once he got inside. The fewer hurdles we have to face on the recovery end, the better.

Saturday – rest

I actually woke up feeling pretty great. The pain block was still in place and I was so happy to be home.

Little man was still at his friend’s, but my parents came over to lend a hand with tidying and decorating our Christmas tree. If I can’t be weight-bearing on one leg, there’s no way it’s safe for me to get anywhere near a ladder.

They did a beautiful job.

weight-bearing

Unfortunately, by the end of the day, the good feelings evaporated. As the pain block wore off, I could start to feel just about everything and my night was sleepless, uncomfortable and tear-filled. It was good while it lasted.

Goal-getting

Right now, my goal is my follow up next Monday. I just need to steel my mind and get there. If my recovery goes how it should, the surgeon will be fitting in me in a shiny new, weight-bearing walking boot and I can start getting back to my life. Patience and physical therapy will be next on the list and I’m so very ready.

I admit to being a bit foggy and fuzzy. I imagine it’s just the meds and stress and will pass soon. Just another unpleasant side effect of this whole nightmare.

Stay tuned.

I am linking up with the new Weekly Rundown, with Confessions of A Mother Runner and Running on the Fly! Check them out!

Will you be joining me at any of the Best Damn Race Ambassador Crew! Don’t forget to register with my BDR discount code RUNSWITHPUGS to save on any distance at any BDR location!

bdr discount code

How was your week in training?

Have you ever had an injury that kept you from being weight-bearing? How did it go for you?

december coffee date: surgery on the horizon

Surgery. That’s the theme for this month’s Ultimate Coffee Date. After reading here, head on over to visit Coco and Deborah, our awesome link-up hosts.

Over coffee, I would tell you…

…that coffee is in short supply over here. I’m not able to get out on my own, and I don’t want to bother Mr PugRunner with extra outings. He is truly amazing, taking over everything and taking care of me, as well. I loved that he thought enough to bring me a surprise after 9Round this week.

surgery

Over coffee, I would tell you…

That I miss the puggies. They don’t hang out on our second floor for a few reasons, including poor vision for getting back downstairs. My bed is the most comfortable place for me right now, so I’ve been upstairs. When I do venture downstairs, they are both completely freaked out by my splint, so won’t hang out by me. The other night, Mr PugRunner brought Delilah up so I could snuggle her. She’s terrified of heights and hates being on the bed, but she must have known I needed her, so tolerated some really sweet cuddle time.

surgery

Over coffee, I would tell you…

That I am going crazy being cooped up. My most intense exercises are literally booty scooting up and down, and balancing in the shower. It is awful to go from being super active to doing almost nothing. Worse, I’m exhausted by that that almost nothing, which is so demoralizing. A friend donated some dumbbells to me so I can start doing actual workouts next week and I cannot wait to do something to rebuild my muscles.

surgery

Over coffee, I would tell you…

That my surgery is today and I’m really nervous. I am such a control freak and this is a situation where I have zero control. Obviously, I didn’t sleep much last night. This morning, I’m choking down a black coffee (because I need a little caffeine), and trying to keep my mind off the wait (and the fact that I am hangry). I go in at 11:15 to get started.

surgery

Over coffee, I would tell you…

That I’m having a hard time getting in the holiday spirit. I mean, I can’t go anywhere. I can’t bake or cook. I’m missing parties and all the great events around town. The boys did some of the outside lights yesterday and my parents are coming to decorate the tree tomorrow, but it’s not the same. I just want little man to have such a great holiday so I need to snap out of it and figure out ways I can make that happen.

Over coffee, I would tell you…

That I am so grateful for everyone. I hate to be sappy, but it’s amazing how many people we have pulling for us. From our neighbors, to my regular readers, to friends and friends of friends who have reached out. We have been wrapped with so much love and support, and it’s just staggering. Sometimes, this world is almost too awful to bear, but then I look around and see so much love and it clears away all the bad. So thank you. You’re the best.

What would you tell me over coffee?

Have you ever had surgery?

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