Friday, April 06, 2012
Thank you, everyone, for the well wishes, juju, good thoughts, kind words, and all-around care you've sent our way recently.
Bill's surgery on Friday went very well. He stayed in hospital overnight and they cut him loose Saturday morning. Of course, I'm lucky I was able to get him out of there - the nurses all found him so sweet and charming they wanted to keep him!
Saturday we simply spent the day getting him settled in at home - building his nest on the couch with pillows and blankets, making sure he got plenty of puppy snuggles, etc. Sunday, he felt up to getting out of the house, so we went to Fred's to get his prescription filled and to pick up a few groceries. He pushed the buggy and set the pace, but was surprised to find himself wearing down quickly. I think that may have been the best thing for him, sort of like proof to convince him that he really did need to take some down time to get better.
Since that trip, we've taken a few walks now and then when it's hasn't been raining. Yesterday, Bill had his follow-up visit with the surgeon and got the 'all clear' and release back to normal duty. The left side of his neck, where the incision was made, is still somewhat swollen, but the doctor assured us that it will go down, just to give it more time.
Bill celebrated being allowed to get back to normal by tweaking more on the bathroom redo LOL I was happy to "let" him work on his project.
As for me? I've rather lost myself through this whole thing. Stress and depression settled in and I'm trying to evict them to the best of my ability. Sort of. I've lost so much momentum and drive and determination and physical fitness this last month, allowing myself to grasp onto any excuse or reason to give up and stop trying... I'm not even sure I'll be able to "recover" enough to safely do the Bridge to Brews next week, let alone the R'n'R Half in May. I've lost the majority of March to one unplanned emergency or another. Yep, I've got a pity-party for one going on here, which is in complete opposition to how relieved and grateful I'm feeling that Bill will be around for a while longer. I'll regain my footing again, it's just a matter of time. Fake it 'til you make it, right?
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
I won't be going to Pittsburgh or JASR this weekend.
Around 8:15 last night, I came in from taking the dogs out back, to find Bill in the kitchen saying something was wrong. His right arm was limp and he couldn't move it, his speech was slurred, he couldn't think of words when he was talking, and the right side of his face didn't look right. I told him he had the option of calling 911 or me driving him to the ER. He opted to be driven.
On the way, his leg started being affected as well. By the time we got to the hospital - Providence about 5-7 minutes away (and yes, should there be a next time, we're calling 911!) - he was feeling some better and could mostly walk alright. We got into the ER, explained what had happened, and they put him in a wheelchair IMMEDIATELY and took him back to the treatment area. That was scary. Good, but scary.
They did a series of physical and neurological tests, and finally took him for a CT scan. Turns out, he had what is called a TIA - transient ischemic attack, caused by a left internal carotid stenosis - a blocked artery. Because it was on the left side of his brain, it affected his right side.
They gave him the option of spending the night in the hospital and seeing a surgeon in the morning, or coming home and then going to see a surgeon in the morning. The ER doc said the condition didn't require emergency surgery but he did need to have the blockage cleared as soon as it can be planned and carried out, and referred us to Dr. Morrow.
Courtney, Bill's oldest, came to the hospital with her SO, and they stayed with us until Bill was released. We got home around 11 pm, so that wasn't too bad. I sat up until 12, Googling of course, and emailing work to let them know I wouldn't be in today.
I went to bed and spent a quiet hour reading and listening to Bill breathe. I drifted off at some point, only to wake again and listen, very quietly, for his breaths. We made a deal, see. If promised not to croak in our bed last night if I let him come home. He held up his end of the bargain!
Dr. Morrow's office hours are 8:30 to 4. I found this out by calling the office number at 6:30 just to see. I probably should have talked to his answering service, but for whatever reason, waited until 8:30 to call again. When I explained why I was calling, without giving our name, the nurse asked if I was Mrs. Bailey. Seems they had been trying to reach us, but the hospital records (which we updated the night before) had not been updated across the system, so they were calling Bill's old cell number that we no longer have.
They got us in at 9:45, and Dr. Morrow was very encouraging. Bill's carotid is 90-95% blocked on the left side. Perhaps the bloodflow slowed to a standstill last evening, or a bit of plaque debris broke free and cruised through Bill's brain, causing the TIA. Whatever it was, in a way, it was a good thing. The TIA cleared up on its own, and Bill feels relatively normal (or at least what passes for normal for him. Heh). So, while this is terrifying on its face, it's a good thing because they can go in and clear out the plaque and clean up his artery.
It was a mini stroke, and it could have been much MUCH worse. The bad part is, the surgery is scheduled for Friday at 6 am. That's great that they're not in a huge rush to get him on the table. I was flying out for Pittsburgh, though, midnight Friday. I won't be making that plane, or running for the first time with my sister, or meeting my extended Spark family, or running JASR, or spending the next week in W.Va. with my daughter and mom.
Don't get me wrong. I'm so glad and grateful that I still have Bill and that we can get him fixed up right as rain. I am so happy that I still have him with me. I'm bummed about the rest of it though, even though he keeps telling me I should go to JASR anyway.
"Would you go if our roles were reversed and I was having surgery?" I asked him.
"Well, no. But that's different," he explained.
He also tried to pull the ole "It's not that big a deal" on me, to which I replied "You had a STROKE. It IS a big deal!"
Needless to say, I won that round, too!
My sister is still traveling from Texas to Pittsburgh, as she has a dear friend who lives nearby who was going to come see us anyway. She'll spend the weekend with her. I don't think.. but I could be completely wrong.. that she'll be doing JASR. She might surprise me though. I keep apologizing to her, and she keeps telling me to stop. I understand, and I know she understands. I'm the big sister though, and feel like I'm responsible for getting her excited and committed to the run and meeting all you wacky folks and .. well, all of it.
So there you have it. Bill is currently snoozing on the couch with our lhasa princess Maggie. The other lhasa princess Millie is snoozing here in the office with me, and lil lhasa prince Bubbie is sprawled out all over the loveseat LOL The sleep of the innocents at ease. They were very happy to have their daddy come home last night, and wake up this morning. Nearly as happy as I was.
Keep a few good thoughts, positive mojo and juju for Bill over the coming days, please. Oh, and if you would, throw in a good word for me and my battle against stress/emotional eating right now. I'm winning at this point, but I could use all the backup I can get.
Monday, March 26, 2012
I was very lucky to get out and get a walk in this afternoon on my lunch half-hour. It's wonderful here today in Portland. A bit brisk, which is just right, and the sun is shining so!
Here's what I consider MY bridge LOL the Hawthorne.
In the foreground you can see part of the marina, with dragon boats tied up at the furthest end of the docks.
A little further on is the Morrison bridge.
Not as pretty as MY bridge, but it'll do! PDX peoples are likely rejoicing as this bridge is finally opening to traffic after having been shut down for repairs for nearly 10 months.
Note the blue skies. Note the fluffy puffy clouds scattered about. Yes, it's a loverly day. Tonight, it rains. Today, it is glorious, and I enjoyed my brief time out in the sunshine.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
I'm going to do a bit of an experiment. I know, I'm always fiddling/tweaking/twerping around with things to no avail, aren't I? Ah well.
Spark says my approx. BMR is 2092. As a refresher, here's the Spark definition of BMR taken from the Daily Calorie Differential report page:
"BMR is your Basal Metabolic Rate, which is the number of calories your body burns on a daily basis to perform its basic tasks like breathing and pumping blood. The BMR calculation is based on your age and weight and accounts for a sedentary lifestyle. The BMR in the chart above has been multipled by 1.2 to account for the calories you need for both basal metabolic functions and light activity outside of exercise (such as light walking on the job, deskwork, and running errands.) Please note that BMR is not a perfect measure."
No, BMR is not a perfect measure, this is true! But, even on my not-so-very-active days, I burn quite a bit more than 2092. That being the case, I'm going to tweak my calories-to-burn settings a bit. I've entered that I'll burn 400 cals. above and beyond my BMR each day. Why 400?
On my laziest days, I've been known to burn no more than 1800. That's while being in a dark dismal funk and laying in bed watching repeats on Netflix and occasionally sobbing into my pillow. Thankfully, I haven't done that for quite some time.
My 'normal' low burn isn't far off from what Spark estimates - 2100 or so. That's a day where I go to work, but don't bother getting up once an hour to walk around the office.
The majority of the time I burn around 2500 on an average day.
When I get out and walk, run, ST, whatever.. the burn is a bit higher 2700.
Saturday and Sunday? I burned 3500 and 3200 respectively. Fortunately, I haven't been feeling particularly famished since then. This is a good thing. Of course, having said that, Saturday and Sunday I consumed approx. 2100 calories LOL
Anyway, if my base BMR is 2100, and I'm regularly burning 2500 at a minimum, then maybe I need to account for that with regard to my calorie intake. I've bumped up my calories to be burned number, which in turn bumped up my calories to consume number - 1790 - 2140.
We'll see what happens. I haven't weighed since .. well, hmm. It must have been the last week of February sometime. I'm not going to worry with it until right before I leave for JASR (March 30! 10 days!!) I expect to gain while I'm back home in W.Va. If it's less than 10 lbs, I'll be thrilled!
Am I off my rocker? Perhaps. Maybe I'm bending my efforts to match my results, rather than changing my efforts to produce different results. I've witnessed vastly different degrees of frustration and analysis from different Spark friends and family, and I'm right in the midst of them. I'm somewhat resigned to not losing much while I'm training this year for my Half marathons. I have two - one in late May and then one in early October.
So that's where I am. I'm not quite sparkling with my Spark, but it's not completely extinguished either. There's hope.
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Because I feel all bad@ss after running on a cold, wet, windy, rainy Portland morning.
Because I used to think 'I can't'. Now I know not only that I CAN.. but that I ~want & need~ to.
Because sometimes it's the only way I can get outside of my own head, stop listening to the thoughts pinging around in my brain, and simply ~be~ while breathing.. moving.. changing.
Because even when I've run hard and I'm out of breath, I'm breathing! Every run confirms that quitting smoking was one of the best things I've ever done.
Because sometimes it's the only way to kick my own *ss when it needs kicking.
(this will be a slowly evolving post, to which I'll add more and more reasons as time permits)
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