Still in the Game!
Friday, July 06, 2012
I’m not much of an athlete, and never really appreciated Jonathan Roche’s (one of my favorite podcasters) sports analogy until the last couple months. But, suddenly, it became my mantra. “As long as I’m still in the game.” Can’t have solid food? Nope, but I can drink my water and work on staying positive. Can’t have fat? Nope, but I can still eat Greek yogurt to get my protein, and eat as many fruits and veggies as possible. Can’t do intense aerobics? Nope, but I can walk and do light gardening. One month after my pancreas surgery, I’m feeling good, and all because of habits I developed here at SP, and because I made sure to keep myself “in the game”.
Recovery was harder than I expected. I’ve always had a pretty high tolerance for pain, but oh my! I could finally eat, but I had no appetite, and food tasted funny. Water had a strange metallic taste, so it was hard to get down. Most people who have pancreas surgery lose 15-30 pounds, and, since I was already at my goal weight and against quick weight loss, I was determined not to be one of them. So, I focused on quality over quantity, and somehow managed to keep my weight steady. I had a drain in my side – a hole and a plastic tube sticking out, where blood and other nasty stuff oozed out into a bag. It was disgusting, and it messed with my head. Fortunately, Kevin took care of it for me, because the one time I looked at it, I had a panic attack of epic proportions, and after nearly passing out numerous times, spent the rest of the afternoon sleeping it off. The drain caused some medical problems as well, eventually sending me to the ER, leading to a blood infection scare that also messed with my head. But, last week the drain was removed, the blood retest and path reports came back negative, and all of my wounds are just about healed. The point here is, I am stronger than I thought, and despite the difficulties, I made the best choices I could.
My doctor told me that the more I moved the better I’d feel, but I couldn’t bend, twist, or lift more than ten pounds. So the day after I got home from the hospital, I committed myself to a fitness challenge (Thanks, Ducky!), and promised myself at least 30 minutes of walking/gardening every day. On the bad days, I had to force myself to do it - I’d have to promise myself only five or ten minutes at a time, but I got it done. I was able to quiet my negative voice (the one that told me I was losing my muscle tone, and that my lack of intensity wasn’t good) by telling myself I was still in the game, that everything counts. And it does!
So, here I am, still at my goal weight, and feeling great. I have been cleared to do “anything that doesn’t hurt”. I just added ST back into my routine, and am keeping myself off my butt as much as possible. Today I will walk before it gets hot, and then try some yoga. (Last week I tried the plank pose, and let me just say OY! But I think I’m ready to give it another shot.) I’m trying to be gentle with myself, and to add things gradually, so next week I plan to add some fast walking intervals to my walks (no running intervals until six weeks). My next surgery (the hysterectomy) has been rescheduled for July 23rd, and, by then, I plan to be as strong and healthy as I can possibly be!
-I feel great! No pain meds since last Friday!
-The support I have received throughout this physical challenge has left me with no doubt that I matter.
-My air conditioner works well! Dang, it’s hot out there.
-My husband went grocery shopping, and my cabinets and fridge are full of healthy, tasty foods I am allowed to eat! Thankfully, my taste buds are back to normal.
-I do not have cancer. Although I had been assured of this earlier on, my surgeon was suspicious.
-I no longer have a drain in my side. Ugg.
-I am incredibly thankful for all of my SP friends who have sent messages, goodies and emails. Bless you all!!