Sunday, March 27, 2016

When a week turns into a month

Hi! In my last post, I said that was taking a little break, "maybe a week," but somehow that week turned into a whole MONTH. A lot has happened since then--some expected, some unexpected; some good, some not-so-good. Through it all, I have sincerely missed blogging and all of you, but I literally haven't been able to muster the energy to put together a real blog post until now.
  • So, initially, my reason for taking a break from the blog was that I accepted a new job, and didn't want to accidentally spill the beans on the blog before I had a chance to break it to my then-current employer. Well, I've now been at my new job for 2 whole weeks, so I guess it's safe to tell you all about it--I accepted a job with Girls on the Run in New Orleans! I am their Community Outreach and Heart & Sole Program manager, and I couldn't be more thrilled! Heart & Sole is their program for 6-8th graders (which I coached last season), and it's still in its first year so it's a good time for me to come on board. 
  • Well, before I had a chance to start my new job, I started having some major issues with my lap band. I mentioned it a bit in this post, but things really only got worse from there. Reflux meds did diddly-squat, and it had gotten to the point that at times, I couldn't even drink water. I was absolutely miserable--I couldn't eat, couldn't drink, had zero energy, and was getting pretty depressed over it all; the doctor I'd been seeing referred me to an actual surgeon, and the new doctor agreed that it had to come out. The doc performed an endoscopy which confirmed that my band had slipped (meaning it was no longer in the place where it should be), so it really really had to come out; leaving it there would only cause further complications, including the chance of erosion through my stomach lining. Of course, even with all of this evidence, my insurance refused to cover the surgery--to them, just the mere mention of lap band meant that this was elective. We ended up paying cash (er, credit) for the whole thing; it cost around $5800 to remove, much cheaper than I thought it would be... so Marc and I decided that the debt was worth my health and sanity. 
Okay, so I had the surgery on March 11th (Friday), and I was set to start my new job on March 14th (Monday). I've had laparoscopic procedures before, and I never had a problem having surgery on Friday and going back to work on Monday. I thought I'd probably be a little sore, but that's it. Well........ the joke was on me, big time. It started Friday evening, after we got home. I took 1 dose of the L0rt@b, and learned that I should never ever take that again. I had such a horrible reaction; I was completely out of it, and when I tried to get up to go to the bathroom (with Marc's help, of course), I literally stood up and fainted--like, dropped like a rock to the floor. Multiple times. Marc says that I passed out like that probably 5-6 times, and he was ready to call 911 because my eyes were rolling to the back of my head and I was shaking; he did call my doctor (who was kind enough to give me his cell phone #) and had him on the phone late into the night. 
The next day, Saturday, is a complete blur. I literally stayed in bed all day, barely conscious, until it was nighttime. I had an awful, horrible pounding headache, and really just felt like shit. Nothing helped the headache--it sounded like a million hooves marching through my brain in unison--and it actually lasted until Tuesday. (At some point, I figured out that sitting up made the headache go away, so after Sunday I ended up sleeping upright, sitting on the couch, through the following Friday.)
Early Tuesday morning, like 3am, I got up because I just couldn't take the pounding in my head anymore. Marc got up with me and ran a bath, thinking that might relieve some of the pressure--at that point, we noticed that some bruising had developed on my abdomen, starting from my incisions around my belly button and wrapping around my left side to my back. By Tuesday evening, the bruising had spread and the area between my waist and hip on my left side was completely dark purple. (In case you're wondering, I did start my job on Monday as planned--I looked and felt like death warmed over, but I went!)
My doctor had me come in on Wednesday (16th) and ran some blood work; turns out, my hematocrit (percentage of actual red blood cells in blood) was down to 20%; pre-surgery, it was a nice, healthy 42%. I'd lost half of my blood volume somewhere along the way (probably sloshing around in my abdomen). My doctor was pretty stumped as to what caused it (though I have a feeling that my fainting on that previous Friday didn't help anything), which isn't really what you want to hear! I felt so absolutely horrible; I got winded just walking across a parking lot--forget going up and down stairs! I was nauseous, my head hurt, and I was incredibly pale; many people pointed out that my lips were the color of my face (thanks, guys!). However, it wasn't really worth the risk to give me blood, so my doc thought it best to just let my blood come back on its own, which would take around a month. Ugh
So, March 20-21, I was supposed to go to Dallas for a National Training with GOTR. Thanks to my newfound health issues, I wasn't allowed to fly or drive that distance by myself, so I had the wonderful experience of taking a Greyhound bus to Dallas! It's about 8 hours by standard car, but with Greyhound, it's a lovely 12-hour trip. I don't really want to dwell on it, but let's just say that it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, I met lots of interesting people, and it's something that I can now cross off the bucket list ;) 
Slowly but surely, I'm feeling a little bit better every day. Today, just over 2 weeks post-surgery, I actually feel pretty good. I still get worn out faster than I used to, but the headaches and nausea are gone (mostly), and I can sleep in my bed again. I'm also still a tad pale, but nothing like I was a week ago. I'm taking an iron supplement to help my blood production--I'm not sure if it's really helping, but I gotta do what I can! I also was not able to run or even walk the Crescent City Classic yesterday, which was supposed to be my first 10K; however, I worked at GOTR's table and cheered on the runners that I saw! 

  • A couple of other good things that have happened over the last month--I reached 60 pounds down the week before my surgery!!! Of course, I'm carrying quite a bit of post-surgery bloat and fluid, and bit a true weight gain I'm sure, but it'll come off in no time. 
  • Remember how Marc and I were going through the RCIA classes (briefly mentioned here)? Well, now we are officially Catholic! We were confirmed at last night's Easter vigil, and it was pretty amazing. 
Sunrise coming into New Orleans, on the bus from Dallas; the return trip was 7pm to 7am!

My last run before surgery

Going across the Causeway, a 24-mile bridge across Lake Pontchartrain; it's the world's longest bridge over a body of water!

We're Catholic!
It's been a busy, crazy, topsy-turvy month, but I'm back. It's time to remember my goals and make blogging a priority again--and boy, do I have some blog reading to catch up on! What have you been up to since we last chatted?


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