Archive for March 2012

Metaphorically speaking

I start with this video clip, not that it is really relevant, but I cannot encounter the word metaphor in any context without remembering this scene from Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home:

After not running for a month between the flu and the surgery, I took off to the track during lunch yesterday marking the 2 week point from surgery. Ok, actually, it was 2 weeks + 1 day, but I guess I had enough forethought to know if I ran on Wednesday, I wouldn’t be able to run again until Friday which I don’t want to do because then I won’t run on Saturday. And I want to run Saturday. Anyway, the run completely sucked, and I discovered that I cuss a lot in my head when I run. Seriously, I tweeted that after I got back to work.

So, it’s probably a good thing that I didn’t try to capture my thoughts as I ran like Whitney did and blogged: True Life: This is What I Think About When I Run. On the other hand, you all missed out on my internal dialogue alternately complaining/celebrating what is on my running playlist…which will be updated because Guns ‘N Roses has to go, and there isn’t near enough Paula Abdul. Oh, but you aren’t going to miss out on this at then end of 3rd lap/beginning of 4th lap.

Consistently walk fast if you can’t run.
Yes! More Paula!

(Started singing)
“Baby he could promise me diamonds. Even if he promised me pearls. Honey, you know I ain’t lyin’. Listen as I tell it to the world!”
Great. I’m singing along with Paula as my nose runs. I’m bringing sexy back. Hmmm, I should probably make sure it’s not bleeding. Crap. It’s not. I can’t quit.

That’s not exact because I am sure that “Crap” was not the four letter word I used. And I know by now you are thinking “Where’s the metaphor?” It’s coming, but you know if I have an opportunity to link whore, I’m taking it. :cheesy:

So throughout the run, which was really mostly a fast walk, I was in a constant mental battle with myself over quitting. I went over there with a choice: I could run the sidewalk around the grounds – it’s a .75 mile loop – or I could run the track, which isn’t a standard quarter mile track. Rob said 5 laps is about 3.2 or 3.3 miles. He also said one round is .61 miles, and so that math doesn’t really equate. Still, I go with the 3.2 or 3.3. Just because. 4 laps of the sidewalk is 3 miles, so regardless, 5 laps of the track is over 3 miles, and so that’s what I chose. The track is also smoother, so that was another plus. But I digress.

The battle waged. I lamented the lack of shade which there is more of along the sidewalk. I lamented my lack of stamina and it’s not like I am a fast runner anyway. I lamented the wind. I determined that whether or not I use my inhaler has no bearing on my wheezing. I wanted to quit before I finished the 3rd lap. As I neared the end of the 4th lap, I got a little dizzy and thought I was either going to pass out or puke. Or maybe both. And I had long since given up on trying to do any more running at that point. But, no. I was more determined to do the full 5 laps even as a fast walk than I was to quit. Barely.

Life is like that a lot of times. You’re going along great at first, and then you get a little winded so you slow down. But sometimes it still sucks and you just want to give up and quit. Sometimes you trip, or even fall on your face. Sometimes you start hurting (not like a pull or a break) and you just want to sit and nurse that hurt instead of pushing through it. I didn’t fall on my face running, and really haven’t done that since high school (publically), but metaphorically, I fall on my face a lot doing life. Tripping over the same things over and over. Sometimes it gets really discouraging and I don’t want to get back up and go again. There is a short term payoff for wallowing in self-pity, just like there would have been a short-term payoff for quitting after 3 laps yesterday. But the short term never satisfies.

So as I lamented my lack of endurance to run as I kept telling myself “at least walk fast,” I thought of the words of Paul.

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air.
(1 Corinthians 9:24-26 ESV)

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
(Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV)*

I don’t have really big goals for running. Not only do I have no desire to run a marathon, I don’t even have any desire to run a half-marathon. I want to be able to run a 5K, but no more than a 10K. But before I do either of those, I have to be able to run a mile. While I can’t even run a full mile yet without having to drop to a fast walk, I know it is possible. Once upon a time I was able to run 2 miles straight, and even do a fast sprint at the end. It was 1995, and I was in basic training, but it is possible. I wasn’t fast then, but I made my time with almost a minute to spare. haha Still, that’s why even if I only cumulatively run a mile, I still do at least 3. It is slow going, but I am gradually building endurance. After not running for a month, what little I managed yesterday hurt. My calves cramped all night. It hurts when I get up and walk today. In fact, it’s not just my legs that are sore today. My back and shoulders are sore, too. Today, I rest. Tomorrow, I try again.

And just as I keep walking when I can’t run anymore, I keep getting back up when I fall on my face in life and pressing forward. Because I have a goal. When I reach the end of my life, I want to be able to say, like Paul:

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
(2 Timothy 4:7 ESV)

*Paul is traditionally considered the writer of Hebrews.

Randomish

1. I love having a phone with a camera. It’s not a great camera, but if I am out and see something photo-worthy, it is so convenient.

Take for instance, roosters. This is old as far as blog posts go, but it made the rounds of some of my friends earlier in the year. And that’s why you should learn to pick your battles. It’s hilarious, and still does not cease to crack me up. But, for the past couple of months, I have seen roosters EVERYWHERE. This one is live, and was across the road from one of the neighbors Friday evening when I got home, and yes I stopped in the road to take a picture:

Today on a shopping trip with my daughter, I finally had to stop and get her to take my picture with the big rooster.

ROOSTER DOWN!!!!

My daughter was none too happy to take the photo. I guess she was embarrassed because she claimed that she died. Anyway, that is the current big rooster. They sold the huge one that is in the below photo.

2. I have officially gone from XL to L. I celebrated by buying some new clothes since I had to buy Jamie new shorts because she outgrew most of hers. I spent a lot of money I didn’t intend to. $100 just on sports bras. eek.

3. I can no longer stand the smell of McDonald’s. Or maybe it was just the smell of Jamie’s “chicken” nuggets & bbq sauce.

4. I cannot figure out what is causing my scalp to flare up. It isn’t high fructose corn syrup. If it’s gluten, it’s a delayed reaction. Both bad cases have happened the day after drinking something from Starbucks with expresso. I guess I need to diligently keep a food diary. *sigh*

5. I’m ready to start running again. I am waiting until my follow up with the ENT tomorrow to get the official post-surgery green light. I think Jamie’s ready too, but I think she is mainly ready to get her medal. haha

6. Have failed my exercise goals for March. I know there is no way I will be able to do 10 pushups by the end of the week. 1 maybe, but not 10.

7. There is absolutely no way I will have 20 books ready by Easter. I’ve finished 8. I think I may be able to finish 12. Maybe.

8. I need a maid. I can’t pay for one. *sigh*

9. I also need someone to make me pancakes. Yes, sure, they are stupid easy to make; I just don’t feel like doing it. But I wants them.

The aftermath

Note: I started this post while under the influence of vicodin…and then I got sick and spent the rest of the day trying not to puke.

“Drugs are bad. Mmmmkay.” Unless they are prescription meds for pain and/or nausea. I typically get sick from vicodin, but phenergan negates the sickness. All in all, it wasn’t percocet, but I got hooked up. Read: stoned out of my mind. I took a lot of naps.

I drove to the hospital that morning expecting to pretty much be alone until after surgery. The hubby gets off work at the time I was scheduled for surgery, and that was fine. I really wasn’t at all concerned about the procedure. Wasn’t scared other than my typical insecurity-based fear of spending the morning with a bunch of strangers or nearly strangers since I had only seen the ENT once. Oh I knew my pastor was going to come by for a little while, but I knew he had a prior commitment. So I was quite pleasantly surprised when I walked in the door and there sat Ms. Ruth.

Me: “What are you here for?”
Ruth: (pointing at me) “You.”

She had already talked with the staff & knew who my nursing team was, and used to work with 2 of them plus had worked with my ENT before she retired. “You have the A-Team this morning.” I had already been given the low-down the day before during pre-op not to bring anything but myself to include not wearing wedding ring if I could get it off. So I was there with the clothes on my back, my drivers license, and just the key for the Neon; the latter 2 items only because I drove myself there. But with Ms. Ruth there, I gave her my license and key to hang on to, and didn’t have to worry about that. Not that I think I had anything to worry about from my team. They were great.

The nurses warned me about the sedative they were giving me prior to going to the OR. Things like, some people get and tell them “Do whatever you want,” and even “You may not remember anything.” They also told me I would feel really really good for the first 45 seconds. I feel cheated because I didn’t really start feeling it until they got me in the OR. I remember the trip to the OR, I remember moving from the bed to the table, I remember a woman telling me she was going to put on oxygen mask, I remember it going on, and I remember the anesthesiologist & nurses wrapping me really tight with a blanket, and then there was just than woman who gave me the oxygen waking me up. I don’t remember really anything she said to me, but I remember coughing a lot and not being able to answer a question for coughing. I apologized for taking so long my coughing and she said, “That’s fine. It’s good that you are coughing.” I remember her apologizing for something she had to do and I remember saying “It’s all gravy on this train, dawg.” That is probably the least goofy thing I have ever said post-surgery. haha

And then I got sick. Not a sudden I’m gonna puke sick, but a room is spinning motion-sickness kind of sick. They gave me crackers and I only managed one because I had the worst case of cotton-mouth ever. The ride home was terrible. Oddly, I don’t remember the off ramp exit from highway 1. I have troubles with it making me sick as a passenger when there is nothing wrong. But, we got home and I got ready to pass back out, and when I went to the bathroom I was quite sure that I was going to throw up that one cracker and the water I washed it down with. I didn’t though, and made it back to the recliner where I proceeded to pass out until the hubster returned with the ginger ale.

This is as far as I got that day.

The cracker broke my gluten free diet, and the ginger ale broke my no high fructose corn syrup diet. I proceeded to eat like crap for the next few days. And when I thought I was better, I wasn’t. I felt great on Saturday. And so, I thought Sunday morning would be a breeze. Wrong. I knew by the time I got to church, I was going to struggle, and so by the time Sunday School was over, I told Bob and/or Judy that I was probably going to sit down after the contemporary songs. But I felt a little better after the last contemporary, so I stayed up for the 3 hymns. Big mistake. I did good to walk to the car when church was over. Came home, ate, and decided to take a little nap. 4 hours later I woke up with a pounding headache and decided that I was not going to evening service. But since finishing off the last of the antibiotics Thursday morning, I’m feeling pretty good now. Except for a pulled back, but that is unrelated.

So as I was running errands this afternoon, I was thinking again about what happened in the OR. I now know the point at which I was the sedative rendered me willing to do whatever, and it was right around the time they transferred me to the operating table. At that point, honey badger no longer cared. That may or may not make sense with the rest of the post, but I’m really not going to re-read (fully) what I wrote under the influence. I’ll clarify later if anyone cares. haha

On the eve

I never did follow up with what transpired at my doctors appointment. Well, actually I did, just only on Facebook. It became quite apparent rather quickly that I did not properly prepare my doctor for what he was about to see because he actually jumped back a little from shock. Now, I have to honestly say, I do get a kick out of shocking my doctors. I think it’s because I seem so calm like it’s no big deal, and then they see that it’s a really big deal. Anyway, it was enough to get me an appointment with the ENT the next day.

The ENT was just as shocked and said, “Oh, my God. That needs to come out right away. That’s a choking hazard.” Yeah, and it’s a gagging hazard too, just FYI. ;) He took photos of the polyp and when they were trying to get authorization from my insurance for a CT scan, he said, “Email them a copy of one of the photos and I guarantee they will approve it.” Whether or not they did send one of the photos, the CT was authorized, and the polyp is completely filling the left maxillary sinus, as well as hanging out and down into my throat. It has shrunk considerably from last week, but events have already been set in motion.

I am having surgery tomorrow morning to remove it. It’s an outpatient procedure, and I am not at all concerned. Low risk, plus I have had this surgery before. I know what to expect, and I expect this one will be easier than the last as I got a bonus tonsillectomy with the last one. My pre-op appointment is this afternoon where they will give me all the details, and I will try to influence the pain medication I am given afterward. ;) I cannot say that I am not looking forward to recovery. 3 days bed rest? Oh, yeah. Bring it! :cheesy:

“I’m not one for sittin’ ’round in some ol’ pity pool…”

That’s a lie. I seem to revel in self-pity. Let me get sick, and, boy is it on.

Jamie walked snuck up on me one day while I was singing along with that, and scared the crap out of me. So I sang it to her…loudly.

It’s kind of funny how a physical illness will weaken every emotional and spiritual defense you set up. Mainly emotional. Why do I say that? Because I have had bits of sobbing off and on since last night for no reason. I understood why I cried when I puked…it’s that traumatic for me, but since then. ugh. Hmm, well, now that I think about it, it did start during Dr Phil. I lost count of how many times I nearly broke down and have I mentioned I can’t stand Dr Phil?

I have self-diagnosed myself with the flu. My daughter is the only one seemingly unaffected…or least affected. She begged me to let her take a flu shot. That irks me if that’s why she has only had a mild sore throat when the hubby, the boy, and I got knocked on our butts. It has aggravated another problem which has led to a semi-urgent appointment with the doc this afternoon. That should be fun. I’ve been afraid to eat and the hubby got on to me for that, so I compromised with vanilla ice cream. I figured since there is the potential for losing it like I lost yesterday’s lunch I might as well pick something that won’t be as bad coming up as, oh, mexican chicken corn lasagna.

So is there a point to all this? Not really. I still have a low grade fever and a headache and I’m dehydrated so making a rational point is unlikely. In reality, it’s more of a time killer until I leave for my appointment.

Killin’ time

I am sick, and sick enough to call in sick. However, I still have to get the kids up for school which means I need to stay awake (conscious) for another hour. Might as well do a randomish list blog.

1. So the dandruff problem that I have always had that got a lot worse in my mid 20′s seems to be an allergic reaction…to high fructose corn syrup. Since my food detox, I have been experimenting with foods. The itchiness (which was really bad when it was fully flaired), had mostly gone away and I couldn’t see the hot spots around my scalp line anymore. I tried some gluten-filled (read yummy) bread last weekend, and while I did have a reaction, it was solely digestive reaction. Thursday, however, I had a caramel macchiato from Starbucks. Their caramel sauce has HFCS. I nearly clawed my scalp off Friday morning it was so itchy.

2. A cat in heat is disgusting. Dogs too, but in different ways. Female cats are hoes.

3. I watched Obscura Oddities with the hubby nearly all day yesterday. Oh.My. There are some weird folks out there. Yes, I toned that description way down.

4. I’ve probably said this before, but it bears repeating. I hate to puke. I suffered a no-warning, immediate projectile vomit yesterday morning while taking my garlic. Out of sheer laziness I was standing in front of and facing the sink. I didn’t want to get anything more than the knife dirty while cutting it up, so I stood there to cut it up in my hand. The hubby witnessed it, and was extremely amused. I was not so amused. ;)

5. I love trying new foods. I’ve still been trying new recipes, and ran across a bunch of duds. Some of the duds can be altered in a way that will make them pretty tasty.

6. I see roosters. They are everywhere. I always smile when I drive by this place:

They sold the huge one.

7. Seriously doubts that I will manage 20 books by Easter. I’ve managed 3, and one of those only because I happened to have a book at work and had to escort some folks working on equipment in the server room. Time is not on my side.

8. Failed to do a real pushup by this past Friday. Close, but it will likely be this week before I can drop all the way and push back up.

9. Started listening to country music after swearing to myself I wouldn’t ever do it. This is college-era, and I include it because of the post title…which put the song in my head.

10. Did not and will not proofread anything I have written in this post. haha