Wednesday, September 26, 2012

3 days post-op update....snails pace...

Surgery was Monday and didn't go too bad. I was most nervous for 1. the nerve block and 2. going under general anesthesia as I haven't been all the way under before. I was also hoping that the nurse listened to me and didn't put the IV in my hand..I HATE that..always hurts. All the nurses and staff were very nice. The nurse actually asked me if I had a preference or any ideas on where to put my IV. I told her if she can get it in somewhere other than my hand that'd be GREAT! After slapping my arm around a little she found a good vein on my forearm that seemed it would work. Success!! She did an awesome job, I didn't even feel it! Next was off to the anesthesia room to get my block. The anesthesiologist gave me something to relax me a little through my IV first. Then he had me turn my head to the right and gave me a general anesthetic to numb the area...just a slight burn..not bad at ALL. Next they hooked these pads up to me to stimulate my nerves to figure out exactly where to place the block. That was a very odd feeling but didn't hurt. My arm started flopping around like a fish outta water! They administered the block and I didn't feel anything at ALL as they were doing it...thank goodness!

They took me back to the pre-op room to wait for my surgery. ONLY complaint that I had is that they told me if there was time in between the block and the surgery they would send John back in. The Dr. came in and marked my shoulder and told me that it would probably be about a 1/2 hour to an hour until surgery. I didn't see John again....

From the beginning of the day I had a headache, I think mostly from not being able to have my morning coffee. It kept getting worse until it finally turned into a full blown migraine about 2 hours before actual surgery. I obviously couldn't take any migraine meds and didn't know how they'd react afterwards with all the other pain meds and anesthesia. I remember the last thing I said after I was in the surgery room was, "I figure I'll ask all of you guys since you're all here, can I take a Maxalt when this is all done to get rid of my migraine?" LOL...I remember the nurse saying, "We're gonna give you something here in a minute that will get rid of that headache for you". I said, "ok" thinking that she meant for good!

Coming out of anesthesia I remember being very restless..and STILL with a migraine. WORST FEELING EVER. First thing I asked OUT of anesthesia was if I could take a Maxalt. The nurse said shouldn't be a problem and just at that moment the Dr. was walking by, quick told me everything went well, no surprises, and YES I could take a Maxalt! wooohooo. I got my grape juice and pretzels, John was called in to go over discharge instructions and I was wheeled down to the car...where I took a Maxalt! Longest car ride home EVER! Came home and crawled in bed...just wanted my migraine to go away! John had to run out to the dollar store and get me one of those "beauty sleep" masks, so I could keep all the light out as best as I could that was coming through the blinds

Sleep the first night was rough, I got about 4-5 hours of very broken sleep. I am to be taking my pain pills every 4 hours round the clock. We have our alarms set so I take at 8pm, 12 midnight, 4 am and 8 I'm waking up through out the night to take a pill and eat a snack so I don't get sick.
After my migraine was manageable John had to laugh at me, I wanted to sit up and come out to the living room, but without having any lights that dim, they were still just a little too bright for me..therefore I had my sunglasses on as I was talking to my mom on the phone. Told me I look like a redneck diva in my flannel with sunglasses on and on the phone....and the lovely bag of frozen veggies!
Last night the block finally started to wear off, the numbness and tingling was horrible, but now the pain is pretty intense. I was in tears last night and broke down and took 2 pain pills instead of just 1. I'm allowed 1-3 pills every 4 hours..and have been trying to stay with the least amount possible. I took my pill at 8pm and at 8:40pm I decided I was taking another and going to bed. I slept all night waking at 12midnight and 4am to take 2 pills each time.
Physical therapy started this a.m. They took off my bandages. I have 3 incisions with steri-strips over them. I went into p.t. with the saying, "no pain, no gain" in mind. I know that's usually what they go by. I was fully prepared to be in some pain. I had my pain pill at 8am with a bowl of oatmeal and was feeling ok...weak, but pain wasn't TOO bad. He told me we are NOT looking at my situation as, "no pain, no gain". The bone was cut...therefore I will have a LOT of pain, but at the same time, we need to let that bone heal a little before we can really start messing with it. I got hooked up to a stimulator and a cryo wrap. The cryo wrap puts compression all around your shoulder to try to promote circulation all the while it's forcing ice cold water through the wrap so your whole shoulder is encapsulated in felt GREAT! He explained to me how to be holding my arm and placement with sleeping and sitting. Really cool thing is that I can have my arm placed just so and still type without moving my shoulder and FINALLY have MOST of the feeling back in my hand...finger tips still tingling but getting better.

I was told by the p.t. that this will be a very slow process of first healing, then range of motion, then strengthening. He told me it will take me about 6 months to get back to the strength that I started with! Guess I'm in it for the long haul...moving forward, even if at a snails pace. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Surgery, smurgery...time to move on like a warrior!

Tomorrow is the big day...shoulder surgery. I've been all kinds of messed up this weekend on an emotional roller coaster. When you're in the medical field you know things sometimes that you just wish you didn't know. Some situations are better to be stupid about than have a lot of knowledge. So they're doing a "Resection of my distal clavicle with acromioplasty" in Lehman's terms means, they are cutting off the last 1/2 inch of my collar bone that connects at my shoulder, which is your AC joint and then going in and cleaning out my joint space. I have really bad arthritis and my bones are clicking and rubbing together. They cut off the bone so it will eventually build scar tissue and make it stop rubbing, preventing more deterioration and arthritis. There, now you all had your health lesson for the day.

I've been REALLY slacking lately...eating horribly and not working out like I should be. I've been trying to rest my shoulder as best I can. I feel really weak at the moment and just want this surgery done and over with. I think ever since I actually scheduled it, I've had it in my mind that I could let myself go and I'll rebuild everything back up after surgery...wrong way to look at things! I AM SO excited though to get to physical therapy and start working on getting back on track. I've really been trying to think about how far I've come on my journey thus far, and keep in mind allll the other things I have on my bucket list (which is A LOT) and realize that the Spartan race wasn't my, "ok I've done what I've come to do, now let's pack it up and call it a life of  fitness." I've really been struggling with that. I think somewhere in the back of my mind I feel like, "ok that was enough, it was a struggle and I don't want to rock the boat more than what I did." I've got to keep reminding myself of THIS

Just because I have a before and after HERE, doesn't mean I can't make ANOTHER before and after!! I took off a lot of the weight now it's time to really crack down and make things better!! I want muscles, I want definition, and I want my strength back!! It's extra hard when you're not seeing results almost instantaneously like you did in the beginning. Back when I started this journey it was nothing to shave off a few inches and go down about 5 pounds in 1 week. Now those inches slowly creeeeeeep off over a few weeks to months, and the weight just kinda stays around the same. I know better than to let that get to me and make me give up! Why in the world would I let myself feel sorry for myself and slowly fade back into my former self! NO, we are NOT going there!!

I've let my mind go and my body has followed. It's time to get back on track, jump off the pity train and crack open that inner warrior voice telling me to STFU and MOVE!! Surgery day is almost here...I WILL be fine and I WILL move forward, cause baby there is NO, NO, NO, going back now!

Saturday, September 8, 2012


Today's race wasn't about me, it was all about John. Today we did the Yes I Can 5K at Gring's Mill to benefit the Special Olympics. If you've read my previous posts you know that John has quit smoking about 2 packs per day for over 20 years and started running just 7 weeks ago. He's been training really hard and actually keeping me motivated to run as my motivation has been lacking lately.
We were up early this morning and John was busy running around trying to make sure he didn't forget anything. He finally realized the feelings I've had on race day mornings, and especially my first race. He likes to pick on me though and pointed out that he wasn't in his words, "crying and crapping" LOL!! Yes as a woman I'm much more emotional and yes I have a nervous stomach, TMI, I know...get over it. My first few races were just that. Tears and bathrooms. I could tell that John was nervous on the way there by the continuous sighs he was letting out in the car. My sister met us to come along with her son, my 3 (almost 4) year old nephew. He was so excited from the time that she told him he was going to the race. He wanted to race along side Aunt AA and Uncle John.
Taking a walk over the bridge before the race with Uncle John

Austin taking everything all in.

We took some time to walk around and check everything out, hit up the bathrooms, eat our cliff bars, banana, and G1's. Then it was time to make sure we had our numbers on. I don't know what John was more nervous for, the race, or me pinning on his number!
We also had someone leading us in pre-race warm-ups and stretching. We decided sure why not...we had fun TRYING to do some of the poses they were leading us through. I think the woman leading it is a yoga instructor, can you tell?? haha
Now that we were all warmed up we made our way to the starting area. Alana had the camera so unfortunately we didn't get any pictures of her, but she was having fun taking pictures of everyone else.
Just a few minutes left to go. We made our way to the starting area and took a real quick jog to loosen up a little. I told John not to get caught up in the crowd and start at your own pace. We had decided from the beginning that 1. If I get out ahead of him I WILL NOT cross the finish line without him and 2. If he got out in front of me GO FOR IT!! I wasn't sure how I was going to do, training has been a little rough. Getting back on track after my ankle injury hasn't been going so well. I realized today, my last race was a while ago, the end of April when I did my 10K. I had a fever last evening and haven't been feeling well. I took some Tylenol this morning and figured whatever happens, happens.
John cheesin as we start off. The run wasn't as flat as we were told. I've run Gring's Mill a few times, but always went the opposite way of what we ran today. There WERE a few small hills. John and I started off together and I wasn't feeling too bad. John was keeping a good pace. The trail is narrow and it was very hard to pass people, especially when the fast runners started coming back around the opposite way for the out and back course. I eventually got into a good pace and decided that I better keep it up or I'm just going to stop. I knew John wasn't far behind me, at the turn around I shouted out some motivation to him as we passed. It felt like the race went on FOREVER today. As I came close to the finish line I ran up far enough that I could see the timer, it was right at 40 minutes. We figured there was about a 15 second delay at the starting line, so I'm thinking my time would have been right at 40 minutes..NOT BAD considering all the factors of not racing for quite a while and having a fever (which was confirmed when I came home ugggh). I stopped in my tracks...turned around and started going the opposite way to go find John. Just as I was getting back over the bridge I could see him coming up around the little hill to get onto the bridge. I told him to push it out and he tells me, "my legs don't have anything left." I told him, "yes they do! Mind over matter, you GOT this! Push it out...let's go" I was yelling at him all the way to the finish line where he finished, his watch time saying in 41:24!! A GREAT time considering it was his first 5K, and only had 7 weeks to train and JUST quit smoking!!
What an awesome day, watching my husband cross the finish line of his first 5K. Next weekend is a 5K mud run!! I am so excited to do another race with him. I LOVE that we now have more in common and a shared love for running and fitness. From losing 60 pounds regardless of multiple health problems, to quitting smoking, being a very bad addict (2-3 packs a day at times for over 20 years) OH yeah...and John's a juvenile diabetic too!! We all have obstacles to over come...what's yours and what's stopping you from becoming more healthy, active and happy with a sense of accomplishment??!! I, and now John too, can tell you, there is no greater feeling than crossing that finish line!! Get over your fear that you can't, and start saying, YES I CAN!!!