So, as most of you know, my current reality is about as close to a polar-opposite situation of what I'd ever wanted or imagined possible. That said, whether I like it or not, it's what I got on my plate for the next couple months In case you haven't heard, I had emergency surgery...and things are gonna be a little crazy for awhile (details HERE ).
How am I doing thus far? Amazingly, I feel alright.
I am extremely overwhelmed with the gravity of what all has happened, but I'm not ready to call it quits and burn my Mizunos. Maybe I'm still in the "deer in the headlights" phase of it, or maybe I'm in denial. Or maybe, just maybe, my #glasshalffull way of life is refusing to keep me down. (stay tuned...I'm still not sure which of these options is at play).
For the past six days, I have taken up residence in a hospital room. I really can't complain about the accommodations, as this hospital resembles a 5-star deluxe hotel (but comes complete with medical professionals who are just a buzz away). And I have learned the fine art of blogging from a hospital bed with a laptop computer (which is not as user-friendly as my desktop computer at home).
|coming to you LIVE from room 4015
I have had visitors, received countless messages/texts/phone calls, and have received some pretty flowers while here. The hubby even snagged a few flowers from my garden and brought them in the Gatorade bottle that had accompanied me to that appointment last Thursday (consequently, the bottle got left in the car for the four days following). Needless to say, I will not be drinking any more water from it, but it serves well as a flower vase.
|the last hurrah for the Gatorade bottle
I have learned a lot of new medical terminology. Can you say, "wound vac, PICC line, or hemovac" and know what they all mean? One of my nurses is also a marathoner, so her and I have had a lot to talk about. I also have a new friend, Guido. He's the IV pole that has been by my side through all of this (he's even gone to the bathroom with me...every.single.time.)
|Hanging out with Guido
...and this is Linus, he's my PICC line, he's a new friend who will be tagging along when I go home.
So, yes, I'm looking at a temporary change of lifestyle for the remainder of the summer. Although I'm always up for a challenge, this is a bit more than I would have chosen. Like with running, it's the tough events that truly make us stronger, so this will not be all bad.
Truthfully, it's not so much the absence of running that will be tough, it's the fact that I simply have no choice but to NOT run. This mandatory running sabbatical comes as a consequence of the unfortunate infection that decided to wreak havoc on my knee (and part of my leg) in recent weeks. It stemmed from bursitis, which we do not even know for certain came as a result of running (since it spontaneously appeared from out of nowhere, with no warning). Emergency surgery was needed to "clean and flush" the area underneath the skin to rid it immediately of the infected fluid. Thus, I am left with not only a 6-inch suture wound to heal, but also a few additional weeks of antibiotics (via IV) to ensure the last of this infection is gone for good. Fun, huh!
This will not be an ideal summer, but it will be manageable. As much as I love running, I do not rely on it for stress relief (at least I don't think I do...so I will not be missing any "therapy" sessions LOL). I also do not run everyday, so I will not be lacking any daily doses of habitual lacing-up. And, fortunately, I am not just a runner....I do a lot of other forms of exercise to stay fit, so I'm not worried about gaining weight or losing muscle tone by being side-lined. No doubt, this will be a setback to my endurance, but I'm not worried about that either. Given the delicate state of the skin on my knee, I will need to take things slow anyways when I am cleared to run again. I don't think it will be like starting over, but it will require careful, gradual base re-building.
|I may or may not have already been planking and doing push-ups against my window sill
What I will miss, though, is the simple act of running itself. I will miss running by myself and also with my friend, Barb (who has already informed me that she's at a loss as to what she is gonna do these next two months since we do most of our training together). I will be MIA at some fun races that I have done for the past few years. And, I will desperately miss being outside, pounding the pavement in the early morning hours of a summer day.
I had already planned (before that inevitable day, June 29th, turned my life upside-down) to spend the summer focusing a little more on strength-training and simply maintaining some of my running endurance (you know, for those half marathons that I was going to add to my late summer/early fall calendar). Well, the strength-training can still happen (within certain boundaries), but the running will simply have to take a mini vacay of its own. Healing this 6-inch suture on my knee is paramount and is now my primary focus. If that doesn't happen, the running will have to wait even longer....and I ain't got time for that.
I have already had my first DNS since this happened. There's a 4th of July 5K in a nearby town that I have done the past few years, and I have placed in the top three in my age group each time. This year, though, I spent the morning in my hospital room, dressed in what would have been my race day outfit. I had laid out the outfit a few days ago, on my closet floor. As fate would have it, when the hubby packed my "overnight bag," he threw those pieces in with a few other things to bring to me, not knowing they had any special significance. Fate? Maybe.
|Even though I couldn't run my race, I still got to wear my race outfit
As tempting as it would be to curl up into a little ball and feel sorry for myself, I realize that would do nothing for my sanity. Trust me, I am pretty bitter that this happened to me, but dwelling on it would just reinforce the frustration of the situation. They say laughter is the best medicine and, so far, it has helped me feel a little less gloomy and doomy. After all, two months is a long time to stay angry. I'd much rather spend it with a positive frame of mind as I look forward to coming back thoroughly recovered and stronger than ever.
So, talk to me....Have you ever been forced into an extended recovery period? Ever have an emergency operation that threw your life (momentarily) upside-down? Were you able to keep your sense of humor through the process?
** I'm linking up with Suzie and Rachel and Debbie and Lora for the Running Coaches' Corner