Roadblocks and Sidelines, Part 2 (FF)

Hey, turns out I suck at keeping my own deadlines.  My bad, y’all.

So let’s talk Part Two.  When last I left you, I had a pretty bad knee injury, but I was making good progress by modifying and working with it.  But about five weeks after that 60 foot jump…BAM.  Out of the workout world again.  Here are the gory details…

It’s a lovely summer night, a Sunday to be exact.  The kids are in bed and I begin preparing for the week ahead.  While in my kitchen, I bend down to pick something up and feel an all too familiar pain in my abdomen.  I have been experiencing this pain off and on for about 10 years.  I never thought much of it as it would dissipate after a couple of hours, and it always occurred after overeating, so I just thought, hey.  Don’t overeat and it won’t happen.  A logical solution.

I did my best to ignore the pain, but after three hours, it was still hurting.  And worse than usual.  I couldn’t get comfortable.  Writhing is the most apt word to describe my movement.  This continued all night long.  Seven hours…eight hours…  My babysitter has arrived, my husband has left for work, and I could hardly move, so going to work was not an option.  Nine hours…that’s it.  I have to see a doctor.

Since moving to our new home, I had yet to find a new general practitioner, so imagine me trying to pull up the Internet on my phone as I writhe in agony.  I call the first doctor: not taking new patients.  Second on the list: we can see you on Thursday.  Nope.  Third call:  We can see you today, but not until 4:00 p.m.  I told the nurse on the line that I didn’t think I could make it that long.  She said, “I can hear how much pain you are in.  Do not wait.  Do not go to urgent care.  Go to the emergency room.  Now.”

After a quick text to the babysitter asking her to come upstairs, she takes one look at me and knows something is wrong.  As calmly as I can, I tell her I need her to take me to the ER.  Now.  I could not be more grateful to how quickly she acted.  Kids dressed and in the car in less than 10 minutes, and we were on our way.

The pain when in the waiting room was about a 8.5 on a 10-point scale.  My breathing was shallow, my body unable to stand erect, my blood pressure was high, and my heart was pounding, but slowly.  My resting heart rate is normally somewhere around 45-50, and when I first got my vitals, I was 30-35.  Let me tell you a secret: medical professionals do not like that.  At.  All.  I learned the heart has three rhythms it (usually) beats on.  First level is normal, and the other two are back ups in case your heart can’t maintain its normal rhythm.  I was on the third, and final, back up.  Every time my heart rate would drop below 30, a flurry of activity would surround me.  So in addition to the excruciating pain which brought me in here, my heart is being constantly monitored because they pretty much think I can drop dead at any moment.  Fun! (Author’s note: I was not that worried because I have always had a naturally slow heart rate, but better safe than sorry.)

After an ultrasound, it is confirmed I have gall stones.  I have been passing one and that is what all the pain is about.  They have me drink a disgusting concoction to try and fix it that way.  That lasts about 20 minutes until my stomach says, um, no thank you.  Then off to the MRI.  I quite enjoyed that, actually.  I was so snug and warm, it was very easy for me to fall asleep in there.  Clearly, I am not claustrophobic.  I think I’m going back to the ER, but no, I’m being carted off to a room.  “Oh, yes, we are definitely admitting you…we need to take out your gall bladder…within the next 24 hours…oh, don’t panic, it’s just that you might have an infection that can spread and possibly make you sicker, or (slightly) less possibly, dead.”  Yeah, let’s get that sucker out.

And that we did.  By 11 a.m. the next morning, I was in pre-op.  There was another awesome conversation about my heart rate and what the anesthesiologist will do if I go into cardiac arrest.  (Why didn’t they wait til I was under to talk about that?!)  Surgery is a success, they did not have to cut me completely open, I sleep for another day, then go home.  The end.

I could list a ton of negatives about the experience, but I prefer to look at the positives, so here are the pros: I previously had my appendix removed at age 20, so I was familiar with the whole emergency surgery situation.  My room was very cozy, and even though I was alone for most of my ordeal, between texting and Facebook, I had a lot of support and love around me.  I didn’t have to be “on” for about 72 hours.  I will never have that debilitating pain ever again.  Not too shabby.

So here I am, two months later, having completed my first workout post-surgery and feeling pretty good.  I was worried about my ab muscles healing, but they were troopers.  Shaky troopers, but troopers.  I think one of the hardest things about this was having to start over.  You know how it feels when you miss a day or week of workouts due to sickness or unexpected circumstances.  It feels like you can never get back to where you were.  But I’ve set some new goals, and I can do nothing else but work toward them, one day at a time.

Thanks again for all the well wishes for my recovery.  While not an ideal situation, I am, as always, filled with gratitude I was able to get the help I needed when I needed it.  Here’s to health and more consistent blogging!

Inspire.  Motivate.  Move.  ~R

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