Friday, December 20, 2013

Happy Runiversary

Today is my Runiversary.  Not my “I just started” running runiversary, sadly, but I’m celebrating this one as a pretty big milestone nontheless.  I really can’t remember the first time I went for a run that wasn’t required in PE, but I remember Dec. 20, 2011 like it was yesterday.

Two years ago today I had just started my journey to getting healthy.  Inspired by my Best Running Friend Cyndie who had lost over 20 pounds that fall, I started a program called Take Shape For Life.

By December 20 I had lost, I think up to that point close to 20 pounds.  For the first few weeks on the program you are encouraged to take it easy and let your body adjust.  Then I started walking, 30 minutes, every other day.  It was always really cold (thank you December) but I bundled up and I went anyway and I was happy.  I didn’t miss a walk.  Sometimes one of the kids came with me.

For me to even make the effort to go for a walk was monumental.  Sad, considering I’d been somewhat athletic and an on again off again on again off again runner.  Something I loved so much was not as important to me as food, and, well alcohol.

I had grown somewhat dependent on a half-bottle or more a night wine habit when I lost my father 18 months before.  I wasn’t an alcoholic, let me be clear.  But I did use alcohol to numb the pain of a loss I never expected and the guilt of not being a better daughter.  

I always made very meal I could from scratch and convinced myself I was OK because I was eating healthy.  But the pounds piled on, and oh the empty calories and the fullness of a life well-lived just slipping through my fingertips.

The day I hopped on the scale and weighed what my husband weighed was my rock bottom.  He’s 6 foot 4.  I’m, well, not.  I looked in the mirror and realized that no matter what I was the only person in control of my life and my health.  I have a beautiful family, an incredible husband and amazing children and I was putting every proverbial nail in my early death coffin, just like my father.

I talked to Cyndie, she referred me to Beth Kershner, and I never, ever looked back.  So back to December 20th.  What made December 20 different than any other day to start running, I’ll never know.  But that morning, on an 18 degree clear Boise winter day (we were visiting family for the holidays) I put on the warmest things I had, laced up and went out my mom’s back door.

I walked to one song to warm up.  Then ran without stopping to the next song.  Walked another one, ran the next one.  I went for 30 minutes total.  I remember the blue-ness of the sky, the feel of the sun on my face (the only skin exposed to the elements), that amazing smell of a crisp, cool, winter morning.  The hoar frost on the trees and how it glittered like little tiny diamonds as a light breeze blew it off the naked branches.  

I remember the sweat under my (non-wicking dri fit) clothes and how quickly I warmed up.  I remember smiling the entire time I was out there in that frigid cold.  I remember the construction workers checking me out, and I DIDN’T remember the last time that ever happened.  

I remember that, for the first time in a really really really long time, I felt alive.  Really alive.  Oh how I had missed this.  This feeling that nothing and no one could touch me, that I was in control.  

That I could do this, do anything, really.  I didn’t want it to end, but I promised myself just the 30 minutes, and not to overdo it.  So I went inside, smiling on the inside and out and I haven’t stopped since.

There’s so much more to tell in this story but I’m leaving it at this.  So Happy Runiversary to me, and to all of us out there.  If you run a block, a mile or a marathon.  You know what a special, wonderful, crazy gift this thing of running is.  You understand why I want to celebrate the date I reclaimed my life, my health, my sanity and who I am.

I’m many things, but I always have been, and always will be, a runner.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Maude vs The Procedure

I was feeling brave, daring and a little bit stupid on the morning of my procedure.  I was still squirting rocket fuel from my butt (prior to starting part 2 of the prep) but it was definitely waning and I needed to send a few packages in the mail.

After dropping off the kids at school (not a metaphor for pooping, I really did take my kids to school) I picked up a box of packages at home and drove to the post office, arriving just shortly before their 9AM opening.

This was the daring part of my day.  The thing about the Golightly (aside from not actually going lightly) is that when you realize it's time to GO, it's TIME TO GO and you better be less than ten feet away from a toilet or an outhouse, or hell even a hole in the ground.

I really needed to mail these packages out and I thought if I got to the post office before they opened I'd be in and out before lightning struck.  When I got there, about 100 other people had the same idea.  So I got in line, practiced my ass-kegels and hoped for the best.

I had a "I'm going to bail on this" plan in mind.  If I didn't get to the front door by 9:30 I would be outta there, but if I made it there then I was sure I'd get my packages mailed and be home A) in time to shart and B) by 10AM so I could finish that delicious and well prepared solution just waiting for me in the fridge.

I don't know if you've ever stood in line WITH GRAVITY pulling at your poop WHILE juggling a LARGE BOX FULL of packages to mail ON AN EMPTY STOMACH, but I wouldn't recommend it. 

The guy in front of me was tweeting on his phone (no doubt about the alien stirring inside the woman in line behind him) and the guy behind me, I think, wished he WASN'T "behind" me, based on the noises my guts were making.

On the plus side, I didn't fart, because, well, when you've had Golightly you NEVER. TRUST. A. FART. 

At 9:27AM I made it to the front door and I knew at that point I wasn't going anywhere until my packages were posted.  I would like to give a shout out to the Beaverton post office: you guys freaking ROCK.  I was done by 9:50AM and made it home by 10. 

They were moving really fast (kind of like my poop) and I am glad I stuck it out.  That experience folks, waiting for 55 minutes at the Post Office, was the highlight of my day.

I certainly need not provide additional details about my "prep" experience, the video from yesterday and my descriptions really capture the moment well.  I'll fast forward to the experience in the clinic because I need to get a lot off my chest and this seems like the appropriate place to do it.  As you may or may not know this blog started as a recommendation from my therapist.

My check in time was 2:40PM.  Like a good patient I got there at 2:30.  They brought me back closer to 3.  No biggie, I'm just ravenously hungry and peeing like a freaking race horse, because in addition to pounding down drano in 8OZ increments every ten minutes you are also expected to drink twice as much water as you normally do.  I looked like I was about 3 months pregnant. 

I had to put on the hospital gown with these sexy little non-slip socks.  And I mean SEX-Y.  They left me with a blanket thank GOD because the gown barely covered up my lady business (when you're 6 feet tall you need more than a pediatric sized gown, jussayin').

I had to pee twice while we waited, and then again when they came in at about 3:15 and put my I.V. in.  The assured me I was next in line.  I tried to ignore the groaning and grunting I could hear through the wall.

I sat there waiting, waiting, waiting.........  Eventually I feel asleep, not because they had given me ANYTHING in the I.V., no, I was so calorically deficient that I just passed out. 

When I woke up I was still no closer to getting into the procedure room so my sweet husband decided to play hangman with me.  That lasted about six rounds and then I asked what time it was.  He didn't want to tell me.  I MADE him.  It was 4:40PM.  I suddenly realized I had to pee desperately and my lips were really chapped.  You start to notice all kinds of crap when you're pinned down to a bed, thank you I.V.

So he had to go WITH ME to the bathroom.  As if it isn't humiliating enough to be wearing a mini-gown, with sexy gray socks, but then your husband has to come WITH YOU to the bathroom while you pee out of your BUTT and your pee pee hole.  There's not a shred of mystery left in our relationship at this point.

I'm not sure when they finally wheeled me back into the "room" but I was pretty hot and in NO MOOD for small talk or any discussion with Dr. M.  I pretty much was like "let's get this shit over with so I can get the hell out of here."

The last time I had this done (9 years ago) I remember NOTHING.  And I mean NOTHING.  This time, I remember 97.4 % of it.

First of all, Mark said he could hear me SCREAMING from the recovery room, on the other side of the wall.  What I remember is saying fun and sweet things like "mother f&%ker" that hurts and "g-damn it" and also "son of a b%$ch".  Then just press repeat.  I think I apologized for my profanity but in hindsight I really shouldn't have.  They can suck it.  That shizzle hurt like a mo-fo.

So rather than, I don't know, giving me a little more sedative, the stupid anesthesiologist was HOLDING ME DOWN so I wouldn't move, and saying "we're almost there".  I wanted to ask her if she'd ever felt like there was a GIANT ALIEN BEING crawling around her intestines but I was too busy being in pain and crying for my mommy.  If I could have gotten my thumb in my mouth I would have but the damn woman had my arms pinned too.

I'm really hoping there's some Karmaic influence at work here and someday she'll be in my, er, position and better understand why just knocking my ass out would have been the humane thing to do.  As expected, they didn't see anything they thought they would and believe me I watched a decent amount of it, listened to their small talk, told them a funny story about my mom (tee hee) and then they wheeled me back to the recovery room. 

They told me they removed some stuff, biopsied something they couldn't remove (trust me, I'm not worried at all about it) and sent me home with some after care instructions.  In recovery, I drank two cups of apple juice, ate shortbread cookies they gave me, three packs of graham crackers and two packs of saltines.  I probably looked like Cookie Monster eating a cookie.  And had the crumbs all over me to prove it.

I will say this: my story is unusual.  Honestly.  Most people don't remember ANYTHING from their colonscopy experience.  It's VERY rare for you to remember anything or feel anything or remember that you felt anything so I don't want to deter ANYONE from doing this.  It's one of those screenings that, while really unpleasant for 48 hours, is super important to do. 

And trust me, I remember what the "anesthesiologist" looks like and I REMEMBER HER NAME.  She better hope I don't see her in public or Maude's gonna punch her in the gut, in about seven different places.  And then I'm gonna pin her down, get two inches from her face and say "we're almost there."  With a SMILE ON MY FACE.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Maude VS the Prep

Most of yesterday was spent with the feeling that my stomach was trying to digest itself.  I stayed home from work, and it was a good choice given my fragile state of mind (and I was starting to hallucinate the smell of bacon) and my ever so slighlty edgy mood.  But, as it turns out, I did need a distraction so I thought maybe running a couple errands would be all right.

Here's kind of how the day went:

11:30AM - decided to get off the computer and have some broth.  Maybe that would help me feel a little less so-hungry-I-could-eat-a-whole-extra-large-pizza feeling I had going on.  Heated it up and it looked like pee.  Drank it anyway, and it tasted amaze-balls.

12:00PM - changed into my workout gear, thought maybe it would be OK to just go lift some weights, no cardio or anything like that.  Got dizzy after putting my shoes on, decided it wasn't my best idea.

12:15PM - Put on sweats, easier to remove when the unstoppable lava-like butt barfing begins.

12:30PM - Gathered up a few things to mail, made a short list of things I needed at the store (what the f@!k was I thinking going to a place with FOOD) and headed out the door.

12:45 - Arrived at Fred Meyer with list in hand.  Found myself staring at all the fried chicken and frog eye salad at the deli counter while a small stream of drool fell from the corner of my mouth.  I tore myself away and ran through the store as quickly as possible. Unfortunately my trip to the store wasn't nearly as painful as my trip to the Pizza Parlor.

1:00PM - Walked into Papa's Pizza to pick up the donation check from fundraiser we recently did.  The smell of their pizza buffet nearly brought me to my knees.  I had to wait just inches away from the most glorious display of heat lamp warmed coagulated left over pizza slices that never looked so good to me in my life.  All I wanted to do was escape from this hell but it turns out I had to run back outside to grab my drivers license.  Who knew they wanted picture ID to verify I am who I say I am before handing over a very large check. 

1:15PM - Ran to the bank, figured it would be a quick and painless adventure, no food there right?  Coincidentally they share a wall with Panda Express and once again the overwhelming urge to say f%&k it and eat everything it sight nearly overtook my better judgement.  I stayed the course and headed to the UPS store for an hour of my life I'll never get back.  And I ended up not mailing all my packages because it was twice as much as going to the post office.

I had enough time to get gas, run home to refill my water and guzzle some more chicken broth before picking up my children who had been warned in the morning to be nice to me at the end of the day because I would be hungry and grumpy.  Their only response was "Hope you don't take something fun away from us because you're mad" to which I, mother of the year, replied "well you've been warned so you'd better be nice or I will."

At 4PM sharp the prep officially began, and I opted to burn up my twitter account just for the hell of it.  Here's the rundown:

Chicken broth never tasted so f-ing good.

Let's do this:

This is my cup of choice. Channeling my inner competitor to get this done in 10 minute intervals instead of 15.

I really would rather be drinking beer right now.
Made this for the fam for dinner. Smells amaze balls. 

Then I sent the following text to my husband shortly after the most amazing pizza ever made was fresh out of the oven:  Hope you are on your way soon.  The floodgates have opened.
My home for the evening. I cleaned it just so I can defile it all night long. #thankscolonoscopy #lastpostipromise (of course it was NOT my last post)
Bought a people magazine today hoping for celebrity gossip. Turns out I grabbed the holiday issue full of recipes & pics


Some time after I completed phase one of the prep I passed out on the bed.  One or both of my children came in to see me, though I don't remember for sure.  I destroyed the plumbing, annihilated our TP supply and went through a half a tube of A&D ointment.  And in hindsight (poor choice of words I know) I should have put the A&D on well before the assplosions began.

So I'm four glasses (of 8) in on my morning prep and I can feel the rumblings the likes of which remind me of this:   TIMES A DOZEN, or more, I lost count around the time I passed out.

So I'm off to lube up and burn through the rest of my reading material.  Until tomorrow friends.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Maude VS The Colonscopy Part 1

I assure you, this isn't my first rodeo.  Nope, my butt's been scoped before.  It's been about 9 years so I'm overdue for a good cleansing and subsequent ass violation.  And that whole cancer thing I guess. 

They said I needed to have this done.  I'm expecting them to find nothing but a lovely soft pink tissued shit hole tomorrow, but in the meantime I'm super grumpy.

Thankfully I realized that being at the office today would not be in my best interest (or anyone else for that matter) since I'm on a clear-liquids-only diet (crossing my fingers that wine counts as a clear liquid because I'm desperate to make the pain go away).

Yesterday, really part 1 of the process, was picking up the "Golightly" powder solution that gets mixed with water in a gallon jug.  And, as mentioned, I've been down this muddy road before, "Go Lightly" isn't the most aptly named product if I'm being honest.  At the pharmacy counter (which was THANKFULLY empty save for me and my horrified 9 year old daughter) they at least giggled when I pointed that out.

I ass-cracked several other inappropriate jokes as well, because what the hell, why not?  No big secret what I'm going to be doing.  She asked if I'd ever done this before to which I replied yes, and I'm well prepared with a new tube of A&D Ointment and a stack of magazines to read. 

The only thing I think I'll WISH I had was a padded toilet seat because I'll be sharting out a weekend's worth of debauchery for several hours and I remember it not being advisable to leave the immediate area.  I'll also be longing for a pair of "Oops I Crapped My Pants" to wear if I'm not careful.  Thinking a pack of these should be a buy one get one when you pick up the Golightly.

Starting today at 4PM I'll be channeling my inner college drinking self and guzzling 8 OZ of floor stripper every 10 minutes until half of the gallon is gone.  Maybe I should watch a rerun of Discovery's Gold Rush and take an 8OZ shot every time Jack Hoffman says "Glory Hole", cuz that's like really super appropriate.

Then I get to do the other half tomorrow morning which is so not totally awesome.  But thankfully the kids will be at school.  I'm hitting the store in a little bit to get some flavoring for the solution (they said I could) and probably more reading material.  Two tours of "doodie" on the crapper will mean I'll burn through every issue of Runner's World I haven't yet had time to read.

And I'll probably pen part 2 when I'm all done tomorrow, prior to the actual ass violation in the afternoon and I'm going to have to rely on Mark to recap every odd, ridiculous and inappropriate thing I say while under anesthesia.  I'm sure there will be even more juicy nuggets to report.  So if you don't like reading about poop, you probably want to skip the next few posts.