Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Starting from Scratch

I discovered an abdominal mass this spring, and I knew it was something that would need to be removed. This isn't my first rodeo. I went to my surgeon in April and told him I promised to schedule surgery after my triathlon in June. My surgeon didn't think it was a great idea to wait, but I'm not known for my listening. True to my word, my triathlon was on June 21, and my pre-op visit was June 22. Surgery was scheduled for July 9, and I assumed I'd be running again by the end of the month. I'd lose very little of my fitness level, and I'd jump right back into running like a champ.

Of course we all know that isn't how it happened, and now I'm looking at starting running again soon from a very different place. I'm much skinnier, I'm weaker, I'm not able to eat much. Yet somehow next week I will begin training for a marathon. The smartest idea I've ever had? Obviously not. But life is meant for living, not standing on the sidelines.

I have the go ahead from my doctor to resume running on August 14. Technically he said "jogging", but I'm pretty sure we're on the same page. Let's be honest - my first few runs are going to be jogging at best, so I think we're safe. I'm nearly three weeks post op from surgery number two, and I'm starting to feel the itch. Don't get me wrong - I'm still walking very slowly, and I've got a lot of healing left to do. But I'm getting stronger every day. Next week I will lace up my running shoes and make it happen.

My husband gets annoyed with me because I often (and by often I mean always) downplay how sick I am. I deal with a lot of stuff, but what's the point in dwelling on it or telling people I'm sick? What does that accomplish? So I suck it up and push forward because honestly that's the only way I know how to function. 

I'll be honest though - this hospital stay threw even me for a loop. I was (and still am frankly) in a good bit of pain, and I was scared. They couldn't figure out what was wrong, I wasn't able to keep anything down for weeks, and then I ended up with a blood clot on top of it. I was very scared during most of the hospital stay, but now I'm ready to move on. Mentally I ran 10 miles this morning. Physically I got ready for work and then I was exhausted. I'm psyched for the day, hopefully soon, where my body catches up with my mind.

I've been really lucky, to be honest. As a Crohn's patient I had a run of luck that lasted more than a decade. I've gotten IV infusions every six weeks, and that has kept me healthy. I was due for an issue, and I got one (or several). I started running eight years ago, and Crohn's has rarely sidelined me. This setback has been huge, but life is filled with obstacles. It's how you let them affect you that says something about who you are.

Yesterday I came back to work, and I worked a little more than half of the day. I went home and napped for several hours, and then took ANOTHER nap before bed. True story. I've got a lot of recovering left to do, but it's all part of the healing process. I'm looking forward to the "hey I'm running again!" posts. But for today I'll take another nap and get another day closer to it. 


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