I had a great blog written today. I did. But I didn’t hit save, or publish, and my computer decided it needed to restart for an update and I lost it. So be aware that you’re getting the less awesome version tonight-I’m quite certain I was more witty earlier.
It’s been a rough week or so. I was convinced I was falling apart. I kind of was-I kind of am. My masseuse last week spent nearly the whole appointment working on my shins and was convinced that I had “dehydrated lymph nodes protruding from the muscle causing the soreness”. Sure. I laid there while she scraped and pushed all along my leg, and while I was bummed she never got to those aching shoulder/back muscles of mine, I was hopeful she’d made a difference.
WRONG! My shin pain has been pretty consistent up until the day after that massage. It would hurt a bit when I started, never not manageable but definitely there. A solid 5 on the pain scale. And then it would dissipate and I’d go about my business. But last Saturday? That shin was on FIIIRRREEEEEEEE. It hurt like ripping, tearing, but also like muscle bracing. I kept going, sure that it would follow pattern and go away. At half a mile, it was still going strong. At .75, I knew I was in trouble. At a mile, I gave up and limped home. My doctor’s office does urgent care on Saturdays from 8-12, so I figured that was the best place for me. That pain was intense. They couldn’t get me in for a few hours, but they got me in, and dumb old Laura went and hobbled through her grocery shopping and errands and then headed back for my appt. The doctor wasn’t very thorough, wasn’t very concerned, and once he heard I was a runner and my normal distances, he just pushed a few places on my leg, asked if it hurt, and sent me on my way. He told me to get crutches, take pain pills, and go get an xray on Monday.
Saturday night was possibly the worst pain I’ve been in for a LONG time. My shin was on fire, burning up and down. My endo was rearing up, kicking me right in the ovary hole. My head was pounding and my vision was double. I was in bed by 8:30 Saturday night and in and out of consciousness the rest of the night. Monday I went and got my xray like a good girl and tried to stay off the leg as best I could. I waited, and Tuesday I called in to check on results at 3. They assured me they’d call back, but didn’t. I had a physical appt Wed at 2:30, so I bit my tongue and hung in there until I showed up for my appt. When the nurse was getting all my info, I asked her to check on it and she seemed like she’d be a little bulldog for me. FINALLY, the verdict was that the xray displayed no visible evidence of stress fracture. They advised me to use the crutches or a cane if I can’t seem to handle the crutches (that armpit is TENDER, yo). To not run for a month (A MONTH!). To let my pain be my guide. And sent me on my way.
So, of course, I’m Laura. So I immediately went for a hour + walk. My leg was burning, but it felt good to be out. Today, I used the ARC trainer begrudgingly for an hour. No running is simply terrifying to me. When Jeff and I got back together, I was at the thinnest I’d been in my life. Soon thereafter, I put on some happy weight. About 10 pounds of happy weight. I’m pretty sure it was all butter. Jeff cooks with so much butter and gosh darn it, I love him for it. But I wasn’t happy with myself. The last few months leading up to the wedding, I was training for a half ironman. I was running, biking, and swimming my little heart out. And that scale wouldn’t budge. After my hysterectomy last year, Jeff gave me a Garmin for Christmas. And I got obsessed with running. Like, WAY obsessed. The first week I realized I ran a marathon in a week, I was so excited. And I kept running, and running, and running. I averaged about 33 miles a week every single week for about 6 months. Last week was the first week I couldn’t. Why was I so stringent to that schedule-ups, downs, illnesses notwithstanding? Because I finally lost that damn 10 pounds. I got back to where I was when we got together. And while Jeff lamented the loss of my butt, I was so happy with myself. I finally enjoyed looking in the mirror again. No sucking in, pulling up, sticking out to see what angle hid my chub the best.
I get attached to things, and then terrified to stop. When my first boyfriend and I broke up after 6 years, we still lived together in the house WE owned. And we engaged in a bitter “who can get back down to “fighting” weight” battle. I won. How did I win? By going on the diet I saw on VH1’s celebrity fit club. The “FAT SMASH” diet. All veggies, oatmeal, brown rice and sadness. I ate the same salad for lunch every day for 3 years because I was terrified I’d get fat if I didn’t. And then I couldn’t bear to eat the salad any more (for the record, it was half a red pepper, half a green pepper, carrots and kidney beans with ff italian dressing. SAD). Slowly but surely the weight crept back up. And then when Jeff and I broke up the first time, I lost it again. It’s always that damn 10 pounds. Not many people could tell you where I put that 10 pounds-I’m pretty proportional. But I know it’s there. And I’m decidedly more OK with myself without that 10 pounds than I am with it. Anyway, then we got back together and it crept back on again. And I had a hysterectomy and I started running, and I lost it.
But now I can’t run. What now? WHAT NOW? I used to spend 2 hours in the gym a day and couldn’t lose this weight. How can I give up the one thing that put me in my happy place? I don’t really know how to replace it, but my shin continually reminds me that I have to. So I’m going to have to come up with something. Today I spent an hour on the AMT trainer, and I actually looked longingly at the treadmill. I MISSED THE TREADMILL. What have I become?
All these body image concerns, these health concerns, and the soul searching they’ve brought on have actually been OK for me. Because they’ve distracted me from what happens tomorrow. Tomorrow is like turning a new page. I have endometriosis. Serious endo. Hysterectomy in November at 35 serious. My dr advised me that it was simply the next step in the treatment of my disease. Know what I didn’t understand when I agreed to drop my reproductive organs into a medical waste bin as a 2 month newlywed and try to go back to life as normal? That 15% of women get the endo back even after hysterectomy. That everyone who barely knows you, but kinda knows you, is going to ask when you’re going to start having kids, and you have to decide whether to lie to them, brush it off, or make them feel like an asshole when you drop the bomb on them. And that 10 months later, I’d be in the same place I always was.
I have surgery tomorrow. AGAIN. I told the surgical hospital today that I wanted a buy 10, get one free card. I’ve earned it. That hysterectomy did me NO good-It’s not even a year since my last laparoscopy, let alone since the hyster, and I’m back in excruciating pain. The kind of pain they prescribe some serious pain meds for. The kind they have to do another surgery to give me maybe 6-10 happy months before they have to do it again. And it’s not fair. It’s not fun. But it’s my life, and I’m not dying. I don’t have cancer. I have a happy home, a husband who loves me more than I have any right to demand of him, and some dogs who are going to take good care of me tomorrow when I come home smelling more like medicine and hospital than like their mom. So I’m trying optimism. I’m trying to be OK with making my husband get up at 5AM on his day off to take me to a hospital again. I’m trying to be OK with losing the last weekend of the Summer to semi-consciousness and pain meds. I’m hoping they give me propofol again, because that was some damn good anesthesia. And I’m looking forward to next week, when I find the new way to keep my body the way I want it without fracturing my damn leg in two.