Friday, November 19, 2010

It's official...

I have sleep apnea.  I have now gone to the second overnight sleep study - which is where they have you wear the CPAP machine so they can fit the mask and determine the proper air pressure.  I had no trouble with the mask, but my stupid chronograph watch alarm started going off about 1:30 AM and continued about every 10 minutes.  I would just get to sleep and then beep beep beep.  I would turn it off and then it would beep beep beep again.  Finally the voice in the ceiling told me to take the watch off and she would come take it away from me.  How embarrassing.  Of course sleeping after that was even more difficult. 

Now I am just waiting for my Doc to call in the prescription to a company that supplies durable medical goods and I can get started being a "hose head".  I don't care - I just want to feel better and have more energy.  That will help me get back on a good exercise schedule too. 

Stay tuned for more exciting details...

Happy Turkey Day everyone!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Time Flies When You Are Having Fun....

Didn't realize just how long it had been since I posted here.  A lot has happened and all for the good! 

The clots are gone from my lungs with very little left in one leg, the right side of my heart is back to normal, my lungs are back to normal per my pulmonary function tests, and I am exercising.  I walked 4 miles yesterday...which is 3 times as far in the same amount of time as when I started after the embolism.  Yay Me!  When I can't walk I ride my bike indoors so I don't miss any time.

I am now taking steps to determine if my sleep apnea is causing me to still be lethargic, exhausted, and headachey all the time.  I went thru an overnight sleep study last Wednesday night, and will get the results on the 16th.  I am hoping they have found something specific that can be corrected.  I would like to know what it feels like to wake up refreshed - haven't had that in my whole life.   From what other people have told me using a CPAP machine can make a huge difference in your life - and that is what I am really hoping for now.  I will try to post more often as I recover and get back to real training.

Check out this pic of me all wired up for the sleep study.

How's this for a scary photo?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Aint that a kick in the head...

What a week so far!  Monday morning I ended up in the ER with symptoms like those I had before the pulmonary embolism.  They ran a bunch of tests...CT, EKG, Doppler of my legs, blood, etc.  All came out great - which is wonderful news, but we still don't know why I am having the shortness of breath, and extreme lethargy.  I went to my cardiologist on Tuesday and they ran an echo...which also came out really great.  Now what?  I will see a pulmonary specialist on Oct 18th and see what, if anything, they can find.  Maybe I was still feeling the effects of my head cold, or I became anxious because I was having the breathing issues and that made it worse?  Not sure, but below are my results...

CT = no more blood clots in my lungs
EKG = normal
Doppler of legs = only very small clots that present no threat
INR = 2.9
Echo = heart is back to normal.  Cardiologist said if he had not seen my first echo he would not be able to tell I had a pulmonary embolism!  Yay for me!

My INR had dropped quite a bit when I was checked at the anti-coagulation clinic yesterday - down to 1.9.  Need to get that back into the therapeutic range of 2.0 to 3.0.

Feeling better today - just having some allergies going on with a headache.  I can live with that.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Going backward a little this week...

The last few days my breathing has been more difficult again and I am coughing a lot more.  I will be taking it easy and hopefully this will get better in a few days.  I have an appointment at the anti-coagulation clinic on Wednesday, so I will be sure to ask them about it.  They did tell me I would have ups and downs, so I just need to go with it and try not to over do anything.

I am going to our local race meet in Roy WA tomorrow in order to see Anneke run the oval...but all I will be doing is sitting and watching.  I won't be able to help anybody with their dogs.  I know everyone will help me stay on the straight and narrow!  I have some great friends in the racing community and I appreciate all their help and concern.

Still waiting until I get the results of my upcoming echo before I can really do much more than ride the exercise bike and walk a little with HotRod.  I am getting a little antsy...but must follow directions to keep moving in the right direction.  My goal is full and complete recovery. 

Hope you are all having a great weekend out there!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

What a week...

This week was very tiring.  I had 3 different Doctor's appointments on 3 different days...and I still had my head cold.  We also had a very stressful business meeting in the office on Friday, which had everyone on edge. 

The Cardiologist doesn't want me to ramp up my exercise program until I have another echocardiogram which will happen in 2 weeks.  This is fine with me.  I am currently riding my stationary bike in the evenings, and taking little walks with my dog.  The anti-coagulation clinic moved my blood testing from once a week to once every 2 weeks - and that is a good thing!

Today I had an appointment at the Y to learn my workout routine and get used to the machines.  I am looking forward to really being able to work out hard, but for now slow and steady wins the race. 

My knee is feeling so much better in the last few days, but my surgeon would have liked to see my recovery a little bit further along.  But...I missed one full week while in the hospital, and it took another week or so to have the energy to do much of anything.  I go back in another month and hopefully that will be it. 

No appoinments next week!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

One step forward...two steps back...

As if breathing wasn't difficult enough I developed a wicked head cold this week.  I had some of the worst sinus pain I have ever had on Tuesday, and because of the Coumadin I need to be careful what I take for said pain.  I did try a couple of things, but they didn't help.  I decided I would just have to wait it out, and finally Wednesday afternoon the pain became much more bearable.

Here is it Sunday and I am still congested, froggy, and coughing.  I am hoping I will be better next week so I can start making use of my Y membership.  I'm even looking forward to using the pool.  I'm not much of a swimmer, but it will probably be the best thing for me.

Hopefully I will be able to break out of this funk and get back on the road to recovery, but right now it just doesn't feel like it will happen any time soon.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Better Day by Day...

But it is really difficult to move so slow all the time.  I no longer have to wear a brace on my knee or use the cane, and am trying to get back to being fit and healthy.

Thanks to a benevolent friend (Thanks Pat!) I now have a membership to the Y, and have access to all they have to offer.  There is one about a mile from where I work, so I can either go before work or at lunch.  I am looking forward to being active again...within the limits of my health of course.  I think water aerobics or lap swimming will be good for me.

I am still very tired most of the time, but I am seeing progress. 

I missed the one year anniversary of my blog back in August...what a year!!!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Great Weekend In Squamish BC!

First I want to thank all of my friends who were not about to let me do too much this weekend. You guys Rock! I did pretty well, but by the end of the day I was tired. Thank you goes to Craig Biggs for giving me a ride back to camp on the quad. Much better than the slow walk.

I finally bought a blow up air mattress for sleeping in the car - and it made a big difference. I had Anneke sleep in the car with me and HotRod, and she just snuggled right in. Of course she took the best spot and HotRod was put out about it - he finally decided tojust lie down and go to sleep.

The racing was HOT and the location was just as beautiful as always. I have always enjoyed racing there. Unfortunately for me Anneke measured out on Saturday, and tweaked a toe yesterday on her first day running with the adults. She looked good though, so I have high hopes for her career on the track. Her Bro, Milhouse won the puppy races on Saturday. Wahoooo!

It is quite nice to just sit and watch a race meet rather than the running around you do when you have a dog or dogs competing. Thank You goes to Susan Heiniger for taking Anneke for the summer and racing her for me.

All in all a wonderful weekend - of course today I am beyond tired, but it was worth it!

Friday, August 27, 2010

I'm going to Squamish BC...

I didn't think I would have the energy for the 4 hour drive up there and it is still a pretty short time since my pulmonary embolism...but I can't not go. My puppy, Anneke, turns 1 year old today and will be running in the races tomorrow. I really wanted to see her. Plus, there are going to be a great many people there that I have not previously met, so I want to go there just to hang out too. The picture is Anneke and her brother Milhouse waiting to head up to Canada. Run fast you two!

Some of my friends don't want me to drive up there thinking I haven't had enough time since I got out of the Hospital, but I can't just sit around. I will work within the limits of my energy, and if I get out of breath or tired I will just sit down. Nobody will expect me to help with their dogs, so I can just schmooze and watch beautiful whippets run all day long. They will help me walk HotRod as well, because he will pull me down if I try to walk him anywhere at a race meet!

Hope you all have a great weekend - I intend to.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

If you run, bike, hike, etc you need RoadID

I needed to get a medical alert bracelet so if something happens it will be known that I am taking an anti-coagulant (Coumadin). This type of thing can be a life saver for anyone who will be out training or hiking or whatever. Take a look at the link on the top right side of my blog (or below) and check them out. I ordered the Road ID Classic and it arrived within 3 days and I love it. I just couldn't see myself wearing some dainty little gold thing - I probably wouldn't wear it all the time. Check it out.

I know it sounds a bit like a commercial, but I think it's pretty cool.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Back at work part time...

I have almost made it through 4 partial days at work, and really only had one where I wasn't feeling well.  Now I just need to get used to the fact that I can't walk fast, can't lift much, have to use a cane, and will occassionally breathe really hard. 

My family and friends have been fantastic throughout this experience so far, and I don't expect that to change.  It is a little like having a bunch of Moms telling me what I need to get done and to take it easy.  It is such a big mental transition from being able to just get up and go - and go quickly - and now moving at a snails pace and running out of energy fairly quickly.  I am also very independent and not at all used to asking for help.  My Moms are helping me get over that as well. Ü

I have to set up appointments with a primary physician, my surgeon, a hematologist, and a cardiologist, as well as the anticoagulation clinic.  I am going to be pretty darn busy with Doctors for the forseeable future.  I also ordered a medic alert bracelet that says I'm on coumadin, and am going to ask my Doctor to sign so I can get a temporary handicapped parking placard.  It nearly did me in when I went to Costco the other day!

I probably have not been as good about taking care of my knee...from the surgery that started all of this - so I really need to start some sort of rehab, but of course that will affect my coumadin level.  Oh Well.  At least I know what I will be doing for the rest of the Summer and into Fall.

That's all for now.  I'll just keep on keeping on!

Here is a link to the bracelet I ordered - not your plain old medic alert type:

Monday, August 16, 2010

I'm Home!!!

I was released from the hospital this morning after 7 full days.  I DO NOT WANT TO DO THIS AGAIN!  I intend to follow all of my Doc's instructions to the letter so I don't ever end up in there again.  HotRod and Bella were ecstatic to see me home and are following me everwhere I go in the house.  Right now they are both on the bed sleeping, but touching me.  It's very sweet.

Thank You to everyone who thought good thoughts for me...I appreciate you all.

Tomorrow I go to the anticoagulation clinic, then I have to make an appointment with the hematologist, the cardiologist, find a primary care Doc, and then make appointmenst for a colonoscopy & mammogram...It's going to be a very busy few months.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Bazinga! 2.6 today...

It looks like I will get out tomorrow - one week after coming in to the ER with a PE.  In a way I am a little bit happy because it is nearly 100 degrees out and I would struggle with that when completely healthy.  BUT...the food is getting old and I want some chocolate and an iced mocha.

This week has had interesting ups and downs, and lucky for me I have actually had very little pain or discomfort.

One funny little story from early in the week...I had a visit from a man I know through whippets - and we have only met a few times.  He was here while I was being transferred from ICU to PCU, and they had him push my stripper pole (I mean my IV pole).  Once at the new room they shut the door, and told him to wait outside because I was on the commode.  Really?  Seriously?  Then they started talking bed pans and stool softeners.  Ceannie was great about it and told me a few fun stories about his stays in the hospital, so we are all good.  You can see a pic of us taken in ICU in an earlier post from this week.

I have only had one day where I really felt a little bad - other than the initial incident of course.  That wan't fun and I do NOT wish to repeat.  There was another woman in ICU the same times as I was there, that had absolutely uncontrolled pain with her PE, so I count myself as very, very lucky.

I sell electronic components for a living, so I am getting real life exposure to all of the medical machines we sell parts for - and some work better than others.  Everything is bar codes and computers and my wrist band does get scanned many times during the day.  I am grateful they let patients use computers and cell phones in here...cause the alternative would be damn boring!

More tomorrow once I get sprung.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Day 6 in the Hospital...

I had anticipated going home today, but my coumadin (anti-coagulant) level dropped below the magic number of 2.0 to 1.9.  It needs to be 2.0 for two days in a row, so I could be here another two stinking days.  Luckily for me the food isn't bad and the nurses are all great.  I trust my Doc, so will listen to whatever he tells me and follow the rules...which will include eating the right foods and steady exercise.

I had a bit of a bad day yesterday - couldn't breath as well as nausea and a headache.  I guess I was due since I haven't felt all that bad since the initial episode on Monday.  I slept most of the afternoon and felt a lot better around 5:00 PM.

I need to get up and walk around the halls...and get a shower!  I am feeling & smelling a bit funky today.  I have a fairly plush private room with a view of Mount Rainier, but I would trade it all for a few licks from my dog, HotRod.  He is going to be so excited when I get home that I will need to protect myself a little.  He likes to run straight at you and then center punch you in the gut with his front paws.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Do you know what a PE is?

Well...I had one Monday morning.  It is a pulmonary embolism, which in layman's terms is a blood clot or clots in the lungs.  It most likely started as a post surgery complication, and the clot went from my left leg up thru the right side of my heart to the lungs.  Thank God my roommate had the day off and her dogs went crazy because they could see me staggering around the driveway trying to go in to work.  Instead we went to the ER where a CT scan showed the problem.  I went directly to ICU Monday morning, and moved to a step down unit last night.  Looks like I will be here at least through Friday.  They will not let me go home until I have 2 coumadin readings of at least 2.  I will most likely be moved to the general floor tonight or tomorrow.

I have tons of friends and family sending me well wishes and visitors are coming by to entertain me.

Here is a pic of me and Ceannie taken just before I moved out of ICU.  He really kept me laughing!  More later...for now it is time to eat my breakfast.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

This week was....

Exhausting.  It takes something like 5 minutes just to get my socks and shoes on my feet, and by that time I am dripping sweat and don't feel much like going to work.  Graduating from the crutches to an immobilizer brace has its own set of fun issues.  I have to sit on the very front of my desk chair because the brace comes up high enough on my thigh that it hits the chair and forces my leg to go straight out in front.  After a while this becomes...painful.  Friday I just couldn't get comfortable and finally got out of my chair and told my co-worker I was going to lie down on the floor.  Somehow that idea didn't appeal to her so she set up a bigger box under the desk for my foot to rest on.  Oh yea...I took some pain meds as well.  By the time I arrived home from work all I wanted to do was lie down and rest.  HotRod had other ideas so we played fetch for a while, he had dinner, and then I just called it a night.

Today I took my first "longish" drive since my surgery (just under 2 hours each way), and by the time I arrived I wanted to smash that knee brace and I had a (gasp) cankle.  I did get to see Anneke and had some whippet puppy physical therapy, so I was feeling better on the drive home. 

Whippet PT is just what the Doctor ordered.  Just don't try to imagine what it took for me to get back on my feet after sitting in the grass. It was not a pretty sight.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Post Op Prognosis...

Today is day 6 post op and my first day back at work.  It took forever to get ready this morning - and I put a little too much pressure on the knee with all of my back and forthing.  Another few days on crutches and using the CPM machine, and then I should be able to move on to just wearing a straight brace on the knee.  This makes me happy since my right arm is killing me!  I think I strained a muscle...and it hurts way more than the knee!!! 

My Doc was nice enough to make a drawing while I was there for my post op appointment, and he was OK with my adding it to my here is what he had to say.  It was VERY rough under the patella so he cleaned that up and did microfracture repair.  He also did microfracture repair of the medial femoral condyle.  The previous repair to the medial cartilage looked great and has about 60% of the cartilage remaining.  I am to start cycling in a few days and will taper off the CPM.  All in all it looks pretty good and Dr Rolfe feels I should be able to run again if I want to do so.  I am not sure I will...but I have plenty of time to make that decision.

I would like to Thank Everyone for their support!!!  Special Thanks to Gail Dunbar for waiting on me hand and foot and feeding me like a I need to go on a bit of a diet but it was worth it.  Also, HotRod was great therapy - always right there being a very good boy.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Day 3 Post Surgery

I am doing really well and still only marginal pain. I am up to 85 degrees of flex on the CPM machine, and I think 90 is where I am suppose to be for the rest of the 7-10 days post surgery. I watched my DVD today and it was very cool.  You could really tell the spots that needed the microfracture repair, and the rest of the surfaces looked good.  Loose pieces of cartilage and other stuff were vacuumed up and won't bother me any more, and the previous cartilage repairs are holding up nicely. 

My surgeon says I will be able to run again once healed, but I am going to think about that for a while.  I may decide to start bike riding instead ~ at least for the rest of this year.  I intend to keep active...just need to decide in what way.

I would like to thank everyone who has been so supportive. It means the world to me.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Day 1 Post Surgery

Still feeling pretty darn good.  My pain level was up a little this morning, but most likely because I increased the degree of flexion on the CPM machine from 40 degrees to 65.  I had some pain and burning under the patella and along the inside where the microfracture repair was done, but it is better tonight.  Tomorrow is my post op appointment and I should have a better idea of how things will move forward and a good timeline of how long I will be on crutches and how long for the brace.

The biggest problem is really lack of sleep.  Even though I am not in pain I can't sleep.  It's nearly 10:30 PM and I am WIDE awake!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Surgery Day 1

Surgery was completed at about 12:10 PM this afternoon and so far so good.  They did end up doing microfracture repair in two separate spots - one on the femoral head of the condyle & one sort of at the top and just underneath the patella.  The Doc said he had never seen damage quite like mine...not sure if this one of those places where unique is good?  I did get a DVD of the surgery and can't wait to watch it.

I should probably sign off for now...but of course I am wide awake...but thankfully no pain.

Here is a pic of my leg in the torture machine...I mean the continuos passive motion therapy machine...

Monday, July 26, 2010

Tomorrow is the big day...

Tomorrow's surgery was just moved out from 9:30 to 11:15, with a check in time of 10:00 AM.  My anxiety level is increasing and I am worried about my mobility afterward.  I could be on crutches for up to 12 weeks if they go ahead and do the microfracture surgery.  That is going to be very difficult...but could aid in my weight loss program.
Saturday a CPM machine was delivered to the house and I will need to use it 6-8 hours per day, and it has been rented for 21 days.  The guy who delivered it thought I would most likely need it for 10-12 days only.  CPM = Continuous Passive Motion, and it will keep the leg and joint moving and over time increase the degree of flexion so I have my full range of motion when all is said and done.   Below is my machine of torture...

I will let you know how I am doing as soon as I am able.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

And the beat goes on...

Counting down the days until my surgery.  Tomorrow Anneke is going to stay with with my friend until the end August or thereabouts.  Anneke is going to have a great summer at the QuiXand Ranch Summer Training Camp.  She will have a bunch of other dogs to play with and will get taken to race meets and most importantly the National Race Meet in Squamish BC.  HotRod will stay with me cause he will be pretty good without her here to get him crazy.  It is going to be a long month without her...but I'm pretty sure she won't be missing us too much.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

How am I going to do everything...

With a big straight brace on my leg. It covers a whole lot more than just my knee. For instance...just to get out of the driveway I have to get in the car, drive to the gate, get out of the car,  open the gate,  get back in the car, drive through the gate, get out of the car, close the gate, and finally get back in the car.  At this point I have only gone about 50 feet.  Then getting out of the shower will be a real trip - possibly literally a trip!  First I step up and over the edge of the shower, then step down about a foot to a raised step, and then step off that to the floor.  Bella, my cat, is always right there trying to trip me up to get my attention.  She will need to be locked out of the bathroom.  Anneke will go stay with my friend, Susan, who is her breeder until I get comfortable on my feet.  HotRod gets to stay because he won't be a problem with her gone.   Another friend, Shirley, will take HotRod if I need her to - but I'm pretty sure he won't bump me too much...Thank You so much Susan and Shirley.  Most likely I will have to stay upstairs in my roommate's spare bedroom so I don't have to climb stairs and make sure I don't fall and can't get up. Thank You to Gail for taking care of me.  I think I will need to practice with the brace before the surgery to see what I can and can't do.  A cane might be the right thing to help me get safely out of the shower.  Only 26 days and counting til my surgery.  I don't think I am looking forward to this at all.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My Options after review of the MRI findings...

1.  Arthroscopic surgery
2.  A slighting more extensive arthroscopic surgery

I actually felt pretty sure that I wouldn't really need surgery...I must have been in denial.  This pretty much puts me out of running until Winter...which means next year.  I will want to take it slow so that I actually have the chance the run again and not hurt it.  I have not yet met made the appointment for surgery. but it will most likely be in July.

The 2nd option would entail crutches and then a big straight knee brace for about 12 weeks.  I should be able to drive myself, but going up and down stairs will be difficult at best....

The cool thing is that they gave me a CD with my MRI images!!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Working My Way Back...

I have been giving my knee as much rest as I can, and went to see an Orthopedic Surgeon to find out if I need to get anything fixed up before I try running again.  The x-rays looked really good, so he sent me for an MRI.  I get the results from that on Wednesday, and then can chart my rehab start getting back into shape.  I will take it incredibly slow ~ because I don't want my knee to feel like that anymore!!!  I want to be Runner Girl. 

I went to my first race meet with the whippets last weekend for the year, and me knee held up pretty well.  I am pleased and hope this means I can move forward toward fitness again.  I'm sure HotRod and Anneke will be happy to go for walks in the evening again. 

Monday, June 7, 2010

Relay for Life - epilogue

What a great event to be involved in!  I decided to stay up for the full 24 hours so I could witness everything that happened - including dance party with techno music at 3:00 AM.  We lucked out on Saturday and had some much appreciated sunshine, but the rains came just before the end at about 5:15 AM.  I would like to give a special Thank You to our tireless leaders Mary Ann Tasker Thompson and Cheryl Palm.  They were so prepared and had so many great fund raisers ready to go that the rest of us just needed to be there and do our thing.  (Plus more food than we could possibly eat!).

Each team had a country they were representing, and we were New Zealand - land of the Kiwis.  I think the best fund raiser was the lap beads.  Anyone could buy one bead and a cord, and then pick up a new bead for free at the end of each lap they walked.  That way they have a physical reminder of the day and a count of how many laps they were able to get finished.  We were swamped all day (and night) with people picking up their beads and by the end were friends with them as we saw them so many times.  One woman had taken over as captain of their team as they had recently lost their captain to cancer - and I don't know for sure, but she must have reached 20 miles or more.  And one cute little boy who just raced around proudly declared at one point he had just finished his 21th lap!

Luminaria in honor of and in memory of those who experience cancer

That is the kind of thing we do this for...friends, family, babies, and old timers who have been stricken with cancer.  Not all of them survive, so someone else takes up the torch and carries on for them.  I know I'll be back next year - knees willing.

Onsies for the babies and hand crocheted pink ribbons

Sunset over the Relay for Life 06-05-2010

See you all next year - God Willing

Sunday, June 6, 2010

It's 3:52 you know what lap we're on?

They are playing Greased Lighting over the speakers and having a "dance party" and things are still pretty happening here at the relay.  I've been here since 8:30 this morning and have decided to just stay up till the end.  I am done walking - just hanging out and talking.  My knees held up pretty well which makes me very happy.  Only 4 more hours and it will all be over until next year.  I think I will do it again.  Pictures will have to wait until tomorrow...or Monday...

Friday, June 4, 2010

One more day until the Relay for Life...

I am starting to get excited about the event ~ just hoping the weather cooperates and it doesn't rain.  Otherwise my hour walk from 1:00-2:00 AM will be less than enjoyable!  Since this is my first time at this event I had no idea there were so many things to do during the 24 hours!  Limbo, lip sync, crazy hair, ice cream eating, etc.  I guess I won't be sleeping much, but that is part of the fun. 

I doubt there is anyone out there whose life has not been touched by cancer and the havoc it can wreak on a family.  I have had family members, friends, and even Gracie my whippet was lost to cancer.  Any and all charities fighting these diseases are where my support will always be directed and I hope that we can come up with more successful treatments in the near future. 

Of course when I was getting the dog's breakfast ready this morning I managed to wrench both knees...not just the bad one.  How did I do it you ask?  I tried to step over a toy Anneke had left on the kitchen floor and to my dismay I stepped on it and a knuckle bone that was hiding underneath.  I am ashamed to admit it...but I said some very bad words.  I will just have to take it easy tomorrow and walk more slowly than my normal pace.  I have already told my teammates that I will not be partaking in any running, sack racing, skipping, or limbo a little lower they will have to take up the slack there. 

Have a great weekend everyone.  Hopefully I will have some great pictures to post.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Feeling much better now...

My knee still hurts some, but nothing like it did last week.  Kind of felt like the knee cap snapped back into place and then everything felt better, more stable, and stronger.  I have an appointment with an Orthopedic Doc on June 9th, but if it is still feeling better I will cancel.  My thought since 1991 has been that I won't have more surgery until it simply breaks and I have no choice.  I am still going with that for now.

Hope everyone has a great Memorial Day Weekend.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Now you've done it...

I have now hurt my knee in a completely new and interesting way.  Not sure how I did it, but it doesn't feel very good.  I'm back to wearing a brace 24/7 and walking very carefully up and down stairs.  Not sure where to go from here - I need to rehab and then come up with a new plan.  Damn!  Getting old sucks.

I am contemplating joining the YMCA near my office so I can at least swim...but swimming and I have never been on very good terms with each other.  It does seem the best option at this I just need to find the money to give it a try.

I did have a good weekend though - took HotRod & Anneke to a dog get together.  Anneke was the life of the party.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Vancouver BC Marathon was great!

Even though I was not able to compete in the half I went along as cheerleader/sherpa for my friends running in the half and full marathon.  It started out with my first train ride...which was delayed several hours due to a train vs pedestrian accident south of Bellingham.  Then we had two of our group miss the train!  A ride was found for them and they made it not long after we did.  On top of that the train was over booked and we were told to find seats wherever we could.  We ended up all in different cars, but luckily I was able to sit with one friend.  I didn't have to just stare into space for a couple hours.

Once we arrived in Vancouver on Saturday it was really nice just hanging out and walking over to the expo to pick up packets and do a little shopping.  Sunday arrived dark, cold, and rainy.  I hate to say it but I was secretly happy that I didn't have to run in that downpour.  It took a little bit of coordination to get those running the half off the line at 7:00 and the full marathoners at 7:30.  We then had about an hour to get some coffee and breakfast before it was time to head back to cheer them on to the finish line.  We were yelling for everyone who passed by, and it was really cool to see how much people appreciated having their name called and encouraging words to get them through that last 200 meters. 

We gathered our half runners and went back to the Hotel so they could shower and get warm.  By the time they were all ready we needed to get back down to the finish to cheer on the first of our marathoners.  Several had run at least one before but my friends, Dawn & Bill Wefer, were running their first (and most likely last) one.  They did great and I am unbelievably proud of them.  It seems a little cruel, but you have to walk up a huge stairway to get back up to the Hotel area.  It hurt me just watching a few of our friends navigate their way.  Then it was lunch and off to the train to go home.  Of course there was another delay on the train...someone had something in their checked bag that they should not have...the Conductor wouldn't tell us what it was.  It was a bit intimidating when they brought the sniffer dog on board and then all of a sudden there are about 6 Homeland Security Agents standing in the aisle.  They left her aboard and didn't take the suitcase, so it must have been something innocuous in the end.

It was quite the whirlwind weekend and a bit like herding cats keeping everyone going in the same direction, but I had a blast.  I do intend to be one of the competitors next year - the 40th Anniversary of the Vancouver Marathon.  Now I need to set a new shorter term goal.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Missing another goal...

One week from today is the Vancouver, BC Marathon...and I won't be running.  I will be there cheering on my friends - who will be running their first full marathon. I am very excited for them.  It will be a fun weekend, but missing the run is disappointing. 

Somehow I need to get past the annoying little injuries and get back out there, but I am not going to beat myself up over it - I have a lot of years left in me and plenty of time to get things turned around. 

I will also be taking my first train ride and I am kind of excited about that.  Should be a fun weekend all the way aroung.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Feeling Better...

After a few weeks of feeling pretty lousy and trying the new diet I seem to be feeling much better today.  I spent all day yesterday in the blazing sun wrangling crazy whippets and other breeds at race practice - along with walking and walking and walking.  I was a little light headed in the morning, but that seems much better. 

Trying to keep this thing going has been a real struggle, but I will not give up.  I intend to have a happy healthy life for many more years to come.

Hope everyone out there is out there doing everything they can to improve their life too.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Today I ran and I ate healthy!

I am quite proud of myself.  I do not love a lot of vegetables, but I am learning to eat them anyway.  My Mom will be very proud of me - we used to have incidents where she wanted me to eat a vegetable...just one bite...but I simply wouldn't do it.  I could sit at that dinner table for a very long time until she gave up and let me be excused. Not proud of it, but that is how it went down.

I went to the grocery store with a list - and shopped as if I was a vegetarian.  I bought tomatoes, cilantro, spinach, a bag of lettuce, and some quinoa.  Below is the fruit of my labors.  It's not pretty, but it was tasty and I did NOT pick out the tomatoes.  Hooray for me!!!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

My Doctor thinks it's all in my head...

All of the tests they ran after my low blood sugar episodes came back within normal ranges.  She was suppose to call me again so we could decide what to do...but haven't heard a thing.  I made the decision to change my diet so I am eating as if I am hypoglycemic.  So far I don't feel great...but it's only been a day. This is not easy for me because carbs are so wonderfully tasty and satisfying, but I am trying to come up with meal plans that include the acceptable foods.  I went through the lists and pulled out the foods I like that are acceptable and will work from there.  I started a food diary today - and it mostly says feel shaky and dizzy over and over and over.  I am feeling a bit better in the last hour or so, so I need to build on that. 

HotRod says cut the whining and just do whatcha gotta do.  Getting old sucks!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My blog is getting very boring...

I need to take ownership of the fact that I have not yet started to run again.  I am so tired when I get home that it is hard to get the dogs ready and get out there - or like last night impossible with the thunder, lightning, and HAIL!  They are all just excuses and I need to push through.  Once I get going it will be fine - because I really like running...

I joined a team for the Relay for Life today, so that will give me something fun to look forward to in June.  I will do this! 

Friday, March 26, 2010

Still no running...

My blood and heart tests all came back withing normal limits.  Now what?  I'm still having these bouts with hypoglycemia, but they can't find out why.  Makes it interesting (dangerous) when I fall asleep driving or walking the busy streets around my office complex.  I am really trying to make good healthy eating choices and I am doing better.  Obviously that isn't the whole issue though since I am still feeling awful part of the time.  My mental attitude is good and that has to be a big benefit for me.  Problem is when I have an episode my brain gets fuzzy and I don't think as well or as quickly.  It's kind of funny - mentally turning 50 has been great...but my body seems to need a jump start.

Going to whippet racing this weekend, so that should get me out in the fresh air and MOVING, and that is a good thing.

Hope you all have a great weekend - get out there and move your body.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Not my best week...

I have been feeling very tired lately and started experiencing some hypoglycemic type symptoms which have steadily worsened.  On Tuesday I took a walk with my dogs and about halfway out the shakiness, twitching muscles, cold sweats, and extreme lethargy took over.  It really scared me because I was kind of stumbling along and so tired I just wanted to lay down on the sidewalk and go to sleep.  Normally I can eat and it will get better, but this time it did not.  The next morning I still felt awful, so called my Doctor's office and spoke to a consulting nurse.  After hearing my symptoms she asked when I had been diagnosed as a Diabetic...I haven't been I said.  She then became pretty concerned and worked a way to get me in that morning, while sending me to get blood drawn for testing so I could eat. 

For the last 24 hours I have been hooked up with a Holter Monitor (a portable EKG), and unfortunately none of my sypmptoms have shown up.  Kind of like taking your car in so they can listen to some odd noise - and the noise doesn't show up while you are there.  Hopefully it will have picked up something that can help, because my glucose level came back within the normal range - 77.  I don't know if they ran the A1c test, but I'm thinking that would be most helpful in discovering what my normal level is.

Needless to say I have not been running, but we have still taken our walk at lunch every day. 

Today I feel pretty good, so I have to be happy with that.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Begin The Beguine...

Back to week 2 of the 8 week schedule I started in August.  Run 3 minutes x 7, walk 1 minute in between each run.  I didn't quite get 7 repetitions in, but still felt good.  Best part was that my knee feels good today.  My thighs, OTOH, are in pain.  But it's a good pain and will get better the more I run.  Now I need to get back on the wagon where food is concerned...

Friday, March 5, 2010

I am Fierce!

Still feeling great 3 weeks after my big Birthday.  I really took the time to figure out what I want for myself, how I can improve, and things to let fall away.  A book lent to me by a friend (Younger Next Year) helped immensely ~ turns out I want to live a long, healthy, happy life.  I set out to change the things I could and say good-bye to the things I can't.  So far it is working really well. 

I have been at my job for nearly 21 years, and did not really want to go looking for another job...but was bored to tears with what I have been doing.  I decided to carve out a new job description for myself (which the bosses went for) and for the last 2 weeks it has been so much better.  I have a new found confidence that I always wanted, but did not know how to unleash.  Well...look out World...I figured it out!!

The bottom line...a better mental outlook makes you feel good.  

Still walking about an hour a day during lunch at work with my dogs, and now that the sun is out later I will be able to start my jogging routine in the evenings.  The sunshine doesn't hurt a bit either.  Sunshine = Happiness.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Feeling Good, Louis...

I jogged and rode my bike on Saturday and took the dogs to race practice yesterday.  Practice is hard on the knees and you pretty much use every muscle in your body as you move through the day.  Depending on how many dogs you catch - you can log some serious mileage.  Every time you catch a dog you walk 150-200 yards out to the finish and then bring the dog back over that same ground.  Oh yeah...we practice on a working farm field that is usually covered in manure and yesterday was no exception - so better remember your boots!

Even with all that my knee feels great today.  It's early to get too excited over this, but it is definitely a step in the right direction.

Below is a picture of my puppy, Anneke, attempting a show stack yesterday - not completely successfully I might add. ö  I figure if Beth can't get her to stack properly then nobody can.

Bonus points go to the first person who knows where the subject line comes from...

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Baby Steps...

Today I started training again ~ going back to the very beginning ~ where I started last August.  It was beautiful during our walk/jog today and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I did very little jogging, but I can't afford to rush my workouts and chance hurting myself again.  I also set up my bicycle resistance trainer and took my first "ride" in the house.  This is going to be so good for my knees and overall fitness level which I know is so very important.  The knees feel pretty good several hours after our walk and that is encouraging. 

I bought a coupler for my dogs and used it for the first time today.  What I was looking for was a bungee leash and coupler, but the one I ended up buying worked well ~ HotRod gets to correct Anneke instead of me and that is a good thing.  She has no choice but to stay up with him.

I am excited to see where I will be in 8 weeks.  I am still signed up for the half in Vancouver on May 2nd ~ but I do not believe I can get into that kind of shape in time.  Either way I will be there supporting my friends who may be running the full marathon for the first time.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

My friends ran the half for me...

On my birthday.  How's that for friendship? :0)   They are actually training to possibly run the full marathon up in Vancouver on May 2nd.  It's not a distance I ever imagine myself contemplating, but maybe once you run the half a few times you start to think you might be able to do it. 

My birthday extended all the way through out last weekend and I had a blast.  The sun was shining - which always makes me happy, and I got to spend it with good friends, which also always makes me happy.  It was a birthday I hope everyone can experience in their lifetime.  Whooohoooo I'm 50!  Age is just a number and you can feel old at 25 and someone else feels young at 70.  Me...I would rather feel young at 70 or even 80.  I'll let you know how it goes. :0)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I'm gray, fabulous, and 50!

How do you like them apples?  I couldn't have a better day - blue skies, sunshine, and it's the weekend.  The trifecta!!  I asked the question the other day if it was weird to be happy about turning 50.  I did receive a wide array of comments ~ don't worry it's ok, don't get your panties in a wad over it, and enjoy.  I fully intend to enjoy this day to the fullest.

I'm looking forward to dinner with friends this evening at Buca di Beppo - which is also where we celebrated my 40th.  Many of the same people will be there as I am blessed to have had some of these people in my life since elmentary school.  Tomorrow I will be having brunch with another group of friends at a wonderful restaurant at Fisherman's Terminal in Seattle called Chinooks.  I'll need to get back to work on Monday to get some rest! :0)

I did buy myself a gift yesterday ~ that resistance trainer I have been going on and on about so I can ride my bike indoors. That should really help my knees get stronger and ready for whatever I throw at them this year. 

I hope you all have a great day.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

7 days and counting to my big 5 OH!

I won't make my goal of running a half marathon by my Birthday, and with my knee still a bit wobbly I am not quite sure when it may happen.  But I won't stop pushing toward my goal of a healthy life. 

This past week was extremely stressful, but I decided it was now or never and made a proposition to my boss that could earn me a bigger paycheck and help the company at the same time.  Hopefully he'll have come up with a plan of some sort and will tell me tomorrow.  Cross your fingers everyone.  I have been with the company for 20 years, and the only way to make a move is to create a new job for yourself.  At 50 I am taking stock of things, and I need to decided what I want for myself and go out there and take it.

Unfortunately I had a massive migraine all weekend, so no exercise of any sort was under taken.  It is almost gone tonight - yahoooo! 

Happy Valentines Day everyone.  Hope you all got to spend it with the ones you love.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

It's Sunday night, do you know where my youth went...

My body is feeling it's age today.  My knee is much better than it was earlier in the week, but still sore and slightly un-stable.  It's hard to explain...but it feels like my knee could just come apart at any moment.  That would definitely NOT be enjoyable.  I still need to get a resistance trainer for my bike so I can at least stay active while I take a break from running.  I do still have to walk the dogs, and if you have ever tried to walk a couple of whippets when they really want to get somewhere you know they can really drag you along.    Of course they then stop right in front of you so you have to do a little hip hop dance trying not to fall over them.

Most of my pain is on the medial side of my left knee and the knee cap doesn't work quite right.  It is suppose to just go up and down along a little groove...but mine goes up and to the left - it doesn't feel particularly good I must say.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Déjà Vu all over again...

When I woke up this morning my left knee was very sore, swollen, and weak.  All I have done in the last few days is walk.  It started to hurt on my runs over the weekend so I ended up walking most of it anyway.  It is now both the knee cap and the cartilage. I had two surgeries on both back in the early 90's.  The Doc told me at the time the cartilage was disintegrating and I would eventually need a knee replacement. They even loosened and re-positioned muscle & tendon where they attach to the outside of the knee in order for the knee cap to track properly.  They call that maneuver a "lateral release".  The last few years it has felt much better, so I thought maybe I could run and be OK.  This could be a huge set back for me.  I should lay off and not work out...but the big event is looming.  I may have to take a serious look at my goals and decide what I really want, and what I can do physically.  It may not be possible to run the half in May, but I haven't given up all hope of making it happen.  It is just exceedingly disappointing. 

If you look at my knees in this photo you can see why it is no wonder I am having trouble at my age!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

The good, the bad, and the ugly...

That is the roller coaster I went thru this week.  The good was on Saturday when I felt pretty darn good running.  The bad was when my knee cap started to feel like it was going to pop off the front of my leg.  The ugly...well that was my hair after running in the rain yesterday.  It was sticking straight up in the air and then going off on all kinds of tangents.  Today I just wore a hat from the get go so it wouldn't be so bad while out in public.

I am starting to get worried that I will never be in good enough shape to run the half on May 2nd.  My knee just doesn't seem to want to get with the program, and I don't have that long to get ready.  Somehow I have to keep from getting so anxious that I don't get anything done...but that is easier said of course.  I will do my best to keep my diet on track and work out to the best of my physical ability.  Can't ask more from my 50 year old self than that.

Looking forward to my 50th birthday party.  Bring on the Senior discounts!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

It's not where you's how you finish...

I have to keep telling myself that.  I need to be ready to run a half marathon on May 2nd, and today I couldn't even run half of one mile.  Right  now I have 98 days, 14 minutes, 21 seconds until the big day, and I have to stop stressing so much.  I had a dream where I got all the way there and chickened out at the starting line.  I can feel good about the fact that I am exercising every day, but 5 days of 1.5 mile walks won't get me in shape.  But...daylight is lasting longer and I will be able to run in the evenings pretty soon.  That will really jump start my workouts.

Positive self talk is very important...I need to remember that a little bit more.

Friday, January 22, 2010

The strangest thing happened this week...

I have had nerve pain in my right arm and hand for 6 years, along with a pinched nerve in my neck.  My hand was often very weak and shaky - at times I would drop things because I just couldn't hold onto them.  Well, one morning this week I woke up and did the usual stretch my hands wide open and then clenched...and there was no pain...there was no swelling!  Oh the blessed relief from pain.  The pain and swelling started to return a few hours later, but I was still happy.  I tried to figure out if I had done anything different the night before and I had.  While sitting on my bed I had stretched my right hand over behind my head and grabbed the head board.  I kept it there for quite a while because it actually felt kind of good.  Somehow this must have re-aligned something so the nerve was no longer being pinched.  So...I tried it again the next night, and my hand and arm have been pretty good ever since - not 100% - but I can definitely live with it.  The pinch in my neck is back to hurting right now because I am sitting all hunched over and stressed at work, but that will improve at 5:00 PM when I leave for the weekend. 

It's Friday, the sun is shining, and I can get some runs in over the weekend.  What could be better than this?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

How to add agility to your road workout...

Take two whippets and harness them to you via a waist belt on 6' leashes then commence your workout.  One of said whippets should be a mature adult and the other a youngish puppy.  Once you begin to jog the puppy will race side to side and then stop suddenly to sniff or pick up a pine cone.  You must then leap over the two leashes that are now intertwined (be sure not to fall over the adult dog) all the while watching for the puppy to return to her side to side movements.  You then need to stop, un-wind the leashes, and make sure everything is cleared for take-off.  Re-commence your workout.  Repeat 25-30 times and you will really begin to feel the benefits of adding a dimension of cross training into your hum drum everyday roadwork.  The best part of this - other than the adrenaline rush for you - is that both whippets will be completely ready to sleep for the rest of the day and you can get many other things done.  It can work with other breeds as long as one is young and very happy to be outdoors...

Saturday, January 16, 2010

I not only fell off the wagon, but...

I lay prostrate in the mud and played dead for the last 3 months.  I have found it extemely difficult to get going again - oh I spent plenty of time talking to myself about it and beating myself up over it - but just couldn't get back out there.  This morning it took me about 20 minutes of arguing between my good self and my bad self before I made the correct decision to get up and go walk/jog/run.  Then I dawdled around for another half hour and finally figured if I didn't do it today I might never achieve my goals, and that is a pretty good motivator.  As soon as I started to put on my running clothes HotRod went crazy knowing he was going to go RUN!  I couldn't disappoint him so out we went.  I wasn 't quite as out of shape as I thought, but nowhere near where I was at the end of September.  I have my work cut out for me if I am going to get through that half marathon at the beginning of May.

Of course right after I ran we left to have lunch with friends at Chinooks - a nice restaurant down at Fisherman's Terminal in Seattle.  I was good though.  Instead of ordering chicken fettucini I had the chicken caesar salad and a cup of chowder.  Oh...and the pilot bread they serve right when you sit down.  It is to die for!  Sunday mornings are good too because they bring you fresh scones with orange butter.  YUM! 

All in all I did pretty well today.  Now it has to become a daily habit. I need to remember just how good it feels to be "really" in fit shape.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Starting to get back on track...

I was able to get a walk in every lunch time at work this week.  I didn't go that far - or that fast - but I did it.  Today I took the dogs and took the first jog/walk of 2010.  Once again not that far or that fast, but I felt good after wards.  Once I stopped hacking and coughing that is. :0)  Best of all the dogs were tired when we were done!  HotRod really needed it since race season for him is not that far off.

Hope you are all getting out there and doing something to get energized as well.  Your body and mind will love you for it.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Slow Recovery...

Still trying to recover from whatever illness I had over the holidays.  Still congested and coughing, but up on my feet and going to work.  Was amazingly tired the first couple days back, but am feeling better now - of course it is Friday and the weekend is only a few hours away. 

I have not yet starting running or even serious walking, but I am taking the dogs for walks at lunch time as weather permits.  I think we walked around a mile every day this week.  This should be multiplied by 3 since I want to go one way, HotRod wants to go another, and Anneke either goes a different way or refuses to move at all.  It's a good workout for legs AND arms I must say.  It's not much, but it is a start and I am feeling better every day. 

I also set my computer so it tells me to Drink More Water! every hour.  So far it is working.  Hydration is one of my real downfalls, so I will really have to work at it to keep it going.  HotRod saved me from eating something I shouldn't on Wednesday night.  I took a handfull of pink & white animal cookies and put them on the counter.  I walked away to do something else first after making sure they were far enough back on the counter.  I didn't have anything to worry about because Anneke is too short and HotRod has never stolen food before...well that's all over now.  He ate all but 1.  I was a little disappointed, but knew he did me a big favor. :0) 

I must start my workouts in earnest soon, since the Vancouver half marathon is May 2nd!  Stay tuned to see how I respond to having that little carrot out there in the near future!!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Hopes and Dreams for 2010...

I have thought about this for a while, and what I decided to wish for myself in 2010 is happiness with what I have in my life.  I have much that is wonderful, and yet I am often yearning for something more...more money, more energy, more "things".  But when I get more things it just leads to me wanting more. I just need to change my mindset and CHOOSE happiness.  Yeah..I know it is awfully easy to say, but if it was easy I would have already done it for myself years ago.  I stress and obscess over the most trivial of things, so when real stress comes along I have no way to cope.  Well I guess I do cope with food and beverage.  Not the best way to be happy with myself I gotta tell you.

I have laughed with good girl friends over the last couple of days trying to decide whether or not I would want a relationship if a good man came along. Good question and I thought a lot about it.  It would take a pretty strong character to break into my very "set in her ways" world.  At my 30 year High School Reunion I completely freaked out one of the guys I graduated with in 1978 (if you are reading this ~ Hi Pat!) who couldn't fathom the fact that I have never been married and have no children.  A fact that seems not un-natural to me, but was so outside his frame of reference as to be completely odd.  But the fact is I have a good life - just different than what they taught us was the norm when we were little girls.  And thankfully that norm has changed quite a bit in the last 30 years.  I was able come up with 4 things that would be good reasons to have a guy around...
  • I would love to have someone to help drive on long trips
  • I would love to have someone who can do the heavy lifting (especially at the end of those long trips!)
  • It would be great to have someone to fix the toilet or other things when they break
  • It would be great to have someone to exercise the dogs when I am tired or sick

Hmmmm...I guess I will have to keep trying to think of good reasons...If anyone has any additional thoughts on this question they are welcome to post them here on my blog.  :0)

I wasn't going to say anything about 2009 since the less said the better, but there are a couple of things.  I am so grateful for my Dad's recovery from his heart attack and quadruple bypass at the end of September.  He continues to grow stronger every day and I finally was able to visit with him today after missing Christmas.  I would like to say a final good-bye to my Gracie girl - I miss her very much.  A number of friends also lost their whippets in the last year - Shadow, Jarmir, Spot, Monkey, and Dylan.  You are all loved and missed.

I would like to wish a Happy New Year to one and all.  I hope your 2010 is full of love and passion.  I intend to continue with my running and healthy eating and most especially positive thinking.  This time next year I plan to be healthy, fit, and having the time of my life.  I turn 50 in about 6 weeks and it is going to be fantastic!