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.