Friday, August 12, 2011

Now What Should I do?

Now that I have the whole embolism thing behind me what should I do to keep in shape?  I have decided running is not good for my that's out.  I have been walking a few miles a night with my dog, but the knee isn't quite  ready for pounding yet - I have a tendency to walk really fast and my foot falls are very hard.  The last 3 nights I have been riding my bicyle indoors on a trainer.  That is great for my knee - but quite boring.  I try to visualize the route I would be taking outdoors, but I always jump ahead and then skip over some parts. Riding a bike is the best thing for my knee, so I think this will be my participation sport of choice. 

A friend loaned me a bike that I can use - or buy if I like it well enough.  I did ride it one day and nearly killed myself.  I ride like a little kid who just had the training wheels taken off! I was all over the road, afraid to go fast, and if I turned my head that is the way I went.  YIKES!  All the little kids in the neighborhood were laughing at me.  Oh well, hopefully with practice I will be able to ride like an adult in the near future.

In the meantime I have started (re-started) a healthy eating regimine.  I am actually eating vegetables (Oh the Horror) and lots of fruit.  I just got one of those magic bullet type blenders and made a fruit smoothie last night.  That was fabulous! 

I know, I know!  I have started and re-started the whole exercise/healthy eating thing many times in the last several years.  But you gotta give me credit for coming back to it when I fall off the wagon.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

One Year Ago Today...

I was in the ICU after a massive and bilateral pulmonary embolism after suffering a deep vein thrombosis.  It was all very scary and I didn't realize at the time how close I was to taking a walk into the light.  I spent a full 7 days in the Hospital and then went home to recuperate.  It was incredibly difficult to be so slow!  I could barely walk 10 feet before I was done in, and had to use a cane for my recently surgically repaired knee.  The cane actually kept me on my feet when the embolism hit me - I leaned on it with both hands so I wouldn't fall down. 

I did finally make it to my car or rather I got close enough to lean over and lean my hand on the back and then walk hand over hand to the driver's door and got in.  My ears were ringing louder and Louder and LOUDER and it was going higher and higher up my body to my head - kind of like filling a vessel with water.  The thought that came into my head was this "If the sound reaches the top of my head I will die".  I didn't want that to happen so I willed myself to be calmer and slowly but surely the sound went down and eventually went away. 

Me in ICU the second day.  My friend Ceannie visiting and keeping my mind off things.

I thought about calling my roommate on my cell from the car, but then thought "No, I can make it back to the house".  Luckily for me she had taken the day off.  Her dogs were going crazy in the bay window overlooking the stairs and she opened the door to ask if I was OK.  No I said.  No, I'm not.  I was standing with one hand on the railing, one hand holding the cane, one foot on the bottom stair, and my head hanging way down trying to breath.  She told me to get in the car - so I walked ever so slowly over and opened the door.  The seat was full so I just stood there in the rain, head hanging down until she came out and moved the stuff.  Technically we should have called 911 and had the medics take me to the Hospital...but no...I decided I was better now that I wasn't walking around. we went and the rest is history. Thankfully!

Swollen leg and foot...
Stupidly I had been ignoring the symptoms for about 4 days.  First my lower leg and foot swelled up quite large, then I had trouble breathing, then I couldn't breath, and then it hit.  I should have gone to the Hospital on the Saturday before, but my roommate had someone in town and was at a dog show.  I didn't want to leave the dogs unattended and I guess I just didn't realize quite how serious my state of being was at that point.  Funny thing was that the out of town guest is a Doctor and if I had just showed him my leg I'm sure he would have driven me directly to the Hospital without passing go or earning $200! 

This is me from the Saturday before the embolism getting a little whippet puppy therapy.  My leg was very swollen and painful...but I wanted to see the puppies!
My Mom is still a little freaked out because on that first day I was telling them how the blood clot began in my leg and then travelled up through my heart and into my lungs.  She stopped me and just kept saying "It went through your heart?  It went through your heart?  It went through your heart.  Maybe I should have saved that for later?

Lovely flowers I received...I had to send them out to the Nurses station because I was allergic...
Moral of the story honorable children friends...Listen to your may be trying to tell you something.  AND  Listen to your Mom when she tells you to wear good underwear in case you end up in the Hospital.  I had both very old undies and hairy legs when I got there...

Monday, June 27, 2011

The times they are a changing...

It has been quite a while since I posted anything to this blog...mostly because things with my knee were not going well at all.  In the last month or so I started taking Aleve in the evening and that really helped.  Yesterday was the first day since my surgery on July 27, 2010 that I have been able to walk normally - go through a full stride on my bad leg.  THIS makes me very happy.  I do not believe I will ever run again, but I do need to find an alternate so I can get back in shape.  I am not much of a swimmer or bike rider...but I may need to learn to be those things.  I can walk, so I can start there and build up miles and strengthen my whole body.  HotRod will like that a great deal!  He has been a very bored dog for months and months.  Luckily for me he is a good dog and up until recently didn't get into any mischief.  I did end up in the ER last week with swelling in my leg and foot, but everything turned out fine.  No clots!

I hope to have more interesting stuff to talk about going forward - so stay tuned.

A little peek at life in the country...this is my back yard.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Has it really been 6 months already?

Yesterday was the 6 month anniversary of my pulmonary embolism.  I can't believe it has gone by so quickly. 

I have an appointment on the 21st to have a new CT scan and doppler/ultrasound of my legs to see if the clots are completely gone.  On the 23rd I go back to find out if I can put all of this behind me.  I am still seeing several Doctors, and having my blood clotting level taken every two weeks or so.  Right now I feel pretty darn good, but I still get tired easily.  That could be because I am not in shape as much as anything left over from my illness.  I really REALLY want to stop wearing the anti embolism stockings!  Those suckers are tough to get on and off.

I have started working out some and registered myself to walk a half marathon on May 8th in Kirkland WA.  Just the right incentive to get myself in fit shape.  I walked 8 miles a few weeks ago, so this 13.1 miles should be no problem.  Running the half may have to wait until late summer or until I feel like my knee can really take the pounding.  I will not have any more if something breaks I will have to live with it.

I hope to be writing more regularly now that things are progressing so stayed tuned...