So today is post-surgery day 8 and things have not really improved substantially. I assume that somewhere inside, my body is healing. Outwardly, things aren’t progressing to my impatient standards.

Things were going really well until Sunday. Saturday night was super awesome. My husband planned us a holiday/birthday date night (months before we knew about my surgery) and it was so much fun. We shared a lovely steak dinner and then went to a local production of “A Christmas Carol.” I found a skirt that was long enough to hide the catheter (just barely!) so I felt pretty cute.

Not bad considering a bag of my own urine was strapped to my leg, right?

The next day we were supposed to lay in bed and catch up on all of our TV shows. Instead, I woke up feeling a little funny down under. I quickly realized it was a urinary tract infection. After about an hour on the phone with the advice nurse, it became clear our only option was to visit the ER. That was 9am. You know how this story ends, right? We got home 7 hours later with only a bottle of antibiotics and less a $100 copay to show for our time.

Instead of leaving first thing the next morning for my mom’s house where we were to reunite with our children and begin our holiday merriment, we decided to indulge in a day of relaxation and television. The ER visit and subsequent failed “voiding trial” at the doctor’s office left us too tired and me too disappointed (with the catheter’s continued presence) to pack and get going.

Christmas Eve brought us to our children, a beautiful Christmas mass, a lovely dinner and 2 hours of our 2-year old screaming before finally collapsing to sleep. We seriously thought about putting her on the naughty list and scrapping all her gifts. My husband managed to assemble all the Santa toys while I watched from my couch perch with my feet up like a good girl…ignoring the shrieks from the other room.

It’s worth mentioning that the ER changed my catheter and repositioned the tubing on my leg. (Yes, I realize how nuts I’ve become that I’m sharing this TMI publicly…I only wish I’d read something similar when I was considering this surgery – even if it’s been tricky, I’d love to have known someone who already went through it.) The tubing repositioning meant the only clothing I could wear to Christmas mass (that didn’t include sweat pants) was a pair of jeans I bought at a thrift store for a quarter. Skinny jeans don’t exactly work with medical tubing.

Fast forwarding through our beautiful family Christmas and my renewed pain, a doctor from the ER called to tell me that my infection required a different antibiotic from the one I had been prescribed. I sweet-talked my older (sober) brother into picking up my prescription from the hospital pharmacy (which is where everyone wants to be on Christmas night, right?!?).

Still being in pain 5 days after the onset of the infection and 8 days after surgery, I’m starting to lose my positive attitude about this whole experience. I’m trying to remind myself of the great lessons in patience I’m gaining. I keep trying to tell myself that after this surgery I’ll be able to run without concern and that I’ll be able to throw away all the incontinence pads in my bathroom. All the weight I’m likely gaining as I gorge myself on holiday food like someone who runs 5 miles a day will vanish once I can again be the person who runs 5 miles a day.

Apparently writing is the answer because just getting all of this down is making me feel stronger and more confident that these short-term setbacks will all be worthwhile when I don’t have to worry about peeing my pants! 5 more weeks and I’ll be ready to run and ready to rock.

In the meantime, here’s a selfie of one of my holiday gifts…

A BFF is the best gift in the world…especially when she gets you EXACTLY what you wanted!

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