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Gettin’ Busy!

Things are definitely looking up in the running department! I ran a strong 4.25 miles yesterday (my 2nd run post-op) yesterday and felt great. I followed that with a visit to my Fun Fabulous Fierce Journey to Wellness meeting, where my girl Tina rocked my world with ZUMBA. All of that following 2 days of Bar Method and I nearly couldn’t roll over in bed last night for the screaming in my hamstrings!

Today I feel great. I’m amazed that the surgery was such a huge success. I’m now to the point where I am only cathertizing myself about once a day. If I hadn’t drank a huge glass of water before bed last night, I may not have even needed that. 

Can you believe I’m actually getting so much better?!? ME NEITHER!

To celebrate, I’m going to run the Kaiser SF Half Marathon with my sister this weekend. Of course, going from 4.25 to 13.1 miles is way too much too quickly so we’ll either walk a lot of it or just stick with the 5k. Either way, it’ll be a ton of fun and I’m really excited to get out there racing.

Wish me luck!!

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Helluva Day! (And WAY more TMI)

Not a banner day to say the least. Day 12 post-surgery and I’ve now been to the ER twice and been prescribed 3 antibiotics. On Saturday, we tried again to take out the catheter. Suffice to say, after hours, I couldn’t pee. Called Kaiser. They said ER. We went. They gave me another catheter and more drugs. Ugh.

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This is a photo of my sister and I singing our dad’s favorite song on Christmas morning before breakfast. If you look closely at my waist, you can see the freaking catheter bag hanging out of my hoodie pocket.

Today it’s Monday and I was determined to be finished with the damn catheter. That was an epic fail. We took it out at 7am. I took my son to see “Frozen” at 10:30am. When we got home at 1pm, I was already in agony. I figured I’d be able to power through it if I took 2 Norco and a 600mg Ibuprofen. (Not so.) My Mom (and resident RN) had an appointment from which she didn’t return until 5pm. By the time she got home, I could no longer speak or stand up straight. I was not aware before this experience that not being able to “void” is as painful as transitioning from 9cm to 10cm in birth. It was freaking unbearably excruciating.

As I type, it is 8pm on Monday, Dec. 30, 2013. I’ve had a catheter since 5:15pm and I’m no longer in pain. My big decision earlier tonight was whether to take more Norco or to start drinking wine. I went for the wine and thankfully the pain has subsided.

I’m still hoping this surgery (mid-urethral sling) was a good idea. I’m still keeping my fingers crossed that I haven’t broken any sutures and that all is good on the inside. If you’re considering have a similar surgery, I hope you’ll go forward with it – maybe you won’t have such issues and HOPEFULLY I, too, will soon forget how crazy all of this has been and be grateful to be relieved (hee hee) of all my bladder issues. In the meantime, I just hope that my recovery continues, that I will run again with real abandon and that soon this will all be a distant memory.

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Recovery?

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.

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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…

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