Return

Standard

Gosh, its been 9 months since I have been on here.   In that 9 months I have become incredibly selfish, stingy, guarded and isolated.  My self and my home are no longer open and welcoming.   I am ready and willing to vomit up many reasons and excuses.  But in the end, I am left with just my own sin.

In one week I will be opening my home for the first time in a year.  (Not counting Jessica’s birthday party.  Jess is family, so she doesn’t count.  I would do anything for her.  She is so awesome and I feel like a better person when I am around her.)  Anyway, we are having a Thanksgiving dinner for our City Group and some homeless friends.

I am freaking out a little bit.  Our homeless friends used to be here at our house all the time.  It wasn’t hard or inconvenient.  (Some days where, but just because of life and not because of them or me.  Does that make sense?)  They have spend holidays with us.  They have used our showers.  I have done their laundry.  My family has hung out at their camp for countless hours. I used to love having them over.

But today, I am freaked out.   I don’t want my house dirty.  Dreading awkward conversations.  How could I have forgotten the sweet blessing that these people are?  Forgotten how much I love them and they love me?

Advertisements

Talking about oneself is so annoying…

Standard

I have been pretty silent on this blog and on FaceBook for the past month or so. I have been busy with life, and taxes, and work, and family, and kids, and friends, and church, and crafts, and friends. I also turned 41 a few weeks ago. And I joined a gym.

I have been working out with Jodie in the mornings at 530am at the gym. I totally converted her to a 5am-er. Something she swore she would never be. I wish everyone new how awesome it is go get up that early, to work out and take care of yourself, and then you STILL HAVE THE WHOLE DAY!! I have still been running, although – not as often as I was now that I have introduced some cross training in my schedule. But never fear – I am still a runner first. I am not giving that up. I love it. Well, I dont totally love it yet, but I almost do. I love it a little more every day.

Do you want to know what else I love a little more every day? Me. Those who know me well, know that I spend a whole lotta time criticizing myself. “I could be better. I SHOULD be better. I HAVE to be better.” I dont entirely know why I am like that. For the most part I really do think that it’s a good quality. I want to constantly be aware that I am imperfect. Otherwise I would never need God. And I truly do desperately need him.

But today I had a thought. That maybe I am not so bad. I am a pretty strong woman. I have been on my own for a long time. If you don’t know my “story” I am not going to tell that here, but I am happy to tell anyone over coffee or a beer, all you have to do is ask. Anyhoo. I spent years on my own in survival mode. And when I got married, I gave up and put all of my strength in my husband, and put him in the unfair place of having to be strong for me emotionally. I stopped fighting and gave up.

Fast forward – I found myself pushing through some thoughts during a particularly difficult run the other day. “This is too hard. I dont want to do this.” I checked in with myself, and realized that even though I have survived some horrible stuff, I didnt feel strong enough to push through running a long distance. I realized that my past is filled with seasons that I was forced to fight through. But running is different – its something I have to choose to do. And the choice has been one of the hardest choices I have made.

Today I was reminded that I am still a strong girl that carry and manage a whole lot. I work full time, have 4 kids, have been married 15 years (NO ONE thought we would ever stay married), we host our City Group every week, are committed to our friends and neighbors, we open our home to whoever needs it, I find time to craft, and even find time to craft with friends, pay the bills, and have a workout schedule of no less than 5 days per week. Dont get me started on the homework, laundry, housework… you get the idea. And I appreciate and support my husband’s need for time to himself.

I am not documenting all of this to lift me up on some pedestal for all to admire how awesome I am. But rather for me to appreciate that I am not a totally awful person. I dont exactly do all of these things well, but I am content with needing God’s grace and wisdom to get through the day. He is perfect so that I don’t have to be. He loves me so that I can love myself. And he is strong on my behalf so that I am not crushed under the shear weight of the large mountain of laundry that I still have to do tonight.

Week 1

Standard

Here is the deal. I ran at night today. It was great. It seems that my issues with running at the end of the day may or may not be tied to the fact that I would pee for the ENTIRE run if I ran at night before.

Listen, I told you that I was going to be “real” on this blog, so don’t get pissy (pun intended) that I just told you that I used to pee all freaking day. (If you are new to my blog, please reference all other blogs for some kind of point of reference on the peeing all day thing.)

So, where was I? I remember — I ran tonight. It was AWESOME. Except for one thing. I did my warm up for 5 minute, did my running intervals for 20 minutes… and then (for whatever reason) I skipped my 5 minute cool down. Why is that bad? BECAUSE if I would have done my cool down I would have broken the 2 MILE mark.

So what? Well, when I first began running it took me 5 weeks to break that mark!! And I could have done it again today after only FOUR DAYS of running after my surgery (which was only 4 weeks ago!)!!! I am soooo grieved that I didnt do that cool down!

But at the same time, I am near tears as I think about how far I have come. I am so freaking proud of myself, you guys! When I first began running all those months ago I was averaging about a 16 minute mile. On my FIRST day back at running this week (after my surgery) I ran a 13 minute mile. My half marathon is March 31 – and I am totally confident that I can reach that goal. My plan is to run for two total weeks with the C25K app (running 6 days per week), and then on the 3rd week jump into the E210K app (Ease to 10K). I will do that for 4 weeks (running 6 days per week) and then hit the Higdon Half app full force. All the while cross training with P90X 3 days per week (Plyo, Yogo, and Abs). And I will work on my arms during the day at work with my 15lb weights.

I love my plan.

And for the record – I didn’t pee once during my run tonight. Which is probably why it was a great run. Which, in turn, means that I don’t have any excuse for running at night any more if I have to miss my morning runs. I seriously feel like a whole new person after my surgery. Prolapsed bladders suck it.

I will most definitely be doing my entire run tomorrow and I will be proud to post my 2 mile stats.

First Post-Surgery Run!

Standard

I went for my first post-surgery run this morning. It. Was. Awesome.

My plan is to start my Couch to 5k App from the beginning so that I don’t jump in too quick and hurt myself. And by that I mean hurt my knees or ligaments. I can tell you that (especially after this morning’s run) I am not worried about my recovery in the slightest.

So, how was my run? It was heavenly. It felt so good to be back out there. I had no problems at all except for my allergies which are giving me sinus problems and a teensy bit of wheezing. But as far as the rest of my body and my attitude – it was pure fun.

Just before the surgery, my husband and I were evaluating whether it would benefit my success to run at night rather in the morning. I was having a really hard time getting up in the morning – which is typical for me in the winter. I need sunshine to start my day. I love it, it gives me huge amounts if energy and attitude boosts. I love waking up to a bright sunny morning. But in the winter its dark (which I hate) and cold (which I hate more). BUT I really love running in the morning. My stamina is way better in the morning than at night. And I love starting my day running in the morning. BUT it would also be great to do my P90X in the morning and then run in the evening too.

UGH. What should I do??

Hold on and simmer down, Ginger! Its only my first day back at running again. I will continue running with my C25K app for this week and reevaluate next weekend. The 14th sounds good.

Seriously – I am all smiles. It feels so damn good to be back.

New Year

Standard

We put away all the Christmas decorations yesterday.  While I was moving furniture back in its place – I decided I could not handle the dirty blinds anymore.  So I cleaned all the blinds, window sills, and washed the inside of the windows.  Then of course I had to clean all the baseboards. 

Then we bought a new desk for the new iMac.  And now I am obsessing over getting the office organized.  I have a plan for some Ikea bookshelves that would finally clean up our library – which currently resides in our bedroom and closet.  Which all means that now I am obsessing over getting my bedroom all organized. 

I was THIS close to making a trip to Ikea.  But then I checked in with myself and talked to my hubby about it.  He suggested I get some exercise or fresh air.  So I did some of the Shoulders and Arms  P90X workout.  I feel so much better.

Now I am focused on just getting the house clean, and my urge to make outrageous purchases has been purged. 

Back to the workout – I didnt push myself.  It felt nice to workout again.  Ethan worked out with me.  He is a great workout buddy. I feel ready to start jogging again, but Patrick doesn’t think its a good idea yet. 

 

Friends

Standard

My recovery is going perfectly. I feel great, absolutely no pain, and I can finally wear jeans again. (I was stuck wearing yoga pants for all this time). I went back to work full time this week. I feel great, except its been weeks and weeks since I have been in the office past 3pm – so I find myself super tired by 5pm. But I feel great otherwise so I think I just need to build my stamina again. I would say 2.5 weeks for a recovery time is pretty awesome.

Since my surgery I have been very aware of the people in my life – and the love and generosity they have given me. And its really impacted me a whole lot. I know I keep making jokes about this – but I really am serious when I say that I am a terrible friend. I am very hot and cold. I have fended for myself most of my life and I am super independent. The urge to push people away from me is a constant battle. The emotion that “I cant trust people” or “I cant count on people” is always just under the surface for me, waiting for someone to disappoint me. Which validates those emotions and then keeps that cycle going. So I have a nice long list of people who are “dead to me” because of this. You hurt me, you disappoint me, if you flake on me too many times – screw you, you are out of my life.

None of that is okay. You cant live life like that. I mean, what right do I have to cast such judgement on people when I am a way worse friend than they could ever be? Who do I think I am? I am so flaky and rude and judgmental. And yet I can still name 10 people that are in my life that (try as I might) I have not been able to get rid of, who have loved me through it all.

We will all most certainly be hurt by the people in our lives. We can’t look to people for constant affirmation, trust, security and love. Only God can offer those things. When people let me down or hurt me – I have to look to God for help forgiving and moving on. Because lord knows I sure expect forgiveness and grace when I screw up and hurt the people in my life (just ask my husband and Carolyn).

I have the best people in my life, none of which I deserve. It’s all very humbling. I am so grateful and I want to be that friend who sticks it out through thick and thin. Sometimes we assume that the best justice to teach a lesson is to withhold love or good deeds. But I am a living testimony… the best justice is showering a hurtful person with more love and grace.

To my friends: Thank you for sticking by me. I am so thankful for each of you.

Post-Surgery Me

Standard

I have been off-line for a while. I have missed running and blogging. But I am ready to blog again and catch WordPress World up on my life. I have cut my fingernails and everything. (Neurotic condition of mine. I cant type when my fingernails are long enough to ‘click’ on the keys.) Get a cup of coffee and enjoy. I’ll start with a few things that have been on my mind and then I will tell y’all about my surgery. Then, finally I will address the fact that I have been saying y’all like its out of style.

1. Fay Cummings said on Facebook that she liked my blog. Then all of a sudden I had hundreds of hits on my blog. That spooked the crap out of me and immediately stopped blogging. People other than Julie, Shelley and Amy are reading my blog?!!?? But, I am over it.

2. Around that same time, Patrick asked my why I was posting “personal” stuff on my “training” blog? “Isn’t this your blog about exercise?” he says to me. Oh, silly, Patrick. I love him anyway. You see… I am a screwed up woman, wife, mother, daughter, friend. I consider this dedication to “training” a whole-health deal. Whole-health meaning physical, spiritual, emotional. And I am too lazy to have separate blogs for each. Eventually, I do plan on blogging about crafts, but that is step 2(017).

So, now on to my surgical experience. What did I have done, exactly? I had to have surgery for two reasons. One being I had a partial hysterectomy, where they removed my uterus (but I kept my ovaries). The other being, that because I spit kids out like sunflower shells – my bladder had prolapsed and they had to put it back where it belongs. This latter part was especially crucial for my running future. This will make sure I don’t have any bladder issues when I run. I do not apologize for being transparent here. This is something that moms may face, and y’all should know that. My surgery was robotic. Its a crazy machine that seems creepy and scary. But I am a fan of it. If you would like to see the machine, the link to my urogyno doctor who performed the bladder repair is here.

Leading up to my surgery, I practically stopped exercising altogether. I knew that I would be taking about a week off of work, and it was important to me that I had everything ready for my medical leave. I was working 11-12 hour days for about 2 or 3 weeks or so. Everything was pretty much on hold so that I could have the peace of mind all of my scheduled tasks where covered or done. I would not have been able to rest peacefully during my recover had I not invested that time. I am glad I did it. (Seems extreme? Keep in mind that I am responsible for things like payroll and the bank accounts. I cant drop the ball on stuff like that.)

Leading up to the surgery, I was not nervous. I had one day when I got a teeny bit nervous but it went away. The outpouring of love, support, kind words, prayers and offers to help my family where so overwhelming. The day before my surgery I received emails from our wonderful pastors and friends, calls and hugs from my bosses, tons of emails, Facebook posts, Care Calendar signups. I was so humbled by the genuine love and support. I am a terrible friend, people. And I just don’t deserve that much grace. I spend Wednesday evening. Dec 7, packing and crying from it all. And when peacefully to sleep. Also, my mom came down from OKC that night to make sure that I and the kids where cared for. I love her.

Thursday morning, we got the kids off to school and drove up to North Austin Medical Center. My surgery was scheduled for noon. Still not nervous. I was shocked. I figured I would be shaking scared. I registered, they took some blood for labs, I put my gown on, I Facebooked, texted and emailed. Had great debates with the nurses about whether left-handedness is genetic or a learned/social behavior. And I took a nap while I waited for the surgery. Eventually the doctors started tricking in to make introductions and give me info. They kept offering me drugs for my nerves – but I was not nervous in the slightest, and I kept declining. Then at 1pm they wheeled me into surgery. By 1:02 I was sound asleep. I thought I would start getting scared once in the surgery room, but the anesthetist was so quick to put meds in my pic line that I was seriously out in less than a minute.

That part was great. But then I woke up in post-op. That sucked. It. I was so thirsty, and so out of it, and I was miserable. I had a really hard time waking up. I could barely make out a clock on the wall. I think it said 7:30. What? I went in at 1pm! (My surgery was about 5 hours.) Then I went to sleep again. Then I woke up from some noise, and it was 8pm. They were moving me. Asleep again. Then I saw Patrick standing in the corner. Surreal.

They asked me if I could sit up and move myself from the gurney to the bed. Excuse me?? Um. No. I was in so much pain. And so thirsty (it had been almost 24 hours since I had anything to drink.) I think I started crying. They moved me over. And I was miserable. So painful. Eventually they brought me some water and food. I at some broccoli and peaches. And they starting putting pain meds in my drip. That helped. I spend the next hour or two sleeping and waking up. Patrick sat there with me and I loved him so much. Nurses in and out every few minutes. Sleeping and waking up.

My work Christmas party was that same evening. I was sad to miss it. But at some point that night someone from my work texted a video to me. Patrick showed it to me – I had won an award!!! And they made sure to video that part! I love my job so much! I smiled and went to sleep again.

Eventually I told Patrick it was ok to go home. My only plan for the night was to sleep off that anesthesia. And I felt safe and ok for him to go. But those effing nurses would not leave me alone! At 1am, they told me I had to sit up in bed, and then walk around for a minute. Ha! No, wait… you are SERIOUS? They seriously made me sit up! Well, I showed her! I proceeded to throw up all over myself, the bed and the floor immediately upon sitting up. Take that, bitch! But she was nice about it and even brought me a toothbrush to clean my mouth out.

But after that (and a morphine injection in my pic line), I felt great. And I did go for a long walk around the ward. So, yeah. Me, my catheter, and my IV line went for a walk. If felt kinda good to move around. And then went back to bed and got to sleep for about half hour stretches. Except at 5am, the nurse makes be get up and take a shower. Yep, you heard me. Then after my shower she removed the catheter.

We were all holding our breath to make sure I could pee right away. I assured them that I would have no problem. And I didnt. I passed that test in true Hermione fashion. So, all was well, and as the hours ticked away they started removing gadgets and needles from my body little by little. And about 4pm I was released to go. The nurses gave me hugs and said I was a great patient. (Keep in mind I was on the best pain meds money could buy, so my mom might remember all of this much differently.)

By 530 I was home. I went to bed and slept most of the next 4 days. It was really quite miserable. The pain was horrible. I had to sleep on my back all day and all night. And I would snore so loud – I would startle myself awake. Glamorous. Poor Patrick. He was so great. And so was mom. I never had to worry about the kids.

The few and far between moments during the day that I was awake and moving around – I think I would start cleaning, although I don’t recall very clearly. I had the CRAZIEST dreams those 5 days our so. I would hallucinate whole chunks of events, conversations, interactions… and then didn’t know what really took place and what didn’t. I hated that part. By Tuesday, I couldn’t handle it anymore and decided not to take any more of the meds. I needed to have a clear mind and some kind of normal-ness back in my life.

I have been very impatient about my recovery. I feel like I should be back to my normal activities by now. And it hasn’t even been two weeks. I worked from home last week for two days, and then felt sore. One of my incisions was in a great deal of pain. I was so worried that I had strained it somehow. I was terrified that they would have to cut me back open to fix it. But the surgeon this morning assured me that out of the 7 incisions – this one is the most painful. I am totally on track with my healing, and he assured me that I was ok to return to work if I took it easy there. He called me in a different pain med, and now I feel fine. None of the other 7 incisions are in pain.

So from here, my job is to recover as quickly as I can so that I can get on to my half marathon training!! I have been told that I can return to activity as tolerated. I should not do any lifting, but I am allowed to walk. If I can be active, I should do it. So, in a few days I plan on returning to my early schedule. Instead of running, I will be walking. I have also been very relaxed about my vegan diet. I am looking forward to returning to it again.

I feel so much better about my recovery after speaking with my surgeon today. My two week post-op appointment is this Friday, the 23rd. I expect to be told I am an exemplary patient. 🙂

So one weird story – Patrick told me that the surgeons checked in with him after my surgery and they both went on and on about how awesome and perfect my pelvis is. What in the world does that mean??