So let’s do the pre-pre-race thoughts first, shall we:
April 2016 I had a hysterectomy where they left one ovary in to offer hormone balance. It was supposed to be as least invasive as possible (vaginal hysterectomy) with the least amount of recovery time. But I have to be spectacular and go above and beyond. After realizing that the tumors were too big to come out that way, they tried to remove with a scope through the belly button and the side. When that did not work, at the age of 47 and having been non child bearing for well over two decades and change, I had to have an emergency c-section to remove all of the mess.
April 2017 I went to the ER via ambulance where they misdiagnosed me with norovirus (think cruise ship illness). I was in the hospital a couple of days. While there, they did a contrasting CT and a second regular CT for comparison. I had a follow up colonoscopy (everyone should try THAT procedure at least once in their life!) in which they said I have diverticulosis (Diverticula are small pouches that bulge outward through the colon, or large intestine. If you have these pouches, you have a condition called diverticulosis. Doctors believe the main cause is a low-fiber diet. Most people with diverticulosis don’t have symptoms. Sometimes it causes mild cramps, bloating or constipation. If the pouches become inflamed or infected, you have a condition called diverticulitis. The most common symptom is abdominal pain, usually on the left side. You may also have fever, nausea, vomiting, chills, cramping, and constipation. In serious cases, diverticulitis can lead to bleeding, tears, or blockages. Treatment may include antibiotics, pain relievers, and a liquid diet. A serious case may require a hospital stay or surgery.)
Once I had the colonoscopy, I went in to see my regular physician who was impressed I regrew my uterus….wait, whaaa? Yeah, the radiology tech noted in their report that I had a pronounced uterus. Nope. She saw something else, another fibroid tumor. So, a trip to my fave doctor in the world (Mofor-Eta) to confirm and another surgery was scheduled for June 5, 2017. Dr M believed that it would not be too drastic, cut right along the line where the last c-section was. And, because surgeries and I are not good bedfellows – things went wrong, of course. Dr M opened me up and realized that she could not find the remaining ovary. She checked the records just to make sure she did not miss something and then realized, the cyst on the ovary was wrapped in my bowel and the ovary was hidden beneath/within. She had to call in a general surgeon to resect (from the Latin resectus, meaning to trim, prune, cut back) and remove the ovary/cyst. The fallopian tube was left behind. That should be fine. I read the report where they sent off the cyst and ovary for examination. The cyst was larger than the ovary (again). I was very lucky that it did not burst while wrapped in the bowel. That would have been a whole other story. I can remember briefly waking in the recovery room, feeling ill and then being put back under quickly. Later I would wake with an NG tube in my nose and down my throat. (Nasogastric intubation is a medical process involving the insertion of a plastic nasogastric tube or NG tube through the nose, past the throat, and down into the stomach.) So, once again an “overnight stay” kind of surgery developed into so much more. Because I lost so much blood they said that I would feel exhausted all the time for a while. They also nicked the bowel, so there was a whole lot of worry surrounding that.
So, here I am four months and some days out from that experience. The muscle in my lower stomach had to endure two non-birth c-sections. I currently feel the most under-prepared I have for any race I have ever participated in. Four weeks ago I was at the highest weight I have ever been (including pregnancies). So, first I decided to get back to healthy eating/food prep/watching what I eat. After a little over a week of that I started to up my physical activity game. The past two weeks I have been the most active since April of this year. This past week I have felt better than I have since spring. But I have such a LONG road to get back to where I need to be.
Now, for the pre-race thoughts:
This morning, around eight, I decided to go for a three mile brisk walk just to time it. I thought, well – worse case scenario is that I will run the length of the bridge (pure adrenaline will carry me that far) and then run 60 seconds/walk 90 seconds the rest of the race. To contrast/compare my thoughts, I decided to just walk this morning, nothing more. That walk was exactly 3.1 miles. I walked down a set of sketchy stairs to the river (hoping to see if they could be a post-race start to doing stairs consistently – they were not). I got a great pic of the river while I was there. The road was empty except for dogs and birds. I liked that. Until the last half mile when people started emerging from their houses to go to church. I was neighborly with a guy a couple streets over, where we discussed his dog for a few minutes. And then I clocked my Garmin a few hundred feet away from my house when it hit 3.1 exactly. I also checked my FitBit (a little over 7k in steps – so I have something to base my mornings on this week). With all of the steps, stops and a couple of pictures, I was able to complete 3.1 miles in one hour and thirty seven seconds. Easy breezy comfortable and with zero stress, almost lazily. So, now I know in my heart I can pull a one hour 5k. Not the greatest of paces but one that I will be fine with under my current circumstances. I will consider finishing the race an accomplishment and hopefully it will come as a jump start to my getting back into a healthy swing. I have a long way to go, but this is my start.
((I never claimed to be fast, I do claim that I will finish.))
Bridge Day 5k 2016, my time was 43:26 at the 3.1 mile mark.
Categories: Health - Races - Recipes