August 10, 2011
Big Stuf Session 1
Big Stuf begins the night before when 240 people hop on
buses at either 5pm or 7pm at night. Our church took four buses this year. The
kids and adults drive through the night and arrive in Panama City Beach around
ten in the morning. Brunch is at Pastor Tom’s favorite place the Golden Corral.
Then it’s off to the beach until around five when everyone gets their room assignments.
After this mass showers occur and the nonstop sand begins. Dinner is always
Domino’s pizza with a max of two pieces and then off to the first session.
Probably walking/running 18 miles and then jumping in the
van was not my smartest move. Oh did I forget to mention there were more people
than room on the bus so 11 of us lucky adults got to ride in a van which meant
we left at noon and spent the night in a hotel and met up with the busses on
the beach. So I hit the bus dehydrated from the run and never once had to ask
to stop to use the bathroom. If you have ever traveled with me you can hear
baby angels singing this is a miracle! Even though we stopped to sleep, it was
only about six hours. Now those of you that know me well also know I am psychotic
about getting 8 hours of sleep. (Only had six the night before as well do to
the fact I had to be up and on the street at 5 for the infamous 18 miles). By
the time session arrived I was headed into massive headache like last year. I
said oh no this is not happening and started drinking. I gave up soda on 2/7/11
(not that I’m counting or anything) so I bought crystal light packets which was
best move ever. Three years ago I had cut out caffeine and then went to big
stuf unprepared. I ended up back on soda and caffiene. I certainly didn’t want
a repeat this year.
The first session was awesome as always. The band is phenomenal.
Jared Herd spoke and he is my favorite. Last year he announced he had gotten
married, this year he announced he and his wife are expecting a baby! This year’s
them is Konnekting with God and the world around you. We are all connected to
family by sharing the same last name. We are connected to the sun. If the sun
stopped shinning, it would get super cold (which sounds like heaven right about
now), plants wouldn’t be able to grow, we would have nothing to eat and we
would starve and freeze to death. Yep Jesus camp can be a little morbid like me!
We are designed by to God to live in community, not in
isolation. We are also designed by him to live fully connected to him. It’s
hard to connect to someone when 1 you can’t see the person and 2 you think like
I do and say why would such a big God give a crap about someone like me! That’s
a super hard way to live considering I did it for almost all of my life until
four years ago at my first Big Stuf camp and over a year of counseling. It was
that camp that I first FELT loved by God and others. I knew in my HEAD I was
loved but not even close to the same awesome feeling of actually feeling it.
Walls around a person are a terrible thing.
Jared quote of the night was “we are designed by God to
live n harmony with each other”. We miss the mark. If you don’t believe it
think about family, friends, and co-workers. There is disharmony everywhere. If
heaven is where we truly live in harmony with each other and God then sign my
crazy self up right now!
August 11, 2011
Big Stuf Session 2
This morning’s session started with Jared announcing his
favorite color is orange. Ok most of you know that is my all time favorite
color so it’s no wonder I like the guy so much. He then told a story about when
he was a kid a lot of people in the town he lived in belonged to a country
club. His family didn’t because they couldn’t afford it. One day they were
invited to eat dinner there with friends. They had to get all dressed up
including ties for the boys and the men. He said there were many rules, like
what fork to eat with and how to behave. Many people view God and Christianity
the same way, way too many rules to follow. He and his family found the country
club boring and went out to a family oriented place for burgers after the meal
at the country club. If you view God as just a bunch of rules to follow that is
really boring. The exciting stuff comes when you have a relationship. I can’t
really explain how you have a relationship with someone you can’t see, I’d
suggest coming to Oak Bridge Community church for help in that area.
The critical message
I heard this morning was it is a life long journey to follow Jesus and not to
be part of worldly culture. If a person views God as a rules to follow as soon
as a rule is broken then your faith starts to fall apart. Have you ever read
the story where the guy asks about what he has to do to get into heaven and he
get the “love your God with all your heart soul and mind and love your
neighbor as yourself” answer. Then Jesus tells him to give all his crap
away and follow him. The guy ends up leaving very sad. Jared said that’s not a
literal thing like sell everything you own right now but as you do life with
Jesus you will see others as more important than yourself and want to help them
more than helping yourself.
Jaredism for the day~ Virtue what happens when wise and
courageous choices become second nature. Failure is not an enemy for we will
all fail. The goal is when you do fail to get back up and get moving towards
virtue. Many kids ask the question how far is too far in a relationship. That’s
a bad question. A rule would cause a couple to get as close to the line as
possible. The question to ask is how would a chosen child of the most high God
respond to issues of premarital sex. Totally puts a different spin on the whole
thing. And no I do not have an answer to this. I know the generic wait till you
get married is not always helpful for kids. Also really easy for adults to
spout off who are married and may have messed that up. It’s just the adults
know the mess up makes things more painful down the road.
August 29, 2011
My doctor visit
Although Jimmy gave me very good advice yesterday at church I was still nervous so I decided to go see a highly recommended sports medicine doctor. His office is in St. Peters and was certainly worth the drive.
I have a peroneal tendon strain and it is caused when the foot and ankle are rolled inward. Not sure how I managed that. Maybe because I never stretch before I take off running. I so should have listened to John Powers. It can also be caused by running on sloped surfaces like highway 61/67. He gave me some exercises to do to strengthen my ankle/tendon. The popping feeling I described he could feel and he was training someone and asked if they could feel it. Being a nurse of course I said sure. So I am on anti-inflammatory and exercise. I return in four weeks and if it is not better he will inject something in there so I can do the marathon which is in 7 weeks. Umm CR doesn’t want no shot behind her ankle in that space so she will be doing her exercises daily. He said I could go for a short run tomorrow but I may just walk. I don’t want to make things worse and I don’t want to lose ground so I see a fine line between the two. Oh and then he discussed that sometimes the tendon gets to where it actually rolls over the ankle bone and surgery is needed. I said hold up I am getting my bladder fixed, I don’t have time for tendon surgery. He started laughing.
He’s a great guy and cute too so if anyone is ever in need of a sports medicine doctor he is Brandon Larkin at St. Peters Bone and Joint center. He is totally worth the drive.
September 1, 2011
My visit to bladder doctor~warning content may TMI read at your own risk!
Warning this note is for mature audiences only. If you have
an issue with TMI you need to stop reading this immediately. If you are nosey
and continue to read anyway do not complain to me as I pre-warned you! Hee hee
So today I went to see a doctor about my bladder. What an
interesting experience! If I really focus on it I could say it was embarrassing
but I am so sick of my bladder issues that it really wasn’t. It started off
with a regular exam. Has anyone had an exam standing up? This girl has now. It
was to assess how everything moved around when standing. Dr. V. has a really
awesome computer program. It showed how normal anatomy should look and then
with a click of a mouse he had everything move to look like mine. Ok my first
thought was no wonder I have to pee all the time and I feel like I have to go
to the bathroom when I run. My bladder is totally not in the right place.
Then he asked me how I felt about my uterus. I said my
husband had a vasectomy 8 years ago and every month I worry that stupid thing
is going to grow back together and I will have a baby at 45. Feel free to take
that sucker out, I certainly won’t miss it. I also won’t miss Brian saying
“anything that bleeds for a week and doesn’t die isn’t normal!” (I
warned you people!)
Then I got the news I need a urethral sling to get my
urethra straightened back out. That comes with a suprapubic tube. For all the
non medical people out there that is a tube that goes through lower abdomen
into bladder and drains urine out. I will have that anywhere from 1 to 3 weeks.
This is because for the first week a person can’t pee the normal way at all. After
the swelling and inflammation goes down from around the sling site, voiding
returns to normal. So why is having a tube coming out of my abdomen cool
because 1. I can pee like a man and 2. If it snows I am so writing my name in
the snow and putting the picture on face book!
I have urodynamic test scheduled for 10/3. That I am sure
will be another TMI note. The girl in the office that does it assures me it
only takes 20 minutes. That will be long enough. My surgery is scheduled 10/25.
I completed my full marathon on 10/23 and do a bowel prep on 10/24 and then
surgery. I will have 8 weeks off of work and six weeks of no running at all. I
plan to maybe catch up on scrap booking and cross stitching to keep from going
totally out of my mind. I work part time for a reason and will probably be
ready to return to work after two weeks. However I am doing everything he says
to the letter because I want this issue gone. Then I can actually hydrate
before I run and drink while running. All summer I have ran on the border of
dehydration. It’s a fine line that I have gotten pretty good at defining.
However I really would like to not have to use the bathroom every thirty
minutes when running!
September 15, 2011
Yesterday’s voiding trials, another read at your own risk, it’s girly!
Yesterday I decided to do my “voiding trials”
which was writing down how much I drank and the time and amount every time I
peed. I have a little “hat” to pee in and measure. I started at 6:30
am yesterday and finished today. I went 13 freaking times. I drank 2160 and
voided 2850. So you would think that after I got up this morning and drank
nothing I would not have to go. Wrong, I went two more times in the next hour
and had to stop at Ugas to go again. What is up with that? This is why I am
willing to undergo urodynamics (more on that after 10/3) and surgery to fix
this issue. I have more important things to do than live in the bathroom. And
on a funny side note, when I started in the morning I forgot my small group
started last night so rather than skipping it, I packed my hat because there
was no way I could make it over 3 hours without going to the bathroom. This
girl gets up in the middle of the night!
September 25, 2011
10 things I learned on my 26.2 training run
1. I did the whole thing because Johnny told me Jeff
Galloway says to do an entire long run so you know what you are getting into.
Thank you Johnny, this was by far the best advice!
2. I did it and am still alive and can still walk.
3. It is freaking cold at 6am with no sun and temps in the
4. Meg Barry is right, my bladder is an a@@hole. I had
horrible issues and was the worst run ever with that. I went 7 times before the
1/2 way point.
5. Leaking urine and causing wet shorts is a nightmare in 48
degree weather. It gives the expression frigid crotch a whole new meaning.
6. I ate over 1000 calories while burning 2400. Although the
stinger energy chews taste great and are easy to eat, they are way too bulky.
The stinger protein bar was way too chocolate. The stinger waffles were the
best and the most compact.
7. I bought a pouch to carry all this food in. I learned to
turn it around backwards because having the pouch on the front caused it to
bounce on bladder, see #5.
8. Having diarrhea in the woods on the side of 61/67 was an
experience I never want to go through again. Although now I can totally relate
to a girl at work whose husband while running a 1/2 took a crap in someone’s
bushes. When you gotta go, you gotta go.
9. I look forward to the day when I can run and not have to
go to the bathroom!
10. I am running a 1/2 marathon 10/2 and am so looking
forward to 10/23. Especially since I am now in taper section of training!
October 3, 2011
Urodymanic testing. May be graphic to some and not for the faint of heart!
I had my urodynamic testing today. The first thing I did
when entering the room was size up the Frankenstein chair. It wasn’t as
horrific as I had expected it but it was bizarre looking. Just think about an
exam table that turns into a chair with a big hole in the center and a bucket
to catch your pee. Yep that’s the chair. So when she told me to undress from
waist down including shoes and socks, which should have been a red flag.
However I was too concerned to think about my feet freezing to question why I
had to put on paper booties.
The first thing that happens is some probe thing goes up the
vag. I can’t remember why either, I don’t know if it was to make sure the
uterus was out of the way or to move the bladder around. The traumatizing had
already begun. Since I had just peed before I got undressed I got the Dr.
Veronokis in and out catheter for residual next. That wasn’t quite as bad as I
expected. Next came the urodynamic catheter which felt like it was 6 foot long
and 10 inches in diameter. That was taped to my leg with some other stuff, by
this time I had no desire to even look. It was hooked up to a machine that was
taking readings while all this nonsense was going on. At times it looked like
my bladder had a heart beat. Next was the insertion of water in bladder till I
felt like I needed to run to bathroom. Then it was cough, bear down blah blah
blah to see if I was leaking. Of course I had no leaking, probably because I
wasn’t running five miles with no bathroom in sight. Had to stick my hand in
water and she ran water as well. Then she tells me to try and pee and leaves
the room. Now get this, I am sitting in a chair with a hole in it, with a pee
bucket underneath, various instruments shoved up my private parts and I’m
suppose to pee. She informs me I may pee all over my legs and feet as well.
That required me to channel my inner pee in the woods mantra and since I had to go, I managed to get the deed done and could have had shoes
and socks on. She comes back in and then I get to stand up and do the whole
process again. At some point I had another test where it sent pulses up the
catheter to see what bladder would do. It was suppose to do a nice bell curve
but mine looked more like a PA reading from a swan ganz catheter. (See I
remember my ICU stuff still, eleven years later).
At the conclusion of this she said I never really leaked so
Dr. Veronikis would evaluate my urethra under anesthesia the day of surgery to
determine if I need a sling or not. So I guess in three weeks I will wake up
and either have a catheter coming out of my abdomen or not.
After that I went to get preregistered for surgery. That was
boring in comparison. I had my blood drawn and didn’t need an EKG because I am
not 45 yet. I was chatting with the supervisor of prequal and she is running
the half marathon in three weeks. It will be her second. She has dropped sixty
pounds. Then I was talking to the anesthesiologist. She was asking me if I
could walk up three flights of stairs. I said time out I just ran a 1/2
marathon yesterday in 2:17 minutes, I do not get short of breath. She looked in
my mouth and had me tilt head back. I went to la la land to avoid thinking
about intubation. Sometimes knowing so much is a nightmare.
So I think this is it until surgery. I use to think you went
to Dr. V. and he scheduled surgery, I had no idea it was such a lengthy
process. I have an entire folder worth of information. Oh wait you can be sure
I will carry on about bowel prep the day before surgery. If I can talk about
peeing in a chair in the middle of an exam room, you can be sure I can talk
about pooping my brains out!
October 23, 2011
Full marathon in 5:25:00
The big run is over. A total of 28 weeks of running and 900 miles traveled. I feel pretty good except I do have ice on the outside of my left knee! I finished at an even 5:25. I had hoped to run closer to 5 but by mile 6 I had to go to the bathroom and the people were so slow that I ended up losing 3 or 4 minutes. Well I thought I could catch the pace group which I had felt good running with. Didn’t catch them but ended up running the next five miles a little too fast. At either mile 8 or 9 the race split off from the 1/2 and full and I seriously considered jumping over to the 1/2. But I got a text from Meg Barry that said “you can do it girlfriend, thinking of you” and then I get a text saying John Powers finished the half. So the full was on and I stayed to the right. Somewhere around mile 16 or 17 the song “how he loves” came on. The first year I went to Big Stuf camp that was a new song and camp was the first time I could feel that God and people really loved me. I knew in my head that I was loved but I had so many walls up that I couldn’t really feel it. So that song is playing and I get a text from Kevin Brown (best man at John and Jennifer’s wedding) that says “your times are looking good, keep it up” So then I am thinking oh big daddy is following me via text and I start crying. Yep just call me a biggest loser crybaby. For some reason I have that song in two different versions and they played back to back. Then my sister texts me and says Andre’ is waiting around because he wants to see me finish as well. Then I start crying again. I also do some texting during these miles because I had to slow my pace down if I wanted to finish and I needed some distraction. I remember thinking at mile 16, 10 miles left that’s to the shell station and back a piece of cake. Then at mile 3 I was like Soleil can do this so can you. I see Brian, Emily, Andre’ and Sierra at mile 25.8 and Brian starts running with me. Then Jho is at mile 26 and she starts running with me too. They were both so encouraging and I am thinking holy crap is this real, my husband is running with me. I was trying not to cry again. Johnny is running along the outside taking pictures of us. Brian puts his arms up in the air as he crossed over the finish line and keeps telling me he ran a marathon and it was a piece of cake. I must admit the ending was awesome. My sister was lost and Sierra had her phone she was crying because she didn’t think she’d see Karen again. I was crying because Sierra was crying and I was emotional freak. My best buddy Jho handed me water, had me drink 2 and a bottle of electrolyte drink. She made me eat too. I was a little wiped out. I drank at every water station which seemed to be at least every two miles but I never peed after the first stupid stop!
Because I couldn’t run the whole thing, I had to take walk breaks. A girl asked me if I walked the whole thing because I was walking so fast. I said no and told her about my pump bump and she offered me Excedrin. I told her I was having surgery on Tuesday to get my bladder fixed. Guess what she did the same thing last year, ran a marathon and then had surgery two days later. So I guess there is more than one crazy person out there! Talk about a small world.
The rock n roll set up was by far the best. It was highly organized, plenty of volunteers, good music, good course etc. I plan to run it again next year and probably the full. After the run was over I decided this was a lot like labor, complete and totally hell while going through it and then afterwards thinking that wasn’t so bad, I want to do it again.
And this is why I am called CR!
November 24, 2011
The past month
I ended up not writing this last night because for the third evening in a row I had a severe headache. I think they may be from not sleeping enough. I actually fell asleep for a nap today which was awesome.
So yesterday I got my sutures out of my lap sites. That feels so much better. Apparently mercy did away with dissolvable sutures so I asked veronikis if he used fishing line. They looked like it and felt like it. That made him laugh. When he asked me if I wanted my sutures out I said yes unless my guts will fall out. He assured me they wouldn’t. A small part of my sense of humor is returning.
When I called on Monday his nurse acted like I shouldn’t be in pain. This about sent me over the edge because I was thinking what is wrong with me now. So I asked him about this and he looked at my like are you crazy, it hasnt even been two weeks. He told me to give it another week and I should be feeling back to my old self. Validation and hope are a great combination for someone who has just went through the worst month of her life.
After my first surgery something came back weird with my uterus. The last surgery he took something out that for lack of a better word he called it a goober. That came back as nothing so tomorrow I will make an appointment with Dr. Chobanian a gyn/oncologist to see what it was and if I need any further follow up.
Today everyone ran personal best 5K’s. I’m not going to lie it made me jealous and mad so I decided to walk. I went around 11 when the sun was shining to a trail by my house. After the orginal surgery could walk after two weeks but no hills. I took my killer pit bull mix because she is as nuts as me from lack of walking. I was doing great till this ignorant guy wouldn’t get on his side of the trail. Trying to get my dog over caused me to trip and fall. Jerk didn’t even ask if I was ok. It freaked me out but everything stayed intact and I feel fine. It took me 18:33 to do one mile. In perspective jho ran 3.1 miles is 29 minutes. So I am old lady slow. However it really lifted my mood which is what I needed.
Thanksgiving was at my sister in laws house since our mother in law is still recovering from her broken femur. Teresa caught the sweet potatoes on fire in the oven. Everyone ate them anyway. Except me, I hate them. My mom would try disguising them when I was a kid and it would never work. I did eat some of the burned up marshmallows. The food was fabulous and I had a great afternoon.
Here’s one thing I’m really thankful for dry underwear and no reason to wear a pad. The sling rocks. Another being able to drink 20 oz and not pee every fifteen minutes for the next two hours. I can run hydrated from now on. Thankful for my husband who has put up with me feeling horrible and not being able to do much of anything. Three wonderful daughters who have been so supportive each in their unique way. My home health nurse Jennifer hong powers who always knows just what to say and how to say it to get me to do what I need too. Meg Barry who has done nothing but crack me up for the past four weeks when I needed it most. Our conversations will send us straight to hell. My iPhone that I bought last year after I took my mom to surgery, next day drove to kc. because Emily was having a kidney stone and then a week later in the er with my sister. I spent the first three weeks pretty much in a fetal position and this phone helped me stay connected. Finally for my sister who I can always be myself with. Scream cry cuss whatever. Thanks to her for taking me to my last surgery.
Oh and all the pain I had was from adhesions from having my appendix out at 15 and endometrosis. I had no idea I had either. I have never had any pain or issues with periods. Dr. Veronikis was shocked. Had he known I had this he would have done my surgery abdominally and fixed the adhesions while he was in there and none of this would have happened. I knew it wasn’t from anything he did. Anytime a uterus is removed it causes everything to shift. And when that happened my adhesions shifted and I had incredible pain. Looking back I probably should have been in the hospital on iv pain meds. Live and learn.