Archive for March, 2009
I had this afternoon off. I had no set plans other than having Sita over so I can be her guinea pig for learning a new massage technique. The rest of the afternoon was allowing myself to chill. Although we haven’t been busy at work (economy) it’s hard not to come home exhausted. It’s also no surprise that I feel I constantly have to be doing something. Checking something on the Internet, running, cleaning. I can only guess that I’m getting spring fever, but this anxiety is driving me nuts. I just wanted to relax, or at least try. So I sat. And sat some more. Then debated whether to run. I had absolutely no desire to go to the gym to run. I noticed the sun had come out so I figured running outside was an option. Weather.com said it was 34 degrees but my house readout said 53 degrees. I figured I’d be fine. Why not start my fun run series today?
I told David my dilemma and idea about fun runs last night. He was supportive…at the same time all is said was, “You know it’s not always about the distance and speed. Just run to run.” Ding! Ding! Ding! That’s it! So simple, but hearing it made so much sense.
I’m a numbers person. A person that likes black/white. Of course there’s a time and a place for this thinking. Unfortunately having this mindset all of the time can kill you. Kill in the sense of life experiences and just plain happiness. I’ve known this all along, but as I get older and time goes on I’m realizing it more. I don’t know if I can change myself. I’ve been this way for so long it’s going to be hard and darn near impossible. Any changes will be small and take time, but it’s worth the venture and attention.
So….back to my first fun run…..I jumped in a pair of shorts, an under armour, laced up, and grabbed my pepper spray. I headed out with no gadgets or unnecessary extras. No Garmin, no iPod, no Bondi Band, no sunglasses, no SPIbelt, no cell phone. In other words, just like when I started running. I had no set route or set distance. I just went. Ahhhh, it was nice. I listened to my surroundings and more importantly my body. Don’t get me wrong, I love listening to music and I can also have thoughts at the same time, but having my ears free to hear while having thoughts fill my brain, I loved it. I couldn’t look at my Garmin to see how far I’d gone or how fast I was going. Once again, I just went the speed that felt good.
I came back with a good sweat, feeling revived, and just good. I’m digging my fun run idea. This was a great reminder that sometimes you need to take a step back to move forward.
I heard this song a few weeks back….John Legend performed this with Juanes at the NBA All Star Game. I have since added it to my iPod and have fallen in love with it. It gives me chills. It gives me inspiration. It was an excellent addition to my run today.
(No surprise, but I’m late to the party, as I found it was also used throughout the Obama campaign too….democratic convention, etc. Hmph. Ah well, better late than never.)
I remember throughout my entire experience I lost count of how many times I said, “I’m a vet tech.” Looking back I see myself as a dork, but at the time all I wanted to do was let the nurses/doctors know that I knew exactly what they were talking about and they could speak their regular jargon and stop asking, “Do you understand?” Of course they had no idea of what I do on a daily basis…so anytime I said, “I’m a vet tech.” I also had to explain what I do. Actually, I don’t think most people know what I do or what my profession entails. I don’t just put a client in an exam room and get a history. True, I do that, but not just that. I’m not just a nurse to animals, but a radiology technician, dental hygienist, phlebotomist, lab technician, anesthesiologist, surgical nurse, and then some, all in one person. I remember seeing the looks on their faces after I said that. I’m still not sure if they were surprised or they just thought I was making it up.
On a side note, this was my first major medical experience while being a tech. It definitely changed my perspective on the whole experience. I am also surprised to say that although I respect all individuals in the health care field for what they do, I found that they are so limited in their knowledge outside of their specific field. I’m not saying they’re stupid by any means…that’s far from the truth. They know what they’re doing. But, for instance, the nurse didn’t know what tubes were used for what lab test until the phlebotomist came in and collected more blood and explained. Not to toot my own horn but I do all of those things, know how to do them, why I do them, all on multiple species while getting bit, scratched, and kicked…..and at a fraction of the income of just one of those professions. Ha! Sad, but I remind myself that I don’t do it for the money.
I just read my last entry from Saturday morning. Thinking back, I have no idea how the hell I wrote all of that…and surprisingly it made some sense. Today, Monday, is the first day I feel somewhat normal.
Replaying Friday in my head, things start to become clearer, but so much of the day was a blur, especially after my procedure. I have many “black spots.” Here are some bits and pieces I remember…..
I remember being wheeled into surgery, talking with the anesthesiologist about what induction agents we use in animals, and seeing my x-ray on the viewer, but after that it was a blur.
I remember having a smile on my face waking up and wanting ice chips so bad, but they wouldn’t give them to me.
I remember waking up from anesthesia and hearing the nurse talk to me saying, “those are your flowers over there, don’t let me forget them….”
I remember talking to the nurse about my ekg and what normals are. Now, any normal person wouldn’t care what their ekg said, but me, yep I wanted to know…I was watching the complexes, making sure they were normal and making sure my SPO2 levels were good.
I remember being wheeled to recovery 2, flowers in my hand, smiling, and waiting for medication to kick in. My medication kicked in, my mom arrived, and I was out for the count.
I woke up having to urinate very badly, had to walk to the bathroom and remember feeling the intense burn.
I remember getting in the car, getting home, and eating a frosty, but I don’t remember waiting in the drive thru for the frosty.
I remember thanking Randy and Shannon for the flowers (you guys rock!).
I also remember calling my boss and speaking to him saying I was going to be in on Monday, but I have no idea what else I said. Talk about drunk dialing!
I remember eating a Weenie Hut baked potato and thinking it was the best thing ever. And even better, I kept it down.
I remember hearing mom and dad talk about things but it didn’t register until a couple days later when they repeated themselves, and it rang a bell.
I remember being surrounded by love. My couldn’t figure out how to use the camera to take pictures. It was set on video so she was able to take this short clip. Viking had jumped off of the couch for the moment, but all evening I had 4 of our 5 kids in my presence, guiding me through recovery. You can’t say I live a lonely life, that’s for sure.
I decided long ago that drugs weren’t for me. Experiences like this seal the deal. I can’t imagine how people go through their lives on drugs. It’s crazy. Of course, I’m definitely a “lightweight” when it comes to side effects and potency but man oh man, they get me and get me good. Not only did the pain medications and sedative kick me in the ass, but my post-op meds have continued to do so too. 2 of the medications call for dizziness and blurred vision as possible side effects. Needless to say I was blessed with this possible side effect. So since surgery I haven’t been able to read a thing. I’ve been going crazy. Can’t read books, can’t go on the computer, can’t keep my eyes open to watch tv, I can’t drive, and can’t run. Not to mention I’ve been in my own little world and my body constantly wants to eliminate. Gah! I was finally able to go back to work today, but having limited eyesight hindered that a bit. After a quick call to the doctor he said I could get off the meds. My eyesight is getting better by the hour, but on the flip side a bit of discomfort has come. I’m not in pain, just a bit uncomfortable.
So where does that leave me? Well, Wednesday I go for a follow up. I highly doubt I’ll have any info on my stone analysis then but we shall see. This may be a once in a lifetime thing, it may be a congenital thing, or it may be a diet thing. Only results and time will tell. I pray that I’ll be able to get back to my normal lifestyle and self as soon as possible. If not I may just go crazy!
Thursday night to Friday morning was horrendous. I kept waking up in SEVERE pain with projectile vomiting. I couldn’t hold anything down. And everytime I wretched my abdomen flaired up worse. It got to the point that I had absolutely nothing in my stomach. I don’t think I have ever been that sick, and wretching that hard. It was horrible. Come 6am I thought I was going to die.
Upon David waking up we attempted to call the urologist. They said in order for them to see me I’d need a referral from my family doctor. Unfortunately there was answer at my doctor’s office. At that point I knew I had to go back to the ER. Due to David’s schedule, he dropped me off at the hospital. I was soon entered, started to receive fluids anti-emetics (anti-vomiting) and pain meds. Within moments of being seen my cell phone rang and the person left a message. It was the urologist calling to get me “right in.” That’s when everything turned into a whirlwind. The ER doctor came in saying that the urologist just called and they wanted to go into surgery at 3pm. Say what? Guess I wasn’t going to pass this stone on my own. The usual thinking is, hydrate and give the stone time to pass. However, with my blockage, oftentimes the fluids totally bypass that kidney and choose to go to the other kidney, which doesn’t help a thing. Of course I didn’t fight the decision that they recommended, surgery. I was soon transferred to the surgery preop area and waited me turn for surgery.
Thankfully the surgery didn’t require any incision. Basically, they place me under deep sedation (almost anesthesia, but not) and then insert a scope to investigate the problem. Upon visualizing the stone they remove it. If necessary, they use a laser to break it apart, then remove the fragments. In my case it was found that my left ureter was swollen shut and that’s why the stone wasn’t moving, so the surgery was definitely a good idea. We don’t know if it was swollen due to the trauma or if it’s my anatomy. Either way, he had to dilate the ureter and remove the stone. A stint was placed to keep everything “open and flowing.” I went to recovery and by 8pm I was home resting. Here’s a drawing the doctor made….. the ureters come down to the bladder, which then empties into the urethra. The box on the ureter is showing where the swelling was.
I feel MUCH better. I can’t even describe how much better. The only discomfort I had yesterday evening was a bit of stinging pain upon urination. But hell, if they place something up there, you know you’re going to get raw and inflammed, causing discomfort. That pain is waining and now the only discomfort I have is just a bit of abdominal pain (due to trauma) and the feeling have having to urinate more. But, I’ll take this over Thursday night any day! All of this is normal and thankfully, with meds, I’m feeling more comfortable as time goes on. I’m alive and well. Thank you to everyone for their kind thoughts and energy. It was greatly appreciated. Although we’re planning on laying low this weekend, we still plan to do a little celebrating for passing my boards. It’s been an interesting week, that’s for sure!
When I’m having a not so good day, I always try to think to myself, “It could be worse.” Because you know someone out there is having a worse day than you. With that being said, even with my not so fun day I received notification of my Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) results……
Congratulations! We are pleased to inform you that your total raw score for the January 16, 2009 VTNE was at or above the minimum passing score of 117 reccommended by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards for this administration.
You know what that means???? I PASSED! Woooooot!!!!! And the best thing, I don’t have to take it again in June. It goes on about my scores, etc. But all I had to read was the first word and I knew. My abdominal pain won’t allow for a happy dance, so I’ll settle for a mental one….for now. I’ve already got the ball rolling on my application to become a Registered Veterinary Technician in Ohio….background check and transcripts sent…..now I can actually send in my application.
So, last night was eventful. I went to bed at my normal time, with the same pain I had all day. I woke up at 2am feeling fine, got up to do some business, then went back to bed. That’s when the pain came back, again, with a vengeance. The most intense it’s been. I must have been making enough noise because David rolled over to comfort me. Finally the intense pain subsided to the regular pain. I was able to get a few more hours of sleep, then 6am came and the whole thing started over again. I knew it was time to do something.
I laid there thinking, “do I wait to call the doctor? or go to the ER?” I figured, I’ll have to wait longer for the doctor and he’ll more than likely send me to the hospital anyway. So we got up and moving and headed to the ER. Once again, for those that know me, I absolutely hate going to the hospital. I don’t have a problem with needles or pain, it’s more the waiting and the cost that comes along with it. I don’t even want to think about the cost…..That and what if something serious really isn’t going on? I’d look like a total idiot going to the ER for gas.
We arrived and the ladies in reception looked at me, didn’t say a word, and looked at me like I had 3 heads. I couldn’t help but think, “Am I in the wrong place?” I was in the right place and thankfully got right in upon registering. Actually everything went quite smoothly. The nurse came and got me, I saw the doctor, he did an examination, they took blood, took urine (via catheter….yeah, that’s a first and not fun). After a decent wait the results came back showing nothing….one of my greatest fears. You can’t help but think, “Am I a hypochondriac?” But I reminded myself, I knew something was wrong. I wouldn’t be here if there wasn’t. Even though my urine came back fine they were concerned about kidney stones. (which is a good possibility since mom has a history) So it was on to a cat scan and xray. Another long wait, and then my results came back.
Yep, that’s my diagnosis. A partially obstructing kidney stone. They can only figure that I’ve been dehydrated, then running while dehydrated, which has lead to the problem. I know I don’t drink enough and David is CONSTANTLY on me saying, “You need to drink more!” The thing is, I already urinate a ton and often. Anytime I add more fluids to the mix I’m literally in the bathroom every second of the day and sometimes I don’t even think I can make it on time!
I’ve had this pain on and off for a couple years….this has been the most intense experience. I’ve been seen by the doctor for it before, but when time came for diagnostics (at a later date due to their scheduling) my symptoms were gone, so I’d always cancel. I’m wondering how many stones I’ve passed in the past or if the present little booger has been around a lot longer.
So, that’s the deal. My current treatment plan is pain medication, lots of oral fluids, and straining my urine to collect anything. Fun times. Then I’ll follow up with the urologist. I can only imagine what my bill will be, even with having insurance. Thankfully we no longer have the HSA! But that’s a worry for a different day. Onward to hydration….
I must admit defeat for my week’s running plan. I know I had such a positive blog, yesterday, but there’s absolutely no way I can make it to the gym today.
I woke up this morning with a lower left side abdominal pain. The first thing I thought was, “it’s gas.” I know, TMI, but whatever. But that proved not to be the case. The pain has persisted all day long. Thankfully HOT baths have helped and I’ve been able to lay in such a manner that allows me to sleep through the discomfort. Also, thankfully our appointment schedule was super light and I have available sick time to be able to stay home. If you know me, I don’t take sick time off of work. As it stands I have approximately 40 hours of sick time earned/saved. I just don’t like to take off….not to mention I’ve been quite healthy. (knock on wood)
I’ve hunkered down today in hopes of allowing the pain to go away and against my mother’s wishes I did not go to the doctor. I have absolutely no idea what the pain could be emanating from, but I’m going to try to be patient. I was all excited when I woke up from a nap and the pain was entirely gone. That was until I moved to get up and it came back with a vengeance nearly doubling me over in pain. But, that’s okay. I’m fine.
With that being said, I will not make it to the gym today. A defeat in my new plan? I guess so but I know when this girl’s in too much pain to go to work, she’s in too much pain to go to the gym.
The past two days have been interesting at work. I’m not complaining by any means, it’s just been a little tense with some challenging/interesting cases. Of course this was the week that I chose to kick myself into gear with focusing on what I eat and my running. I’ve been slowly slipping over the past several months and it’s catching up to me. Not running as much as I want/should and definitely not watching what I’m eating. I decided on Sunday night I was going to start anew on Monday. Instead of running 3 days a week my target is to get back to a 5 day a week schedule. And no more munchies throughout the day.
Getting back to this schedule hasn’t been encouraged by my past 2 days at work. They’ve been long and stressful. Then my legs were sore today for some reason. My body was telling me not to run, but I said, “forge on!” Next, I remembered I had a doctor’s appointment after work, which made another speed bump along the way. And lastly, I got to the gym to find that the high school was having a basketball tournament. Actually, I knew they were having the tournament, but didn’t know that they were planning on charging for parking. Now, I could have just paid, but considering I don’t pay any other day, I wasn’t going to the tournament, and I’d still have to park in BFE, I passed on paying. Thankfully David works at the school….after finding him we drove around the school to find an open, and free, parking spot, then he let me in another door given that he has a set of keys for the entire school. I entered the gym to find it dark and quiet. Ahhhh, that’s what I like. Just me, my music, and the ‘mill. As I stretched a new song on my playlist started pounding in my ears….”Jai Ho”…..I was ready to go.
A couple weeks ago my mom watched Slumdog Millionaire. Ever since she has encouraged me to watch it. Really, I had no interest in it, but she drove me to watch it saying, “You got to see the last dance scene…..” So David and I saw it last week. I won’t go into details about the movie, but I will say it was worth the watch and I highly recommend for others to see it. And the dance scene….yep, mom was right, I loved it. After seeing it I had to get the music. Actually, all of the music from the movie is excellent. Totally eclectic and not necessarily something I’d regularly listen to, but I love it. Many of the songs were written/performed by A. R. Rahman, including my favorite, “Jai Ho.” Of course I have no idea what they’re singing given it’s Hindi and Spanish, but after doing some research, according to Rahman, Jai Ho means “May Victory Be Yours.” I find that very powerful and inspiring.
So as the music began pounding in my ears I couldn’t help but think that even with roadblocks trying to prevent my going to gym today, whether mental or physical, victory was mine. I was at the gym, keeping my promise to myself. You’d be surprised what a little perseverance will do.
Video from Oprah’s Oscar Party
Video Of The Dance