Saturday, December 01, 2018

...and I, I have a goal.

Dear Diary,

For the first time in 7 years I have a goal.

It takes a lot to get me motivated.  I am the demotivation queen.  The princess of laziness.  In 2006, I had a goal.  Finish an Ironman.  I barely finished Ironman Lousiville.  Annoyed by my +17 hour finish, I vowed to finish another Ironman.  Faster.  I had a goal.

In 2008, I finished Ironman Coeur d-Arlane about an hour faster.

In 2011 I had another goal: Complete a double-double.  I trained to complete four marathons in 9 days.  I completed The Flying Pigg and Nashville Marathons the first weekend, returned, went to work, and then completed the Wisconsin marathon and Kalamazoo marathons the following weekend.  The Wisconsin marathon was my personal best, about 4:45.  For me, that's blazing fast.

I weighed 155 pounds.  I was 46 years old.  I felt great.  After that, but after that...I have a hard time feeling motivated about anything.

in 2015, I started feeling motivated again.  I was working on getting 30,000 steps per day, which amounts to about 4-5 miles of running and 5-6 miles of walking, every day.  I was doing great.  I was getting back into shape.  And then the coughing started, and It's taken 3 years to get back on top of that.  My times have gone up, along with my weight.  It takes me 6 hours to finish a marathon now.  More if there's hills.

Today, Himself the Baboo was picked in the lottery for the Hardrock 100. He's been entering the bleeding lottery for 7 years.  He's aged 7 years.  So have I.  This year, he was picked.

And now, I have a goal.  I will pace him to the finish.  I'm ready.  I'm motivated.

I'm 25 pounds heavier.  Certainly slower.

My tools  are two IOS apps on my phone:

Zen Labs "26.2".  I've used the C25k before.  It's well done.  Right now, it's crazy cold in the foohills behind my house, so I'm doing a lot on my treadmill in the garage.  During the week, the running plan.  On the weekends, I'll be doing a long power walk with Himself throughout the hills of east Albuquerque.

NOOM.  It's not free.  It uses a lot of cognitive behavioral methods to address eating issues and problems.  I started it last week, and it's working for me so far.  Despite myself, I find my diet changing.  It's not necessarily a calorie restriction.  It's more like retraining me to get the most nutrient dense foods I can get into me.  Frustrating, it's app-based.  I can't use a web browser to access it.  It's also not cheap.  In addition, I completed a series of webinars at work this fall on the Mediterranean diet.  I find myself eating more whole foods higher in potassium and other nutrients.

Current stats: 178.2 lbs, this morning. Goal: 155.
53.8 years old.   Not much to change that.
current marathon time: about 5:45 to 6 hours, if it's flat.  Goal: 5 hours.
Current 50K time: about 9 hours.   Goal: 8 hours.

So...here we go!

...



Tuesday, October 16, 2018

What shall I do with my shiny, stress-free life?

Dear Diary,

This week marked the end of six years of tyrrany. 

A person in my life, who shall remain nameless, left town, never to return, and I now have what feels like a whole new job.  Instead of 100% case management, I'm now doing 50% case management and 50% group therapy.  And, I'm doing it without constant micromanaging and what I assume is the tacit understanding that with three master's degrees in my field, I might be a fucking professional.  I'm still working on the organizational aspect of it - until I've done a month's worth of groups I need to write a month's worth of groups for younger children AND for teens both, but luckily, they are short-term groups for the inpatient setting where I work.

And if you thought I was tough before: this week I did a mindfulness group with about eight children under the age of 13.  Some of them were still, and, well, mindful.  Many of them wiggled and a couple folded themselves up inside their yoga mats and looked like little wontons.  Then we colored.  It was great.

I just finished my 5th Barre class tonight and I am starting to feel the difference.  I have never cared much for "the burn" but I force myself to give it just five more seconds...before collapsing into a quivering heap.  I notice that I am holding poses a bit longer.  I feel a bit less hopeless.  I feel a bit more stronger.   I can turn my head and look over my left shoulder. 

Thursday nights I'm taking a basic painting class.  I told the teacher I had painted before, and in fact I sold 3 paintings last year and 2 pen-and-ink drawings this year, but the truth is that 2 of the paintings and one of the pen drawings were done under supervision, and I really want to be able to learn from the very basics what to do.  So far we studied color theory.  I have really wanted to take a college-level painting class, but unless I can get every Friday off, that's not going to happen.

After a pretty warm fall the temperature suddenly plummeted and there were 20 mph winds.  Since I'm not acclimated I run on the treadmill in the garage, still working through the couch-to-5k program to get my out of walking/hiking mode and more into running mode.

That's it for this week so far.  Just checking in.

...

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Who turned off the heat?

Dear Diary,

Dedicated to my mom, who died way too young at 61 of heart
failure from idiopathic cardiomyopathy.  


It seems like just 2 weeks ago I was commiserating with Sweet Baboo of how this seemed like an unusually long summer and warm fall.  Then this week someone turned the heat off.  This is awesome, because I'm much more likely to get out of the house when it's cool out.

Last weekend I completed the 50k at Hennepin--Sweet Baboo ran the 100 miles in 22 hours and HEY, WE WERE TALKING ABOUT ME.  PAY ATTENTION TO ME.  (but seriously, he's like from Krypton and shit).  The Hennepin 50k started at 5 pm and the sun set 90 minutes later.  That left 7.5 hours for me to run through the dark and rain.

Of course, my Garmin does not last until I finish a 50k, so I have to switch to my Apple Watch after about 6 hours.  So this is the result:



Illinois is the 46th state I which I've completed a marathon or longer.

It was chilly, but luckily most of the rain held off until 11:30 at night.  I managed to do a run-walk the first 16 miles or so, and then after that I had to Walk.  I'm just not in the best shape right now, although I do have pretty sturdy feet and legs.  They carry me, just not quickly.

It was also disappointingly not a real "trail".  Most of it was blacktop.  I'm definitely losing 2 toenails.  Himself, the Baboo, is still recovering from what to me would be a sprint for 22 hours.




  
I took several pictures at the start line, and then two others after I started as the light started to dim.



The week prior to my run, a coworker talked me into taking a Barre class, which I tried, and liked well enough.  It's a combination of ballet conditioning, pilates, and yoga, and it's tough. I like that I can reserve a spot in a class, and that the classes are capped.

It also makes me feel like a bit of a cliche, a woman of a certain age packing my sticky socks, capris, and tank top into the back of my white SUV and heading there after work...  It is a LOT tougher than I imagined, and I discovered after my first barre class that 1) I have no upper body strength, 2) Even my lower body isn't what I would call "strong", and 3) my core--well, fuggetaboutit.  I went to class once before the run, and twice during the week.

The good news is that owing to my constant wearing of high heels going up on my toes ain't no big thang.  I have good balance, too.



I discovered after I put this in manually that my Apple Watch has a "yoga" setting, which I'll use for future workouts.  I burn a whopping 200 or so calories in an hour, according to Garmin and Apple.

For the record, I am, without a doubt,
the largest person

in every barre class I've been in so far.  It doesn't help that like many exercise classes, there is a large wall-sized mirror so I get to look at myself trying to work out at my heaviest weight since 2005

This morning, my class was full of 19-year-old sorority sisters trying out the class.  Literally.  Happily, most of them were struggling.  Sorry, but yes, I am that petty.  If I have to look at your size 0 ass bent over in front of me in exercise class, you had better be suffering.

I spent the week in recovery going to barre class and started my new painting class, as well.  More on that another time.



At work we've had a series of webinars on the Mediterranean diet and I've discovered that for the first half of the day, I'm basically on it.  Then it all falls apart as they start bringing in sheet cake, donuts--holy shit, hospitals are the unhealthiest places to work EVAR.

I discovered in the webinar about the existence of these:

   

Tomorrow, I go back to running my 2-3 miles every morning, hopefully working my way up to 4-5 miles on most days.  My plan for Barre class it to do it for at least a month to help get my arms and core back into shape.

I canceled the marathon double I was supposed to do next weekend in MD/NJ.  No way am I ready for this.  I did, however, sign up for the Black Canyon 50K.  Actually it's like a 55k or a 60k. Aravaipa Running does put on a good race--I have to admit that as much as I hate Southern AZ.  This will be my 3rd attempt at what should be an easily finished run for me.  The first year, there was a series of freak rainstorms.  The second year, 2018, I started seeing double.  By the time I was checked out and rehydrated, I'd missed the cutoff for leaving the aid station.  so 2019 is it.

I have 4 states left.  I hope to get them in 2019.

Meanwhile, at work, things are settling down nicely and the pain in my neck and shoulder has dissipated with the exit of my toxic coworkers.  I can turn my head and everything.  Next step is to reverse 6 years or so of stress eating hospital food.

...



















Sunday, September 30, 2018

I decree that my next run will be awesome.

This is an Aspire Lumen running lamp.  It is mounted on a waist belt.  


It is quite possibly the most amazing thing ever invented.  It is LED, rechargeable, and incredibly bright.  I've used it from time to time to run in the mornings during Winter.

I only like to run in the morning. I've tried running in the afternoon, but after a day as a social worker in a children's psychiatric hospital, I just want to sit and stare.  A couple Autumns ago, I told Himself that I couldn't run outside, because it was getting too cold in the mornings.  Soon after, I had a brand new running jacket.  Then I told him it was too dark to run in the mornings.  Soon after, the Aspire light appeared.  It. Is. Amazing.

Himself does that frequently. He simply cannot abide me not being healthy. I, however, Am. Lazy.  I'm also somewhat agoraphobic when I'm under enough stress. And so, whenever I come up with some reason why I can't run, he will endeavor to discover whatever technology exists to overcome my self-imposed difficulty.

Anyway: the beauty of a waist mounted belt is that there's nothing on my head, which I hate...and it sits low enough to throw shadows.  Head-mounted lamps tend to wash out the trail and it's hard to see the relief I the terrain, much less roots and rocks.  A hand-held lamp or waist lamp eliminates that problem.

But anyway.  I'll be using it this weekend at the Hennepin 50k.  We are still trying to finish a marathon in every state, and for me this will be number 46. The Hennepin 50K starts at 5 pm at night.   I'm hoping to finish in 9 hours at my pace which will be hiking, mainly.  With some very cool lightweight Black Diamond poles.


...   This is the weather forecast.



So.  It's gonna be dark.



It's gonna be  wet.



It's gonna be awesome.



I decree.

...

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Week 1 of the reboot

Dear Diary,

Week 1 involved me returning to an old friend: The couch-to-5K-training plan.  In 2005, when I first started running, I printed it from a website, put it in a page protector, and took it with me to the gym, where I ran each workout on a treadmill.

Now, though, I'm rugged.  And fancy.  

Now I run it in my neighborhood, using my Apple Watch and my iPhone C25K Pro app.  I take each Wednesday off and do yoga, usually, or nothing.   I have a favorite route that has uphills and downhills and a few flats.  I'd love to show the profile, but sadly, my apple watch stopped giving me that, and I don't know how to get it back.  (Any ideas?) I may switch back to using my garmin because I do loves me some hill profiles.  Makes me feel all badass.

        

I'm assured by everyone who knows me that my progress will happen much faster this time than it did the first time.  Surprisingly, this seems to be true as my pace has already been dropping.

I did not track my eating this week.  (Bad girl! No biscuit!) Current weight: 184 lbs.  (EEK!) Although, I'm determined to focus on moving more, getting fit, and not staring at a number on a scale.  (But you know I will).

Best of all, a major pain in my ass who has endeavored to get me fired several times over the past few years left this week, for good.  As in, left the city and state.

I did not leave.  I'm still here.

I win, motherfucker.





Tuesday, September 25, 2018

I'm on my way.

This seemed like a good title for the post, not only because it's descriptive, but because the song "I'm on my way" by the Proclaimers is stuck in my head this morning. 

One of the good things to come out of my hospitalization in April was that I was paid for being in the hospital.  I had purchased one of those Aflac policies the year before, during open enrollment, thinking--what the fuck? I'm in my 50s.  I guess I should have one of these.  It not only covered the time I missed from work but some extra, too. So: new laptop, which means blogging is easier again.

I have a clean bill of health from the GI doc--Negative Cdif test, and all labs are normal.  The endo is still trying to normalize my thyroid; my TSH was 14 in the hospital, then went up over the next month, and now it's very slowly coming down after she doubled my medication.  The ENT has me on a nasal spray to control the rampant nose running that was causing the coughing that started all this mess.

My coworker abruptly quit in June and then dragged it out, long story, so that we couldn't hire anyone for 2 months, leaving me to do twice the work. Now I finally have a new coworker who is lightening fast with technology and knows children's services inside and out.  Seriously.  I show her something once and she gets it.  I've learned that I'm valued at work, and I'm grateful for a job that does what they can to make me happy.  My employer really puts a premium on self-care so that are flexible with my schedule.

I'm a strong hiker, but my running is blah.  I've started over with the same Couch-to-5K program that I used to start running back in 2005, but this time, I'm using the apple watch app.  Then I'll progress to 10K, and so on.  It's funny, because in 2005, I had the program printed on a piece of paper in a page protector.  How technology changes!

Starting September 1, each day, I do squats, lunges (ow), situps and pushups, the number depending on the day of the month.  I'll do that one more month and then switch it up, maybe to squat jumps and burpees.  Sweet baboo and I are doing 3 marathons this fall, which I may end up walking most of, but they'll give me states 46 (Illinois), 47 (Maryland), and 48 (New Jersey).
We're no longer excited about the 50 states.  We're all, "Let's just get this over with."  Our final states, which we'll do in 2019, will be North Carolina and Delaware.

I just did a 20 mile [run] hike in Oregon that was brutal.  The inaugural Old Cascadia course was at a 45 degree angle, either up or down.  Over 5000 feet of climbing in 20 miles.  It took me over 9 hours.

I just signed up for Black Canyon 50K.  It's an early season race in January that can be hot. I did the 20K back in 2015, I think.  Then I tried the 50K in 2017, and they had a freak multi-day rainstorm, there in southern Arizona (just north of Phoenix) that created unavoidable mud that sucked the shoes off my feet.  I timed out at the first aid station.  In 2018, around mile 19, I started seeing double and by the time I got checked out and rehydrated, I timed out again.  So 2019 will be my year. 
It better be. 
I hate Southern Arizona.  Like, really hate it. 
Seriously.  But I'm finishing this damned race.  I have several of their t-shirts, but the best one got accidentally left in a hotel room this year, and I want another one.

Just checking in.
...

Saturday, June 02, 2018

Dear Diary,

I'm sitting here, looking out the window.  I did 3 miles this morning.  Big whoop.  After recovering from CDiff last month, I got a cold.  Just a cold.  I guess.  For he past 2 weeks, when I've tried to go out and do a run, I've doubled over with coughing. Fucking coughing.  It's my nemesis.

At what point do I simply give up?

At what point do. simply say, "I'm destined to be sickly and coughing for the rest of my life.  The end."  ?

After recovery from Cdiff, for three glorious weeks I was working my way up to running most then mot of my workouts.  Then I dipped into a petris dish.  I bought a cold.  Just a cold.  I've been drowning ever since.  Coughing and choking, peeing my pants, and trying to walk 2 miles without coughing and choking.  I have a pain in my side.  I think I may be developing a hernia from all he coughing.

Will I ever be not sick?

Will I ever be normal?

I'm beginning to thing I won't.  I'm beginning to think I should accept that my life, as I had planned it, is not what I thought it would be.  I will not be an ultra runner.  I will be sickly.

that is not what I wanted my life to be.

I wonder if I will need to redefine myself as someone else.  Someone who is sickly and does some stuff.  I hate being this person, the whining person who has excuses and reasons.  I'm not that person.

Fuck.  I feel hopeless.


....

Monday, May 21, 2018

nowhere to go but up. (Part II)

Dear Diary,

So, I’d been admitted to Presbyterian hospital with a Clostridium Dificile infection and resulting colitis Friday afternoon, on the 13th.  The staff couldn’t have been nicer. They had a white board in my room and each shift change they would come in, introduce themselves, and write their names on it. One of the techs snapped a bright yellow band around my right wrist, signaling to everyone that I was infectious and if I left my room, I needed to have a mask, gloves, and gown on. 

But I wasn’t to leave my room, because I was on “fall precautions.” I had to be escorted any time I wanted to get out of bed. I was given morphine in my IV, and assorted other drugs.  I still had problems eating, and couldn’t sit up straight because my colon was so inflamed.  I struggled to eat macaroni and cheese and soup – it took me nearly 3 hours to eat that dinner; my inflamed colon was crowding out my stomach or something like that. I drifted off the sleep.  At 2 am they ultrasounded my liver, which involved the tech coming into my room because they didn’t want me leaving and infecting the rest of the hospital.  At 4 am another tech took one of many blood draws that I would get frequently during the day and night.  Otherwise, I was able to drift off into a nice morphine-induced nap. 

But that was just at night. That’s when the pain was the worse. The next morning, I was still pretty tired, but they discontinued the fall precautions, and the pain wasn’t so bad.  I napped on and off all day.

I also was relieved when I realized I had bought an Aflac policy the previous fall.  Throughout this ordeal I’d missed a week of work, was likely to miss another, and had no more PTO or sick leave left. I hadn't had more than a half day off for illness in the 6 years I'd worked at my job. I hadn’t taken multiple days of sick leave since having a baby in 1987. I worried that they hadn’t really needed me at work. 

I had time to sit and reflect, between episodes of Fixer Upper, et al. I realized I had fallen into a bad habit of self-care.  I'd been restricting and binging food.  I'd been skipping workouts.  I was stressed out, and way more invested in work than even they work required me to be.  I talked with Sweet Baboo about it, and he agreed that I'd been pretty stressed the past couple years.  

I deleted the work email app from my phone.  

That night, on the 14th, I took what was to be my last dose of morphine.  The pain was finally leaving.  I continued eating maraconi and cheese, soup, and peach tea.  

Baboo visited  frequently and taught me to play canasta.  He was busy washing everything at home with bleach, trying to get his long runs in, and looking after his mother, who had now of course, been diagnosed with C. Diff . That night, I requested one last dose of oxycodone, just in case.  But slept through most of the night.  It was my last dose of pain medicine, and the first full night of sleep I'd gotten in weeks.

On Sunday the 15th, I got to take a shower.  There’s nothing more amazing than a shower.  I also had a cheese omelet with a little bit of sausage. My liver enzymes were returning to normal.  I had a chicken sandwich and more soup. I was getting pretty tired of watching HGTV but it was really all that was on. I was getting antsy and was tempted to don the gown and gloves just to walk a lap around the 3rd floor.

On Monday, the 16th, the doctor said he was inclined to let me go home, but he wasn’t 100% sure.  I told him that if I went home Monday night, I could wake up in my own bed, go sit in the sunshine and walk on the path behind my house. They delivered my prescriptions to me bedside, a very cool service they have there at that hospital, and Baboo took me home about 8:00 that night. 

The next day, I struggled to walk a mile on the trails behind my house. It wore me out.  The following day, I walked 2 miles and slept for a couple hours afterwards.

I saw my family practitioner on Thursday the 19th, and she signed off for me to return to work. I was weak.  My PCP said, “you’ve burned through all your reserves.”  The 15-lb weight loss in less than a week wasn’t fluids, and it wasn’t muscle; it was an imposed fast that probably sucked all the glycogen out of my muscles.  I really felt like I was starting all over. My fitness had been eroded away.  

The first two weeks were tough, especially the day I set out to walk 6 miles and had to bag it at 5.5 miles. That was tough on me emotionally.

But, as long as I eat carefully and rest, my progress has been steady.  Last week, I started actually jogging longer lengths on the trails and did an 8-mile hike.  I had a brief setback this weekend, partially related to allergies, and maybe partly due to the increased mileage, but I rested this weekend, and then this morning I did a 4-mile hike-jog that felt pretty good.  I will never take strength for granted again.

Every time I get the slightest cramp in my stomach or gut, or feel tired, I worry that it’s coming back.  I take probiotics at least 2x a day and my post-workout smoothie includes a banana and kefir.  I search the internet way too much looking for assurance that this won’t come back.  

I’m afraid of lettuce because of all the E. Coli recalls.  I use a filtration pitcher at work.  I’m weirdly paranoid about germs and bugs now.  I won't eat stuff from the sample bowls at the store.  Obviously, there’s no guarantee that it won’t come back.  But hopefully, I can beat the curve.

I had to slowly add food groups back because nobody knew what kind of shape my gut was in, what good bugs were left, and what enzymes I might or might not have left. I am the probiotic queen.

I bought myself an Apple Watch, a little tech bauble to mark my new life devoted to good self-care, and to mark the end of this particular grueling experience.  I love all the kudos and chimes it gives me.  I also bought a laptop, which I haven' had in years, possibly why I haven't been blogging.  Blogging from my phone is a bitch.  

With respect  to my fitness, I am starting over.  I’m working my way up again.  I’m following a training plan that Himself and I devised. 

I canceled 3 planned endurance runs this past spring.  My next trail race will be more of an energetic hike, in Montana, called the “Rail Trail Run.”  It has a generous cutoff and I plan to take my poles and plenty of water.  It’s flat with a slight net downhill loss of elevation, and I’m really hoping I’ll be back close enough to finish it, even if I had to stop and rest every now and then. 

So that's it.  That was my spring.  And this is where I am now.  Starting over, from rock bottom.  

Nowhere to go but up.





 ...




Sunday, May 20, 2018

Rock. Bottom



Dear Diary,

I am sitting here in my living room feeling pretty good about the 31-mile week I just had.  31 miles.  Thirty-one.  I used to do that in a day. And this is the most miles I've gotten in the past month, since I started recovering from C. Diff Colitis in April.  It was, without a doubt, the sickest I have have been, and the most pain I have ever experienced for 4-5 days straight.  It was like being in labor.  Waves of pain wrapped around me, usually worsening late in the evenings, carrying on through the night, and abating slightly the next morning.  It is a cautionary tale of what happens when providers don't pay attention, or lack the right training to manage symptoms appropriately.

Part I of II.

In February and March, I had a respiratory thing.  I developed laryngitis from the perpetual coughing, over and above the usual coughing I'd experienced for the past 2 years.  But I had an appointment with an Ear, Nose, and Throat doc...so I gutted it out.  It was actually getter when I saw the physician's assistant (not doctor) who examined me.  She me scoped me and said, "you don't have acid reflux."

Thank god, I thought.  Now everyone can shut up about that.

She prescribed a nose spray...and an antibiotic called clindamycin.  I announced it in rounds the next day at the hospital where I work as a social worker.  The doctors sucked air through their teeth when I said the word.  I didn't know why then. But I know now.  And that sharp intake of breath from my colleagues who went to medical school, that was warning #1.  I just didn't know why at the time, and wasn't interested in hearing about it.

Within a few days I was breathing better than I have in years.  I visited my mother-in-law in the hospital who unfortunately had contracted bacterial pneumonia and was also put on broad-spectrum antibiotics.  I visited her in the rehab hospital where she was for about a week, and drove her home from the rehab hospital. She had diarrhea, which they thought she might have from a norovirus.  Mornings, I started practicing hill repeats, and on March 23rd, I took my last dose of clindamycin.

A week later, on Good Friday, I flew to Pennsylvania for a trail marathon.  I was freakishly tired that afternoon and evening.  I ate some fried calamari, but just wasn't hungry for pizza.  (Warning #2)

That was the night that the diarrhea started.  Except it wasn't like the usual stuff.  I mean, at first it looked like your garden variety diarrhea, but then eventually it became clear, amber-colored.  Maybe a tablespoon at a time.  Like jelly.

Fuck this, I thought.  I'm not ditching this marathon.  There was a much longer run going on at the same time, which meant I had 12 hours to finish it.  I would walk it.  It was exhausting.  I drank like crazy, and walked through the woods in the Pennsylvania countryside.

I flew home.  I wasn't hungry.  I turned up my nose at fried chicken.  (Warning #3)

On Monday, April 2 I went back to the ENT.  She asked me about breathing, coughing, etc.  All were good.  I mentioned the diarrhea, and her eyes widened.  "If you still have that in a couple of days, let me know."  Then, she looked in my mouth, and frowned.  "Do you have thrush?"  I laughed.  No, of course not. Probably just stuff from the chronic sinusitis.  But later than night, I thought of that again.  I went to look in the mirror.

Fuck.  I have oral thrush.  I also still had a couple tablespoons of amber jelly coming out of me every couple of hours.
Related image
The next morning, April 4, Day 5 of the diarrhea, I went to Urgent care.  I told them my story, and said, I'm really worried that something bad is happening. The PA patted my hand.  "We're going to test you for diabetes."

What?  No. I don't have diabetes.

She acted as thought I hadn't said anything at all.  "Yeah, we're going to test you for diabetes."

She also tested me for pregnancy, salmonella, cryptosporidium, shigella, ghiardiardia, all were negative. She gave me a script for the thrush.  Then I told her, "I'm having trouble eating.  My stomach is cramping and it's like I can't get food in.  I've been drinking gatorade and Boost."  She responded, "you have to stop that right now.  It will make your diarrhea worse."  She gave me a handout of the BRAT diet, and sent me home.  I made an appointment with my PCP for the following Tuesday, (April 10).

Days 6, 7, 8--April 4, 5, 6th...went by.  Nothing changed except I started having an ache in my middle.  It was worse at night.  I started eating Tylenol and Advil every 4 hours, and getting up at 11 pm and spending the next few hours with a heating pad, going to the bathroom constantly.  Always that same, weird stuff coming out.  I couldn't eat.  My daily calorie intake plummeted to between 400 and 900 most days.  I started googling CLYNDOMYCIN and  DIARRHEA and reading the articles.


I kept seeing Clostridium difficile. It rang a distant bell in my mind.  I think I did a training on this.  Something about gloves, and gowns being required around someone who had it.

Shit.

I wrote the PA and asked her why she hadn't tested me for it.  No response, except a scripted one from another PA telling me I should go see my PCP.

On Tuesday, April 10, I saw my family practitioner.  She ordered a test for C. Diff, and started me on treatment before the test came back positive.  I had lost 10 lbs.  I called in to work, and they immediately employed a "terminal cleaning" in my office.  I started taking Flagyl.  But it was too late.  The next day, the pain was no longer going away with Tylenol, and I was exhausted and dehydrated.  I had started throwing up.  I was too tired to stand up long enough to comb my hair. My weight had started climbing again back up to normal, but I couldn't sit down for long because of the pain in my middle. I could only lie down.  That evening, Sweet Baboo was working, so I asked Dread Pirate to take me to the emergency room.

The ER dictated to his scribe as he examined me.  He used words like "starving" and said my urine was brown.  My liver enzymes were elevated.  He dictated, "patient is writhing."  He asked me if I wanted morphine.  For the first time in my life, I said yes. I drifted off to sleep. Something during the night Dread Pirate and Sweet Baboo switched places, and I was offered a choice between being admitted and going home.  I chose the latter.  I was sent home about 2 am on the 12th of April with scripts for Oxy and an anti-nausea medication.  I went home, and asked Sweet Baboo to get my some loaded baked potato soup at Kroger.  It's loaded with cream, salt, and potatoes, and I was able to get my calorie count up for the first time in days.

But later that night...the pain started up again, like it did every night.  Oxy didn't make a dent.  The next morning, I asked Sweet Baboo to take me back to the hospital.

And that's the backstory to why, on Friday the 13th in April, I was admitted to the hospital, diagnosed with C.Diff Colitis, on contact precautions, in a single room with intravenous everything (including morphine).

To be continued.












...and I, I have a goal.

Dear Diary, For the first time in 7 years I have a goal. It takes a lot to get me motivated.  I am the demotivation queen.  The princess...