End of Chapter 1
These are the last words of chapter 1.
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Doug Malewicki, a long running friend stopped by for a while and we played catchup with all the going ons of the SoCal Trail Headz. So glad he stopped by. We relived several races/runs we did and what fun we had. Want so bad to get back out there again.
A major event in late June when my right leg/foot became swollen! A physical therapist suggested a trip to the emergency room. X rays, a couple of cat scans later confirmed the blood clots so I got to spend the night in the hospital. I was released the next day but I had to take a blood thinner, watch my diet and not eat spinach, carrots, dried plums, all the good stuff that is too high in Vitamin K for the blood thinner. Seems like the bill for the overnight stay, the cat scans, etc was around $20k. I might be high/low but I know it was a lot.
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Bella and Heidi keeping me company.
By the end of Sept. I was walking for a long time, an hour and 15 min, distance/time is getting closer to being real. All you runners will probably think 1 ½ miles is no biggie but I am passing everyone on the couch. Thinking to myself, “I might have a shot of getting back to at least walking ultras but it may be only on fire roads and no climbing up and down rocks” Looking at the calendar and the Nanny Goats 12/24 walk/run is at the end of May 2012. There’s months of time left to build up endurance for a 12 hour walk. Especially on a flat 1 mile loop, never more than ½ mile away from the great aid station and a comfy chair if I need to rest for a bit. Already several cute girls said they would be there for me. I like that. Thinking about having a special shirt made. “A 15 mph bus hit me. What is your excuse?”
Oops, fate intervened in Oct. when I developed a hernia, probably because of the pelvis operation. Normally they do a preventative hernia repair during the pelvis operation but I already had 5 ½ hours of surgery and 8 pints of blood and they decided not to take a chance. It got me later! And how! I first noticed it in Sept but it was not until Dec 15 I had the operation. There was concern about the blood clots and it just took time, 3 months worth of time to decide on the operation. I got off the blood thinners for a while so they could do the hernia operation. Now New Year is only a couple days away and I now ready to get out there and do something. I’m chopping at the bit but I know I just need to take it nice and easy for several weeks, especially at my age, an old fart!
I did go back into the hospital for a hematoma and got that drained. The New Year is almost here and I am starting to walk again, albeit slowly, and not far at all. Did .36 miles yesterday and was tired all evening. Going try to do at least .25 miles every day till the healing is complete and I just feel better. Decided all I want for the New Year is just to stop hurtin, feel better, and walk. If I can walk pretty good there may be a real progress to be made.
There are a couple things that may be a real benefit to me. First, an infrared sauna is supposed to be fantastic for all kinds of hurts and sore muscles, help you relax and helps lot of other problems. I am cold all the time and perhaps if I am heated up from the inside out there will be no need to turn the thermostat up to 80 degrees and run everyone else out.
I had to go back to the hospital on Jan 2 because of an infection. It turned out to be MRSA, a staph infection. Ended up staying all of January for the antibody treatment. By the time all the blood tests were done, doctors talking to each other, ect I lost 5 or so months of walking and physical therapy but now healing from the hernia surgery, I think! Also back on the blood thinner because there are still two clots in my leg, damn.
The second thing and it really depends on if my balance returns and I can ride a bike. No, no, no not just any bike this is an Ellipitgo bike. It is like an ellipitical exercise machine but with 2 wheels. Very closely mimics real running. Think this would be great for my hip. Just don’t want excess bone buildup in the pelvic area and then really keep me out and down. I have no intention of ever riding a bike on the street, I am now the world’s biggest wussie. I’ll get someone to take me to the Santa Ana River Trails where’s there are miles and miles of safe riding, and no buses or cars. Just have to kinda watch for the homeless around Katella Ave. The second thing about the Ellipitgo bike is that many elite athletes are using them to boost their training without injury. I could use that.
Being a sometime ultra runner and running many trails up in the mountains has certainly been to my benefit. I know a lot of whens: when to push, when to back off, when just to enjoy. And always, always enjoy friends. Being in good condition helped me survive! Probably that and with all my friends are helping me from the edge of the dark abyss. From what I’ve heard, it is easy to drift off the edge. Anytime I feel a bit down, I just look at all the positive comments on FB and Socal web page. There’s always a tear in my eye. There’s also a ton of get-well cards and several posters made by the Snails Running Club. That really means a lot.
Damn tired of taking 2 steps forward and 4 steps back. Another 2 steps forward and 3 back and so on. Seems like I am making no headway at all for the recovery.
Early 2012 Random thoughts on earlier in the year.
Flashback to coma. Nancy told me that when I finally woke up my first words to her were ”I love you”. So glad I said that instead of something really stupid that would have landed me in the doghouse for next to forever.
Shortly afterward: Nancy tells me I kept telling the nurses I was fine till I came in here and now I can’t walk or do anything. I do remember yelling at nurses for a wheelchair so I could go to physical therapy. It could sometimes take 1 ½ hours to get a wheelchair and I was not a happy camper.
At Brea Kendred Hospital I’m told I had so many visitors the nurses were surprised. I am told a group of Snails came to visit during a run but only a few could come in at a time. The rest had to wait in the visitors lounge while wearing their running clothes. Don’t remember that one but I do remember some visits from Headz and Snails. It is so nice to have friends.
Bella and Heidi came to visit me at the nursing home several times because dogs were allowed! There was hall carpet halfway to my room. Heidi had no prob with the shinny floor, but Bella said in dog talk “No way in hell am I going on that slippery floor” and put on all four brakes. It was so funny watching her. I do remember lots of the residents absolutely fell for Bella, a huge snow white fluffy bear of a dog. Everyone thought she was it.
Do remember some Headz and Snails coming around to walk the dogs. Nancy just had her knee operated on and did not have the strength to easily walk Bella. She is beautiful dog but can be a big handful at times. Bella and Heidi were appreciative of the walks and every time a regular came by both dogs got all excited. They both got something special for their friends for Christmas. We’re a little late in getting them out but since I can’t drive that is a real problem.
Oh, I do remember several Snails coming over and wanted to push me around a bit. Terri pushed me down the sidewalk but when she pushed the chair onto the grass and did not realize there is a small drop off between the grass and sidewalk. Down I went into a big ungainly pile. Course everyone was concerned bout me and making sure I was not hurt. I survived and with pride somewhat intact Doug finished pushing me around up and down stairs at Hillcrest Park and we survived without further ado.
This is all I can think of for a while so I’ll start another chapter soon.