Weight I have lost

Friday, March 25, 2016

The Road to the Book of Mormon

So I got discharged from the hospital on 1/12/16.  D took me home and then went to the pharmacy to fill all of my prescriptions.  My dad and Scuttlebutt took care of me.  D came back, and then he and my dad helped me into bed.  Since my dad was in the "good" guest room, D got to sleep in the second guest room.  They had set up the dog crate so Scuttlebutt was not allowed in the Master Bedroom.  That made me sad.  D and I set up my phone to take my meds.  He wrote them on paper, and I set alarms...as you can see, this is why he was sleeping in the other guest room.

When am I supposed to sleep?
So on Wednesday, D got up and went to work.  Dad started my physical therapy.  D and I had tickets to Book of Mormon on 1/19, and Dad decided I was going to go, since this would be the 3rd time I had tickets and still hadn't seen the play.  On top of it we had Row F Center, so they were a pretty penny.   The problem? We didn't know if I could sit in a chair that long.  That first day of "home PT" was excruciating.  I had to walk down the stairs, sit in a chair for 30 minutes and listen to Dad scream at Fox News in agreement with them.  I'm not sure if the TV or the chair were more exhausting.

The second set wasn't so bad.  No yelling at the TV.  He helped me with my Short-Term Disability papers, figuring out what I had to sign, and what had to be filled out (a lot had been done at the hospital, but nothing by me).  And we made some doctor's appointments.

He also made me an egg with a tortilla.  I remember Scuttlebutt getting the tortilla and half the egg, since I was full.

I sort of remember talking to both of my sisters-in-law about my mother-in-law (she had been in the hospital over Christmas).  I remember my dad's phone ringing a lot, and him talking in a hushed voice.  And wishing I could take a shower as it now was over a week since I had one (I don't call the fall as a shower, since I never actually showered.). One of my SIL's told me my MIL wanted yogurt and the hospital, and that's about all I really remember.  I had a lot of sleep and was in and out of it.  D came home from work and looked really tired.  I could hear him and my dad talk but couldn't figure out words.  They came and talked to me.

D's mom was back in the hospital, and he had to go back to Maryland.  They were worried about what I would think.  Looking at D's face, all I remember thinking was that I was going to have to tell him to take a suit, just in case, and that I was upset I couldn't go to give my MIL a hug.

One of my friends, Devo stopped by.  He brought me my laptop from work.  I'm not sure if hijinx were involved getting it since Devo doesn't work at my company (he works in the building).  But it was good to see him.  He had just lost his mother, and unfortunately I had been in the hospital for the funeral. I had wanted to go.  But you know, it was rather impossible.  So we spoke...I don't think for long...again, look at all the times above for when I had to take a pain pill of some sort.

Anyway, he left, and D helped me get a shower.  Thursday, he left for MD.  Thursday continued my physical therapy courtesy of Dad. 2 things...1) Dad is a 2 time stroke survivor.  So his reflexes are a little slow. 2) He complained about walking SB.  The dog wouldn't poop.  Somehow I knew this was going to become an issue.  D got to MD with no issue...his mom was re-admitted to the hospital.

The dogs' daycare got a picture of McMenamin at this point.  I missed him a lot.  They didn't get one of Lompoc, which is to be expected...she runs no-stop.

McMenamin, courtesy of Rex and Roxy's
Dad and I hung out.  I did laps around the main floor.  I watched him clean out our cheese drawer.  I watched him cut all the bags of vegetables because the bags had too much bag on them.  Scuttlebutt was not allowed in the bedroom.  The way he and D had positioned the dog crate to block the door, SB was miserable because he also couldn't get into the crate.

On Thursday, Dad wanted to check my back, and didn't put close the half door, so there was space for SB to come in the room.  He took his chance.  He ran in and got on the bed.  Dad told him to get off.  He rolled over and stretched.  I got him off, so then the rule became he was allowed in the room, but not on the bed.  (Since my back was open, my dad was afraid of dog hair getting into the wound).  That didn't last long.

No, Grandpa.  I'm not in the bed.
My friend, The Doctor (he has an MD and PhD) came over to bring me soup and bread.  We talked for a little bit.  He gave me the history of Grady hospital when I made a comment of how the middle of the hospital seemed to be "courtyard" and the sides were the rooms.  He said it had to do with the fact that it used to be segregated. Since it was too expensive to have 2 ORs,  they had designated times when whites and blacks could be in there.  So that's why it always felt like I was going into the "middle" of the hospital.  Anyway he picked up my Short Term Disability papers so that my friend J (his neighbor) could fax them to different places.  And then I slept.

I guess it was Saturday. We had so much food, and we kept eating in the dining room since the chairs were proper for sitting in (continuing my therapy).  Besides the soup and bread, my friend V brought us empanadas.  I did eat an empanada in bed, and there was a bone in it.  I accidentally knocked the plate off the dresser, and the bone went under the bed.  I had to get on the floor and get the bone before SB  did.  My dad was coming upstairs at the point to take a nap.  He saw me "praying" at the bed.  I was actually stuck trying to figure out if I could get up.  I did manage.  Then he gave me the vacuum and told me to clean up the rest of the mess.  Man, I felt like I was 16.

 My dad let me take a shower by myself, waiting outside, just in case.  I saw the scars on my back and cried in horror.  I thought there would be 1 incision, not 5 gashes.  It was hard to handle.  I managed to get myself dried off sort of, and got some clothes on.  Then my dad took a nap.  During that time, SB started acting out.  Remember how I said he wouldn't poop?  Yeah, this was a "take me out now" dance.  So I went downstairs, sat down and got a harness on him, and a leash, and we went out.  Not far, but he was able to do his thing.  Then we came back.  Then I got yelled at for not letting my dad know where I went.  Did I say 16?  I meant 5.

So Sunday, I made dinner for the crockpot.  Then because I needed to get out, I made my dad drive me to get a bagel.  We also went to the grocery store to get some more dinner. I was not allowed to use the walker because that's what a cart is. We got back, and my friend M texted me if she could bring over  some Greek Soup and Pizza (and salad).  Of course!  So she came to visit.  It was good to see her, because it had been far too long.  I showed her the scene of the crime, and we talked for awhile.  She laughed that my dad checked on us to see if we needed anything.

She left and I took a nap.  Dad and I also walked SB.  He was watching football.  I was watching hockey.  Our conversations were starting to take a toll.  I had started talking with every sentence ending in an inflection.  He kept saying, "Like Really."

D's mom had stabilized, and was on the mend.  So D came home Sunday Night.  Dad and I talked about when he (dad) should go home.  He left Monday afternoon.  Before he left he checked my back because it was itching uncontrollably.  He washed it out, made sure no signs of infection and put lotion on it.  It made it feel better.   Then he left.

D went to daycare after work, and picked up Lompoc and McMenamin.  I was so excited to see them.  It had been 12 days.  Lompoc ran into the house and just cried in happiness.  Then she passed out.

Lompoc sleeping on Scuttlebutt's butt

So 1/19 rolled around.  D worked and came home.  He helped me shower.  At this point I had lost 12 pounds.  So I put on a pair of pants that I hadn't worn in forever.  They didn't zipper.  WTF?  The only pants that fit that weren't yoga pants were my fat jeans, which prior to the fall were loose.  So they went on.  I felt a little foolish wearing jeans to see a play (a pet peeve of mine), while D looked nice in khakis and a dress shirt.  But such is life. (No doctor could explain how I lost weight but gained 3 inches in my waist and 1 in my hips, losing 12 pounds)

D took me to dinner at Argosy (I wanted a hamburger and a beer).  I hadn't taken a pain pill since the day before, so I could have that beer. I may have been a crazy woman and had 2 beers.  (Buxton's Sky Mountain Sour and Wicked Weed's Cherry Go Lightly).  And I got that burger!  I ate 1/4 of it.

La Plancha Burger from Argosy
We went to the Fox for the play.  Being the cheap ass that I am, I refused to let D park by the Fox. It was $20.  We walked (with my walker) for a really long time (at Cypress Pint and Plate) so we only had to pay $5.  He laughed at the fact I refused to pay $20.  We got to the theater, and got some soda.  I took my pain pills then.  Then we went and watched the show.  3rd time was a charm.


Monday, March 7, 2016

What Could Be Worse than a Fractured Pelvis: Part 3

1/10/16:  I woke up at 3:30am.  Why?  The nurses thought it would be an optimal time to give me a bath with all those anti-bacterial wipes.  I posted that on Facebook, and fell back asleep until 6 when the nurse, Glenn gave me another bath.  I asked her how old she was.  She didn't tell me, but seemed genuinely pleased I thought she was 25.  She said a hat hides the gray.

She and I talked for a little bit and then she realized I had no idea they were prepping me for surgery. I just thought she was a neat freak and was packing all my things into a storage locker.  So she let me call D who didn't answer the phone.  I was able to reach my dad and tell him I was going to surgery  and then I hung up and started to cry.  Glenn told me we weren't having any of that today.  Although she knew I am not religious, she grabbed my hand and prayed for me.  Then I gave her the best hug that I was able to give.  And they wheeled me off to the OR.  Thankfully, I have no recollection of the surgery.

I got out of the surgery and woke up back in my room (or at least that's what I remember).  I was in horrible pain, and I felt like I was sticking to the bed. I told Doug I didn't want any visitors.  He said ok.  For most of the time I was very grumpy.  My roommate sounded like she was having a party on her side of the room, and a ton of people were using the bathroom (only 2 people were allowed, and no one was allowed to use the bathroom except patients). D ended up getting security to kick everyone out.  Most of Sunday was a blur.  Thankfully, the Skins game was a blur too.  Late in the day, I was taken to X-ray.  Again I wasn't really able to move, so when I was moved into this room with a bunch of stretchers and could only hear moaning, I convinced myself I was in some kind of pre-morgue setup.  Then a staff member drove my stretcher into a wall, thus sending shock into my entire body.  I screamed and cried and told her to get away from me.  Another member (not sure if they were nurses) came over.  I sobbed uncontrollably and she just held my hand until it was time for my turn at X-ray. It pretty much calmed me down.  Then I was brought back to the room.

1/11/16: For the most part I tried to just mind my own business.  My roommate went home.  I had some Angry Nurse that seemed ticked off that my bed was raised so high.  She lowered it so basically my hands could touch the floor.  D would raise it, so I could see out the window.  It was also the first day that my bed could be bent so I could sit up.  It felt weird.  The doctor I liked the least came by with a team of medical students. At the same time, the nurses were taking my stats, and the Physical Therapy team came in.  I asked the doctor if he knew anything.  Since he wasn't my surgeon and he didn't have my X-rays, I once again told him he was useless and to get out.  And if he did come back, he was not to bring the entire Medical School with him.  The nurses finished taking my vitals.  I did ask why I was hooked up to oxygen.  They said it was to help me breathe, and in a few minutes I would understand that.  So Lu and Coxe (the nurses) went and did some other things, and the PTs said it was time to walk.  Seriously?  I haven't been out of surgery for 24 hours and you want me to walk?  They got me out of the bed. D tied my gown, and we walked about 20 feet down the hallway and back.  Then they showed me the toilet seat and we got that adjusted to my height. I think all of this took about 5 minutes.  I was completely exhausted.  They helped me get back in bed, and I was having trouble breathing (out of breath, not emergency).  They hooked me back to the oxygen.

My friend J came to visit that night again while D ran to daycare to give the dogs more food.  I learned to get him to help me get up to use the bathroom, and assist me, all the while staying modest (at least I think so).  His wife and daughter brought me flowers (My running buddy A, if you have been reading the blog for awhile).  I also learned how to climb stairs since that was an obstacle of going home.  D came back, and they watched me eat dinner which was half a bowl of mac and cheese. I also finished Todd's cookies, and had a chocolate milkshake.  When D and J left, I was exhausted, but really happy I could use the toilet.

11/12/16:  In the middle of the night, I had to go to the bathroom.  I was suppose to tell a nurse when this happened, but for some reason I forgot.  D and J had moved their chairs close to the bed, and it was back to being really low.  The walker was in between the 2 chairs.  Somehow I figured out how to lift the walker over the chairs and get it to the foot of the bed.  And I managed to get up and out of the bed and go do my business.  Coming back, however, the bed was too low for me to crawl into.  And since I couldn't get the walker back over the chairs, I couldn't get in the bed (I still don't know how I got out with a foot board).  And I couldn't reach a phone.  So I sat in one of the chairs.  2 nurses or techs happened to be walking in the hallway, and I was able to call out to them.  They got me back in bed but I was feeling like I was going to throw up.  Glenn came in and did all my vitals and explained this is why I needed to call her.  She said my lungs had shrunk from the days of just laying flat, and getting sick to my stomach was a side effect.  She put me back on the oxygen, and raised the bed.  And she pushed the chairs back to the wall.

I fell back asleep.  Around 4am, my surgeon came in to look at my wounds.  I had this super big hygiene pad on my back (like an Always but with no wings, and sticky all the way around).  He ripped it off.  I had some choice words, but he seemed to ignore me.  He said the wound was looking good.  He asked about the pain levels, and upped them.  Then he left.

D had to go to work that day, so our other friend J came back to visit me.  We cruised around the hallway.  J took this pic of my view from the end of the hallway.

View from the 5th Floor in Intermediate Care Unit- Photo by Jim

We also found out I was going to be discharged.  For the most part all the nurses and staff came in to say good-bye.  D came back from work.  I got a new roommate.  We never got her story, but something was up. She was being re-admitted, and had 2 huge suitcases.  She was an older woman, and seemed in a lot of pain.  D and I gave her the flowers and balloons I had, because she didn't have the window view.  She liked that a lot.  Jon (new nurse) came in to give me all these papers. He and I went over them. He gave me his phone number in case I had questions. We talked about the toilet seat.  He told me it was going to be thrown out.  Then he left for about 10 minutes.  I blinked my eyes, and the seat magically ended up in my bathroom at home.

He came back.  Then he said when Wheel Chair Services came, I was free to go home.  I asked him if Lu and Glenn were there.  I had already said good-bye to Coxe.  I went and found them (yes, I walked), and gave them big hugs for helping me stay as sane as I could.  Really the West 5th Floor of Grady has some great nurses.

Finally Wheel Chair Services came.  They brought this almost completely plastic WC.  It also pushed you forward.  I told the guy not to hit any bumps.  He laughed at that and the fact I was holding on for dear life.  He sent D to get the car.  We got out to the front of the hospital, and he and D helped me into the car, and D took me home.

And thus my hospital stay was over.

Monday, February 29, 2016

What Could Be Worse than a Fractured Pelvis: Part 2

So on 1/7, I began my hospital stay. It started with me watching hockey on the TV.  With the lights on in my eyes, I didn't sleep a lot.  And the nurses came in every few hours to take my stats. Mostly I watched TV, and played on Facebook.  Around 7:30am, D texted that he was running late.  With the amount of people in my room, going over my chart and my roommate's chart, as well as bedpans, vital checks, getting medicine, etc., I told him there was no rush.  The cafeteria brought me food.  What no one realized was that I couldn't sit up.  With the food tray sitting over my head, I could basically feel my food.  The first morning I had half a biscuit and a slice of bacon. When D arrived, he ate the rest of the bacon. The cafeteria lady came in and took my lunch and dinner order.  She realized I couldn't eat, and automatically ruled out any soup.  The nurses mentioned surgery on Friday.  When D came he brought me a smoothie from McD's.  We talked most of the morning.  At 11, the nurse said I couldn't have any food.  D went to lunch around 12.  Of course that's when the nurses came in and said they were taking me to surgery.  So a quick call to D to get him back to the room.  And stupidly, I threw my contacts on the floor.  So I couldn't see anything.  D got back to the room, and we wheeled down to the OR.  I had just had my 3 hour dose of morphine and Percocet, when they got the call, so I was a little loopy.

So the anesthesiologist started talking to me.  The nurse who had yellow hair (I didn't have my glasses on) put some tabs all over my torso.  They were moving quite rapidly.  Then the anesthesiologist asked, "When did you last eat?"  Because I had barely eaten in the past 2 days, I said,
"I finished my smoothie at 11."  There were some whispers, and then she said, "I'm sorry but you can't have surgery.  I'm afraid you'll aspirate."  And she pulled off her gloves and left.  Now remember I just had those meds, and I have no idea if I got more during that initial time in the OR. I also am blind as a bat.   So  Yellow Lady tells me a man will be by to take me back to my room.  I'm laying there for what seemed like 10 hours.  Finally a man comes in the room, because I can hear his voice.  I see a large black blob.  So I go, "Black Man, are you here to take me to my room?"  He's like, "Excuse me!"  I go, "Yellow Woman said you would take me to my room."  The Yellow Woman came and they talked, with me going, "We have to go to the visitors' center to pick up the Red Man."  They both came over and asked why I was calling them colors, which was duh to me. What I didn't realize was that Black Man was actually black dressed in all black.  Anyway, they finally realized I couldn't see, and Yellow Woman figured out the Red Man in the visitors' center was D in the waiting room (he had on a red sweatshirt). Yellow Woman and Black Man had a good laugh at me.  I apologized for calling them colors.  I told Black Man he'd laugh about my craziness at happy hour, and to have a drink for me.  I'm sure he rolled his eyes.  Anyway, we picked up D and were back in the room.  D said that the total I was down there was 25 minutes.  Like I said it was like 10 hours.

The meds started wearing off when back in the room. I was angry and yelled at the nurse, Lu,  to get out.  Then I started to cry out of sheer frustrating.  She went and got me tissues.  Already knowing this was kind of serious, I was quite shocked when my dad showed up from South Carolina.  That's when I really started to get scared.  I am not one to google medical things anymore, and I still don't know where I got surgery in my back, but seeing my dad scared me a lot.  He is a 2 time stroke survivor and doesn't like to drive in Atlanta, so this was big.  We had a doctor come in.  He talked to D and my dad, since everyone had long figured out, I didn't really care about much, as long as I had my medicine.  D went to the McDonald's next to the hospital and got me another smoothie.

Another Devil Drink
  Mostly my dad and he were as bored as I was.  My friend from A Well Fed Life sent me flowers.  And we waited.  Lu came back and said that I may get surgery on Friday, so they would stop foods at midnight.  Since I wasn't eating much anyway, it was more like 9pm, which is when D and my dad left.

1/8: The next day they came back with another smoothie.  They stayed about 90 minutes, when my dad said he was going to be sick.  So D took my dad home, and took 2 of the dogs to daycare.  A new nurse Glenn said I wasn't going to get surgery today.  I really missed my dogs. Later in the day, D came back.  My friend J texted me asking what I wanted for dinner. I told him a McDonald's Double Cheeseburger. I think he was majorly disappointed.  Of all the restaurants in Atlanta, and I pick McD's.  He obliged and got D a sandwich as well and fries.  They sat with me and watched me eat a burger for about 2 hours.  I really don't know what we talked about, but I do remember that that cheeseburger was the best burger ever.  Wow it was good. Hot, the cheese was gooey and pulled.  Those little onions.  A good amount of ketchup.  Really. McDonalds at the hospital.  I think D and J were amused by this.  So visiting hours were over.

Another awesome view (TV and nurse extensions)

The nurse turned out my lights that night.  He said it was nice to finally see me sleeping.  I knew D would be late on Saturday because it was My Friend's Growler Shop's 2nd Anniversary.  I had asked him to go and get some beer (not for that day) but for the future.

1/9: So I was left to my own devices for awhile.  (again, I might be out of order on things).  Now during all this time, I was on a bedpan.  So I had to call someone whenever I needed to pee (being on that much pain medicine and not eating, I didn't need to do anything else).  The nurses always left their extensions written on my wall, but I really couldn't figure out why.  There was just the "Call" button.  That Saturday seemed to be an "every hour on the hour" type of day.  It was to the point the call would go into the nurse's station, and they'd just ignore it.  So finally about to wet my bed at one point this lady comes in.  I was like "Thank God!" and pointed to the bedpan.  She did it with no objection and cleaned everything. Then she introduced herself as the Director of the Floor.We chatted and she asked how things could be improved and I told her that her nurses could answer my need to pee a little more fast.  That's when she noticed I didn't have a phone in the wall.  The jack had been stolen.  It occurred to me, she probably hadn't changed a bedpan in a few years.  She smiled, and we talked about my lack of appetite, and I showed her pictures of my dogs.  Then she left.  About 20 minutes later, a technician came in and hooked up a jack and a phone.  Nurse Lu and Nurse Glenn both apologized that they hadn't realized I didn't have a phone.  It was ok.  At least I never wet the bed. D texted me pictures.  Scuttlebutt didn't want his Christmas Collar off.

SB waking up

SB at My Friend's Growler Shop 2 Year Anniversary

Scuttlebutt got to go to the Anniversary.  He had a good time.  Surgery was a no go for Saturday, and they were looking at Monday.  I was getting frustrated.  They had explained to my dad and D why it was getting pushed, but it was getting old (and I was too high to understand the reasoning). The offers of food started coming in.  I felt like a complete bitch saying, "No thank you."  It wasn't that I didn't want any, it was I couldn't eat it (and I wasn't hungry). I was flat on my back and not allowed to bend my spine.  So the food tray looked like this from my view.

Doesn't my food look appetizing?

I'm not sure when D came back to stay with me, but he did.  Later in the night, my friend T came.  He brought me cookies and fudge.  So for the day, I ate 2 bites of a Clif bar, a tomato slice, 1/4 of a biscuit, a cookie, a piece of fudge and 6 Chicken Nuggets.  I won't lie that I was beginning to wonder if I was losing weight. 

T makes really good cookies

 I think I had a good conversation with T.  I know we talked about beer and beer releases.  D is amused that I have no idea my conversations, but I remembered the food.  It was a surprise to me to see T, so it made me happy.  He left probably to go to a concert (he really likes music).  D stayed with me until about 9 when they kicked him out.

Then I went to sleep.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

What Could Be Worse than a Fractured Pelvis: Part 1

So I finished out 2015 with my goal of breaking 40 minutes on a 5K.  We had a family emergency, and D had to leave to be with his parents over Christmas, after being on a business trip.  Due to the last minute nature, we couldn't board the dogs so I stayed home.  But overall we were feeling confident about running short distances, running hills, running long distances, and weight lifting.

D finally got home for 2016.  On January 5th, I planned on going to the gym in the afternoon, so I shaved my legs that morning (it's winter and I'm lazy).  We have a shower room, meaning you step up on a platform, and then down into the shower. There is no door.  I routinely, use the platform to shave my legs.  I'm heavy handed with shaving cream, but you know, I rinse off my legs in the center of the shower and off I go about my day.  (I'm sure you all care about my shaving ritual).  Well, anyway, I couldn't find a parking space at the gym, and while circling the block twice I saw there were no treadmills anyway. So I decided I'd go at 4:45am the next day.

1/6 4:45am: The alarm went off, and I laughed. I laid there until 5:12.  I decided to go to work.  So off to the shower.  I turned on the water and  went to the bathroom, and undressed, weighed myself, etc.  Then I stepped on the platform, and took a tiny step into the shower as I reached the rain spout to see if it was hot.  I must not have rinsed the shaving cream from the day before, and it got re-wet.  My foot went out, the other foot went with it and down I went.  I screamed.  Doug and the dogs ran in.  All I could yell was, "911."  I could feel my legs and I could feel my arms.  Somehow I curled into the fetal position.  I kept screaming.  I could hear Doug try to give the 911 operator directions to the house.  I could hear them not finding the street despite living here for 10 years.  I could hear my screams.  Doug said they would be there in 4 minutes.  I don't know when he turned off the water, and I don't know how I got my head and back up on the platform.  I was laying straight out with my legs in the shower.  Doug got the dogs contained, and then tried to get me dressed.  He got my underwear on partially, but I couldn't lift my butt off the platform without screaming.  He tried to put a shirt on me, and I said a towel was fine.

The EMTs got there and assessed me. They wanted to know if I hit my head and if I was pregnant.  They did some leg/feet tests.  They checked my head, because I didn't know if I had hit it.  They told me they were going to put me in a sitting position.  We tried that and I may have called them a lot of colorful names.  Somehow Doug and one of the EMTs managed to get a T-shirt on me.  They were all concerned about getting pants on me.  I was laying there in complete agony wondering what the hell.  They told me we were going to stand up.  I said, "Fuck" a lot.  Sometimes directed at them, sometimes directed at the air.  We got my underwear up, and they were still talking about pants.  We managed to get into the bedroom, and I saw Scuttlebutt's blanket that he sleeps/rolls on (it is covered in dog hair).  I grabbed it, and wrapped it around my waist and said I was ready.  Doug ran downstairs to get my wallet.  One of the guys saw my phone and charger and grabbed them.  He said I would be thankful later.  I told them I wanted to go to sleep and tried to get in the bed.  They told me no, still talking about pants.  I asked where the stretcher was.  They said I had to walk downstairs.  I called them more names.  We got down the stairs and Doug found my dog walking shoes (New Balance slip-ons) and then outside.  I complained it was hot (it was 33 degrees out).  7 more stairs.  Finally we got to the street, and they put me on a stretcher.  They told Doug to take his time, we would be on the street for a few minutes and then we'd be going.  And he should take his own car.

In the ambulance, one of the EMTs wrote down all my insurance information.  The other took some stats. They asked some questions, and then we were on our way.  The EMT that rode with me gave me my phone.  I voice texted my boss.  "In ambulance can't come to work back something."  I also sent the text to my neighbor who wanted to know what was going on.

We got to the Grady Trauma ER.  I don't know if that is different than the regular ER. In triage, they asked me my medications, put a bracelet on me, took my temperature.  I remember the older EMT (the driver and the one who held me up the most) saying, "No wonder she wasn't cold."  Then the younger one pushed me into the ER.  He made sure the dog blanket was still wrapped, that I had my phone and charger, and he tucked my wallet under me.  He also got a nurse to put a sheet on my bottom half (today it makes sense why they wanted pants on me, back then not so much).  He parked me under a counter where all the nurses and doctors go (no rooms available).

My view at Grady for awhile

6:15am  It seemed like 5 hours had passed.  A doctor redid the test to my feet, rechecked my head, and re-asked if I was pregnant.  I got a pill and a tranquilizer.  I had no idea what they gave me.  I don't know when D showed up but he did.  I was flat on the gurney and staring at the ceiling.  At one point the nurse sitting at the counter saw my hand come around the counter, because the pain was so bad that I was looking for something new to grab, because grabbing the handles of the gurney was no longer working.  They gave me a Percocet. It was 8am.  I had told Doug at 6:15 they had given me Advil.  Apparently, no, they had given me a Percocet.  Somewhere around that time, I was taken to X-ray. At first I was taken to a gurney waiting area.  It was in an older section of the hospital, because it was really cool (temp) in there.  It felt nice.  Except the walls were old.  I decided they were leaving me here and were going to film another episode of Walking Dead.  Eventually, someone came and got me and I was taken to X-ray.  The staff told me to hop on over to the table.  Then they realized I could barely move. They were very patient.  They took 3 or 4 X-rays.  Then back to Doug and the counter.

9:00 am  Now Grady is the main Trauma 1 Center in the area (the other being Atlanta Medical Center).  However it is also the "gunshot" hospital.  So while I'm laying by the counter, I can't see anything (except the ceiling).  However, I can hear.  One guy shot his eye with a bow and arrow.  Something with the recoil, since he shot himself.  Another guy was on his phone, and left someone the message of "When I get out of here, I'm going after you, bitch."  On the way back from X-ray, a prisoner in leg and arm cuffs was being walked by me by a cop.  I was highly entertained.  Until this doctor started talking about surgery on a sebaceous cyst, that was rather large and hefty in someone's stomach.  Because I was now "under" the counter, I guess he couldn't see me.  I yelled, "Enough!"  The nurse laughed.  I also learned if you become a military resident doctor, it is boring because mostly you treat STDs.  I was finally moved into a room.

At this point they realized Percocet was not working and they put me on morphine.  The X-rays came back with something wrong at T12.  A patient advocate told me this. I have no idea what she was talking about except that where T12 was not where it hurt.  I also had to find out where T12 was.  It was rather confusing because I was also in Room T12.  Anyway they said I needed a CT scan.  Who knows when that happened.  But the same thing as the X-ray occurred, needing help.  There was a lot of not breathing (holding my breath, not dying) and not moving and all that.  Then I was back.

Room T12. To be honest, all I could see was the TV.

Our friend Jim came up because D had to go walk the dogs. He hadn't done that.  Jim kept me company.  (Some events may be out of order).  So D came back.  Apparently my T12 fracture was an L1 fracture but it was old.  Everyone wanted to know if I was in a car accident.  I tried to remember a time I hurt my back.  But I had shards of vertabrae in my spine.  And something was wrong with my heart.  So I called my dad.  He was like "What are you talking about?" He also said some stuff about why the hell was I in a teaching hospital.  He talked to D.    Somewhere around 11 they realized morphine wasn't working and they put me on Fentanyl.  That stuff was awesome.

The TV was stuck on Sportcenter. It was the only channel we got.  It runs in a continuous loop. It is almost as painful as breaking your back.  The Patient Advocate said Neurology wanted to look at my stuff but being that everyone was in surgery, it would be awhile.  Around 4pm, I asked how I was supposed to go to the bathroom.  They said a bedpan.  Jim and D left, and the nurse Taylor tried to get me to go.  It just wasn't going to happen.  So Jim and D came back in. After all the issues with my underwear that morning, I told D that I had no idea where Taylor put them.  He started laughing. The nurse eventually showed him where she had put them. but for awhile, it was highly amusing to us, that we had a Panty Thief.

For the most part, D, Jim and I talked. I have no idea about what.  We watched TV (D finally stood on a chair and changed the channel).  The nurses wouldn't let me eat.  I secretly took about 3 sips of water.  We laughed at the lady who came in next to my room. She had super-glued her contact.  She had put in her contact and grabbed nail glue instead of eye drops.  Luckily her eye was saved because the glue was primarily on her contact.  She was very concerned where in the lunchroom she had left her lunch (I guess at work).  Like I said, the people kept me entertained.  There was someone who was watching some show that had kittens.  Half the ER thought there was a kitten in the ER.

Jim and D from my perspective.  I was high and bored.

By 6, it had been 13 hours without going to the bathroom. They hooked me up to an IV.  The nurse came in and asked if I could stand.  I said, "No."  Apparently someone wanted me to do a Standing X-Ray.  Jim left the room (I now had on a hospital gown with no back), and Taylor (the nurse) and Doug stood me up.  It was one of the first times I started to cry.  The pain was unbearable. After, the Patient Advocate said I was being discharged.  With no meds or brace.  I started to cry. I couldn't stand. I couldn't even walk to the bathroom.  WTF?   I asked for a second opinion.  Somehow I remembered Trauma and Neurology were 2 different things (or D or Jim did).  The PA said she would get Neurology to read everything.  Within 30 seconds 2 guys came in and did an ultrasound.  They said it was for surgery.  Now we were all completely confused.  They left and the X-ray tech came in.  He wheeled me away and told me the X-rays he was going to do.  I asked why I wasn't going to stand.  So he went and checked the records.  He came back and said I was correct.  I was scared, because it seemed everything was going fast.  His assistant was not a strong-looking woman.  They decided she would take the X-rays and he would assist me standing.  He was actually in my X-rays holding me up.  I cried some more.

He wheeled me back.  It was packed in the ER.  I was really glad to have a room.  At this point, I'm pretty sure there were bets on when I'd pee.  Finally at 17 hours I did.  Also all the confusion of what was happening seemed to settle.  The ER resident was completely wrong, and they were going to get the Neurology Attending to read my file. I wasn't going to be discharged since I couldn't even stand.  At shift change, I got a new nurse.  She was not as friendly as Taylor, but she was in ER as well (like I said, ER and Trauma ER were different).  It turned out she had lost 2 of 3 patients  in 1 hour (1 was a high-speed chase idiocy, and the other 2 were bad car accidents).  When she came to see me, you could tell she had been crying.  She said I was being admitted to the hospital because I was getting surgery.

I don't remember when, but at some point Jim left.  When Mandy (new nurse) came to give me Fentanyl she said something was wrong.  I was going to get a room, and they had already tranferred my file.  So no more Fentanyl.  And worse the Morphine was less than it had been all those hours before.  Finally around 1AM, they admitted me.  I got rolled up into the hospital.  As we were going, they told D that he couldn't stay the night, nor could he come in my room, because it wasn't a private room.  I slightly freaked but I was more freaked by the pain medicine screw up.  He gave me a kiss and he went home.  My new nurse Bobby got me from the gurney to the bed.  He and another nurse checked me for bed sores.  I asked for Fentanyl.  I was on a non-Fentanyl floor.  I asked him for more morphine. He looked at my chart, and called the doctor on call to get me more meds.  Vitals and all that crap and then they left.  Bobby finally came back and realized I had no way to call an nurse because the nurse remote was on the floor.  He gave me more meds and gave me the remote.  This one worked for the TV, but not the lights. So I had to sleep with lights blaring in my face. They checked on me every 3 hours.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Completely Unrelated to Running

Do you ever get in restaurant or brewery ruts, where someone mentions all these places, but you still go to the same place over and over?

Last year D and I worked on trying to go to new (to us) places around town.  Or places that had had repeated bad service that they stayed out of our rotations for 2-3 years.  I think we did a good job.
These are where we went, in no particular order. Some places we have returned to.  A few places never need to be visited again, but for the most part we enjoyed breaking out of our rut.

Sweet Auburn BBQ
Daddy D'z BBQ
Victory Sandwich Bar
Ammazza Pizza
Hop City- Krog Street Market
Cockentrice- Krog Street Market
Gu's- Krog Street Market
Yalla- Krog Street Market
Fred's Meat and Bread- Krog Street Market
Grand Champion BBQ-Krog Street Market
Midway Pub
Avondale Pizza
My Parents' Basement
Pijiu Belly
Monday Night Brewing
Eventide Brewing
Burnt Hickory Brewing
Little 5 Points Pizza
Ann's Snack Bar
Bennett's Market and Deli
Tin Lizzy's
Flora and Flour

Monday, December 21, 2015

Monday Night Brewing Westside 10

So awhile back, D and I realized we wouldn't be able to go to Baltimore for the Celtic Solstice due to his work making his work mandatory the day before the Celtic Solstice (vacation would not be approved).  So I looked around and decided I would run the Monday Night Brewing Westside 10.  The choices were for 10K and 10 Miler.  The website said it was very hilly.  So I signed up for the 10K.  D didn't because he was going to be traveling.

For 3 weeks I trained.  I did tempo runs, long runs, increasing speed runs, and hills.  And then it rained.  Since my injury,  I'm  super paranoid about my pelvis in the rain.  The last long run I did was 6 miles, and my pelvis felt off around mile 4. I knew I should just call D to come get me, but I just went on with it.  No biggie.  Except Sunday, I was hobbling.  The temperature was also climbing around and the rain was coming in, and I got scared I was going to end 2015 the way 2014 ended, barely being able to walk.  So I decided to take a week off.

Around that time, D told me he wasn't going to have to go out of town, so to sign him up. For some reason, he thought 10 Miles was good for him.

The next week I went to the gym and started running. It still felt off.  So I walked 2 miles.  Then traffic at work, work, excuses, excuses.  D, too, had excuses.  Work, dogs, traveling.

So basically from Mid November until 12/12 neither of us ran.  I did look at the elevation of the race.  It wasn't that bad.  We run hills all the time.  HAHA!

So the day of the race, we arrived at Lulelemon on Howell Mill.  We got there early and checked a bag in, since it was a point-to-point race.  We hung out, and tried to remain calm. D still wasn't sure if he was going to run 10K or 10 Miles.  He said he'd figure it out.

Pre-Race Selfie

The race started. As usual for Atlanta, no start mat (what is up with that)?

Everyone seemed to pass me, so nothing out of the ordinary.  Since I look down while running, I didn't really notice the incline going South on Howell Mill toward West Marietta Street.  It was fine.  I didn't feel fast, but everything felt fine.  My heart rate was up, but nothing too exciting.  I turned onto West Marietta and passed Five Seasons, Octane and Hop City.  Slight uphill and then a big downhill.
Mile 1: 13:28

So down past some Student Apartments, and then up past King Plow Center.  I really never pay attention to that since I always notice MeadWestVaCo on the other side.  I walked part of that hill.  We turned off of West Marietta into a little neighborhood.  It was mostly downhill, so that was nice.  Came out of it back onto West Marietta (from an uphill) and a water stop.
Mile 2: 14:31

So then things began to get easier.  Lots of downhill. (961 ft to 830 over a 1 mile stretch).  The turn onto Johnson Road was welcome quiet.  West Marietta is an industrial road,  and while the APD did a great job of keeping trucks from hitting the runners, the fumes of the trucks and the drivers who were "hugely inconvenienced" of driving on a road with runners so they could only go the speed limit instead of 70 mph were getting on my nerves.  Right before turning into a neighborhood was Mile 3.
Mile 3: 13:58.

So there was the 10 Mile/10K split.  I was glad I was only running 10K.  I ran into the neighborhood.  Lot of little kids were out cheering everyone on.  There was a hill in the hood, but it came at a water stop. So I walked up part of it, where the 10K and 10M re-joined. Back to running.  I passed the Perry MARTA Service Station, and then turned onto Perry BLVD.  I got a little confused here because I didn't know Perry and Marietta were the same street, so I kept expecting to turn. Since I had seen the runners on Marietta heading in the opposite direction when I was going the other way, I knew that hill was going to be a bitch.   Perry was incredibly hilly, but I was really focused on West Marietta Street.  Suddenly there was the turn.  But wait.  That is Marietta BLVD. I've been on West Marietta the whole time?  Like, I said, I got confused.
Mile 4: 15:47.

So D used to work off of Marietta BLVD, so I knew this area, or so I thought.  MB was pretty flat, and I still felt good.  I knew my times were slow, but I had handled those "hills."  Laughing that everyone thought this was so so hilly. It seemed average for Atlanta.  There was a turn for the 10K again onto Huff Road.  The volunteers told me to keep it up. Slight uphill and then a steep downhill.  The 10M joined back up.  The side of the road where we were to run was really narrow (2 lane road) and the road was open to traffic.  Going down hill shouldn't be that hard, but it made my breasts hurt...damn gravity.
Mile 5: 15:29.

Aw, shit.  I can't even see the top of the hill I have to go up.  WTF?  Just do the best you can. I started to run it, but it was steep and long. My legs hurt.  People were passing me.  People seemed irritated they were passing me.  Stop thinking about it, Al.  None of these people are winning the race so your entry into the race is as good as theirs.  Think of the beer at the end.  When the hell is this hill going to end?  Yes, there's the sign to tell you there is a stop. It's the stop sign to Howell Mill.  Noooo, Howell Mill doesn't have a stop sign; it has a light.  Jesus, more hill. Photographer lady, do NOT take a picture of me.  I feel like I'm on a death march.  Heart rate is reading 186.  Maybe I am on a death march.  Jesus. Finally see the actual stop sign.  More hill.  &#*$^!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I see the light! I see the light!  I get to the light and the cop almost stops me to let trucks go through.  I think he sees I'm on a death march and I have accepted my doom, and will not stop.  I turn.  No hill.  Running past the Water Reservoir, and the road is now pretty flat.  I'm back to running.  I'm going to run to the 17th Street Light and walk up the next hill. I know it ends on a downhill, so I'll run that.  This guy in a green shirt tells me that this really is the last hill (and it isn't that bad after the Huff Death March Hill), so I walk "fast" up it.  Then finally I see Trabert Street.
Mile 6: 16:25

I see D waiting for me. I'm almost done. It really is just a downhill.  Go, Al, Go!  And finally I cross. Until the "injury" I had been aiming for 81 minutes.  I got my 2nd personal worst at 93:27.

D finishing

Me Finishing

 I'm probably supposed to feel bad about that, but did I mention this 10K ended at a brewery?  So besides my medal, I got 2 free beers.  And water.  And food.  We talked for a minute, and D tried to get me my beer glass, but I wanted water.  They were out. So I got my beer glass, and we went into the brewery, where I knew there were water fountains.  I pounded some water and then we got in line for beer.  D said he ran the 10K, as well. And he laughed at my description of the Huff Hill.

Beers and Medals

Since the after-party was only for runners, and not for friends, family, or spectators, it was really fun, and pretty small (800 people).  D and I aren't really after-party people, but we stayed around and drank our allotted beers and had some food.

Post-Race Selfie


Then we got a ride to our car and went home.

Overall, this race made me aware of what I need to do, in terms of training.  But I had a great time being out in the sun, running, and having beer, in the meantime.


Monday, November 16, 2015

Celebrating Life, 2 Ways

The past 2 weeks D and I have celebrated life.  First we held the 7th Annual Celebration of Porter's Life.  True to form, we did the Romp and Stomp 5K to start the festivities off.  It was unusually humid and hot out, so neither of us pulled in great times, but we both were happy to get out there and run.   I do love the 5K distance.
Pre-Race Selfie

A little slower than I'd like...Damn Heart Rate

Most of the week leading up to the 7ACoPL was filled with rain.  We talked about taking Scuttlebutt to Decatur, where we always go, but we decided to change it up.  McMenamin is not the best dog around people, since he is scared of them; however since it was raining, who would be foolish enough to sit outside?  So we took both boys to Red Brick Brewing.

When the vet notified me in 2009 that Porter wasn't going to make it, the first song I heard was Green Day's The Time of Your Life.  I have heard it every year on November 5 or 6.  This year I didn't hear it.  When I went into Red Brick to get D's and my beer, guess what was playing?  I know the staff thought I was weird, but I stopped mid-sentence to listen.  Silly, I guess, but I always feel like it is her way of saying hi to me.

So Red Brick had done their Vanilla Gorilla Release the night before, and still had plenty left, so that was what D and I had. (Strange Georgia laws prevent a brewery from pouring a full pint, among other things).

Vanilla Gorilla
The pups got water and hot dogs (provided by us). We had a great time.

Scuttlebutt had been sick in September and part of October, due to the rain causing an infection on his feet, but since he has gotten better, he is lively and full of energy.  Despite hanging in the rain (it only rained for the first 30 minutes we were there), he chased bugs, and watched cars go through a gate of a business.  McMenamin ate hot dogs and made sure to watch everyone who came and went from the brewery.  (He's like me...he's social in that he likes to people watch.  He just doesn't want to interact).

Anyway, I'd like to think Porter would have appreciated a new patio to drink on.


McMenamin and Scuttlebutt watching cars

I'm having lots of fun!

A Capitals Fan in Atlanta

Thanks Red Brick for having us!

This weekend was more Celebration of Life.  It was Lompoc's 3rd Birthday.  It was also Scuttlebutt's 6th Gotcha Day Anniversary.  Since he went out last weekend, we decided to only take Lompoc out this one.

After a 6 mile run through Candler Park, Lake Claire, Kirkwood and Oakhurst (and I only missed 2 turns), D and I came home and had lunch then got Lompoc ready (meaning I was going to dress her up in an infinity scarf).

We ended up walking to Midway Pub in East Atlanta.  Lompoc had a great time.  She is an inquisitive dog and likes to know what's going on around her.  She stared at a lot of people, but overall she loved being outside in the sunshine (finally), and in 55 degrees.  It was a gorgeous day for her day.

New Belgium Salted Caramel Brownie Brown Ale

Lompoc trying to look over the bushes to see what's out on the street
Lompoc loves to greet me with hugs whether it's been 2 minutes or 2 days

Afterward we walked to Argosy for some more beer, and then headed home. She was one exhausted pup.

Eventide Nitro Dry Stout
Lompoc at Argosy, starting to get tired

It's been a great 2 weeks of celebrating our loves.