Post Operative Recovery and Whining

I had surgery 8 days ago and I am just now starting to feel a bit more human. I had a bilateral endoscopic blah blah blah with a septoplasty something something. In short, I had a complex sinus surgery that knocked me on my ass for well over a week. I have never been in this much pain and I have had MANY surgeries and well as birthing 3 children.

I have known for many years that I have needed to have this done. Finally, it was kind of decided for me despite this being an “elective” surgery. I suffer from chronic sinus infections and my doctor said he would no longer prescribe antibiotics unless I got the issue addressed. Fair point. So I did what I was told and I met with the ENT doctor. He took one look at me and immediately recommended surgery. For safe measure he order a CT scan that confirmed and sealed the deal for me going under the knife.

The doctor explained the complexities of the surgery and all of the risks in great detail. He told me I would need some time off of work and that recovery could be somewhat intense. What I heard was “outpatient” and a “few days off of work”. I truly was incredibly ignorant going into this process thinking it would be some relaxing time off. Thankfully, my husband and parents know me better and did the research to set me straight.

The morning of my surgery was a complete shit show. The surgery center sent me information that contained the the wrong start time for my procedure and reconfirmed it incorrectly by phone. When I showed up an HOUR late I was read the riot act from the front desk (even thought I showed her it was not my fault). My doctor already seemed irritated with me because of their miscommunication but rolled his eye even further back when I proclaimed that I would be going to my son’s hockey game that night. Now I was not listening to his advice because this was just “outpatient” surgery. This was not shaping up to be a great start to the day and me pushing the buttons of the doctor was probably not smart.

Me looking sad and pathetic!

They quickly prepped me and I walked back to the operating room. I climbed up on the table, and then woke up to someone shoving pudding in my mouth followed by a pain pill of some sort. The surgery was about 3.5 hours long but felt like 5 seconds. I caught a glimpse of myself and got scared! I had what looked like a maxi pad taped to the bottom of my nose. They “washed” my face in surgery so my hair was half crusted with god knows what and my skin tone was an interesting shade of grey. This worst pain I have ever felt. It was like some punched me in face and my throat felt like I swallowed nails. I spent a few hours in recovery and I was finally cleared to go home. I vaguely remember the ride home but was with it enough to starting counting the minutes until I could start popping pain meds. My face was so swollen and my nose was unrecognizable. I looked like a freaking PIG!!

I am not a lay low kind of gal and this past week has forced me to do almost NOTHING. I did sneak out to 2 hockey games and I visited with a friend for a bout an hour out of the house on Halloween. I fluctuated between going absolutely ape shit to depressed and staring at the wall. My friends and family were amazing. They cooked, cleaned, drove, and most important kept me on my ass.

I think part of the depression I feel is how much time slipped away doing absolutely NOTHING. I watched all 5 seasons of Schitt’s Creek, Stared off into blank space, watched countless Christmas movies, spent WAY too much time on Facebook rolling my eyes at political posts and getting sucked into watching stupid videos. My low point was when I was repeatedly watching product ambassadors for L’ange do their HAIR. I almost purchased a flat iron and a curling wand that I would never ever use. I also spent time lurking on my work Teams channels and longed to be in the office (high or not, I still love my job). I was sad not to be able to celebrate Halloween and completely forgot about carving pumpkins. I missed several hockey games and feel like I haven’t seen my friends in years. Okay, I am a bit dramatic but you get my point.

When I did make it out of the house for those short periods of time, my nose would start bleeding and it grossed people out. My husband and kids didn’t not appreciate my Eleven from Stranger Things impression. I personally thought it was hilarious but then again, everything seems to be funnier when on narcotics. Even shorts jaunts from the house made my face ache and wore me out badly. For a person that is on the go all the time, this was a hard reality.

I had my post op appoint last Friday and I still have not been cleared for work. My doctor mentioned he did not want me working at all this next week. I negotiated “part time” and he reluctantly agreed. He may have rolled his eyes. Thankfully am blessed with a great boss that will allow me to work a modified schedule from home. I can’t imagine doing another week of what I just did.

This was not something I wanted to see!!

While I was at this appointment, 2 of the 4 stints in my nose had to be removed. He accidentally pulled out 3. He looked at me with face that said “OH FUCK” and kind of looked like he might cry for a moment. He insisted that we put the stint back in WHILE I WAS IN THE OFFICE and AWAKE. I began to sweat like I have never done in my life. I was TERRIFIED! He seemed a bit unnerved and that didn’t help matters. He doesn’t strike me as a guy than ever makes mistakes. He warned, “This is not going to be fun”. I warned him that I might swear…a lot. He was okay with the foul language as long I didn’t punch him. I told him no guarantees.

He must have pulled some magic trick because WITHOUT PAIN, he gave me a shot in nose, placed a stint far up my nostril and sutured it in place. It was no worse than getting my teeth cleaned. We both let out a sigh of relief and went about our days. So now I have another week of foreign objects in my nose and then I should be good to go!

I am on one more week of a modified schedule. I am easing back into life and daily craziness. I am setting mini goals to work back up to my rigorous daily routine. I hope to come back stronger, refreshed, and have the ability to breathe…through my nose.

Recovery Goals for This Week:

  • Focus on Healthy Eating – For the past week I have eaten nothing but sugar and carbs. I have been living on Popsicles, mashed potatoes, mac n cheese, and Gatorade. Oh and….all of my kids’ Halloween candy. My pre-op appointment was not stellar and proved I needed to clean up my act.
  • Sleep– I need to be mindful that recovery will be faster if I am getting quality sleep.
  • Daily Walk Outside- I need to get moving. This is nothing fast or vigorous but I need to blow the stink off myself and move my body.
  • Work– I plan on only working 4 hours a day but I need to focus on something outside of this house to truly feel like I am human.

Stop! Hammer Time!

This past weekend I attended “Hammer’s House Party”. It was a 90’s throw back, hip hop show featuring Tone Loc, Kid N Play, Rob Base, and MC Hammer.
It really was about as cheesy as it sounds but it was awesome! It was a show I could not pass up and well worth the $65 just for the people watching alone! To be completely honest, I like hip hop but I am much more of a hairband or classic rock kind of gal. But who doesn’t love a little blast from the past and have some time to relive the glory days?!
Tone Loc pretty much had his back up singers do all the work with him jumping in a few times. The crowd did go ape shit when he sang Wild Thing. Kid n Play came one stage and I was struggling to remember who they were. None of their music stood out to me but they were FUNNY! They said their new sponsors were Icy Hot and Ben Gay! Men that understand me.. Rob Base was pretty awesome and he performed the 2 songs were played non-stop in the late 80’s.. Then there was Hammer… He sucked. However, I did LOVE how he payed tribute to Prince by doing a combination of Pray and one of Princes songs. I am going to go to hell for saying this but I was not a massive prince fan so I don’t know a ton of his music. Anytime people come to town they pay homage to our hometown legend. Being from MN, it seems that you are required that you idolize him…I don’t. I can appreciate his music and do think he was a genius but I am still not a mega fan.
Hammer did 2 encore songs…2 Legit and U Can’t Touch This. He did NOT do the typewritter dance nor did he wear his iconic low crotch pants. He had his son there and he did the dance (lame). I wonder if he is feeling his age like me and wanted to be able to walk in the morning?
The concert was at Treasure Island Casino near Red Wing, MN. They have been having a lot of big names roll through there in recent months.. It is not my favorite venue. It is an hour away from Minneapolis. The outdoor venue is a cluster shit show. Not a good place to take a person with a disability. The indoor venue was okay but you have to walk though the casino to get to the auditorium. I find casinos chaotic and I am not a fan of the smoke ( it is one of the last places on earth you can smoke).. I felt like was a dying a slow death breathing in all the toxic fumes!
Despite the bad venue and cheese factor, my concert girls are made the night. They are about as fun as you can get! I left that night with what felt like a broken rib from laughing! My one friend donned gold metallic “hammer” pants. They were amazing! She is so short that they made her look like an Ooompa Loompa and I wasted no time to point that out to her.
I danced and danced! The music may have brought my youth back to me but my 45 year, out of shape body brought me back to reality pretty damned fast. We danced our hearts out. At one point while pounding my arm in the air and jumping I felt my elbow crack and it let out a huge pop. It felt like my knees where on FIRE, and while I jumped, I pissed my pants. Then at the end of the show, it was about 11Ish I turned to my friend and asked if we could go home because I had an early day. That was the icing on the cake..The minivan, my aching muscles and me headed for home at 11 Pm on a Saturday night. My 18 year old self would have just been getting ready to go out!

Pinteresting Night

I kept looking at my calendar in disbelief when there was not one thing on it. I mean NOTHING!!! There was not an appointment, not a meeting, and the most shocking thing…NO SPORTS! This is a rare day in our house. Usually I get kind of twitchy when there is nothing on the calendar because I always feel like I am missing something. Since I had some “free” time, I pulled up Pinterest and decided to do something CRAFTY.

My daughter’s hockey team has a pizza party after their game tomorrow. I decided to make some Halloween treats to share with the team. I have a Holiday board dedicated to cute Halloween crafts and desserts and this was the perfect time to actually make something. I don’t think a bunch of 12 year old hockey players will judge me too harshly if they didn’t look like the inspiration photo.

Knowing I that I am a complete shit show when it comes to crafting and being in the kitchen, I chose something EASY. Three ingredients, that was it. I could handle that. Plus this brilliant Pinterest Poster used pre-made Rice Krispie treats. A person after my own heart!

I went to Costco and bought the 60 count box of Rice Krispie Treats. There was going to be more than enough to make a few mistakes (I know that about myself so I need to plan ahead!) I bought the candy melts, eye balls, and treat bags at Michaels. I am not advertising for these stores at all, I am just stating where I went for supplies. When I tally what I spent on this little project (approximately $30), I would have been better off buying custom cupcakes or a tray of cookies. But if I had been thinking, I could have done this a bit smarter and done it for about $10-$12 bucks. I definitely have lots of left over supplies.

When I get into a Pinterest Mode, things can go to shit pretty quick. I have a tendency to have attention deficit and lose interest quick or cause an explosive mess. Both happened during this project. I started off with the idea of putting the treats on a stick to make for easier dipping. That went down hill fast, no matter how I attached the stick to the treat, it ended up poking through and ruining my creation. The next thing that proved to be a disaster was using fancy sprinkles. I bought what was left on the shelf (which wasn’t much). I tried one of the treats that had sprinkles and just about broke a tooth. Scrapped that idea because I didn’t want to be responsible for dental work. I finally decided to keep it simple with just dipping them 1/2 way and adding eyes. Once I figured out a process, it went pretty quick.

  • Unwrap Treats
  • Melt discs (do one color at a time)
  • Dip and spread evenly
  • Add eyeballs and brows
  • Set in a glass pan upright

In the end, I am happy with the end product. It cost more than it should, took longer it should, and created one hell of a mess. I got my crafting itch scratched! Nailed it!

Beer Pressure

This past weekend, I met up with two of my fellow hockey mom friends and we caught up over a few beers. We hung out for several hours chatting about our children’s transition to high school, the start of the new hockey season, and celebrated a major accomplishment.

My friend just finished her first full marathon! I was eager to hear all of the gory race details because I watched her diligently train through the summer and she ran my favorite race of all time, Twin Cities Marathon. She talked about how fun the course was, how awesome all of the fans were, and how her race fell apart at mile 22 when she started vomiting. She pushed through the pain and barf and finished the race like a boss. With all that she went through, she said with a big smile, “I WILL do another one soon”!

As we had another beer, we talked more about the race and running in general. I am not what happened, but the conversation went from celebration to the three of us deciding to do a 2020 marathon! I think I may have put up a small fight but in the end I caved. I believe I got “beer pressured” into a marathon commitment.

We all had different reasons for wanting to tackle 26.2 miles. My friend that just ran wanted redemption for getting sick and my other friend has a marathon on her life bucket list. For me, I found myself wanting to be in my friend’s shoes. I realized I missed running…a lot. I am currently in a bit of a rut both mentally an physically and need a scary goal to accomplish with the accountability of my friends.

I am committed. I made a promise and now I have to keep it. The next step is to come up with a plan to go from being an overweight, sedentary person to a marathon runner in 13 short months!!! Stay tuned….it is going to be a wild ride.

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow

It is October 12th and we are getting snow. My trees are full of colorful leaves that have not fallen yet, my deck furniture is not put away, and just last week we had the air conditioning on due to heat. Words cannot even describe my seasonal depression right now. We had snow in April, our summer was not great weather wise, and now we are getting cheated out of a nice fall. Welcome to Minnesota! I can’t help but feel a little bitter.

My Facebook feed is nothing but people bitching about the weather. It is comforting we are all in this miserable boat together and we all send the middle finger emojis to our friends that live down south that are posting beach photos. In 6.5 years, after my youngest graduates high school, I hope to be one of those beach bums. If I NEVER saw another winter again, I would be happy!

Looking at the silver lining, the soccer tournament we had scheduled for today was canceled which freed up my morning to tackle some house projects (or drink coffee and reintroduce my self to the blogosphere). So I guess I should express my gratitude to Mother Nature for sparing us the drive and sitting outside in the chilly temps for hours on end.

With my new found time I have been pondering whether or not I should continue this blog. I have not been very consistent posting partially due to available time and not knowing the direction to take it. I even Googled…”Are blogs still relevant?”. I have about 100 posts that I have started that are sitting in the draft state that never were published. Who would read this crap???

While Google’s short answer to my question was YES, blogs are still relevant. I determined that I still need a way to procrastinate and blogging is the perfect way for me to do that. Even if no one reads this crap, it is still better than me keeping a written journal (I hate my handwriting) and it keeps me somewhat accountable. So long story short, I am going to keep my sliver of the internet and post the ramblings of my average life.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to hit up Pinterest to find some comfort food recipes*

*Note: I will pin said recipes and move forward with ordering food to be delivered.

Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon Race Report

A good friend of mine introduced me to the brilliant quote:

“If you’re gonna be dumb, ya gotta be tough”

This gem of advice came in handy this past Saturday when I ran a half marathon without training. When I say no training, I mean zero preparation and zero running (which I not recommend). I am proud to say I finished and survived but I was in a lot of pain. Every muscle was on fire and I have never been so stiff in my life. Meanwhile I had to pretend like I was perfectly fine to avoid the “I told you so” lecture from my husband. He knows all too well that this is not the first time I have I have done this.

Someone asked how I am able to do a distance race with no training. I joked, that I was following the Barney Stinson training plan and had a strict diet of pizza and beer. This is not far from the truth this year. The kids’ schedules and the brutal Minnesota winter killed my motivation to lace up my running shoes. I showed up to the race because I din’t want to forfeit the entry fee and I finished because I am too stubborn not to do it.

I am not downplaying how hard it is to cover 13.1 miles nor am I downplaying the need to train. My are intentions are always good when I sign up. It is usually 9 months in advance and it always follows with a meticulous training plan. When my friends find out what I am up to, their standard reaction is to roll their eyes and laugh because they know I am a broken record and the text book case of insanity. They hear my excitement about the race turn into complete terror as the date approaches.

I honestly had no idea what was going to happen on race day this year. I went in with only one expectation and that was to finish alive. There were so many variables of the outcome and I did want death NOT to be one of them. Dropping out of the race never crossed my mind even though I was far from prepared. I just had to deal with the consequences and understand that it was going to HURT.

I was armed with a plan of doing run/walk intervals. I set my Garmin to 1:00 running/2 minutes of walking. For most of the race, I kept that pattern going almost the entire time. If I felt good, I swapped and reversed the run with the walk. I had to keep reminding my self to stick to the plan, run my own race, and have some fun.

To be honest the first 6 miles were great. It was a nice day, cool and sunny which for this race was amazing. Normally it is rainy and cold. I wore my special shirt that said “If you are behind me, you didn’t train either” and that played well to my inner attention whore because I got lots of laughs and high fives.

Mile 6, I saw my daughter and my friends. I stopped to take selfies with them and chatted for a minute. About a quarter mile from there I stopped and took a shot of beer (or two). The crowd was awesome. Lots of cheering, music, and energy.

Miles 7-10 were kind of a blur. I made it up Lemon Drop Hill with no issues felt pretty good heading into downtown Duluth. I upped my running because there was a lot of down hill through this stretch. I as amazed that I was not in pain and I was still feeling pretty strong.

The last 3 miles took a bit of grit and determination to get through especially mile 12. I was tired and I was sick of being on the course. I extended my walk breaks that last mile and then pushed it to the finish. I was VERY happy to be done!

Final time: 3:08:10 (Surprisingly, not my worst time)

I FINISHED!!
Post race refreshments!

The Dark Side of Summer Vacation

Summer is FINALLY here. In Minnesota, we do not take nice weather for granted. After the hell winter we had, I am ready for sunshine and sandals! The kids just finished school and I am excited to do all the things we love to in summer, outside sports, ice cream, lakes, bonfires, 4th of July, Birthday Mania (all 3 of my kids are born in August)…I could go on and on. In short WE LOVE SUMMER and try to make the most of it before the white stuff falls again.

As much as I love summer, I am already ready to ship my little darlings back to school. For the record, we just finished the first week of vacation and they are already driving me bonkers. At the risk of getting my house egged, I believe school should be year-round!! I don’t say that to punish teachers, in fact I think they deserve every bit of time off they get especially the awesome people that get to have my kids in class. But having these kids home during the day, everyday, for 3 months is incredibly challenging on the nerves and EXPENSIVE. There is definitely a dark side to summer vacation…

The Groceries

Lord in Heaven these kids can eat! My grocery bill goes up exponentially anytime they are home for more than a couple of days!! A box of 72 granola bars that should last over a month is gone in less than a week. Frozen pizzas are gobbled down in a fraction of the time it takes to make them. They eat a dozen eggs in a single meal, they eat mixing bowls of cereal, and tacos now require several pounds of meat. People warned my about teenage boys and how they have hollow legs, well I am here to tell you that my daughter isn’t much better. She keeps up with her brothers. I am going to need a second job just to keep these kids fed!

Activities

In January I received all sorts of communication about summer programming that would keep my children busy and out of trouble during the summer. The money was flying out the door and I justified it as a necessary expenses so they wouldn’t be in front of the TV or video games all day. Fast forward to present time, I need a color-code flow chart to keep things straight to determine who is going where and to what activity. We arranged our work schedules to be home most of the time and we leaned on our village to help with transportation. I am grateful that my husband and I both have somewhat flexible jobs to be able to work from home when needed and I my even more grateful for the teams of other parents that help us out.

Even with days of activities that keep my kids on their feet for hour which should exhaust them, they still claim they are BORED! They don’t seem to be amused when I pull out the additional list of chores that need to be done like weeding or organizing closets. They also don’t believe me that the “experts” say that kids should experience a little boredom. Since I am out of ideas and money to keep them occupied, I am OK with the TV and video games. Funny how things come full circle.

My House

As mentioned above, my kids have chores and suggested chores if they breathe the word “bored”. It is a constant battle to keep the house in some semblance of order. My standards and their standards seem to be at odds. When I would like the kitchen clean, I expect the syrup to be scrubbed of the counter or the floor to be swept. Removing dirty towels from the bathroom does not equal clean. I lost my shit when they loaded the dirty dishes into the dishwasher that had clean dishes in it because they thought they would get out of doing it. I may have had an out of body experience. I pulled out every single dish I could find and made all of them hand wash, dry, and neatly put away the dishes. Three hours later, I thought I was the smartest woman in the world that I had one of the biggest parenting wins ever. Two days later, they did it again.

And the garbage????? Why can the children not find a trash can. I find wrappers and containers on the floor, stuffed in couch cushions, and in their pockets. I even when as far as collecting the trash and putting it in their beds. It did not phase them. At all. We have been in our house for 3 years and I have yet to meet any of the neighbors. I think they realize I am a bit crazy because I am sure they have heard me lose it. I can’t wait for them to be adults with their own houses because I am going do the same to them.

Texts and Phone Calls

I find it kind of funny that when I am home, my children barely want to converse with me but the SECOND I get into a meeting, my phone starts blowing up. “Mom, can I go…” “Mom, can I eat…” “When will you be home?” then there is the tattling. I get photo texts from my daughter, showing that her brother is not wearing his retainer or is not doing the chores laid out for them. My colleagues now understand and do not judge when I answer my phone “WHAT NOW??!!”.

In short, TEACHERS, I appreciate you! Enjoy the summer! You certainly earned it! See you in September!