Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thumbs Up!

Keiler saw the hand surgeon today.  He has had a cast on his right arm for seven weeks now, and we were concerned that he was going to have to have surgery to fix a ligament that pulled a fragment of bone off of the first bone in his right thumb.  Since it is his dominant hand, it would be bad if he lost function in the joint.

Well, good news!  The surgeon was very pleased at how stable the joint is and wasn't too concerned by the x-rays.  The cast was removed, and he will wear a splint except for showering for the next 4-6 weeks.  If all stays well, then he will just go on to physical therapy.

K still is a little apprehensive about it.  He's worried that it really isn't that stable and that it won't heal properly.  But I feel like my prayers that he would heal well and wouldn't have to go through surgery have been answered.  We have had enough surgery in this house to last us for many years.


I've been thinking about how I can develop new skills or habits this next year.  It occurs to me that I have to take it one week at a time, if not one day at a time.  Maybe doing things in a more creative way will help to shake things up and make changes more manageable.

So what if I write down a bunch of challenges on slips of paper and choose a new one each week.  The challenges could be anything from "send thank you notes this week to three people who did something that made an impact on you" to "do 100 crunches and 50 pushups on five days this week" to "be a vegetarian two days this week" or "read the scriptures for an hour a day each day". 

This is similar to a fitness challenge that some friends were doing earlier this year, but with more variety.  I guess I could divide the challenges into physical, spiritual and emotional and pick one from each category each week.  If I can't think of 52 things, I can just recycle them.

Okay, that's what I'm going to do, and I'm going to blog about the results.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

This Needs to Change

Daily Mile emailed me to let me know that I logged zero miles last week.  Thanks, Daily Mile.  That's going to change, I promise.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Starlight, Starbright, I Hope I See Frankenbelly Tonight!

Most of my recent posts have been about my husband and his struggle this year with Crohn's disease.  As you may imagine, that saga has been the main focus of my life for the past year.  Beyond that, I'm the breadwinner for the family, I have a church calling that is usually pretty chill, and I am still trying to figure out how to be a mother (let alone the mother to a teenager).

I've heard many times over the past months, "(Rowdy) is so lucky to have you!"  Sometimes I think yes and sometimes I'm not sure that I am particularly doing an awesome job.  Really, I just can't imagine the alternative.  I mean, I love him, and I have made a commitment to him.  Just because he's ill doesn't mean that I can ditch him or my responsibility to him and our marriage.  (This is probably very obvious to everyone reading this blog, and I know that you would do the same for your loved ones. Oh, and R wants me to clarify that never at any time did I want to leave.)

K, R and I were talking about our New Year's resolutions the other day, and I had a hard time coming up with a medium- or long-term goal.  My goal is just to make it through the day, basically.  Things like Christmas and New Year's and dentist appointments take me by surprise, because it sometimes is hard to look beyond the interval between now and bedtime.

There were days in the past year when I just wanted to cry, days when I did cry, days when I probably wasn't as focused as I should have been.  I've felt kind of empty spiritually, even while knowing that the only way I and my family was getting through this was through the grace of God.

September to now has been particularly hard, and I definitely have some situational depression.  My PCP offered antidepressants at my appointment last week, and I agreed to give it a try.  Let me say that Cimbalta is not the medication for me.  It made me nauseous, dizzy, headachy and alternately have insomnia or sleepiness.  So, I've stopped that, and I'm just forging ahead.

So, I say this to just let people in on what's going through my head and to show solidarity with others who might be having their own issues right now.  ABR included in her blog a portion of a post by a good friend of hers/acquaintance of mine who was going through a rough patch.  She found herself in her comfy black pants day in and day out, including at church.  I actually didn't comment on that post, but I found myself thinking, "I get it, sister!" and being very proud of her for opening up and for doing her very best to keep going.  (So P, I do appreciate the "mahalo" comment you left, and I'm impressed with how in tune you were with the unexpressed good thoughts and wishes I was sending your way.)

So now I have to go and pull Rowdy's staples.  That's the fun part.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

My Favorite Christmas Present

Rowdy at home, feeling well enough to eat candy.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Not 100%, But Home Nevertheless

Rowdy told SuperMario that he was done with being in the hospital and was ready to come home.  Since we're so close to the hospital and are not completely naive as to what to look for if things aren't going well, and since R was eating/drinking/walking/peeing/pooping, I was able to bring him home today. 

One of the PAs told R, "The bowel is the stupidest organ," and he is correct about that.  It takes forever to wake up, and Rowd's hasn't quite figured out yet that part of its function is to absorb water.  This is supposed to be pretty typical of the newly-reconnected, but I feel for him, having to get up and go to the bathroom every half hour or so.

Still...he is home and he is TPN and ostomy-free.  That equals the best Christmas ever.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Moving In the Right Direction

Rowdy has been promoted to solid foods, and the foods are moving in the right direction.  Now he's just ready to come home and recuperate in his own environment.  SuperMario wants R to prove two days in a row that he can eat normally and isn't going to have a problem.  So maybe...he'll be home on Christmas Eve.  That means I have to wrap his Christmas presents.

The last day and a half have been very productive.  So far, I've had lunch with a friend; gone to the hairdresser, DMV, mall and doctor; visited Rowdy; made Nutella bread and cheese; visited with the neighbors; gotten the cars serviced.  It would be nice to have a few days off in a row every few weeks just to run errands. 

Tomorrow, I'm going to see Tangled.  I invited myself along to see it with friends.  No one in my family wanted to see it over Thanksgiving, and I just don't like going to the movies by myself.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

More Hospital Pics

Not so newborn-looking.

This year's Christmas tree.  Festive, non?

See the Resemblance?

Kris Kringle

 The blue eyes, the red coif...

Does that mean that Max will look like this when he's old?

A Pre- and Post Post


That says "Bair Paws".  They're made by the Bair-hugger device people, which is a blanket that has warm air blowning into it to keep patients warm during surgery.  Those gowns have a place to connect a warm-air blower.

Cutting up before he's cut up.

Back to 5N.  All of the nurses and even the janitorial staff remember him from last time. 

Rowdy's typical post-anesthesia look.  He kind of looks like a newborn--puffy-eyed and blinking dully at the light.

Trying to figure out a way to get his NG tube and O2 untangled.

Cheapo Malaysian toothpaste.  Honestly!  It is as if the large hospital system buys these things at $1/10,000 tubes or something.  Gross.  I brought him some good old American Colgate from home (which for all I know is made in Mexico).

Friday, December 17, 2010

So Far, So Good

Rowdy was scheduled to be in the OR for four hours, but it was only three hours after they took him back to surgery that Dr. Mario called me with good news.  Everything went very well.  R had very little scarring in his abdomen, which is a total blessing given the inflammation a few months ago.  The anastomosis, or re-attaching, of his small intestine went perfectly.

R hadn't been in recovery long when I saw him.  He still had that "OR" smell.  It's hard to describe...kind of dusty, kind of spirit-gum-ish.  He tried to open his eyes when I kissed him, but will still be out of it for a couple of hours.  I whispered to him that everything went well, that he needed to just relax and be happy now, and that I loved him.  I gave him extra kisses from his mom.

He's not 100% out of the woods yet, but it is an enormous relief to have this surgery over.

My upper back hurts.  Maybe it's just the readjustment from having the weight of the world off of them.  But really, the burden has been lifted the entire last three months.  Not to say that it hasn't been super-hard at times, but it was nowhere near as tough as I thought it would be. 
I am so grateful for Heavenly Father's love and the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  Christmas is about the birth of our Savior, but also how that birth made possible his life, the Atonement and the resurrection.  And that's what it's all about, folks.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Surgery Eve

It's 11:30 pm.  In seven hours, we will be arriving at Pre-Op.  Rowdy says that he doesn't remember going there all those weeks ago.  He doesn't really remember September at all.  But I do.  Maybe that's why I'm watching White Christmas instead of trying to sleep.  I ought to be in bed, holding my husband close.  There won't be any of that for at least a week.  I should snuggle up to him and listen to the TPN pump whirr for the last night. 

Because I remember September, I will go downstairs sooner rather than later.  I will watch my love for as long as I can.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I Was on TV Tonight

American Ninja Warrior on G4.  I was at my friend Autumn's house, eating gourmet chocolate, so I missed it.  G4 will air the show a million times, so I'll be able to see it sometime.  Apparently, I was shown shaking hands with my idol, Makoto Nagano.  It was just minutes before this photo was taken:

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

This Probably Will Be My Last Post About the Race

I like these pictures better (courtesy of Erika)...

A Message from My Cute Dad

(Hope you don't mind, Pop.)

Hey there, my Darling!

I thought I'd give you my observations about your Las Vegas experience, since I do feel like an old hand at the running business. 

I wouldn't be too upset about your time. You accomplished the important things...being involved in something that means a lot to you, doing the work to get in condition to go the distance, and taking the time and spending the money to participate in the event with all the other supportive folks.

As for your performance, I think it turned out well enough. In following your preparations, you really weren't able to do enough work to have a solid performance. There are so many factors that go into consistency. You need to train appropriately, have good nutrition, don't get pre-started on the day (get too emotional prior to the event which raises your blood pressure), and be injury free during preparations and the race. 

All in all, I would rate everything a success!

By the way, thanks for the Christmas gift! We will love eating the steaks, etc.

Love always, POP

Monday, December 6, 2010


After my other running endeavors, I was usually disheartened and sore and took a long break from running.  Well, today I am sore, and I have been disheartened at times yesterday and today, but I am looking forward to getting back to training--just as soon as I buy a new pair of shoes.

The most annoying thing today was discovering that, for some reason, my time chip did not activate at all yesterday.  To the Rock-n-Roll people, it's like I was never even there.  My chip was on my shoe properly, and I crossed all of the sensors.  Argh.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

I Needed This Reminder

NieNie linked to this on her blog today.  I definitely needed to reread and absorb its message.

What Happens In Vegas Is Divulged Here For All to See

First of all, I just have to give the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation's Team Challenge a big, big hand for the amazing job they did in organizing this weekend.  Particularly, Cindie Sharp as our local administrator and our coaches, Dave, Sean and Phillip.  They were just incredible.  I was a part of Team in Training one year, and while that is also a great organization, my experience with TNT was nowhere near as wonderful as TC.

I arrived in Vegas with only an hour or so to spare to get my race packet at the expo.  The expo itself was okay, not huge by any means.  I walked by this guys who seemed to be a "personality", like a C-lister or something.  He had on tons of foundation and was kind of bloated looking.  Turns out it was Mark McGrath from the band Sugar Ray.  So I was right--it was a C-lister.

I bought this cute t-shirt at the expo.
After the expo, I took the TC shuttle over to the Mandalay Bay.  Our shuttle driver obviously had had it up to here with stupid tourist questions, because he was quite surly with one woman who was asking very dumb questions.

I chose not to have a roommate from my team, because I didn't want someone else's rituals and habits to cramp my style.  I won't deny that it was nice to have a little bit of time to myself.  Here's what my room looked like:

Too bad I didn't have my camera with me for the TC pasta party.  I will post pictures that I get from other people.  It was pretty dang cra-mazing.  One thousand TC members from all across the country were there.  Our team was very boisterous as we lined up to go into the dinner, doing cheers and just overall shouting.  The Wisconsin team in front of us started cheering, too.  But the awesomest part was all of our coaches, mentors and a local cheerleading squad lined up as we neared the doors.  They were cheering and high-fiving and hugging all of us.

The dinner included some inspirational speakers, and I can't even describe how neat that was.  They also named the top ten fundraisers.  Get this--#10 raised somewhere just over $15,000, and #1 raised over $37,000!  Crazy and wonderful.  As a group, we raised over $3.5 million for Crohn's and Colitis research and programs.

This morning, we all gathered at 5:15 and got ourselves ready.  The weather was perfect--not as freezing and windy as last year, according to those who were there.  Here's my group, taking some time to stretch before we went out in the cold.  

Erika, Jan Michael and Pat

Me and June
I started out running with June, Lev, Jan Michael and Anthony.  I knew that JM and Anthony would quickly drop us, but June has been my total lucky charm all throughout training.  She is good at talking and keeping my mind off of the running.  We also ran for about four miles next to a group of Elvi (Elvises?) from Minnesota that were quite entertaining.  They would occasionally bust out with snippets of Elvis songs.  It was very appropos as we ran along Fremont street.

Now, I really thought that I was ready.  I really, really did.  The other week when I ran 12 miles in the rain, I really didn't feel that bad and was happy with my time.  I had trained, I had tapered, I had been sleeping and eating properly.  That didn't keep me from bonking majorly at mile 8.  I veered away from Lev and June to pick up a Gu, and I spent the next mile watching them get farther and farther from me.  I had no energy at all, and I even had to walk/run through miles 9, 10 and 11.  I was almost crying in frustration and disappointment.  Just before mile 10, a coach from the St. Louis team was kind enough to run with me for a little ways, just to keep me going.

Our cheer squad was at mile 12.  My amazing mentor, Jessica Bash, ran with me for the last mile, telling me that every step brought us closer to a cure and closer to the finish, that I could do it and I had run a mile over and over again.  Coach Sean and Erika ran with us for a little while, too.  Maybe I could have crossed the finish line without them, but I would not have run the last 1.1 miles.

My final time (by my Garmin) was 2:24, or 11 minute/mile pace.  That actually was a PR for me, and it could have been a lot slower.  And I did finish, but I am much sorer and more tired than I was with other long runs.  I think that it was a function of fuel, and my shoes should have been replaced a couple of weeks ago.

Next year (and there will be a next year, because I want to be a mentor), I know I will be better.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Viva Las Vegas!

One day and nine hours left!  I'm very excited and feel ready for the race.

My bedazzled singlet.

I hope I didn't forget anyone!
My Rad Life!