Still with the walking, still with the healing after surgery.
Had to turn down requests to go play rugby in March on Tuesday. It's just too soon to be signing up for preseason full contact games of rugby.
Still did the 2km walks each of these days.
Tuesday got a 1.5 k walk done in the afternoon, then a 2km walk done in the evening. Between walks, I'm listening to podcasts and watching webinars. And reading. Lots of all three. Oh, and movies, too. Stuff to educate, entertain and "edutain".
Still, would prefer to walk in the water.
Also ordered a cheap Chinese knock off of a smart watch in order to track the water walking distance and possible heart rate. We'll find out when it arrives, sometime in June ;)
This really should be two posts. It's because I'm being lazy at the moment but I also have to start getting my stuff together and move forward.
Monday and Tuesday I wasn't moving hardly at all. I got up at 6 am to "help" with getting kids off to school in the morning. I talked to my kids one by one as they left and helped supervise the construction of their lunches. I did not do much more than just stand around and wince every once in a while. I showered, I changed my clothes, I did some reading and emailing each day. At night, I took Tylenol and slept like a baby.
Monday was ok, Tuesday was better. I also watched the Atkins Diet DVD I bought a while ago. I went through that and the diet plan I got from the Shouldice Clinic in August. Yeah, I saw why I was stopped at 250-245 ish for the last while. Too many carbs, to be frank.
Carrots at lunch, ketchup with dinner and yam fries in the evenings were probably enough to stop any ketosis from starting. I also read the handwritten notes again from the Shouldice Clinic very nice nutritionist and started to check out recipes on Reddit. I'll put the links in on the right just so that I can reference them when I'm putting together my grocery list.
Wednesday and Thursday were better still. Wednesday I got up and did a morning routine, did some emailing and reading and writing. Thursday I picked up my youngest from school and did a kilometre walk with my wife in the evening. It was about a twenty-minute walk outside. Lots of snow, but nothing on the sidewalk to threaten a slip and fall. It was nice to be outside, finally. I'm getting stronger and healthier. At bedtime, I didn't take anything as a pain medication either day. In short, I'm "progressing nicely".
My mantra is "Take the time to heal, then we kick some butt".
I've also been taking a long look at my life, too. What is it that I want to do with it, how do I want to spend the next fifteen years of my life before I get a chance to enjoy life? Is what I'm doing with my life right now the best thing for me and for my family?
I also wonder about that first idea, too. Why do I have to wait fifteen years to enjoy life?
I'm in that Elizabeth Warren Two Income Trap, nice and firmly. I'd like to seek another solution. Which is what I'm shifting my research to include. In the last few days, managed to read some fairly interesting books - Blogging for Writers, The Desire Map, This is how you get your next job, and I did a couple of webinars so far about the same sort of topics. I'm also more than a little behind in a course I'm taking on being an eLearning instructor.
But lifting things? Nope? thinking about things? Yup. Not sure the heavy ideas going through my mind would tear the patch in my stomach. Well, not as much as going and deadlifting 300 lbs would.
So, it's kind of interesting how life will sometimes ask you to pause and you choose to not to pause.
"Hey", says life, "you should look over here."
You say nothing, ignoring it.
Then life goes on until it pokes you and makes you look.
Well, today life poked me, right in the hernia. What. A. Poke. Indeed.
So I woke up and felt around my hernia which I kept rested for the week and felt something wrong. It was longer but it was also a little pebble that had not been there before. I had a shower and then lay down on my bed to try and see if I could push it back in. Sounds gross, but that was what the doctor told me to do. I pushed it back in.
So, at that moment, my wife asks if we can go out to breakfast. To me hat sounds awesome, so out of the bed I go and put on socks. It was then that something went "Squish" and I felt something little painful in my stomach. Five minutes later in the van, I'm in pain. I can feel pain in my stomach.
I order food at the restaurant and go to the bathroom to try and stop sweating. I look at myself, and I realise I'm turning a green-grey and my stomach won't stop hurting. I feel inside my shirt and the pebble is back, with some back up. That's just wrong. I need to lie down. I go back to the van and put the driver's side seat back and lay down for the time it takes the rest of them to eat a meal.
I was really hurting by the time they came out. My wife drove the kids home and the eldest would be in charge until my wife came back. I also had a neighbour come over and help with the youngest. I got to the hospital about 20 minutes later and was in a lot of pain. There was a golf ball sticking out of my stomach and it hurt to the touch. This was going to be a lot of pain, regardless of what was decided.
I got to the emergency and they took blood pressure and did blood work. I did give a urine sample too. At least I think I did. It's at this point that memory becomes fuzzy. I did puke my guts out in the bathroom for the waiting room. It's amazing how doing that gets medical people to move you up the line very quickly. I was lying down on a bed with an IV in my arm shortly thereafter. They started with just fluid, but then took a peek at my stomach and added morphine pretty darn quickly. I started to text my employer, letting them know what was happening. I also emailed my rugby coach, just to let him know I wasn't going to be at the noon training session today.
It was my very first experience with morphine. Can't say I liked it very much at all. Yes, it did make the pain in my stomach manageable, but just weirded me out. Sheep people walking around the room and stuff. Geiger-like dark teeth snapping at me. I felt very uneasy. After a couple of attempts to push the golf ball and then the baseball sized bulge back in, the surgeon was called and arrived. She took one peek and said that it needed surgery. I agreed right away.
Within two hours, I was being pushed upstairs to a suite and everyone was being nice to me. I remember the nurses arguing about who was going to call the surgeon to come, I remember being asked the same few questions about smoking and overall health a few times. I also remember having one then a second mask being put on my face. The first one was oxygen, they said. The second one they also said was oxygen, but that is the last thing I remember before waking up a few hours later in another room.
It was getting dark in the room and I had a nurse in there while I was waking up. She told me where I was and that I was ok. My stomach felt in pain, but not the sharp pokey kind of pain, just a rather large dull pain. It hurt but was down from a 9 to a 5 on the pain scale. I fell back asleep after texting my wife that I was ok. My boss also said that things were ok, too. My rugby coach told me to get better.
The nurse said that she was sorry but that she would be waking me up every hour to take my vital signs. I really didn't care, as I knew as soon as she did that I'd be back asleep. I woke up again while it was still dark out, must have been like 4 am. I got some water in me. The nurse asked me if I felt as if I could get up and walk. To my happy surprise, I stood up and things were not as painful as I thought they would be. I asked for pain meds and got them without any fuss.
Getting back down was another story, mind you. But being up was ok. I went back to sleep and was woken up by my wife on her way to work, after having dropped off the kids. She left me a bag with stuff in it. I'd look later.
I kissed her and went back to sleep.
I woke up and the sun was way up in the sky. Phone said it was 8 am. So, a day to lie around in bed, trying to get healthy. Well, I also had a lot of stuff to send to the person doing my job for the next two weeks and couldn't as I was on my phone and not on my laptop. I figured the world would survive.
I texted people, I charged my phone, I watched a bunch of rugby highlights on Youtube. I even got to watch the second half of Germany beating Romania. What a pair of comeback wins. All the time, I was feeling less and less pain. I stood, went to the bathroom, walked around my room and generally tried to not mess things up for myself. I ate, I slept, I sent emails to work and to people who needed to know. I watched rugby. That was my day.
At about 4 pm my wife and two of my kids came to see me. What a wonderful sight they were. We chatted and they went to get the youngest one something to eat. In the meantime, the surgeon came by to see how I was doing and she talked about what she did. Seems it was only fat that was coming out of the 4 cm hole. As she was there, it slipped back in, but she did put some mesh in. Seems the layers goes like this: Bowel, fat, 8 cm section of mesh, fat then skin. She described that as "perfect" as the fat will let the bowel not stick to the skin, and other adhesions are less likely. I sure hope she wasn't lying, because my Spidey sense was going off, but I have to take her word for it. I was slightly not there when she was putting my stomach back together, but I was there if you get my meaning. If she was pretty happy with her work, I was pretty happy with her work. After all, I was standing up kind of pain-free as I was talking to her. My last pain meds were at 4 am, and this was 4 pm.
In any case, they released me. I got to go home with my family. I was pretty worried that I was being released a little early, but I also wanted to get out of the hospital as quickly as I could. Just too many things could go wrong there. I wanted my own bed, too. Final blood pressure check was 116/65.
So I'm home and I get my laptop and I send things and email people. I'm standing as I do this as it's just easier. I try my best to help the people at work fill the hole that I usually take. I get them to help with HR and I'm good. Funny how people back off when they hear about the surgery.
I'm off with pay for two weeks. I think that should be fine. I'm going to take this time to heal and to think about what's next. I was already in contact with a few professional people about helping me with the rehabilitation of the wound. They, of course, were happy to hear that I was safe and ready to go. They also told me to be ready after two weeks from surgery at least. Heal first, they said, then rehab.
I got to hang out with my kids and my wife, and that is the best thing ever.
So, yeah. When I first heard that I would eventually need surgery, I kinda just knew that something stupid would rush things along. I wasn't going to be scoring a game-winning try or saving a kid from physical harm ... you know something heroic. As it was, putting on the socks has done nothing for my attitude of going barefoot as often as possible in all seasons.
At least it's done, and I can go forward. I have to hit my weight goals and keep the weight off this time. If that golf ball sized pain in my stomach did anything, it provided me with a lifetime of motivation to pass by the beer and potato chips on the way to 200 lbs.
Friday was the last weird day I'm hoping to have for a while. I know it's not, but I can hope. My schedule was off and had lots of stuff to do. Tons of stuff. Acres of stuff.
I knew it was going to be iffy later on, and they let me come in later to work than normal, so I got a 25-minute session on the elliptical trainer done in the morning. Not too bad. Later on in the day, had to give up the water walking. It was a sad moment.
Saturday ... was my dad's 80th birthday. I know there are so many people who don't get to write that sentence. I was pretty happy for my dad, not so happy with the behaviour of my kids, though. Sullen and snarky. Except for the youngest. He climbed on my dad's back. Yeah, I was terrified.
I knew that I was going to have to squeeze in a workout, so I waited until the house was basically empty and got into my gym for this session:
10 rounds of:
2 minutes of striding on the elliptical
2 minutes of kettlebell lifts - usually 10 clean and press each side, then H2H swings.
I also experimented with the "American" and "Russian" two-handed swings. Basically, the difference is at what level you stop the kettlebell. In the "American" swing, your hands and the kettlebell are over your head. The Russian swing stops at basically eye level height. I found from my limited experience was the American swing got the HR up a little quicker, and that I felt silly while doing it. Normally, I don't care about feeling silly, as I am training by myself in my garage gym. Still, I felt silly.
In any case, it was a 40-minute session, and I am happy to report that my HR dropped from about 158 to 105 in less than two minutes. Makes me happy, anyways.
Monday was rushed. I had to get things done at work, and then when I got home, I had to rush to get things done there. I had to rush to get a workout done in a half hour.
I got a 25-minute session on the elliptical trainer done, then did four rounds of double kettlebell cleans and presses.
It came in at just under a half hour, then I had to rush off to be a dad. At least the day ended with a 35-minute walk in the pool with a nice long hot tub experience.
Tuesday was a killer workout. I had to make up for idiotic food choices I've made in the last few days. Did six rounds of this workout:
20 H2H kb swings - most rounds with 16-kilo bell.
20 kb cleans
20 kb cleans and presses
20 kb snatches
Imagine this guy in a hot tub. That's me!
20 step ups
20 bicep curls with 30 lb db
15 body weight squats
15 press ups
I finished about 37 minutes, so I did two rounds of 45 seconds of double kettlebell cleans and presses, for a change.
Then, again, had to rush off to be a dad. Finally, though, I did also get a nice long walk in the pool/hot tub to help with mobility and recovery. I am finding that doing cossack stretches in the hot tub is pretty cool these days. Just gotta go sloooooow.
Friday was a nice easy day for me for fitness. I did the early morning stretch routine to start the day. Later on, I did a nice 40-minute session in the gym. 35 minutes on the trainer and four rounds of double kettlebell clean and presses.
Saturday I just couldn't make myself face another long boring cardio session, so I mixed it up. I started with a 15-minute session of cardio, got off the machine, grabbed the two blue kettlebells and did rounds of one-minute double kettlebell clean and presses. Went 16- 16- 16- 15- 16 and 16. After that, I got back on the elliptical and did another 10 minutes or so. The entire session was just under 40 minutes.
Sunday was a rest day. I did wake up sore from those kettlebell sessions. In addition to that, I was a lazy idiot. I kept saying "yeah, later' and "yeah, later", but later never came. A good lesson.