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Speed Bumps Abound

2 Mar

So, January started off the year rather mundane. I had had a “bout” with SVT (SupraVentricularTachycardia) in November, I hadn’t had an “event” in almost 10 years, and figured it had moved out of my heart for “better digs”. I “self converted” after about an hour. (Rather than being “medicinally converted” or “electrically shocked”. I DID go to my cardiologist, Tri Nguyen, and he placed me on a 30 day “event” monitor. NOTHING! Except an “athletic” heart rate. I found this out on January 27th.

On Friday, January 31st, I had gone up to PCCU to do a bedside exam on a patient. The nurse, Brenda, was just about to remove a bloody dressing from the patients neck when it hit me. I calmly (I doubt), asked her to step outside the room, I then placed her fingers on my carotid artery. She quickly moved me to an area where I could sit, slapped a  5 lead EKG monitor on me, called the Emergency Department to advise them that there would be an “Employee” arriving via wheelchair with a “cardiac situation”. Well, at least now I had some hard “evidence” of this elusive little bugger. I had a rate of 150 beats per minute.  I found myself in the care of a nurse named Michael, I’d seen him several times while I was caring for his patients in the E.D., he had a look of concern, but not panic, and efficiently went about the tasks of starting an I.V. and drawing the appropriate lab work, getting all of the questions answered while keeping me calm as my heart was trying it’s best to beat its way out of my chest.

By the time the lazy, giggly EKG girls (yes, 2 of them!) got the EKG leads on, and started the strip, I’d converted to about 115 bpm.

It’s interesting how you can actually feel your heart converting to a more natural rate. I still wasn’t at my “normal” rate, but I was getting there. By the time the doctor actually came into the room, I had converted to 85 bpm. That is still a bit tachycardic for me, but closer to “normal”.

Back to the nurse Brenda: I had left my cell phone downstairs in my department to charge, therefore I had no way to contact my husband via texting. So, not only had Brenda been amazing at getting me “hooked up”, she also got in touch with my husband who works at another hospital he arrived not too long after the EKG, cool, calm and collected, as usual. I swear, NOTHING phases this man!

After a few hours the Emergency Room, the  physician came back in, gave me a choice of medication, or not, and advised I follow up with my cardiologist. No Shit Sherlock! I mean, seriously! I’ve had the experience of working with this “doctor” in the past. Let’s just say, it’s the luck of the draw in the E.D., and luckily, someone in a serious situation had the “luck” of getting a doctor that graduated a bit higher in their class instead of the doctor that was seeing me.

I went home and “rested” the rest of the week end. Okay, I’ve been resting since January 31st! As the title of this “chapter” says: “speed bumps”,  plural.

I followed up with Tri, and then made an appointment with Dr. Seifert, one of the electrophysiologists that works in the hospital system that I do. I returned to work later that day, and, as my department and hospital are known for, there was quiet concern. As you’ve no doubt noted, my life is pretty much an open book. I felt comfortable letting my colleagues know of my situation. When I mentioned Dr. Seifert, one of the nurses said, “Oh, no! I mean, he’s great and everything, but go to MY guy. He did my ablation, and did a “cryo” instead of an RFA (Radio Frequency Ablation.” So, I made the appointment, “dropping” my friends name. I was put off for a week.  (Yeah, some friend!) Then amazingly, I got a phone call asking if I could be there in two days! I said “Of course!”

Side note: Radio Frequency uses heat to scar down tissue. Cryo uses freezing. RFA is “immediate”, Cryo, you have quite a few seconds to “re warm” and try another location.  I’m all for “second chances”!

I met with Dr. Wilber Su, Banner Good Samaritan, Cavanagh Heart Clinic, Phoenix, AZ.
He spent more than an “ample” amount of time with me explaining everything from the difference between cryo ablation and radio frequency ablation, to whether he thought (from my EKG) it was AV re entry, or another form of SVT. Ultimately, THAT would be decided during the “pre” ablation portion of my ablation.

The appointment for the procedure was made, and off I went. As a side note, Dr. Su’s staff, from the person on the phone to the woman making the calls to the insurance company are absolutely top notch. I never felt the need to “double” check them.

The Next Speed Bump:

IMG_0773

Next stop was my endodontist. I had a 6 month follow up from a “re do” of a root canal that was tricky and therefore “incomplete” 10 years in the past. Everything felt pretty good around that tooth “Number 4” as they called it. Evidently not. Long story short: I needed an apicoectomy, and PRONTO if I was going to have the ablation in the next few weeks. As I know, but not everyone does, having an infection in or around your teeth is one of the quickest ways to “grow veggies” on the valves in your heart. Trust me, that’s NOT something you EVER want! So, we scheduled the procedure for the next week. I have to tell ya’, I’ve never experienced anything that has had my stomach turn upside down like this one. Just the sound of my “gums” being torn away from the bone was giving me the “willies’, then the drilling, then the suturing. But, that wasn’t the worst part. The worst part was two days later when the sutures started digging into the inside of my lip. Not just when I tried to eat. (Try keeping the food on one side of your mouth and not letting it get to the front side!) But when I talked. My gums, okay “gingiva” is still pretty tender and a bit numb, but the slashing from the sutures has healed!

So, everything is moving along. I have my ablation next week, with a few days to recover, mainly the healing of the entry site in my groin. Yes, I’ll keep you posted!

Think Positively About Others And You’ll End Up With A Hand full of Shit

2 Sep

I know I’ve been rambling quite a bit about the 90 day challenge  I’ve gotten myself into.  And I’ll continue to do so!

Here’s the latest from the last 2 weeks:

I’m the same weight as two weeks ago, but I’m down .5% body in body fat.  (That’s point five percent. NOT five percent, just so we’re straight on that.) AND I’ve now taken an allergy test by blood work and a RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate) by way of a carbon dioxide breathing test that took place over a 20 min. period of “resting”. So, I’ve not gotten the allergy test back as of yet. The RMR has me at about 1370 cal.  baseline, which isn’t a whole lot of calories, especially when one is accustomed to training at a “two a days” pace.  My “metabolic” specialist was SO gracious in allowing me an additional 300 cal. since I don’t just “sit” all day at my job. Oh, plus when I work out, I get an additional 100 cal. WOW!

So, if I run 10 miles, as I did today, burn 1000 cal. + 1370 + 300 I should get 2670 cal. But instead, I get 1770? REALLY? WOW, that sucks!

Oh, and I fired my trainer. His first excuse was “My cell phone just went dead.” Then it was “My cell phone got smashed in the seat at the Cardinals game.” Next it was “My car overheated.” Then “I’ll call you later tonight, about the training sessions.” The next day he was a no show for training and finally texted when he got the message from his boss that I was not a happy client. I mean, I was really tolerant of listening to his “I’m so poor, I can’t afford to eat” crap.  I bought all the hype as well as the vitamins, protein powder, the dietician, switched the training sessions from once a week to three times a week. (Using my Personal Training package, and pretty much using it up), I even gave him the crappy whey protein powder and the “adrenomend”, that they had “highly suggested” that I purchase. Finding out after that fact that the main ingredient works on “cleansing” the liver, which in turn slows down the metabolization of some medication. The medications I take. And YES, I told them that I take statins and thyroid medication. And what do I get for being the Pollyanna, the nice lady, the person with the Rose Colored Glasses, trying to see the “good” in another human? A HAND FULL OF SHIT!  I’M GOING BACK TO BEING THE JADED “PEOPLE ARE IN IT FOR THE MONEY AND NOTHING ELSE” JERK SHIT THAT ‘VE ALWAYS BEEN. There’s no disappointment that way. Then when someone is genuinely decent, I’ll be surprised and have a nice smile on my face.

So, yesterday, to try and free my mind of the little SHIT HEAD trainer, I ran.  AND I DIDN’T USE THE FUCKING HEART RATE MONITOR either, because you know what? It doesn’t do anything except chafe my torso!  Oh, and the UCAN crap that they recommend at Lifetime Fitness? Yeah, the junk gave me a wicked gut ache and the shits! AND it didn’t “keep me going through my workout” either! Glad I brought my GU ROCTAINE for the miles after mile 5.

But I DO have a different trainer. Her name is Katie. I trained with her today. She’s a leopard seal. I am a penguin. Enough said. I think it will be a long and happy relationship. Yes, I’m trying to be positive!

Okay, rant over. Thanks for listening!

Here’s your reward:

Sunrise at Tempe Town Lake

Sunrise at Tempe Town Lake

Papago Park at Sunrise

Papago Park at Sunrise

More Sunshine!

More Sunshine!

One Sprint Tri Done, And The Future Is Looking Bright!

8 Apr

Yes, I am back. After months of wondering if I would be able to run more than a few miles pain free, I have realized that sometimes you just have to plan as though everything will turn out okay.

Since my last post I was kind of on a roller coaster of sorts. I was running pain free in December and was fitted for an articulated knee brace to help separate the inside part of my knee and put just a tad more stress on the outside of the knee. The theory being that this would keep any “bone on bone” wear from happening sooner than later. Well, let me tell ya’:  IT DIDN’T WORK!” What it DID do was cause my IT band to become inflamed (On my birthday! ) So, I was out for another 3 weeks, seriously wondering if I would ever be able to pursue my passion.

Thanks to the amazing Dr. Brad Bruns and NSAIDS I recovered and am VERY happy to be competing once again.

The triathlon schedule is the same. I added one as a little “tune up”. The Susan G. Komen Tri for the Cure, which I completed last week end. It was a bit odd, for me, a pool swim of all things. But, it was good preparation for transitioning and letting the horse run so to speak. A very short “sprint”. 400 yd. swim, 16mile bike and a 1.9 mile run. Very odd. But for a worthy cause.

Next week end is the Marquee Triathlon. It’s a bit longer, an “International” distance. It’s really an olympic distance, but the trademark laws are in question when it comes to using “olympic” in the title of a race. So, 1500 m swim in Tempe Town Lake, 28 mile ride and a nice 10k to top it off.  I’m pretty excited about it! I haven’t swam in TTL in over 3 years. Not that I’ve missed the mirky cold water there. I mean, it’s so mirky you truly cannot see your hand as you take a stroke. And the only time you know there’s someone swimming in front of you is you see little bubbles from their kicking….if you’re lucky; otherwise you just get kicked in the head! I do enjoy looking up as I swim under the Mill Ave. bridge and looking at the barn swallows though!

So, I tried on my wetsuit today. Yep, it still fits. And it is still as claustrophobia causing as ever! I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it. I timed myself to see how long it would take to get out of it. 52 seconds. And that was being dry. It comes off a lot easier when it’s wet! So, with any luck T1 will be under 5 minutes. I hope.

I had to change the rear tube on my bike today. As I was letting air out, the valve stem popped out and flew across my car. Why was I letting air OUT? Well, it’s Arizona. It’s 85 degrees, the inside of the car probably reaches 100 easy. SO, if you don’t let some air out in the heat, guess what happens? BANG! There goes a tube! So, it was good practice as the rear wheel is always a challenge for me. But it went without a hitch and I got the gears cleaned up and cleaned the chain too.

So, the training is “in the bank” and now it’s just training mentally. Visualizing race day. The swim, T1, the bike ride, T2 and the run. Grabbing water as I RUN through the aid stations. It’s a 10k after all. Run the whole thing Deb. Run slow if you have to, but run. There’s no place for walking now. I’m a luckiegirl, running is back in my life! Image

Mill Avenue Bridge in the background

No Apologies

24 Oct

I have been tossing and turning most of the night because of a comment I made to a co-worker via text message: “I felt abused”she texted. She was referring to the workload she maintained. I texted back “I’m sorry I was a part of it.”  Later I texted “I’m not sure why I said I was sorry. I didn’t direct the day, I truly have nothing to be sorry for.” I didn’t receive a return text.

For some reason, women in particular feel it necessary to apologize for EVERYTHING! And I am no exception. My husband is constantly asking me “For what?” “What are you sorry for? Did you hurt me? Did you cause some pain to be inflicted physically or mentally?”

I secretly think it is because we feel the need to be in control. Therefore, if we apologize it will sound as if we were in command of the situation. How incredibly egotistic is THAT?!

Since I am the most irresponsible person I know (infants included), I will refrain from apologizing on the spot. Unless I’ve hurt you.

Stay Happy.

D

Yes, THIS is the Puggsta AKA Moon Doggie. SHE’S Happy, and never apologizes!

Staying Grounded in a Tail Spin

14 Oct

What a week of revelations for me!  I’ll start with the trivial and inanimate objects that shouldn’t mean anything in the grand scheme of things, but somehow they do!

My cell phone: I currently have a Samsung Bright Side. Why? Because I dropped my Slackberry  in the pool in June. L and I decided to go the “less technology is better” route and got the Bright Side, thinking we could do just calling and texting. Then it was adding email. The phone is okay, I guess. It’s a phone. I find that I keep hitting “END” when I slide the “sleep screen” to answer the call. Ultimately, I want an iPhone 4s. It’s that simple. I will pay the price for data.

Number 2: I am working 21 days with one day off. My choice. BUT, my director has decided that we all need to work an hour less each day to “flex” our budget. SO, all the O.T. is kind of NOT O.T.  That’s what I get for being a bit money hungry, right?!

Number 3: Cycling and, well, mainly cycling, has become like a second job. I talked with J, my coach. Well, WAS my coach until I decided that the reason my life seems like it’s being micro managed by everyone but me is because I am ALLOWING it to happen that way. I mean, I’m paying him to “micromanage” my training. The thing is,  cycling isn’t keeping me happy. I am the only one that can make me happy. It’s pretty simple actually. So, J and I talked and I am leaving the bike behind for now as I go in search of my passion(s). I’m sure I will return to the bike again, and if coaching is needed, I will return to J (Justin Peschka, if you need a GREAT cycling coach, or a running/ ultra running coach). It’s just that for me, cycling without having running follow it, is like decaf coffee, non alcoholic beer. It’s just not right!

So, today I got up and decided to do what makes me happy TODAY. I took my pup for a walk and then headed for the hills. I intended on a 90 minute hike. I came back 2 hours later. Something about the desert on a beautiful fall morning is comforting and the earth just seems to smile.

THE “K” dog. My partner in crime.

Here’s to exploring and finding our passion(s) where ever they might be hiding.

Be Happy!

The Doctor said “GO RUN 3 MILES”.

2 Sep

If you haven’t been following along, fell asleep or decided that researching the incremental growth of dichondra was more interesting than my blog, let me refresh your memory.

I was told to stop running, maybe FOREVER, by my orthopedist about a month ago after surgery to repair, snip, sand and smooth the meniscus and some cartilage in my right knee. When I went back for my follow-up last week, those words had the header of my blog were the words he said out loud. Oh, the rest of it was “And if it hurts or swells up, cut back to 2 miles.” Really? That’s it? I was still wrapped up in the FOREVER scenario, still in mourning of the death of my friend “running”. As my husband often asks “Why do you always think in the worst sense of things?”  I know EXACTLY why, but that’s another blog.

SO, I called my BRFF (NO, not Barf, or BARF from Spaceballs fame either.) Best Running Friend Forever: AKA Connie, AKA Snow Bunnie. (She has a deep love of snow, cold and anything non desert). And we decided on a time and place to resurrect my dear friend “Running”. I think she knew my (our) friend wasn’t dead, just in a coma.

I woke up at 03:30 to begin my offerings of gratitude to the beautiful morning. Had coffee, got dressed and headed out the door at 05:00.

We were to meet at our usual rendezvous. The location that puts us within walking distance to coffee, breakfast, beer and chocolate, and the occasional glass of wine. Tempe Town Lake. Image

We started with a short walk, began a half mile run, then walked a

NCOUNTER restaurant.

quarter-mile, then back to running again. We’ve both been down this “road” before. We know it hurts. We know it gets better. We know we love it!

So, there you have the beginning of another chapter in my life, or the continuation of a chapter anyway.

I hope this gives hope to those that have been given news, like me, that they may never be able to enjoy the things they once did. Be patient with yourself, especially your physical body. Take care of your spirit and let yourself have some down time. Maybe, just maybe you’ll be as Luckie as this Girl!

Oh, and a plug for our favorite “local” breakfast/coffee/bar post run hang out:

The place is located on Mill Ave,  just a short walk south from Tempe Town Lake. They have some pretty amazing chow, and the staff is SUPER nice!

See ya’ at the races!

D

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Christopher Cross versus Jimmy Buffett versus The Beach Boys.

31 Aug

Christopher Cross versus Jimmy Buffet versus The Beach Boys.

“All caught up in the revery. Every word is a symphony, when I am sailing……”
versus
” I heard about the old time sailor men, they’d eat the same thing again and again. Warm beer and bread, they said would raise the dead but it reminds me of a menu at a Holiday Inn….”
versus
“I sail an ocean, through restful waters and deep commotion…” (Beach Boys)