Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Don't Call It a Comeback (exactly....)

Ever have that experience where the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing?

If so, you probably work for our state’s government.

Either that, or you, too, are part of the same transplant program as I.

So today, after waiting TWO HOURS (yes, that breaks my own old personal record of 75 minutes) for an appointment, I finally met with a doctor who, oddly enough, I had never seen before.

After unleashing my hysterical tears of frustration on her (complicated by the fact that I was now one hour late for work, and 15 minutes away from a staffing I was supposed to attend), she had me hop on the table and lift my shirt. The conversation went like this:

Her: Oh, your scabs look really good!
Me: Oh yeah? (hopping off table and pulling down my pants) How about this grapefruit? Does that look good to you, too?
Her: Well, actually, yes, it does look pretty good.
Me: So when do you think it should look….GONE?
Her: Well, it should look like that, you know. It will take some time…..
Me: Well, my other doctor said it would take two weeks, and it’s been three weeks post-surgery. Her: (quizzical look on face) Two weeks? Huh. No, it should actually take up to six weeks for all that to be healed (goes on to explain why it looks as it does).
Me: SIX WEEKS?!?!?! Are you kidding me with that?
Her: Uh no.
Me: I don’t have time for that.
Her: What else do you have to do?
Me: Uh, nothing…Stuff…I don’t know.
Her: (pause).
Me: You know, I did Ironman four weeks ago.
Her: (Blank stare)
Me: (Stare back......long silent pause)
Me: So how about this running thing? The doctor told me last week that I would be ready to go.
Her (same quizzical look, now with a raised eyebrow) Uh, three weeks post-surgery? how far do you want to run?
Me: How far can I run?
Her: How far do you want to run?
Me: 20 miles, but I don’t think that’s what you’re going to tell me.
Her: Nope. No I won’t.

So we negotiated, and came up with a reasonable amount of running. She also gave me some tips on how to “juice” Ruby Red.

Including patience.

Yeah, ‘cause I am sooo good with that.

Then she tried to bond with me, and told me that she had the exact same scar and citrus issue on her stomach post-baby birth. She then says, with a sympathetic smile and nod, "And now two years later, my stomach looks almost healed."


My insides were screaming, "Bitch what?!?!" but my outsides were smiling knowlingly, letting her feel as if she made some connection, politely accepted my lab work papers, and got the EFF out of there and into my little car, where I proceed to INHALE a bag (grocery store size) of potato chips.

Hey - my blood pressue was a 104/64, so I felt I deserved to knock back an ocean's worth of salt after that fiasco.

I was reluctant to post a picture of this monster, but finally I was like "Whatever." I figured you have all seen some really ugly parts of me over the last two years - what's a little skin? Just so you can all see that I am not joking. If your not on a diet now, your loss of appitite will jump start it.
Just to put this in perspective (because the picture doesn't do the best job of it), the first bump is "The Pucker" which, as noted before, is the result of a stitch under the skin. The second bump is my little friend. So, off to the far left side you can sort of see a scar where my hip bone should be, and usually is. The grapefruit doesn't just stick out, but it has swelled the entire lower ab area so that, from hip to hip, it's swelled out like on of those "Save the Babies" kids, with a grapefruit plopped on the end of it.
Pretty delicious. I know.

And the comeback?

Right before Ironman, I was asked to participate on a relay team for a run from Madison to Chicago in June. I said yes at the time, with the caveat that the whole kidney thing might make me retract my commitment.

Since I have been steadily biking, and can return (slowly) to running, it looks like I will be able to do the relay. However, I will need to talk to Danielle (organizer and fellow blogger) about how much they will need me to run, but I think it should be flexible and do-able. I really just want to do it because it sounds like fun, even if I can’t do 20-mile stretches.

I also know my limits. My fitness is slowly returning and will continue to do so as the race approaches. I know there are enough members on the team to cover if for some horrible reason I have a setback or am simply not ready. But I don’t think that would be the case. I can do this if I play it smart.

I think I was just hoping for some different (better?) news at the office. I think I was expecting them to say, “Oh, don’t worry about that melon hanging off your abdomen – should be gone by morning and your boyfriend (whose coming into town in one more day) won’t even throw up in his mouth when he sees it….Oh, and running? Feel free to sign up for that marathon next week.”

But as I said in a previous post – victor, not victim. I am happy that I can run even a little bit, and at least have an expectation of when my citrus friend says “Adios.” So I guess I can be satisfied with that.


Mommymeepa said...

Sorry about the doc's appointment not being exactly what you wanted and sorry about the doc's comment about 2 years later almost looking healed. UGH!! Don't you love when people do that all in the name of making you feel better.

That relay sounds really awesome. I hope you can still participate in it. It sounds like you are keeping a good sense of humor about all of this. Hang in there. I cannot even imagine what you are going through.

How's your brother doing?

Take care,

Danni said...

Oh, Meg!
I am sorry you did not get the exact answer you were expecting from the doctor. The good thing is that, like you said, you CAN run a bit and with that comes getting back your running fitness. Little by little you are getting back to your old self. And that is wonderful!
I hope you have a great time with Cheese in town :)

Alili said...

That relay sounds like a lot of fun! I'm sorry that your appointment wasn't everything that you had hoped for, the bright side is that you CAN do a little more than you could before. Take care:)

Go Mom Go said...

I think that run sounds like a ton of fun and hopefully you feel well enough to participate.

I am sorry that your appointment did not go as planned. Why is it ok for Doc's to make you wait forever? I have never understood that...

I think my e-mail is fixed now...hope to hear from you.

Take care and try to be as patient as you can, I know it is hard. You will ultimately heal - just not as soon as you are hoping.

Peace and prayers...

stronger said...

At least it's not a baby bump...

Give Cheese a Sharpie and let him decorate it.

Prin said...

So.. um.. the moral of the story is to sit on the couch and do nothing? Doctors should get their stories straight.

So if she says you can run x number of miles, is that per shot or per day? Like if she says one mile, can you run one mile like twenty times a day?

And um.. when you do run, maybe you should get a sports bra for the grapefruit? :D I'm only half joking.. It would reduce the pull on your belly and probably prevent some of the pain from the movement. Maybe tape it up with elastic tape to support it? Maybe an athletic therapist can help.

the fire said...

really have to give it up to those mindless wonders (md's) ever wonder how they eat? I mean, it isn't like they can give a definitive answer for anything. No chance, wouldnt want to be held accountable. Just imagine waiting in line behind her at Fontano's.."Um no I think I'll have a blockbuster instead of turkey and ham...well, now that I think about it, tuna salad does sound pretty good, ah shucks...just give me the turkey and BIFF!!!!!!" That was the a pound of mortadella hitting the poor doc in the face!!! Isn't it so much fun having your time wasted? It truly is a government thing. Want one better, how bout sitting in diversity training for 3 plus hours with two people in particular that were merit promotions and have a facilitator explain to you why we should respect each other's differences and see that as a learning experience?? Huh, seriously, no problem being different, but how about having your neighbor walk into your house and take your tv, just because he wasn't getting paid until next week and didn't want to WAIT!!!! Geez there is a thought..waiting to get promoted in order....ahh...I is our differences that we can learn stupid are some people then if they can't learn where they landed on a promotion list!!!!

The Clyde said...

I've always wanted to do that Madison to Chicago run....I hope you can do it.

momo said...

i love you meg, you make me laugh. keep on taking care of yourself and you are going to be back to doing everything you want to do before long.

well, maybe not that bikini contest, but you know. ;-)


Benson said...

Doctors are so fickle. Too many opinions and not enough life experiences. You're wonderful and a super trooper. Keep up the humor and think VIC-TOR-Y!
I've had similar "swelling" friends from post-knee surgeries(2) and hernia surgery that took a little longer to leave than I wanted to but they have indeed left the building (body). I think as athletes (impatient) we have very high expectations of ourselves (bodies) and we should keep it that way. Don't let some scars and bumps determine who you are. They're indicators WHAT you are...Magnificent.

KrissyGo! said...

Okay, take this in the best possible way: your "lovely lady lump" kinda looks like a Ken doll.

Just sayin'


Danielle in Iowa said...

Meg, there is one position that is just running 3 miles 3 times, so you can always take that position if you need to!