30 days of new

30 Days of New: The Final Day

We find ourselves at day 30 of this “30 day challenge”, and my new event for this final day is hardly epic, but here it is: 

Today I came face-to-face with my incisions.  Day 7 after surgery is when the bandages come off, and let me tell you what, I am damn impressed!  The one on the right side is probably a quarter of an inch long and not even a pen line thick, same as the one in my belly button, and the one on the lower left side is maybe an inch long and just as thin.

How someone can go into my body and operate on a huge cyst and remove an organ through 3 tiny incisions is beyond me, but my doctor is a magician (I know that this is common medical practice, but I am biased to my awesome doctor).

Tomorrow, May begins, a clean slate to start fresh.  I will be back at work, out of the house, living life without George.  Granted, I can’t run or workout for another week, but Paul has dedicated himself to living a vegan lifestyle with me (to the best of his ability), so there should be lots of cooking adventures and healthfulness in the next month.

Here is to an interesting month; I have always hated April because it has a habit of throwing me curve balls.  This April was no exception. 

Sleep tight, kids, and I will see you in May.

30 Days of New: Day 29

Today, I signed up for a half marathon that I have never run before: the Dexter-Ann Arbor on June 2nd.  

I am very familiar with the course and the area, which is BEAUTIFUL,  but it is supposed to be a hilly course.  I, whether it be to my benefit or detriment, don’t generally check out race courses before I sign up or run a race. I don’t check elevation, water stations, restrooms, etc.  I just lace up, show up, and follow the pack.  So we will see how this one goes.

I can’t believe that tomorrow is my last day of this.  I am excited for May to start.  I like the idea of a new month, getting back to work without George weighing me down, an actual change in the seasons.  It kind of feels like a fresh start.

What are you hopes for May? 

30 Days of New: Day 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27 and 28

Surgery really takes it out of you!  I am happy to report, though, that it went as well as we could have hoped, and I am now down 1 massive cyst (goodbye, George.  It was fun while it lasted), and only 1 ovary.

Let’s skip back to last Monday quickly:

It was finally nice enough here in Michigan to enjoy lunch on a patio (new event)!  So a few co-workers and I sat in the sunshine and enjoyed part of the day.  I also had a run-in with one of my favorite people ever!  Some people just light up your day, and Crystal definitely has that affect on me.

I didn’t sleep very well Monday night, probably just nerves for Tuesday’s surgery, and I was anxious to get there and just get things rolling.  It was hard mostly because we wouldn’t have any answers until my doctor was inside me checking things out, meaning I wouldn’t have any answers until I was awake and it was all over with. I was also a little on edge just because this was my first surgery ever.  I have never been put under anesthesia, never had a tube in my throat, or a catheter, all things that I wouldn’t be awake for, but I didn’t know that going into it. But, I signed over my power of attorney to Paul, and hopped into my surgical gown.

I had amazing care and support the whole way through. Paul was wonderful, a good friend of ours who is a doctor at the hospital I was in checked in on me before, during, and after my surgery, and my aunt and uncle were there for support and backup.  I had text messages pouring in from friends sending their love, and I felt very confident under the hands of my doc.

Paul thought it would be fun to take pictures of me pre-op:

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I clearly didn’t agree…

I woke up a few hours later to horrible cramps, terrible pain in my shoulders (gas pains), and just wanting drugs and Paul.  I got them both, along with the good news that it was a success.  She was able to remove the cyst and my right ovary all laproscopically, I would be in pain for a few days, could expect some bleeding for about a week, and needed to plant my behind on the couch until at least the weekend.

No one had explained to me yet why I should expect some “bleeding”, and I felt like I needed a rape kit.  I thought my vagina was a random thing to hurt seeing as I didn’t think it had anything to do with the surgery.  I apologize for the graphic detaisl to those who don’t appreciate this sort of thing, but apparently, they had actually used my vagina to manipulate my cervix and hip position during surgery.  No wonder it hurt!  They were steering the whole boat with it!

Paul was wonderful enough to stop on our way home and grab the prescribed pads.  Me, being in the drug induced haze that I was, did not bestow the cardinal rule upon him as he ran off into the pharmacy: WINGS! Always wings!  To any male readers, if you are ever given the job of buying pads, always get pads with wings.  Just trust me.

So, for the past week, I have been waddling around feeling like I’m in middle school again wearing a big ol’ diaper pad, resting up on the couch with my support team:

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As boring as it sounds, day 24, 25 and 26’s new were all new movies or television shows (day 23 was obviously the surgery).

Yesterday, on day 27, I  finally ventured out of the house for the first time so that we could go watch our best friends’ son play soccer.  It was a beautiful day out, and the sun felt amazing!  I didn’t last very long, but it was nice to be off the couch for a bit.

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Paul’s only competition on this planet… I LOVE this kid

Today, Paul brought me take out from a new food cart in the Lansing City Market: Wandering Waffles.  To know me is to understand my love for breakfast carbs, and this woman makes waffles in all kinds of varieties, and she did not disappoint.  Her whole business plan is providing an inventive food that requires no utensils and can be eaten on the run.  Well done, ma’am.

So, that is the scoop.  I tried to keep  a week’s worth of updates short, and I will write more later I am sure.  But for now, I am alive, and still a little bit tired.

A toast to the fallen cyst and ovary!

Hope everyone is well.

30 Days of New: Day 21

Sunday was such an amazing day!

It started right off with a new event: I was going to cheer friends on in the Lansing Half Marathon!  I have never been on this side of things before, and I have to say that I loved it!  Not that I am going to be making a full-time deal of it.  I would still much rather be running, but Paul didn’t think that was a smart idea 2 days before surgery (damn his practical ways!).

So, Max and I headed out to the 1st mile marker bright and early to give my friends a send-off.  Max was less than impressed during the wait and could not understand what we were doing on the side of the road so early in the morning.  He is really not an early morning creature:

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He got into it once the runners approached us, and was even sweet enough to cheer for them (any husky owners will understand what I am talking about… they are a very talkative breed).  But once our friends passed, as if on queue, he turned his back to the street and laid down.  If that isn’t motivation I don’t know what is…

We then picked up Paul and raced across town to cheer between mile nine and mile ten, and then rushed off to see them at the finish line… well, Paul and Max headed to the finish line, I headed to mile 12 to run the last leg of the race with a very good friend of mine.  It was so much fun standing there and high-fiving strangers, seeing people you didn’t even know were running, cheering for the girl whose birthday it was, and just seeing the whole experience from this angle.

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And then being able to help one of your best friends make it to the finish line.  It. Was. Awesome.

She had run such a hard race and just to be there to help her finish was such an honor.  Even though I am terrible because I had no idea what to tell her other than, “just make it to the corner and then you are at the finish”, “you got this”, “keep going”.  Should you be conversational?  Tell her more about George?  Talk about what a crappy course set up this was?  I did my best, and she rocked it to the finish line.

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From the half marathon, Paul and I headed down to Novi to attend the Veg Fest Expo, a vegan/vegetarian event.  My driving motivation to go to this was to hear ultra-marathoner, Scott Jurek, speak.  He is one of my idols, if that is the proper term to use.  He is a vegan, an amazing athlete, a writer, and probably one of the nicest people on the planet.  If you have never read his book, “Eat and Run”, I highly recommend it.

I decided to bring one of my race bibs for him to sign, and even though he was technically out of time for his meet-and-greet session, he went all the way through the line signing items and taking pictures for everyone that was there.  He looked at my bib and said, “Hey! Congrats on the race!”, as he proceeded to sign and write something on the bib. “I am not going to tell you to dig deep because you clearly already know how, but I am going to put it on here anyway.”  Just completely down to earth and kind.

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Yup, I was pretty much in love with this Sunday.

30 Days of New: Day 19 and 20

I know, I am completely slacking (why am I so inclined to use the term “slack-a-lacking”?… I’m a nerd…), but here is the recap for Friday and Saturday.

Friday was a very boring day in the new events department.  I mixed up a new tempeh spaghetti and Paul and I started a new series on Netflix that is not good, not bad, just semi-entertaining called “Hemlock Grove”.  It is a Netflix original series, and I think it is trying to capitalize on the whole vampire vs. werewolf thing, but in a more gruesome, scandalous, adult way.  It’s okay.

Saturday we found ourselves in Grand Rapids for the “Black Party” at Founder Brewing Company.  Founders makes a really quality line up of beers, and the Black Party is something they do annually to celebrate their darker beers and to tap a few special ones.  I was the D.D., so Paul and our friend Ryan were having a blast sampling all the different kinds of beers (Paul and pretty much all of our friends are beer snobs).

A few hours into the event, I was feeling tired and decided to nap in the car.  What can I say?  My super power is being able to sleep any where at any time, I think a lot of this has to do with George.

When I woke up about an hour later, I decided to do some exploring around Grand Rapids in search of some tea.

I found an awesome spot called Mad Cap where they do single drips for each cup of coffee that is ordered.  It is a very trendy little place with a minimalist approach to their decorating, but just a very cool space.  I then drove around for a little bit just checking out some of the architecture there.

Grand Rapids is an amazing city.  If you are ever traveling around Michigan, I would highly recommend a stop off there.  It has a big city feel in a smaller city space.  It is artsy, has great restaurants, amazing architecture, bars all over, and has now been named Beer City, USA from what I have been told.

Once it is warmer, I am hoping to spend some more time downtown walking around and exploring.  I have been going to Grand Rapids my whole life, but the trips have always been to a specific destination in town and then we head right home (a la Founders trips).  They also host some great races, so maybe I will pick up a half marathon or marathon there this year.

So Saturday was a new, albeit short, adventure around Grand Rapids:

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Mad Cap coffee set up

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My favorite, the view from across the street from the Mad Cap:

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30 Days of New: Day 16

Day 16 offered up two new events for me:

The first was seeing a guy on a bike get hit by a car.  It is not as tragic as it sounds, I assure you.  I am not even sure the car hit the bike.  The car was slowly turning into a parking spot as a bike was passing through it and I think the biker just lost his balance trying to avoid the car.  He was fine, I saw him get up, but I am not going to lie, the sight of the biker doing that slow, almost controlled fall was kind of funny.  And the driver got out of his car like, “Um.. what the hell?”.  Slightly comical.

The second was pretty cool.  I sent a request for an intern from my alma mater to the same woman who helped me get my internship just 5 years ago.  I never thought I would see the day.

Cheers!  Careful to all you bikers out there.  

30 Days of New: Day 15

Even though I am writing both posts for the 14th and 15th in one sitting, the 15th deserves its own post. 

Yesterday was a sort of “up and down” day.  I spent a good amount of time on the phone trying to get in to see a specialist sooner than next week to have George checked out.  I have a friend in the area whose sister is a doctor and she recommended a few great specialists for me who she trusts.  The only problem is that getting in to see them ASAP is not easy.

I am not in a panic over George or really worried about what it could be or what it is going to take to get him out of there, but at the same time, I still have concerns, especially since I know nothing about this thing, or how difficult it is going to be to extract it.

The day picked up as it wound down, though.  I met my fabulous Aunt Laurie for dinner so that I could give her the disc of my scans.  She works with some of the best doctors in the nation, probably the world, and has promised to get it into their hands.  She has always looked out for me and had nothing but my best interest at heart.  Talk about a woman to admire, though.  Strong, independent, smart, great style and appreciation for fashion, animal lover and rescuer, the list goes on.  (And I don’t just say these things because she is a reader of my blog).  She is honestly a wonderful person, and it was so great to see her. (That is the “new” for day 15, a new restaurant where we met).

Feeling amazing and recharged from my dinner (fabulous women will do that to you), I arrived home to find all of the lights off, candles lit throughout, and the house clean.  I walked in to the living room to find Paul hanging out with the dog and cat, and he had set up a, for lack of better term, “snuggle spot”.  He knows I have been a little bit stressed, not feeling so great, and just figured I could use a relaxing, tranquil space to unwind from the day.  Does it get any better? 

I have amazing people in my corner, and no matter how benign or bad George turns out to be, I will always have these wonderful people to fall back on. 

30 Days of New: Day 14

Forgive me while I back-track a few days, I have been a little bit lazy. 

Now, I generally don’t like to include phrases like “satanic rape” in my posts, or in my adventures of doing new things, but that is what Sunday’s event consisted of.  Now before your mind wanders into terrible places, I will put the rumors to rest before they begin and tell you all that it is much more innocent than it sounds:  I finally watched “Rosemary’s Baby”.  

I feel like I have been hearing about this movie my whole life and about how creepy/awesome it is, so you can imagine how thrilled I was to see it on Netflix!

2 plus hours of strange later, I can now say that I have seen it.  Thank you, Roman Polanski.

30 Days of New: Day 13

Holy schniekies! I survived!  Not only did I survived the half marathon this morning, but I ran the whole thing!  Don’t get me wrong, it was slow… really slow, but I kept it moving.

this just speaks volumes to me about the power of the human body and mind.  The longest run I have done this year without walking is 5 miles, and that was about a month ago.  I was really happy to have found a do-able pace and a good breathing pattern early on in the race.

It was actually really cool to run through my home town too.  I ended up parking right across the street from the house my mom grew up in:

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And the race started in one of my favorite spots in Dearborn, a park I used to go to all of the time in high school that also is home to the sledding hill from my childhood.  

The race took me past the church where both my grandparents and my parents were married, down streets where I took my driver’s test, by the Dearborn Country Club, which my grandpa helped found, and past the neighborhood where both my aunt and middle school/high school best friend lived.  It was actually pretty cool. 

And, I got this awesome medal (cause let’s face it, one of the major reasons to run is for the medals):

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So, that is my accomplishment for today.  I didn’t think I was going to make it, but I did.  I actually didn’t even think I was going to run when I woke up this morning.  My alarm went off and all I could think was, “why do I do this?!”.  Half way down to Dearborn, falling asleep in the car, I thought to myself, “maybe I will just pick up my bib and t-shirt”.  I then did the math and realized that between registration fees and gas, that would t-shirt would have cost me about $110.  I am very glad I made the decision to do it. 

I hope that you all are having a productive, or at least enjoyable Saturday!