Hi, everyone! I missed you :). I made reference to returning to OR leading up to my hiatus but I never said outright that we were going there in early April. This blog is a record of my life – e.g. you can trace the evolution of my diet, and you can watch my thought processes unfold in real time…but not necessarily verbatim. Like when I started seriously considering visiting my hospitals when I went back to Oregon my insides revolted completely. I actually said out loud to God, I can’t and I won’t.
Unsurprisingly, the Lord changed my heart. In the following months I decided that I can, and now I can say I did. My theory that there would be enough grace in the moment when I needed it was correct. My job was to keep breathing. MommyDaddy did the heavy lifting. I think I tired them out.
Because old habits die hard I made a “book” with bright daily cover sheets and back-up materials of all the driving directions, details etc. we needed in the pages behind them. I used to be a highly proficient administrative assistant and could wrangle large groups of rowdy people/details in my Old Life but now I have trouble differentiating bw Saturday and Sunday so having me manage a calendar necessitates some flexibility on the end user’s part. Thanks for rolling with the punches, Mom and Dad!
We got off the plane at PDX and drove straight to Vibra (2nd Hospital) and saw M (“Anne” in Learning How…vol 1.) around midnight since she’s a night nurse. It was a great way to start the trip. She’s just as wonderful as I remember, although my perspective (no longer hazy, often standing instead of in bed or seated) is completely different.
Due to the longer flight and over overusage I developed some bright red spots on my lower legs that were painful and swollen but settled down quickly after I rested. Don’t worry – I kept Mommy informed and prepared to go to to the doctor but it wasn’t necessary.
I wasn’t surprised at the spots, bc I got some bruising on my quads and left hip (without hitting anything) when I started pursuing ORFR more aggressively in Feb/March. I told Mommy, my doctors, and my Trainers. Tanpo does not know about the bruising, I wrote to Coach R, bc he is on a need to know basis and at this point this information is immaterial.
I never informed Tanpo bc the bruises healed rapidly and 5+ other people were watching me and I didn’t want to cause him undue stress. We already routinely have conversations about why XYZ is no reason for him to take me to the doctor/ER immediately – I didn’t want to invite another one. I have since informed him in writing, though, as part of some paperwork we worked on together. Not sure if he read that part, but I’m assuming he knows. Also, let me remind you that he keeps me on a need to know basis, too– e.g. ever since I locked him out of our online banking accounts he’s not telling me the password. I’m like the giant wheel of cheddar in the Cheez It commercials and Tanpo is the white-coated doctor who checks off the “Not Ready” box on his clipboard.
Anyway, when I told my new PCP she was like, Okay – nothing strenuous for 2 weeks, and come see me if they don’t improve. When I emailed Coach R he immediately ran off to consult a physician next door and I told him, I think she (my PCP) was largely just kidding about the “nothing strenuous” thing…and nobody’s gonna die from some bruising, least of all ME!!
Trainer D’s response was, Oh, no, see – we HAVE been taking it easy!
Heh heh. Should’ve seen that one coming. But really, he was careful etc.
Coach R emailed me back and said kindly, Okay, but we’re still going to do what the doctor says!
The best part of our exchange was that I didn’t realize it but I was acting exactly how I predicted I might act if something like this cropped up. When I recruited Coach R to join Team Tanimal I told him that …when I get discharged [from Rehab] I tend to try and do whatever I want. Happily, Coach R understood what I need him to do (rein me in) and fulfilled his responsibility creditably.
He let me “run” on the AlterG (I used a lesser % load) but declined to give me any other exercises after that. I don’t think we should do anything against what your doctor’s telling you, he explained.
That’s bc you’re a good man, Charlie Brown, I sniffed.
But seriously, this is exactly why I asked Coach R to help me out. I agree with his theory that we’re waking up muscles I haven’t used in a while. After 2 weeks of “ease,” though, I was so not sore it was troubling. I told Mommy, I haven’t been this not sore since I met Trainer D.
As I prepared to go to OR I needed to pull it together so I could do the necessary planning. On my last day at The Running Gym I told Coach R my new theory:
I decided: Ain’t no one gonna die. I mean, if I didn’t die THEN, I’m not going to die now.
I really meant that God didn’t bring me this far for nothing.
There is a lot to be said about our trip but I can’t yet. It was pretty rugged – I would have spent more time there with a less-frantic schedule, but we took the flights that were available. I really didn’t know how my brain and I were going to manage but it turns out I ran on adrenaline most of the time, overslept when I couldn’t take it anymore, and told myself, “I can rest next week.” That said, it wasn’t the hardest thing I’ve ever done. The hardest thing I’ve ever done was to wake up, find myself in this situation, and live through those first few weeks/months scared, confused, and so tired. But now I’m 3 years post injury and I finally went back and saw the people who helped me live, and many friends who make it worthwhile. It was sad, but I’m glad I went.