Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Celebrate Miniature Milestones & Memorial Day Weekend

Sunday (5/24/15) marked one month since my surgery! It's amazing how quickly time has gone, and what has changed since my surgery. I last left off filling you in on my 3 week follow-up with my Cardiologist, which, if you read, went really well! If not, he said I could work my way back up to running, and start with some light yoga. I have yet to do any yoga, but last week I did sign up for a "New To Yoga" class at a yoga center, and that won't start until July. Mom and I have also been going for some brisk walks since I was "released" to increased my aerobic activity. As always, it feels great to get out and move in the fresh air.

This past weekend, my parents went to Canada for the long weekend, and so they dropped me off at my house. Words cannot describe how great it felt to be back in my home for 3 days! We drove to my house on Friday, and my parents left from there on Saturday morning. Since I am still unable to drive, I talked to my friend Melissa earlier in the week, and she said she would pick me up at take me to the Color Run, so I could see all my coworkers, and celebrate with them at the finish line as they came running through in a rainbow of color. I got up that morning, and put on some of my favorite running/yoga tights, a long sleeve shirt, and a light jacket. It was cold out that morning, and I knew I would be cold watching all the runners from the sidelines. Well, as it turns out, I decided to run with them!


(Color Run fun!)

I had registered for the run before I knew when my surgery would be, and then when surgery wasn't scheduled until April, I had thought there was no way I could do it. I figured if I took it easy, I would be fine. I'll recap the color run later, but I had a blast! After the color run, Melissa took me back to my house, and I spent the day relaxing. Since I had got up early to be ready for Melissa, I took a nap, and then spent the evening watching television and movies with Coco.

Sunday morning, Nita picked me up at 7 to take me to the Team RWB 21 Guns WOD With Warriors Crossfit event that one of our teammates was hosting at a local Crossfit. At the event the participants had to run 400 meters, do 21 push ups, 21 box jumps, 15 burpees, and 9 pull-ups, and keep cycling through the workout for a total of 21 minutes. Since I am unable to do any weight bearing exercise, I watched as all of my teammates pushed through the challenging workout (I know if I had done it I would have died). I was just so thankful to get out of the confines of my house and see my friends and meet some new people. Even just being able to talk to people was great - after being at home alone for 3 weeks, I'm starting to go a little crazy.




(2015 Team RWB 21 Guns WOD With Warriors. Photo Cred: Andrew Follett)

After 21 Guns, Nita and I went back to my house so I could change my clothes and grab some money, and then we ventured back to her house. She changed and then we went out to breakfast with her husband and their family that were in town. We hung out at her house for a few hours, then headed to the mall for a few hours. On the way back from the mall, we grabbed some Thai food for dinner, then Nita brought me home around 10. Definitely the busiest day I've had since my surgery, but it was A LOT of fun!

Monday morning I got up at my usual time, made my coffee and sat down to watch Live with Kelly and Michael. I've been setting my alarm for 8:45 AM to make sure I get up, and I've also been going to bed between 10:30 and 11 (most nights). Doing this is important to me for two reasons. One, so I wake on time to watch Kelly and Michael, and two, so when I do go back to work, I won't be completely exhausted because I've stuck to a certain schedule. I spent most of Memorial Day lounging around my house, until my parents got back from Canada. I sat out in the sun for a bit to read a Runner's World Magazine, then went inside to binge on Young and Hungry on Netflix.

Now that I've recapped my Memorial Day weekend, let's update on how I'm doing now that I'm one month post-op:

The Good: Celebrating miniature milestones everyday!

Increasing My Aerobic Activity:
As you know, I had been going on brisk walks with my mom. Now you know I ran/walked my first 5K this past weekend. Like I said, I'll get into that with my Color Run recap, but it was very exciting for me! (Celebrate Miniature Milestones)
Yoga:
I have not started doing any yoga yet, and I'll get to that below. As you know from above, I did sign up for a yoga for beginners class. That gives me something to look forward to for when I get back home. It will also help to increased my flexibility, which I'm certain the little bit I had (which wasn't much) I've lost.
Mederma:
I spoke to my surgeon on the phone last week, and he said as long as all the scabs from the incision were gone, I could start using Mederma on the incision to help reduced the appearance. I've never used it before, so we'll see if it really works. The scar this time around is not going to be as prominent as the one I had as a baby, so I'm not too concerned, but I figured why not try.
My Level Of Exhaustion:
This has begun to improve as well! For the first few weeks after my surgery, I would get up, have my coffee and eat breakfast, watch a few shows. Then after I ate lunch, I could barely keep my eyes open, and would need a nap. I no longer need a nap everyday, some days I still take one just because I can. [giggles] After talking to my coworker about it, she said it was completely normal, and to take the naps when I felt I needed them. It's all a part of the healing process, and I needed to listen to my body. She also told me last night, I needed to be knocked down like this because I was always on the go (which is true). I have a lot of energy for someone who is living with congenital heart disease, and going through this surgery and recovery has certainly tested my patience, but it's for the best. I told her to wait until I get back to work, I'm going to be like The Flash, and have all this new found energy! She said she already forewarned my coworkers that I'd be running circles around them, ha ha.

The Not So Good: I don't want to say bad because nothing bad has happened since the suspected Pulmonary Embolism incident a few weeks ago.

Sternal Aches And Pains:
I still have aches and pains in my chest. Honestly, I think my sternum itself has healed, it doesn't feel like pain from that. It's more musculoskeletal in nature. The pain that is currently nagging me the most is hard to describe. It's on my right side, and sometimes extends from my shoulder across my clavicle to the base of neck where the clavicle and sternum meet. Sometimes if I bend over to get something, I feel a sharp pain in my neck almost as if a tendon has snapped across a bone. It's truly the strangest sensation, and very hard to describe other than that. That is why I haven't started any yoga yet.
It's still hard for me to lay on my right side in bed without getting pain in my shoulder and chest (almost along the same area). I'm sure it's all a part of the healing process, but I'll talk to my doctor about this on Thursday when I call. What little chest pain I have is just the muscles still healing and getting settled. The nerves are still irritated as my chest is still sensitive to touch around the incision.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day and took at least a moment or two to honor those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom.

QOTD: What did you spend your Memorial Day doing? Were there any parades or festivals in your area?

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