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The Journey: Part 2

Dr. Denman is a young doctor, well she looks young. The first time I met her she immediately reminded me of a combination of two of my greatest friends and roomies from college, Meg & Mis. She was quick-witted, smart, confident, gentle, and equipped with the best sense of humor. I immediately felt like my “rocks” from college were with me in that room. After she explained what the surgery entails, she said “You can’t have sex for 6 weeks.” Then she smiled and said, “You have a 7 1/2 year-old and a 4 year-old, I’m sure you’re fine not having sex for 6 weeks.” I thought that was brilliant, because she made me laugh and she was right. I was definitely more concerned with not running for 6 weeks rather than not having sex for 6 weeks. Scheduling my surgery with Dr. Denman was a no brainer, since I felt like Meg & Mis were somehow in that room with me.

What I loved most about my experience at OHSU was that every person I came in contact with was a woman – check-in, nurse, anesthesiologists, surgeons, assistants, etc… I felt so proud and comforted seeing all of these intelligent, capable, and kind women in this setting. When Dr. Denman met up with me before my surgery, she had the same demeanor and perhaps turned it on even more because she knew she was behind and I had been waiting around for awhile. Of course, if you know me, you know that I’d probably sit quietly for hours, waiting patiently. I listened to the conversations around me and watched the busy medical personnel rush around from patient to patient. I listened to caring, thoughtful words of the staff with various patients. I didn’t mind having to wait at all.

In preparing for this procedure, there are two things that worried me most – going under general anesthesia (I have a crazy weak stomach) and not being able to urinate after the procedure (needing a catheter). About 45 min before I went in to the operating room, this young, beautiful anesthesiologist told me that she wanted to just put me in a deep sleep but not go under general anesthesia. I was thrilled! Dr. Denman agreed and before I knew it I was being wheeled into the OR. I think I was talking to them when I fell asleep because I woke up talking to them. It felt really funny.

People have asked me why I don’t drink alcohol and I say things like, I’m not me when I drink, I make poor decisions, etc… That’s what most people like about alcohol, but I like being in control. When I was coming out of my “deep sleep” I really enjoyed the feeling and I noticed that I am really good at pretending I am ok. I can walk fine and communicate well but in reality, I am really trying to hide my not-in-control feeling. The nurses kept on saying “Wow. You are doing great. Wow. This is amazing. I’ve never seen anyone recover so quickly.” Feeling that good feeling, enjoying it, and also being able to “get by” that I was fine was another reminder that living substance-free is definitely for me.

One thing that I couldn’t fake was emptying my bladder. Luckily, I was able to empty my bladder completely earning applause from the staff and a “I’ve never seen that!” I was able to be released without waiting any longer or get catheterized. Upon discharge they gave me a prescription for Norco for the pain I’d most likely be feeling the next day. I told them I didn’t want it and I’d be just fine with Tylenol. My husband took it just in case.

This morning, Joe asked me what it felt like. Dr. Denman said that I’d feel like I got kicked in the groin really hard. I had asked if it would feel like I did after giving birth and she said “close.” I’d like to report that it doesn’t feel like either of those things. It feels like I got stabbed in the abdomen in two spots. It hurts, but I know I will be fine. I will only take Tylenol. I will continue to rest in my bed. Miles doesn’t have school today, so we will snuggle in bed, play Lego, play the “Marble Game,” watch the Peanuts Movie and read books.

The journey continues!

Thank you to all of my friends and readers for checking in!

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Personal Bests. Personal Records. Wins. First Place. Runner Up. Age Group Winner. Overall Female or Male Finisher.

Wow! These all sound wonderful and thrilling to accomplish. I, for one, have reveled in the wake of a top finish. However, as I progress in my running “career” I’ve found new meaning in logging miles and collecting race bibs. When I was in high school, most of the girls in my school did not run and did not think it was fun. In college, I surrounded myself with a few more like-minded peers, but still the majority of people that I knew did not run. Every year that I kept on racing and putting more miles in my legs, I met more runners like me. Some were super competitive and others just ran for fun. From the very beginning of my running days, I’ve considered myself to be a slightly above average runner, so competitive racing naturally became a part of me. I had finally gotten my full of hard track racing while running on the incredible GBTC team. To this day, it is one of the best experiences I have ever had when it comes to running. As the years passed I got faster, but not fast enough to be considered an elite athlete and so I slowly found myself developing a different mindset towards running.

In my late 20’s-early 30’s I started hopping into fun races like the Hot Chocolate Run, 80’s run, Nike Women’s 1/2 Marathon, Hood To Coast Relay, Halloween 5k, Holiday Dash, plus more, and I realized that it’s fun to compete but even more fun to just have fun! I also started noticing the number of runners that weren’t really there to compete, far out numbered the competitive ones. When I started taking stock of who was running and the stories behind their running, an emotional connection to the races and fellow runners budded inside. A shift from wanting to be in the front at every race to running for health, strength, and enjoyment took over. Leaving my competitive running team in SF (short-lived team member for Impala Racing Team), running on my own for a few years, and finally joining up with Oiselle Volée was the last bit I needed to fill my nutty running legs up with joy.

When I go on my FB feed I see friends from way back, who were never runners before, posting their running photos from various races and runs. I’d say that more than half of my FB friends are a part of a world that once didn’t exist in their lives. Being a part of Oiselle also gives me the opportunity to learn and meet people of all abilities who enjoy running as much as I do. To me, this is so beautiful to watch the power of running unfold. Some run for health, for fun, for a family member, for sanity… the list goes on.  20 years ago I felt like I was a part of a very small group – runners – and people thought I was a nut because I loved it so much. Now, I have runner friends to be inspired and encouraged by wherever I turn. So, to all of my runner friends who are worried or feel bummed by places, times, and wins remember that your efforts mean so much more than any of those things. You are contributing to a lifestyle or world that is deeply woven in some of us and it thrills us to have… company! Go out and have fun on your runs! Work hard, give it all you’ve got and remember that you always have a runner friend cheering for you!


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