Cold Calling

Howdy, folks. I hope you’ve been having a better week than I have!

I’m going to keep today’s update short, because I just took my first dose of cold medicine, and I don’t trust my ability to formulate coherent sentences until I know how it’ll affect me. Long story short, last week was one of those unstoppable weeks where everything I did was better, stronger, and faster than before; I managed ten whole minutes on the elliptical for the first time! We went to see The Sound of Music (the musical, not the movie) in Seattle on Monday night, and had a great time, and I thought it was going to be a great chance to rest and brace ourselves for the rest of Week 26.

Imagine my surprise when I got home and realized I was tired. Not just long-day-and-lots-of-walking tired, but falling-asleep-on-the-couch tired. This is unusual for me; I’m the sort of person that almost never “feels” tired until I’m already in bed, and I often have trouble falling asleep right away, even when I am tired. I do have occasional days like that since starting 20/20 though, so I chalked it up to a tough workout (which it was) and headed off to bed. The next morning, I woke up coughing, sneezing, and feeling like my head was underwater. Of COURSE I’d get sick now. Two weeks before the end of Phase 1. Of COURSE.

There’s something going around at both Google and the Pro Club right now, so I’m not surprised; the first bug of the school year, combined with the abrupt shift into fall weather from sun and heat, is a recipe for a lot of sick folks in the Washington area. So far John is unaffected, and I’m hoping he can stay that way. He’s been doing a great job of trying to be helpful while maintaining a healthy distance from me, which is something I’m both grateful for and unused to. Before 20/20 started to teach us the importance of putting our own needs first, he was always willing to get close and spend far too much time with me, even knowing he might get sick. I always tried to object to it, but I’d gotten used to it over the years and accepted that it was just the way he did things. Now it feels a little strange to have him at arm’s length, even if I know it’s the right thing to do. Romance is all well and good, but with in-depth programs like ours, it pays to be prudent and not run unnecessary risks.

As for me… I’m on official medical hold for 20/20. This is the preferred way of handling illnesses or injuries that last more than a day or two, as it preserves your scheduled appointments and allows you to reschedule them for later in the program, as opposed to throwing them away. Unfortunately, it also means that my program will now be running past the expected finish dates. John will still be completing Phase 1 in two weeks; I’m expecting to be a week or so behind him. This shouldn’t affect very much, since Phase 2 for us will be more of the same for the most part, but it’s still a little disheartening to break things up after staying in lockstep for 26 long weeks. I’m furious that I have to take the time off, especially when I was starting to amaze myself with how well I was doing, but I’m doing my absolute best to focus on resting and getting back into the saddle as soon as I can. Anger might get me back to the gym faster, but not in any state that would benefit my overall health or workout capability!

Updates from last time, before I sign off (the medicine has started to fuzz me out a bit by this point…)

Most of you know this by now, but John’s surgery was very successful, despite a host of delays! Construction and power outages impacted both the traffic light situation outside the hospital, and the hospital itself, on the day he went in. I was able to stay calm and navigate everything well enough to shock both John and everyone else I’ve talked to; apparently the affected intersections are notorious for being difficult even when they ARE functioning as expected. Because of the power outages, we ended up being at the hospital late enough to leave in the midst of rush hour, so I can add “navigating Seattle rush-hour traffic at intersections with no power/lights” to my list of things I thought I’d never have to do. I even managed to get my steps in by walking around the hospital while I waited, my self-workout for the day in at home, AND make food for a ravenous husband for most of the rest of the night. If I weren’t already aware of how much I’ve changed over the last several months, I’d have to accept it now – there’s no WAY I could have handled all of that before.

That said, I did write a cranky email to my dietitian after having to manage lunch at the hospital cafe. I nearly needed a hospital myself after finding a case full of sandwiches ALL featuring fat amounts in excess of my daily limit! I realize that these things might be less of a challenge for a person that isn’t trying to actively lose weight and meet the conservative targets that we are, but folks like me/us are going to be visiting from time to time, and a stressful environment is the last place you want to struggle to find something suitable to eat! I had naively assumed a hospital would know better… but they have to serve people who are stressed, upset, and want all the worst options to try to soothe their nerves. There are times on this program where I’ve had to sit back and shake my head because everything they’ve been telling me about how society and stress influences our choices is 500% accurate; this was one of them. It’s the one thing that I still struggle with talking to others about, because until you’ve seen it for yourself, there’s really no good way to explain it! Hence the dietitian; I needed someone who understood exactly how frustrated I was and why, since John wasn’t around to do it for me! Thanks, Lynne.

(For the curious: I found one vegetarian hummus wrap in the case with no nutrition info on it, and ended up choosing that. Though it wasn’t as much protein as many of the other options, and I didn’t have the exact information for the wrap, I couldn’t imagine a world in which hummus and some veggies would come anywhere close to the fat grams listed on the other items. I still ended up being a little over my goal for the day, but it wasn’t because of that; I didn’t do the math as closely as I should have on one of the things I made for John, and thought I could share it with him. Thankfully the weekly average is the important part; we’ve been taught how to handle this without getting off track.)

We just heard from pathology earlier in the week, and as before, the consensus is that John had a large polyp in his stomach, positioned such that his typical blood flow was causing it to tear and bleed, hence the anemia. It wasn’t and isn’t cancerous in any way, despite the size. The staff asked us if we wanted to see it; of course my curious husband wanted to see it, and I’m the curious sort myself. (Dissecting cow hearts and eyeballs in elementary/middle school, and having diabetes for 25+ years, does a lot for one’s constitution.) From what we could see through the semi-opaque liquid it was in, it was a roundish ball about the size of a quarter, maybe a little larger, attached to the stalk that was keeping it stuck to his stomach. The doctor said it was much larger than they’d expected from the previous endoscopy reports, but it’s gone now, off to aid in further research for people in the same boat. We’re so very grateful that everything went well, and though we’ll still have to wait to see if this solves the anemia, there’s no doubt that this is a step in the right direction.

And with that… I’m off to rest. I’ll catch you all up once I’m back to routine. Here’s to hoping all of you can avoid coming down with this, or something like it!


One Comment
  1. Carolyn

    So sorry for your cold. I see this was written over a week ago, so I’m hoping you are feeling much better by now. That is a bit of a bummer that you and John are now on different weeks of the program, but continuing encouragement to both of you! Also- Thank you for taking such good care of John on his day of surgery… from driving there, to waiting and supporting him while there, to rush hour traffic home, to the care and feeding of him once home. (smile) I appreciate it all very much, and Huge Kudos to you for the driving!!

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