23 July 2014

Birthday Weekend

Anara's and Cameron's birthdays are 2 days a part. We call the day in the middle (the 20th of July) between day. This time of year for the Richard's family is generally a 3 day party event that Anara begins planning before the decorations from the last party are even taken down. This year we ran into several snags for the party-palooza. For starters I had surgery 2 days beforehand. Then there is that thing that we STILL are not back in our house yet. Grandma, daddy, and Nia did a great job at making the weekend fun and special for them though. John and I took Anara out on a mommy-daddy-daughter date the night before my surgery. Nia decorated grandma's house the night before Anara's birthday. Between day was celebrated at Chuck-e-cheese. Anara and Cameron had never been there, and they loved it. Grandma ordered birthday cakes for each of them and made Ember and I a gluten free cake. I was of course not in on much of the birthday action from my bed, but they did bring me cake!

18 July 2014

Recovery: quick update

It's almost 7 am and I've been in the hospital for about 24 hours now. I came in yesterday to have a scope done with the possibility of either having a hysterectomy or a nova-sure procedure done. When Dr. Gapp got inside me with a scope he found several endometriosis tumors so the nova-sure option was then out the window. Thankfully the tumors do not appear to cancerous, but did need to come out.
So, my most dreaded part of this whole ordeal is finally hear, the recovery. And I'm feeling a pinch silly for being so worried about it. After as sick as I have been since Ember was born, I finally have some relief. Yesterday after I got to my room (post surgery), my response to John when he asked how I was feeling was, "I realize I've got some big pain killers in me, but I think I feel better now than I have in months." I've allowed to pain killers to wear off and I'm now certain I feel better now than I have in months. As I began to realize how well I was doing was more than just my meds, I started crying tears of joy. So, now my biggest dilemma now is that I'm supposed to be resting and laying around in bed for the next 6 weeks, when for the first time in a long time I actually feel like I want to get out and do things. I do realize that the hormone issues that come along with a complete hysterectomy can be really hard to handle over the coming weeks, but at least the pain is gone and menstrual related migraines. I have a lot more energy today than usual too. My abdomen is obviously score & bloated.

One of the seriously scary parts of this has been my blood pressure. It has running about 150/105 on medication. It's not an absolute certainty that my blood pressure has been totally hormonal related, but this morning it was 111/69 with no blood pressure medication today and only 1/2 of my blood pressure medication yesterday, so my hopes are high. We are also hoping that my issues with blacking out are gone, but we will only know this with time.

My recovery time...
My nurse came just came and they will allow me to go home sometime after breakfast. I am not allowed to leave the house or really do anything for the first 2 weeks. My nurse threw in there, especially tending to kids. After this point I can start doing a few things like go out to dinner or maybe to church. After the 4th week, I can build up closer to normal activity. Like fry and egg, but not make a whole meal. After week 6, I can start getting back to normal and week 8 I can resume normal activities. It should be about 6 months before I feel normal according to my doctor. 6 months! That is time frame that had me scared out of whits. If today is any indication on how the next 6 months will, I think I'll be ok.

07 July 2014


For the first time in years, um ok so it's been a decade... or almost 2, I hit the gym today and joined in a fitness class. It's been so long since that happened that, the last one I was in was an aerobics class. In fact at the time you had two options for classes; aerobics or a stretch class (we didn't know fancy words like yoga in these parts way back then). And here is the kicker, I was the teacher.
Fast forward to today's world. Angel, a friend of mine teaches a class called "Devoted Fitness." (You can read Angel's blog, My Journey to 200here) So, what is devoted fitness? It's a dance class done to praise and worship music with prayer at the end. I have to admit it took more than one invitation to get me into the gym, but they do have free childcare and with John gone this week, I'm dying for adult conversation. Plus with last week's doctor visit, I decided I should do everything I can to get as much weight off as possible before going under the knife next week. Aside from all of that, now that I have actually gone to one class, I'm definitely going back. I had such a great time! I really liked we worked out to praise and worship music, I try to avoid secular music. I also love that we ended with a prayer. And, I have more energy today than I can remember having in months (maybe years). That's saying a lot since the boys decided to take turns playing the keep mommy up all night game last night. I should be moving around today with only the fuel of coffee, but I feel great. I LOVE how working out gives you energy.
So what happened in my life to get me out of the gym in the first place with no intent of ever entering a fitness class again? As I mentioned I was the teacher. I was in great shape. Most of the people in my classes were also. It really loved having new people in my class, but I had one or two regulars in each class that REALLY didn't appreciate anyone elses efforts to gain good health. Being the instructor, I guess they just felt compelled to tell me about it. So, when I moved away, I just never wanted to be that newbie I guess. 
Then something else happened. A few years passed, a few pounds piled on, and at some point John and I decided to join a gym. I had spent the previous 2 years very ill and mostly in bed, so I was incredibly weak. We had been going to the gym regularly for about 5 or 6 months. I still opted not to take on any classes, but I had gained a good bit of strength and endurance in that time and was feeling rather proud of myself. Then I was using a machine one day and I noticed a trainer kind of staring at me. I thought about my form for a minute wondering if he was going to point out something I was doing wrong. Nope, he came right over to me and started hounding me about how someone my age should be able to handle more weight on the machine. We're talking a 2 or 3 minute mini-lecture here complete with a fat joke. When he finished he asked if I wanted him to add more weight to the machine. I responded telling him I had spent 2 years in bed and the current amount of weight on the machine was really all I could handle. His response, "My bad," with a little chuckle. In the grand scheme of things, not a seriously horrible thing to happen. It was enough to make me not return to that gym. Well, except for a haircut or two, they had and excellent salon that was far away from the trainers.
I'm determined not to let some jerk's opinion put a roadblock on my path to a healthy lifestyle this go around. If for no other reason, a healthy mommy is a better mommy. I had so much more energy when Nia was a toddler than I do now with the boys. We were always going on hikes, swimming, or playing with some kind of ball outside. I kind of feel like I'm cheating the boys with the lack of activities we do together. I can count on one hand how many times I've done all of those things with Cameron. 

03 July 2014

Surgery Scheduled

Feeling a bit down today. Went in to schedule my surgery today, which thankfully I was able to do (A few weeks ago I went into schedule it and was told I wasn't well enough to do so). Here are the issues I'm looking at though...
The doctor feels a complete hysterectomy is the best option (no arguments here). However, with my current size, a hysterectomy becomes a very difficult procedure to perform. So, the best way to do it is vaginally. Since I recently had a 10 pound baby, the doctor feels this shouldn't be too hard. BUT, it's possible that he won't he able to safely and will only know if it's doable once he gets in there with a scope. He isn't comfortable doing a hysterectomy on me with my size in another way. If he gets in there with a scope and feels it's too challenging to accomplish a vaginal hysterectomy, then he will do a novasure. Novasure cauterizes the inside of the uterus & aids women with extreme bleeding issues. Either way, the bleeding during my periods will either be gone or won't be as bad... all the other issues it may or may not improve. dizziness, blacking out, migraines, cramps, extreme backaches, swelling, crazy weight gain before my period, mood swings, hot/cold flashes, fluctuating blood pressure, those things are only going to go away with my ovaries gone.
The surgery is scheduled for the 17th, we'll see how it goes.