I’m Not Ok, and That Needs to Be OK.

So yesterday I posted to my Facebook that recovery is hard. In all reality this should not be a surprise to anyone. Surgery is invasive, foreign, and hard on a body. I did not however expect it to be so hard on me.
I think of myself as a strong and independent person. Capable of just about anything I set my mind to. Right now I am struggling to make it through my commute to work, followed by the 8.5 hours at work, then the commute home which is grueling, then eating and passing out. Lather rinse repeat.
Remember when I worked 10 hour days, stayed up for so many hours at a time with no sleep, worked out at the gym for 2-4 hours a day… now I am getting winded from walking up the three flights of stairs.
I think this galbladder surgery has killed me. I hate having to rely on others to do things like carry my groceries, or lift something. I am under lifting restrictions not just normal ones but extended ones because of my EDS. I worry that this hard spot on my side is a hernia already since I cant seem to remember just how little 5lbs is.
My husband says he doesnt mind helping out, but I dont like to burden anyone with asking for things or help.

I am feeling a full range of emotions at any time. I can only explain it to myself as Trauma. In the span of a moment I can feel everything from sadness to anger to happiness and fear. The pain, comes and goes, in weird ways… not anything like what I experienced before they took my galbladder out but stabbling pains, and aches I assume are related to my Fibro and EDS and lack of movement.
I feel my progress slipping away. I feel the depression creeping in as part of my recovery and I cling to the thought that this won’t last forever.
The reality is though, my recovery has it’s own timeline. There is no magical date when I will be able to put my jeans back on and feel normal again. There is no knowing when I will start to feel human again. It will end, but there is no end date for me to circle on the calender.
Right now I am looking at FitBloggin to be my reprieve. That is right at the end of my expected full recovery window and what a reason to celebrate with my friends and family right?
But the darkness looms here… and I am fighting… but I am not okay… this is hard… and I am fighting. Fighting to get up, fighting to get through the day, and fighting to get back to healthy again. <3

When Life Becomes Real

So for those of you that are friends with me on Facebook or Instagram, or follow along on Twitter you have probably seen the fallout of what has been my last week of trauma with the drama-lama.
For the last month or so I have been dealing with some glabladder issues. I had an ultrasound to confirm there were infact stones, and they adivsed that not everyone that has stones needs to have surgery. I was in the process of exploring the medicinal options, and vetting surgeons that dealt with larger patients along side of having everyone telling me just to do flushes… which I’m sorry I’m just not intereted in. Friday at work I noticed a change in the color of my “output” and knew something was up with my liver. The color was wrong. First I thought it was simply dehydration, as I had no appetite after throwing up the night before. I did my best to push fluids, but I wasn’t hunigry or thirsty. This continued thru Saturday, no real pain, but no appetite, and no thirst. Sunday morning(April 19th) when I woke up I was having THE worst pain in my life.
I turned to my husband who was soon to go to bed and told him we might need to go to the ER. I waited around for a while, twisting, turning, trying to find a good position in the bed. Nothing was helping. I got up, got into the shower, cleaned up and told my hubby it was time to go. Off to the Emergency room we went. He was such a good sport the whole day having not slept.
Once at the ER thankfully we didn’t have a very long wait, maybe 15 mins before I has been triaged and put into a room. They got the first IV in me and I was drugged, and that took the edge off, I still couldn’t get comfortable but it was enough to make the tears stop. Initial tests in the ER showed by liver panel basically like I was headed into liver failure. My levels were off the charts high. I was taken for another ultrasound, nothing was ruptured, but there were not more stones and my liver had likely been compromised. I was going to be transferred to another hospital via ambulance for surgery ASAP.
More pain killers, and even more now that they could see what was going on, an ambulance ride to another hospital with the possibility of surgery Sunday night on the horizon.
My ride was, nice… I was drugged, and chatty. I talked a lot about my husband and how wonderful he was for staying awake with me. The guy riding with me asked how we met and they thought it was pretty awesome.
Sunday at I’m not sure what time, maybe 5 or 6 I sent my hubby home, I knew it wasnt going to happen. he team came in and told me surgery would be the following day as early as 0930 I was being added on. About 10 PM I got a roommate (who was super sweet, but snored louder than a buzzsaw with a microphone attached) Shortly after she arrived they did a glucose on me since I was about to go NPO and I had been having a headache for hours. I chugged 5 juices, ate PB and crackers and still I was dropping. They did a D50 push of sugar through my IV and that bumped me to a “safe” level. About two hours later my original IV from the ER infiltrated and they had to call to have a new line put in.
Monday was a long day, lots of waiting. They came to get me and after about 3 hours in pre-op my surgery was scratched. I tried to keep my best attitude knowing that someone in the OR was having a much worse day than I was. My surgeon, and the nurses, and other staff appreciated my understanding. I didnt mind being pushed off the books because i had a scheduled time the next day… If we couldn’t get an OR time the next day we were going to just do it at the end of the night… with a tired doctor… and staff… and risk it. Monday night I was in bed, and my arm started feeling swollen, sure enough IV two had infiltrated. The team was called to put in IV #3. I asked for a larger IV this time since it was indicated they needed a larger one for surgery anyway.
Tuesday went much better, there was a little bit of transport issues or pre-op but when I got there (with my St Kate’s student who was going to observe my surgery in tow) everyone remembered me. All Hail Kris! It was pretty cool that everyone was like hey we remember you! Guess I am pretty memorable.
I guess the sedatives they put me in a little time warp. I remember going into the OR, and getting onto the table. I remember my surgeon coming in and talking with her briefly, where she told me what an awesome patient I am for my understanding. I remember the oxygen mask, and them saying, we’re going to start the drugs to put you to sleep, and I breathed a few more times and I was gone.
So I had a Cholecystectomy– or glabladder removal. I had the laparoscopic version of this surgery, which I am SO thankful for. My surgical team did a great job. My incisions look great. There is fear over potential infection in my bellybutton, but I am using Interdry to help fight that.
After they got my inflamed galbladder out they started the next procedure is called an Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography or (ERCP). They went full on with the dye injection and there was a stone blocking the duct 100%. The dye did not move or flow past the stone. No wonder there was so much pain. They had to cut the stones loose. This procedure led to me developing pancreatitis due to the dye floing into my pancrease from the procedure.
I remember vaguely being horribly bitchy in recovery when they told me that my support team had left. I gave Robb’s phone number and said try again, and low and behold who was there. He wasn’t there when I went into surgery, but he got there right after I went under and was in the same spot didnt even move for a snack. I guess anesthesia makes me bitchy like a child, becuase my grumpiness continued for several hours. I did notice that I had IV #3 still in, but capped off, and IV#4 flowing. My right hand however where I was yet to get an IV was covered in SIX stick marks and bruises.
I just wanted a drink, and I couldn’t have one. No one would tell me why. I slept a lot coming out of surgery, comforted by the fact that my husband was by my bed. They allowed me 1 cup of ice chips every 8-12 hours is what they were telling me. NOT OK. During the night a doctor came in and I asked what happened during surgery and got all the details finally about the surgery, but not about why I hadnt been started on post-op clear liquids. I knew something was wrong. During the night I went low again and they pushed D50 through my IV again. It burned, I cried, like major pain. I come to find out you arent supposed to feel that going in.
Finally when I saw doctors in the light of day they explained that I had pancreatic enzyme levels that were off the charts. They had bumped my IV fluids back up to a higher level of sugar. I paged my nurse… IV#4 was clearly infiltrated, they hooked back up to IV # 3. The docs said I could have clear liquids and I was on the phone in a snap. In a matter of a few hours IV # 3 had infiltrated as well.
My awesome nurse was fighting for me to not need an IV at this point. She saw the bruises beind left, and documented the event that happened from the D50 that went throught he vein into the tissue. (which is still lumpy and bothering me). Sadly the team was called to put in IV #5. I requested the ultrasound IV team come to find a good vein since we had been busting every site. They found a site for me, placed the IV.
I was so tired of being poked. I just wanted to go home. my Pancreas was still too messed up to go home. I still needed to stay longer but the caveat was I could try solid food! I had been up and walking the floors of the hospital several times and making great progress.
Thursday I was walking more upright, eating solid food and ready to go home. The last IV #5 had finally infiltrated despite it being unhooked the nurse could tell it had started before we stopped it the night before. I ate my breakast and hung out with a different St Kates University student. I encouraged her to ask all the questions she had and let her do all the things she needed to do. It was nice.
I went home Thursday, and I’ve been working on my recovery since. It is a long slow road. I didn’t think it would be this hard. I have something going on with my shoulder, they aren’t sure what it is. They scared my yesterday with talk about pneumonia, or a pneumothorax but we’re guessing the culprit is trapped CO2 from the procedure.

So I’m here… recovering. slowly.

When You Struggle

We all have our struggles. Each person has their own set of struggles. They may be with making it to the gym or they may come in the form of making better food choices they all exist. Different circumstances change our struggles. Struggles for time, struggles for money, struggles for any number of things come into play everyday.

How do you manage your struggles? What is your plan of action? Do you have a plan of action for each situation that befalls you? What is your plan when you are struggling to workout? What is your plan of action when you know you are struggling to eat well? How about when you are just spiraling into a bad headspace?

I struggle A LOT with some very serious depression issues, and often I don’t see them coming until I am in the thick of things. It always starts off slow but ends with me completely withdrawn isolated and feeling so alone.

With the emergence of spring now, I know that many of the cases of winter blues are lifting. I do know that this is also another time of year that can be the cause of excuses developing for me.

I know now that I have a whole team of people that I can reach out to. I am in the process of actually WRITING out a plan of action to try and keep the idea that I am not alone in my struggles out there.

What kind of plans do you have for your safety net or your struggles?

**brought to you by Jury duty where you cant use the stairs… Elevators only**

Eyes Ahead to Fitbloggin

So here we are, in the thick of winter in Minnesota. It’s cold and it’s been “dark” here for what seems like eternity.  It’s dark when I get up for work most mornings, and the sun in setting, or set when I leave work.  The “real feel” temp this week was -33 when I went to work this week.  Key in the ignition of the car and I closed my eyes and hoped as it cranked hard, and then eventually purred to life.

Realistically I know the daylight is lasting a bit longer everyday, as I can see the sun out of my office window a little higher each day.  As I mentioned in my last blog post, I am inching my way into the anniversary of the”jump” that changed my life.  You have to jump before you can soar, or fall flat on your face as the case was the first time.  Last year when I left my job it could not have come at a more critical time.  I truly was at the end of a truly frayed rope, that had been tied and retied so many times. I as a shell of a person.

I was so afraid that in leaving my job that I would not be able to make it to Fitbloggin in Savannah.  Fitbloggin is Family.  I needed my family.  I needed my family more than ever after quitting.  When I attended Fitbloggin in Portland, I knew I needed to follow my heart and get thing in order… I didn’t attend the whole conference in Portland.  I spent some time connecting with actual family… that got me to my center… any a year later in Savannah, I cried when I saw my fit-family… and I cried as they departed, I held back sobs in the cab on the way to the airport in Savannah.

Savannah Fitbloggin provided me with the reinforcement I needed to know that I was on the right path.  Coffee and quiet heartfelt conversations, laughter so hard that it gives you a headache and the spins.  Hugs from Mickey Mouse… I mean Cmon… where else do you get a sense of belonging and acceptance no matter what choice you are making because it is what is best for you.  Even now thinking about Fitbloggin I get misty eyed.

This summer brings the opportunity to travel to Denver for the “family reunion” this year.  I can’t wait to see everyone again.  I’ve never been to Denver, just as I had never been to Savannah or Portland.  One of the great things about Fitbloggin the last few years is that it has been moving around. This allows us to see different cities and experience different things.  More than that it allows people from different parts of the country to get to the conference, that couldn’t based on the previous location.

One of my fears again taking the job I have now is that I wouldn’t have vacation to get away for Fitbloggin in June… right now my eyes are on the PTO accrual prize to get my 24 hours accrued so I can put in my request so I can have Thursday, Friday and Monday off (because who want’s to go back to work on a Monday!) I will have the time in, despite having to serve Federal Jury Duty in March, so I will be there.

I can’t wait to get #AllTheHugs and have #AllTheFeelings.  I have been working on my goals that I set for myself during the #JustTrollin session hardcore for the last few weeks and I am actually seeing results.  Now that I am finally in a stable environment with my job where I feel secure I am getting “into the flow.”  I want results by the time I reappear at Fitbloggin even if I am the only one seeing the results of my work.  The changes I have made I don’t know that I would be as comfortable with without my friends. It’s time to thank everyone!

Are you coming to <a href”http://www.fitbloggin.com”>Fitbloggin</a&gt;? If you haven’t been before you don’t need to be afraid, people are VERY welcoming.  Plus you can always come find me! :D

Timehop is Tough

So I am sure most of you have heard of Timehop. It is an app that lets you look back at your social media history for the last few years and relive the past. It is a fun tool most of the time. It lets you relive fun things that may have slipped your mind. Little moments of joy, peeks into the biggest joys of your life, or successes, also lets you know if you are straying from your ultimate goals.
With most “time travel” things it does pose that risk, bringing you back to bad memories. I’ve relived deaths in the family, loss of friends, memories that are tender. Right now I am batting through what ended up being the last month of employment with the job that led my healthy lifestyle so far off the rails I cannot even begin to describe it. Aside from the weight gain I incurred with that job, despite trying things like changing gyms, and different food plans I was the worst on my mental health.
I am watching little flashes that I let be public on social media, that didn’t nearly display the horrible state that I was truly in. Yesterdays timehop showed me a post about Mark. Mark was the man who passed away as I started my job. A friend. A friend whose job I stepped into, I got the job because he was at death’s door with lung cancer. He drank, and did pills to numb both the pain of the cancer, but also the pain of the job. He told me not to become a lifer in the job. I still hear his words in my mind, I remember my last visit with him before he passed as I sat with him and his daughter sharing laughter and wisdom, kindness and fear.
I am so thankful that I am not where I was a year ago, but I am sad for that part of me, the part of me that allowed myself to be made a victim by my employer. Treated poorly, by being disrespected, not trusted to do my job when I did it better than anyone that had been in the position before me.
I look at timehop and see the epic meltdown backbuilding. I feel the anxiety in myself… I right now in present day feel it. I shouldn’t feel it… but I feel it with a bit of laughter, along with all the fear and stress. When I left that job I did have a backup plan. It wasn’t a fool-proof plan… and it was a plan that too would fail… The failures have led me however to a place where I feel that I am finally happy.
I should be able to let go of that pain at this point.
I feel almost as if I am dealing with some sort of abuse syndrome, because I can’t let go. Part of it is probably because my husband still works there.
My husband makes it a point not to involve me in the politics of the office, but does pass along to me that I am missed by my coworkers. I have in fact received countless texts and calls, even now approaching a year later I still receive texts and calls asking me to please come back and ask for my job back. As if I was fired and did not leave on my own accord. I often think, if they had paid me more would I have stayed… and the truth of the matter becomes, the way I had been treated, or perceived being treated could not have been outweighed by even a doubling in my salary.
Has my mental health recovered at this point? …I fear it has only partially recovered. I worry often about my employment status at my current job. I was finally brought on full-time in December, so I am no longer a temp with the company which means stability for myself. I work with a great team of people, and company with values and a mission that match my own. The fact that I have the ability to effect lives and help people, even if I can’t directly do it, means the world to me. It takes more than one person to do it, and a team can effect change. I do still worry about those I left behind at my former job, when I get texts complaining about *whatever it is* be it the working condition of a vehicle, the hours, the attitudes etc I simply say perhaps it is time to move on.
We all have to reach our tipping point on our own.
unfortunately I can see that I reached that tipping point, the boat flipped, and I climbed back on to try to save everyone… and that was just simply the wrong thing to do. You can’t save everyone Kris, especially when you yourself are so lost. My heart hurts for the old me… but is open for the opportunities in front of me.
I am on Day 12 of eating right and tracking my food. It is nowhere near the years of tracking I had as a streak before but every record starts with two in row and I need to start somewhere. So here I am… water, coffee, yogurt and my iPad finding a voice in the darkness as the clouds start to clear.

Beginning Day 6

So here I sit, at the car dealer waiting on an oil change. The smell of buttery FREE popcorn lingers in the air mixing with the fat and sugary smell of FREE puffy fluffy doughnuts from a local grocery store. Endless refills of coffee tea and water are at my disposal and I sit tap tap tapping away on my iPad.
Today marks Day Six of what I am in my head labeling my reboot, or reemergence into conrol. Yesterday my wonderful boss bought the whole team lunch, from Chipotle. Yea, Chipotle…. That means free guacamole, yoknow they charge extra for that right?! … Normally I would be beside myself excited for a chance to get my Salad/Bowl on and I wold jump at the chance to have Chipotle,but my lunch was already in the fridge. Just take it home and have it for dinner my coworkers told me. Dinner was already at home in the fridge.
I stood my ground and an ate my pepperjack burger, with sweet potato chili slices, and jicima and drank my water. I avoided eye contact with the guacamole. I won. Do I want Chipotle… yes… will I eat Chipotle again… yes… but did I decide that if I am going to splurge on something off my designated plan right now it should be with y husband.
Free food is EVERYWHERE, and it is a trap. It’s a trap I fall into fom time to time, and I know I have written about before. Whether it is the upsizing of America where for only $.50 more you can get twice as much orthe fact that there is food everywhere. My appointment here at the car dealership this morning I knew was going to be plagued with doughnuts, so I ate before I came, I have my water and coffee with me here at the table, and I have my snack in my bag.
These are habits I have followed all along, but I have fallen away from tracking and measuring. Tracking is SO crucial to success for me… but more than tracking is measuring, and that is where things get so tricky for me. I get so obsessive about things being precise with my measurements. I accelled in science and chemistry because I wanted those things to be SO PRECISE.
I hve been tracking my food intake for six days now, along with food I am working on just rounding measurements. Not grams and quarters of calories and points of grams of fat. I am for the most part trusting nutrition labels to be what they say they are. I am not scooping my Yoplait greek whips yogurt out of the cup to weigh it and make sure it is or isn’t actually the weight and calories it says that it is. (Yes, I am well aware that this is a sign of an eating disorder)
I am working on the very cliche progress not perfection motto right now to get myself back to feeling better. After only just the first, well five full days, I feel like I am already noticing a shift. I am sure that part of this is just the “motivation momentum” and the commitment part will still have to kick in. But I am really afraid that I am going to slide back to where I was back in 2009 if I don’t start to turn things around. I want to be the Kris from 2011 before I made the deision to take the “job from hell” that really led to my fall from grace.

And they lived happily ever after.

Thats where the blog ends folks. Or so I was deeply contemplating. I mean, after the termination of my job just before the wedding my footing was shaken. Deeply shaken. I wondered, no I vocalized to my now husband that I had made a mistake in leaving my old job, you know that job the one that sent my healthy lifestyle backward.
I was jumping, spreading my wings trying to follow through on the goal that I had set for myself with my 2014 word of the year. Do you remember that word? Honor… It’s been ringing through my mind the last week or so since it is time to either set a goal, make a resolution or pick a new word for the year.
Looking back at 2014 did I do enough to deem my year a “success” and who would be the final judge of that. I left the job where I was not being challenged in a way that was positive. The job I was in on January 1, 2014 was one that was not a positive one for me in many ways. It was slowly killing me, mentally, physically, emotionally. I jumped, and didn’t land in a place that was the right fit unfortunately. Did that mean that I wasn’t honoring myself or was I still honoring myself because I continued to fight to find something new, instead of jut going back to what I knew? Was I tempted to return to my old ways? Yes, mildly and for the wrong reasons.
I pushed forward in 2014, searching for a job where I would be part of something bigger, where there would be value placed on my suggestions. I found a job with a company where I am happy, and I feel that I will be able to make a career for myself. A company with values that match mine and a mission and vision that I can support.
In 2014 I of course got married, Robb and I fortified our now 10 years together surrounded by friends and family. We weren’t very traditional about it. We brought together our families, because it was important to them to be there, and our chosen family because it was important for us to have them here. Laughter was what I wanted most from our day, and bacon… both of which were plentiful that September morning.

So why the though of leaving the blog behind? I have kind of lost my voice during the last year. I have been so focused on trying to honor myself, I have felt that I didn’t need to share as much. That said, January 3, 2015 would have been the 3rd anniversary of my taking the job that I think was the biggest backward step in my healthy journey. I need to go back to square one as I can feel my health, what is left of it slipping away from me.

In November I got another medical diagnosis, PCOS. Not surprised, it was always lurking in the background, likely made worse by the rapid weight loss that happened before. So I need to start meal planning, exercise, water all of it. It all needs to start again and if I become obsessive I will have to cross that bridge when I come to it.

So in the trend of New Years Posts… and being undecided about how much I will blog 2015’s word of the year is not a word, but a phrase. Make choices based in intention not from habit.

Happy 2015 friends!