Lent Day 10: Much better

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This picture was taken at the bird sanctuary at Busch Gardens.  He was eating popcorn out of other peoples’ hands.  A very nice bird.

I’m starting to feel better.  I’m still feeling some pain, but not too much.  This part is gross, but I’m starting have to clean the wound, because there is food stuck in the extraction sight.  It’s kind of uncomfortable doing this, and really, really gross.  I’ve stopped taking the pain medication, and am only doing the Motrin.

My mom and dad are arriving today.  I had planned on running today, but I think I will take a few more days off from running.  I plan on running Monday or Tuesday next week.  I just have a major headache and am having some sinus issues.  I can walk around, but anything more significant causes the head ache.  I haven’t gotten much running, writing, or anything else done.  On a positive note, I’m down about 4 more pounds :).

Lent Day Nine: Through The Ringer

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One of my favorite things to photograph is textures.  I haven’t gotten out much the last few weeks because of weather, and now I am modified bed rest until Friday.

I slept most of the day yesterday after the surgery.  I was awake enough to write on the blog, but other than that I slept.  I slept too much actually.  I didn’t sleep much last night.  I just took a pain pill, so I might fall asleep again.  It’s funny though, I was looking at the mirror, and it looks like I was in a street fight.  My right sinus is swollen.  I have the beginnings of another sinus infection– this is par for the course for me.  I normally get 3-4 of them a year.  I was told that I could have my sinuses fixed, but I was told that the surgery is only 40-50% effective.  They cut my lip during the extraction, so I have a huge bottom lip.  After a morning nap, I might shower and try to clean.  My parents are coming for a visit.  My mom, daughter, and I are walking the Seaside 5K.  I mostly do it for the Vera Bradley coupon you get at the end of the race.  I hope to snag both mine and my daughter’s coupon.  I am eyeing a wallet and purse.  I have done this race every single year for awhile.

I plan on walking tomorrow as long as I am feeling better.  The doctor told me that I could run as soon as I was off pain medication and the swelling is down.  Which should be Monday or Tuesday.  I’m up to running 6 miles or so now, and I feel great.  Next week I’ll be running 6-7 miles this next week.  I am trying to get a free entry to the Destin Marathon, which is debuting next April 2016, it’ll be the perfect warm up race for Grandma’s 2016.  After I am cleared from Physical Therapy (next week), I’ll start going to the gym 1-2 times a week to work out.  I’m looking forward to being buff…

P.S. If you have managed to read this blog, I applaud you.  The Percocet has taken effect, and I’m not 100% sure that I’m coherent…  I don’t plan on working on the novel today, as I don’t know how I will be writing…

Lent Day Seven And Eight: The Word Of The Day Is Terrified…

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I dug out an oldie for today.  It’s just too cold to go outside and take photographs.  Too cold and too rainy.  Tomorrow is supposed to be worse.  The highs are only in the 40s (yes! That’s cold for Florida), and the lows are supposed to be in the 40s and there is a chance of thunderstorms…

I was so on edge about both the appointment regarding my mole and the surgery.  I guess I should explain my fear regarding the mole.  About two years ago, there was a woman I was very close to while I was active duty named Vern.  I credit her for saving my life and career.  In 2002, I was in a chemical accident.  I got very, very sick.  My husband was deployed, and my Air Force career was in the pits.  After I got orders to Korea and my husband had orders to Germany, I decided to throw in the towel.  Vern was such a kind person.  One night, I was really depressed, and one night I drank a little too much.  I was about to drive home on icy Minot roads.  Vern took my car keys, and would not give them back.  She called a mutual friend Sarah, and she and Sarah made sure that I got home safely.  I didn’t get a DUI (career ending) or killed by driving drunk.  She talked to me.  She was the funniest lady, and her humor was infectious.  In 2012, I got the news that Veronica Hutfles passed away after she fought a long battle with skin cancer.  She found a mole on her neck in 2005.  She thought she had won the battle when I saw her again in 2008.  The cancer came back in 2010, and this time it was aggressive.  It spread to her lungs.  She lost her battle in June of 2012.  So when I found a mole on my back, and I got really, really nervous.

I went in today, and was told that I do not have melanoma, like Vern.  I do, however, have Basal Cell Carcinoma.  It is a common form of skin cancer, and is not likely to spread like melanoma.  I just will need to keep a close eye on it.  It is not likely to be deadly, and I will be going into a dermatologist every six months for cancer checks.  I also will have to be more assertive about using sunscreen.  This form of cancer is common with runners (that’s what my doctor told me), because we are outside, and often times sunscreen comes off when we sweat.  So please runners, use sunscreen, cover areas where moles can form and are not readily visible (along the hairline, or back of the neck — for women with longer hair), and watch any moles grow or change.  Most significantly, if your mole starts to itch, bleed, or peel– go in!

As far as my wisdom teeth go, they are now out, and I am on bed rest for a few days.  The medication I am on is pretty wonky, so pardon this post as it may be rambling and not make much sense…  On a positive note, with no solid food, I lost a good 3-4 pounds, and 48 hours on bed rest has given me ample novel writing opportunity.  I am over half way done with “The Last Man On Earth.”  I may rework the title, and am currently working on the cover.

Lent Day Six

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This is not a rock formation, rather it is roots of a cypress tree that long has fallen.  The creek shapes the tree roots when the water is high.  When the water goes down, the tree roots make these twisted root formations.

I ran the longest run today since the marathon.  I ran inside, because it rained off and on all day.  I’m getting nervous for the  surgery.  I did manage to get an appointment on Wednesday for the doctor to look at my mole.  I don’t know what I’m more nervous about– the mole or getting my teeth out.  I also have my first physical in forever.  When you have a child with autism lots of things go by the wayside.  My health care is one of those things that gets put off for him than anything else.  I don’t go into the hospital unless it is life or death.  If I am completely non-functionally sick, I will see the doctor.  If my teeth hurt so badly that I can barely eat, I will see a dentist.  It’s hard to justify seeing a doctor when my children are not 100% taken care of.

March is coming quickly.  And March is always a busy one.  The first week of March, I’ll be getting the mole removed and a few other doctor appointments to get myself back on the bandwagon.  The second week of March, I’ll be getting my Coach’s certification re-upped.  I had a certification when I was in college, and I let it go after I was no longer going to be an education major (in the 1990s).  I decided that with my personal training certification, and running certification, I can maybe restart a coaching business.  I love writing, so I think I’ll write training and nutrition plans and publish them on Amazon.  The third week of March, we will be in Orlando for Spring Break.  When we get back, it will be Easter week.

Lent Day Five

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I found this princess wandering the neighborhood last week.  I don’t know who she belongs to, but she followed me for a few miles until someone drove by and recognized her.  I didn’t want to let her go with them, but found out later that she got home safely.  She’s a Pitbull mix, and was really sweet.

I’m having a little bit of apprehension the last few days.  I go in on Wednesday to have my wisdom teeth removed.  I’m ready to have them out.  They do hurt like the other ones did, though they are not nearly as infected.  My biggest apprehension, though, has nothing to do with my teeth.  A few years ago, a very dear friend of mine passed away from complications due to melanoma.  I found a mole on my back, actually it is a series of moles on my back, in an area that’s hard to reach.  I found them after I noticed that one of them really itches.  I’m prone to hives, my skin is quite sensitive, and it’s dry here. I have many parts that itch at various times during the day/week.  Needless to say, I am going to go into the doctor and have them take a look at the moles.  Of course, I googled the symptoms and discovered, because I figured if I had melanoma (I have not been the most careful with sunscreen), that I would know if it spread.  This is not true.  If cancer becomes stage II or stage III there are often no symptoms.  I strongly urge all runners note any moles they may have on exposed skin (the part of my back is exposed in a bathing suit, and I live in Florida), check them, and if they start changing go to the doctor.  This has been a shadow over my weekend.

Lent Day Four: I Made A Huge Decision…

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Water Lilies are about to bloom, despite a few nights with record lows, Turkey Creek is teeming with life.  I cannot wait until they start blooming.

I made a large career decision yesterday.  I decided to self-publish my books.  The first novel will be available on Amazon.com in April.  I’m finishing up the final stages of editing, and my husband (who happens to be brutal when it comes to editing) will be doing a final look at the novel.  Once the editing it complete, I will be building an author’s page on Amazon, and the book will be for sale for $6.99.  I plan on actually self-publishing any books I write from now on.  With so few books getting picked up by big name authors, it makes more economic sense to publish self-publish the books and save the time and money on trying to find an agent, editor, and publisher.

Lent-wise, we had my son’s Cub Scout Pinewood Derby initial race today.  Sad to say that Mater did NOT win.  After we got back from the Pinewood Derby, I went for a nice run.  The weather is getting warmer and it was quite windy.  When I got back, my daughter wanted to go on a run as well.  I went for another 1.5 miles with her.  Now, we are getting ready for the first baseball game of the season.  Tomorrow should be a much easier day.

Lent Day Three: Why 15,000 steps???

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This cheeky little fellow lives in a grove of trees in our front yard.  He teases my dogs…

One of my goals during Lent is to walk or run 15,000 steps a day.  This comes out to around 7.0-8.0 miles a day.  I normally do much more than 15,000 steps, because I just can’t sit still, and I don’t have much better to do during the day.  When I finished running NYC marathon, I knew I was injured.  I knew I was injured the around 5 weeks before the marathon, but I felt I had to do it. I tried running the first part of it, and was doing very, very well.  I was set to finish at around 4:10 hours, but by mile 19, I was beginning to feel my back.  I walked from mile 19 to around mile 23, then ran off and on the rest of the way to the finish.

I stopped running, but was not able to get in to see the physical therapist until after the New Year.  By the time I was able to get back into physical therapy, I had gained 15 pounds, and topped the scales around 152.  I started walking.  At first, I walked 10,000 steps, which is around 4.5-5.0 miles.  When the therapist cleared me to run.  I would run around 1 mile during 4-5 mile walk.  I am now up to running 4-5 miles, and walking a few miles here and there.  A few weeks ago, I upped my step goal from 10,000 steps to 15,000 steps to make it somewhat more challenging.  Since doing this I have lost around 18 pounds, and started to lift weights. The biggest improvement has been in the number of inches I have lost.  This plus adding a healthy  diet, and giving up alcohol, by the end of Lent, I should be down an additional 15-20 pounds.