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Catching Up 3.0

I think it’s fair to say that I’ve got some catching up to do, eh?  These past two weeks . . . if I could erase them, I would, but since I can’t, I guess I’ll go forth.

Despite my world being turned upside down, life has had to continue, albeit at a different pace.  Grief has a way of slowing a person down, to the point where some days, you’re doing good to put one foot in front of the other.  Thank heavens for friends who continue to check in with me to see how I’m doing.  I received a card and Amazon gift card from my precious friend, Kris.

She and I have done numerous online Bible studies together.  She has a heart of gold. ❤

So, back to the blogging . . .

To help me gauge where I last left off as far as blogging goes, I’m digging into my Flickr account.

Ugh.  Loads and loads of pictures, because that is something I’ve managed to keep up with . . . photographing and uploading tons of pictures so I can remember every moment of every day.

I can be extra that way.

I have been doing a crap-ton of reading . . .

Poolside and in the pool as well . . .

I must have read the second book right after.  Alas, but I didn’t take a picture.

I started on the Throne of Glass series (shout-out to Megan, who’s dying for me to get to the last book so we can discuss the characters).  I will not get to Once and for All until I finish this series.

Y’all, Throne of Glass is every bit as good as Megan promised.  I flew through the first book.

While I waited for the rest of the books in the series to arrive from Amazon, I started on the third book of the Storm Siren series . . .

I loved this series!  I have discovered that I like books that delve into magic powers.  Perhaps one day, I’ll finish the Game of Thrones series.  I’m in the middle of the second book and refuse to watch the series until I either finish or ever (I’ve heard it’s a bit graphic).

Meanwhile, my new books arrived . . .

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I do believe I hear angels sing when the Man in the Brown Truck delivers Amazon packages.

In the middle of reading all of the aforementioned books, I also participated in a Proverbs 31 online Bible study . . .

This book needs to be read by every single person.  We all tell ourselves lies that, gasp, we actually believe.  Jennifer’s wise words, inspired by the Holy Spirit, and her gentle leading to scripture passages, help readers learn strategies to combat the negative crap that goes into our thought closets.  I’m going to be keeping this book close at hand to refer to.

I haven’t just been reading; I’ve also been working out.  The only day I missed was the one in which Molly passed away.  I couldn’t even pick up my arms that day.

I did my workout the next day . . . and cried throughout the entire program.

I have been keeping at it, though, and I’m starting to see results.

I’m currently doing Body Beast, another Beach Body program.  It’s a weight training video series, my favorite!

I really, really like it.  It’s definitely challenging, but the payoff has been worth it.

There are even weights incorporated into the cardio and ab workouts!!!!

Yesterday, when I was brushing my teeth, I randomly looked up and saw a little bit of arm muscle action going on.  The vain part of me was a teensy bit happy.

Please ignore the pink thing around my waist. It’s my Flip Belt, which I wear when I’m walking. It holds my phone and kleenex. I love it, but it’s not very fashionable.

Pele and Gambit have been sticking close to me since Molly passed away.  They don’t stray far even during my workouts.

I’m trying to walk at least three days a week.  I spread my walks out around leg day because my ankle still cannot handle too much at one time.

My pace isn’t great, but whatever.  My only competition is my brain and my bum ankle, both of which come out battered some days . . .

This was my ankle after a day of only doing a shoulder workout . . . no walk that day.

I keep trying to put into practice the lessons I learned during my Bible study . . . I am not defined by my circumstances.

The last person to finish a race is still a finisher, same as the person who came in first.

The fact that I’m getting out in the heat and humidity means I’m trying . . .

I read the following quote in my Bible study book:

I’m going to print this, laminate it, and display it prominently in my classroom as a reminder to my students and to myself.

One small snafu in my workout plans happened when the new ear buds the Mr. gave me for Christmas stopped working the DAY we left for his surgery.  I was not very happy; monkey wrenches and I do not get along.

I called the company because they were still under warranty, and the representative I talked to was extremely helpful as he explained the return policy.  After emailing him a copy of my receipt, he confirmed that my pair was still covered.  He then sent me a pre-paid mailing label to print out with detailed instructions on how to package them up.  I had them in the mail the day we got home from the hubby’s non-surgery.  I got a new pair in the mail on Monday . . .

I absolutely love these ear buds.  Even though I’d purchased an Apple watch a few weeks ago, it doesn’t do a good job tracking my heart rate when I lift weights.  I had done some research about this and discovered that the reason is that your blood vessels constrict when you work out, so it’s hard to keep a consistent and accurate heart rate on the watch.  The ear buds check your pulse through your ears.

Now, I will say that the power cut out on me three times yesterday when I was walking / working out, which was not good at all.  I’m going to track the issues and, if necessary, return them again.  Ugh.

One thing I learned while I didn’t have my ear buds was that I could still use the Record app, which is done by Under Armour.  My Apple watch connects to it via Bluetooth, so I can start workouts from either my phone or my watch (the app also installs on the watch) and track things there.  MyFitnessPal (my food app) receives the workout information from the Record app.  This has led me to believe that you can use the Record app with any Bluetooth enabled tracker.  Interesting, eh?  Oh, and I used my regular iPhone ear buds while I waited for the Under Armour ones to arrive, and I still got updates about my progress (calories and distance) from the Record app.  So cool!

One other thing I’ve been doing over here in the land of Auburnchick has been eating out with the Mr.

One day, he texted and asked about dinner.  Here’s what I sent him . . .

He wanted to know if I wanted to meet one of the guys he works with.  He even mentioned Mexican food, my favorite.

Thirty minutes later, the transformation was complete . . .

Forget the Today Show makeover.  All I needed was a straightener and my own makeup.

Last week, we visited an one of our favorite restaurants, Bonefish Grill.  We had not been there since I was in my boot . . . way back in January.  I wore a new shirt, which the Mr. had ordered for me.  Bonefish Grill has the kind of ambience you’d wear it to . . .

The back just makes this shirt . . .

What a lovely dinner too . . .

Don’t be hatin’

Edamame and the House Salad for me.  I can’t exactly remember what the Mr. got, but he was very happy.

There’s still more I could update you on, but this post is way too long already.  I’ll have to save the rest for another post (or two or three).

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When Distance Ain’t a Thang

I love the interwebs.

I love how friendships can grow and distances can be bridged.

My friendship with Rebecca is one example.

This girl and I have been friends since 2006 when we started reading each others’ blogs.

I do truly count her as one of my BFFs.

It’s because of her that I started doing virtual races.  I won’t lie.  I thought virtual races were weird.  At first.  Then, I started signing up for the HRC races, and wham bam, I was hooked.

You might remember the Halloween race we did together . . .

Then, there was the BFF race we did a couple of months ago.

Well, last Saturday, we did another BFF race!

I loved seeing her picture when her medal arrived at her house . . .

It’s so motivating to have a friend you’re accountable to.  Knowing that she was doing the race in her little corner of the world gave me the extra oomph to go out and walk my own miles.

I got my distance in first.  I think she might have actually cleaned her house or performed some other super-amazing domestic duty before she got out.  Here in Florida, you’ve got to go before it gets too humid.

I was seriously sweating, y’all, when I finished.  Even walking at 9am was brutal!

I’m tough and pushed through.

I sent Rebecca my selfies, and when she finished, she put our pictures together . . .

Her shirt was just fabulous!  She has the best workout apparel, y’all!

Totally borrowed this from your blog, Rebecca. Hope you don’t mind!

I hung up this medal beside the last BFF medal we got.  I’d sent her the half that made the heart whole because I sometimes manage to plan well.  Even with my teacher brain on vacation, I did something okay, eh?

It felt good to add my race bib to my collection (I use a bib holder that I ordered from Gone for a Run).  I know that the medals might seem kind of childish to some people, but to me, they are symbolic of perseverance and a determination to push myself beyond what I sometimes think I’m capable of.

Thanks, Rebecca, to always being open to doing these races with me!  ❤

Catching Up – Part 2 – Virtual “Walks”

I am continuing to catch y’all up on what’s been happening at Chez Auburnchick when I haven’t been writing.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve participated in a few virtual races.

In April, I completed the Unmasked 10 Mile Run for Your Life, hosted by the Hogwarts Running Club.  All proceeds benefited the charity, To Write Love on her Arms.

I had to do the race in three segments because that distance was way too far for me to cover in one stretch.

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Leg 1

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Leg 2

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Leg 3

I was thrilled when the medal came in.  Isn’t it fantastic????

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Look at the back!  The HRC always designs the loveliest touches to its medals.

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In May, Rebecca and I did the Best Friends Forever 5k.

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She had contacted me about doing it quite a few months ago, but my ankle wasn’t nearly ready to undertake that distance, so true to her nature, she waited for me.

We designated May 13th as THE day.

I got out early and wound up with a decent pace time . . .

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I was so excited to add the medal to my bling rack . . .

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We’d done a Halloween run last fall and had a ton of fun sending each other selfies, which we’d put together into a collage.  She created one for the BFF run.

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This gal continues to inspire me.  She NEVER gives up.  She constantly challenges herself and is always willing to try new things.  I am so grateful that God brought us together through this blogging world.

Upcoming Races

I am currently registered for three . . . yes, I said 3 . . . races.

Oy vey!

I’ve got the HRC Sirius Half Marathon.  Look at the artwork for the t-shirt . . .

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Borrowed this image from Booster.com

Proceeds will be donated to Mission K9 Rescue.

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I’ve already started covering the distance and have about 2/3 of it done.  Yay me!

I recently signed up for a local 5k.  I’ll be doing that race in a couple of weeks.  Wait until you see my outfit for it.  Bahahaha!

On Wednesday, I registered for the We Run Free Because of the Brave 4 Miler, sponsored by Gone for a Run.  This race will benefit the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.

So, despite my ankle recovery, which seems to be especially tough right now, I am trying to keep doing my thing.  It’s not easy, let me tell you.  The pain I go through after each walk is bad.  I don’t really know how much of it is normal or if I’m pushing myself too hard.  That’s a conversation I frequently have with my physical therapist.

It feels great to be out and about again, and I absolutely love that my registrations are going to worthwhile causes.  This is definitely a win-win for everyone involved (except maybe my ankle).

Bionic Ankle

It’s 6:12 am, Eastern time, that is, as I begin writing this post.  An hour later than home, but I’m not at home.  I’m two hours away, nestled on my in-laws’ couch. right leg elevated.

The deed…it has been done.

I arrived at the surgical center yesterday afternoon for my 2pm check-in time.

That, by no way, meant surgical time, mind you.  They were all about filling out more paperwork…signing my life away to the procedure I was about to have…paying my portion of the bill that the insurance didn’t cover.  Let’s just take a moment to praise insurance, though.  I know a lot of people bemoan it, but I have good insurance, so I cannot complain.

I had to do the pee-in-a-cup thing, because all women within the childbearing age span get to have this fun experience…just in case.  For the record, I’m not.  Thank goodness.  😉

Then, I was whisked away to a hospital bed to begin preparing for surgery.

I loved my English-accent speaking nurse.  She was so gentle, listened to my fears about needles, and gently got my IV ready.  She assured me that I’d be given medicine for post-surgery nausea, which I have a tendency to suffer from.

The Mr. got brought back to me, and we did some waiting.

A lot of it, actually.

Chicky arrived about an hour after we got there, and she did some waiting with us.

I hadn’t seen her since January; her presence made me so happy.  I love this girl so much, but our lives don’t often intersect with her being a super teacher down south and, in general, living life on her own.

The anesthesiologist came by for a chat. Can we all say a Praise the Lord for this profession?  I think that all who enter are screened for great personalities.  I’ve never met one I didn’t like.  He was kind and funny.  And uber professional.  He knew his stuff…knew about my procedure…and set my fears at rest.

We discussed my having a nerve block that would last about 24 hours after surgery.  I couldn’t sign that paperwork fast enough, let me tell you.  I am brave about some things; pain is not one of those things.

He left, and we waited.

And waited.

Periodically, there would be people who would visit my “room…” nurses who would ask me to repeat my name, birth date, and which procedure / which leg I was having work done on.  I wanted to say, “the one with the cast,” but I was being nice.  Ahem.

Chicky left to get her and the Mr. some food…and to visit her Grandmama and utilize her washing machine.  Priorities, folks!

While she was gone, my surgeon came by.  This man though.  He had been so frustrated with me at my first visit for clawing myself to the point where we had to delay surgery that I was a little scared.

I didn’t ask him the questions I mentioned in yesterday’s post.

I’ll ask those questions when I got back for my first post-op visit on the 1st.

He did write on my right toes, though.  I believe I saw him make a smiley face on my big toe.

He was all smiles himself as he described the procedure.  His bedside manner was on point and soothed my heart.  He promised to be back as soon as he did one short procedure for another patient.  The man was busy!

Meanwhile, we waited a little bit more.

I was so very tired.

And scared.

I’m not going to lie, but I grew more scared the longer we waited.

The Mr. did his best to calm me down.  He didn’t want my heart rate to go too fast and delay surgery.

He spoke words of encouragement…words I desperately needed to hear.

He offered me my phone, which he NEVER does, to distract me.  I was too tired to do much besides read a few text messages and Facebook posts.  I quickly handed it back to him.

His main job during surgery was going to be keeping our friends and family updated.

Finally, they began to wheel me back to pre-op.  The Mr. gave me a hug before I left.  I wanted him to stay with me.  That man had been the center of my world this past week…my rock.

Off I went, though, to a room that was divided into sections…each dedicated to its own surgery.

I had heart monitors attached to my chest, some sort of thing put on my leg to check impulses (I never once felt it), and other cords fastened every which way.

I even had an oxygen tube stuck under my nose.  Things were getting very real.  Very fast.

Heck, I felt like I was going to be on one of those hospital drama shows you see on TV.

Ha!

The nurse placed my right leg on a high table in preparation for the anesthesiologist.  He was going to do the nerve block before surgery.

I got really, really scared.

He’d told me that he would be giving me three shots and an extra one in my big toe to ensure that all of my nerves would be given the pain-free juice I’d need.

I.

Hate.

Needles.

And pain.

Did I mention that?

Y’all are not going to believe this, but I slept through the entire thing!

I kid you not.

The fatigue of not sleeping well the night before and a long day of anticipation had worn me out.

Maybe they put a little something something in my IV too.  Who knows.  I’d signed away my life, so it’s possible.

I woke up as the nurse was removing my oxygen tube.  My leg was off the table and completely numb.

Praise Jesus!

I was then wheeled into the operating room.

One operating room.

With lots of big lights.

I remember looking up and wondering about the pattern of the individual light bulbs in each light.

Yeah.  I had some happy drugs, I think.

I was introduced to someone who was prepping a surgical table.  I don’t remember his name.  He turned and waved.

I was moved from the bed I was wheeled in on to a surgery table.  I had to help move my body over.  That was interesting.

Then, I laid back as some sort of mask was held over my nose and mouth…not tight…just enough to breath into.

I thought that I’d never fall asleep.

Ha!

Out I went like a light.

I slowly came to in a recovery room, a different nurse at my side.

My throat hurt so badly.  She told me that they’d put a tube down my throat during surgery.

Thank heavens I was out for that.  I don’t think I would have liked that.

She gave me red Gatorade to sip on and began helping me get dressed.

I’m glad I had taken my leopard print Victoria Secret bra with me.  One must always be fashionable…even when having surgery.  You never know who’s going to see your underclothes.

The Mr. was brought back to see me.  I think he was smiling.  Chicky was there too.  Most of my heart  was there in that room.  I know the others were with me in spirit.

While the nurse was out of the room gathering paperwork, the Mr. told me that the doctor has spoken to him after the surgery.  He’d said that it had gone well, but that he’d discovered that my bones are very brittle.  He’d had some difficulty getting the pins inserted because of this.

As you know, I’ve been a vegan since 2016.  I don’t eat any animal products, which means I have to find creative ways to get protein and calcium.

Apparently, I’ve done a terrible job of this.  I will not be moving away from my vegan lifestyle.  It suits my tummy and other innards well.  What I will be doing, and what the Mr. has already begun doing, is researching how to put more calcium into my body organically.  I don’t do supplements.  My stomach cannot handle them, and I know the body doesn’t process them well.  I will probably have to up my caloric intake.  That’s another issue I need to deal with.

The doctor told the Mr. that my ankle injury was an accident waiting to happen.  As such, I know that I need to make changes quickly so I don’t incur another such injury.  I do not want to be an old lady who has to have hip replacement surgery.

When the nurse returned, she gave me a lot of detailed instructions.  I love that she looked right at me and spoke to me.  She was just so amazing.  The Mr. and Chicky listened on closely.  They knew I’d remember exactly 10% of it.

One cool thing was that she recognized me from the Mr.’s parents’ church.  How weird is that?  We attended it twenty years ago when we lived here and have been back yearly for Christmas Eve services.  My in-laws are very, very active in the church.  I’ve been on more than one prayer chain of late.

God is so wonderful when He makes connections like that.

She gave me lots of paperwork.  Among them were copies of my x-rays.

Y’all, they look like pictures from Frankenstein’s surgery.

There are many, many pins inside of my little leg.

Many.

There’s a plate in there somewhere.  I’m going to have the doctor show me where during my next visit.  It’s on the inside of my leg, but I don’t know where to find it on the x-ray.

Regardless, it was an intense repair, and it’s going to require much healing.  God is the GREAT physician, so I’m not worried.

Finally, it was time to leave.  She wheeled me out.  I had been the last surgery of the day.  It was both dark and cold.  I shivered like crazy.

Fortunately, the car was warm, and the Mr. gently navigated us back to his parents’ house.

What a loving reception I got.  These people have cared for me through so much…so many times when I have been unlovable.  I am so grateful for their unconditional love…something I never had growing up and something that’s been hard to accept all of these years.

The Mr. left fairly quickly.  He’d been driving back and forth to care not only for me but for our fur babies back home.  I hated that he was driving so late, but that’s what love does. ❤

Meanwhile, the in-laws gave us instructions on how to use their remote controls and how to turn off the light switches.  It can get complicated, y’all, I kid you not.  Then, they headed to bed.   They were slap worn out from the long day as well.

Meanwhile, Chicky had been assigned babysitting duties. She was to be my night nurse, relegated to the long couch.

She was wonderful.

I got hungry, so she found some crackers for me.

That was only the start.  She then fixed me a can of soup and got me a glass of orange juice.  Strange combo, I know, but when you’ve been through what I have this past week, you don’t question such requests.

Then, after a couple of trips to the potty, we were set to go.

We watched a bit of TV…an episode of Timeless, which I’ll have to rewatch when I get home because I had a hard time focusing on it…before turning out the light.

I slept pretty good and mainly woke up for my pain meds.  By 5:30, though, I’d had enough.  I had to sit up and catch up on my social media.

I needed to blog before the words were forgotten in the haze of pain and medicine.

I’m starting to feel the effects of the nerve block wearing off.

That’s a good and a bad thing.  The good is that I’ll be able to feel my toes again, which will make me feel less claustrophobic.

The bad is…well…the pain.

You might remember that I don’t like pain.

I am already feeling it on the inside of my ankle…the part I obliterated.  It’s the side that now houses a plate.  I feel as though I have a bionic ankle now.  Ha!

So, I’m asking you to continue praying, if you will.

This pain is going to be no joke.

It’s going to require that I pull up my big girl pants and deal, the best I can.

My goal is to return to work on Monday.  I don’t know how, but I am determined.

I’d like to see the pain reduced a bit before I go in.

I’ll probably be in a wheelchair.  Crutches and me…we are slowly getting to be friends.  I’ll be renting a scooter as soon as the doctor gives me the green light.  That’s when the fun will begin.

Please pray for the Mr.  He stresses.  A lot.  About everything.

He’s a good man.  He’s typical, though, and has a need to see things fixed.

He hates to see people in pain…especially those he loves.

This injury has reminded us both of so much.

We need each other desperately, especially now that our kids are grown and living their own lives elsewhere.

He’s usually been the sick one of the two of us.  I’ve been the caretaker.

Oftentimes, not a great one; frustration and impatience are my enemies.

Not so after this.

Though the Mr. has gotten frustrated, he’s balanced it with attention to detail.  That man has come home from the grocery store only to hear me vocalize a desire for orange juice, which I must have dreamed about while napping while he was gone, and then he has left again to pick up a gallon.

Just because he wanted me happy.

He’s a gem, and he’s all mine, ladies.

I might be willing to rent him out for a small fee, though.  We have a rehearsal dinner to pay for and medical bills to recoup from.

Ha!

Seriously, though, I am still finding #joyinthejourney through the ups and downs I’ve encountered since my fall on the 13th.

God allowed this to happen to me.  Though I cannot fully understand all of the why’s of it, I continue to trust Him.

Please pray as I continue down the road of recovery.  I know it’s going to be very difficult at times, but God prepared me through my year of fitness gains, my return to Him in my Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies, and my strengthened relationship with my husband.

I.

Am.

Blessed.

When Overachieving Isn’t Good

Sunday night, I discovered that one shouldn’t be an overachiever in everything.

After having a wonderful weekend, I’d put on my pretty Victoria Secret flannel pajamas and headed to bed.

It was dark in the house.  I carried a small book and my phone.

Just as I was about to turn on the flashlight on my phone to light the way, my left foot ran into one of the dogs sprawled out on the floor, and I went down.

My book and phone went flying as I tried to break my fall.

I went down on my left side, but the dog cushioned me.

My right leg, however, slammed, and I do mean SLAMMED on my hardwood floor.

I knew, immediately, that I was in big trouble.

I started yelling for the Mr.  He’d just gone to bed.

As he ran out, he asked what had happened.  I could barely talk…just able to say enough about falling over the dog.

After chewing me out for not turning on the lights, we tried to assess the situation.

I couldn’t roll over.  My right leg between my knee and foot were in dire pain.

When I finally rolled over, lifting my leg in the process and placing my foot flat on the floor, the Mr. quickly determined that I needed to go to the hospital.  There was already a knot on the outside of my ankle.

As he started getting dressed, I began to lose it.

I bawled.

Loudly.

Like you hear football players crying when they get hurt during their games.

He put Pele in his crate, and we tried to figure out how to get me to the car.

I could not get up.  Not at all.

The Mr. is not a big guy, and he’s never had to lift me before.

He awkwardly grabbed one arm, and I tried to hop.

That was not working either, the pressure of the jumping inflicting more pain.

Somehow, he finally lifted me up and put me in the backseat of the car.

We live in Podunk, USA.  It doesn’t take long to get places; however, that night, it took f-o-r-e-v-e-r to travel the maybe three or four miles to the hospital room.  Every bump and turn made me gasp.

I bawled in the car.  I couldn’t catch my breath.  I think the Mr. was worried that I was going to hyperventilate.  All I wanted was to pass out.  The pain was absolutely horrible.

He drove up to the ER entrance, and a nurse came out with a wheelchair.  Somehow, they dragged me out of the car.

I held up my right leg as I was wheeled in and processed.  Then, I was whisked immediately to a room in the ER.

A side note that you might find funny.  I’d eaten my famous black bean soup for dinner…along with a piece of my vegan cheesecake.

I’d been gassy all night.  Even in the car on the way to the hospital.  The Mr. was not amused.

In the middle of my pain, as I was being rolled by that kind nurse, to my ER room, I asked him to please forgive if things got stinky.  He totally laughed and told me that if I started farting, he was finished.

Bahahaha.

At least I kept my sense of humor (until the Mr. told me, later, that I’d have to return my sparkly shoes for Rooster’s wedding…a topic to be discussed later).

The ER room became our home for the next seven hours.

I was miserable.  I had nothing for the pain that was coming in waves.

I told the Mr. that it was like the worst toothache ever…like a sinus infection that’s gone into your jaw.

The nurse who wheeled me in was an extremely kind young man…buff too.  Heeheehee.

He prepped me for an IV.

I hate needles.  In fact, I am deathly afraid of them.

Not that night.

He was both gentle and efficient, telling me that I have good veins.

Lucky me.

I don’t know what was going on in the ER, but there were patients suffering far worse maladies than I was.

We saw a LOT of people being wheeled past on gurneys…too sick to lift their heads.  They put a perspective on what I was going through.

Eventually, a doctor came in.  He immediately noticed that I was shaking and attributed it to anxiety.

Well, duh.

He told me that I’d be getting an x-ray.

Next, my assigned nurse, a different young gal, came in and administered some morphine.  It wasn’t necessarily for the pain.  It was, however, for my nerves.

I’d never had it before, but it was wonderful and took effect immediately.

It wore off fairly quickly, though, and I began to shake again.

We waited, and we waited, and we waited.

An x-ray technician came in with his machine.  He was the kindest man ever, so scared to hurt me.  He gently slid the x-ray plate below my leg and asked me to turn my leg a couple of different ways.  He was good at his job and left quickly.

Then the waiting continued.  I could see part of a patient room across the ER.  I prayed for that person.  Whatever was going on in there was pretty bad.  So many nurses went in and out.

I sat with an ice pack on my leg for much of my wait.

The ER doctor came back in at some point and gave me the results of my x-rays.

Things were very bad.  I could see that.

He told me that they were going to admit me, and that I’d be having surgery right away.

My jaw dropped.

I told him that I’m a high school teacher who has real talk with my kids.  I wanted him to be straight up with me.

He told me that I have a trimalleolar fracture.

The English/reading teacher in me heard the prefix “tri” and knew I was in trouble.

I broke three bones in my ankle, y’all.

Because I guess being an overachiever extends to everything I do.

I broke the outside, inside, and back bones around my ankle.

But wait, the fun didn’t end there.

I had also dislocated it.

Which is why it was sitting at an angle.

He told me that it would require surgery.  I’ll probably have to have a rod to put things back together.

Sigh.

When he left, I googled my malady.

I found a blog that I plan on reading more about.  The recovery is going to be a long one.

Sigh.

I cried more.

After accomplishing one of my big goals of running for longer distances, I am now facing a huge setback.

The Mr. made me put my phone away.  The last thing I needed was more stress.

My nurse came back and gave me more morphine.

Good timing, eh.

Speaking about timing, this whole injury is coming at the WORST time ever!

This week, I had:
2 Parent Conferences
2 Observations (administrator-to-me and teacher-to-teacher)
2 Meetings on Monday
1 Meeting on Wednesday
3 Summative Assessments to give my students

Everything has been derailed.

Calgonnnnnnnn, take me away!

Meanwhile, a different nurse was prepping me for a shint.

Basically, it’s like a two-sided cast specially made for my leg.

But, like everything else, I had to wait.

A long time.

And I had to pee really bad.

Getting up to potty was not going to happen.  They couldn’t take the chance on me hurting my leg worse, so this girl had to use a bedpan.

I.

Was.

Mortified.

Completely humiliated.

I have never ever used such a thing.  Sitting down in bed to potty feels so very wrong.

Especially in front of a male, nurse or not.

But I did.

Ugh.

Less than an hour later, I had to go again!  And I wasn’t even drinking anything!!

Fortunately, my female nurse was back, and I wasn’t nearly as mortified.

Having her wipe my behind after I sat in the pee wasn’t fun though.

Ugh.

She was young and so very understanding, though.

Told me that yes, I really did have to go.

Nerves, y’all.

You see, they’d told me that before they fitted me for the splint, they’d have to pop my ankle back into place to fix the dislocation.

I have watched way too much TV.  I knew how painful that was going to be.

Nerves.

I had to pee again before the doctor came back to do the deed.

To his credit, he did give me a pain block…three shots, one for each bone broken…so I wouldn’t feel the pain.

But first, I got Valium in my IV.

A marvelous drug, I tell you.

I also got a big pair of surgical pants…something that would fit over the splint.

Once everything had kicked in, I was good to go.  Yes, I felt the tug, but no, it didn’t hurt much, if at all.

My leg was wrapped, and then I waited again.  This time, I needed the doctor to write me prescriptions for pain and to sign off on my paperwork.

They wheeled me out; the Mr. carried my stuff, including a new set of crutches, and I was feeling pretty good because of the block.  I even sat in the front seat.

We were exhausted.  We had not slept in over 24 hours.

But the pain.  Oh, the pain.  The block wore off, and I tried to cry quietly.  I didn’t do a good job.  After about an hour, the Mr. came in to see me.

I needed my meds.  CVS had been closed when we’d gone by on our way home.  He went back.

I was miserable.

One of my prescriptions was for a muscle relaxer.  That, combined with the pain medication, took awhile to kick in, but when they did, I almost felt normal.  Until they wore off a few hours later.

I managed to eat dinner and watch TV, dozing intermittently.  The muscle relaxer made me tired.

I also learned how to use crutches.  I’ve never had to before.  I’ll be an expert by the time I’m done with this.

The Mr. has accompanied me to the bathroom every time I go.  I don’t trust myself to walk that path on my own.

We settled in for what we hoped to be a better night of sleep.  I woke up at 1:30, an hour late on my meds, and then went back to sleep, only to awaken around 2:30 in a lot of pain.  The Mr. came out and helped me potty, and I settled in again.  Sleep proved to be elusive, though.  The pain where the top of my foot bends has been horrible.  I suspect it’s due to the splint.  I have no idea.

I finally gave up and hung my leg down for awhile.  That’s helping.  I think I just need to change positions more regularly.

Even now, as I type this, I’m carefully watching the clock.  7:30 cannot get here quick enough.  That’s when I’ll get my next round of meds.

I am hoping to go back to work tomorrow, but I am not sure.  Today will tell me a lot.  If I do go, I’ll need a wheelchair.  I am not confident on my crutches…especially if I’m still taking medicine.

We’ll see.

I couldn’t end this post without a big shout-out to the Mr.  He has been grumpy because he’s not used to this, but he’s also taken wonderful care of me.  He’s making sure I eat, and he’s closely watching me to ensure that I don’t take risks…move the wrong way.  He cannot stand to see me hurting.  I think that’s stressing him out more than anything else.

He’s also researching surgeons.  We want someone who specializes in ankles.  I want to be able to run again.  Quality of life is important to me, not just “fixing” the problem.

Chicky and Rooster have been incredibly kind.  I know it must be hard for them to be away.  I talked to Rooster on the phone last night, and Chicky checked on me several times yesterday and already this morning.

I had a long conversation with Super Sis yesterday afternoon.  She listened to me cry.  She listened to the entire story of what had happened and commiserated in her gentle way.  Life keeps us busy, but when we need each other, we set aside other things.

To all of my friends, a huge thank you.  One of them is making soup for me.  She messaged me a few times to ensure that she follows my vegan requirements.

Rebecca started texting me yesterday afternoon, and we texted last night while watching Dancing With the Stars.  I woke up and found this on my Instagram feed…

I totally cried.

I’ll be dancing again soon, that is for sure!

My friend, Leanne, texted me on and off yesterday.  She’s a math teacher at my school, uber-fit, and a lover of all the desserts I bake up each weekend.  Our friendship has grown since last year.  For me, that’s huge because I’m so shy and afraid of rejection.  Love her to pieces.

I’ve heard from other friends such as Barb and Cinda, and boy, am I thankful for the joy our conversations have brought.

Cindy, a friend at school and the gal responsible for setting up subs, texted me last night as well.  She arranged for the sub the system found for me to come back today.

This is such a challenging time for me, but once again, perspective is everything.  When I look at my Facebook feed and see the angst and life struggles that others are dealing with, mine pales in comparison.  An ankle can be fixed.  Pain can be dealt with.  Friendship, through sympathy and empathy, levels the field and makes us all better humans.

I will get better, even if it takes longer than I’d like.

I’ll make my overachieving, can-do attitude work in the right way.

I’ll trust that God’s plan is perfect; that even this will be used for His glory.

I’ll praise Him in the midst of the pain and for the healing that will follow.

As Lysa TerKeurst says, “God is good.  God is good to me.  God is good at being God.”

Even in this…especially in this…He is good.

P.S.  If you find typos in this post, please forgive me.  I’m drowsy now and did not proofread.  I cannot promise that all of my subjects and verbs will agree.  Egads!

When You Aim High

Aim low, and you stay stagnant.

Aim high, and you go places.

Literally.

It’s a lesson I try to impart on my students.

I lead by example.

All of my life, I have set goals for myself.

I’m not sure where this drive to succeed began.  I suspect it came from a need to please my mom.

Nothing was ever quite good enough for her.  Not my hairstyle, and not my grades.

I wanted to please people from an early age.

Eventually, I transferred to who I wanted to please from her to myself.

And, perhaps, the employers I’ve worked for over the years, and now, even my students.

Personal goals, though.  They are things that others cannot do for you.

For a number of years, I’ve wanted to be a runner.  I’ve toyed with the idea and made feeble, inconsistent attempts to accomplish this goal.

Last year, I ran my first IRL 5k.  Well, I walked more of it than I ran, but I did go out, among other people, and complete the route.

I joined the Hogwarts Running Club last fall and began earning medals for various distances, but still, the running was inconsistent.

Then this year, I qualified for Perfect Prefect status because I’d signed up for all seven races this year.

That didn’t mean I’d completed them, though.

Life and Florida humidity got in the way.

Until a few weeks ago when I finished my Beachbody program, 22 Minute Hard Corps.

I got serious about running.

Every time I went out, I challenged myself to walk shorter intervals and run for longer ones.

Most days, I was able to do this.  Sometimes, I couldn’t…especially if I wasn’t feeling well.

I didn’t run every day, but I knew that was okay.

I got down to the One HRC House Marathon and had one medal left…the 21k…so many miles…13.1.

Oy vey.

I figured I’d have to do the run in three or four segments.

The first round, I did 5.5 miles.

I ran nearly five of those miles.  Huge day for me.

Then, the last couple of days, I toyed with my planned run for today.

I wanted to finish.  I didn’t want to have to use a third day.

There’s a saying I’ve clung to of late…”She believed she could, and so she did.”

I believed.

And then I did.

I got up early on a SATURDAY morning…a day that all teachers live for because we don’t need to answer to an alarm clock.  Especially empty nester teachers who are not slaves to playdates or soccer schedules.

It was chilly, y’all.

I dressed the part…fuzzy hair/ear band and long sleeves to start out with.

I warmed up for the first .47 miles…the distance from my house to the entrance to my neighborhood.

Then, I pumped my arms and began my slow jog…for I am not fast, you see.

I had a tentative route planned out.

That’s what “runners” do, I’ve learned.

I knew I wanted to get the part I loathed out of the way.  It’s a lonely stretch of road.  It feels endless.

I got that done with nary a bad feeling, turned the corner, and headed up to a main road.

As I ran the next segment, I began to reconsider my route.  Dare I go straight at the light and push on up said main road to the next light?

I dared.

It wasn’t bad.  My music and the cars speeding by distracted me.

I turned the corner, intent on my pre-planned, now-altererd route, and I ran past an alternative / technical school, headed for a left turn I intended to make.

But wait!  I considered my soon-to-be footsteps carefully.

Dare I not turn the next corner but go straight, on a path I’d never been on before?

I dared.

This was a road I’d traveled more times, via car, than I could count.  It was the road that Rooster’s elementary school was on.

Daily trips for drop offs and pick ups were my life for a few years.

The distance didn’t seem to bad.

Until I was on my feet running them.

I couldn’t see the traffic light that I knew was at the end.

The road was e-n-d-l-e-s-s.

I had to cross the street where the sidewalk ended; it started over on the other side.

I crossed back when that side’s walkway ended.

And then the sidewalk ended altogether, but I could see the light by then.

I turned the corner.

And then there was NO sidewalk at all…on a heavily-traveled, two-lane road.

Oy vey.

I ran on grass that was not smooth and even angled toward a ditch at times.

I did run in the street when traffic happened to be light.  It was still pretty early for a Saturday morning.

There was no sidewalk for that stretch, but I knew that at the corner, which I could finally see and which I would turn, I’d have my beautiful, safe pavement to run on again.

I headed in a new direction…toward home…downhill part of the way.

The angels sang.

But first, a detour into my friend’s neighborhood.  I knew that it was about a mile around, and I was keeping an eye on my Garmin fitness watch.

I had a goal…a certain distance I wanted to cover.

I ran, knowing the route like the back of my hand.

I left her neighborhood and crossed the street into my own.

I knew how far around I needed to go; I had a mile left.

Somehow, it was the hardest mile.

It was also the easiest.

I knew that I was very close to attaining something I’d been working hard for.

I wound up running FURTHER than my goal.

Y’all, I covered 9.03 miles this morning.  I ran a total of 8.56 miles STRAIGHT.

Once I had left the neighborhood and started running, I had not stopped until I’d gotten back to my house.

I wanted to cry.

I was finally able to finish coloring in all of the boxes on my tracker sheet.

I made the Mr. take pictures of me.

Because I’m extra like that.

He was full of compliments.  “You stink,” he said.  Ha!  Runner’s perfume, I wanted to say.

Besides that, obtaining goals is messy business sometimes.  It definitely isn’t always pretty, as evidenced by my hair.

Later, after he’d left to go to the grocery store (ladies, be jealous), I jumped in the shower and processed my morning.

I thought about goal setting…why I do it.

I thought about my students and the goals they’d recently reflected about.

I teach my kids so much more than reading and writing, you see.

I’d had a tough week at work…namely because someone had suggested that my standards might be too high.

I just didn’t know how to respond to that.  The statement confused me.

The goals I set for my classroom…for my lessons…are the same that the state of Florida sets.

Sometimes, the state’s goals are unreasonable…especially for some of the students I teach, given their learning impairments.

For the other students, the goals are fair, I think.

But here’s the thing.  I set goals in my classroom based on the potential I see in my kids.

I know what they can accomplish, even when they don’t know it themselves yet.

They think the road is supposed to be easy.  Maybe they’ve had things handed to them.  Maybe parents have stepped in when the going has gotten tough and tried to “help” by trying to make the way easier.  Ahem.

Maybe they’ve never had people who challenged them a little beyond what they were used to, so they don’t know how to stretch themselves.

Maybe they don’t have confidence because they’ve never failed, dusted themselves off, and tried again, only to finally meet those goals.

I can relate to every single one of these thoughts.  Except the one about a parent stepping in.  Mine never did that.  Ever.  I didn’t do it for my kids either.  I was not “that” parent.

As adults, we know that life isn’t all butterflies and, dare I say, happy Disney songs.

Today, as I ran, the road was not always paved.  I’ve got the stickers on my shoes to prove it.

It was bumpy, and I had to watch for things like cracks in the sidewalk, uneven slabs of concrete, and deep puddles of dirt that begged for the opportunity to twist my ankles.

I was also by myself, music excluded.

I knew, though, that I had a cheerleader waiting in the wings (my sweet Mr.)…lots of them actually, when you consider my HRC Facebook group.

My students are not alone.  They have me, cheering them on, giving them an encouraging word, challenging them to do more, making them re-do work that was shoddy the first time.

I do not want my students to settle for just meeting goals.

I want them to “do to the most,” be “extra,” and reach for higher.

The end game isn’t necessarily a medal, although I will say that I do like each one I get for completing a race.

The result should be progress from where one started to where one wound up at the end of the day.

When my students were creating new goals for the second nine weeks, one of them wouldn’t write down anything.

“I’m doing just fine the way I am,” he said.

My jaw dropped.

“Really?” I said.  “So, you don’t think there’s anything new you can learn…any way to improve yourself?”

“Nope,” he said.

How many of us feel the same way, I wonder?

Aim low, stay stagnant…or dare I say regress.

Aim high, and the sky is the limit.

I practice what I preach.  These are life lessons, not necessarily academic ones.

They’ll get it, eventually, and maybe I’ll get more letters like the one I found on my desk on Thursday from a student I taught last year.

Always give 110%.  Never lower your standards.  Always reach for more.  By doing so, you’ll get what you wanted plus a little more to boot.  That’s never a bad thing.

When It’s Not Easy

After my glowing post about completing the first of four races in the OneHRC House Marathon…the 5k…I thought, “Hey Auburnchick, you’re really rocking this running thing.  Go out on Sunday after church and knock out your 6k…the second medal.”

If only things were that easy.

First of all, it was 81 degrees when I set out.

I really shouldn’t have ignored my early-morning alarm; it would have been much cooler if I’d gone out before church.

Second of all, I decided to try a new route.

My goal was to do at least four miles, which would ensure that my fitness watch and Charity Miles app would record at close to the distance I was aiming for.  They can be off a bit, so I always overachieve and reach for more.

With my new route in my head, I set out.

The first mile wasn’t too bad.  It’s almost a half mile until I get out of my neighborhood.  That’s easy.  The second half mile took me past the kids’ former high school and to a stop sign.

I turned right.

And then…oh golly…the l-o-n-g-e-s-t stretch of road EVER.

Distances can look deceptively short, let me tell you.  When you’re diving said distances, they go by quickly.

Not so much at noon on a Sunday with almost-hell-like-temperatures.

It was brutal.

There weren’t any trees.

I had no idea how far this stretch actually was (I had a general idea), so I kept an eye on my watch.

Oh, and did I mention the actual running part?

It wasn’t happening a lot.  In fact, I figured that out shortly after leaving my house.  I just didn’t seem to be able to run for long spurts.

Those of you who are more experienced runners than me can probably answer this for me:  Is this normal?

Earlier in the week, I’d had a conversation with a science teacher at my school.  She runs more regularly than I do and has even completed the Disney Princess Half Marathon…an eventual goal for me.  She suggested that I use Jeff Galloway’s method of timed interval running.  I need to order one of his books because the plan on the website doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

What did make sense was her explanation.  She told me that the point of the walk intervals is to take in more oxygen, which then feeds the muscles and prevents lactic acid buildup.  That acid is what causes the pain in the muscles.

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh.

A light bulb went on for me.

There’s a reason why everyone says she’s a good teacher.

😉

BUT, I like finishing my runs quicker.

She answered that as well.

When you’re regularly feeding your muscles with oxygen, you actually run FASTER!

Ok, that made sense, but still.

I like DOING THE MOST and saying that I ran the whole way of such-and-such run.

Ahem.

Hello, I am Auburnchick, Overachiever Extraordinaire.

So yesterday, when I found myself hitting a wall repeatedly, because I am stubborn that way, I finally decided to time myself.

I began running one minute intervals…one minute walking followed by one minute of running.

An interesting thing that I noticed was that my heart rate stayed up because there wasn’t a lot of rest time, but my legs did feel better.

That’s pretty much how I did the last mile and a half of my run.

I finished sweaty, educated, and happy that I’d earned that second medal.

I’m still going to aim for longer run segments, but I am going to extend grace and good old science to help me in that process.

Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks!

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