Grab a refreshment, this is a long one...
It turns out I should have never mentioned putting an end to my Happy News series. That quickly turned this week into a real sh*! storm (my new favorite phrase - thank you, Julie S).
Where to begin? Well, last weekend was THE big training weekend. Saturday was an 18 mile walk and Sunday was 15 miles. Despite the crappy weather, I completed both and was pretty frickin' proud of myself! Saturday, I left the house at 5:30am and walked 7 miles, ending where else but at my hair dressers. I got my hair cut, changed into a prickle-free shirt, stopped at Whole Foods for a water, banana, and dairy, soy, and gluten-free energy bar (thank you, LARABAR) and walked another 11 miles. The last 2 miles of this were brutal. My legs cramped up pretty badly and when I walked in the front door my husband said, "You look rough." Thanks, honey.
After some pain reliever and a good lunch, I felt a thousand times better. I was still really sore and my right leg was super-crampy but I was moving at least. Taking off my sneakers and socks, I noticed some swelling on my right shin. I kept my feet up and assumed it was one of my infamous hives. By the morning it was much better so I didn't worry too much.
Sunday morning at 6:00am, we got the kids up and the whole family headed into Newton. They dropped me off, in the rain, near Boston College and I walked home via the Boston Marathon route to Framingham. Saturday's 18 miles was done in two loops. One all within Framingham and the second to Sudbury and back. This makes 18 miles seem less far. Walking to Framingham from BC makes 15 miles seem really freakin' far. The rain, although it cleared up at one point, did not help. Sherri and I had originally planned to try to get together for these long ones because they are so boring by yourself, but the craptastic weather left us both unsure if we would walk at all. Plus, these long training walks really irritate her plantar faciitis. She has to save herself for the real thing.
Anyhoooo...when I got home on Sunday, I felt much better than I did the day before, but the swelling in my shin was back. The swelling was an odd shape, red, and warm to the touch and then I also had some pain and tightness in my calf. My husband scared the hell out of my twice before with blood clots in his legs. Since this thing with my leg had gone away with rest and then came back, I started to wonder. Sunday night, more rest and elevation. Monday morning, fine. Monday, errands and running around on feet all day. Monday night, pain and swelling back.
Tuesday, I went to the doctor. After an ultrasound, they determined it was not a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and felt it could be a small clot in a surface vein or some sort of infection. They sent me home with a prescription for antibiotics and orders to "take it easy" for at least the rest of the week.
Wednesday, I felt much better after 2 days off from walking. There was very little redness and swelling and the pain was gone. I filled the prescription anyway and was going to start it on Thursday morning. Did you know that at Stop & Shop antibiotics are free? Where have I been?
3 am on Thursday, I woke from a dead sleep with stomach pains like none I have EVER experienced before. First thought: gas. I took some gas reliever that did nothing of the sort. Second thought: heart burn. A handful of Tums helped a tiny bit for about 30 minutes. Then the pain doubled and started to radiate to my chest, back, and shoulders. Third thought: the ultrasound missed the DVT, I've thrown the clot, and now I am dying from a pulmonary embolism. This is when I woke my husband. Fourth thought: Get a grip, it's heart burn. The rest of the night is a blur but I know I spoke with my doctor who said to take some Prilosec and head to the ER if that did not work. I know my husband was at 24 hour Walgreen's at one point. I took more heart burn stuff and did actually drive to the ER but turned around in the parking lot when I thought I was feeling some relief. Damned if I was going to be the ass who payed the emergency room copay for a case of heartburn. The pain ended around 10:30 am and I was back to the doctor's office that afternoon.
After some blood work and another ultrasound, I found out I had gallstones but the Nurse Practitioner was concerned because my blood work showed trouble with my liver function. It's too late to make a long story short but I will give you the Cliffs Notes version of the rest. I was then tested for hepatitis A, B, and C because of the liver function issues. Can you imagine? I was thinking I would have to confess to shooting up and having unprotected sex while getting pierced and tattooed with my many boyfriends, which I swear, I quit shortly after college (just kidding, mom). Either that or my husband would have to confess to the same. Both were almost better alternatives to thinking about how I would have gotten hepatitis A, which you contract by eating food that has come in contact with the feces of an infected person. Yum. Well, it turns out that I do not have hepatitis from any part of the alphabet, thank God, but that I passed a gallstone which causes temporary problems with liver function. So I have to have another liver function test on Monday and need to see the gastroenterologist this week who thinks I should have my gallbladder removed.
So this is my plan. I will have the blood work done and will see the gastrenterologist but unless there is another major stone-passing incident in the next 3 weeks, I am not having surgery until after the 3-Day. I will be damned if I am going to get sidelined now. Seriously? Seriously.
Sherri keeps telling me that it's okay and I should take care of myself and not worry about the walk. She is being a good friend but I ain't goin' no where but the finish line, baby! Not after the hundreds of miles in training and the thousands of dollars raised. I know what she is really thinking is, "Seriously? It's just one sh*! storm after another with us!" This has been a long standing phenomenon with Sherri and me. Whenever something crazy is happening with her or her family (like the fact that she AND her husband have plantar faciitis right now), something crazy comes up with me (gallstones) or vice verse. When I was pregnant with my son, Sherri was pregnant with twins. One of her kids would get sick, mine were sick within the week. She'd have car trouble, I'd get a flat. You see? So when Sherri got cancer, I just assumed it was a matter of time for me. I have been so lucky that the pattern did not show itself there. I HAVE to do this walk! It's my repayment to my lucky stars.
The bottom line is things could always be worse but this was one helluva week. I will keep you posted but you can count on me making every effort to finish what I started here. Everyone do a little gallbladder dance for me. Be creative and interpretive. By the way, my leg is fine. NO idea what that was about since I never took the antibiotics. What the hell, they were free.
Onto a new week. I start my summer position as Inclusion Facilitator at 2 rockin' camps in Newton. Can't wait to see what is in store there.
Thanks for reading. More later...