May 10, 2016: It’s the Tuesday before Cleveland Marathon weekend. I’m cooking dinner, BC comes home. He goes upstairs and I follow him up to just remind him of everything we have going on this weekend: Friday was the Expo to get my stuff and then that night is the VIP reception for the Ambassadors. I was registered for the 5K/10K Challenge so Saturday I was racing then Saturday afternoon my dad was dropping my sister off at our place and Sunday morning she and I were then running the 10K. After that was a family bridal shower she and I were attending.
Busy weekend ahead and after weeks of training I was ready to get out there and crush those runs.
And then I went back downstairs.
It’s really the dumbest things, isn’t it? In my case, tripping down the bottom two steps on our staircase and landing at an awkward angle. It’s not even like I had a running injury but I was still decommissioned for about six months. At first I thought it was sprained and spent a week walking on it only to later learn that, no, I’d broken a bone.
May 10, 2016: Trip down the stairs.
May 16, 2016: Go ER for x-rays, find out it’s broken.
May 17, 2016: Go to ortho, who puts me in a full plaster cast.
May 18 – June 22, 2016: Literally wheel around my office on a knee scooter. At the house, crawl up and down the stairs and/or wheel around in an office chair.
June 23, 2016: Get a walking cast.
July 11, 2016: Doc gives me a boot.
Here is where things get interesting. FitBloggin ’16 was held in Indianapolis, a mere 5 hours away from Cleveland. That means I can drive there!
So, fun fact. Sitting in a car in the same position for five hours with your leg immobilized shortly after an injury? Not a smart thing to do. In fact, I’d classify it as MY WORST IDEA EVER.
Also not a smart thing to do? Go on a green smoothie kick in the weeks leading up to said road trip and consume a ridiculous amount of spinach. Vitamin K, you see, is a natural coagulant. That is, it magically helps your blood clot which is not good if you possibly already have a blood clot brewing.
July 22-24, 2016: FitBloggin
July 27, 2016: Get admitted to the hospital with a blood clot / DVT. Have emergency surgery.
July 28, 2016: Back into surgery I go to check on status of clot. Hang out in ICU. For the next several days, my blood will be checked literally every four or five hours. Yes, even at 3 am in the morning. Then again at 8 am in the morning.
July 29, 2016: More surgical check up. More time in ICU.
July 30, 2016: Out of ICU, get checked into a “normal” hospital room.
August 2, 2016: Get released from the hospital. Prescribed Coumadin and Lovenox shots.
August 3, 2016: Go to Coumadin Clinic for first time.
August 10, 2016: Switch from the boot to an air cast.
August 3-22, 2016: Go to Coumadin Clinic every few days to check my INR levels. Also giving myself Lovenox shots twice a day. The medication situation is giving me so much anxiety I have what I’m pretty sure is my first ever panic attack.
August 23, 2016: My vascular surgeon switches me to Eliquis.
September 22, 2016: Bone doc gives my bone the all clear.
October 2016: Depression and anxiety are at peak levels.
November 1, 2016: Allowed to run again (yay!)
November 17, 2016: Get copper IUD because I can’t take hormonal birth control any more.
November 18 – December 28, 2016: Lots of doctor appointments. My vascular surgeon. My pulmonary embolism doc. Lots of blood tests. I see a hematologist, too.
December 29, 2016: Vascular surgeon says he wants to keep me on blood thinners for at least a year.
February **, 2017: See a behavioral health specialist at Cleveland Clinic.
March 6, 2017: See psychiatrist who prescribes me Prozac.
March 7, 2017: Find out I can’t take Prozac — or any antidepressents — because of my blood thinners.
March 23, 2017: Doctor Stanley, my vascular surgeon, says my leg is looking really good and I don’t have to return for another six months. (I had been going every three months.)
April 2017: See my therapist every week or so, also training for the Cleveland 10K
May 10, 2017: Still on blood thinners and after months of resistance have mentally and emotionally accepted the reality that I will probably be on blood thinners for the rest of my life. My DVT was bad, y’all, and still is in my leg. Entire length of my leg bad. No pulse except for bottom of my foot bad.
Staying on blood thinners is more of a preventative thing than anything else and once I wrapped my head around that I was okay with the possibility that I probably won’t be going off of them anytime soon, if ever.
So here I am, one year later. My anxiety and depression are up but I can’t take any medication for them because of the aforementioned blood thinners. But I’m still seeing my therapist and working on other coping mechanisms. They help with my anxiety but the depression is another story. I wear compression socks on a daily basis. I’m running, slowly but surely. The Cleveland 10K is a week and a half away and I won’t finish fast or pull out a PR but I will finish.
My weight is also up: I’ve gained 30 pounds in the past year which after all the other weight gain of the past four years puts me close to my original highest weight.
That sentence is one of the hardest things I’ve ever typed. Up until this exact moment in time, only two friends knew that truth. Posting that group picture last week was equally one of the hardest things I’ve ever done because there’s no hiding in that photo. I’m good at hiding my weight gain. I know what my good angles are. I know how to tilt my head to hide the double chin and I never take pictures in profile.
But I am alive.
I don’t think I can emphasis that quite enough because I think it’s taken me this long to really understand what happened to me last July and just how bad that DVT really was. For fuck’s sake, I was in the hospital for close to a week. And all because just a few months before I tripped on the bottom two stairs of our staircase.
BUT there were good things that happened over the course of this year, too! My book came out and I got engaged. I also got to do some really awesome things through my job including being on NPR’s On Point and interviewing some really awesome authors like Jodi Picoult and omg Alan Cumming.
And I did all of that despite being fat so whatever, yo. Plus, y’know, that whole still being alive thing so yeah.
Turns out, having an experience that culminates in an event that could have ended in death puts a whole different perspective on the scale.
Love from the ashes,