SP Premium
100-249 SparkPoints 164

Still in the Game!

Friday, July 06, 2012

I’m not much of an athlete, and never really appreciated Jonathan Roche’s (one of my favorite podcasters) sports analogy until the last couple months. But, suddenly, it became my mantra. “As long as I’m still in the game.” Can’t have solid food? Nope, but I can drink my water and work on staying positive. Can’t have fat? Nope, but I can still eat Greek yogurt to get my protein, and eat as many fruits and veggies as possible. Can’t do intense aerobics? Nope, but I can walk and do light gardening. One month after my pancreas surgery, I’m feeling good, and all because of habits I developed here at SP, and because I made sure to keep myself “in the game”.

Recovery was harder than I expected. I’ve always had a pretty high tolerance for pain, but oh my! I could finally eat, but I had no appetite, and food tasted funny. Water had a strange metallic taste, so it was hard to get down. Most people who have pancreas surgery lose 15-30 pounds, and, since I was already at my goal weight and against quick weight loss, I was determined not to be one of them. So, I focused on quality over quantity, and somehow managed to keep my weight steady. I had a drain in my side – a hole and a plastic tube sticking out, where blood and other nasty stuff oozed out into a bag. It was disgusting, and it messed with my head. Fortunately, Kevin took care of it for me, because the one time I looked at it, I had a panic attack of epic proportions, and after nearly passing out numerous times, spent the rest of the afternoon sleeping it off. The drain caused some medical problems as well, eventually sending me to the ER, leading to a blood infection scare that also messed with my head. But, last week the drain was removed, the blood retest and path reports came back negative, and all of my wounds are just about healed. The point here is, I am stronger than I thought, and despite the difficulties, I made the best choices I could.

My doctor told me that the more I moved the better I’d feel, but I couldn’t bend, twist, or lift more than ten pounds. So the day after I got home from the hospital, I committed myself to a fitness challenge (Thanks, Ducky!), and promised myself at least 30 minutes of walking/gardening every day. On the bad days, I had to force myself to do it - I’d have to promise myself only five or ten minutes at a time, but I got it done. I was able to quiet my negative voice (the one that told me I was losing my muscle tone, and that my lack of intensity wasn’t good) by telling myself I was still in the game, that everything counts. And it does!
So, here I am, still at my goal weight, and feeling great. I have been cleared to do “anything that doesn’t hurt”. I just added ST back into my routine, and am keeping myself off my butt as much as possible. Today I will walk before it gets hot, and then try some yoga. (Last week I tried the plank pose, and let me just say OY! But I think I’m ready to give it another shot.) I’m trying to be gentle with myself, and to add things gradually, so next week I plan to add some fast walking intervals to my walks (no running intervals until six weeks). My next surgery (the hysterectomy) has been rescheduled for July 23rd, and, by then, I plan to be as strong and healthy as I can possibly be!

-I feel great! No pain meds since last Friday!
-The support I have received throughout this physical challenge has left me with no doubt that I matter.
-My air conditioner works well! Dang, it’s hot out there.
-My husband went grocery shopping, and my cabinets and fridge are full of healthy, tasty foods I am allowed to eat! Thankfully, my taste buds are back to normal.
-I do not have cancer. Although I had been assured of this earlier on, my surgeon was suspicious.
-I no longer have a drain in my side. Ugg.
-I am incredibly thankful for all of my SP friends who have sent messages, goodies and emails. Bless you all!!

Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Karen, I have been following you on FB, but decided to come back to Spark. It is just easier for me to track, etc.

    I am thinking that you are getting close to hysterectomy time, no? I sure hope your recovery is easy and you are able to gain your strength back quickly. What a journey? You are so inspirational. And Kevin deserves a medal for his caregiving. Lots of love an hugs, my friend. Joann emoticon
    3302 days ago
    Thanks for the update. Your attitude and approach are inspiring.

    You are, indeed, in the game - and winning.


    n> emoticon

    3313 days ago
  • LESLIES537
    Bless your heart! Your strength and positivity are inspiring. You are still very much in the game!! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3314 days ago
  • JLITT62
    I am SO glad you updated us! And I am, as always impressed - but not surprised! - by your hard work.
    3315 days ago
    So happy to read this. You sound great.

    And... of course you matter!!!

    Love you so much and you handled this amazingly.

    And you're most welcome! I was very impressed you joined and did so well. Again, you are a great inspiration!

    3315 days ago
    Gosh, that sounds like quite the ordeal, Karen. I'm so glad you're feeling better and getting stronger. How nice for you to learn that you're stronger than you thought you were. And I agree with MAZZYR - your determination is inspiring!
    3315 days ago
    Oh Karen, I'm so glad you're feeling better.

    I love hearing that you're Still in the Game! Thank you for sharing your experience. Your determination is inspiring.

    3315 days ago
    emoticon I'm so glad to hear you are feeling better. Congratulations on your determination and good choices!
    3315 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.