A Self Wake-Up Call

So.  It’s been awhile.  With writing for other sites, I pretty much abandoned my pet project, the blog that got things started for me 9 years ago.

But, I’ve had some things happen that take more than a tweet thread to explain.

Some people know what has been happening, but it’s time to tell the whole story.  You may have noticed that I haven’t really traveled as much this hockey season–I have been sticking mostly to Thunder games, and I’ve only been to 3 AHL games all season, where originally I had been planning to go to a few more.  I guess all those years traveling on the road have finally caught up with me, as for the first time I had to seriously put myself ahead of my work.

Back in September, I guess my eating habits–and my age–caught up to me.  After two straight nights of probably the worst stomachaches I have ever had, I found myself in the ER late on a Sunday night.  After getting blood work and an EKG done, I was diagnosed with gastritis and prescribed four doses of what I like to call pink crap a day for 10 days–and go on a bland diet.  Lots of chicken, turkey, rice, whole grains, veggies–which I was able to follow.

I was feeling a lot better–then in early October another stomachache struck.  It was kind of my fault, I got a little greedy with a bigger meal thinking I could handle it.  I had been advised by my original ER doc if the symptoms returned to come back in, which I did.  On this visit, I was given a referral for a local gastroenterologist, and scored an appointment two days later.

My gastro doc reviewed my records from the ER and noticed something in my blood work.  He ordered a second round of blood work and sent me to get an ultrasound a little over a week later.  The ultrasound showed gallstones, which means one thing–my gallbladder has to come out.

Tomorrow morning, the surgery happens.  Good news is it’s laparascopic, which means I can come home the same day to start my journey back to normalcy.

Since that appointment in October, I’ve really been working on improving my health.  For my self birthday present this year, I finally got a gym membership at a Planet Fitness around the corner from my house (only took me 7 years of living where I am to finally do it), and I’m there 3 mornings a week on the treadmill catching up on my podcasts.  With the unusually warmer than usual winter, I also have been taking as many lunchtime walks on my work campus as possible.  And I’ve even kept up a mostly bland diet.  I am seeing some results–I’m down almost 20 pounds since mid-September, and I’m finding I have a little more energy to actually want to do things.

That will be a test during my recovery time from my procedure.  I can’t drive for one week (no live Thunder games for me till February 8th) or do any heavy lifting (which I normally don’t do anyway) for 3 weeks.  I’m sure my diet is going to be limited for the first couple of days too.  Luckily the weather will be cooperative so I hope to do some walking outside once I feel good enough to do so.  Since I’ll mostly be on house arrest (as I’m calling it) I have a couple of books ready to be read, and I have plenty of streaming options on Netflix, Hulu, etc.  And I have my annual AHL All-Star project and my Solar Bears recap for Raw Charge to work on.  Good thing I hadn’t made travel plans to go to California this year.  Since I’m not working (I’m out until my follow up appointment in a week and a half) I can stay up and watch all the events, even the Hall of Fame ceremony.  Now to find someone who’s streaming the state of the league address…

One comforting thing about all this is I know several people who have gone through the same procedure and are doing well, they’ve been giving me advice on recovery.  And I have a full list of volunteers/visitors as a support system.

The moral here?  When life gives you a wake-up call, answer it.  It may be the best thing you can do.