Saturday, March 26, 2011

We're making it day by day

This week, I have been trying to get back into some type of schedule as far as working out goes. Monday, I ran with my friends Meredith and Jeanne. Both have been very supportive during this time and I appreciate that!! It's so nice to realize you have caring friends that are truly concerned about you and your family's well being. I decided that because I don't have a specific race in mind right now, and because I am awaiting my acceptance into the NY Marathon (who knows), I'll just start my half marathon training (provided by the great Holly Di Giovine) (i hope I didn't butcher her last name) so monday was run 6 minute intervals, rest 4 minutes 4 times. I hadn't run in 2 weeks and it was tough. We were also running fast (Jeanne and Meredith are speed demons) so that probably didn't make it much more enjoyable, but I did it. Tuesday, I did a circuit training/crossfit style workout with Meredith again. Wednesday, yoga class and by thursday, I was pooped. I have been going to the hospital every day after work to spend time with Granddaddy and then tuesday night, I stayed with him. I slept pretty good, but its always tiring when it's not your normal routine. By thursday, I had a hard time waking up for work. I didn't work out that day. Actually, I was going to possibly workout after seeing granddaddy, but he asked me to stay so I didn't leave until about 9 pm.

I was excited to find a new website (by find, I mean, I saw it on my friend, Traci Larkins blog, You can enter your daily workouts in and it posts them on facebook, twitter and your blog! How fun. So, I have been playing with that this week.

Last night, I did my second running workout of the week which was sprint 2 minutes on, walk 2 minutes, 8 sets. I did a warm up jog for 10 minutes but I got to my house by the end of the 7th set. It felt good to run. Those 2 minutes were hard, I was uncomfortable, and according to my Garmin, I was hitting an 8 minute mile, but it felt good. I love the way running feels when you use proper form. It's hard to sustain for long periods of time, but I imagine this is what Kara Goucher feels like when she runs. I feel so powerful and strong. I think that's why I like interval work so much because I get little bursts of feeling so strong. I hope that as I continue to train, I can maintain a pace like that much longer than 2 minutes.

I needed that run because I was nervous about staying with granddaddy. He has been struggling and i was afraid something would happen with his heart. The doctor said there was no blood clot so all we have to do is just wait it out. That made me feel better, but I can't lie, I was nervous about him going into cardiac arrest or something lie that. He slept all night and actually, is still sleeping at 8:45 am. I think he needed the rest.

So, we'll see how the rest of the weekend goes and the week. I'm going to try to run again this weekend and then get back into my normal routine during the week.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

new update

Even as I wrote the first blog about granddaddy, I didn't realize other stuff was going on. He has swelling in his body (edema) and fluid in his lungs, causing him to have a hard time breathing. He may have to have surgery on his heart to replace a valve...

I don't know what all of that means...


While this blog is dedicated to health, fitness and nutrition, a lot of people have been asking about my grandfather so I thought I would take the time to explain what is going on. We also have a blog type thing at but it is hard to follow if you haven't started from the beginning.

My grandfather has a history of diabetes and back in 2005, he had a kidney transplant. I'm not sure how much you know about any kind of transplant, but the danger is that your body can recognize this as a foreign object and attack it. Most transplant patients have to take anti-rejection medicine to lower the immune system and keep it from attacking itself. Because of that medicine, granddaddy is very susceptible to disease and infection. Every year, he gets a cold and this year was no different. The only issue is that it wouldn't go away and he had a terrible cough. The doctor prescribed him cough medication which included codeine, a powerful drug, a narcotic. He passed out in church one Sunday and we don't really know why. Me loving to diagnose a situation, I believe that the combination of him being sick, the ambien he takes at night and the cough medicine from early in the morning is what caused his blood pressure to drop and he passed out. He was taken to the emergency room where they ran tests and kept him overnight. During that time, his atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat) came back and they wanted to observe him. This is something he's suffered with in the past and I'm assuming is a reaction to being sick and in the hospital. He went home early that week feeling like we had everything taken care of. He then got a bad stomach virus that kept him in bed for several days.

After the stomach bug, everything went down hill and knowing what we do now, it all makes sense. He complained about extreme back pain, his walking was limited and he was very weak. He went to the doctor several times trying to figure out the issues. He has always suffered from pain in sciatic nerve, something my aunt and I both suffer with as well. The doctor, knowing that history, assumed that his back was a result of being in bed too long. She felt that the lack of movement maybe had cause his muscles to atrophy or the the nerve was irritated, whatever it was, she didn't feel it necessary to do anything more than prescribe physical therapy. What we've all come to believe is that the infection that he got (we think from the hospital - GHS) had started to settle in his back. The hospitalist at St Francis said that when you get an infection in the blood, it will attack a weak or abnormal part of your body. Granddaddy has always had back problems, probably from a wreck he had earlier in his life. The doctor believes that the infection settled in his back and spread from there. Fast forward two weeks and he starts running a fever. His sodium drops and mom has EMS come get him from his house.

First diagnosis: He has an infection in his blood... we don't know where so we're going to take 4 blood cultures and it will take 48-72 hours to determine where

Second Diagnosis: Doctor confirms what my aunt Michelle, mom and I have already determined, the infection in his back. To be specific, the infection starts the last vertabrae in his thoracic spine and is all the way down the lumbar portion of his spinal column. It's not in his spine, it's in the spinal column  - a bone infection. Other fear, it has settled in his heart.

New Issue: Granddaddy's speech is severly slurred, which we thought was a result of the medication. I, being the nosey person I am, happened to look at the nurses chart (it was open and easily accessible :)) and it said stroke under his record. I'm not sure why no one felt they should tell us before, but I'm just focused on finding out if he really did have one, which he did. This explained slurred speech and him being on coherent. He has to get an MRI which he HATES so they give him dilaudid and atavan, both powerful drugs. It's hard to determine if the stroke is causing some of the issues or if it's the medicine

Now: We diagnose the spinal infection, we diagnose the stroke, we diagnose that he does have an infection in heart but it isn't as severe as it could be... take blood cultures and the infection is not growing so that means he is responding to the antibiotics... Yay!!

New issue #2: His atrial fibrilation is back and it's really bad. His heartbeat is getting to 175 which is not good.. he's transfered to the ICU floor (3rd floor) and is given a Cardizem drip. That's where he currently is. His a fib is still bad, but not as bad. The cardizem is keeping the irregularity between 80-130. His blood pressure is severely low, probably a response to the cardizem, but if the top number drops below 90, we're supposed to let them know.

My aunt Michelle comes for a week at a time and we all try to rotate when she's not here. I have stayed twice, mom has stayed twice, cean has stayed once and allen has stayed once. Brendon has stayed once or twice, I think as well. Grandma is there all day long and we all switch at night.

We're hoping that we can get the a fib under control, and then he'll be transfered to the 4th floor where he will continue to recieve IV antibiotics for 5 weeks. He'll also have to get physical therapy and work with a speech therapist although his speech is doing great. The drugs were affecting him more than the stroke so it all seems positive on that front.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Life, It Happens...

When I first started on this journey of getting healthy, everything was new. It was exciting. I learned all these different workouts, I read about nutrition, my body was changing and I was learning to love myself. It was easy to stay motivated and I never had to fight to to workout. As time went on, I had to learn that I'm not always going to be that motivated. It's not always going to be new, it's not always going to be easy. I have to be flexible and I have to give myself a break. There are going to be times when I workout 6 days a week and I eat great; there are also going to be times where I don't. And these are those times.

About a month ago, my grandfather got sick. He had a kidney transplant 5 years ago and he has to take anti-rejection medicine. Every winter, he goes through a spell of the flu and it takes longer to get rid of. A month ago, he passed out in church from mixing too much cough medicine with his other medicines. Then he got a stomach virus, he got a blood infection which in turn became a full blown infection in his spinal column. After that, he went intro atrial fibrillation and now he's on the ICU floor. He's been at St Francis for 2 weeks and in that time, I've spent every day here. Sometimes I just come for a couple of hours after work. Sometimes, I spend the night (i'm doing that now hence the new blogs), and sometimes I'm here all day. Now is the time when I have to be flexible with my workout schedule and give myself a break. In the past, I would've beaten myself up for not eating right, not working out, all of those things. But I'm tired, this is emotional, I still have to work, so the best thing I can do, is take a break. For two weeks, I took a break, I didn't run, I didn't workout, I didn't even do yoga. I just slept when I needed it, came to the hospital when I needed it, and obviously, worked. I've made some time to spend with my husband and even gotten a chance to cook. But I've eaten a lot of fast food and I've not been good about drinking water. All of those things combined would've sent me into a tailspin of worry about weight gain and "getting fat again". In the past, I wouldn't have been able to care for myself, my family or my grandfather because of my obsession to be thin. I'm grateful for the healthy perspective I have on my life now and my ability to be flexible when need be.

I'm going to give the credit to Yoga and a good therapist :)