Saturday, February 13, 2016

Getting back on that horse after a fall

I loved riding horses as a child. My mother's cousin had a dairy farm that we would visit at least once a year. They usually had some sort of equine: Susie the donkey followed by Sugar the Palomino. Here I am at my most awkward age, 11 or 12, tall as I am now wearing a shirt I made from scraps, with stringy hair. This photo was taken by my uncle as my father, an actual photographer, refused to take photos of me as I was so 'unphotogenic'. I was to be thankful for not being 'stupid' as looking the way I did, I could not plan on attracting a husband. However I had plenty of examples of women who were able to attract men by their good looks, but were not able to support themselves so I had resolved to have a career such that I would never be dependent on a man.
Yesterday's project: putting up the frieze of prints high up in the family room: ( well I supervised)
From left to right: Latourell Falls, Columbia Gorge, Manarola, Cinque Terre, and Verona from the Roman ruins overlooking the Adige River

What the fall did to me was erode my self-confidence completely. I fell on unbroken pavement, not hidden tree roots or barbed wire (causes in the past). It depressed me that it seemed like  a large part of my life was over. Steve and Josh were most unhelpful repeating how I have no business trying to run if this keeps happening. Just walk, they said. Steve worries every time I go out on my own.
I have been running since Josh was 5 months old or almost 34 years. I had run some before that but it was always torture. I found out that I was quite good at it and soon was training for marathons. I usually placed high in my age group. I've had to take a few months off running over the years: 3 months during the last months of being pregnant with Naomi, a month recovering from Grave's Disease, 3 months after my broken arm that could not be set, and during the second half of chemo as my red blood count had plummeted. I've run through blizzards, on ice, in the mountains past packs of boars, in inner cities, through forests, all over the place. I can't say I enjoyed every minute of it (during races I would have pity parties about how miserable I felt and that I paid to do this) but I would always feel good afterwards. It is true that I now run so slowly that a fast walker can out do me, which is depressing. But walking just takes up too much time and does not produce the heat or endorphins as running does.
Yesterday the roads were clear. I should have had enough time to replace some of the red blood cells spewed all over the Pacific Coast Highway and my face was pretty much set. Well I survived a 35 minute run so yay! And I felt good.
I no longer have the navy blue cross hatches across my lip and chin that were so unattractive. They have been replaced with flesh colored seristrips. I went to the plastic surgeon yesterday as a follow-up to my reconstruction surgery. The girls look as good as they could be healing nicely. He did explain the horrors observed when he cut into the mutilated breast. He likened it to cutting open a geode, mainly empty but lined with scar tissue, nothing that he could fill with fat as blood vessels will not form in dead tissue. To fix it, he would have to cut the entire breast off and start over. He did remove the 3 large divots but found plenty of skin that he could cover the mess with so it does look smooth.
When I first got there, the assistant reviewed my drug taking (not sure why as none of it is remotely connected to the surgery). She asked if I was still taking Clindamycin (an antibiotic that the ER in California prescribed) How would she know about that? I never told the California people that I get treated in the UM health system. She said that my records from the Sutter Health system arrived. So much for getting treated secretly. I assume my insurance somehow linked things together. Well I guess they could now keep track of my tetanus shot that I got last week. I couldn't remember when I got one before.
Did I slip on the ice? The plastic surgeon asked. No ice ever on that stretch of the PCH. Ah, did the Ferraris stop for me? He dreams of taking a Ferrari through the curves and hills of the PCH. Well we took our underpowered  rental hamstermobile through the course. Seriously, why would they market a car showing hamster drivers looking way cooler than the hamsters in their running wheels.
He did look at my face and thought the CA plastic surgeon did an excellent job. He checked for a cheek fracture (still swollen and bruised) and others. I was to get my external stitches out somewhere between day 10 and 14. Yesterday was Day 11 so good timing for the follow-up. Removing the stitches was painful as it felt like each one was tied to a nerve, especially the lip ones. Some were buried under scabs ( I was instructed to keep things scab free, mission impossible) so the scabs were very painfully removed. She did cut some of the excess thread of the interior stitches so I wouldn't feel like I had a mouth full of fishing line. They don't seem like they are going to dissolve anytime soon.
Later, a new show to binge watch: Transparent. My friend and I went through at least 6 episodes last night.

1 comment:

Elephant's Child said...

Your father was obviously related to mine. Sigh. The damage they do. And I was in my thirties before I realised I am not stupid.
Good that the plastic surgeon did a good job.
I am not a runner, but do understand its importance to you. Yay for going yesterday.


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