Friday, October 16, 2009

Final Week before surgery

Phew! What a harrowing week of challenges and ups and downs!

The week started out fantastic with a hike finale on Mt. Si where my trainer and I free climbed and scrambled up a rock face known as the "haystack".

Totally stoked about the hike and perfect fall day (photos to come in another post), I was ready for one more adventure in my new drysuit on Monday. Unforunately however, my drysuit was ready too late in the day to do a dive as I am unable to dive at night or in low visibility conditions due to vertigo when I cannot see.

Therefore, Harley and I picked up my suit, took the dogs on a nice evening walk, went out to a fantastic sushi place in Redmond for dinner, and then splurged on gigantic deserts at the Claim Jumper restaurant. The deserts were so big we could not finish them (Harley had a chocolate ice cream mud pie and I, my favorite raspberry cheese pie). We picked up a movie to watch and when we got home I immediately checked my email(habit). To my total dismay, I learned the devastating news of the loss of one of my truest friends and a remarkable human being to a battle with leukemia.

We were not ready for it so it has sent me on days of off and of grief combined with weird dreams of seeing my friend again. In one dream he says tells me his death was staged so he could try a new treatment not yet approved. I awoke half believing he was really still alive. The other dream I saw him and we cried together about him dying. How weird is that?

As difficult as it has been, I have had to "compartmentalize" again and sort of put my grief on hold as I need to be in the right mental frame for this surgery. So Wednesday we aimed to try going on a dive again but the weather becomes too nasty to chance going out so close to surgery. We called out to one of the sites and was told it was really choppy. It waw not worth the chance of me getting sick a week before surgery.

Later that evening, Harley brought me home a couple surprises one of which were a beatuful bouquet of coral color roses. We watched a good movie and all was dandy again.

Then this morning a horrifying accident occurs causing me to nearly lose sight in one eye! Upon waking and needing lubricant for my eye, and feeling around because my eye is too dry to see, I grab the wrong bottle and put fungal medicine in my eye. Instant searing pain shoots throughout my eye so bad that I cannot even open in. It only took a few seconds for my brain to snap awake and horrifyingly realize what I had done.

Yelling and cussing at the top of my lungs, I rush to the bathroom bumping into walls and door frames to make my way to the sink. I douse the eye with water followed by Harley flushing my eye with contact lens solution. Then off we immediately went to the eye doctor who put a transparent lens patch on my eye for the day I go back for him to check it again tomorrow afternoon.

The eye hurt all the way to town and back. It still is sore but I can at least now read words faintly out of it (like looking through a window with a hazy film coating). This afternoon I was not able to make out any letters so what I have is a huge improvement.

Still though, it is not back to normal and it concerns (worries) me that my pupil remains large and nearly the size of my retina. I hope that it will continue to get better and that the present state is not as good as it will get.

So this week has definitely been full of challenges and ranges of emotion. Harley says there is always 2 ways of looking at things. The positive of the mishap this morning is tha we were together and had a wonderful breakfast at a place Harley has been wanting to go to for some time. It made us think of good memories of our friend we lost as he was always really into making breakfasts and going out for breakfast. When we think of good times we shared with him, it brings a smile to our hearts.

With the change in plans due to the eye mishap, my doctor appointment tomorrow conflicted with my last training session. Fortunately my trainer had an opening this evening and the drive there is a one lane country road that I could handle driving on. He asked me if I was sure I felt up to training today and I texted back "I do not want to miss one of my last workouts before surgery. The show must go on - rain or shine!".

So although it has been a very emotional week of ups and downs, I have been getting in some fantastic workout/activity time which will be my last for the next month:
8 mile hike with 3100-3300 foot elevation gain on Sunday
6.5 mile run Tuesday followed by water aerobics and weight routine on arms Tuesday
3.5 mile run Wednesday
Training session, hour brisk walk with the dogs and hour weight training on legs Thursday

Tomorrow is my very last chance to hit the gym before surgery. It will be my last visit until I can return a month post surgery and start rebuilding during the recovery process.
Tomorrow and Saturday morning I hope to get in 2 last walks with the dogs before I leave (maybe even one more run). I had planned to go to water aerobics but will not be able to with my eye still healing.

No, I am not finished packing and getting all my necessary stuff organized for surgery nor cleaning certain things in the house. I will finish packing tomorrow night. The house stuff I decided to just let go of and do my best to deal with it when I get home (like cleaning the carpets, dusting, and little things here and there). I am out of time and need to go with what I've got. The time is here.

The one thing I can say about the tragic events of the week, is that in a way it sort of distracted my mind from fretting over the surgery coming up. It could also be seen as a test to see how resilient I am and "toughen" me up for the week ahead. Maybe this is God's way of mentally preparing/training myself to go through a surgery again. It was hard coming back last time (waking after the surgery) and it will take strength and guts to do it again. When you train for something, you get used to it. So perhaps this was a way to shake me into reality of what I need to face the challenge ahead.

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