Members of Team SJS just minutes before the start of the 2010 Fox Cities Half Marathon!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Pre-race Jitters?

In order to catch you up on the most recent events, I have to tell you a bit about my last week. I had been suffering a bit with some pain under my left eye, the bad one. Nothing major, so I thought, until it swelled to a rather large and disturbing size. On Friday morning, the swelling was down and I went to work as usual. Saturday morning I met up with my relay team, Team Opus, for a get together training run after doing my own 4 miles. It had snowed the night before and it was very windy, so I found the run challenging and I was tired.

Again, didn't think much of it until later in the afternoon when the pain around my eye increased. I took the prosthetic out and rested as much as I could, went to bed that night and figured I'd be fine in the morning. Well, at about 4:00 am, I was sitting up in bed, grabbing my eye telling mike something was terribly wrong. A quick call to the Nurse On Call and we were off to the emergency room.

Two thoughts were going through my mind at this time. 1) I am leaving for California in 5 days and 2) please let them give me an antibiotic that won't kill me and send me home. A CT scan later showed that the culprit was periorbital cellulitis probably caused by a sinus infection I didn't realize I even had. I like to tahink it's because I have a strong pain threshold, but it's probably more me I was just too stupid or stubborn to think that anything was wrong. So, I was shocked to find out that oral antibiotics would not be the way to go for me at this time since the infection was pretty extensive. The doctors were concerned the infection had travelled into the bone, which needed IV antibiotics. Probably would be out of the hospital in 24 hours.

The fear I felt in that hospital is something I could probably never explain to someone who has not had the experience I had during my TENs ordeal. My anxiety was high and all I wanted to do was get out of there. My thoughts of getting to run Surf City turned hazy and I had to realize that my body just might not be able to overcome this quick enough. I had three different doctors working with me. A general hospitalist, an infectious disease specialist and an ENT. All of them were giving me different ideas as to how to treat the infection. All of them pretty much told me I wouldn't be going to California. The first round of pain medications made me horribly sick that first day. I couldn't keep anything down and the nausea was a grim reminder of the months I spent on the burn unit. I was hooked up to three different antibiotics, hoping to kill the bacteria causing all of this, yet I continuously prayed that I didn't notice any itching or the start of a rash! The fear was bigger than I was at this point.

The doctors came in, told me I would be there a few more days and that if the second CT showed that the infection had travelled, that I would be facing 6-8 weeks of IV antibiotics. The race may not be out for sure, according to one doctor. We would just have to make arrangements with a hospital in San Diego to get my IV's each day. The thought of that perked me up a little, but it sounded a tad ridiculous. On Monday, late afternoon, the ENT informed me that he didn't believe the infection had travelled and that there would be no reason for me to not go to California. Although, he didn't think it would be wise for me to run the 13.1 I had been training for since September. It all depended on the next morning's CT scan. I could either be going home and able to make Thursday's flight, or I would remain where I was until a scan came back where oral antibiotics would be sufficient.

Needless to say, sleep was the last thing on my mind and it was the longest night of my life. So many friends and family had come to visit me during those two days! I was surrounded by love, support, laughter, tears and of course, banana cream pie blizzard, Starbucks coffee, and blueberry muffins! It was all of those things that saved me from going crazy!!

Tuesday morning, they came to get me early for the CT scan. I was so releived to just get it over. Although they warn you that it will feel as though you have peed your pants, it really does cross your mind if you have!! Thank goodness, I didn't have that problem! Lol! Now, it was just a matter of waiting for the results. Waiting...waiting...waiting.

Well, I guess you can figure it out that the scan came back with marked improvement and I was out of that hospital by 12:30! Elated to be going home, my energy level was minimal and Zi knew that it was going to be tough to get everything done on time to make our flight. That, and the fact that I had yet one more setback before it was all over.

By Wednesday afternoon, I was sure that there was something wrong again. My mouth was raw and my stomach tender to the touch. I thought for sure it was the antibiotic and that I was having another asks reaction. I nearly stroked out as I drove to the walk in clinic to see yet another doctor. The thoughts of returning to the hospital crossed my mind. I had ADR. scneider on speed dial on the burn unit just ready to tell him I was coming back! That this time around, I would probably not survive the SJS and that I wanted to make sure they just let me go. Make me as comfortable as possible and let me say good bye! Oh, the crazy nutso things you think of when you have danced that closely with death! When I got to the clinic, Dr. burned came in, took one look in my mouth and informed me that it was a typical side effect from the antibiotics. All of the good and bad bacteria were being killed off and so another medication and I would be fine! Now, what pace was I planning to run that half marathon in???

Wait...WHAT? What the hell did you just say? I'm not going back to the hospital? I'm not going to die? And, hold on, I can run the half marathon??? I told you I though I was going to have a stroke, right? Well, if ever there was a time to do it, it would have been then! So I grabbed my prescription, picked my jaw up off the floor and headed out of the clinic. I was going to California!!!!!!

And so, here we are! Mike and I flew out on Thursday, just as we had planned. It is now Saturday, the morning before the race. My coach, Rob, is taking us to zhuntington Beach where we will check into our hotel and then go for a much needed run. Of course, a very short and non strenuous one, but I haven't run in a week. I need to get my head in the game and a few miles on my feet may just help with that.

The weather here is absolutely beautiful and I see God's blessings on us in everything. This is the chance of a lifetime and I am taking it!! I will be a part of 20,000 runners tomorrow and representing Team SJS all of the way out here in sunny California. I will keep you posted on the day's events and tomorrow's fabulous race!!! We're on our way, friends! We're on our way!!!!

1 comment:

  1. I can relate to your fear of hospitals after TENS! Having my appendix out was so scary. I too looked for the rashes and signs. If felt like the hospital staff couldn't understand my terror. I accept this as something that will forever be in my mind when interacting with the medical world. I sure hope this doesn't come into play during labor and delivery, although I expect it will. Stay strong sister. Thanks for sharing these difficult emotions with us. It reminds me that I'm not alone.