31 August 2016

gimme all the greens

When they first released me from the hospital after my DVT, I was put on the traditional blood thinner Coumadin. This is a medication that came with dietary restrictions, specifically Vitamin K, which is a natural coagulant. As such, I wasn't really supposed to or allowed to foods with Vitamin K while we were waiting for my INR levels to get to where they needed to be.

Vitamin K shows up in lots of veggies but is specifically known to show up in leafy, green vegetables. Broccoli. Spinach. Kale. This is why, when my numbers dropped a couple of weekends ago, the nurse asked if I ate a bunch of green veggies. (No. No I didn't.)

I haven't had a salad in weeks. I had to give up my green smoothies. When you're limited to what vegetables you can eat, your diet tends to turn to shit. Almost two months ago I quit dieting and said I wouldn't voluntarily step on a scale again. But because of all of these recent doctor's appointments, I know what I weigh and I'm slightly up. Which, y'know, whatever but I also know it's been because I've been eating horribly for the past month.


When my surgeon decided to switch me to one of the newer meds, which doesn't have dietary restrictions, I was so excited because, among other things, it meant VEGETABLES. LEAFY GREEN ONES. ALL THE LEAFY GREEN ONES.

Saturday I went out to dinner with my parents and I got the biggest damn salad I could and zomg it was so good and I'm so happy I get to have my green smoothies again for breakfast.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

29 August 2016

hello again aunt flo

I first went on the birth control pill about, oh, ten years ago or so and have been on them ever since. For those that don't understand how it works, the pill uses hormones to stop ovulation. With no ovulation, there's no egg release and, thus, no egg for sperm to attach to and, thus, no pregnancy. This is why taking them at the same time every single day is so important because if you miss a pill, it can trigger ovulation which puts you at risk for pregnancy.

Depending on the pill you take, you may or may not have a period every month but even if you do it's not a "real" period since there was no egg released earlier in the month. Some pills, like the one I took, have a week of placebo pills with no hormones and you have a "withdrawal" period instead. Assuming you took all of your previous pills, your hormone levels will be high enough to maintain the non-ovulation through the placebo week, the end of which you start a new pack.

Many doctors, including my own primary care physician, agree that if a woman is on some form of contraceptive there's no need for her to have a period every single month. Back when the pill was first introduced, the doctors thought it was in the woman's best interest to mimic a standard 28 day cycle, including the menstruation part. So, y'know, SCIENCE.

(Don't ask how I know all of this. I tend to do a lot of research on lots of random things.)

So this is basically my long-winded way of saying I haven't had a real honest to goddess menstruation cycle in about a decade.

One of the side-effects of birth control can be blood clots which means that when I was in the hospital a month ago for Clotapocalypse they took me off said birth control pills. I was in the middle of my pack and after a few days, the withdrawal period started. Since then I've been anxiously awaiting for my normal cycle to start back up and because of the blood thinners I've been super paranoid my period was going to look something like this:


I also have no idea what my natural cycle looks like in terms of duration but knowing it started on August 1st when I was in the hospital and also knowing the "standard" is 28 days, I'd been basically girding my loins for the past week or so.

My period started up this weekend and thankfully it was pretty, well, normal. Which basically means it was the same level of annoyance as it has been since I was 10 years old.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

26 August 2016

ARCs in the wild!

If you don't work in the book industry or have some affiliation with it, you may not be aware of the different facets of the publishing process. One of these is the Advanced Reader Copy: several months before a book's official publication date, copies go out to book bloggers, bookstores, libraries, various fancy people, etc., to start getting the buzz going and to also collect blurbs and recommendations that they can put on the cover of the final product.

Because of where I work I actually have too many ARCs to know what to do with since it's important for my role to know what is up and coming before books hit their street date.

As of yesterday, ARCs of my own book are out in the wild.


I had some physical copies sent to the office because 1) we work in the book industry B) we all love Cleveland and III) I work with a shit ton of runners. I knew they were in the mail but I didn't know they had arrived until one of my co-workers brought a copy over and I completely flipped.the.fuck.out at seeing it in person.

I FEEL SO FANCY.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

24 August 2016

the saga continues ......

Over the past few months, starting with Anklegate back in May (fucking May, people) and now Clotocalypse (a name my friend Carla came up with that I like so much I'm stealing), people keep commending me on my good attitude. Which, quite frankly, is a little disturbing because I am as pessimistic as they come.

In this case, though, I just keep telling people "It is what it is" because, well, it is what it is. There is literally nothing I can do to change anything, I can only follow the directives of the doctors and nurses assigned to my care.

That doesn't mean it doesn't get frustrating at times and on Monday I reached one of those frustrating moments in the Coumadin Clinic when my INR levels had dropped.

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm still taking the Lovenox shots while I wait for my INR levels to get to the right place. This requires pretty much every other day blood testing and on Friday I finally hit the magic number. I need two good tests in a row and they are closed on the weekends so it had to wait until Monday. So, I go in Monday after work and ..... my numbers are down. By, like, a lot.


I just, I can't. The nurse asks if I ate a whole bunch of leafy green vegetables over the weekend. Um. No. Because I'm not an idiot. You all keep repeating how important it is to not eat those, at least not right now, because they can counteract the Coumadin. You really think I'm gonna go all krazy on kale when I'm in one blood test result away from ditching the shots? Yeah, that makes perfect sense.

Sigh.

The only thing that keeps changing is the dosage because it's all MATH! and SCIENCE! and some bizarro formula they use so each and every single time I have a different amount of meds to take and I just have to kind of trust them but it's so frustrating when the number goes up and then down and I'm not doing anything differently.

Yesterday I call my vascular surgeon (who I heart so much by the way) which was the plan we set up after my follow-up with him last week. Based on my numbers being nowhere near where they should be three weeks post hospital, they decided to switch me to one of the newer blood thinner medications. This means 1) no more self-injections and 2) no more needing to get my blood tested every other day! YAY!

So that's where I am today, which is a much better place than I was on Monday. In other news, I had a follow-up with the bone doc who wants me to say in the air cast for another four weeks (sigh) but hopefully when I go back in late September he'll be able to give me the okay and clear me for exercise. FINALLY. Ohmygosh. My anxiety has been outta control as of late and I have no doubt it's partly from not having a good way of exerting all the pent up nervous energy.

My appointment is the Thursday before the Akron Half Marathon. Trust me, the irony of this is not lost on this runner.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

22 August 2016

Mondays are for Coffee & Contemplation


Technically I stole paraphrased this line from Netflix's STRANGER THINGS but whatever. I want to start doing more weekly blog series and so this is one I just kind of made up because I needed something for Monday and, well, here we are. Right now I sort of anticipate it being a kind of catch-all of things on that have been on my mind or going on in my life. Who knows, maybe this will end up being the only week.

1) SHIT IS GETTIN' REAL, YO.


My book Running With a Police Escort: Tales from the Back of the Pack is 4 1/2 months away from publication and entering the advanced readers copy stage of things. While fabulous people are getting early access to the book, my editor and I are working on, um, editing the book and making it all prety and perfect for publication. She picked the chapter name font above, which just proves she's the perfect person to be working on this book.

1a) Four and a half months, holy shit. I really need to start working on that book launch party like I've been walking about for weeks.

2) I've now been hospital free for three weeks and my new normal is becoming a little more natural. I'm still giving myself twice daily injections of Lovenox but hopefully today will be the last day -- I have another appointment at the Coumadin Clinic after work tonight and if my INR levels are the same as they were on Friday, I can stop the shots. Which would be great because they are a) annoying and b) really fucking expensive.

3) Last week I had a follow-up with my vascular surgeon who performed the transcatheter procedure on my DVT and all I can say is I heart him so much. Because of the whole general anesthesia thing, I don't really remember much of my interactions with him. But now that I'm, y'know, not on drugs he's pretty awesome. I was telling this to BC over the weekend, but all I pretty much know about surgeons I learned from television where they are often portrayed as the hot shots in the hospital and all pompous and arrogant and he is the exact opposite. He's also a patient advocate: when he found out how much the Lovenox was costing me, he did a literal facepalm.


I'm supposed to call him tonight or tomorrow after I get my blood checked and if I'm still not where I need to be he's going to see if we can come up with a Plan B.

4) Which is good, because, as I said, it's not cheap. It also was a pain in the ass to get it filled by my regular doctor after I ran out of refills on the original script from the hospital. It took two days and four phone calls and me breaking down, sobbing so hard I could barely get the words out, before they actually expedited the order like they said they'd been doing for two days. My doc normally needs 2 - 4 days to call a script in. The Lovenox usually arrives with enough for about 5 days. Which means I basically need to call in a refill as soon as I pick the first set up. Only then, depending on how my INR levels are, I potentially end up with a prescription to pick up that I won't need. So. Much. Angst.

5) So much angst, in fact, that I think I may have had an anxiety attack earlier this week while trying to get the prescription filled. I don't know, I've never had one before, but it was a very, very scary hour or so where I really had no idea what the fuck was going on and just felt so fucking weird and at one point my face was all flushed, things got blurry for a second, and there were huge yellow spots in my field of vision. It was at that point that I started crying on the phone because I was so worried I wouldn't get my prescription filled in time.

6) As I have been reminded by friends, I've had some pretty hardcore shit happen to me as of late. My friend Missy thinks short term counseling might be a good idea. I'm looking into that. I've never really dealt with my anxiety in any real way, this seems like as good a time as any.

7) Oh yeah, I also have a follow-up with my bone doctor today about my ankle. Y'know, the ankle that started this whole mess three and a half months ago. I've been wearing an air cast for a couple of weeks now and because of the hospital and his schedule, I'm coming in about a week and a half later than he first said so, who knows. Maybe my ankle will be all magically healed.

8) Dealing with this has been tricky because I need to get up and walk around often because of the blood clot, but I'm also still dealing with a fractured ankle. Awkward. It's sort of like with my diet: I want to maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet but because of the blood thinners the nurse said no dark, leafy green veggies until I get my INR levels to 2 since Vitamin K can counteract the meds. Once my levels are okay we'll work on reintroducing them but for now, that means no salads, none of my green smoothies, all of that good stuff, which means that whole healthy well-balanced diet is tricky, to say the least.

9) In other news, my fabulous FitBloggin friend Meredith was in town this weekend visiting family! We had breakfast on Saturday and walked around the Coventry neighborhood. I'm a west sider and Coventry is out east so I don't get out there very often but it's one of my favorite neighborhoods so I was more than happy to have an excuse to cross the river.


10) Also, on the subject of coffee, HOW AWESOME IS MY NEW MUG?!


I got it from the Harry Potter Alliance, which is this really great organization that uses the power of Harry Potter to do some fantastic activism.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

12 August 2016

Go For the Gold with Bondi Band's Rio 2016 Collection

Disclosure: I am writing this post as a Bondi Band Ambassador. All opinions are my own.

The 2016 Olympics are in full swing with countries from all over the world gathering in Rio to showcase their athletes. Last summer Olympics back in 2012, I had already started running but I was so new to the sport I didn't really pay any attention to the athletes doing their thing in London. This time, though, I'm looking forward to watching some of the track and field events now that I am more familiar with the sport and the names representing the United States.

Taking inspiration from the wide range of sports taking place in Brazil, Bondi Band has created a fantastic Rio 2016 Collection of headbands. There are BondiBands for swimming, cycling, even gymnastics!


Also, as seen above, they have country specific bands as well.

So be sure to check out their Rio 2016 Collection today and use coupon code Phoenix2016 to save 10% on your order!

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

10 August 2016

my new normal

One week ago was my first full day back at the house after getting discharged from the hospital after spending five nights there due to a deep vein thrombosis in my left leg.

Slowly, ever so slowly, I am adapting to my new lifestyle. The changes are minor on the outside but increasingly significant as a whole. Back in May when I broke my ankle, I thought I had to deal with a lot of doctor's appointments but that's nothing compared to where I am now. Because of the blood thinner medication I'm on, I need to have my blood tested frequently make sure my INR levels are where they need to be. This means regular trips to the chronic care clinic. Thankfully it's about two minutes from my house and has some early morning hours so I can, for the most part, make it work with my job schedule.


On that end, because the INR levels aren't where they need to be yet I have two types of medicine I'm taking, one of which is administered via an syringe twice a day. Wake up, give myself a shot. Take a pill before dinner. Give myself another shot before bed. Rinse and repeat. 

I also have to be careful about the foods I eat. Vitamin K specifically since it's a natural coagulant and can counteract the blood thinners. I'm allowed to eat Vitamin K foods I just have to be consistent with them. Over the weekend I was thinking about this and realized that about a month ago I developed a taste for green smoothies with a spinach base. I had them on an almost daily basis in the week leading up to FitBloggin and they probably had a good 2-3 cups of spinach in them. 

Spinach is full of Vitamin K. This means spinach helps blood clot. This normally isn't a bad thing, it's actually a good thing. Unless, of course, you're dealing with a fractured ankle and two months of leg immobilization followed by a road trip. 

WELL DONE, SELF. 

I suspect that there were probably earlier signs that I had a clot that I missed because of my stupid high tolerance to pain. One does not just wake up and spontaneously have a blood clot in their leg that runs the entire length of their thigh, from groin to knee. Something had most likely been brewing there but I didn't notice until my leg was fucking purple from lack of circulation. 

At least I caught it in time and before it went to the scary, scary land of pulmonary embolism. (Though, one of the many doctor appointments I have is a follow-up with a PE doctor in a couple of weeks just to be sure. But over the weekend I walked from my house to the local art fair in downtown Lakewood and walked all around without any breathing issues. I'm pretty sure when the surgeon was doing his thing in my leg he put something in there to prevent anything from traveling up. I vaguely recall a pre-op conversation where he described a tiny umbrella type thing but I was so overwhelmed with information it's hard to say for sure).

One good bit of news though: NO MORE BOOT. At my last appointment two weeks ago, my bone doc gave me the go ahead to switch to the air cast on this date. YAY! I was supposed to make a follow-up appointment for around this time but, y'know, then I ended up in the hospital and my week is busy this week and he's gone next week so it's going to be another week and a half until I can see him but it's okay. If nothing else, the air cast gives me so much more mobility -- not even just with regards to walking but being able to move my leg around even while just sitting at my desk. 

I've started setting the alarm on my phone to go off every hour so I can get up and walk around the building: I have a desk job and I can get so into a project I shut the world out which leads me to sitting for long stretches at a time. Not good so add that to my growing list of "new normal." But, like a friend who has a history of blood clots told me, this at least is a good incentive to maintain an active lifestyle. 

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

05 August 2016

Eleven Lessons Learned From Hospital Life


1) Nurses are the back bone of the hospital. 
Holy shit, you guys. Look, all I know about hospitals I pretty much learned from Grey's Anatomy and, lemme tell ya, nurses do everything. It killed me that my ability to get discharged resided with the attending who saw me for maybe a grand total of 15 minutes the entire six days I was there and not the men and women who took amazing care of me on a daily basis. Especially the ones up in the ICU who bathed me, handled my catheter, bed pan, and all that really gross basic human living stuff we take for granted. (I mean, I get it: he has the advanced degree and education and sees the big picture of it all, but still.)

2) Surgery is a birthday suit situation. 
During my pre-op, the nurse was going through the checklist of things not allowed, like anything with metal which meant my bra. Because I was hooked up to the IV and my bra wasn't the kind where you can unhook straps, they had to actually cut it off of me. (Most of this was stuff that should have been taken care of by the ER but everything happened so fast I think there were some ships passing in the night situations.) But it also turns out contacts aren't allowed either. They didn't have contact containers ('cause, hi, why would they) so my contacts spent the week hanging out in ... wait for it .... urine sample cups.

3) I lost all modesty.
When you have a complete stranger giving you a sponge bath, modesty is for the birds. When they took me in for surgery the second day to check their progress, the surgical nurse was trying to delicately cover up my vajayjay area and I told her to not worry about it. Like, at all. Pretty sure the entire surgical staff saw my bush but whatever.

4) My high tolerance for pain may be my undoing.
I know I mentioned this a bit in my last post, but seriously, yo. My leg had very little circulation, to the point that it was blue and purple, and my description of it was "uncomfortable." When you think about it, this is not really a good thing. Pain is there for a reason. Pain lets you know that something is wrong. It seemed like this came on really sudden, but for all I know there had been some level of pain going on in the immediate return from FitBloggin but because of my high tolerance I didn't notice it. So this is something I'm going to have to keep a careful eye on.

5) At this point I'm sure I can sleep through anything.
I was in ICU from Thursday night until Sunday afternoon. During that time I was hooked up to several machines, including a blood pressure monitor which took my bp automatically every hour on the hour. I was also getting blood drawn every 4 hours or so, including in the middle of the night. Slept through many of those late night / early morning arm squeezes and by Monday and Tuesday, when the blood draws became less frequent but still just as early, I was pretty much sleeping through those, too.

6) Needles schmeedles.
I used to be one of those weirdos who was all "I have tattoos but I hate needles." Bitch, please. After all this and especially now that I'm self-injecting syringes into my belly, needles are so whatever.

7) I have never said my name and birth date so often.
Every time a nurse or phlebotomy technician or doctor or anyone came in to do anything, they'd ask me my full name and birth date. Hell, even the food service workers when they brought my meals. Speaking of ...

8) I didn't overthink my food choices the whole time I was there.
I come from a long, long history of way overthinking food. It's why I decided to ditch dieting a month ago. While in the hospital I didn't overthink my food choices at all. I ordered what I wanted when I wanted, including dessert. That said, depression and hospitals don't mix well: By the time I was allowed to eat (due to surgery schedule) I had gone 40 hours without food but even when they gave me the go ahead I didn't have an appetite. Like, at all. My parents visited almost every day and one one of those days she said "Make sure you eat dinner." When she called the next day and asked if I ate the night before I said "Um, I had one of those granola bars you brought me."

9) Hospital food doesn't have to suck
Maybe I just got lucky being at the Cleveland Clinic (recently named #2 in the nation!) but the food was not too bad. They have it set up like room service with a menu you can order from and -- best part -- ALL DAY BREAKFAST. The pancakes were top notch.

10) Snoopy is still a girl's best friend
After I was admitted to the ER, my bestest most awesomest boyfriend ever BC got off work early and stopped at home to pick up some things I requested. One of those was my childhood stuffed animal, Snoopy.


My original Snoopy was given to me at birth but he was lost at Disney World when I was, like, 8. My grandparents bought me this one as a replacement (8 year old Jill was a little miffed at the idea that Snoopy was replaceable but she adapted). He's been to college, my first apartment, and now sleeps on the guest bed in my office here at the house. This dog never left my side in the hospital and I had several of the nurses and doctor's comment on him, saying they would have requested the same thing. He has some battle scars -- mostly small patches of dried blood from when my main IV got loose and, hi, blood thinners so that was fun -- but it's good to know that 25+ years later that stuffed animal from childhood can still get the job done.

11) There's no place like home
I will happily give myself twice daily shots in my belly if it means I get to sleep in my own bed every night and get woken up by the cats instead of the lab.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

03 August 2016

anklegate 2016: special blood clot edition!

Let's recap, shall we?

On Tuesday, May 10th, I was coming down the stairs of the house I share with BC and tripped on the bottom two, falling and injuring my ankle. Thinking it was sprained, I walked on it for a week only to discover the following Monday it was actually broken. (As we will soon discover, this is indicative of my apparent high tolerance for pain).

I was in a non-weight bearing cast for six weeks then on June 24th was put in a walking cast. I wore that for two weeks then on July 12th got a walking boot. I've been doing really well in that and wore it to Indianapolis a couple weekends ago for FitBloggin. I went via car, driving about 5 hours on Thursday and coming home on Saturday.

Last Tuesday, July 26th, I had a follow-up with the bone doc. I apparently have the slowest healing bone ever and he wants me to keep the boot for another two weeks then switch to the air cast on August 10th.

And that was great and grand and all was well and good.

And then it was Wednesday, July 27th.


The day started out normal enough. Went to work, did the work thing, then that evening went to an event at the Music Box Supper Club. Around 7:30 I got up to go to the bathroom and had what felt like a cramp in my abdomen. But I didn't think much of it and stayed for the show, leaving around 9:30 pm.

Walking to my car I remarked to my friend Erin that it felt like I had pulled a muscle or something. My leg was also feeling very tired but I just figured maybe I had overworked it that day. Got home and was, admittedly, quite cranky, telling BC I was going upstairs and taking a shower and going to bed.

Once in the bathroom I removed the boot and noticed my left leg was dramatically swollen and discolored. But it didn't really hurt, was more just uncomfortable. I had a bad feeling about this but I was so tired and so cranky and really hoped I was wrong, so I thought maybe I just need to elevate it overnight and the swelling will go down and it will be fine.

So that's what I did. Not only that, I got up for work on Thursday, got dressed, and actually went to work, swollen discolored leg and all. In my defense, my team was supposed to have a fun activity that day and go to High Tea at Cleveland's Ritz Carlton and I did not want to miss that. But I didn't have much of an appetite so after getting ready, I skipped breakfast (this is important!) and just got to work a bit early, around 8 am.

I work in a fairly large building and just walking through it to my desk I knew this was not good. Still didn't hurt, but leg was uncomfortable and stiff and it was hard to walk. I got to my desk and kept inching the hemline of my dress up to compare the swollen left leg with the regular right and it was really noticeable. So as soon as my manager got in at 8:30 I went into her office and explained I needed to leave. Then I lifted the hem of my skirt a little to show her my leg.

This was pretty much her reaction:


Goddamnit.

I live on the west side but work on the east side. My suspicions now confirmed, I decided I didn't want to waste time driving all the way back to the west and instead went to an Urgent Care just a couple of miles from work. From there, he sent me to nearby Marymount Hospital which is part of the Cleveland Clinic.

Upon arriving I went to radiology and my leg was given an ultrasound where they confirmed a very extensive blood clot. (I knew things were bad when the tech/student was like "Imma need to go get my manager for help with this.")

They immediately sent me through to the emergency department where I got admitted and hooked up to an IV of blood thinners. I also got a CT scan, which is like having this weird mechanical doughnut go all around you. The tech warned me that the dye she injected would a) give me a metallic taste in my mouth and b) make it feel like I had to pee and c) make my whole body warm. The metallic taste kicked in at the same time I had to hold my breath for about 20 seconds so that's fun.


Thankfully, the CT scan came back clear: the clot had not traveled up to my lungs. That was pretty much the last good news I had for awhile.

So at this point I should probably explain the leg to you. I don't have any pictures because the night of it freaked me the fuck out and I couldn't deal with it, but now I kind of regret it.

You know in horror movies when you see zombie limbs and they are all purple and blue from lack of circulation? Yeahhhhhhh. It pretty much looked like that. Now that I think about it, I kind of looked like Voldemort.


SLYTHERIN FOR LIFE, YO.

And it was my literally the entire fucking leg. My deep vein thrombosis ran from the groin (well that explains that weird feeling the night before!) down to my knee. They found a little circulation in my foot, but that's about it. The whole leg was discolored, stiff, swollen and, according to the doctors who felt it, ice cold.

Right, so, how does sort of thing happen? In this case, the doctor's think it was a combination of things. First, and most obvious, my fracture. Plus the whole immobilization due to the cast / boot. Plus being on birth control (it's a known risk factor, though I've been on The Pill for about a decade with zero problems but no more). But with the timing, it's probably my most recent road trip to Indianapolis that was the real catalyst.

FUCKING FITBLOGGIN, MAN. THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING.

So by now it's like 3 pm and I still haven't eaten and my mom and BC have both come to the ER. My dad is in Nevada on a business trip but I'm texting with him and my sister, keeping them both updated.

Originally the plan was to keep me on blood thinners and wait and see but the vascular surgeon decided to take a more aggressive route and take me in for a minimally invasive surgery that basically involved going behind my knee and putting in a small catheter that would distribute blood thinner medicine directly to the clot.

To recap: my Thursday morning started with me excited to have High Fucking Tea at the Ritz Carlton and now I'm getting put under general anesthesia so I can have surgery on my dead zombie leg.

What? Me? Scared? Not at all. Nope, I wasn't the 34 year old fully independent woman who asked her boyfriend to bring her childhood stuffed Snoopy to the hospital. Nope, not me.


I go into surgery around 6 pm and I was in for, I think, about two hours. Because of the anesthesia I have zero memory of what happened. One of the doctors gave me something to "take the edge off" and I was super loopy as they took me into surgery (all I'll say is I had a very similar experience last summer when FitBloggin was in Denver). I remember having the mask put over my mouth, taking a few deep breaths, and the next thing I'm getting woken up which is VERY disorienting lemme tell you. BC was there and stayed for a little bit with me in ICU but I was so tired I eventually fell asleep.

Friday morning, I'm taken back into surgery so they can take a look at the work from the night before. As I'm being wheeled down, the anesthesiologist and nurses were asking how I knew it was a clot and I explained the whole zombie colored leg and how I went to work and, I swear to goddess you guys. The look on their faces when I explained I had this whole leg situation and still went to work.

"Didn't it hurt?"
"Nah, it was mostly just uncomfortable."

Again, you guys. THE LOOKS ON THEIR FACES. Even after surgery when the ICU nurses kept asking if I had any pain, I said no 90% of the time. The other times it was for some tenderness at the procedural site behind my knee and a fucking headache. That's it.

See: high tolerance for pain.

Friday, I was put under that whole Twilight thing instead of full anesthesia and they checked. Half the clot was gone so I was sent back up to ICU and ate for the first time since Wednesday night. Oh yeah, I went about 40 hours without food. Fun times, yo.

Saturday rolled around and they took me back to check again. This time, the majority of the clot was gone and they were able to suck out some of the remaining bit and left the blood thinners to take care of the rest.

After that, it just became a waiting game. Well, a waiting game combined with a ridiculous amount of blood work. I was getting poked and prodded on a very specific schedule, which meant being woken up at 3 am sometimes.

On Sunday afternoon I was moved out of ICU and into a regular room and just kept on waiting, although the blood work became less frequent and I was no longer hooked up to quite so many machines although I still was attached to an IV (which made getting up and using the restroom quite a production).

By Monday I had hit my limit and when the surgical resident, Dr. Nicole, came to check on me I basically cried and begged to be allowed to go home.

I'm still in the "bridge" phase where they are transitioning me from the IV to the oral medication but there is an option that includes self-injecting at home although that needed to be discussed with the surgical doctor who performed the operation and insurance doesn't always cover it. But, thankfully, Dr. Stanley approved me and so did my insurance so after another day of monitoring labs and being taught how to do the self-injection I was finally discharged on Tuesday afternoon around 3:00 pm.

Of course, this is the first page in a whole new chapter because I have to be on blood thinners for the next six months (at least). Today is all about doctor's appointments and figuring out when I can return to work (ohmygod I was so freaking bored in the hospital I can't even tell you) and just get back to daily life. Or, well, a new version of daily life. Because of the blood thinners I have to be careful with cuts and bleeding and bruising and, on top of that, I'm still dealing with this fractured ankle.

Just gotta keep on keepin' on.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus
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