I Though Bad Things Only Came in Threes: How My Year is Shaping
With the year almost half over I’m left feeling like this girl.
I had high hopes for 2017. I was finally feeling settled in my new town and new job and for the first time in a long time I was feeling like a runner. On new Year’s Eve I actually cried when I hit the submit button on my Wineglass registration. I had goals. I had a plan. I also had no idea how the next few months would unfold.
In January I was eager to start rebuilding my running base. I’d hired Becki Spellman to coach me and thanks to BibRave I had the Capital City half and the Buffalo full on my spring calendar.
I’ll admit all was not well though. In November I had a cyst drained that was on my butt. It was traumatic enough that I wrote a blog post about it. Going into the New Year I was still having issues with it healing.
And since we’re being honest, my training wasn’t going that great. Trying to balance work and training left me feeling frustrated and like a failure. Running before work left m drained by the end of the day. If I ran after work I would be so tired afterward that all I would want to do is go to bed after I showered. I cried many, many times looking at other’s progress on Facebook and IG. Why was this so hard for me?
In January I went to Orlando for work for a week. If you travel for your job you know that work trips are both a blessing and a curse. I found it impossible to catch up when I came back. I was tired and irritable all the time. I was also dealing with some serious anxiety and depression.
Many of you know the story of my experience stalked. With his sentencing around the corner I was beginning to have nightmares again. I was so filled with anxiety that ever day tasks overwhelmed me. I decided that it was time to start seeing a counselor. He diagnosed me with PTSD and I began to see him weekly.
By the time February rolled around I was running on empty. Getting out of bed everyday was a struggle. It took everything I had just to get through each day. My running was slipping. My work was slipping. And for an extra kicker my mom called to tell me that her and my dad were getting a divorced. It was one more thing to add to my already full plate of things I was trying to cope with.
Then work sent me to Indiana for a week of training.
I came home to a letter telling me that the stalker would be sentenced the following week. Between that and being behind at work I was overloaded and I shut down. I remember being told at one point by someone that I was the closest they’d ever seen anyone to a nervous breakdown without actually having a nervous breakdown.
His day in court came and went. With my friend Morgan at my side I delivered my victim impact statement within feet of him. You can read more on that here.
That was on Monday. Then on Wednesday my friend Jamie died after his run.
Jamie’s death followed so closely on the heels of the court date that I didn’t really process what I’d gone through until weeks later. My nightmares resume, worse than before. Each day I sunk lower and lower. I quit training. I quit blogging. I came damn close to losing my job.
I tried to take one day at a time. I continued to see my counselor. Little by little things began to get better. I caught my reflection in a mirror one day and stopped dead because for the first time in a long time I looked like my old self.
April passed in a blur. Kevin and I had split up shortly after my work trip in February. I moved out at the beginning of April. Then it was Easter. Then my birthday. Then the Capital City half.
I had looked forward to meeting fellow Volee in Columbus for months. When the day came to drive out for the race I was blindsided by a panic attack. This was my first big trip alone since I had been stalked and I was terrified to go. After lots of crying I headed out the door barely making it to the expo before it was over. I missed out on the Volee dinner.
To say I was under trained would have been an understatement. I’d barely ran 13 total miles over the past 6 weeks. The race would up getting cancelled midway through due to weather and I was thrilled to only have to run 10.3 miles.
Now by this point I’d downgraded my entry into Buffalo to the half. I figured I’d get a few good runs in over the next month and try to just enjoy the experience in Buffalo. I’d also told Becki that I wanted to take a break with being coached.
Tuesday after the half I had an appointment with a derm surgeon. Remember that cyst from back in November? if not you can read about it here. I was finally having it removed.
That’s when the shit hit the fan.
The procedure went ok but the following day I was in severe pain. I called them begging for pain medication. I was told I’d have to be seen again to get some. They took one look at my incision and told me to get to the ER to be admitted for IV antibiotics.
I would up being there for two days and revived seven bags of IV antibiotics. When I got home I was tired, nauseous and my backside was very, very sore. I took three days off work following my stay in the hospital.
They think that the cyst was badly infected to begin with and that’s why the infection spread so quickly. It was likely infected for months which would explain some of my fatigue.
My first full week back to work I landed in the ER twice. On Tuesday it was for an allergic reaction to God knows which antibiotic they gave me. They took a culture from my incision, gave me a new antibiotic and sent me home. Thursday the ER called and told me to come in immediately to be admitted for more IV antibiotics. Then they told me they wouldn’t admit me and I’d be fine with an oral antibiotic.
The oral antibiotic was horrible. It was equivalent to three IV bags of antibiotics. My first day on it I vomited six times. It also made me extremely tired. Over Memorial Day I went on a two mile walk and almost fell asleep eating a piece of pizza afterward. I napped everyday.
I had my procedure in State College at a Geisinger facility. When it became infected they send me to an UPMC hospital in Altoona. Each keeps trying to bounce me to the other and I feel as though no one is taking responsibility for my care.
I told the doctor at the ER that I wasn’t leaving until someone came up with a care plan for me and a way to execute it. There was no way I was going back to the office in State College. I was able to get an appointment at a wound clinic in Altoona to see the physician’s assistant. I go tomorrow actually. At the end of the month I see the surgeon for a possible second surgery.
I ran the morning before the procedure. Just two miles. It was my first run since the half. I haven’t ran since and I miss it terribly.
Tomorrow I’m hoping for good news. I’m very afraid that they’ll tell me that I need to be admitted for more IV antibiotics. I’m really hoping I’ll catch a break.
Update: I went to the Wound Clinic yesterday and though I’m healing pretty well my incision is still infected. I start a two week round of new oral antibiotics tomorrow. It’s a pretty high dose of a nasty one that’s closely related to the one I had last week that made me so sick and tired. The PA hopes that I “can stand the side effects” for at 7-10 days. If not I’ll have to get an IV line put in so that I can go to the hospital and receive IV antibiotics.