Pampered Diva's Blog

This weekend I decided to create a chart of planned events for the year. I’m not quite done yet but I decided to live by the edict – failing to plan is planning to fail. So I have come up with a tentative schedule for the year. I have a definite list as well as a wish list. My first race is this weekend in San Diego – The Mermaid Series 5K. Looking forward to my first event of the year. I see another finish line in my future!!!

2013 Race Schedule
Confirmed Events
Date Race Distance Location
February 9, 2013 Mermaid Series 5K San Diego, CA
April 14, 2013 Wildflower Run 5K Morgan Hill, CA
May 11, 2013 Mermaid Series 5K Fremont, CA
November 10, 2013 Mermaid Series 10K San Francisco, CA
June 9, 2013 Mermaid Series Duathlon Alameda, CA
October 6, 2013 Mermaid Series Sprint Triathlon Capitola, CA
Wish List
February 23, 2013 Mermaid Series 5K Phoenix, AZ
March 2, 2013 The Color Run 5K San Francisco, CA
March 8, 2013 See Jane Run 5K Alameda, CA
March 10, 2013 South Bay Duathlon Duathlon Morgan Hill, CA
May 1, 2013 Canyon Classic
1/4 Century Ride
25 Miles Patterson, CA
May 5, 2013 Divas Series 5K San Francisco, CA
May 18, 2013 Color Me Rad 5K Napa Valley, CA
May 19, 2013 Iron Girl Sprint Triathlon Lake Lanier, GA
August 25, 2013 Santa Barbara Triathlon Sprint Triathlon Santa Barbara, CA
August 31, 2013 Golden Gate Du Duathlon Orinda, CA
September 22, 2013 See Jane Run/See Jane Tri Sprint Triathlon Pleasanton, CA
October 19, 2013 Du the Bear Duathlon El Sobrante, CA
December 8, 2013 Iron Girl 10K Del Mar, CA
December 15, 2013 Iron Girl 10 miles Fountain Hills, AZ
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The beginning of the REST of the story.

Okay so back to where I started. I got 80 pounds off. I was feeling great. So many things were working in my favor. Clothing that was packe up for so long I had to blow the dust off started to fit again. I was a happy girl. February 20, 2010. Step aerobics. I zigged when I should have zagged, the step flew into the air and I went sailing toward the floor. You know the scenes on TV where every thing slows down and you feel like the soundtrack is even slowing down? Yeah, I had one of those moments. The instructor, Connie, bless her soul, thought she could make it from the front of the class to the back where I was and try to catch me. The girl is fast but not nearly that fast. I felt a snap in my left leg but the people around me said don’t worry because I could still wiggle all my toes. I decided to go home and let it heal. Were it not for the fact that I could not figure out how to take myself to my second floor apartment, I may never have gone to the emergency room. A few hours and a few x-rays later I was sent home to recouperate and “let it heal”. (By the way, I drove myself to the hospital…)

I was supposed to wait a week and call Orthopedics to follow up.  I fell on a Saturday but by Monday morning I knew my injury would require further medical intervention. I made an appointment for that Wednesday and went on about my normal activities. Well, as normal as they could be on crutches and an air boot (read not very graceful and fell off the crutches a few times). Wednesday, I met an incredible surgeon (read very insanely good at her job but horrible people skills) who informed me that surgery would happen in less than 24 hours and should’ve already happened, especially if I plan to walk on the leg again, limp optional but would not cost extra.

A scant 48 hours later, surgery complete, new cast, new wheels (wheelchair) and back out to face the world. The wheelchair and I became best of buddies for nearly 6 months before I was allowed to put weight on the injury and walk again. I did learn a couple of things about wheelchairs though. They can get flat tires – it was par for the course in a year that gave me 12 flat tires on my car (yes I do realize the car only has 4 wheels) and 2 on my wheelchair. Luckily I had roadside assistance for both. I also learned, thanks to my children, that a wheelchair can be used like a skateboard in a mall – while the occupant is still in it – providing hours of fun for the person pushing/skating and hours of terror for the passenger who has no brakes.

Shortly after being released from the wheelchair, I became very ill at work and ended up in the hospital for 5 days. It is during this time you discover who your friends really are. I have the best BFF in the whole world but that will have to be another blog post. During this time of illness and reflection, I was diagnosed with Sarcoidosis. What is Sarcoidosis? Short version – an autoimmune disorder which causes organs to periodically develop nodules of inflammation. My affects my skin and lungs. Praying it does not gravitate to other organs. The treatment requires steroids which come with a whole host of new problems – steroid induced diabetes, cataracts, bone fractures, horseness, bruising, weight gain, etc. So between the broken ankle and the steroids I undid all the work I’d achieved so far. Well not all the work, only half. I gained back 40 of the 80 that I lost. UGH!!! (I was a victim of all the side effects mentioned.)

So out of the hospital and back on my feet and back to the gym. It was a huge fight but I lost another 20 pounds. (Net 60 if you are keeping score). New problem, foot pain. Saw a chiropractor and a podiatrist to no avail. Still in pain. I decided to work through the pain and begin training for a 5K. My very first. November 2011. The Mermaid San Francisco 5K – I finished!!! Yeah!!! (I’ll make this another blog post when I finish my third 5K in less than 7 days.) The pain was severe after the race was done. I was referred to a new podiatrist immediately following the 5K. He was able to find the precise cause of my pain. I’d broken my right foot!!! Ugh!!! Really??? Cussed steroids.

I’ve had to go on steroids on other time but for now the Sarcoidosis is in remission. Ankle is healed as is the foot. Now the diva is back up and ready to resume the quest to bring sexy back. My third 5k is this weekend (February 9, 2012) in San Diego. This is going to be a banner year for me – I can feel it in my bones. I look forward to many great things on my horizon.

A quick announcement to say that I’ve missed blogging and I regret that my life got so busy that I didn’t make time for the important things in life. So, having said this… The Diva will return after Christmas. I am beginning a new chapter in my life on December 26th and I plan to chronicle it via this blog. I’ve had several ups and downs in the months away from this blog and I am ready to take on an uphill spiral. So stay tuned for the narration of my story. Finally, I’ve begun work on my book. Some have heard me discuss my desire to write a book of etiquette to pick up where Emily Post left off. To this end, I am requesting your input. If there are situations you find yourself in that you think need to be addressed in a modern age guide to life, please forward me your situation and I will address it in my book as well as give you a mention in the book (maybe even a chance to proofread or add to it).

So as we prepare to enter 2013, join me as we witness the resurrection of the Diva!

Tonight I am grateful for my cheerleading squad. I have the Princess Bondi Band Brigade. They ROCK… Everyone I’ve told about my goals have been beyond supportive and encouraging. It is amazing the cheering and inspiration that has come my way!

I mentioned in my last post that I was discouraged. My support system has wiped that away. I have found a second wind and I am up and moving again. At this juncture, I must admit that the scale has not been working with me. Most recent weigh in 297.7. That’s only a half pound since my last weigh in. UGH!!! A half pound.

Some how I’ve injured my foot. I’m not sure how or when but lately at around the half way point in my two-mile run there is an excruciating pain in my right foot. I’ve got to get to a podiatrist to have it checked out. So I’ve cut back on my mileage and slowed down to a walk rather than trying to run. Though there is always the temptation to quicken the pace, like when crossing the street after you’ve waited for a traffic light.

But the good news is I am beginning to feel the transformation from couch potato to athlete. I won’t be breaking any records except my own so you don’t need to alert the media or get FloJo up in a tissy but I do have some announcements to make very soon. Stay tuned…

The past two weeks have been a very difficult time. I lost a beautiful young friend to a blot clot in her lungs. Physical issues have been plaguing me one after another. My BFF had a terrible car accident ( 1/2 pint I’m very glad you are safe. By the way, who totals a mountain lion ?)

The desire to give up has been very strong. I must credit a group of ladies in Atlanta, whom for now I shall call my Princess Bondi Band Brigade, for providing a much needed shake up and motivation, not to mention some strong arm tactics (Love you, Ty!) to get me back up and off the sofa onto the pavement again.

The weight loss has stalled. Due to the fact I have not been stagnant during my two weeks of blue I am fortunate to say the scale has not betrayed me but it hasn’t necessarily been my friend either.

It takes a team of doctors and specialists to keep this machine well oiled and running. I’ve added the services of a chiropractor, massage therapist and physical therapist along with going to the gym. I am going to add a nutritionist to the mix. These professionals join my regular physician, cardiologist, ophthalmologist, pulmonologist and dermatologist who’ve been seeing me since the Sarcoidosis diagnosis. I am also considering adding an acupuncturist, a yogi and a private coach to the mix. It doesn’t take this much to keep a 57 Chevy in motion!!!

I will be making a couple of announcements over the next few weeks. One of which will be the date of my first 5K. I think I am almost ready. I won’t be breaking any records beyond my own personal records. I just want to finish and not come in last. So stay tuned for my announcements and perhaps join me on some of my new endeavors. I will be posting this week’s totals later on tonight or tomorrow.

In 1995, I went through a serious bumpy patch that ultimately ended in divorce. Turning the page, I decided to hit the gym and in a few months I got down to 1 dress size more than high school. It was a great feeling! It only took a few months but the weight was falling off fast. So fast it was almost as if I would trip over the weight on the way out of the gym as the chunks were falling off. This should have been a clue to a larger problem but unfortunately for me I embraced my weight loss as a result of my trips to the gym and the stress of reentering the work force for the first time in 6 years.  I should have noticed the signs my body was giving me, trying to tell me that something was wrong.

Within the next few months, the signs got stronger, chest palpitations, severe leg cramps and a strange lump on my neck. Again, I ignored them and chalked most of it to adapting to my new life. I decided to move to California with a very good friend. We drove from Myrtle Beach, SC to San Jose, CA. Oh, what a trip! The heart problems and leg cramps caused us to pull over a couple of times. Road fatigue, right? Uh, NO!

I had problems after arriving in California and decided to visit another good friend in Arizona. While there I had to call an ambulance. I ended up in intensive care for a few days, atrial fibrillation and a heart rate of 300. Fortunately for me, shortly after this, I met a doctor who took one look at me and knew instantly what was wrong with me – Graves Disease or acute hyperthyroidism.

The Graves Disease was a scary diagnosis. This was in 1996 and I was just learning my way around the internet. Had I known more about internet research and had there been more information available, I don’t think I would have made the single largest irreversible medical mistake I’ve ever made and have lived to regret each day ever since.

The very knowledgeable doctor I met was an internal medicine specialist. He sent me to an endocrinologist in Kansas City. I went through a series of  tests and it was determined that I had one of the most serious cases of Graves Disease he’d ever seen. Graves Disease is acute hyperthyroidism. The symptoms include massive weight loss, atrial fibrillation, itchy skin, incredible leg cramps, short term memory loss, and goiter, among other things. He recommended an immediate thyroid ablation to save my life. He specifically said without it I WOULD DIE. Those are serious words. Of course at this point, you are frightened in to whatever treatment they suggest.

What is an ablation? It is a very scary, irreversible procedure where your thyroid gland is irradiated to shrink it to a size that renders it inoperable. Everyone around you during the procedure is dressed in lead outfits. The procedure includes an injection of radioactive material from a lead lined syringe and swallowing a radioactive medication given in a lead lined cup. After this you are told to stay away from other people for 48 hours and any loss of body fluid is radioactive during this time period. Then you are placed on replacement therapy for the rest of your life. I asked the questions, how will this affect me? And won’t there be serious weight gain? The answer? The negative side effects are not as important as you living the rest of your life and the weight gain is negligible. HUNH?

Negligible? Hmmmm, let’s ponder that for a moment. The procedure was so scary, I avoided doing it until 1999 when I had an instance of atrial fibrillation that could not be chemically (pharmacologically) fixed. The only solution required me to be put to sleep and given a cardioversion (defibrillator/shock paddles). I was told that the next time they had trouble converting my heart rate back to normal I “could die.”

Within 18 months of having my thyroid gland ablated, I gained 150 pounds. This was far from negligible. It was VERY noticable. It took many years and several doctors to finally get the “formula” right for my synthetic hormone. This balance happened December of 2008.

So in the next chapter, let’s fast forward back to where I started this story….

Today I decided to mount a bicycle for a short spin. I probably should have put a bit more thought into this before I took off “running” (or pedalling in this case). I picked up a bike from Craig’s List. Had I put a little more research into it I would probably have purchased a low-budget bike from Target, Wal-Mart or K-Mart. I took it to a bike shop and had the seat and the seat stand replaced and added a kick stand. Performance Cycles in Campbell is awesome. They did the repairs without charge, I purchased the kick stand and the seat stand, they threw in the labor and a new seat! AWESOME!!! I also purchased a water bottle and a helmet,. So I felt ready to hit the pavement.

After speaking to the people at the cycle shop, I was directed to a path very close to the house. They told me it had very few hills. I found that this is a relative term. After topping the second hill, I lost the chain. I was a bit put out and I was ready to pack it in and head home. So I turned around. Inspiration struck just as I made it the half mile back to the house. I put the chain back on myself, made a u turn and went back to the path.

I made it to a third hill and decided that since it has been 20 years since I spent more than 5 minutes on a bicycle perhaps I should pace myself and not over do it so I decided to head back home. Once I made the u-turn to return home, I came to a fork but accidentally took a different path than I’d come down and I ended up off the path and back on to the street. This brought me to a delightful discovery. The streets around my abode are flat. Much flatter than the bike/run/walk path I’d tried to conquer earlier. This gave me the energy to ride an extra mile.

I spent 30 minutes out riding and racked up 4.9 miles. To make me feel better, can we call it 5 miles? In this 30 minutes, we must subtract a few minutes for bicycle chains and horrible hills. My goal was to do 15 miles in less than two hours. This means as soon as I can ride for more than 30 minutes, my goal is achievable. That excites me!!!

I am a happy girl!!!

PS: After 30 minutes on a bicycle seat, I now understand the point of padded bicycle shorts and have added these to my shopping list.


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