EIAE Update: University of Washington Follow-Up

Today I did an arterial surgery follow-up appointment at the University of Washington. UW didn’t do the surgery, but they’re far more convenient than Stanford, and they do have a baseline of pre-surgery testing I did in 2019.

For this evaluation, they did a CT scan followed by an exercise stress test followed by a visit to the doctor. The CT scan was more unpleasant than I remembered: First, my vein was scarred, so they had to poke through the scars, which hurts quite a bit.

Not as much, though, as when the indicator goes in. THAT stuff burns. They warn you, “It’ll feel warm, and you’ll feel like you peed your pants.” (This is true, because when the indicator reaches the groinal region, well, it makes it warm. The only time you feel that is when you pee your pants. Hence your brain interprets that as pee.) It doesn’t feel warm in the arm; it feels like red-hot needles pushing down the vein. Super unpleasant. Continue Reading >>

EIAE Update: One-Year Surgery Anniversary

Okay, actually my surgery was on November 22, 2019. Needless to say, I am so, so glad I got the surgery done long enough before the pandemic started that I even had the two-month follow-up appointment before everything went sideways. Actually, my follow-up was on January 18, 2020 — the same day COVID-19 Patient Zero came into the US, passing through the same airport I did.

Before we jump into how it’s gone, I want to call out once again that without my family, this wouldn’t have happened. Thank you again to my family for making it possible for me to have this done. Continue Reading >>

Riding Again

On Sunday I went for my first ride outside after surgery. I rode my rain bike on a solo modified 7 Hills of Kirkland loop and felt like a puppy off the leash, a wind-driven cloud, a butterfly freed from its cocoon, a plastic bag finally joined with its brethren in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Oh wait, sorry, not that last one.

My left leg felt both awesome and terrible. Awesome, because I didn’t have any of the excruciating pain I’ve come to expect on rides. That means that the surgery worked! Continue Reading >>

EIAE Update: Two-Month Follow-Up

In the 11 days since my last post (sorry), I’ve jogged. Since I resumed going in to the office to work, I got up at 4:40 am, went to Ian’s gym, jogged on the treadmill for 40 minutes, and then came home and started my regular day. A couple times I jogged outside, but mostly I stuck pretty consistently to the surgeon’s instructions: No biking; no weight training; jog on a treadmill as much as you want until the two-month follow-up visit.

Needless to say, I keenly anticipated that follow-up visit, which took place yesterday, January 17. Continue Reading >>

Running Instead or Running Outside

Which looks like more fun: the right side or the left side?

Blue pill or red pill?

I, at least, greatly prefer the right side. So I feel pretty virtuous that I’ve only gone for two out of 12 jogs outside since I started this whole “jogging for recovery” thing.

Of course, on my second actual outside jog, I got a little overenthusiastic and ran up and over a fairly substantial hill. Three days later, I’m still limping with sore quads for that little burst of enthusiasm. Even so, I had too much fun to regret it. Continue Reading >>

Jogging Joys

TL;DR: Jogging on a treadmill, both legs worked perfectly. I ran at a pace and exertion level I couldn’t have achieved before surgery. Thrilled.

When kids think about growing up, they invariably think of all the wonderful freedoms:

  • “I get to go to bed whenever I want!” (True, although severely limited if you want to, say, hold a regular job and function as a normal human being during that time.)
  • “I don’t have any homework!” (Also true, except for all the non-employment-related responsibilities of living, like obtaining food, cooking food, cleaning up from cooking food, washing, folding, and putting away clothes, keeping your home clean and yard presentable, taking care of dependents, etc.)
  • “Nobody makes me eat vegetables!” (Again, true, although you’ll probably force yourself to do so for their health benefits, or you may just suffer the natural consequences of poor food choices.)

Kids rarely think think of — indeed, are probably hardly aware of — the gazillion tedious and often onerous activities adults engage in to just maintain the status quo. I think that’s part of what makes childhood so magical. Kids, at least most kids, don’t worry about stuff like exercising to maintain bone density and heart health. Continue Reading >>

Recovery Firsts

The last few days have marked some exciting recovery milestones!

  1. I drove a car.
  2. I wore pants.

Drove a Car

Okay, I hear you thinking, “What, is she 16?” I know, I know; it’s been almost two decades since I’ve gotten excited about driving. But on Friday I drove for the first time since my surgery, and I did feel excited: It marked my farthest excursion from home since we got back from California!

Unfortunately, my incision sites are right where the lap-belt part of a car seatbelt goes. Add in the bulk of a jacket or two, and you’ve got a recipe for some incision discomfort. Which I did, indeed, experience. Not as uncomfortable as before, but not such that I’d want to go for a nice long car drive any time soon, either. Continue Reading >>