Tag Archives: recovery

My Big Fat Wish List

I love planning for the future.  I gain great satisfaction from dreaming up an adventure on the very edge of possibility, and then working towards that dream.  Right now I’m struggling, because I am unable to plan.  My future is an unknown, and I’m floating in the abyss at the whim of circumstances beyond my control.

 

In an effort to scratch my adventure planning itch I’ve decided to put together a Wish List.  Normally I hate the term “wish”- you either do something or you don’t.  Wishing is a waste of time and energy.  However, at this stage in my journey I don’t have a lot of ability to “do”, so wishing is going to have to be good enough.  Here’s hoping I get some of these wishes granted this year, and maybe next year this list can transform to my Big Fat To Do List!

 

So here we go, in no particular order:

  1. Multi-day adventures
  • 200 mile hike of my choosing
  • The Great Divide Trail
  • Family hike on the Juan de Fuca trail
  • Mount St. Elias, ocean to summit (lifetime goal)

 

2. Long Days Out

  • The Brazeau Loop
  • The Stein Traverse
  • Banff Triple Crown
  • Sub-11hr Iron Legs 50M
  • Sub-20hr 100 Mile Race (still needs to be a course I’m excited about)
  • Hardrock
  • Bluerock – Gibraltar – Picklejar – Junction Creek Loop
  • 10000m ascent and descent in 24hrs
  • Athabasca Pass, Mt Hooker and Mt Brown (haven’t done the math on this one, might be a multi-day).

 

3. Ski Trips

  • FHR on a sunny day
  • Mount Joffre
  • White Pyramid
  • Dolomite Traverse
  • Lake Louise to Lake O’Hara out and back (classic xc ski)
  • 2000m ascent in a trip

 

4. Scrambles, Summits and Ridge Traverses

  • Sub-6hr Banded Peak Traverse (with Arielle)
  • Full Opal Traverse
  • Mount Ptolemy
  • Livingstone Range Traverse – redo to the highway (with Arielle)
  • The Rundle Traverse (with Arielle)
  • Mount King George
  • Gap to Townsend (with Patrick)
  • Majo’s Loop (Nihahi, Compression, Prairie, Powderface)
  • Mt Fisher via Secret Pass
  • Mt Evan Thomas
  • Mt Daly
  • Tour de Noseeum, including the summit

 

Do you have an adventure idea you think I’d enjoy?  Send me a message and we can build my Wish List into a lifetime of adventures planning.

What’s Up?

December was a mess of doctor’s appointments. I had my CT scan at the Peter Lougheed Hospital. That same week my throat was feeling swollen and when I shone a light and looked down at it in the mirror I could see white. The technicians who were operating the CT scanner couldn’t help me, and they suggested I make an appointment with my family doctor.  I went to my doctor and it turned out I had thrush, a yeast infection that happens when you use a steroid inhaler and don’t rinse your mouth out well enough afterwards. My family doctor was able to prescribe me medication to combat the thrush. She also was able to give me the results of my CT scan, so I didn’t have to wait until January wondering about the scope of the Thing In My Face. 

 

Basically, Timf is a slow-growing mass which has completely blocked my right maxillary sinus and is associated with two of my molars.  For the most part, TIMF does not appear to be aggressive but it has eroded away quite a bit of bone. My family doctor could not tell me what these results meant in turns of surgery/recovery so I would have to wait until my appointment with the specialist to get answers. 

 

My thrush infection seemed to disappear as soon as I went on the medication, however the pharmacist made an error and only gave me 40ml instead of 140ml. As soon as I stopped the medication the infection came back with a vengeance, so I went back to my doctor and made sure to get the proper prescription from the pharmacist on the second time around.  None of the doctors I’ve talked to seem to think the thrush has anything to do with Timf, but I think it’s kind of a strange coincidence. 

I took a break from all the doctor appointments and we drove up to Revelstoke for a family Christmas. It was amazing to see everybody, and I wish we could have family gatherings more often.  The rest of the holidays were spent trail running, cross-country skiing and backcountry skiing.  I wouldn’t call it a relaxing holiday season, but it was just what I needed. 

Throughout the holidays Timf would swell and subside.  Constantly reminding me that it was there, but not causing any real issues besides the occasional headache. 

 I was really looking forward to today’s follow up appointment with the specialist. I am feeling fit and strong, and I want to run, race and adventure. I was hoping the specialist would give me a timeline for my surgery/recovery that would enable me to start planning these adventures. The specialist was able to explain the CT scan in more practical terms:  

  • I need to have a biopsy to determine what exactly Timf is. This will be a general procedure, and it is booked for the 24th.  I’m happy to not have to wait for another month before the next step in this process. Recovery from the biopsy should only be 1 or 2 days, but it means I’m going to miss the Calgary Roadrunners XC race 🙁 I’ve already emailed to see if I can volunteer instead!
  • The lack of bone and awkward location of Timf means that surgery may not be simple. After they remove Timf I may end up having a hole through the top of the mouth to my sinus. The hole would have to be filled using either a prostheses or bone graft.  Thankfully this is not a decision I have to make now.  
  • I asked the doctor about summer plans; he said there’s a good chance they will be affected by my recovery, so I’ve made the decision not to sign up for any more races. I was really hoping to run the Sinister Triple and do a 200mile hike in September, but I am going to have to learn to plan less and go with the flow more. With a little luck I may be able to sign up for races or go on adventures at the last minute. 

 

In the meantime, I will continue doing my thing. You can find me running, skiing, bouldering and weight lifting. Send me a message if you’d like to get out!

A Quick Update

Not a whole lot has happened since my last post.  I had some bloodwork done today, and yesterday the specialist office left a voicemail to say they were in the process of booking the CT scan.  I wasn’t particularly impressed with the voicemail, don’t tell me you’re in the process of booking an appointment, just tell me when the appointment is!

The dental office also phoned, just to check up on me and see if I was doing alright.  The combination of phone calls and upcoming bloodwork made me feel a bit blue, and I could feel tears starting to well up during my drive home from work.  I had been feeling pretty strong and secure for the last week, so it surprised me how quickly I could feel myself coming apart.

This sudden flood of emotions emphasized my need to stay active outdoors.  Since I let go of my 1Mvert goal I’ve been enjoying some indoor workouts, including some treadmill intervals and a couple of weight sessions.  But if I’m honest, these indoor sessions do very little for my headspace. The outdoors are where I clear my thoughts.  I’ve decided to make a commitment to get at least 30 minutes of outdoor aerobic activity each day.


As far as my health goes, I think I’m doing pretty well.  I’m not in any pain and I’m feeling quite fit.  I’m excited to work on running faster and getting stronger.  The swelling around the lesion is fairly minimal, but the rough part of the lesion seems to have grown a little bit.  I’m not sure what that means, but I’m not going to interpret it.  The swelling is what causes me discomfort and I’m grateful that it has not been an issue these last couple of weeks.


In other news, I’ve been having fun outdoors!  This past Friday I skied at Bow Summit, followed by a Saturday scramble up Blackrock, and a Sunday tour around the French-Haig-Robertson circuit.  The FHR wound up having some tough whiteout conditions, but we all made it through in one piece and I think we learned a lot from the experience.

 

Healthcare

Today I am thankful for healthcare. Two weeks ago I had a gaping hole in my knee, exposing tendon and bone. With the help of a skilled doctor and some magic sutures, my skin has reconnected.

Tomorrow I get my sutures out. I will be bringing my running gear to the doctor’s office. My legs are twitching.

Happy Trails!

I’m looking forward to being able to stretch my quads again 🙂

 

Seasons

My Facebook feed exploded with photos of snowy mountains this morning. No snow reached the city but we did have a refreshing rain shower and the air was crisp with a bit of bite. Winter is definitely on its way.

Today I am a thankful for seasons. Each season brings with it new possibilities and exciting new adventures. Spring brings long days, a welcome reprieve from the cold, and excitement as new trails start to open up. Summer is the season of wild flowers, camping and epic long runs. Autumn is filled with spectacular sunsets, brilliant yellow larches, and heart pounding scrambles.

This year I’m particularly excited for winter. There is nothing more beautiful than snowy mountains on a bluebird day, but I also love my evening runs in the dark. Just me and my headlamp, the sound of the snow crunching under my feet. Winter running is meditative. I rarely see another soul to interrupt my reverie.

Happy Trails!

A snowy winter wonderland