This blog is horribly overdue.. to the point that a Facebook friend even prompted me for an update the other day. I guess that means people are at least reading it and following my progress. Since I started writing it, it's had almost 5,500 hits.. quite scary that number of people are reading about me, my ramblings and my bowels :-) Joking aside, I really hope that in some way it helps to either support, educate or give hope to those reading it.. please let me know what you think.
So that amazing trip to St Lucia feels like it was a million years ago and I'm ready for another holiday already! Life is pretty complicated at the moment with ongoing family/school stuff.. and it's hard just staying on top of it. Hence the delay with this blog.. Thank goodness my stomach is better, as if it was 12 months ago, I wouldn't be able to cope with the stress of my current situation with being so ill.
This time last year, I remember being a very miserable and sick person and lurching from day to day, in constant pain, many sleepless nights and surviving on white processed carbs and liquid meal replacements.
Anyway, 12 months later, I have an ileostomy and things are much better. For a start I can eat and work and am busy preparing for my first triathlon (in 2 years) on 3rd June. It's only a little sprint one locally where I have to do 400m swim, 20km bike and 5km run.
I say 'preparing' however, in the loosest way. My training is a bit hit and miss if I'm honest, and the inconsistency of it all and the ongoing niggles are starting to get a bit boring. There's no doubt I'm making progress, I'm definitely feeling fitter and stronger at times, but goodness it's going to be a long road to full recovery. When people ask me how I'm doing.. I just roll my eyes now. I don't want to bore them with the answer!
My knee is better though.. it didn't turn out to be a meniscus tear and thankfully I've escaped the surgeon's scalpel. Although bizzarely he was still pretty keen to have a go anyway! Physiotherapy is working for sure, but the whole problem seems to be a major biomechanical imbalance on my right side (where the ileostomy is) from my knee all the way up through my quad, adductor, glute, hip and up to my side above my ribs. The pain, inflammation and tightness shifts around depending on what I've been doing! All caused, no doubt, by the 4 surgeries, changes in posture (I even sit wonkily) etc etc blah blah blah. I seem to know of lots of other people with ileostomies that don't have these problems and I don't know why my body isn't playing ball.. but it just shows how we're all so different.
My physio reckons it will take 2 years (!) to fully recover.. although she keeps assuring me that I will eventually.
So until 'eventually' comes.. I'm doing a mix of bits of swimming, cycling and running as well as gym work and stretching/core stability stuff at home.. there isn't really a plan! Just trying to stay positive and work out scientifically which activity is making things better or worse. Every day there seems to be a different answer.
There are lots of positives though.. and here are a few:
1. Swimming has always been my weakness and I haven't been in the pool properly since all this began in June 2010. Over the last month I've been going more regularly and gradually built it up - major jelly arms to begin with. Historically my best time for 400m was about 7:20.. so for a laugh I timed myself over 400m to see how bad things were, and totally shocked myself by swimming 8:00 dead. Just shows swim training is highly overrated! ha.
2. Loving my cycling and have been going out with my friend Steve, who has been amazingly supportive. We hit the longest ride of 42 miles so far which was just amazing! I'm also starting to work out which sports drinks, bars and gels etc work best and always remember to take a dose of immodium before going for a long ride which makes sure the bag stays empty.
3. I've started running with the Harriers again on a Wednesday night and even though I'm just doing 5 miles, it feels fantastic just to be part of the gang again.
None of this is easy though. There are times when it would be easier to just give up on it all and my hopes of getting fit again, competing and doing a marathon or an Ironman. Sometimes I just feel tired of battling on with such little progression. But a quick slap and I'm back in a better frame of mind and have to keep going.. I've never been a quitter.
So this quote sums things up nicely... '
Anyway.. if I'm still in one piece on 3rd June, I'll have a waddle around that triathlon and report back! wish me luck....