Thursday, May 1, 2014

Discharge Day at Montreal General - Another Day ... in a New Office

#KristaStrong #MarathonMom #TeamDuChene

After an even better night of sleeping, I woke up finally feeling somewhat myself again. Yesterday, when discussing my fainting situation with internal medicine, we agreed that I decrease the usage of the oxycodone painkiller. So, I completely stopped it but continued taking tylenol every four hours. Several years ago, I remember watching the clock while on "oxy" after dry socket and infection upon getting my four wisdom teeth out. It was terrible and I could see how people could become addicted. But this time, it was different. I was taking the oxy and tylenol every four hours, more so to stay on top of the pain, rather than use as needed. I can still only sleep in one position, completely on my back, but was only up a few times in the night. Icing has really helped alleviate some of the chronic pain in the entire upper leg area from surgery but lateral movement is still extremely painful in the specific area of the fracture.
Anyway, I knew today was the day. I made my first solo trip to the washroom with my crutches, said goodbye and thanked ortho during rounds, ordered my room service breakfast (omelette, oatmeal, cottage cheese, fruit, milk and coffee), had my lovely bedside sponge bath, got dressed into something other than a hospital gown (ok, my pyjamas from home, but still), did my physio bed exercises, ate my breakfast, packed up what I could, and waited for Jonathan. Physio stopped by for the big test - my endurance. Four days ago I successfully ran 21 km. Today I crutched myself all the way down the hall and back. No problem. No sweating. No fatigue. And most importantly, no fainting! Said goodbye and thanked physio then Jonathan got all the discharge reports, packed up my stuff and hunted for a wheelchair to roll me out. Theft is a big problem at this hospital (and maybe many others) so the best we could do was use a commode to transport me safely. Kinda gross but we covered it with a towel and pillow as there was no way I was going to try to use the crutches. Another fainting setback wasn't what I wanted. Must. Pace. Myself.
My lovely roommate's daughter helped us make our way out and stayed with me while Jonathan got the rental van. The parking lot is just crazy at Montreal General so it took him a while. It was somewhat of a culture shock for me to see so many people, all at once. Sadly, my shock became reality when I witnessed the familiar scene of hospital patients walking out for a smoke while dragging along their IV poles. One man even mastered the art of placing his coffee on top of the pump without spilling a drop as he made his way just outside the door. Sad.
We said our good byes then a coworker of Jonathan's happened to pass by. Not surprised that she didn't even recognize me; my new highlights have turned into lowlights and I haven't worn any make up in days. What a blessing to have her come by at that time. Getting into the van while it was raining was NOT easy. A nurse herself, she was able to carefully hold my leg so that I could get in. Again, that lateral movement was very painful. But we did it! Thanks, Francine.
We shut the door, I took a picture of our #TeamDuChene leader driving away, and set out for our 6.5 + hour ride home. Funny thing is that Jonathan and I recently committed to spending more quality time together. Didn't quite mean this much but we will take it. Coffees in hand and chatting through the long drive together while he warns me of every bump in the road has allowed us to catch up on things and make the time pass. I've been delivering things to him using my good leg and we successfully stopped in Cornwall and Belleville for food and washroom breaks. Using the "deluxe female urinal" has been amazing. Seriously, I'm going to keep this thing for our 3 yr old daughter (ok, and myself) for those emergencies.  I managed to crutch around beside the van for a few minutes but had to again remind myself to take it easy when a gust of wind nearly knocked me over. Such little strength but it will return.
I think I'll turn my screens off, have a nap and just enjoy the rest of the ride with my hubby. Once we reach the other side of Toronto, I'm sure I will start to get very excited to see the kids again. I hope they recognize me! They don't know we are coming and we hope to make it home before they are in bed. 
Thanks again for your continued support, love and prayers. I have received hundreds of encouraging messages and can only hope that I can keep inspiring others as I share my story.  
Eventually we will examine the "why" and "what's next" but right now the focus is on healing and family. Pardon the pun, but I am going to enjoy this break. I'm already making notes of the blessings, which include more time at our cabin this summer and allowing my toenails to grow back! Thank you, "Get Out There Magazine" for the article, "What happened to Krista DuChene?". I know a lot of people have been concerned. Athletes get injured. Like my heat exhaustion at World Champs in Russia, I will not dwell on it and over-think it but will eventually come up with a plan to again return to running, fast, fit and healthy. Finally, I want to say a huge thank you to my running and orthopaedic surgeon friend, James. He just returned to work after taking time off for his new baby and has been involved with every event, since entering Montreal General Emergency Sunday afternoon. Going back and reading the initial emails and text messages brings tears to my eyes. 
God is good. The glass is always half full. And here's my new hashtag for this story, thanks to Alan Brookes, "#KristaStrong".
I'm so going to read this book with all the extra couch time I'll have. Seriously.  Nearly 39 yrs old, a Christian with 3 kids, an Olympic silver medalist, the 2014 Boston Marathon champ whom I personally met a month before at the NYC half marathon, and ....wait for it..... apparently another marathoner who suffered a fractured femur while running. While I was leading the race Sunday, I was thinking of him as just a week before, he lead Boston as the oldie. It encouraged me as I pulled away to - almost - secure the win. 
Love this picture. Thanks again, Alan. #KristaStrong



Ready. Set. Go. On our way home!
Had to get off the 401 for a bit due to a closure but enjoyed the view.
Not my favourite coffee but had not yet indulged in my coffee/mocha and cookie after-race treat. Normally I allow myself this treat if I get a PB, win overall, or earn prize money. Not a win or PB but the bronze did earn me some cash. 


Thanks, Sherri and Essential Physiotherapy for the "new equipment for my home office"as you put it. 


True love. So glad he got the "deluxe" one. 



Saying thanks and goodbye to an amazing physio team. They certainly saw me at my lowest and like a good health care professional, perfectly mastered the art and science of caring for a patient. Thank you.
Outta here! See ya, Montreal General! Thanks for your great care. 


Thank you for being such a great roommate. I must admit, at one point I was a bit envious to see you zipping around with your walker at age 86 after back surgery, not fainting. I had mentioned it to my running friend/ortho surgeon who is providing my care at home. He said you must be doping!
I'll kinda miss this. Really, who can beat ordering your own daily breakfast in bed?



1 comment:

  1. Hi Krista,
    We've met a couple of times; I run some with the Den, and have admired your dedication for years. Having just smashed up my lower leg in Peru, my friend Heather turned me on to your blog after Svend told me of your new challenge too. Thanks for sharing so much, your story is helping to keep me going too!!
    Thanks again...

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