Tough Mudder was Really Tough

For anyone that recently started reading my blog, I’ve been republishing some older posts leading up to my journey.  I’m republishing them here because they were originally published using Google Blogger which was not quite as follower-friendly as this blog here with WordPress.

Hope you enjoy!

Originally published 7/29/17.

Evening folks;

I’ve realized over the last few days that I have a lot to write about and I keep telling myself “Oh I just need to remember that later today and I’ll write about it.”   Do I remember it once the day’s work is done and I head home?  No.  So, hopefully as I write about this week that those topics will come back to me.  I actually did remember the two main things I wanted to write about (see Epiphany #1 and Epiphany (Realization) #2 below.

To begin – this past Sunday (7/23) I ran a Tough Mudder Half which is 5.something miles of running on different type trails with 13 or so obstacles.  I finished all but one; the slippery warped wall.  The Pyramid scheme I was able to walk right up thanks to my J41 high-tech water shoes I got a long time ago at DSW.   The traction was incredible!  As I walked up the wall and got to the top, I looked back at my teammates and yelled “My SHOES!!!”.

 A little later, there was a slippery warped wall that turned out to be more challenging than anticipated.  I had made it up the warped wall at the 2016 Rugged Maniac, but I had been road biking all summer long; miles and miles and miles.  So I was in much better shape than I currently am.  Well, I couldn’t make it up the wall.  Grrrr.  I tried three times.  The first time I slid down and tumbled pretty hard.. but I DID NOT BANG MY HEAD!

Well, Monday I noticed that my eyes were out of focus with each other.  My right eye felt like there was some pressure, it felt slightly warmer than my left, and I just couldn’t focus both eyes.  I waited from Monday to Wednesday to see if it would improve.  Being a week away now from being done with work and not having insurance anymore, I know that this is the most inopportune time to have a medical issue!!

A few friends/coworkers said I should see a doctor for these symptoms (I self-diagnosed a minor concussion).  So, Wednesday at 11AM, I called a doctor that had given me a physical about a month earlier and asked if they had any appointments.  They said they had one at 3:30 so I said ok, I’ll be there.  Thursday, I finally decide to jump on the chance to update my eye exam and perhaps get some new glasses as well as have an eye doctor look at my right eye.  So, I ask my roommate and my former supervisor to recommend an eye doctor.  I got an appointment with an eye doctor at 8:30 Thursday evening.  Great!  I don’t have to miss work.

I visited the eye doctor and got several images of both eyes (mainly my right eye – the offending, irritated, wonky eye).  The general consensus was that I had a retinal hemorrhage. He recommended that I get an MRI but he would contact my primary doctor and get his consensus as well.  So, Friday (7/28), I got a call from my primary doctor at about 12pm saying that I should go to Valley Hospital in Ridgewood to get an MRI.  I didn’t want to leave work because we’re busy cleaning up the project folders but Doc wants me there before the “B team” starts.  So, ok fine I’ll be at the hospital at 2:30.  I was supposed to go to lunch with my coworkers as a going-away for my one coworker Adam who is moving to Cali.  He will be missed.  As we were walking to get lunch, my stomach was in a knot from the call with the Doc and I just wanted to get the MRI done as quickly as possible.  So I turned around, walked to the office to grab my lunch bag, then caught the 12:37 train home.

Got off the train at ˜1:30pm and headed to Valley Hospital.  When I get to the hospital, there is a complementary valet service.  They parked my car and I headed into the ER; first time I’ve gone into an ER by myself for an issue.  Slightly intimidating but also just a new experience to handle.   They knew I was coming. The doctor had informed them and they were expecting me.  They checked my blood pressure, pulse, weight, etc.  They led me onto a bed and I explained what happened to the doctor and why I’m here.  He looked in my eyes, talked to the neurology department, and called a local retinal specialist.  They weren’t really sure why it had been recommended that I get an MRI for a retinal hemorrhage.  Before I knew it, I was being registered, checked-in, and discharged at the same time.  They were sending me over to the retinal specialist who could basically see me immediately.  I walked out, got my car, and drove over to the specialist.

At the specialist’s office, they dilated my pupils, gave me a few other eye drops, took some more complicated images of my eyeballs and then I saw the retinal doctor.   He looked at my eyes and then ordered a different set of images.  More drops in the eyes, more shining of blue and green lights, and then the doctor looked at them again.  Apparently I didn’t have a retinal hemorrhage, but swelling of my right optic nerve.  And for this, guess what I needed!  An MRI!  So, back to the ER I went!  😀

I got back to the ER, walk in, a different officer is at the door so I said I’m coming back for an MRI, I was here like 45 minutes ago, etc.  The nurses in the ER said “Oh yea, she’s good, come on in. We’ll get you checked in again.”  They take my BP, pulse, etc again.  I see the doctor here at the ER again and he said ok, I know what you need now…”But FYI, it may take several hours to get up to MRI.  Do you have a book with you?”  Well, no I don’t have a book.  I have a tablet that is running low on battery, a phone that is almost dead, and that’s about it.  So, now you’re up to date! The nurses, doctors, staff, etc. at the hospital were great!  I got to wear a fancy (not) hospital gown, sit on a gurney in the hallway waiting for MRI.  It’s 5:44, there are two people ahead of me, so it’s still going to be a while.   My phone was basically dead so I had it on airplane mode to conserve battery.  My tablet was on 34% charge so I intermittently turned it on/off.  I did not prepare my purse Friday morning to spend 12 hours in an ER.

7:10PM – shift change at the hospital.  Hoping I wasn’t going to get lost in the shuffle.  I’d be surprised… they’ve been very good so far.

I finally got up to MRI at 9:30PM.  Setting up on the bed with the camera (cage) type thing over my head, earphones in my ears, they get me in and the MRI started.  I was in the MRI for about an hour and a half.  I had to pause the MRI once because the earphones were super uncomfortable so I just switched to ear plugs.  That was so much better.  Then I just closed my eyes and listened to the machine do its thing.

Finally got back down to the ER about midnight where a little while later the doctor told me it could be a few hours before the “results get read” and I can go… and I thought I was about to go home.   So I asked one of the nurses to charge my phone a bit so I could let my roommate know where the heck I am.  I ended up waiting till about 1:45AM and all the sudden the handsome doctor came over and said “You’re scans are crystal clear, you can go home now.”  Thank you!!!

Finally got home at 2:15AM this morning (Saturday) and slept till 10:30AM.


Epiphany #1:

I’m becoming more and more convinced that life is supposed to be about giving and being a service to others.   Here I was running this Tough Mudder and I think I was the happiest and generally most energized when I was up at the top of the Pyramid Scheme obstacle reaching over the edge pulling other people up.  I know it sounds simple or simplistic but it’s my truth.  And this isn’t the only time this has happened… It’s been a growing realization.

Epiphany (Realization) #2:

When I first started commuting to and working in the NYC office over a year ago now, I would notice that the people on the train and how they were dozing off, head bobbing up and down catching a few winks before arriving into NY Penn.  I would always think “Wow, those people must not have slept well…” or something like that.  I was all energetic and driven and ready to take on the day.  I used to get up at 5:00AM every day and would be to work by 7:00AM sharp.  These last several weeks, few months even, I have been struggling to get up by 6:15AM.  This is pretty late for me.  Now I have joined the club of people resting their eyes, their minds, and bodies before we arrive into Penn and the day is off to the races with the rush to exit the train and get to the office as fast as possible.  I look forward to turning in my “membership” to this club in 6 DAYS TIME!!!

Only 6 days left!

Finally reached the finish line… the most anticlimactic finish line EVER! 😦
Teammates again…
Feeling’ Tough
Feeling pretty unglamorous in my hospital gowns… This was outside the MRI waiting for someone from ER to come and bring me back.

Current-day update:

After going to more doctors appointments than I’ve ever been to in such a short period before in my life, it was agreed that I had optic neuritis in my right eye.  The last doctor that I saw, a neurologist, said it could take weeks to months to heal; but it would heal.  Well, it hasn’t.  It’s the same as it was over a year ago.  While I’m not happy about it, and looking back I wish I had skipped getting vaccinations that really weren’t completely necessary, but that seemed necessary out of fear of the unknown, I am very, very thankful that it is only one eye.  My vision is fine in my other eye; thank the Lord!

Anybody want to know the list of doctors I saw?

1: Optometrist

2: Retinal Specialist (a couple of times)

3: ER Doc/MRI

4: Neural Opthalmologist

5: Neurologist

Anyway – that’s that.

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