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Showing posts from November, 2008

Where to begin?

Last time I posted I was on the Space Coast of Florida, shuttling between the hospital and my dad’s house. “Felix” – aka John – was improving but we still couldn’t figure out the low blood pressure. In addition to the low BP, his heart rate was mostly in the mid-40s.

I’ve talked to more health care professionals in the past week than I have in all my previous years, I think. After several conversations, I learned that in addition to digoxin, Dad had been taking another heart drug called Cordarone, and he had practically every side effect listed in the product information sheet for that drug. Once they took him off both those drugs, improvement was swift and dramatic.

Cordarone is long-acting and will stay in his system for about 10 more weeks, but already his heart rate has made it to the 60s. He was released from ICU to a regular room last Tuesday and was released to a rehabilitation hospital Wednesday. Dad, his wife and I had turkey and trimmings together at the rehab dining room (Dad…

Bloggers, meet Felix

I'm posting from my dad's home computer, which has spotty internet service. When it connects, though, it's fast! Fast and unreliable works for me, at least this week when I haven't had much time to park my ass in front of a monitor.

Dad's still in ICU, but - as the title of this post implies - making a pretty good recovery. Turns out he has pneumonia. In someone with compromised health, pneumonia is life-threatening. The first system that shut down was the renal. His kidneys no longer produced or filtered urine, and all the normal medications he was taking started building up in and poisoning his system.

So, pneumonia followed by medication toxicity on top of heart problems and you've got the geriatric trifecta. The health care team figured it out pretty quickly, got his kidneys working again (three rounds of dialysis) and started him on three different antibiotics.

The lingering problem is low blood pressure. He's on an IV medicine to keep it in the normal ra…

Made it ...

to Florida. My dad isn't doing well at all. It's hard to fight everything at once, and it seems that his heart, lungs and kidneys have all given up at the same time. He woke up for a little bit last night, but he's confused and very sick. The doctors say everything is reversible, but we need more time. More time ...

Thanks for your comments about the half. Finishing IS better than not finishing or not starting - thanks for that reminder, Marla. And seeing my dad and all his preventable health problems makes me more determined to do the right stuff to protect myself and defy my genetics.

Better with age?

Not so much.

I’d really, really hoped to PR the Richmond race. Didn’t happen, not by a long shot. Total time was 2:51:40 – more than a minute/mile slower than my first (and best) half-marathon in April, 2007.

I weigh 20 pounds more than I did a year and a half ago. I’m sure that’s the – um – bulk of the reason for the less-than-optimal performance. Training didn’t go as well as it could have either.

Here are the splits (sorry for the crappy screenshot):

I forgot to turn the Garmin off at the finish line, so that purple-shaded last lap isn’t correct.

I recommend the race, if you’re in the Richmond, VA, area next fall. The course is lovely, winding through some beautiful old neighborhoods and the biggest hill is the long one going down as you approach the finish line. The promised music-every-mile didn’t happen, but the weather forecast might have had something to do with that.

The forecast was much worse than the actual weather. I’d taken arm warmers and a hat (I never run in a hat), and I b…

Rain, rain, go away

The forecast for Richmond Saturday morning looks pretty bad. Eighty percent chance of rain, slight chance of thunderstorms, 99 percent humidity … earlier this week it looked much better, all sunshine and roses. Can we turn back time?

Whatever. We’re leaving at noon to wend our way east and won’t be back until Sunday night. No blogging during the interim.

I dreamed I ran the race in two parts. I did 10 miles on Saturday, then came back and finished the final 5K on Sunday. Total time was 2:10. Which is IMPOSSIBLE, people, for a middle-aged slowpoke like me. There was some kind of hospital triage unit I had to go through in order to run on Sunday, and I was really proud of myself for figuring out what I needed to say in order to get through the proper channels and back out on the course. Weird dream.

I’m running with my husband’s cousin’s wife, who averages 13-minute miles. Since that was the dismal pace I ran last Sunday, we should have a good time. I’m just glad the election is over;…

One more training run

A five-mile speed drill today marks the end – let me say that again: THE END – of race training. The half marathon is Saturday morning. I have previously been psyched beyond belief to run a race. This time? Not so much.

(You can track results at that link; my last name is McNeer. Unbelievably, there is another Debbi(e) McNeer running that day, but she’s doing the 8K.)

Right now when I say “THE END” I think I mean it. I may be all out of races. Of course I reserve the right to change my mind. I’ve already told my husband I want to run a full marathon when I’m 60.

Believe me, I won’t spend the next two and a half years training for it.

Today is my miracle birthday. My bio-birthday is May 25 (and don’t you forget it!), but I really started living 18 years ago today. The backstory is here; it’s so much easier to send you to that link than to rewrite the details.

It’s just wacky to think I haven’t had a drink or a drug in 18 years. Most of the time I don’t even think about it, but it’s good to …

Rethinking my goals

The Richmond Half-Marathon is this coming Saturday, and I’d hoped to finish in 2:30.

Somehow – especially after yesterday’s abysmal 11-miler – I don’t think that’s happening. In fact, I’ll be glad to cross the finish line Saturday. Period. I might be limping along with the middle-of-the-pack marathoners, actually.

Perhaps a bad long run the week before a race is a Good Thing. When I learned to fly, I wasn’t allowed to solo until I’d recovered from a bad landing. I didn’t know that when I was taking lessons – my flight instructor only revealed it to me when I hopped out of the plane after executing three perfect solo touch-and-go landings.

So 11 slow, painful, crappy miles on Sunday might be just the thing I needed to get out of my system before next Saturday.

Someone tell me I’m right. Please?


As a formerly obsessed knitter (production has fallen significantly in the last couple of years), I know what it’s like to be obnoxious to a fault about one’s hobbies or interests. Running falls into the same category. That must be why I blog about it – I’ve worn out my face-to-face welcome and am reduced to assaulting the few strangers on the internets who happen to stop by.

Indulge me in one last comment on the political season, please, and I will return to the knitting and the running next week. I promise.

I’m a reformed Republican who voted for W twice although, in my defense, I only voted for him the second time because it was his mess and I thought he should clean it up. Since he didn’t, since he – incredibly – made an even bigger mess, I felt compelled to turn my back on him and his ilk. (I’m truly sorry for my transgressions, and grateful for the many campaign workers I met who have forgiven me.)

There are other reasons why I feel the Republican philosophy is no longer a good fit…

One more button …

Today’s the day: VOTE!

Democracy is …
the conviction that there are
extraordinary possibilities
in ordinary people.
~ Harry Emerson Fosdick

My daughter is worried about me. Today being election day here in the U.S., she’s wondering what I’m going to do with myself tomorrow. And for the rest of my life.

I’ve been busy since the most recent blog break began: busy with family illnesses (my dad is being released from the hospital again today, my mother-in-law continues to improve), with family fun (spent Halloween with my youngest granddaughter) and with many new friends working hard to elect a President.

I’ve helped make hundreds of campaign buttons, posters and signs; worked in our local Democratic headquarters; knocked on doors and made phone calls; put myself in situations that were uncomfortble because, for the first time in my life, it really matters to me who gets elected. And I believe my vote counts.

By uncomfortable, I mean I’ve been asking strangers if they’ve registered to vote. If they’re undecided, I ask …