Wednesday, June 27, 2018


I hate running.

OK, let's be real. It's more like a slow jog. A trot, if you will. But, still. I hate it.

I'm in the middle of doing a Couch-to-5-K program. I guess my thinking is that I can run anywhere. It's an exercise I can do outside or inside on a treadmill, and get some good cardio in, in about thirty minutes.

Plus, I really want to do some 5K's for charity(ies).

The running is a recent development. I signed up at a local gym a few months ago, and it had nothing to do with New Year's Resolutions! I hadn't been getting any exercise at all. Nope, my incentive was one particular patient.

I only took care of her twice, on two different admissions, about a month or so apart.

I am an excellent nurse. I have compassion, empathy, mad skillz, all the good stuff. But even the best nurses can eventually run out of patience (no pun intended). When you have a patient who needs help, that's par for the course. But when said patient apologizes constantly, it can sometimes get annoying. It really depends on the patient. This lady has many health problems (obviously, otherwise she wouldn't be in the hospital!), most of which are directly related to her being obese. I won't go into detail here (HIPAA and all), but will say that she had very frequent, messy bowel movements and was unable to wipe herself. She would get off the toilet and, well, bend over and present. She explained that at home, she had to get in the shower every time she had a BM, because it was the only way she could clean herself. She told me how she used to love having friends over and entertaining, but she just couldn't manage it anymore. And she apologized CONSTANTLY. Incessantly. Irritatingly.

At some point in the last decade or so (she is in her fifties), she must have had the opportunity to think, "Hey, this is going in a direction I don't like! Maybe I should do something about it." But instead she has ended up in the position of needing oxygen even when at rest, and being unable to tie her shoes, cook a meal, or wipe her own butt.

Believe me, I understand being addicted to food. I have been morbidly obese. I was anorectic as a teenager. My weight has yo-yo'ed since puberty. But when I developed gestational diabetes in my late thirties, and knowing the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes increases dramatically when you've had GD, I decided to do something permanent about my weight. I had bariatric surgery, and now can actually see my toes when I look down.

I'm not saying it's the answer to everything. It's not a magic pill. But the gestational diabetes was a wake-up call. Diabetes scares the shit out of me. It affects every organ system. It can dramatically shorten your life-span, and it can lead to inch by inch amputations. Trust me, I've seen it. Scary.

Which is kind of ironic, seeing as I'm an oncology nurse! You'd think I'd mainly be scared of cancer. But nope, it's the diabeetus.

So this patient really lit a fire under me. I thought to myself, "I do NOT want to end up like that! I need to get stamina, strength, and flexibility."

Hence, the gym membership and the "running". Yep, not looking for a beach bod. Don't want to compete in any weight lifting competitions, nor run any marathons. I just want to stay healthy. I don't want to end up like her. And when I'm feeling lazy and don't want to go to the gym, I say her name in my head, it's like a mantra. And then I go. And I run.
Anyway, the tl;dr version of this incredibly rambling post is: I had a patient who kicked my butt in gear when it comes to exercise, by being a cautionary tale, so to speak.