One month down

February Candy hearts valentine's stephanie hughes stolen colon ostomy crohn's blogIt’s amazing how quickly time goes by. I have often been told by those older than I am that it just gets faster every year, and that definitely is the truth.

It seems like just yesterday I was sitting here mapping out my goals for the next year, and suddenly one month is already done and over with. But I am very excited about the great start this year has gotten off to.

  • It has been the best month so far for The Stolen Colon. It makes me really look forward to the year ahead in blogging!
  • I got a new design on the blog and have more ideas in store.
  • I submitted my application to NCSU’s grad school.
  • I have made my bed 32 out of 32 days.
  • I am working on eating better, fresher foods. I’ve been enjoying some green smoothies in the morning 🙂
  • Jarrod and I have a new budget in place that I’m really excited about. It’s pretty strict, but still gives us room to have fun, while getting our current debts paid off. And we actually did a great job at sticking to it for the first month!
  • I’ve been getting to bed earlier and waking up earlier for a morning workout. (Not every day, by any means, but I’m working on it.)

So now, on to February. It’s only day 1, but the month is quickly filling up! But with lots of good things: there are so many birthdays of my wonderful friends and family; I have several networking opportunities set up; the Super Bowl is this weekend.

Not to mention that Valentine’s day is in a couple of weeks. My husband and I don’t usually go all out for Valentine’s, but we do usually mark the occasion in some way. I suppose we should since Jarrod proposed to me on February 13th! And I do like the reminder to celebrate the love that you share in your life.

And finally, training for the Team Challenge half-marathon officially starts this month! We’ll have a kick-off party and the 16th and then the training begins on the 23rd. I am looking forward to going through the entire 16 week training this season, since last year I joined a little late in the season. It’s going to be a great season and I am really looking forward to getting to meet everyone who is involved!

I have pretty much touched on my goals for this month.

  • My main goal is to be prepared for the start of Team Challenge season and to work hard to bring in some other runners in the area.
  • Continue the “early to bed, early to rise” routine and morning workouts.
  • I also start therapy on my wrist, so I am hoping for a strong recovery and being able to get back to all of the activities I’ve been missing out on.
  • Beyond that, I am going to continue honing the budget and being good at sticking to it.
  • And I am looking forward to spending time with family and friends and celebrating the various events throughout the month.
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Freedom!

stephanie hughes broken arm wrist bone cast off brace stolen colon ostomy crohns blogMy arm has been freed! Thank the Lord, I got my cast off this morning! I do still have to wear a brace for the time being, but that’s just fine with me.

It was so strange to have the cast come out. My arm looks so small. I am pretty sure it’s a combination of muscle atrophy from not using it as much and just an optical illusion since my arm has looked so much bigger in the cast for the past several weeks. I will have to some physical therapy, just to make sure I get my full range of motion back. I should start that sometime next week.

I can see now just how dry and tired my skin has become since having the cast on. I spent a while in front of the sink earlier just scrubbing it down with soap. I’m looking forward to putting lots of lotion on it later!

The brace is velcro and removable. I will be able to take a normal shower, put my hands in the sink and wear long-sleeve clothes again! Maybe even get back in the pool soon. I am supposed to keep the brace on most of the time for the next two weeks, only removing it for a few minutes at a time. After that, I should be able to start using it less, especially when doing easy activities. We will have to see how the therapy goes and should have some more answers in the coming weeks as to when I can start back some activities. But I am already enjoying my new-found freedom in no longer wearing a cast!

Let it snow… or not

We have officially had the first snowfall of 2013 here in this part of North Carolina. Not a big snow, by any means. Generally less than an inch around the area. Of course, that didn’t stop there from being dozens of accidents around the area.

january snowfall raleigh winter weather stephanie hughes stolen colon crohns ostomy blogUnfortunately, I did still have to be to work this morning by 7:30 a.m, before the sun was even fully up. It made me nervous because I usually drive a 4WD vehicle, but Jarrod has it on his trip right now. So I’m driving one of my friend’s car. Not ideal for this scenario. I hate driving someone else’s vehicle in the first place and now, I’m doing it in the snow. Thankfully, I only work about 2 miles from my house, so it was a quick drive this morning and almost no ice on that stretch of road.

Now, the sun is out strong and the ice and snow are already melting away. Good for driving, but a little sad to see it going away so quickly. I love a good snow. The world is just a little quieter when it snows. Kids are out of school. Many people aren’t going into work or making unnecessary trips. And there’s that moment of silence and purity before anyone makes that first track in the snow.

rylie snow licking deck winter weather stephanie hughes stolen colon crohns ostomy blog

Yes, that is my dog licking the snow off the deck.

Sadly, I have not been able to enjoy the snow for the past several years. Working in news, whenever it would snow it would mean that I would be called in on my day off, have to make the treacherous drive into work and spend the next several hours telling people, “Guess what? It’s snowing. Don’t drive… even though we are.” It’s mundane and monotonous. Since I stopped working in news we have had two snowfalls here, both times Jarrod has been out of town and it’s just been me alone at the house. On top of that, they’ve both been small, less-than-an-inch snows.

We’re due for a good snow around here. I mean the stay home from work, do nothing but sit by the fire with a cup of hot chocolate kind of snow. I could almost put up with a super-cold winter in exchange.

My love

Today marks a very special day. It’s the day my husband, Jarrod, first came into the world. I am very thankful for this day. If that January day back in the 80’s had never happened, I don’t know where I’d be.

I can be a hard person to love. I know this for several reasons. First of all, I get annoyed with myself quite often, so if I’m annoying myself, I can only imagine what others are thinking. Secondly, I could never hold down a roommate. I couldn’t ever quite figure out the issue, but I’m the only common denominator, so I figure it must be me. Finally, living with someone with a severe illness is a huge responsibility. And Jarrod knew this from very early on in our relationship. But it never scared him away. We’ve had our difficult moments. I’ve been miserable with pain and exhaustion and taken it out on him. He’s not always understood what I was going through and how much I needed someone to be there with me. But we’ve grown together. We’re not perfect, but we’re learning.

I can’t say enough wonderful things about Jarrod: he’s kind, thoughtful, goofy, manly, sweet, fun, strong, assertive, hard working, faithful, considerate, friendly, dependable, family oriented, honest, unafraid, loving… He’s the best friend I could ever imagine. And I’m looking forward to spending the rest of my life with him.

Unfortunately for me, he’s gone on a guy’s hunting trip right now, so I have to wish him a Happy Birthday from afar.

Baby, I love you. Have a great trip and I’ll be looking forward to you coming home soon.

jarrod hughes stephanie birthday stolen colon ostomy crohns blog

On the move

I’m a little unsure of where I am going at the moment. But I’m moving again and I suppose that’s what matters most. I have said before that I like to have a goal in mind, especially for any sort of sport training. On my list for 2013 is the compete in a full-length sprint triathlon. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I had planned to do another short sprint in March, just to get a little more experience, and then compete in a full race in April. But breaking my wrist has thrown a big wrench in my plans.

It has been 6 weeks since my half-marathon. The plan was to take a week break from any strenuous workouts and then slowly get back into the groove. I hadn’t been on my bike in a while and I was looking forward to picking it up again. And then my first ride comes around and I end up in a cast.

I’m slowly working my way back. My doctor said that he did not recommend running simply due to the risk of injury if you fall. Now, I’ve never fallen when running, nor do I anticipate that being an issue, but I also want to be careful. So I’ve been working with the stationary bike and elliptical, mostly. I did go for my first run today. Just a slow, easy pace, but it was excruciatingly humid today and my cast/arm got very hot. Not a good feeling. I think sticking to gym equipment is the smartest move for now. (Not to mention that I can’t wear any of my cold weather gear because it won’t fit over the cast.)

I have a doctor’s appointment next week and I’m praying the cast will come off and I will be able to start getting back to normal. I would love to be able to put a date down for my first triathlon this year so I know what I’m working towards, but there’s no way to know how quickly I’ll get full use of my wrist back. To further complicate things, I’ve decided to do another half-marathon over the summer (more on that soon!), which is going to change how I train. I’m thinking I may just have to push the triathlon back until late in the summer, so I can train now for the run and then switch over to tri-training.

The not-knowing is the hardest part. Once the cast comes off, I don’t want to get back on my bike too soon and cause further injury. I’m not sure exactly how swimming will affect the wrist if I’m still dealing with some pain. It also worries me to think that my wrist may never again be at 100%. It’s amazing how many issues can arise from just a simple cycling mishap. It’s going to be a long road, I know, but my goal is to keep up the pace and find that finish line.