The average gestation period for a puma (aka mountain lion, aka cougar) is 91 days. In 13 weeks, the puma can get knocked up, carry a baby puma to term and deliver.
To show you in comparative terms exactly how big a slacker I’ve been, please note that my last blog post was on February 11th.
13 weeks ago.
Some poor puma is out there today, surveying her stretch marks, hunting for food, and trying to keep her newborn from being eaten by predators, all while I pat myself on the back for finally publishing a few words. #winning
I won’t offer up excuses, because the truth is we’re all BUSY. Suffice to say two things have had the most impact on my writing schedule:
- Travel: I have been away from home 14 of 19 weeks since the first of the year. Now, I’ll admit that I don’t do well with maths, but I know that works out to being away from home 3/4 of the time.
- Workload: A re-org at work saw my role grow from managing a specific part of the business (approximately 10 direct reports) to one where I manage every aspect of our sales organization, with some 38 individuals rolling up, through their managers, to me. Giddy up.
There was also the small matter of a massive hell scare in January.
While most people were out celebrating New Year’s Eve as NORMAL people do, I was ringing in the new year at the emergency room.
Check that one off the ole’ bucket list.
The night started out great. After a lovely dinner out, Mr. Enthusiasm and I returned home with plans for a quiet evening of fireside movie-watching.
What happened next is as crazy as it reads. Truth is indeed stranger than fiction.
One second we were relaxing, laughing, just chilling out.
The next second, mid-sentence, I froze, a searing pain shot through the base of my skull. It felt like a hot knife had just stabbed right through my brain. I couldn’t speak. My right hand shot backwards to clutch my head. He hadn’t noticed yet, so I tried to say something to alert him that I was in distress.
I managed to squeeze out, “my head…. my head” as my eyes welled up with tears, the pain so hot and so intense.
He bolted towards me, moving my hand to see what was wrong. Confused when he could find no sign of trauma, he ran to grab a cold compress.
I sat, frozen, crying from the pain.
We made the decision to head to the hospital.
By some amazing stroke of luck I can only attribute to a karmic alignment of the stars, I found myself in an examining room within 10 minutes of my arrival. Not typical for Canada, as you no doubt learned through the nonsense known in these parts as, gallbladder-gate.
The doctor gave me a shot of morphine for the pain and then lined up a CT scan. His concern was aneurysm. Which freaked me the fuck out. My blood pressure was 236/139. Which also freaked me the fuck out.
My CT came back inconclusive, which the doctor predicted could happen since only an MRI would reveal an aneurysm deep in my noggin’. And this is where the Canadian healthcare system decided to punk me. Again.
I asked if I could get a rush on the MRI since I was scheduled to fly out to Santa Barbara, CA on business 6 days later. I was told that, yes, they would try to get me in quickly, but that there were no guarantees on when that would be.
I was also told unequivocally by both the ER doctor and later my family doctor that there was no chance in hell I’d be flying anywhere that week.
Two and a half weeks later, an MRI confirmed no evidence of aneurysm. HURRAH! Giant weight lifted off my shoulders. However, my blood pressure was still raging high.
As an aside, that crazy thunderclap of pain that sent me to the ER was likely caused by the ridiculously high blood pressure. A warning sign from my body, telling me to go get looked at. Had I not gone to the ER that night, my alarmingly dangerous blood pressure would have gone unchecked.
And who knows what could have happened. I shudder to think.
Since then, my doctor has been working diligently to adjust the medication and dosage to something that my body will respond to. I monitor my BP twice daily – morning and night, and even travel with my BP cuff so that I can capture all my readings, even though I’ve been traveling 14 of the past 19 weeks.
After 3 changes in medication and dosage, we’re still not there yet, but things are improving. I’m in normal (or slightly above normal) range MOST days lately. But now, a new development, because my body clearly hates me. My resting heart rate is inexplicably off the charts high. I’m talking 90+ range all day, every day. I have no clue what’s up with that.
I’m determined to be as active as I can while I’m here at my place in Vegas for the month. Hoping I can get everything regulated and normal through much more frequent and intense exercise. And hoping I don’t kill myself in the process.
I need to be alive for at least 3 more weeks because I’m heading out for my next big adventure the week of 05/23. Details to follow. Suffice to say it will be physical (this I know for sure) and it will be awesome (this I hope).
It also involves a lot of preparation around bear safety.
So, if a heart attack or stroke don’t kill me, a bear might, but hey…YOLO.