Hello pandemic friends! I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy these days. I am writing to you today from the comfort of my basement. It has been six months since I made my last post. Time sure flies. I used to talk to my patients about how time is flying by and on multiple occasions they would ask, “do you have children?”, after I replied that I did not, they would follow up with, “wait until you have kids”. I could not agree more.
This past year has just sailed by. The past seven months have been a roller coaster. We all knew that a pandemic was coming eventually but I don’t think I ever took it too seriously. This pandemic has challenged people in so many different ways. As we already know, I am a person who chooses to life as an optimist. However, it was even challenging for myself when the lock down occurred. Social isolation is not something that humans thrive upon. We are social creatures. It is how we function. It is in our programming.
Like many others, during lock down, I quickly turned to various methods of virtual socializing. Weekly zoom calls as well as virtual Zumba classes (shout out to all my Zumba instructors of making this happen and still do). My husband was able to spend more time at home as well which was a gift to our family. My parental leave ended and I returned to work in July which was at first a little scary as I work directly with people and within the six foot bubble. However, I love my job and the mental benefits of being back to work has been monumental.
I have always loved being outside; however, my appreciation for nature grew even stronger and has become a necessity for my mental health. I have discovered so many wonderful hiking trails that are so close to where I reside. My friend and I joke that we have hiked more in these trails over the past year than we have in the last 35. Nature is truly therapeutic.
In terms of my gastrectomy journey, things are going well. I did not gain my quarantine 15 like I had hoped but I have been fairly stable at 111-112lbs. This is lower than pre-pregnancy (who says that?!?!), but I am hoping to gain back at least another 5lbs. Winter is coming. This should help…haha. Also, I have been experiencing a significant amount of burping since my son was born. I attribute it to having my intestines rearranged after being pregnant and then not pregnant. I know many others suffer from burping right after surgery so I guess I have been lucky.
I also have restarted the process of screening for the breast cancer side of having the mutation. I haven’t had my annual MRI/Mammogram in over two years due to pregnancy and breastfeeding. It was always on my list to get the screening going again and earlier this week I started the process of contacting my family doctor for the referral. It is funny how the universe works because the genetics team in my area called me as well yesterday to see how I was doing and to discuss restarting the process as well. Wild!
Before falling asleep, I think about a few things I am thankful for. I think this is a nice exercise for people to do to recognize the great things in their lives. I always start with thanking for family, friends, and good health. Tonight I’ll be thankful that I was fortunate to celebrate my 36th birthday.