“What’s Going On?” Marvin Gaye 1971

Welcome back to SOLO at SIXTY!

WOW! I know I have said it before, but WOW what a difference a week makes. This time last week I was trying to wake up from anesthesia. Yep, surgery #3 in the past 11 months. And please, Lord, let this be the last! With the first 2 surgeries (one on each of my knees), I just woke up on my own quickly after surgery. But this time it was different, they had to wake me up. Probably because I was up late the night before and very early morning of surgery to get some reports finished for work. Plus, I just could not sleep.

So what took me to the OR this time? I had half of my thyroid removed. I kept thinking the surgery would be postponed due to COVID-19, but thankfully, it was not. I have been dealing with this since November, when my doctor stated I had some shoddy nodes on my thyroid during my annual exam. What? Shoddy? Geez…. She scheduled an ultrasound of my thyroid and referred me to an endocrinologist. Luckily, I knew and loved this endocrinologist – he had been my neighbor! After reviewing my ultrasound, he decided I should have a biopsy of my thyroid. The results of the biopsy? Indeterminate. Seriously?! So, he referred me to an endocrinology surgeon, warned me that even though he looks like he is 12 (a Doogie Howser), he is the absolute best. One of my dear friends went with me to the surgeon (2 sets of ears are better than 1) to understand what options were available and what the surgeon’s plans would be. Had another ultrasound, this time of my entire neck, mainly to check all the lymph nodes around my thyroid… as long as we were taking out half my thyroid, if any lymph nodes were enlarged, they should come out as well. Luckily, none were. Original surgery date was scheduled for early May so that I could run the 2 races I had planned with my kids – one in March, one in April, plus spend my annual April week at the beach. But once those events were cancelled, I called back to reschedule, and March 25th was the date. Luckily, my younger daughter was up here, so she once again took me for surgery.

“Also highly contagious is – Kindness, Patience, Love, Enthusiasm, and a Positive Attitude. Don’t wait to catch it from others. Be the carrier.”

Let’s face it, because of this impending surgery, I have been very nervous about COVID-19, which is why I decided to work from home as soon as we closed our clubs and things became a bit dicey. So nice and reassuring that the first person we saw at the hospital was a friendly, familiar face asking us the relevant COVID-19 questions before walking us into the hospital. You really cannot go anywhere in Charlottesville and not see someone you know… which I treasure! Surgery was a success, but I have yet to figure out how I went into surgery in a purple gown complete with a heating element, but woke up in a yellow gown. Hmmm… not sure I really want to know! Also went home with just a bandaid on my neck – internal stitches, all in the crease of my neck. Follow up appointment this Friday. No running until next week. And most importantly, the results came back yesterday… BENIGN! WHEW… I admit, I breathed a big sigh of relief when my old neighbor called me to give me the results. Did not realize until that moment how much this has weighed on me since November.

“There’s always something good coming. Remember that.”

Ahhh… the gift of flowers!

Another big difference in a week? What else, more COVID-19 cases, more closings of restaurants and businesses, and here in Virginia: an extension of our Stay At Home Order until June 10th. JUNE 10th y’all! Holy Cow! Foolishly, I thought we might be returning to normal by the middle of May, I mean, my oldest child will be celebrating her birthday in May and I don’t want to miss it! I have never missed her birthday… And I want to go see my sweet Momma in person – I am so afraid she will not know who I am if this goes on too long. Luckily, the sweet caregivers where she is have FaceTimed with my sisters, my nephew’s family, and me all together so she can see us in one place. Plus they post pictures on their facebook page almost daily so we know she is fine. But still…

“I miss you so much more than the miles between us…”

Y’all, can you imagine this happening in the 70’s?!?!  Thank heavens for all of the technology that we have available to us today! I FaceTime with my kids and my sisters. A high school friend is organizing a zoom happy hour this weekend to get some of us together. Another friend is getting us together for a FaceTime happy hour! So thankful for all of these opportunities to connect with people near and far.

“I never thought the comment ‘I wouldn’t touch him/her with a 6 foot pole’ would become a national policy but here we are.”

What have you been doing to pass the time and keep your sanity while being homebound? I’m going out and walking every day, some days meeting up with different friends to walk and talk while practicing physical distancing. Good opportunity to get some exercise and catch up. Jimmy Fallon and I have become very good friends! I have stayed up and watched him every night – I love that his show is coming right from his home, with his kids making all the signs and his sweet wife filming. I have also gotten hooked on Home Town in HGTV! Oh my, as much as I love Chip and Joanna Gaines, I LOVE Ben and Erin! They are redoing homes in their small Mississippi town. And I never watched Grey’s Anatomy, until last year, but now I am going back and watching the old ones. And I have to admit this, my daughter and I binge-watched Tiger King Sunday afternoon. OMG we could not stop watching, honestly. It was addicting. Crazy! And not to give anything away, but Myrtle Beach Safari with big cats is also featured in this documentary. What? Who knew it existed? Not me!

“You’re not stuck at home, you’re safe at home. One word can change your attitude, and one cough can change your life.” Timber Hawkeye

I have also been blessed to have my younger daughter here, who is working every day, as am I. I wear my headphones so as not to talk to her too much during the day! We’ve gotten in a pretty good routine of getting up early enough to walk around my neighborhood before starting to work and taking a few minutes here and there to get up, walk around, and do a couple of exercises from our old personal training days. Plus gives me a chance to talk haha! She has been running in the evenings, I have been walking (until next week when I am released to run again!). The weather has been wonderful, until the cold rain yesterday. We’ve been cooking and baking. My dishwasher has run more in the last 2 weeks than in the last 6 months! But I love it!

“A bend in the road is not the end of the road… unless you fail to make the turn.”  Helen Keller

It has only been 2 weeks working from home, and 2 weeks of our clubs being closed, but it seems almost a lifetime. I cannot imagine this continuing for MONTHS!  Hoping the physical distancing we are practicing will flatten that darn curve. Hoping that people are taking the precautions seriously. I want my normalcy back. I want to hug people, and visit, dress up and go out to dinner. I mean, I have not even put on makeup for 2 weeks! But we have to remember y’all, like my Moravian Star being up during Lent instead of Christmas, this is all temporary.

“When all the dust is settled, and all the crowds are gone, the things that matter are faith, family, and friends.”  Barbara Bush

Don’t stop taking precautions to prevent the Corona virus from spreading. Hang in there so we can end these limitations to our daily lives and return to some sense of normalcy. Check in on your family and friends, especially those who are alone, every day. Look for ways to be kinder to people and to yourself. I took to heart this week a prayer I read, Slow Me Down, Lord, by Wilferd A. Peterson. The part that spoke the loudest to me was: “Teach me the art of taking minute vacations—of slowing down to look at a flower, to chat with a friend, to pat a dog, to read a few lines from a good book. Slow me down, Lord, and inspire me to send my roots deep into the soil of life’s enduring values that I may grow toward the stars of my greater destiny.” Slow down, make the most of each and every day, and be thankful for the blessings in your life every day, because as we all know, none of us is promised tomorrow.



PS – Today is April Fool’s Day. Don’t you feel like someone is playing an April Fool’s joke on us every day? A bad one?

“April Fool’s Day is cancelled this year as no made up prank could match the unbelievable SH#T happening in the real world right now.”


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