Walking a Park

Path at A.J. Henry Park, Tallahassee

My surgery went well; my recovery was a bit unexpected. Everyone made it sound a lot easier than it turned out to be for me. I handle pain well, thank goodness, but I was not up and about easily only a few days following my surgery. Tomorrow is 10 days after my surgery and today is really the first day I’ve felt mostly normal since they took my gallbladder out. I guess everyone is different but this one threw me for a loop a lot more than I was expecting. Slowly but surely, I am getting my feet back under me. One thing I’ve been trying to do is to keep moving. It does help me feel a little less like I am an invalid and also I feel a bit like I am walking off the pain. However, doing laps in my apartment gets old fast so I figure it’s time to start exploring the parks of Tallahassee.

I love walking; I always have. My favorite cities are completely walkable from one end of them to the other. I love not needing to drive or catch a bus or subway. I love taking in a walk whether it’s for pleasure or to get me from point A to Point B. I loathe running or really most other forms of exercise if I’m being honest but I adore walking. Sadly, Tallahassee isn’t exactly a walking city. I wouldn’t walk down my road if you paid me. It’s a charming road but has no sidewalk or shoulder to speak of. So, if I want to walk, I have to find a place to do so.

Tallahassee also has, thankfully, a plethora of parks to choose from. Being unimaginative yesterday, I just picked the park at the top of the list on the website. A.J. Henry Park is in the northeastern part of the city and, like anything else, took me about 20 minutes to find amongst the really nice houses I drove through. It is a fairly small park on the shores of a tiny lake. There is a short boardwalk along the lake’s edge, picnic areas which were host to two different birthday parties the day I visited, and then miles of trails through the woods. I wandered the woods for an hour, finding my way to a small ravine with a stream running through it. There were stairs down to the stream which I appreciated it as taking the steep looking trail wasn’t really something I felt up to just yet. It was a beautiful day for a walk in the woods and while I ran into a few other couples walking, I seemed to have the forest mostly to myself which is really the best way to enjoy a walk.

My only complaint was the trails were not marked very well. I found posts with maps that had either been destroyed or weather had rendered mostly illegible. There were color coded arrows which would have been helpful if I’d known what trail I’d been on to begin with. I suppose I could have pulled out my phone and gotten the map from the parks’ website but it didn’t fit my mood so I just wandered. I think I mostly stuck to the green trail but really, I have no idea. A bit more guidance would have been appreciated but I didn’t get lost so I suppose that would be considered a successful walk in the woods.

I hope to explore more of Tallahassee’s parks in the coming weeks as I try to keep active more. Sadly, most of this week will see me walking on the treadmill though as I’m returning to work. Tomorrow will most likely be a very long day but I’m looking forward to getting back onto my usual schedule and feeling like things are getting back to normal.

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What a Week

There are times when you just have to laugh. Like at 11:30 last Tuesday night when I was woken by the sound of loud running water. Much too loud to just be the shower running in the apartment upstairs so I got up, opened my bathroom door, and discovered my bathroom had a new waterfall feature. Of course, it was flowing from the vent in the ceiling and right onto the floor so not really one I wanted. Over the next couple of hours, after the fire department had come and gone and the water stopped running down the side of the building from the apartment above mine, I headed to a hotel for the night. The next day, I moved to a new apartment on the other side of my complex and had to face going back into my old apartment to move things as well. An apartment that had, by that time, ceiling paint hanging down everywhere, carpets that were ripped up to allow giant fans to be placed underneath and massive dehumidifiers sat running in the corner. It took the next three days to finish moving all the belongings the complex didn’t for me. I’m still working on getting my address switched everywhere. You forget how many places have your address until you have to change it everywhere – I keep remembering more places to contact. Hopefully, I don’t miss any.

On top of that, I am having surgery on Friday. I am both nervous and excited. Excited because I am ready for my body to stop hating me, ready to go back to normal though, truth? This health episode, as fun as it has been, has properly scared me. I’m 28 next month – should I be having gallbladder attacks already? Should I be taking heartburn medicine like it’s candy and worry about everything I eat making me feel like I’m having a heart attack? Clearly I need to change some things after this surgery to get rid of my wonky gallbladder because this scared me and I shouldn’t be this worried yet. My eating habits have been better but I need to add exercise back into my schedule. The last year or so it’s gotten put aside, first because TMJ made my head feel like it was exploding and I got that under control then I moved across the country and then my body decided it would rather not let me eat much more than bread and applesauce. I need to work on this.

Nervous? Well, surgery is scary. I haven’t had one since I was 9 or 10. After several operations to have tubes put in my ears, my last one not only put tubes in my ears but also took out my tonsils and adenoids. Fun fact, as a kid, I couldn’t breath through my nose correctly. Once they took my adenoids out though, that quirk was taken care of. I suppose you could also count getting my wisdom teeth removed in 10th grade though you even walk after that surgery to the recovery room. I don’t remember walking but they tell me I did. The wisdom teeth had to come out because I’d had braces for years, teeth removed, my top jaw widened to accommodate all my teeth. Wisdom teeth would have screwed up all the money my mother poured into fixing my smile.

Reading back through here, I sound like a walking health disaster and I guess on some levels I always have been so I’m hoping to start working on that if only because it’s just getting annoying now. So, wish me luck this week and hopefully things will get back to a better normal soon.