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E.o.t.T.: This… and Fail

December 14, 2014

“It is funny how when you have autoimmune diseases your normal is the equivalent of someone else’s awful. Which is okay because they shouldn’t have to feel the pain we do or understand it. We wouldn’t wish this pain on anybody.”

Exactly. This. But like my rheumatologist said, “The good thing about running in the cold is that everyone’s joints will ache and you can tell them that this is what you run with every day!”

So I ran a 5K Jingle Bell Run for Arthritis this morning and what a fail.

Let me back up. I had my personal best time at the 5K I ran for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. Thought things would just transition right to training for the next race in 8 weeks. Didn’t exactly happen that way. We lost time for one thing or another. Oh, yeah, two incidences of tonsillitis in the month of November. Now I remember.

I remember the first time I tried running a 5K with the Chief walking Crook and Heddie and meeting me back at the car. Not bueno. 35:27 or something like that. 3 minutes slower than my new record. And … I had to walk some. Ugh.

About 10 days ago I developed intense pain in my left hand. Gripping the steering wheel or the bar at the gym made me want to jump out of my skin. And the residual burning pain… for the birds! I knew it wasn’t the bone so I also knew if I went to a clinic and they saw nothing on x-rays, I would be going to an orthopedist anyway. I just went right to the ortho. And yup, bones looked great. “Are you sure it is not numb or tingling?” “Yup. No tingling. Pain and burning.” So the PA went out to consult with the doctor. “She’s describing… Is it possible?….” then loudly from the doctor, “I don’t see why not. It’s entirely possible.”

“So, anatomically hands and feet are the same. Have you ever heard of a neuroma?” I had. My mother had them. In her feet. We’re talking about my hand. “What you’re describing is like that and I checked with Doctor So-and-so to see if he agreed and it is entirely possible that you have a neuroma in your hand.”

Seriously? Can I be any more of a medical freak?

6 days of prednisone to see if we couldn’t get the inflammation under control and no heavy lifting for 1 to 2 weeks. Oh, and don’t make a fist when running (my middle finger presses right on the spot when I make a fist). At first I wasn’t going to take the steroids because I really didn’t have a lot of pain at the appointment. The following morning I was driving the girls to school because I was subbing and I just barely touched the steering wheel and @#$%^&.

T1: Hey, Mom. Don’t use that hand in school. You might say something.

T2: Yeah. You might embarrass me.

Me: Thanks for your concern. Feeling the love.

I took the meds as soon as I got home from the job.

6 days seemed to only barely take the edge off. Of course I still tried benching (less weight though). I thought I’d feel like Wonder Woman like I did back when I took a short course of prednisone when we didn’t know I had PsA. Nope. I was so messed up and exhausted. Not a good week. I did manage to get in a full 5K but I didn’t time it to see where I was at–I was just wanting to get a full 5K in a week before the race. My sprints weren’t bad but I was running into the wind.

The pain is gradually becoming less and less so hopefully I can avoid a cortisone shot. Just the thought of that sends me into an anxiety attack.

Back to the race. I partied the day before. Sodas, caffeine, cookies, whoopie pies, chicken salad, etc. When we came home, I was a little hungry but didn’t eat anything. I couldn’t unwind at all and tossed and turned and finally took a third of a sleeping pill. 7 a.m. came way too early. Should have known when the cold wasn’t making me do the pee-pee dance that I was dehydrated. By mile 1 I was feeling queasy. My blood sugar was dropping fast. I needed more protein last night and perhaps this morning. After the race I was shaking for quite a while as I waiting for the watered down hot chocolate and the delicious scone the Chief and the girls brought me to take effect. Even later at church a friend remarked that I looked pale and puny.

The only thing in my defense is that for an arthritis run, there were way too many hills and there is a feeling amongst even the fastest runners the course was a bit longer than a 5K. I was psyched out by the course–I wish I had been mentally prepared. I couldn’t help it. I had to walk and that is the kiss of death because it hurts so much more to start back up. Everyone is congratulating me for finishing but it doesn’t feel like finishing if I had to walk portions.

Worst time results ever. :(

P.S. Due to the tonsillitis, I am looking forward to possibly having a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy. Yeah me.

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Musings of my Blog-iversary

December 9, 2014

So 11 days ago WordPress kindly reminded me that I have been masquerading as Snipe Wife for 4 years now. Wow. Hard to believe. I also now have 200+ followers. If you’ve read my blog long enough you know how I feel about at least 50 of those being robots or people who just want to hawk their own websites and having nothing to do with merchant marine affairs or anything else I post about. Really, WordPress, why can’t I click “delete” on some of these pointless follows? But 200 followers in 4 years is not bad for being an anonymous blog.

I had started the blog with much trepidation but with amazing support from a fellow blogger. I spent the month posting on FaceBook my 30 days of thanks and posted them on Dec. 1st. I honestly don’t know which FB friend started that but for 4 years now I have continued the tradition.

Four years ago I suffered probably the second most traumatizing event in my life. If you read the last few entries on that list, I described a desperation and despondency; anxiety that would spiral out of control; a pain that would stick with me for years. The purpose of the list is to count your blessings. I don’t post on FB “If you love Jesus, you’ll repost this” pithy sayings and “challenges” … instead I was trying to list what I was more than grateful for, knowing the source of all the blessings in my life. My intent was to never stand before anyone and say “Thank God I’m not like that tax collector; look at what I do” (Luke 18:9-14). My intent was not to make anyone else feel bad they didn’t have fabulous baby sitters to make their lives easier or to criticize anyone else’s husbands who can’t stand in the Chief’s amazing shadow. But my attempt to just show, rather than “repost”, my gratitude was twisted in the brutal attack.

The following years I debated even doing the list but I felt it was important to write these blessings down, to show my children later so that they too could appreciate all that we have been blessed with to cultivate giving hearts in them. I would struggle and lose steam as the month wore on and I got closer to the anniversary of that trauma. I questioned whether posting such a list was vain and pithy and whether it made others uncomfortable. And yet as I read the daily posts of other friends who joined in, I never saw the same flaws in their lists. I was encouraged and uplifted by their thoughtful lists. I was much harder on myself.

Interesting that I saw a lot of 3-day and 7-day thanks challenges starting in the fall this year. I did not participate because I was going to make my 30 Days of Thanks again this year. And it was going to be different. I was going to truly focus of finding something that day that I was thankful for. I would make it less of a laundry list. Yes, I always started off with giving credit where credit was due–that wouldn’t change. But if I was thankful for a rainy day then I would thank God for that rain. Yes, I’m still thankful for my fabulous friends and babysitters and I can’t live without them but I was focusing on the little things, the things we really take for granted.

I didn’t necessarily post every day; instead toward the end of the month I posted every couple of days. Not because I lost steam or had doubts… I just wanted to think about the thing I was most thankful for.

I didn’t lose steam because I didn’t hear those brutal words anymore. There was a fundamental shift in letting it go. Letting go and trusting in healing God provided me. It wasn’t over night but it was so much better than the two years of pain that left me with generalized anxiety and the onset of psoriatic arthritis. The healing continued to evolve and my trust in God has grown.

I’ve even told total strangers on the merchant mariner wives FB that I write this blog. I haven’t given up on this blog, I just write when the mood strikes me. I’m less self-conscious about it … even coming to terms with creating boundaries with the Chief about his input. Four years… lots to be grateful for, lots of lessons learned. Lots of healing.

To my 200+ followers, real or not, thank you for sticking with me on this journey.

 

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Thankfulness 2014: Week 4

December 6, 2014

Nov. 22 Thankful for books to read, clothes to fold, and cooking competitions to watch and giggle over with the girls. What a relaxing Saturday!

Sunday night took a turn that had me feeling less than grateful and struggling to give thanks. But I suppose it is only fitting that:
Nov. 23 if I am granted tomorrow then I am thankful it will be a new day and that today will be behind me.

Nov. 24 I am thankful for the brief blast of warmth today and the mother-daughter time with T1 and another new “first”. Let me not forget that these things will be just as new to T2 when her time comes. (We went to a friend who sells Mary Kay to learn how to apply make up with the ‘less is more’ philosophy … because she was caught trying to wear make up without permission.)

Nov. 25 I am thankful for the fellowship, conversation, and family fun of a night of coffee and bowling. It was such a low-key night. Probably the first time in 9 years we didn’t have scouts [the Tuesday before Thanksgiving] and oddly (gladly?) I don’t feel guilty about it one bit.

Nov. 26 I am thankful for the rain and wintry mix. Perfect for resting and hanging out at home, working on projects… so glad the Chief is still home to help T2 finish her science fair project! The rain also got me out of running sprints but I have to make it up on the bike. :(

Nov. 27 I am thankful for the table of plenty were shared in. We have never truly known want and I hope my children understand that. More though, I am thankful for the feast of God’s love that He so generously invites us to. His grace and mercy are abundant and unending and for the first time in a long time, I am content to sit in that glow.

Nov. 28 Because it is our nephew’s birthday I am thankful for all our nephews near and far! I am also thankful for the friends who carry on the crazy tradition of getting together for some good food, good conversation, and starting off the holiday season just right!

Nov. 29 I am thankful for the difference time and letting go make. To end this month of thanksgiving with a real appreciation for counting blessings and being grateful instead of … well, if you know me you know what the alternative is …, it is something to be savored. It is peaceful and it has been a long time. I enjoyed this relaxing Saturday morning with the Chief, appreciating his presence and for being my rock. And then the girls came home… LOL

Nov. 30 I am thankful for the calm before the storm … is the house ready for Christmas? Nope and I don’t know when it will be. Does that bother me? Yeah. But it is mainly because we don’t know when the Chief is shipping out and the vagueness is killing me. I’m going to take a breather and reread my list of 30 Days of Thanks and then just conquer my list of Things to Do one task at a time and remind myself to not sweat it if it doesn’t all get done. And Yeah, for the first time ever we have some outdoor Christmas lights. LOL

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Thankfulness 2014: Week 3

November 29, 2014

Nov. 15 Today, I am thankful for today. Please go and hug your loved ones and tell them you appreciate them. We are not guaranteed tomorrow.

Nov. 16 I am thankful for my mom. Our relationship has always been rocky but that is probably because we are so much alike. But no matter what she will be there for me. I am thankful for every day with her; each one is a gift.

Nov. 17 I am thankful for finding the energy to get through today. Never knowing what I am up for makes it so hard sometimes to commit to the many things I want to and have to do. No, the laundry didn’t get done but I worked and trained and took some scouts shopping. That’s enough for me even if tomorrow I need a nap.

Nov. 18 I am thankful for my troop of Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassador. And all the support of their families. What a crazy and entertaining night! Never a dull moment and at least the meal was successful. It was a bittersweet moment with one family noticeably absent. Love all my girls: [names removed to protect the innocent and not so innocent] … watching you become amazing young women. Thank you, JSB, T, and the Chief for making tonight happen too!

Nov.19 I am thankful that the Chief is doing something to make sure we are leaving a legacy of responsible stewardship. We are already doing many things right but we are working on others. Plus there may be hope for our spoiled children yet! “Date night” was to Dave Ramsey‘s Legacy presentation. Oh and I am thankful we heard together which one of us should be making the budget. As my mom says, “Three guesses who and the first two don’t count.”

Nov. 20 Today I am thankful Christmas music… I am currently burning mix CDs for the car and have come to the conclusion I have way too much Christmas music. On my 7th CD and I’m thinking it is going to total between 18-20 CDs. Nah, you can’t have too much Christmas music. I do love our local station that turns into the Christmas station Thanksgiving Day but it seems they play only the same 20 song. I want variety. Lots of it. My latest acquisition? Darius Rucker‘s Home for the Holidays and Harry Connick Jr‘s 2008 What a Night. Probably my 3rd or 4th Christmas album by him and well, you can never have too much HCJr either.

Seriously too much. 23 CDs. And I almost forgot to mix in Straight No Chaser. (I’ve been told I need to get Michael Buble and Pentatonix. Any other suggestions out there?)

Nov. 21 I am thankful to all the teachers who taught me the basics of the English language. It amazes me how much I have forgotten but actually use every day and take for granted. Seriously, how could a person with an English degree blank on common suffixes? (It is a little more complicated than that but embarrassing nonetheless.) Not necessarily “use it or lose it” but I can’t always explain why I use it. LOL Humbling to say the least.

And yes, my post on Romantic Christmas Songs is still my number 1 post of all time with 687 views. Don’t forget to check out Part 2 and my 2013 review of Trace Atkins and the Robertsons.

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