Posts Tagged ‘Psoriatic arthritis’

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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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Thankfulness 2014 Week 1

November 11, 2014

Nov. 1 Today I am thankful for God who deserves all the glory and praise. I am nothing without HIM and I need to trust and rely on Him more. I am grateful He uses even my flaws and mistakes to better me or to make a difference in this world. I am thankful He has given me another day.
FB on my phone ate my status…

Nov. 2 I am thankful for this Lord’s Day. I was so happy to be back to my young ladies class and my co-teacher Heather M. I learn so much from them and today was all about growing in knowledge of God. The aches were catching up to me but I am thankful for this day of worship and rest.

Nov. 3 I am thankful for the husband I was blessed to find 21 years ago. The love and devotion he has shown me and the girls and all the sacrifices he makes cannot not be adequately described. This past week he has risen to all occasions even while sick to make sure everything for our family went smoothly while I worked and ran an event. I could not have done it without him. He is my best friend and partner, chief engineer and head of family. His generosity astounds me and we are instilling that in our children (even if they act spoiled!) I thank God for the Chief every day.

Nov. 4 I usually do these in a particular order but because today is the birthday of a wonderful friend, today I am thankful for the friends in my life who have been my rocks, my sounding boards, my champions, my confidants, my sanity, my hilarity, my partners in crime. As an introvert you are few and far between and to the ones who have been here the longest–I am in debt to you (you know who you are–especially the birthday girl!) I know often I get the better end of this deal but please know that I am so thankful for you, besties, and you make the world a better and brighter place.

Nov. 5 I am thankful for the blessing in my life that is my Bright Light. What an amazing young woman she is becoming. The journey that we have shared in the last year alone has been a privilege and wonder to take with her, bringing us closer even as she becomes more independent and sure of herself, learning some tough lessons and staying true. She is rising to the potential both D and I have always seen in her and couldn’t be more hopeful for her bright future. She didn’t come with an instruction manual but I learn from her all the time and I am humbled. What a gift from God.

Nov. 6 I am thankful for the Happy Girl in my life. From the beginning she made sure to let us know she was going to do things in her own unique and creative way, not sitting in anyone’s shadow and daring anyone to try to ignor her. She is truly a funny little person and makes me laugh often. She is coming into her own, even if doing with a bit more attitude and moodiness than her usual happy self, and watching her grow is a joy. And from the beginning that joy she freely shares has been such a gift from God in times of need. My joy and my comfort… 🙂

Nov. 7 I guess what I said in my share post yesterday was my thankful thought… I am thankful for the advances in medicine that came up with biologics. Aches and creaky joints mean I am still here for one more day but I don’t have to live those days in crippling pain. I get to be here and not only watch my children grow but be part of their lives. Since my diagnosis my fabulous trainer has kept me going and I’ve done more than I thought I could … getting ready for my 5th 5 K in December (and I hate running!) Yes I desire a permanent cure but I am thankful for the “thorn” of this illness too. It brought me to my knees and when I finally learned to trust God he gave me the spiritual healing I needed.

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E.o.t.T.: Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 2014

October 13, 2014
This is the shirt I bought at Wal-Mart to wear on the days my mom has chemo. A portion of the proceeds went to the National Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

This is the shirt I bought at Wal-Mart to wear on the days my mom has chemo. A portion of the proceeds went to the National Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Once again, Team E.o.t.T joined together to Make Strides Against Breast Cancer in honor of my mother, my aunt and their cousin–all survivors. My daughters, my mother, MIL, future SIL, her mother, scout and church friends all got together this past Sunday for the 5K walk. The Chief and the husbands of two of our walkers all cheered at the finish line. The BIL walked this year with the mothers to help them along the hilly course.

Thursday night my throat started hurting. I should have known… during my last sprint training runs (about 350 feet x 8) I said to my trainer, and I quote, “I feel like poo.” By Friday morning my tonsils were the size of golf balls. I good feat because I have enlarged tonsils to begin with. Everything ached. And yes, clinic doctor, I know when my body is running a low-grade fever even if my temp is hovering at 98. 😛 My quick strep was negative but given my suppressed immune system and the fact I had been subbing in the elementary schools I was given some antibiotics and lidocaine throat gargle and sent on my way.

I spent the rest of Friday in bed, only getting up to go to the chiropractor for my pre-race adjustment. Oh man did it hurt, I mean really hurt, as he fixed my subluxations. See? Told you I had a fever. The Chief even took T1 to her first home coming football game in the rain. I’m bummed to have missed it even if it was raining. 😦 Saturday I was up and out on the soccer fields for back to back games in the drizzle with the throat still a little sore. I stayed low-key the rest of the day in the hopes of feeling better for Sunday but I did help T1 get ready for the dance and dropped her off at her friends.

One of my teammates, much younger (by like 15 years), started the course well before I did and she ran and was the first finisher. If you remember last year, I was the 1 and only runner. I started the race more officially this year–actually hitting the stopwatch on my phone and running from the start–but about 5 minutes after her. I was the second to cross the finish line (about 12 minutes after her). When I hit stop on my phone I couldn’t believe it–a new Personal Best Record of 32 minutes, 37 seconds! I hadn’t even had a 33 minute time since a training run back before my 5K in May. I was totally stoked! Wow. Take that tonsillitis! Also, I didn’t get lost this year! Yeah for a better sense of direction … even though most of the participants missed the last turn (poorly marked).

There were a couple of more runners this year, including my scout teammate. They had the stragglers take a few short cuts to have the event end at a reasonable time–my mother was one of the short-cutters, but hey, she’s allowed.

This race also marks my third and final 5K for the Nerd Herd 2014 Virtual Race Series. The participants run or walk races (all at once or cumulative) on their honor, send in their times, and receive really cool medals. Proceeds benefit Stupid Cancer. My first race was the Marine Corps Historic Half 5K, an on my own 1 + 2.1 the week I was at summer camp, and this 5K on Sunday.

Quest Completer, Revenge of the 5th, Lord of the Bling, and The Rebellion Begins image from The Nerd Herd)

Quest Completer, Revenge of the 5th, Lord of the Bling, and The Rebellion Begins (image from The Nerd Herd)

I really feel like I accomplished something(s) for a good cause and I’ve definitely improved (even if I haven’t lost a single pound).

Next race and new goal: Arthritis Foundation Jingle Bell 5K Walk/Run in December and I will beat my time by 37 seconds. One week of rest and then 7 weeks of training. I’m expecting this to be the flattest course I’ve run so I’ve got a shot.

Pssst! You can still make a donation for Team E.o.t.T. … just go to the Making Strides hyperlink above and search for Team E.o.t.T. … Come on, you know you want to congratulation me on my new PBR!

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E.o.t.T.: I DID IT!

May 18, 2014
"But wait, Let me take a Selfie" Before and After

“But wait, Let me take a Selfie” Before and After

4 AM and I can’t sleep anymore. I went to bed at 10:30 so the almost 6 hours of sleep is pretty much what I get each night. For once I didn’t try to go back to sleep, knowing if I cat-napped I could wake up even more tired.

5:20 AM I start to get the rest of the family up. I’m showered and I grab some breakfast biscuits and a protein shake. I begin to roll out and stretch. I use the monster band my trainer loaned me to stretch my Achilles and calf muscles, hoping to prevent inflammation.

5:52 AM we drive to downtown and see all the road closures gearing up for the big event. The Chief pulls over and I hop out considering the new traffic patterns. He still has to drop off the girls and then get out of the downtown area to park near the finish line.

6:30 AM It is a chilly morning, about 55 degrees, but I will take it. The 90 degree days the week before had me concerned … I learned I really can’t run in temperatures over 73 degrees. My four friends from childhood find me in the bathroom line. They got me a Captain America head band (because they thought it was Wonder Woman–no joking) but it is the thought that counts. I wear it proudly.

6:50 AM Time for pictures and selfies

6:55 AM Marine Corps Color Guard and National Anthem

7 AM Shot gun start

It was hard to estimate the size of the crowd running the 5K. Official numbers are about 750.

If I would change anything, I would have waited at the back of the crowd because it was almost impossible to start–practically tripping over people who were also struggling or who had chosen to walk. I lost a little time but not much.

I have to dig deep. I had been training for this. 8 weeks of slowly building up to not only running the full 5k but conquering the two notorious hills in the first two miles. I had only gotten up both without stopping once and in the rain. I had completed a 5k just 10 days before with mild hills in 34 minutes so I set a goal for these killer hills of 33-36 minutes.

I left two friends behind. Two others ran with me for a bit. One passed me and I passed the other. I thought about trying to keep up with her but the fear of burning out early on the hills–which she had no idea about–made me stick to my plan and run solo.

I made it up the first, long gradual hill. I grabbed a quick cup of Gatorade and managed one sip before spilling most of it on me.

There was a lady in front of me with neon teal shoes. I matched her pace stride for stride about 4 feet behind her. Could I make it up the second gruelling hill without stopping? Then my tunes changed: first, Glorious Day by Casting Crowns. Not exactly the fastest song to run to but inspiring nonetheless. Then as I was cresting the hill over the highway, God’s Not Dead by the Newsboys.

Thank you, God.

Seriously, my playlist was on shuffle and these were the only two religious songs on it. Anything could have played: Gimme, Gimme, Gimme or Bang a Gong … but these two songs play on the toughest part of the hill. More than a coincidence in my book.

My pacer started to slow down and I knew I needed to crest the hill and take it all the way to the end. I passed her and dug a little deeper. Two ladder trucks had the American Flag suspended over the runners just before they rounded the corner for the final 1.1 miles. Pretty inspiring.

I found the Chief, his brother and the girlfriend standing on the grassy area by the last major intersection before the home stretch. I pumped my fists up in the air. It was the best having Chief there to see me complete something that doesn’t come easy. The Chief started yelling for me to take off my headphones: “Your song! Your song!”

Eye of the Tiger! Playing by the area DJ stationed near the finishing stretch.

I was supposed to find someone ahead of me to try to pass, to push myself to the end. The field was a little wide and I wasn’t sure I could catch anyone. If only I had known my one friend was less than a minute ahead of me. UGH.

My stopwatch read 35:05. I did it and I didn’t walk a single step on my first 5k with hills. And not just any hills.

Official time: 35:03. In my age bracket I am #30 out of 112 (40-49 year-olds). Of my actual age (40) there seem to be only 12 of us and I’m 7th; 4th female.

My friend beat me by less than a minute. Her time was actually the same as my Turkey Trot results which is a flat course. So I guess I should be pretty impressed that with killer hills I only slowed down by less than a minute. If I was faster with mild hills I’m sure with no hills my pace is a bit faster than it used to be.

The Chief thinks it is funny I keep muttering, “I can’t believe L beat me.” In my defense I just discovered she is 5–FIVE–years younger than me. The rest of the friends, also all younger than me, came in behind us.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

 

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