A few months ago, I really thought I was doomed. My mystery situation had reached a nadir: I couldn’t run, new symptoms had cropped up and I was convinced it was the entrance into something very bad. MS to be exact.
During that time, I changed. A lot. I wish I had the nerve to write everything I thought of and planned for during that period because it would make great reading, but I don’t have the guts. My closest friends got some major earfuls (and a barrage of tearfuls) for which I feel bad to have subjected them but am incredibly grateful for having such loving friends who allowed me to drown them with such depressing shit.
Eventually, after a couple months of wallowing, I chilled out and got used to the whole idea, focusing on work and taking a true “que sera, sera” approach. I stopped imagining a scary future and instead, devised a plan to move to Richmond and change this life that I’ve been thoughtlessly coasting through for far too long.
After months of the bad crap that seemed to build and build, I recently started feeling noticeably better. The ferocious itching bouts lessened to nearly nil and the numb white toes thing (Secondary Raynaud’s) that had begun to accompany me during park walks stopped happening. In my previous theorizing, I had assumed – since hot showers, exertion and getting under the bed covers would trigger the itching – that heat was causing it. Due to that, I really dreaded the coming summer. So I was happily surprised to find that as the weather improved, so did these issues.
Today, when I went to my doctor to discuss the test results (which are all clear, yay!) I bounced the following idea off her and she said it could be. That it’s not heat per se, but the change in temp from cold to hot, because I was seriously freezing in my apartment all winter, swathed in layers but never actually warm, so any heating up would have been a marked difference from my norm. Not that it makes a huge difference now, but maybe somewhere down the line, this delineation will matter.
Anyway, my doctor had me go over everything again and was very interested in the Raynaud’s photos which, at the last appointment, I’d only shown to the resident. She says it can arise from an auto-immune disease or a vascular problem but since MS is currently off the list, my tests don’t indicate the need for a Rheumatologist (which would be the next investigatory move), and since the itching and Raynaud’s has chilled out for the time being, I’m to “wait and see” until I see her again in August. In the meantime, she encourages me to get back to running.
For once, I am totally 100% cool with waiting and seeing. Because even though I don’t know what’s up with me or what’s next for it, if anything, at least I know I am not a ticking time bomb and that things can get better! That’s sort of huge.
As mentioned in the previous post, last week I got inspired by a carpet of grass and ran a few yards. I was elated. Cautiously so, but really happy that I could do that at all. Then I got totally scared by the thought of getting back to it.
Big props to my pal Lara, who I’ve mentioned here a few times. We met soon after I started running in 2007 and she figuratively held my hand at my first race, the Clean Air 5K. We used to run together sometimes until I got my sea legs and she went her cycling freak way. But in a kooky “Life’s Full Circle” thing, she recently had a baby and has been out of the fitness loop and said she’d be up for some run/walking. So last Thursday, she once again figuratively held my hand while I did my first official run/walk return. Bless that girl, it helped tremendously to have her there.
Since then, I’ve been out for a run/walk by myself once and did an exercise DVD on another day (yes, the same Walk Your Way Slim stupidity as on the “white numb toes” day, but this time with no ill effects save for mind-numbing “kill me now” boredom.)
I feel like I should admit though, that there’s a likelihood I’ll never be the same gung-ho runner I once was. Of course, it’s too early to predict and I might find that as I get in the groove, the passion returns, but right now I’m still scared of it. I’m not waking up thinking “Oh goodie, I can’t wait to get out there!” But that’s A-OK. It’s a new phase and the runner in me will reveal itself in time, or not.
No matter what happens, this whole mess ended up being a gift. My life has changed for the better, all because I had to think of a Plan B for Life: What I was going to do IF. But even without the IF, the Plan B remains sensible, fun and exciting. In Plan B, I’ve got a whole new business model that is already making great moolah (shocking, actually) and I get to grow that business in Richmond! To that end, I’ve got an Airbnb reserved for the last week in June for apartment hunting – I can’t wait to meet up with my new Richmond friends, Emily and Ingrid!
But the icing on Plan B’s cake was something I never expected…I get to run, too! It’s not the end-all be-all of my life, it’s a too, but it’s a glorious, joyful, back in flight, I can run! Too.
The Girl, she’s back in motion.