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.

May

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.

About Running

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.

29 Responses to “Girl In Motion Once Again”

  • Flo:

    The comment party is on my FB page https://www.facebook.com/flo.karp/posts/4154047027029 (which I’m only linking here so you know I’m not friendless and nobody cares)

  • reddogrunning:

    Nice to read such positivity – I fully expect you to find a Yellow Submarine now to live in when you move to Richmond.

  • Chris:

    This made my day. Love you Flo.

    • Flo:

      Oh Chris, you just always make me go all awwwww. Can’t wait to be closer to you and Stevi! Just a few months. Kisses xo

  • reddogrunning:

    Flo there were really 5 Beatles – before Ringo there was a drummer who had a unique sense of beat for banging(supposedly none)on a drum kit. Although legend goes he suffered early balding syndrome for his headboard banging quantity and quality and the other boys were a bit jelly of his pulling powers in the Hamburg days so they dumped him. Name escapes me so lets just just give him the quintessential British moniker James(Jimmy)Eckford.

    • Flo:

      I do remember some documentary about a 5th Beatle. Lol on the moniker! Hope Jim sees that. In the meantime, if I’m 5, then I need to look for a larger submarine. This could get costly…

    • Yes it was rough getting dumped by the band, but as they pointed out I was a bit young and unskilled (and had trouble sounding Liverpudlian)
      Great to hear the positive news Flo. Richmond, eh?

      • Flo:

        So sad about your lost band opportunities, Jim. Yes on Richmond! I think you may have to plan a marathon there. :)

  • Ewen:

    You were meant to be in motion Flo — so happy to see it happening for you, both with running and the business. And go Lara! Good on you!

  • Thea:

    This made me cry happy tears. I love not only the way you think, but the way you write when you share what you think. Go Girl!

    • Flo:

      Thea, “I love not only the way you think, but the way you write when you share what you think” just warmed my heart up somethin’ fierce. :) Thanks!

  • Runningwithscissors:

    What a nice surprise post to read this morning. You’ve got my day off to a great start!

  • Peggy:

    This is all so positive to hear! I’m glad you are getting good care, with a doctor who understands you, and glad to see you can get out there a bit again. Maybe never at the level you were at before, but that’s ok – it’s a different phase of life, but can be just as much enjoyable (a lesson I’ve had to learn over the years as long-term injury pulled me out of the competitive racing world). I saw a great quote – if plan A doesn’t work, don’t worry, there’s still 25 more letters…

    • Flo:

      Hah! That is a wonderful quote! I will steal that for sure. Hey, so when I was out with Lara doing the run/walk and we were coming back, we passed the geocache spot where I ran into you last, and we stopped and I opened it! You were totally there in spirit that day. :)

  • matty blue:

    so happy to read this, flo. injury and illness suck, but they make us really appreciate what we CAN do. if this is the beginning of the end of this, you’ll never take it for granted ever again…i’m coming off a torn achilles from december, and i never thought i’d take such pride and comfort in a 2-mile walk run, ever. but that’s what happens.

    and the fear – hoo, boy, yes. i tweaked my (good) knee my very first run back, and it’s impossible not to feel a little gun-shy. the lesson, as always, is that i have to listen to my body. it tells me when it’s ready, even when i think it’s not.

    congratulations, etc. hoping that the upward trend continues ;-)

    • Flo:

      So sorry to hear about your achilles, though yay on getting back out there. Hope you’re back to old tricks soon! And you’re right about equating this with a regular running injury, Lara was making me feel better about my fear by making the same correlation. It does help to think of it like that. Cheers!

  • Flo, love love love for this post and for you! I love how this experience is causing you to reevaluate everything, every day that you are coasting through. This makes me teary: “and change this life that I’ve been thoughtlessly coasting through for far too long” because I’m happy for you but it speaks to me as well.

    It’s a good thing to think about this stuff and get choked up – that means you’ve hit an untapped well. :-)

    Thanks again and SO HAPPY!

    • Flo:

      And I love your wonderful comment, Andrea. Sometimes we just need a damn kick in the pants to change things up, especially the older we get; it’s so nice to stay comfortable. Here’s to no more coasting for either of us! :)

  • Jackie:

    Flo, this is wonderful news. I am happy to hear it. Can’t wait to read about this next chapter. Love you girl! Also happy to hear about the continued success.

  • SomeOldDudeYouDon'tKnow:

    Wow, GIM, such a positive spirit. Hope the good news continues for you! And by the way, the exchange between you, RDR, and Jim was hilarious!

    • Flo:

      Hey SomeolddudeiDOknow! :)
      The story behind that banter above was, if you look at my Facebook page, the post before the blog link… Some woman in the waiting room told me I looked like the Beatles. What I didn’t include was that she was there because her husband had dementia but I had to wonder if she was actually the patient.

      Anyway, thanks for the sweetness!

      • SomeOldDudeYouDon'tKnow:

        Well, I might have understood if she had said Chrissie Hynde. ;-)

        Anyhow, great to see you getting back in “Flo-motion!” (<<<because you've never heard THAT before…)

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