This weekend is the Philly marathon which I’ll be actively avoiding (sorry racing friends, I can’t handle spectating right now) but as a wonderful byproduct, my friend Thom, whom I’ve known online for years but never met, came for a short stay before joining his buddies for a long weekend of race festivities. It was one of those “it’s like we’ve known each other forever” deals where you can jabber all day about the deep stuff. He really couldn’t have come at a better time.
Aside from the sympathetic ear he leant, he helped me out in a huge way today: I asked him to videotape me running and that is what he did.
I’ve known we were going to do this for 2 weeks and have dreaded it the whole time – dreaded seeing what I look like but also dreaded doing the running in the first place. I tried to keep running the last couple weeks so there’d be no break in the routine before taping but my body and mind have given up for now. I simply can’t handle the raw, crappy feeling anymore. I tried twice and stopped after a few steps, turning them into walks. I’m done.
For frame of reference, here’s how I used to look:
Here’s how I look now (don’t worry, just looks like a shitty runner):
You’d have to slow it down to analyze what my feet and legs are doing but what’s interesting is that for many months, I’ve thought the weird gait was all about my right leg but the video shows me avoiding my left heel for the most part, toe-landing on the left foot only, of all things. I’m thinking because the right foot scrapes a bit (footdrop, I guess…feels like the toe “sticks” sometimes) that maybe staying up on the left toe makes clearance for the right leg to follow through, like a compensatory leg-lengthening? Just a guess.
Aside from that, my left arm does a spastic sort of pump staying right in front to match the right leg that doesn’t go back much. And there’s a complete dearth of leg swing and knee lift (the right knee especially appears to barely bend). The intense “smallness” of how my gait feels translates perfectly to how I actually look on the outside. Again, all this is more apparent when slowed down so you’re probably going “huh? just looks choppy to me”.
The stride morphs a lot as the run progresses, btw. We almost did 1/4 mile for the video but there’s no telling what I look like 2 miles into it, I know it feels different as it goes.
I went to the doc yesterday morning before Thom arrived. The appointment started with an oddity: I always have very low blood pressure no matter the scene (doctor’s office, emergency room, hospital stay). The last time I was measured at 92/60, at this appointment it was 155/100! Granted, it’s been a particularly bad couple of weeks both physically and emotionally but those numbers are cray-cray.
The appointment was surprisingly ok, the doctor’s taking it very seriously and is upset with me for not coming in sooner. The downside is she’s not that informed about lyme so the negative test means more waiting for me (it should be noted that she thought I had received both standard tests, though I knew I hadn’t since it’s such a predictable story with lyme. It wasn’t till I inquired about specific results that she realized they’d only done the Elisa test). So more blood was taken for a Western Blot which I’m sure will come out negative as well considering how long it’s been, but also some tests for other stuff, like thyroid function.
She won’t give me antibiotics yet, wants me to see an Infectious Disease doc first, but I can’t get in to see one till after Christmas. She said they’d try to find someone who could see me in the next couple weeks.
As an interesting note, in looking through this blog, I was reminded that I went back to the emergency room last year in November. Lyme bacteria are known to love cool weather. It keeps making more sense since things took a bad turn as October temps dropped. Whatever. November sucks.