colorful end to summer

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found it fitting to post a picture of me next to a port-o-potty

alas…. the season of summer has ended. time for the fun warm summer runs to turn into hoodies and extra layers, for fruity beach drinks to turn into warm apple ciders, and the leaves to start falling..

after so little activity for the past few weeks, it felt great to get out and finally get in a few miles. whats better than being able to do this with family?

as for the run itself, it was a great time, but nothing in comparison to the previous Color Run i had ran at Miller Park. sure, these races are meant to be more of a “fun run” than anything else (75% of participants walk) but can also provide a little boost to those in training. there were at least a few thousand more in the Milwaukee which makes for a little more excitement/shenanigans. the course (uwgb) was a less than stellar terrain and im surprised no one tripped…. (me).

im glad part of our nation has taken it upon themselves to become more active and healthy, but these types of races recently haven’t come without controversy. its an interesting take to those that may live to run long or short distances for many different purposes. for me, learning to run again has been a series of small and large milestones (10 years this september since my total reconstructive knee surgery.. when i was told my walking would never be the same!) – fun runs like these remind me that I am having fun along the way of getting to know my own rhythm again. we all need (self)assurance from time to time, especially when trying to accomplish a lifetime achievement right?

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doing any event in the middle of a flare is something i can reflect on later that will allow me to keep going! after all, this is what the #purpleproject is all about, right??

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under cover

be still & know that I am. this post is difficult for me to write. not at because it’s an emotional topic, but because it is so hard for me to put into words for someone without these conditions to understand. it’s a simple topic to many, but so complex to me… pain.

this week has been an especially emotional week for many reasons. it’s simplest to say that stress kicks all of my ailments into overdrive, causing me to go into bitch overdrive. I told my mom this week that one day, if even one person was within an 8 foot radius of me, if they breathed it would bother me. when I’m in pain, it’s sensory overload.. for everything.

for the first time in months, i woke up and i was unable to move. i don’t mean a “sore from the day before, getting old kind of aches“, i mean a paralyzing the first few time i woke up and this happened to be, i was terrified, seconds away from calling 911 because i thought i had had a stroke.  now that i know its happened a few times, i know what’s “normal” when these spells happen.  it’s paralyzing, really – im able to move my head, but it feels as though my limbs and torso have been laid in cement. finally when im able to move, i have to do so muscle by muscle, eventually able to move an arm or a leg and can then use that leg to help position the other, eventually sitting up. when this happens, it can take hours to get up and moving around. each time it’s a little bit different and I’m still a little scared, but know that it eventually ends. thankfully, this happened on a weekend, so i was able to sleep about 40/48 hours. ive had one doctor diagnosis my pain condition as Small Fiber Neuropathy, another as Fibromyalgia.

to say the past week has been discouraging would be an understatement of the year. im not sure what’s scarier, not knowing what exactly is the cause of these spells or the fact I think know exactly what causes them: Humira. the one thing that has given me at least some hope that we are closer than ever before to a cure. i will save this lengthy post for another day, when i have the energy.

im hoping this week brings me a change, since being unable to train at all for two whole weeks due to feeling awful and some pretty kick you in the stomach type of pain. I deal with these set backs like clockwork, but can tell you it never gets easier, because each flare and episode is quite different than the previous. today i noticed significant blood loss for the first time in quite awhile. also hoping this week my steroids kick in. one thing a life in disease has shown me is there are times one has no choice but to wait for the storm to pass and try to take cover under anything you can. lucky for me, i had fresh sheets on the bed, so i took cover under those..

pet therapy

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many of the life events we are most likely to share with loved ones happen outside of our homes.. work promotions, social gatherings, beating a personal record in 10k, … but it’s the ones we come home to that really mean the most to us and keep us from going to bed as stressed out as when we came home.

 

 

there have been occasions i came home from the hospital, to be greeted by the greatest thing in the world: my dog. my Yukon. after my initial stint in the ICU, i remember having to sleep in the living room since i could not be alone. normally, Yukon would have jumped up and down out of excitement. but Yukon had an instinct to be protective. he sat at the bottom of that couch and stood watch night after night.

there is something to be said about what animals are able to provide those who live with chronic illness. the physical contact and emotional bond that a pet can provide someone can be exactly what someone with rheumatoid arthritis needs because their loved one may not understand the physical pain of even lying next to them. a pet can provide as an outlet to humans that, lets face it, other humans can’t provide, because pets won’t talk back!

i mean absolutely no offense to non-sufferers of any illness, but sometimes were terrified to tell you how we really feel – emotionally drained, sad, alone, helpless. we know how much you think we complain and many times we are guilted into keeping quiet. there is something so psychic the way a pet can sense what a human feels.

many adjectives can be used to describe the love a pet can provide but i prefer two: loyal and unconditional. of course i think i am the luckiest human in the world.. anyone who sees my social media sees the love i have for my animals. i have been so lucky that in my life i have been loved and cared for by God, but also the selfless creatures He placed here with us.

there’s a reason that pets don’t outlive human beings but we may not ever understand all of them. pets spend their whole lives serving someone, never expecting to be put first, but are always there waiting to greet us at the end of a long day.

this is 1 prescription i will be happy to fill the rest of my life! 🐾