Each Wednesday, I participate in a gathering of women who believe in making wishes and taking steps to achieve their desires. This week Jamie asks, What do you wish for your health & wellness?
I’ve set many goals and some I feel were such a stretch that I cannot possible make it to the goal. I want to believe. But I have fears that I cannot physically get there with my body, health, and my “diagnosis.”
I start to feel strong and then another setback comes in, and another. And the hurdles seem taller and taller.
Within the space of 5-days I was glutened twice (Celiac). I missed a week of exercise and a week of physical therapy. The arthritis in the ball of my right foot screams at me as I change my footfalls to a forefoot landing (heel striker). My knee and hip feel strong running 1 mile.
My goal is to run 13.1 miles on Grand Island. I need to register for the event. I need to do so, now.
I worry what people think. I worry what I think. I worry that I may be throwing my entry fee and an extra ferry pass out the window. (want Mike to come with me)
I try to bolster my faith and my self-esteem by saying the woman in the picture who is smiling ran a 10K (1 day prior) on a tough and highly technical trail. That the woman was once afraid of heights and is in a lighthouse, outside, high-up, leaning on the railing with wind blowing. That woman ran a race with a taped-knee and then hiked waterfalls going down stairs backwards (knee pain after race) because she is determined to enjoy life.
Today, (6-months after the photo was taken) I look in the mirror and I am fearful.
I want courage. I need stamina. I need to eat clean. Drop 10-20 pounds. I need to take my recovery seriously. I need to run that race. I will run that race. I will run that race. I will run that race.
My wish is that I continue to grow strong in body, mind and spirit so I can reach for my dreams and goals.
It has been a week of muscles spasms and no exercise accept for a 90-minute restorative yoga class at St Paul’s in Marquette. I did not even feel like taking photos today. I just felt like crying. Thank goodness, I am blessed with a man who can lay beside me until I calm.
I chose a different adventure. To the Marquette Food Co-op for dinner fixings and a trip to Every Day Wines for a bottle of wine.
I know nothing of wine. I am nervous it will make my condition worse. But I am hoping, too for a bit of relaxation.
My muscles spasms have raged this week, at times incapacitating me. Then sometimes they are just annoying. I almost cried at the Marquette Historical Center when I was up on the second floor trying to shoot the dome straight up and a lean to the railing almost dropped me to my knees.
My legs are even sore. (They were not the week I ran three times.)
The cramps and spasms started Sunday (today is Saturday) on the trails of Presque Isle. My body had gone into a fit. I call these flare-ups. I hurt from between my shoulders, to my toes.
Some weeks I can run 3 times for a total of 8-9 miles, go to yoga, help with a special needs swim, and hike. I can shovel snow. I can do my job with ease. Then the next week a flare has me in its grip. All I can bring forth are tears.
I thought long today on “nests” and “nesting” how I wanted to be cradled and lulled.
Some may ask, “Kim, why are you writing this and why so negative?”
It is not that I am trying to dwell on the negative, it is that I am trying to cope and in a way examine the “messages” I am suppose to be receiving in my recovery.
I know I am more than my body. I know this.
Is it wrong to love the feeling of flying thru the woods on a trail full of roots and rocks. To feel the wind rush past? I think not.
Tonight I pray for healing. Understanding.
I cannot get my mind around the idea of acceptance.
I can view myself as ill and diagnosed with a genetic disease. Or I can view myself well.
I can view my life as full of restrictions. Or I can view my life as full of options.
I can view my life as changed. Or as changing.
I am in the midst of dishes, laundry and packing for an overnight camping trip in our new/used 8-foot pop-up camper. It was raining this morning, but I am hoping for good weather tomorrow. I have a 3-day weekend that starts tonight (Friday) after my 3-11pm shift. I plan to hit the Marquette Farmer & Artist’s Market and pick up some Vegan Gluten-free bread from Sinfully Seductive Sweets.
So I am finding myself all in list mode, plan mode, and Capricorn all biz-E-ness modes and the last thing on my mind is opening to a stream of consciousness writing drift.
For those of you in creative-mode, I will insert a photo.
I always pack too much, now we have a smaller camper and a smaller vehicle, and really, the important thing to me is dry clothes, memory cards and batteries. Oops hold on must load the battery charger. Be right back. (Reminder to self pack less!)
I’m back. Another set of batteries are charging for the camera.
And I am thinking I ought to do some yoga. Be right back!
Okay changed loads of laundry, took compost out to big bin, and packed shoes. Hope you are enjoying the randomly chosen photos from this week.
Yesterday, yes let’s back track now, I went for a run. It was my first run since June 3 and the 5K race that I miraculously came in third, seventh overall. It was a trail run on the south Marquette bike trails on National Trails Day.
Since this fall, my body does not do well with impact. The symptoms started sketchy at first back in September, maybe even August. I would go for a run and spend hours on the floor with fists shoved into my gut. Part of this was gastric and part was spasm.
Now, if I run on too hard of surface, too fast, or on a downhill I end up with terrible pain in my right side. A spasm that feels like it is bruised intestines and part a reacting psoas and illopsoas muscle. Needless to say I am cautious. I always fear running before a work shift. I like a good 12 hours from end of run to the next time I have anything planned just in case. And I like to have the money in the bank to see chiropractor, massage therapist and or physical therapist—just in case. But I LOVE to run!!
I had some creepy tightness last night as I attended the Healer’s Coffee at L’ Attitude in Marquette, but ti eased and today I am just dealing with neck and shoulder stiffness. I am pleased.
I ran 40-45 minutes at Lil Presque and Songbird Trails for what felt like 4 miles. But since my average seems slower than that these days it was probably only 3.5 miles. I did a fair share of cool down and I was a very relaxed gal yesterday.
I am on the mend. My intestines seem to handle impact better whether from exercise, or when I get gas attacks—the next day I do not feel so bruised.
I know most of this post fits into the RunningMarquette.com or Enjoy Life Free blogs but I am meeting my commitment and making multiple posts all over the Internet is not possible today as I have to pack. Go to bank. Hit the co-op. Fold more laundry. Pack my dinner for work.
So at roughly 568 words, I am outta here. I will be doing Yoga in the woods tomorrow! I will have Mike take photos, too! Look for updates on Blog late Sunday night or Monday.
In a forest of tall trees, I am the mutant, the one who has had to bend and find a different direction. Living with an autoimmune disorder for the second time around is, different. You know, on one hand, there are ways to feel better, to heal. But it is the elusive diagnosis process. The food elimination process to get through. The stages of mourning, shock, anger. And one day you find a type of acceptance as you learn to live a different life. And you hope to come out the other side able to explain to others what you feel like, what you felt like and offer some hope to help others.
I am still in mourning, far from acceptance. I am depressed and angry. But I am learning to move and flow slowly. Then I round a corner and feel jagged, like pieces of broken window blown out all over a sidewalk. As if a TV had been thrown out of a second story window of an old Victorian house at a frat party. Sharp, punctured, stitched rudely together like a rag doll found by a homeless person in a dumpster.
Taking to the trails, beaches, marshes, I look for light, softness, hope. These photos were taken the day I met with the nutritionist. We discussed gluten-free living, and approached the subject that I may also be casein intolerant (an inability to digest milk proteins) and perhaps corn. It’s a lot to take in. I am still trying to cope with the Celiac Diagnosis.
I still trying to let go of anger. But I am learning that it is not my body I should be mad at…that’s how I used to feel. My anger is less concrete. It has no target. It only has questions…why now? What was the environmental trigger? What am I suppose to learn? Should I be angry at Monsanto? Why do I have to be the canary, offering warning that modifying genetics can cause serious outcomes that we will not understand for decades?
Things I am working on include forming a healing team and I am still putting the members together. Hey I might even design a tee-shirt. GO TEAM! Learning to rest when my body needs it, I still struggle against this. Replenishing spirit. Reconnecting to my core strength. Coping with financial fears as I open the mailbox and deal with the crumbling mechanical items in my life. Wondering what my new normal will look like and how I will afford my new life.
On leave…like a picnic table awaiting spring I have been resting. Waiting for the sap to flow. Working on the biz of healing and re-defining myself in the face of challenges. I’ve been diagnosed with Celiac Disease.
What is Celiac Disease?
From the Celiac Disease Foundation:
Celiac Disease (CD) is a lifelong, digestive disorder affecting children and adults. When people with CD eat foods that contain gluten, it creates an immune-mediated toxic reaction that causes damage to the small intestine and does not allow food to be properly absorbed. Even small amounts of gluten in foods can affect those with CD and cause health problems. Damage can occur to the small bowel even when there are no symptoms present.
Gluten is the common name for the proteins in specific grains that are harmful to persons with celiac disease. These proteins are found in ALL forms of wheat (including durum, semolina, spelt, kamut, einkorn and faro) and related grains rye, barley and triticale and MUST be eliminated.
I have gone thru endoscopy, colonoscopy, and two sets of blood serum testing. And today was my official sit down with the doctor. I kept hoping it was all a dream. But the diagnosis actually explains a lot. I have been pretty fatigued lately. Coping with spasms. Learning a new way of eating.
Through this process of discovery I have found I also cannot eat egg or dairy. The diet is challenging both in shopping and affording the special foods, Yikes!
I will write more on this in the future. But I must go take photos of crocus in the garden and take a nap.