I just want to run.
I want to read some of the motivational posters that get me so, well, motivated and then I want to lace up my shoes and just. go. run.
When the world starts to close in, when the stress starts to mount, when I start to lose sight of the big picture and get bogged down in the details and the to do list items, running is the only thing that helps.
Ironic really since I can’t run right not and the reason I can’t run is the cause of 90% of my current stress.
For the last few months every time I’ve gone for a run I’ve gotten a headache which has later turned into a bang-my-head-against-the-wall migraine.
I tried everything.
I tried drinking more water. I tried drinking less water.
I tried eating protein before my run. I tried eating protein after my run.
I cut caffeine out of my life.
I tried running at different times of the day.
I tried running indoors. I tried running outdoors.
I even started seeing a chiropractor on the off chance that it was misalignment that was causing the migraines.
Then I tried just not running for a bit. To see if I just needed a break.
Two weeks ago, after two months of letting my body rest and heal I headed back to the YMCA with a hopeful bounce in my step. I felt an actual rush as I pushed start on the treadmill. I can’t begin to tell you how great it felt to feel my legs fall into the familiar rhythm, stretching into the stride, pounding on the treadmill in time to the beat of the music plugged into my ears. I didn’t push myself hard. I just ran.
20 minutes into my run my head hurting. I got off the treadmill and headed home. I was pretty proud that I hadn’t pushed myself any harder than necessary. I was proud that I’d been careful about how I held my body, how much water I was drinking, how I’d monitored my heart rate.
I felt good. The endorphin high carried me to my car and I texted a rather chipper “I was so wrong, running is worth any headache in the world!” to my sister.
Five hours later as my head pounded and my stomach roiled I was eating my words.
Running is awesome and worthwhile when it clears out stress and cobwebs. It becomes less so when it torpedoes any work productivity for the rest of the day.
So I gave in to family pressure and asked my doctor to re-order the MRI the insurance had denied back in November. And I went.
I thought for sure they’d say “Nope, nothing there. Say? Have you tried drinking more water while you run? Or seeing a chiropractor? Maybe you need new running shoes!” Because, you know, that’s what people say when you complain running gives you a headache.
Who was I kidding?
Instead the doctor called and told me they’d found two lesions on my brain. Probably nothing, but still, to be safe, I need a follow-up MRI with contrast and just for shits and giggles a visit with a neurosurgeon.
How fortuitous that we have a neurosurgeon on speed-dial that we know and trust.
Or, you know, how incredibly craptacular that in the space of two years two of us have had cause to actually see a neurosurgeon. Depends on how you want to see it I guess.
So, this week, I need to rework the ending of my novel because my editor has pinpointed what seems to be wrong with it. I need to do all my usual mommy things. I need to work on my new novel. I need to attend the meetings that have been set for weeks. I need to worry about my dad. I need to read my book club book and find smart things to say about it. And I need to get my brain scanned again so we can see if I need brain surgery.
And really? All I want to do is go for a run.
But I can’t.