The something that turned out to be two nothings

standard March 27, 2013 4 responses

Last week M and I finally met with the Oculoplastics specialist who, after turning my eyelid inside out and poking my eye a whole bunch, decided that the “lesion” seen above my left eye was nothing more than a thickening of the muscle, or maybe some fat, and nothing to worry about. It’s definitely not causing me any pain of any sort.

I have to go back in 6 months to double check that it hasn’t grown, but she’s really not concerned. Hurray for an end to the eye poking.

It’s also safe to say that, after 3 full ophthalmological work-ups in the last 2 months, I have some really healthy eyes and great vision. Also, I would rather have a root canal than have my eyelids turned inside out again. ugh. (It took three people to make it happen, M to hold my hand, a fellow to hold my head still, and the doctor to flip the lid. I made horrible sounds the entire time. I think we were all traumatized by the event.)

Today we met with the neurosurgeon who said, as we had predicted, that the other “lesion found” was an arachnoid cyst which was a total non-event. Some people are just born with them and live without ever knowing they have them. The scans show that it has clearly been there for a long, long, long time as the skull bone formed around it. My brain looks healthy and fine. He is not concerned in the least.

I have to go back in 6 months to have it rescanned just to make sure it looks the same and a year again after that. If neither of the next two scans show any difference then the whole matter will be dropped.

In short? Neither lesion is causing my migraines. Hurray for that!

The even better news is that I just discovered that I can exercise on the elliptical without pain. It’s not quite the same as running, but it’s better than nothing!

The Neurosurgeon suggested following up with a neurologist about the headaches, but now that we know there’s no life threatening issue, it seems a whole lot less dire. And, after a month of stressful doctor’s visits, I’m excited to just get back into a regular exercise routine.

Maybe when Spring really springs I’ll crave running so much that I’ll change my mind, but for now, I’m just glad that the something turned out to be two nothings and I’m ready to get back to just living my life. 

I just want to go for a run

standard February 24, 2013 6 responses

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.

So. Fun.

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.

 

9 Motivational Posters that Get Me Running in the Morning

standard August 9, 2012 26 responses

I’m not a morning person. I do not like to get out of bed before 9 am. 10 would be ideal really, but I have kids, and a husband, and a cat who gets hungry way too early for my tastes. So, during the week I always get up earlier than I really want.

So how do you explain that for the last three weeks I’ve been bouncing out of bed at 6:30am? That this morning I was fine with realizing that I might have to get up at 6:15 if I want to keep running before the kids need to be at school? That I’m usually awake before the alarm even goes off and excited about it?

Well, we’ve already concluded that I’ve discovered that I love to run. But still, there’s the love of the sport and then there’s the morning. They don’t have to meet. And yet, if I don’t want to throw away an entire morning that needs to be spend on work, I need to get to the Y early.

So at night, before I go to bed, I peruse Pinterest and look for inspirational posters about running. Here are the 9 that are most instrumental in getting me out of bed in the morning and keeping me running past the point where I would be tempted to give up. (I pin more every week. Come be inspired too!)

 

What gets you out of bed or off the couch?

From Couch to Runner

standard August 3, 2012 5 responses

I started the Couch 2 5k program a few times. Each time I got to week 6 or so, the first “long” run weeks, and I stalled. I hurt my back. My shoes would die. It would start to rain. The kids would get sick. Work would pile up.

Whatever the reason, I stopped for a day, two days, three days, a week, two weeks… until I really couldn’t claim to be running any more.

This time I almost stopped again. The moment came when I was out running one day and dislocated a rib a good twenty minutes from the house. Now, dislocating ribs is something I do with somewhat distressing frequency. It’s something two pregnancies left as a souvenir. Usually I know just how to pop the rib back and then I know to take it easy for a few days. This time I was a good 20 minutes away from the house and I had to walk back holding my arm against my chest in an effort to keep my rib stable.

It hurt.

And it scared me.

Because while I was fine a few days later, the memory of that excruciating walk home stayed with me.

But it bugged me that I’d done so well again with the Couch 2 5k program and that I was once again on the way to abandoning the training part of the way through. And I missed running. Missed the high. Missed feeling strong. Missed knowing that I was doing something great for my heart and my head.

I tentatively started walking again, even running a bit. I stayed to ‘safe’ spots, running tight loops around the neighborhood so I wouldn’t be far from home if I hurt myself again. I even started to relax a bit.

Which is when Summer rolled around, dumping the children at home, leaving me somewhat stuck there, unable to go out for 45 minutes by myself.

I did the only thing I could think of. I joined the YMCA.

The thought of running indoors made me sad, but not as sad as the thought of not working out all summer.

Isn’t it funny how life sometimes throws you a bone?

Because running on a treadmill is my new crack.

Seriously. I can’t get enough.

The treadmill offers a much softer surface for running. My knees and back are thanking me. And even though I run daily, I never go anywhere, so that fear of being stranded far from home and hurting myself has completely vanished. Heck, should anything happen, there are even trainers and physical therapists a few feet away who could come to my rescue.

With the fear gone my inhibitions about running have vanished.

And it feels so good to watch the miles tick by on the screen. So good to see how much faster and farther I can go every day. So good to know I’m getting stronger.

This week I woke up early four days so I could go run before M had to leave for work. Yesterday I slept in and took the kids with me to the YMCA so I could get in my daily run.

By now I’m running fast enough and far enough that I could have easily published a cheery “I just completed day 3 of week 9 of the Couch 2 5k app!” to my Facebook wall. The only thing keeping me from doing that is the Y’s 30 minute limit on the treadmill. (With the 5 minute warm-up and the 5 minute cool-down the last run in the program is a full 40 minutes long.) I’m OK with that. In my heart I know I’ve reached the goal. And more importantly, I know that I’m not giving up any time soon.

And that, my friends, is the only thing that matters. Maybe they should rename the app ‘Couch to Runner.” Because I doubt anyone reaches week 9 without being hooked for life.