Two Weeks Of A MS Life

Sunday (Day 1) – Left for a 5 mile run at 7:15am. At about 3.5 miles into run entire mouth goes numb. After cooling down at home the mouth has calmed down but notice there is a pulsing numbness in left foot, similar to the sensation of a cell phone vibrating. Continues throughout the day. I decide to distract myself with Mario Cart and Xbox Kinect Sports.

Monday (Day 2) – Back to work. Cell Phone Foot still present and really starting to get annoying. Mouth feels off but not too bad. Decide to contact Neurologist about symptoms. Schedule for appointment with Nurse Practitioner for Tuesday morning.

Tuesday (Day 3) – Cell Phone Foot still there. Appointment first thing. Decide I need to go on the “MS Steroids” (aka freaking high dosage of steroids) for the first time in over three to four years. I was able to get steroid pills right after appointment so jump right in. First night didn’t sleep well. Previous rounds of steroids didn’t affect sleep for a few days.

Wednesday (Day 4) – Second day of “MS Steroids”. Cell Phone Foot still there but little more distant. Feeling pretty energized from steroids which is good because first there is a full day of work then off to watch Real Madrid vs Paris Saint Germain at OSU Stadium with boyfriend, Tom and my brother, Mark. (Steroids did help me stay awake for the game…maybe a little too much because I only sleep 3.5 hours that night.)

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Real Madrid vs Paris Saint Germain at OSU Stadium

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Thursday (Day 5) – Third day of “MS Steroids”. Cell Phone Foot still there a little but easier to ignore. Feeling pretty good on energy because its second busy day. Full day of work then off to Coldplay concert at Nationwide Arena with Tom! Awesome night! Steroids helped me stay awake again but little too much. Luckily we were in the first row of the balcony so we didn’t have to stand!

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Friday (Day 6) – Fourth day of “MS Steroids”. Back to work. Not feeling the greatest. Tired but also some cognitive fog. Also not the steadiest on my feet. End up leaving work a few hours early and my parents drive me the hour home. (My normal work commute is about 55 minutes, one way.) Spend the rest of the day in bed.

Saturday (Day 7) – Fifth and final day of “MS Steroids”. Absolutely no energy. Feel very weak and have a hard time doing basic every day functions. Have to miss my volunteer shift at CHA Animal Shelter in the afternoon. Old running injuries, IT Band and Back, start to flare and make some sitting uncomfortable. Try to rest as much as possible because my boss will be out of the office the next two weeks on vacation so I will be in charge of the sales department.

Sunday (Day 8) – First day of “normal” dosage of steroids for step down. Assist Tom with changing the oil in my car…well, I sat in a chair and handed him tools. Quickly run out for a grocery trip. Want to rip the head off anyone who gets in my way, even Tom. Stay quiet because it’s the steroids. Come home and complete exhaustion sets in. Going to the bathroom feels overwhelming. Some headaches start. IT Band and Back still hurting but found more comfortable positions.

Monday (Day 9) – Second day of “normal” steroids. Do not feel good. Probably shouldn’t be driving or going to work. Head to work. IT Band and Back still hurting so call primary physician to see if I can get an appointment. Go in that morning. PP able to prescribe me tramadol. Appears stress from steroids has caused some muscle issues and spasms. Left side of neck spasms and stiffens driving back to work from doctor. Decide to leave work early to fill tramadol prescription and to get some rest. Confusion on way tramadol script is written and doctors office already closed. Have to wait until Tuesday to get tramadol. First emotional break down happens. Tired of being in pain and feeling so weak. This isn’t the girl I know!

Tuesday (Day 10) – Third Day of “normal” steroids. Didn’t sleep well, don’t feel good. Shouldn’t be going to work but boss is on vacation. Start getting ready for work very slowly. Almost finished and ready to go then migraine hits hard. Have to admit defeat and call in. Huskies surround me before I pass out on couch.

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My view before I passed out on the couch Tuesday morning.

Mom comes to sit with me for first half of the day. Level of headaches, weakness and exhaustion scaring me. Probably the worse I have felt in my life. Feel I just need someone there because this shit is really starting to scare me. Tom is able to leave work and take secondhalf day shift. We are able to finally get tramadol prescription filled around 3pm. The world is a little better now, except for a headache. Talk to neurologist about all recent symptoms. They will not be putting me on steroids again. However, unfortunately, this is still in the realm of normal for steroids so I have to wait until it passes. Recommend I try not to go to work the next day.

Wednesday (Day 11) – Fourth Day of “normal” steroids. Didn’t sleep the greatest. Woke up in the middle of the night on Tuesday with extreme numbness on entire left side of my body and my entire face being numb. Able to move but felt like my leg was going to go at any time. Able to fall back asleep and felt a little better in the morning. Made it to work but left a hour early. Everyone seemed to think I looked pretty bad.

Thursday (Day 12) – Fifth Day of “normal” steroids. Feeling more like me. Able to go to work and feel somewhat normal. Left side fairly numb and face feels a little weird. Most of evening spent at home on the couch with heat pack on head with sinus pressure.

Friday (Day 13) – Sixth Day of “normal” steroids. Feeling pretty good in the morning. Hour or so into the work day whole face goes numb again. So numb I feel weird pressure on my eye sockets and on my right eye. Call neurologist because once again I am pretty scared. During their return call they inform me they are very concerned I am having some major MS activity and they would like to do an MRI as soon as possible. Of course nothing can really be done for the numbness in the face at this time. Schedule an MRI for Friday, August 12th. Finish the work day with the numb face then head home. Eat dinner then the extreme headache attacks begin. I start get series of pulsing sharp pains close to my temple. It feels like I keep getting hit in the head. It continues for probably at least an hour until we figure out it was probably caused by dehydration. After I started just downing water it starts getting better bit by bit. Eventually I am able to sleep.

Saturday (Day 14) Seventh Day of “normal” steroids. Feeling back to normal except for facing being numb. Able to walk the crazy huskies and run out to store. Have a relaxing day at home then a movie night out on our deck with a few friends.

Sunday/Today (Day 15) Eight Day of “normal” steroids. Face and left side of body is very numb. See a morning showing of Jason Bourne movie in movie recliners but then head straight home. Reality of the past few weeks has set in. Emotions up and down and sometimes not even existent. Emotional numbness…

Running and sports are what usually help me in this situation but obviously the body needs rest. No marathons or probably even half marathons for the rest of 2016. Just in a state of stun at this point. Feels like a lot of things have come crashing down in two polarizing weeks. Still hopeful, just unsure what to do next. Not sure how to fix this and get back to me.  I have seen glimpses of me the past two weeks but been very few and far between. Feel I am fighting back but this is going to be one hell of a fight this round.

 

MIA

A girl has been missing the past two years…

A girl who was tomboy and loved playing in the dirt…

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A girl who fell in love with soccer at a very young age…

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A girl who thought it was a good idea to run track and play club soccer in one season…

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Track Girls 2010

 

A girl who enjoyed that she was feared on the soccer field therefore was nicknamed “The Wall” and “The Rock”…

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Seniors and Coach 2002

A girl who left high school with some athletic awards because soccer and track were a serious business….

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Soccer Awards

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Track Awards

A girl who left to play soccer in college but developed a back injury so turned to running…

A girl who graduated college and became a woman in time to deal with her Multiple Sclerosis diagnose in 2009 when she was 25 years old…

A woman who decided to say fuck you MS and complete her first marathon in October 2010 even though she had been sick the two days leading up to the marathon…

Cbus Marathon

Right After  Columbus Marathon 2010

A woman who kept pushing to run three more marathons in 2012 including one in Dresden, Germany…

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Right after the Dresden Marathon with my sister Sara. I was a little tired.

A woman who vanished late 2013…

There are rumors she met a guy and moved to Columbus, Ohio…

It’s 2016…I think it’s about time I found her again…

Little False Advertising Here

As we all know I haven’t been running. However, I decided to be a spectator tomorrow at the Air Force Marathon in Dayton, Ohio and cheer on my friends. I decided to take a half day at work today and a friend invited me to go with him to the Expo to see if that would help put me in a better “running mood”. Well, one of my other friends running the race said I needed to look at the back of the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon sheet because he thought I would find it funny. I walked round the Expo (found $10 arm warmers!!) but I didn’t see their booth until the end. I looked at the back and I didn’t get what my friend found funny. It just seemed normal to me. (He is a guy so I had in my mind it was some stupid joke that usually guys enjoy but usually us ladies don’t care for, you know the ones.) I texted my friend and he told me what he found funny.

Flyer For The Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon

Flyer For The Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon

For those of you who don’t remember or are just recent readers, I ran the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon in the spring of 2012. I started out great but the hills at the end of the course killed me. Majority of the race is flat but where there are hills…there are hills. I thought the elevation chart was pretty misleading or not detailed enough. So, knowing this he thought I would find their first line fairly funny (or at least he did). I looked at their website and the course is still the same but it looks like the elevation chart is a little better. A little better. What do you think?

It’s Been Rough…

Hello, remember me? It’s been a while so wasn’t so sure you would remember me. The past few months have definitely been a roller coster which is mainly due to my lovely frenemy, MS. This winter was pretty rough. It seemed like I basically crashed after my Europe trip and struggled to recover for a very long time. I even had a day with the family at the Air Force Museum and I spent the entire day in a wheelchair due to issues walking. It was a fun day but a hard day for me emotionally. I actually cried shortly after I sat down in the wheelchair for the first time that day.

There were a lot of times I thought “I need to sit down and write about this” but I think the depression and exhaustion won over. Now I feel there is so much I could have written about and now I forget most of it. I guess in a way you could look at that as a good thing, but you always want to remember what you have survived so you know in the future what you can conquer.

This spring I was finally able to pull myself out of the depression, get my MS back on track and start running again. Running does wonders for my state of mind but right now I am struggling with what it has done to me physically. I was originally planning on running the Capital City Quarter Marathon on May 4th, a leg of the Flying Pig Marathon Relay on May 5th, and Grandma’s Marathon on June 22nd. Well, the first two happened but I will have to pull out of Grandma’s Marathon this year because I developed a knee injury the last mile or so of my leg at the marathon relay. Not what I wanted to have happen on my come back from one of the worst winters of my life but that’s life. My knee isn’t horrible, I can still run shorter distances however my knee is not happy with me afterwards. I am going to take about a month to work on this injury and hopefully come back strong for the Air Force Half Marathon and possibly the Columbus Marathon in the fall.

Europe…that has been a hard looming subject of things I need to write about. This winter I was in a fairly dark place so I decided I wanted to write about that when I felt more like myself and could have fun with it. I felt if I wrote about it in the winter I would just want to rush it because I was in pain or I wanted to go to sleep…not what I wanted to do on something big like that. I hope in the next month or so I will be able to write about my trip to Europe in my normal voice.

Well, that is enough typing on the back porch for once evening. I think even my three huskies are starting to get a little bored. Guess there isn’t much going on in backyard here tonight.

My Flying Pig Marathon Relay team below. (As you can see I am rocking the ice on my knee already. 🙂 )

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Status report…

Numbness: Still present
Pain: Comes and goes
Depression: Mild
Frustration: Still present
Stress at work: Still present
Paris post: Still unwritten
Knitting project: Unfinished
Hair: 6″-8″ shorter

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3 Siberian Huskies: Crazy and shedding
Running: Going Ok (Over slept this morning :-/ )
Swimming: Ok, need to work on breathing
Feelings about stepping down off of Gabapentin which might cause more numbness: Not looking forward to it
Feelings about finding something that might work: Hopeful
Current overall feelings: Maybe I need another vacation or even just time off…

Self prescription to maybe forget it all for a night: Turn the music up as loud as I can and dance it out.

I Made It Back In One Piece…

My trip to Europe (well Paris, Dresden, Berlin and London) was awesome! I think at times I still can’t believe all the things I saw and experienced. I am not even going to try to fit it all in one post so I am going to try to break it up over the next few posts for you guys (also means more pictures 🙂 ). Here is the abridged version of the trip itinerary so you have an idea of what lies ahead in future posts:

Friday, October 12th – Leave for Paris

Saturday, October 13th – Arrive in Paris at 9:45am (3:45am EST – my normal time)

Thursday, October 18th – Train ride from Paris to Dresden

Sunday, October 21st – Dresden Marathon

Tuesday, October 23rd – Train ride from Dresden to Berlin

Thursday, October 25th – Flight from Berlin to London

Monday, October 29th – Head home – Arrive in Montreal, Canada but last two flights canceled, have to spend the night in Montreal. :-/

Tuesday, October 30th – Finally Home 🙂

As you can see it was a fairly long and crazy trip especially for my first trip to Europe. Not sure what I was thinking with this one but my sister seemed to be ok with this craziness. My sister, Sara (an experienced traveler), helped guide me through my first, and hopefully not last, trip to Europe with her guide books and travel knowhow. I guess for some reason I didn’t put together what her Bachelors in History and her over ten years of work experience in history museums would really mean for me in Europe: a lot of museums. The girl is crazy about museums but we did see some other things too. I also believe she passed the love for international travel on to me too since before we even got back home we were having discussions on where I would run my next international marathon. 🙂

Well, I think with this post I will leave the crowd wanting more…mainly because I think if I keep typing I will start talking too much about the trip and not know where to stop but also the hips are not happy from the 5k I ran on Sunday so i need to stop to do some stretching and icing before bed. Next post, Paris. 🙂

Eiffel Tower

#3…not the greatest

Little over a week late but still wanted to write a quick post on what I decided to do last Saturday (September 15th). Since I was struggling with the injured hips off and on and still had not been as consistent in my training as I would have liked I had told myself I would not run the Air Force Marathon even though I already paid for it. Well, after I finally ran 18 miles the weekend before the marathon I started throwing around the idea of still running the marathon. The week leading up to the marathon I really wanted to run it but was still nervous I hadn’t trained enough and that I might hurt my hips even more for The Dresden Marathon. Well, once I went to go pick up my bib and tech shirt two days before I think that sealed the deal, I was definitely going to run it.

I probably slept about 8 hours Friday night which was the most I have ever slept the night before a marathon. I felt relaxed and just in a good mood. Well, parking took a little longer then it had in past years so by the time I got to the start line I had enough time to quickly go the bathroom then run to the start area with just a few minutes to spare.  (Which meant I didn’t stretch at all before this marathon, luckily I had spent a good amount of time the night before stretching). I realized after the cannon (yes, they started us off with a cannon this year) that I had forgotten my watch to keep track of my pace.  (Insert minor freak out moment, and probably some cursing under my breath) I quickly brought up the stopwatch feature on my iPhone to at least keep track of my time and decided to try to run with the 4:10 pace group just to have a better idea how I was pacing.

We started out on the course and about a mile into the race (as we are starting up our first hill) I did think to myself “Why did I think this was a good idea again?”. Luckily I stopped those thoughts very quickly and just started to focus on the climb ahead. The first 10-12 miles felt pretty good and the pace felt great. I stayed with the pace team until about 17 miles when my right hip started acting up. I slowed down to try to maintain my right hip without stopping or walking but eventually the slow jog wasn’t working anymore. For most people (including myself) walking or stopping to stretch can be one of the worst things because it is hard to get the body going again. Eventually i gave in and started to walked off and on, it was the only way to decrease the pain. However I didn’t dare to stop completely and stretch, knowing my body would tighten up. I was doing ok with running for a while then walking for a little bit if needed for the hips as I passed the 20 mile marker.

There are a few sizable hills at the end of the race so I decided that I would try to walk/slowly run up these hills to try to save my hips for Dresden. (For some reason it really decreased the pain in the hips when I walked up the hills rather than ran.) Well, when I hit around 22.5-23 miles I got a cramp just to the right of my belly button. I started walking but it just wasn’t going away. I tried “speed” walking but even that was too painful to deal with for very long. Even though it killed my pride I ended up walking the rest of the marathon except about the last half mile. I wasn’t going to finish walking so I slowly jogged to finish.  It was a little painful but there was the pride thing and also I just wanted to finish the race already. It was great getting my marathon medal (guess it always is) and getting something to eat. The cramp started going away fairly quickly after I finished and was gone by the time I started walking back to the car. And luckily for me my hips felt back to normal within a day or two.

Quick photo opt after The Air Force Marathon

Well, I finished and that is what my goal was for the day since I definitely wasn’t fully back from being injured to run a marathon yet. It obviously ended up being my worst time out of the three marathons I have ran but I am still glad I did it. I learned that I might be walking some in the Dresden Marathon due to the hips but that is ok. The Dresden Marathon is all for the experience, I cannot wait!