Back To “Normal”…Well, Almost.

Just a quick update! I am starting to feel back to “normal”…meaning the MS has calmed down and gone back to the “normal” everyday symptoms so I’m not great but better. Just after I started feeling better from the steroids last week I got hit with an annoying summer cold. The cold made staying very still for my MRI on Friday a lot of fun. I am still struggling with the cold, but I did find out today that even though I had all these crazy symptoms recently that there was no new progression on my MRI from Friday!!! Very happy to hear this, but does have me a little concerned that I still had these new symptoms. Guess time will tell if these new symptoms were caused by the stress of the steroids or something else. Hope to get over this cold very soon and get back to running! Watching all these Olympics is making me itching to get back out there!

That is all for today. I hope to get back into blogging more as just sharing my story Two Weeks of a MS Life seemed to really help me deal with all those emotions. It also seemed to help a few people realize they aren’t alone in this crazy MS fight!  Fingers crossed I can keep it up!

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…

Swimming Pool 3, Me 0

Ok, so I think I mentioned before that I started up the swimming classes again. I really find them helpful and keep me practicing my swimming. I am currently in the middle of week three of classes and have noticed that I am little more clumsy this time.

First week did great during the first class, felt like I didn’t even take off the few months from the last set of classes. During the second class I pulled a muscle on the bottom of my left foot while I was pushing off the wall. Wasn’t anything terrible but I wasn’t able to do a few things during the rest of class.

Second week we did a lot of back stroke work. During one exercise I was trying to go fast and ran my head into the wall. Didn’t learn from this and shortly after hit my forearm on the edge of the pool. So I might have been trying to go to quickly and not slowing down when I should have.

This week I actually have bruising and pain that didn’t go away a hour or so after class. Last night we were working on IMs (all four strokes) and I was determined to try to do the Fly for the entire length of the pool. (Before I would have the rhythm down but lose it about half way) I started really good and seemed to be keeping the rhythm this time. When i had about a third of the lap done the women in front of me were coming back down the left side doing the back stroke. I didn’t want to hit them so I was “hugging” the rope more and smacked my hand into the plastic about three or four times.

Knuckle bruising from hitting lane rope

Needless to say it didn’t feel very good. I did better the next few times doing the fly but ended up hitting the rope a few more times. Then later I also noticed bruising on my wrist. Don’t remember when I did that but it showed up around the same time.

So lesson learned…try to avoid rope/plastic lane dividers as much as possible. I had hit them before but never had it hurt more than a few minutes. Hoping I won’t be so accident prone for my remaining seven classes! Off to ice and take more ibuprofen!.

PS – Yes, I have always been the girl who is proud of her interesting bruises, scrapes and scars. Always had to show off my soccer ball imprints on my legs, my bruised sprained ankles, and large scrapes from slide tackling during the soccer season. Drove my mom nuts. 🙂

18 Miles And A 20° Temperature Change

Yesterday was my day to run 18 miles. The day started a little earlier then planned again thanks to my two male huskies. It always seems like it is one of the males that wakes me up, may be my female, Zoe, understands a girl needs her beauty sleep. Anyways, was planning on getting up at 5:30am so I could get the 18 miles in by 10am so I had a little down time before our family get together in the afternoon. Well Chico, the oldest male, moved around and did something to shake the bed and woke me up a little after 4:30am. I decided just to turn over and go back to sleep but Phoenix was right there with his nose in my face, staring at me. Oh, the joys of having dogs.

Well, decided to just go with getting up early and headed out on the run around 6:30am when it was about 28° outside. I really don’t like getting up early but I do enjoy having the streets mainly to myself when I run. Just when I hit the four mile mark I head into a local park where I run about 5 miles of my run. As the sun was starting to rise quite a bit I came along one of the ponds in the park where the ducks mainly stay the most. There was a mist over the water and the sun was coming up over the trees. I tried to get a few pictures with my iPhone but they didn’t really do it justice. Here is one so you at least get the idea.

The rest of the run was pretty uneventful (which is usually good).  When I finished it was about 50°. Quite a temperature change! Had my smoothie, 45 minute nap, walked my dogs then off to Cincinnati to celebrate Easter with my family. It was a long day! I was knocked out last night. Less than three weeks away until the Derby Festival Marathon! Overall pretty excited with an occasional thought of why am I running 26.2 miles again?

The Sidewalk Is Not My Friend…

Overall my running has still been going well…however the past two long runs haven’t been my best. Last week I decided to skip my long run on Saturday because it was cold and quite windy. It wasn’t as cold as when I ran ten miles and came home with ice on my ponytail and my water bottles frozen but I believe it was a lot windier and Sunday was going to be warmer and sunny so decided to wait a day. I felt pretty good starting out Sunday morning but my left leg was a little tight so I decided to stop and get on the sidewalk to stretch at about 4 miles into the 12 mile run. (I run in the street except during a few parts of my run.) I stretched for a minute or two then decided to take off so I didn’t start getting tight from the cold. If I get on the sidewalk to stretch or something I usually just run on the sidewalk until a driveway and run back down to the street. I started doing my usual thing but I guess I missed that the sidewalk was fairly uneven and caught my left foot and went down. I ended up bruising both knees, scraping my right knee pretty well and jamming my shoulder a bit. If I was in one of my races I would have kept going and just ran through the pain but it had been a bad week (which I will discuss in my next post) and I was just mentally defeated. I decided to call it and day and just get a ride home from my mom. The rest of the day I felt kind of like I had been beaten up so I was wasn’t in the greatest mood. Luckily my shoulder felt fine the next day and just have been dealing with the bruised and scrapped up knees since. They don’t hurt while running but man if you hit them on something it is not a fun feeling.

Since I didn’t finish my 12 miles last weekend I felt more of a push to fit in 12 or 13 miles today. The run went well even though the GPS in my phone was messed up again.  I know my route well enough that I could estimate pretty well how far I needed to go but I still missed the GPS to help with my pace. I had worn my Ironman watch to help me get use to tracking time that way for my races so was able to go off of that to help figure out my pace. The run went well until about 10.5 miles when I started to feel “blister pain” on my right arch. I stopped to tighten my shoe and that did help some but it started to come back. I decided to call it a day so if it was a blister it didn’t get any worse so ended up only getting in just under 12 miles. I got home and sure enough a small blister had started forming. Hopefully it will go away soon and won’t be an issue. I switched to Asics from New Balance shoes about two months ago and now I am considering I might need to go back. It was Asics shoes that gave me my arch blisters about two years ago so might need to go back to New Balance.

Hoping the this coming week’s runs will be better and I will post again soon about some of the MS stuff I have been going through lately. Just too much to go in one post. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

There Will Be Ups…

Sunrise shot from my hill workout this morning. A Benefit of the early morning run!

Song of the Post: “American Pie” By Don McLean

Training has been going well the past few weeks.  I am starting to notice an increase in my endurance and starting to really get in to the groove with my routine. My “short” distance days are now usually five or six miles and I feel great afterwards. I almost feel like I have only ran two or three miles. Last week was my first run when I was suppose to actually pace at the MP (marathon pace) of 9:09 minutes per mile and it went well. Only had to keep that pace for three out of the five miles that morning but still felt good. (I actually paced probably 8:50-8:55 those three miles but I am hoping to be well under a 4 hour marathon so that is a good start.)

I ran a lot of races in May and June…most of them were 5ks and I just felt like I wasn’t doing well. Most of the 5ks I ran around 26 minutes or worse, which wasn’t even close to my PR 24:52 from last year.  However, I broke out of my little funk on Saturday and finished the Run for Sight 5k with a new time of 24:18. (A new PR!). Obviously I was pretty pumped about this even though I had some lightheadedness right after I finished the race.  The lightheadedness luckily only hung around for about a minute then I was back to feeling normal. Then I was surprised later at the awards that I came in second in the women’s age group 20-29 and received an apple pie (kind of an usual award for a run but I wasn’t going to complain).

Well, when there are ups there are eventually some downs.  During my first few miles of my long distance day on Sunday I started noticing some pain in my left shin and calf. I knew from my high school days in track that I was developing shin splints.  I went back and forth on what would be the best option at this point and decided to stop my run to try to prevent a worse injury.  I really wished it happened on a shorter day workout but happened on my 16 mile day :-/. Well, I headed home and decided to give some cycling a go so maybe I wouldn’t be too upset about having to pull out of the training run so early. I mainly stayed to my running route which did involve some hills but was able to pull out ten miles in a little under 55 minutes (on a mountain bike no less). Felt good that I actually got a decent workout in even though I had to cut the run short but still didn’t feel like the full workout I was use to on Sundays. Oh well, still glad I jumped on the bike so Sunday wasn’t completely useless.

Well, with a lot of icing, stretching and two days of rest thanks to a morning thunderstorm on Tuesday, I am back running with little pain in the shins. We will have to see what this weekend brings with the long run. Really hope it goes well and I am able to finish it!