Monday, November 22, 2010

What the hell was I thinking?

So I ran my first ever race on Saturday. It was a small race. And only 5K. Our next goal was the ConocoPhillips Rodeo Run 10K in February. Yet, somehow we let ourselves get talked into signing up for the Run Thru the Woods on Thanksgiving Day. Five miles. We had never run more than 3.2 miles.

The day after our race, when we should have been resting, we hit the pavement. Our goal was four miles, which we easily hit. Today, we did a short run. Funny how two miles equals a short run now. Tomorrow our goal is 4.5 miles. On Wednesday we will run only one mile, and then Thursday we will attempt to run the whole five in the race.

Honestly, I am not sure what we were thinking when we signed up for this race, but I am really excited to run in a "real" race!

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Nine weeks ago, I joined a beginner running group. For the first group run, we had to run for ten whole minutes. I thought I was going to die. Nine weeks later, my running partner and I ran in our first race.
My awesome running partner. Without her, I would have quit 8.5 weeks ago.

And we are off....

Almost. There.

Crossing the finish line.

Our original goal was to simply run the whole 5K. Then we set a time of 34 minutes. When we broke 32 minutes last week, we reset our goal to under 30 minutes.
I finished with a time of 29 minutes and 26 seconds.
As we sat through awards, I realized I was SEVEN minutes behind my age group winner. I felt my competitive drive kick in. I. Want. To. Win. In two weeks I have gone from the girl who was just hoping to finish the race to the girl who wants to finish first. I want prizes. And to run faster. And farther. I am completely and hopelessly hooked on racing.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I am dying. Not really. I am just paranoid.

All of my crazy symptoms like the randoms fevers, and the pain, and such have been around for years. Years. Yet now that I know they are a problem, I am suddenly more aware of them. And slightly crazy about them.

I keep a cup of water by the bed. Always have. In my car is a cup of water. Look around my house and you will find water glasses everywhere I have been sitting. Did I also mention I am really bad about leaving my water glasses everywhere and never picking them up? My husband loves that. I am never without a drink. Because my throat gets scratchy without one. My mouth feels thick. This has never really been a problem for me until....

"Do you often have dry-mouth," my doctor asked.

Oh shit. My need for constant water isn't some weird quirk. It is a symptom.

Days later, I am sitting at my desk, when I absentmindedly reach for my water glass. Before I can take a sip, it dawns on me. I. Have. Dry. Mouth. Oh God. I am dying. I just know it. In fact my kidneys are shutting down as we speak, because my mouth is dry. And is my left index finger joint swollen? I think I have a fever. Does anybody else see a rash on my legs?

Maybe those others doctors weren't too off the mark with their diagnosis of anxiety after all.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Goodbye Starbucks. Goodbye cupcakes.

I flip-flopped back and forth on whether or not I would even write this post.

1. How do you write nothing for months, and then just reappear? And with drama.
2. I hate sympathy posts. And complainers. And other people's health problems.

For several years, I have suffered from some seemingly random symptoms. Chest pain with no known heart abnormalities. Severe abdominal pain. Bouts of insomnia. Numb hands and feet. Fatigue. Achy joints. The list goes on. I have seen many doctors. Each one eventually determining I was depressed or anxious. Not one offering any solution other than anti-depressants.

When a blood vessel in my eye burst a few months ago, my opthamalogist became concerned. She pieced together some of my other symptoms and suggested I see a Rheumatologist. I made my appointment, and then braced myself for a diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis.

I was completely thrown off when my doctor told me that I did not, in fact, have RA. Instead, I have a rare genetic condition that is also an inflammatory auto-immune disorder. Except, I get the added fun of organ failure. Predominantly kidney failure, followed by liver failure. Yay.

There is no cure, and it is progressive. The really good news is there is a known treatment that will significantly reduce my chances of kidney and liver failure. The downside is I will have to take this for the rest of my life. And there are some serious side effects. The biggest is it speeds up your digestive system (read: diarrhea. ew.) AND blocks absorption of some vitamins and minerals. Almost all patients have severe weight loss. I am a size four. I doubt I need any severe weight loss. Especially given the worst part.

I will have to give up dairy while taking this medication. No Starbucks white chocolate mochas. No cupcakes with milk every evening. This, my friends, is the part that makes me tear up. You want me to give up cupcakes? Forever? And while I can eat as much as I want and still be skinny?

The results of my liver function test should be in by Tuesday, which means I should start on a low dose of my medication by Wednesday. I have to be dairy free three days prior to my first dose. That gives me through Sunday.

Don't worry friends, I started two-a-days in preparation. White mochas in the morning. Peppermint lattes in the afternoon.