Thursday, August 29, 2013

The things we do for our kids...

We were driving down the highway, on our way to VA Beach, after a wonderful almost two week vacation in the OBX.  

Then all hell breaks loose when the kids realize that we did not ride the bumper cars, as we head over the bridge.  Of course the fact that we did play putt putt and rode a mechanical shark and drove Go Karts and experienced endless days at the beach has all gone out the window. Is it ever enough?

Then the kids ask about the famous arcade that their father and his brother take them to every year.  This year it didn't happen.  We have had too many sunny days at the beach to drive out of town to visit an arcade.  I wanted to protest and say "What about Jockey's Ridge?" I did not get to experience an amazing sunset at this magical place while at the OBX this year.

Suddenly the car is slowing down and we are pulling into a foreign place.  The kids are getting really excited while I am left pouting in the car, with the dog, windows down, in a parking lot, alongside the highway. The rest of my family has abandoned us for 30 minutes as they go play arcade games.  

Did I mention the smell of gasoline is slowly overtaking the car because for extra funds, the amusement park has put in a gas station in their parking lot?? 

I am not sure why I chose to blog this experience?  I could have played on Facebook or Twitter or read the book I've been trying to finish for the last two months but instead, I'm I sit in the car and stare at this sign.  What a fantastic view!

And I am thinking about being a Mom and how we often get the short end of the stick so our kids can play with the bigger kid in the family.  But it is a careful balancing act to make sure no one gets resentful.  I think this is the key to a mostly happy family - a little give and take.  Training and racing will consume my world soon and I need a hubby and my kids to be understanding.  I realize this, as the ever so slowly 30 minutes ticks away.  

My Dad always says to pick your battles wisely so I decided to let this battle go.
By the way, the dolphins are kinda of cute on that Flipper sign....

❤Oh the things we do for our kids❤ 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Did you say "Lemon Disease?"

After a very long day, I am writing a new blog post.  One with not so good news that I received from my doctor earlier today.  I've been trying to wrap my head around what it means.  It is not a life threatening condition but wondering if it is too late for treatment to be effective?

It was late afternoon, 3:48pm to be exact, when the message was left.  An afternoon of playing on the beach and my world was good until I heard "the message." It had been two weeks since the blood test and I simply had pushed it out of my head.  I assumed that the test was negative, until now...
I hit the play button.

"This is Dr. XX and I am calling about your blood test.  I know it took me awhile to call you back but I needed to run another test. I need you to call me today or if it is too late, then tomorrow. And please have me paged."

Boom.  Of course my mind starts racing and I try my best to not freak out but honestly, I haven't felt well in awhile, like years, and it is almost like this self filling prophecy that your days are limited so I suck every moment possible out of every single day...

I call back and wait FOREVER for someone to get someone else to page the doctor.  It's amazing how in a situation like this one, five minutes turns into an eternity.  I am practicing inhaling and exhaling and tell myself not to forget to breathe, just like I tell my students to do in my strength training/boot camp class.  And then she says "Hello." And asks how I'm doing and how I'm feeling and my heart is going to jump out of my chest.

I calmly think to myself "I'm glad it's me that tested "positive" and not my 7 year old daughter whose x-rays came back negative for scoliosis."  We were tested on the same day, before leaving for our family two week beach vacation.

I am expecting to hear this awful diagnosis or how she needs to run more tests to rule out the evil "C" word. Call me morbid but I can't even begin to tell you how the evil "C" word has touched my life these past few years. Just this morning, my grief came flooding into my world, when I least expected it, as I remembered my beautiful, young friend, my kids God Mother, who lost her battle and is now an angel.  And I thought of a friend who recently fought her battle and WON. I also thought of two people very close to me who have been fighting and now they are waiting, living each day, thankfully.  And another friend, a sorority sister who has just begun her chemo treatments, as we try and lift her up with encouraging words and prayers. There is not a day that goes by that the evil "C" word does not haunt me.


                                             photo credit: Yvette from Muy Bueno

                                             quote credit: Jennie from In Jennie's Kitchen

"What?  I need to see an infectious disease doctor?" I ask, as I force my mind to focus on her words.  She says she can't hear me and I explain it is because the waves are crashing.  And I walk towards the upper part of the beach where it is quieter and I can get my grounding and I ask my question again.

She explains that my case is complicated.  She thinks I would benefit from treatment but I may have had Lyme's Disease for over THREE years.  The treatment I received in October of 2010, right before running my first marathon, the Marine Corp Marathon, may not have cured my infection.  My current Lyme test is an EXACT replica of when I tested positive in June 2010.  I took a course of antibiotics and still didn't feel right so that is when I received a second round in early October 2010. Fatigue plaqued me and my joints were sore.  I chalked it up to my fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue.  Two diagnosis' that I received in my mid twenties when one morning I woke up and was temporarily paralyzed from the waist down.  I have a high tolerance for pain is an understatement.

                                        photo credit: Ads of the World
What the doctor was saying, made sense. She was concerned about my chronic foot pain that is primarily in one joint. She wants fluid drained from it and have it tested.  (um, doesn't she know I have an Epic Fall race schedule and don't have time for a surgical procedure??) 

I thought my foot had been healed but the pain has slowly returned as my Fall race training rev'd up. Which is really more like in slow gear.  My energy for long runs is difficult to muster so I've been going out there but not doing the mileage I should.  And then my mind takes me to a different place.

How long have I been battling this "Lemon Disease?" The term my husband used when he would joke around this summer when I thought he had Lyme's.  

I thought about how I didn't start running the distance until Thanksgiving Day 2009.  5 Miles in one shot.  I couldn't go down stairs for a week.  But in less than a year, I ran my first 26.2!!  I was nervous as hell but I did it and felt great and wanted to keep running as I crossed the Finish Line. That was when the first thought of running an ultra ran through my mind. And I just kept running through the years.  Through the Lyme, the joint pain, the fatigue, the brain fog, the dizziness, the lack of sleep, the tears, and I ran.  Nothing was going to stop me.


                                   I run To Be Free.

And I will continue to run because I believe Running is what has SAVED me.  I've read the horror stories.  I shouldn't be able to do what I do if I have lived with this Terrible disease invading my body for over three years!!
I am in awe.  I really am.  What could I accomplish if I truly FELT GOOD?? I am an optimist and will believe that it is not too late to become healthy again. I will rely on my Faith to carry me through this obstacle.  I have faced so many challenges throughout my life and as I come through each one, I am stronger than ever before.  This time will not be any different.

Photo and Artwork by my Amazing 10 year old daughter!  I'm proudly modeling my Swirlgear! 
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Friday, August 16, 2013

The sweetness of Motherhood

Many thoughts arrive at this time of night, the time that I should be sleeping. It seems like the darkness allows me to slow down and reflect.  I have been going non stop these last few weeks, as a "Mom" without having to take care of her children.  It is quite an unusual feeling.  I suppose it is similar to when our friends, who are no longer living with their original spouse and share custody, describe their kid less time as a bit carefree and whimsical. I know I have a really bad habit of saying I will write about an experience and somehow it gets shoved away in my mind on the blog shelf, passionately awaiting for the words to be released out of my mind and into the Universe.  I will write about my experiences these past few weeks, being kid less, because they have been quite epic, to say the least.  But for now, I must write what has been settling into my heart these last few days, as the house became eerily quiet, and I started to grow anxious with each passing hour, as my kids and my saint of a Dad, began their 3 day car journey back home.
Towards the end of the three weeks, of being kid less, my activity hesitated somewhat and it was then that I grew more in tune about what a truly awesome blessing it is to have kids. However, I cannot lie.  It was quite divine to not have to give in to daily commands or be the referee when fighting over the mundane or to make sure 3 mouths were fed, 3 times a day or wash and stain treat the never ending pile of dirty clothes.  I could do whatever I wanted, when I wanted and not worry about a thing.
The problem with this is that you start to become selfish and greedy and you walk a slippery slope tightrope of falling into the trap of becoming self absorbed.  I realized how my kids bring balance and goodness into my world and an appreciation for the wonder of each day and the opportunity to engulf and cherish every moment.
My kids have enriched my life in more ways than I could ever have imagined. My greatest accomplishment is not a medal for crossing the JFK 50 Miler finish line, or a Who's Who in College listing, or being selected to participate in Miss TSU, or sitting in a committee meeting on Capitol Hill with Senator Ted Kennedy, or shaking President Obama's hand, or hanging out with INXS at an exclusive after concert party, or meeting Ryan Seacrest, or being an extra on HBO's show VEEP, or raising thousands of dollars for charity....
My greatest accomplishment is all about raising MY THREE AMAZING KIDS who I am SO proud of!  They continuously impress me with their kindness, creativity, generousity, and tenacity.   
They arrived home on Wednesday and my anxiousness has gone away.  Now I can go back to being their "Mom" again or "Mommy" as my sweet 7 year old daughter reminded me this morning that this is what she calls me.

I love these sweet faces!  And my Dad is my hero for driving them across the country ALL BY HIMSELF!!  My Mother is an angel for taking such good care of my babies!  She also sent me home a suitcase full of CLEAN clothes!!!  All three of my kids came home SO HAPPY and I give all the credit to my Amazing parents.  To have such rich, wonderful memories with their grandparents is the greatest gift of all. 
Tonight I will sleep, feeling extremely blessed, for parents who continue to go above and beyond to show their love for our family, and for being given three precious gifts that call me their "Mom" or "Mommy" as the littlest one prefers.  Ahhh...the sweetness of Motherhood!  ❤