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!  http://www.swirlgear.com 
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