Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Endings and New Beginnings

I've had this post rolling around in my head for a while ever since the beginning of the new year and I finally am at a peace of mind where I can write it. I have been off of the blog world for a few months now. November and December were hard months for me. No, I mean really and truly trying and difficult. The kind of months that make you pray to God for the strength to just survive the day.

About two weeks after the (awesome) half, my knee started popping. It would pop during the run. Mainly it was just irritating at first. Then it started popping worse during the run. Then it started popping just while walking around. Then running became so painful that I couldn't get any farther than 1 mile without having to limp back to the house in pain. I tried to take two weeks off from running. That didn't work. I was fearing the worst....surgery. The more I researched about it, the more it sounded like ITB issues pulling my patella out of alignment. I started to foam roll every day. That helped some. Then some great twitter friends (@ginaharris1 and @turtlescanrun) told me about stretches for your ITB. I learned those and religiously did them every day. After about 3 days of stretching and rolling I noticed a difference...the popping had lessened. Then after about 5 days the popping stopped! I completely rested from the running and just concentrated on elliptical and biking at the gym to keep my cardio endurance up.

In the meantime, during all of this, my husband developed a severe case or iritis (an inflammation of the iris...basically the body attacks the iris). We just thought it was a case of pink-eye at first, but then the normal pink-eye steroids & antibiotics didn't work. A week later, I'm rushing him to the emergency room because his eyeball is so swollen and he's doubled over in pain. We managed to get him into the ophthalmologist's office and the doctor confirmed that he indeed had a raging case of iritis. But, then the doctor dropped another bomb on us. Usually that means there's something systemic going on in the body. The laundry lists of possible causal illnesses was frightening...lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, histoplasmosis, sarcoidosis.... We had to go to a internist to have a ton of blood vials drawn to run a battery of tests. While they were drawing blood he passed out cold and had to stay in the internists office throwing up for the next 2 hours. They had to finally give him a shot of finagrin just so he could get over the nausea and get home. So, for a week we were on pins and needles waiting to hear the results.

After much prayers and wishes we got good news. All the tests were negative. They couldn't find any causal link for his iritis. The ophthalmologist said that about 30% to 40% of the time they can't find any reason these things flare up.

We managed to get through that ordeal (he's 100% better now and regained full sight in that eye - no damage whatsoever!) and then the holidays hit. Mad dash to the in-laws for Christmas. They're great people, but tend to stress both of us out. So, there we were, exhausted and already stressed from everything that was going on and then had to "play nice" for the family. That just about did us in.

And in all this, I didn't have my stress reliever. My running. I felt frustrated, empty, and angry. I had to step back from the whole situation and re-evaluate myself. All I can say is thank God I have a wonderful husband and super, supportive running friends who got me through all this.

With New Year's week I decided to put all the mess and pain and stress and injuries behind me and leave them in 2009. I decided 2010 is going to be an amazing year. I wanted to start the new year out with a slow and easy run to test out the ITB. And guess what. I did it!!! And it didn't hurt!! It was a GREAT run. And to me it was just a sign of what's to come in the months ahead. I'm already back to my sub-10's and just had a great 6 miler today with two miles of sub-9's! I'm trying to run smart. I'm only running about 3 days a week and cross training at the gym the rest of the time on the bike or elliptical.

I didn't really make any big new year's resolutions this year other than to be thankful for the three F's (my family, friends, and my furbabies) and to be thankful for our health. It doesn't take much to put it all into perspective.

Slainte.

P.S.: Marlene is having another uber cool give-away for $24 of even MORE COOL Lift Your Sole stuff. Check it out!

17 comments:

Shannon said...

Wow! You've had a rough couple of months, girlie! Health scares really put the "other stuff" into perspective, don't they? I'm so glad that your husband is healthy and that your knee is on the mend. 2010 holds great things for you, girl! You are such an inspiration to me and others...it's only fair that you get your due! Great post! Take care of that knee and press on! :-)

Julia said...

You are one strong soul. The last bit of 2009 sounded so challenging. I'm glad your husband is doing better, and I'm so excited to hear that the ITB is doing better! I have had ITB in the past, and now whenever I have downtime at home, I'm on the foam roller!
I hope for only the best for you in 2010 and lots of pain free running!

naomi said...

i have missed your blog and i'm so glad you're back and feeling better! i'm looking forward to more this year!

and thanks for sharing your stories of what happened. i appreciated reading about it.

Marlene said...

Aw Jen, I'm so sorry that you've been dealing with so much. Thank goodness your hubs is okay. How scary! Excellent news that your IT and knee are okay again too. Keep it up, girl! Welcome back. :)

(Thanks for the linky link.)

kara said...

Yikes, scary post to read.
Thanks for sharing.
A lesson to learn...we should never take our good health for granted.

Sound like 2010 is going to be a great year for you.
~
Keep on Running

iheartfootloose said...

Glad to hear things turned out well. that was a very rough time for you!
i like the 3 F's! :)

Middalia Wayman said...

Rough stuff you've been going through..I am glad things are looking up now though! 2010 is going to be a great deal for you.

SDrunner said...

You definitely went through a lot. And look what you got out of all of that patience? An injury-free 2010 to get right back where you left off! Way to hang in there!!

saundra said...

I am so sorry you had such a series of ordeals to endure but very happy that everything worked out well. You are blessed! Hope you continue to have a fantastic 2010, and I look forward to reading your blog. Glad you're back!

Anne said...

This is so interesting because I just read another blog post where someone suffered irisitis - a condition I'd never heard of until today, and now there are two of you writing on the same day about it.

I'm glad your life is back to 'normal.' I am approaching my third month of not running due to serious injury.

Maryland Girl aka Michelle said...

Those damn IT bands! I love the foam roller! I am glad you are back to the blog and that your running is back too. You are a speedy one!
Good to hear that your husband is doing better. Having had strange things go on in my body before, it is scary and then when they can't figure out why. Hopefully it will never happen again.

melc328 said...

I'm sorry the last couple of months have been so tough.... I'm glad both your knee and hubby are doing better!!

ultrarunnergirl said...

So glad you are back to running! We really do need our fix, don't we? Keep rolling and running smart!

rtfgvb7831 said...

IS VERY GOOD..............................

Willie said...

Ha ha, you're worse than me now!!

Na na na na na!!

Caleb said...

I can totally relate to being away from your stress relieve, Im going through that right now with my torn meniscus in both knees. Glad things are back to normal for you though!

kizzy said...

Sometimes the most important people in us are the one we can always rely on for strength...

--I prefer running without shoes. My toes didn't get cold. Besides, if I'm in front from the start, no one can step on them. ~Michelle Dekkers - smartwool socks