Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Blog I Didn't Want to Write (and it's long...)

The title says it all.
I have thought about this post. I have put off writing it.
Quite honestly, I don't really know what to say, so I will just tell you.
I wasn't able to run the Cleveland (half) Marathon this past weekend.
I have connected with so many incredibly amazing folks because of the Marathon and I was looking forward to meeting some now, very familiar faces.
As a blogger, I think you have to make a choice as to where you draw the line when it comes to sharing.
I follow blogs that are full disclosure. I follow other blogs that choose to keep their personal life private. Even to the point of not stating the names of their family members, or giving them fun nicknames.
I guess I am somewhere in between those two extremes.
Everyone's story is a personal one, but sharing it with others can maybe help someone along the way.
I find motivation in the people I follow, and I would like to think that I serve as a motivator for one or two people, at least ~ Ha!
When I signed up to do the Cleveland Marathon last year, my body was on the same page as me and I was good to go. The whole reason for running the Half was to celebrate my 1 year RUNniversary.
Yeah, it is a big deal to me. This is a big accomplishment and something I never thought I would be doing...
Running
Somewhere along the lines, my body took a detour and completely derailed the plans.
I know I touch on my health issues, and I even whine about them from time to time.
Truth be told, all this craziness with my health issues has kind of taken a toll on me.
A big toll.
Physically, I am exhausted more often than I should be.
Mentally, I am so frustrated from not getting any answers.
As a disabled veteran, my care is under the Veterans Administration in Ann Arbor.
For the most part, I have had amazing care.
They now manage your care in a more traditional manner and you can not see anyone without a consult from your primary physician. My doc is cool, but he is super laid back (and a good 10+ years younger than me!)
His approach to things is kind of the "if it hurts when you do it, don't do it any more."
I am FAR from a hypochondriac! I don't take meds, I don't go to the doctor, I don't even take my son to the doctor for the sniffles and other basic things. I don't want to have food allergies, or sensitivities, or intolerances. I want to eat whatever I want to eat. I don't want to worry about getting sick from it.
Yeah, well what I want and the reality of the situation aren't really the same.
I had the basic allergy blood tests done and they showed no basic allergies. Cool!
Ok, anyone who has done their research on this stuff will know that blood testing for food & digestion matters isn't really the most accurate way to go. Yes, my friends...your poo needs to be tested to determine a lot of the potential issues you may have in the whole digestive department. Makes sense, right?
Because my allergy tests came back negative, my doctor doesn't think I need to see a GI specialist or go any further since no problems showed in the blood tests...
Ummm...what?!?
Oh, ok. Cool! I think that means I am cured! You didn't find anything in round 1, so there isn't anything wrong. Yay! I am all better! 
Haha! Wouldn't it be nice if it worked like that?
Sadly, it does not.
So I am back to square one and standing here with my growing list of foods that either make me physically ill or that cause me so much discomfort that it isn't worth it to eat them.
I wish it was in my head, but it is in my stomach and beyond and that sucks.
In addition to all of that loveliness, I was diagnosed with Grave's Disease (hyperthyroidism) in 1995. I had radioactive iodine treatment in 1998. The RAI disrupts the function of the thyroid cells and eventually causes them to stop functioning. From that point, you become hypothyroid and need to take thyroid hormone replacements for the rest of your life. Routine bloodwork must be done to test all of the hormone levels, etc. It isn't a big deal, just something you have to do.
Different factors can cause your blood levels to get wacky, which is why you have to go in every so often and have your blood tested. I am used to it. 
The Grave's Disease was determined to be the cause of nearly 10 years of infertility for me. Ladies, the thyroid is one of the least tested when it comes to fertility issues, but is a leading cause. Insist on a full thyroid function panel! Google it, my friends...the thyroid is a big deal!
Anyway...
My blood work is always fine. During my allergy testing they also tested my thyroid.
The doctor called to tell me that my hormone levels were off and that I should notify my primary.
Yes, the VA's antiquated system does not allow one VA to have access to the other VA's system without changing servers, etc. In other words, the only way for my doc to know was for me to tell him or for the allergy clinic to tell him and apparently they don't have time for that.
Ah, ok.
My doctor sees the results and is concerned. He has me go for a second blood draw.
I know I am rambling (it is because I am avoiding the Cleveland thing-Ha!), but they never got back to me.
(No news is good news?)
Three weeks later...I contact them, "just in case".
The normal levels for Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (the stuff my replacement therapy deals with), are:  
> .5 to < 5.0  
And my TSH level is at 0.062
Yup, just a little on the low side (sarcasm!)
This actually means that I have too much hormone. Yes, confusing, I know.
Bottom line, I am currently functioning in the hyperthyroid area again.
So, my long story (that is just getting longer) is that between the two major health issues, my overall health has been affected. Unfortunately, this includes my running.
As the Marathon drew near, I wasn't sure if I would be able to run. I had been sick for a number of days and running wasn't really an option. I came up with a Plan B, and that was to attend the blogger events, meet all these amazing people, volunteer all weekend long (since I had the hotel for 3 days!) and just enjoy it!
HaHa!
Silly me, thinking I could have a Plan B!
Ever notice that your life seems to get in the way of your running?
Yes, another whammy. Lovely.
Long story short long, I didn't get to run. I didn't get to meet all these people that have been supporting me and being amazing. I didn't get to celebrate my RUNniversary.
It sucked. It still sucks. 
I am training for a 10k right now and I am managing my own health.
I am unstoppable!
Seriously, I am not letting anything like this bring me down!
I have worked hard to deal with my eating disorders.
I have worked hard on my running and building a love for it.
I am registered for the Brooksie Way Half Marathon on September 29th.
All this mess has been temporary. 
I say it again...
I am unstoppable!

And I am so grateful that you read this long thing and that you continue to follow my journey.
I do what I do for me, but I do it for lots of other reasons.

Thank you, Cleveland, for embracing me and trust me...
You will see me run that Half!
Thank YOU for supporting me!