According to FDR “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” While I totally agree with this statement that doesn’t mean that it’s all bad. It’s also not all good either. Fear is a powerful thing. It can hold you back. It can make you plant your feet in one spot and not move forward. It can keep you from reaching your potential.
There are times when we wear our fears right out in the open, but these fears are usually minor. Like fear of spiders or watching a horror movie. Then there are times we hold onto fears that we aren’t even aware of as we don’t want to admit the truth because it makes them real. Once we admit to the truth of our fears, then and only then can we begin to let go and deal with them.
So I’ve been pretty out in the open in dealing with my Hypoparthyroidism aka calcium issue. Again people hear calcium and you think bone and teeth, but did you know that calcium is the most common mineral in the body and one of the most important? Yes it’s needed for bones and teeth, but it also helps nerves work, helps blood clot, the heart to work, and keeps muscles from cramping. There is probably some other stuff, but I’m still learning. With this your bone density changes over time and although your bones are thicker, they may be more fragile and prone to breakage. Did you further know that calcium levels decrease during exercise? For a healthy person, the body will adjust but when the glands (Parathyroid) responsible no longer function properly there is no adjustment.
That being said, I’ve been holding onto a lot of fear when it comes to it. Part of that comes from feeling like I was on my own medical wise. Yes, I’ve been under the care of an Endocrinologist this last year, but even then I felt like I was on my own. This condition is not common. It’s even listed under the National Organizations of Rare disorders. There is a lot not understood about it even in the medical community. I still am just beginning to understand how it’s all connected but mostly I go by how I feel.
Prior to my thyroid surgery my surgeon told me that there was less than a 1% chance that this could occur, but if it did it would just mean that I would have to take calcium. I did not fully understand the impact it would have on me and I’m pretty certain neither did the surgeon. After the surgery when it became apparent that besides no longer having a thyroid but that my parathyroid glands no longer worked, I saw two separate Endocrinologists. The first one was good, but I was looking for one more versed in this disorder. To be honest I think I was better off with the first one because she seemed willing to learn with me. The best way to describe it was as if a patient was told that they were diabetic and needed to take insulin, but were not given any facts how to manage it. That being said, I also did my own research found an online support group and learned what I could. Anytime I would ask a question my second doctor, his response was always, “Your numbers are good.” But I knew from my own research that my numbers might be too good which could lead to a whole host of problems with my kidneys. So I persisted.
So after literally months of waiting, I finally was able to see a doctor in a major teaching hospital whose focus and studies involve hypoparthyroidism. She literally teaches doctors about it while also studying it. I will say that the best part of seeing her was the feeling of validation of my concerns, the way I’ve been literally feeling, and knowing that my doctor actually knows how to manage the disorder. She also agreed with me that although my numbers are good, they might be too good for the long therm. We discussed treatment options, testing that I should get, and such. She also gave me her cell phone number which she said she gives to all her hypopara patients. Seriously, what doctor does that?
So I left her office with a sense of relief. Nothing had changed, yet it was all so different.
Now if you’ve made it this far, you are probably wondering what any of this has to do with my running….. Because of all this crap, things are different when it comes to my running. I tire more easily after training. I definitely am more sore and cramp easier. I’ve also been afraid to push my limits which I’ve mentioned before. On top of that due to the thyroid and not running as much, my weight continues to go up. This starts a viscus cycle because it makes it even harder to run, I’m out of breath easier, and I can’t keep up. It’s amazing how much things can change in a year. I’m hoping by my second anniversary of my surgery, I will be in a better place and back to the confident runner that I was before. I may down the road decide that I need to tackle the marathon distance again, but not yet. Right now my focus is on preparing for my January half.
I’m not giving up. I’m not backing down. I’m moving forward slightly more confidently because now I know that if I do have issues that I can ask my doctor who will actually understand and be able to help me with it.