Tag Archive | Medical

Rolling With The Times

As much as I know change is inevitable.

As much as I know that change is part of life,

As much as I know that standing in one place with your feet moored to the ground is not the way to go in life,

As much as I know that you can’t stop life from changing,

I do not like change.

I like consistency.

One of the things that drives my mother nuts is when she asks what is new and I tell her nothing.   I like that answer.   If nothing is new. Nothing has changed and again I like that.

I know…

Boring !

What can I say, I’m not exciting or fun.

Moore6

Oh wait, yes I am:)

This past year, there has been so much change.  I would like to say, some good and some bad; but that I think would be a lie.   For the most part, most has been bad.   I’m not having a pity party, I am just trying to accept the changes.

Change is hard.

I’m learning to go with the flow (a little bit), but the problem is the flow keeps changing.

I was and am getting into a good rhythm of working out and running, but I am no where near where I should be to run a half marathon this month.    I am supposed to run the Fred Lebow half, but it most likely will not be happening.   I’m sure that I could suck it up, but I haven’t run longer than 6 in a while.    This would not be smart.   It wouldn’t be smart for anyone, but with Hypoparathyroidism it would really not be smart especially when my doctor is changing my dosages.   I can feel the effects of the lower dosages.   I can feel the difference of lower calcium levels and am actually waiting some blood work as I’m sure that we will need to make another change.  We have not yet found the sweet spot.

These are good changes though.   It is nice to finally have a doctor that I have confidence in.   Although I really was feeling good with the treatment plan of my last endocrinologist, it was only a matter of time before it led to disaster.   My kidneys will like the new doctor better even if it means that I’m back to waking up with leg cramps and sore in the morning.  So many fun things.  I will work on these adjustments.

Last year it was all about coming to terms with the fact that I had this disease.  I kept thinking it would go away.   It didn’t.  I’m a lifer now.   It sucks.   It’s one of the things that isn’t changing, BUT this year with a doctor who can properly guide me….. This is the year I take me life back.

Will things be different?

Probably

Will I have to learn new strategies to get where I want to go?

Probably.

But change is good.

Plotting, Planning, and rolling with the changes…..

 

 

Round and Round We go

We all know that I’m not the bad ass that I used to be.   Not that I was ever the baddest of the baddest bad asses,  but for me and where I started I was pretty bad.    Things change.   Life is full of hills and valley’s.   It is very easy to get stuck in the valley.  Right now, I’m in search of the keys to start engine to get up the hill.

It’s time that I admit that even with my health issues that my running (or lack of running) is not all tied to it.   Yes, it started with the thyroid and calcium problems; but it is so much more now.   It’s a vicious cycle.   Due to the health stuff, I couldn’t run as much.   Not running or exercising as much caused me to loose a lot of my carido strength.   Loosing the cardio strength made running more difficult.   When the running became more difficult, I didn’t want to run as much.

Round and Round we go.

This doesn’t even take into account the mental part of it.

This past week I went for six miles.   By one and half miles in, my legs are burning, heavy, and tired.   My breathing is heavy.    I just want to stop.   Now mind you, I am not even pushing the pace AT ALL.   I thought about turning around and going home, but I didn’t.   And truth be told that is all that I can ask of myself.

Honestly though I do need to ask myself to get out the door more.  Part laziness.   Part knowing it will be hard.   And part wondering if it is worth it.   I know that I will get out.   I know that I am doing a half in January, but here is another fact.   I don’t really care.   I am not motivated.   This is the mental part that I’m talking about.

I ask myself, “Is it worth it.”

Here is the truth.   My legs are sore just from just standing all day baking cookies.   I’m exhausted by the end of a non running day.    It’s actually depressing.   So imagine how I feel on running days.   Although, at least those days I have a reason why.

In the next few weeks before Fred Lebow,  my doctor is going to be adjusting my medications.   I recently took a 24 hour urine test (not as fun as it sounds -Ha).   I failed it swimmingly.     According to my doctor, a normal calcium level for this test is 200.   Someone who is Hypopara, it should be 300.   This is due to the high amounts of calcium/meds  we have to take.   Mine was 578.    So adjust medication we will because if not this will not bode well for my kidneys.

One of the reasons that my levels are so high is that currently my blood calcium levels are great.   They are right where they were prior to surgery.   Sounds good, right?   Wrong.   The levels need to come down and they need to come down a decent amount.   I have to find what is the level to feel good enough to function while protecting my kidneys.   Can you see the dilemma?

To answer my question though.

It is worth it.

But I need to balance it with my actual life.  I’ve already decided that Fred Lebow will be what it will be.   This is no longer a goal race.   The only goal is to finish which I will.

I am making the NY Half marathon a goal race.   I’m not sure the goal, but this race I will give what I’ve got.   I’ll get there.   I just have to not only get my body there, but my mind.

One day at a time.

not-feeling-it

 

The Numbers are Good

Those who know me or have been following my blog long enough know that I’m a numbers person.  Know I don’t mean numbers person like my accountant husband.   I just mean that I’m a numbers person when it comes to my running.

I like to see paces.   I like to keep track of distances.   I like to compare and contrast.   I just like my numbers.   This is why even when I’m not paying attention to the numbers on a run, I am always tracking it.   Just can’t do a naked (non garmin) run.   Not going to happen.

Now maybe the reason that I like the numbers so much is that since I’ve been serious about my running, I’ve been tracking.   Paces have gone down.   Distances have gone up.   It have been fun to see this happen and how far this non athletic person has come.   Anyway, yesterday I got an email from Strava on this years numbers.

Here is how I did so far.

542.3 miles

65,018 calories

10.4  miles averaged a week

Those are good numbers.  These numbers are nothing to sneeze at.  These are the numbers that I will try to improve upon for next year.   These numbers tell a story too if I compare to 2016.

2016

1,094 miles (should have run 6 more miles)

121,219 calories

21 miles averaged a week.

So there are a few ways to look at these numbers.   You know that glass half full or half empty kind of thing.   I’m going with the half full and here is why.

This year, health wise, has kind of sucked but it could have been worse.   That being said coming to terms with being Hypopara is hard and the learning curve which I’m still on is hard too.   It’s getting better for a variety of reasons.   First is that I’ve finally got a doctor that I have confidence in how to treat this.   Secondly, they don’t classify it as permanent till after a year which I passed in November.   Up until then, I kept expecting them to tell me that it was all working properly and get back to the way it used to be.   Lastly I’m realize that the only thing stopping me is me.

So now I’ve got my numbers and I know what’s what.   So it’s time to start planning for 2018 and new goals and aspirations.

 

Don’t Let Fear Stop You

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.

start-where-you-are-use-what-you-have

364 Days

So tomorrow marks one year on this magic carpet ride.   Last year at this time, I was prepping for my thyroidectomy.   You know the usually stuff you do prior to a surgery – make sure your will is up to date, make sure the house is clean, make sure the fridge is stocked, Oh and make sure Thanksgiving Dinner was ordered.

Going in I was prepared for the recovery of the surgery.   I was prepared with having to deal with getting my dosage right for my meds to replace my now missing thyroid.   Easy Peasy.    I really was not worried at all.    You see, I knew so many people who either had their thyroid removed or knew someone who had theirs removed.    Another ace in the hole was one of my sons although he has a thyroid, it has not functioned since birth.   To be honest, my only concern was that a surgeon was going to literally be slicing open my neck.   That was my main focus.   Everything else would just work itself out.

So now I am one day shy of my surgery and I realize that it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be.   The blip on the screen was much bigger than I thought it would be.  Still trying to adjust the thryoid meds which is really what I attribute my 15 pound weight gain this last year too.   Oh and the fact that my running took a dive. It’s a work in progress.

This last year has been an adjustment both physically and mentally.   Prior to the surgery I in my mind was chasing a 4:15 marathon, completed a 50 K, and was pushing my limits.   I did not realize that post surgery dealing with parathyroid glands that decided that they no longer would want to function properly that my limits would change and change drastically.  I didn’t even know that there was such a thing as Parathyroid gland let alone 4 that were very important.

Over time, I may get back to where I was but realistically speaking I am not getting any younger.   In less than 2 years, I will be hitting a number many refer to as a milestone even, but we aren’t there yet!

Where we are is a celebration of where I am today.

Today

Is it where I want to be?   Not exactly.   That being said….

I ACTUALLY RAN THIS WHOLE THING.

There was no walking.   There was no stopping.   There was only running.   And while I will admit that it was so much harder than it used to be and I was so happy to hit the end, it is so much better than it has been.    Life gives you what it gives you.   Today it gave me 3 miles.   For today that is enough.   I admit that some days it’s not, but as I continually remind myself….. You can’t live in the past.    You can’t spend your life living the should of , could of, and would of’s of life.   You get what you get and you don’t get upset.   And my personal favorite that my sister hates….

It is What it is!

So today, I look back on not where I was prior to 11-18-2016, but how far I have come since then.    The support that my friends have given me has helped me continue to push on.    You have been there when I have complained about my aches, my pains, my feeling tired all the time,  and everything else in between.   So this is my shout out to you……   For listening when I complained.   For understanding.  For your ideas and suggestions.  For run/walking with me when I need to and when I need to again and everything in between.   It hasn’t been an easy year learning to deal with “the new normal,” but thanks for taking the trip with me.

 

PS – I’m still following my training plan for the January Half Marathon.   One week down:)

It’s Hard

Running is hard.

Not running when you want to is harder.

So I totally took last week off.   I’m supposed to be crossing training this week, but so far it hasn’t happened.   I will say though that I did do a whole lot of walking this past weekend, so that’s got to count.    I went with my eldest son for a prospective college weekend event.   This required lots of walking as we were a 10 minute walk from campus.   On top of that we walked and walked and walked around both campus and town.

I wisely had inserted my new orthopedics in my everyday sneakers.   Even with this I did feel discomfort in my left foot with the tendonitis.   It made me wonder what would happen if I ran.   I thought about testing that out, but figured since I have my Podiatry appointment today that I would wait.

As we know in every aspect of our life, sometimes doing the right thing is not the easiest thing.   Sometimes, we need to make hard choices.   Long term goals must take president over short term goals.

It’s hard because instant gratification feels so good

for now…..

I have run the Runner’s World Event 2 years in a row.   It is a great event and I really as whole can not not say enough good things about the actual event.     I enjoyed it so much that this year, I had planned to do the Grand Slam, 26.2 over the course of this coming weekend.

The event is still open for registration until the October 18th while anyone wishing to defer would have had to have made the choice a month ago.

Now I do understand why they have deferral deadlines.   I get it.   If not people would sign up for every race they even thought of doing and then just defer at  the last minute.   That would create a chaotic system where race directors could not possible plan.   I also get why they have a fee for deferrals.   Although I will say some are more fair than others in the fee department.    Runner’s World actually only charges $20 to defer.

BUT

I am annoyed.   Maybe wrongly so, but I still am annoyed.

I reached out to Runner’s World to see if I could defer and I even offered to provide medical documentation if necessary.    I got the standard answer of  “no exceptions.”

I know it’s not their fault.

I know why they have the rules in place that they do.

BUT…..

I do think they should make exceptions.   The world is not black and white and sometimes, you need to consider shades of grey

So now this weekend, I have a bib for an event that I can’t run.   I can’t defer and I can’t transfer.    As you would expect with an event this size, it cost more than a town 5K.    I’ve started getting   the emails for the event…  Bib pick-up, parking, and just the general pump up.   Each email is like a punch.

Each email makes me think….. hmmm, could I do it?

Then I remember that I’m sitting here with a heating pad on my foot.

Running is hard.

Not running is harder.

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How have you dealt with sitting out when all you wanted to do is RUN?

 

 

 

Validated

 

I was very happy after the Chicago Marathon to know that I would be seeing my Podiatrist a few days later.     As I said before, I knew that I had undone all his hard work during the race.     I didn’t need him to tell me, but the ultrasound of the tendon confirms it.  Validation is always nice even when it’s not good news.

On top of that, I had been ignoring pain in my right foot.   I’d been ignoring it because I had dealt with it before in my left for a year or so ago.  Plantar Faciitis.    But since I was going, I had him take a look at it.    Yup another validation.   Although the hobbling around was a big clue.   At least that he was able to give me a Cortisone shot for that.

I had to laugh though because he’s like heat the left foot for the tendon, but ice the right for the Plantar Faciitis.   Talk about running hot and cold!

I have to say that it is nice   to have a Podiatrist that understands the anatomy or a runner and explains thing too.  Anyway, he then goes on to ask about my upcoming schedule.   I am supposed to do the Runner’s World Grand Slam in two weeks (26.2 over 3 days).   He then proceeds because he knows how us runners can be to ask if maybe I could not run for the whole next week or so  and not do the race because in the long term it won’t be good for my feet.

“Rest is the best thing.”

Hmmmmm…….

Well at least this also validates all the pain that I was in in Chicago.

I could do with a little less validation:)

Ha!

Validated

 

 

Creeping Up There….

I went out yesterday for what should have been a “easy” 6 miles.    Even skipping my normal training in Vermont, these 6 miles shouldn’t have been that difficult.   I was not in the mood to keep track of time, so I decided to just keep the pace slow and I would give myself a walk break every mile.   Seemed like the way to go.

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As you can see from the long red and orange line, even at these paces I was working hard.   Harder than I feel that I should, but I imagine the paces don’t really tell it all as it evens out with the walking.  Still need to work on it.   Part of the problem is that in the 8 months since my surgery I have gained 10 pounds.    I’ve never been what one would call petite.   That being said, I had remained steady in my weight for many years.   As I’ve blogged before in Laying It Out There even though the numbers never changed, I could tell that it was redistributing with added muscle.   Sadly, I can not say that now.

Part of the weight gain I attribute to not exercising as much post surgery.   Part of it might be from thyroid surgery while getting my levels correct.  Part of it might be Christmas and winter coming during this non running time.   While I don’t care about the extra weight per se, I do care that my clothes are not necessarily fitting the way that I like them.   I also think this is part of why I am struggling a bit with my running.    Yes, my legs are more sore than before, but that doesn’t account for all the heavy breathing.

Now is the what to do, what to do moment.   I honestly and whole hardheartedly hate dieting.   It’s not my thing baby.   

That being said, I am creeping up to another big milestone that I do think I would be upset to hit as it would be how much I weighed when I was pregnant.

  I  know that with my hypoparathyroidism, I do need to do better with my diet.    It might help with the muscle cramps and other issues.    I have toyed with my diet for this reason, but never committed especially since I still think my parathyroid are going to bounce back and work properly.  I keep waiting for the doctor to tell me they made a mistake.   I know.   I know.   It’s a foolish pipe dream, but I still can’t fully admit that this is permanent and my life yet.   It’s a work in progress.

So maybe it is past time to meet with the nutritionist that I called and never followed up with an appointment.   Not for my clothes.   Not for the way I look, but for my health as I really need to eat a diet with less salt and more calcium rich foods.    There has been much discussion in my hypoparathyroid groups on what is a good diet and I really need to start paying attention.   Also, I really need to figure out proper fully for runs.

So maybe I could turn this all around.   You know make lemonade out of lemon kind of thing.

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Moving forward is all you can do as sitting still is not an option.

 

 

 

Unstoppable

 

 

I am lucky.   I know that.   I know it could be so much worse.   I know there are people fighting much harder battles than me. Knowing this does not make it easier.   It actually makes it worse because of the guilt.

I’m a lucky girl, but I don’t always feel lucky. And I hate that feeling.   Who am I to complain when I have been so blessed and am so lucky?

A small voice whispers, “Me.”

I’m an avoider by nature.   I see nothing wrong with burying your hand in the sand.  The problem with that is eventually you realize that you can’t breath and you’ve made the situation so much worse.

I didn’t realize it until after my run today, but I’m kind of there now.   Remember this week started Chicago Marathon training.   I’ve stuck to the plan.  Three easy runs.  Three days in a row for three miles.   Easy Peasy.

Or in my mind it should have been.

Run

The first run I did at  my local YMCA on the treadmill.   The second run was a fun run with friends.   Then today I was on my own.   Things were going good.   The run in my mind was much harder than it should have been.   I mean seriously it’s only three miles. and the weather is perfect for running.   What more could a girl ask for?

On the run as often happens, my mind processes things.   It’s been a while since I’ve had one of these runs and I needed this time with my thoughts.   I’m keeping a nice easy pace.    Today I want to run the whole thing with no walking.   Should be easy enough.   Mission accomplished.

Here’s the thing though….   By the end of the run, I am literally huffing and puffing.   A lot.   I end the run at my house happy as can be.  I even snap a picture.   You can see that I’m tired.   You can see that I’m sweating pretty decently for a short run.

Run2

Here’s what you don’t see…..

At this point, my face is tingling.    My right arm is tingling.  This causes me irritation because IT WAS ONLY THREE MILES ON A COOL DAY.

If the picture was taken 5 minutes later, you would see me having a good cry.    It sounds bad and it wasn’t pretty, but I think it may have been just what I’ve needed.    During my run, I was thinking how far I had come with my running and where I am now.    It’s several major steps back.   I’m not even at square one anymore because at least when I started on this journey the only thing holding me back was myself.   That is not the case right now.   There is so much out of my control right now.   So many things that I never had to think about before.

Seriously.

It sucks.

But I’ve had my good cry which was well beyond due.   Yes, I’ve been dealing with the actual physical aspects but it’s time I deal and come to terms with the big picture.  I’m pulling my big girl panties on and I’m just going to keep moving forward.  I’m a lucky girl, but sometimes even a lucky girl needs a moment.   I may get where I was before in my running, but I need to accept where I am today.   I also need to accept that it’s ok.   In talking to others that have hypoparathyroidism the key is giving your body what it needs and taking it as it comes.  There are things in my control, but there are also things out of my control and there are things that change depending on the day.   So I will do what I can and start accepting what I can’t.   Giving up control is hard.

This disease will not stop me.

 

 

Not Backing Down

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I know what it feels like after you’ve run a half marathon.    I know what it feels like after running a marathon.    I even know what it feels like after running  50K.   When your an athlete whose run as many miles as I have you pay attention to these things.  I’ve trained my body to run on tired legs.   I always joke that I come from hearty stock because even though times my body has been sore, I’ve always recovered fairly quickly.   The day after the Philadelphia marathon, I was even wearing heals.   Like a bumble, I just bounce back.   I also think both the way that I have pushed my body in the past and know how to roll sore muscles are helpful now.   I know how to pay attention to the needs of my body.

Sometimes by the end of a busy day, my body feels like I’ve run a race that I haven’t run.

My legs are sore.   My back aches.   I’m exhausted.

In reading many comments and stories from people with this disease (hypoparathyroidism), I really believe that my training has set me up for success.   As much as it sucks, these are not feelings I’m unused to.   What sucks is feeling this way and not having a medal to show for it!

I keep hearing from my online support groups that I will get used to the “new normal” but that it takes a LONG time to get there.   That eventually you forget what it’s like to wake up without all the aches and such.   It’s a work in progress.   I think one of the things that takes getting used to is looking fine, but feeling like this.

Again it’s a work in progress. What further helps is that I’m pretty tenacious and head strong.   I will keep pushing through  even if things are harder to accomplish.   I will not give up as long as I can do the things that I want to do.

What does worry me as I start planning my Chicago Marathon training is if I feel like this without really doing much running, how will I feel once I’m training.    Training starts in a matter of weeks.    I need this just as much physically as I do mentally.   I will be prepared going in knowing it’s going to be harder this time around.   Knowing that it will be even more important when loosing calcium through sweat while training in the heart of summer, to replenish during a run and not wait for a crash.     I will be prepared to take care of myself after runs too.   Where in the past because I could get away with it, I was not the best about post stretching, rolling, or soaking in mineral salts.    I will ad that time into my training.

I am a runner.

I am an athlete.

I am a marathon runner and I’m not letting anything get in my way.

tenacious