Doctors Don't Know Everything

>> Saturday, June 25, 2011

Get ready for a bit of a rant.. although I just had a talk with Lucas tonight about not letting one little thing that is wrong color your whole day. So, maybe I should instead heed my own advice instead. Oh, well... I'll do that next time.

If there is anyone out there reading this, and you know me even just a little, you probably know that I love the beach. L.O.V.E. Love. I love the sunshine, I love the heat, I love the sand, I love the sweat, the waves... All of it. I go every chance I get. I stay as long as I can. At least, I used to.
When Hubby and I got back from Costa Rica at the beginning of April, I started noticing a gradual increase in my joint pain/Lupus issues. Long (boring) story short... I am in the midst now of a "flare" up of average intensity (my Rheum's words, not mine). Back on Prednisone, dealing with all kinds of weird symptoms again. Sucks. The worst part is actually that it all started from the heat and sun I got in CR. Then it got significantly worse when I ran the 10K about a month ago. Double sucks.

My Rheum "recommends" that I avoid outdoor running or extended periods in the sun for the next few months at least, until this whole thing calms down. And if I want to keep this thing under wraps once it does calm back down, I probably should avoid prolonged sun/heat exposure in the future. My Rheum obviously does not read this blog or know me very well.

If I am being completely honest, I feel a bit stuck. Would it ever really be possible for me to avoid the sun/beach for the rest of my life? I have two boys who will want to be outside and who I want to grow up loving being on the beach as much as their mama does. And beyond that, I LOVE IT! Why would I do that to myself? It just isn't rational or feasible. Now, I am certainly willing to be a little creative for these years that Lupus is at it's peak. But it is admittedly hard to convince myself that I will one day be without these nagging discomforts and be able to once again bake myself in the sun without consequence.

I know, quit my whining. In a sec...

My doctor may know a lot. But she doesn't know everything. She may be convinced that my life would be better if I did not spend too much time out it the sun. But I am not so convinced. SO much of my life's joy comes from moments in the sun: on the beach, at the park with my boys, exploring something, splashing somewhere. Living.
But yet, this constant achiness/stiffness/fatigue/I-wish-I-could-stick-an-icepick-in-my-wrist pain is just stupid. Stupid.

I know some sort of compromise is the answer. A little less beach/sun in order to have a little less pain. And probably not as much running this summer as I was hoping. I guess I have to push back that goal of a half-marathon for a bit. If I have to.... I just hope the next time I DO get on the beach, I don't look like a beached whale from the lack of running and the months of steroid therapy. OK... rant done.

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Sprinklers and other Beach Fun

>> Sunday, June 19, 2011

The boys and I just got back from a fabulous trip to FL. It was really one of the best we have ever had. Some great beach time, some alone time for mommy, no family drama. Just a really, really nice time with my parents and my sister and my beloved beach. :) Here are some of the highlights:

Fun with the water hose and Mimi: the boys started fully clothed and slowly peeled off layers as they ran through the sprinkler. Perfect little boy, summer fun!!

Lucas loves to wear his superhero costumes... even when riding his bike. Not quite the Batmobile, but a sweet ride none-the-less.
A special Green Lantern superhero party with Mimi and Pa!

We had plenty of sunny days on the beach, but one of our favorite times was right after a rain storm when the dark clouds were rolling through. It was warm and shady and the sand was perfect for sandcastles. We caught sand crabs and built sand forts and had an amazing time. It will forever be one of my favorite memories of time on the beach with my boys.

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>> Saturday, June 11, 2011

The beach has always been my haven, the place where I feel most at peace in my own skin. After my run along the beach road this morning, I sat for awhile, taking advantage of this kid-free time in my favorite of all places to be alone. The early sunlight, cool breeze, and the post-run feeling of accomplishment all made for a perfect moment of tranquility in my soul. Not to mention this heart drawn in the sand filled with red rose petals that some kind soul set up to give me a picturesque place to sit and have my moment (hehe!- or else somebody got married here last night!).

As I sat in the sand, I prayed and listened to the waves. I tried to practice the discipline of solitude, of being silent with my heart and head open to whatever God may have to fill me with. I am SO not good at this. My brain can't seem to stop filling the void with thoughts of to-do's or blog posts or etc... After several minutes of trying to clear my head, I turned on this song (Tenth Avenue North) in hopes that it would help my heart speak what I was trying to feel.

Such a powerful song for me. So raw and true. And as I sat on the beach and prayed this song, I felt my soul be at peace. I am a complicated girl. I have deep worries and lingering heartache. I have immense joy and overwhelming gratitude. I have so, so many thoughts and fears and hopes and questions constantly running through my head. I watch these two little men grow and wonder if I am measuring up to this task God has laid before me. If I can EVER measure up...

The more challenges life seems to throw my way, the more I am confronted with my own inabilities. What would happen if I let God's love just wash over me like these waves? Would I ever be able to let go of my "should be"s and "how can I"s and let God's love be over and underneath and inside and in between? I feel His hands and hear His voice standing in this early morning surf. But can I take this tranquility from here out to my day, my world beyond the sand? Usually not very well, but I am desperately wanting to give it another try.

"I hear you say 'My love is over,
its underneath, its inside, its in between
the times you doubt Me, when you can't feel
the times that you've questioned 'is this for real?'
the times you've broken, the times that you mend
the times you hate me and the times that you bend
...these times you're healing and when your heart breaks
the times that you feel like you've fallen from grace times of confusion and chaos and pain
I'm there in your sorrow under the weight of your shame
I'm there through your heartache
I'm there in the storm
My love I will keep you by my power alone

my love is over, its underneath
its inside, its in between

I don't care where you fall, where you have been.
I'll never forsake you, My love never ends.
It never ends. "

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>> Saturday, June 4, 2011

I finished a 10K race today. Without stopping. Under my time goal. And it feels good!!

I was so nervous about this one- it seemed like a big leap. I got myself so worked up, in fact, that when I crossed the START line, I was in tears and cried for the first 2-3min of the run. My emotions and adrenaline were all over the place. But I eventually settled in and felt good, even with the heat. It was sunny, in the low 80's with about 85% humidity so it felt pretty warm to me. Especially the last mile or so, I started feeling really tired. It is these types of moments where being stubborn is a positive trait. I told myself, I didn't come this far to quit and just kept going. One foot in front of the other, until I saw the water table at 5.5miles and then I picked up my speed a bit. The end was just around the corner. And then, there it was- the end- with my boys and some friends there to cheer me across.

Today, I feel less like a loser who does all things mediocre. After completing this race, I actually feel like I can do whatever I set my mind to. I set this goal for myself and now I can check this off. After seeing my official time, I started crying again. Relief and happiness. Just grateful for a moment when I see progress in myself, like I do have things going for me.
I texted a friend my official time (since she knew I was stressed about not making it under my time goal), and she told me I should write a letter to myself that I can read on those days when the feelings of pervasive mediocrity come creeping back in. So here it goes...

There are many things in life right now that feel unsure. It is easy to look at the tasks and situations that dominate my life and feel like I am wading through sludge, barely making ground and not ever getting anywhere. But take this feeling of accomplishment and ride it through. I am strong and determined. I can push through difficult things and reach the other side. I have trained myself to run this distance through sheer determination, even when joint pain and busy, tired days have made it even harder. I am proud of myself for what I accomplished today. I CAN do what I set my mind to, and show my boys that hard work DOES pay off eventually.

I know lots of people have accomplished much more and have done this race better than I could today. But the accomplishment of today, for me, still feels good. I am going to let this happiness sit for awhile. And hopefully it will find a nice place in my soul to set up camp for awhile.

I may not do many things well, but for today, I feel accomplished. And it feels good.

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