Awake again …

Meningitis makes you tired. Very. It’s not just during the active part of the virus either. At least not for me. The two times I have had it the fatigue lasted a very long time. The first time it took me about 8 months for my family to really notice a difference. That’s a long time. And I think that must be my standard. Where I felt the heaviest of my fatigue pass in about April this, 6 months after I was diagnosed, my mornings remained very difficult.

I have ALWAYS been a morning person and for most of my life I’ve needed less sleep than is typical. But not since October. And it has been a hard adjustment. Don’t get me wrong, I am very pleased, as are all my doctors, with my recovery. I’ve done exceedingly well. I am beyond grateful. But the struggle I’ve faced waking up has been a real life changer. I decided sometime in May to make peace with it. It wasn’t what I wanted but I had to accept that the old me “morning me” may never return. I needed to forget about the woman who bounced out of bed in the morning before most people in her timezone ever woke up, HA! I needed to be thankful for all the extra hours God had so generously given me in the past to enjoy my day. I needed to move on and embrace the me that was left after surviving another of life’s battles. And I did. 

The came June. I’m needing less sleep and rising with a familiar energy that seems like I’ve found a long lost friend. I’m enjoying the silence of a sleeping home again. I’m working out earlier. I’m getting more accomplished throughout my day. I can’t say I’m 100% myself, but I am pretty darn close. And I really couldn’t be happier.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you feel AWAKE again!!!

Advertisements

Doing it anyway …

Yesterday I got into a discussion about running and working out. Particularly about the numerous times I’ve been asked if I’ll ever stop.

That’s always such a strange question to me. 

I’ve been working out since I was 12 years old. It’s part of who I am and who I’ve always been. I don’t know anything different. Even the two years post back injury I did anything and everything my doctors would let me do (which wasn’t much, but I did it anyway).

I get hurt A LOT. I have A TON of setbacks. But I’d like to believe it’s because I’ve never stopped pushing myself out of my comfort zone. I love learning about the body God has gifted me with. I like figuring out what it’s capable of. This body of mine never ceases to amaze me. Seriously, WHOA! It’s also about chasing down dreams. I have a lot of them. Still.

Some days come easier but overall, it is NEVER easy to keep up this lifestyle. Trust me, it’s nicer to sleep in. What I do and how I do it is a choice I have to make every day. I choose to keep trying, fighting and living. This is how I am … and despite the pain, blood, fractures, sprains and tears it’s always been worth it.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you do it anyway!!!

Happily and gratefully sitting this one out …

I’ve been quiet about this but here goes. About 10 days ago I got sciatica on my left side (now about 95% resolved). It threw my walking off onto my “bad” foot. The one I broke twice and sprained more times than I can count. Did I mention the arthritis? Oh yeah, that too. Anyway, it worried me because I’ve been warned that that foot can easily break again, even if compromised just a little.

Unfortunately, as a result of the uneven walking I had some pain in that foot by my 5th metatarsal along the outside of my foot. I also had traveling pain that occurred next to the arthritis in my 1st metatarsal and in the ball of my foot. I described it as a lava lamp of pain. It was never constant or in the same place. Well, early Monday morning I woke up with what felt like the beginning of a foot cramp. I jerked my foot up and then felt a horrible pain shoot through my second and third toes and up the 3rd metatarsal (where my old break was). I immediately thought the worst. I broke my foot. AGAIN.

With my race less than a week away I went in for x-rays. When the first image of my foot went up on the screen, I said, “There it is!” Like a beacon of light, I could see the problem staring back at me. A break. The tech couldn’t confirm the break but asked how long I had had pain there. I told her since 3 am that morning.

I didn’t receive the official results until the next day and spoke with my ortho. I was confused because my results stated “no acute fracture” but a new stress fracture was also clearly noted. The medical social worker in me likes all these details answered. It comforts me. But what I was told shocked me beyond belief … and then gave me a clarity, I never knew I needed.

My ortho said that the reason my results stated “no acute fracture” was because I didn’t break my foot Monday. In his estimate, I broke it 2-3 months ago.

SAY WHAT?!?!

I was utterly baffled and so was he. Up until the sciatica I had only some pain in my feet on my long run days. By the next morning I was fine. I’ve told my family and friends repeatedly that this has been my least painful marathon training EVER. I definitely did not push myself nearly as hard has I normally do. Don’t get me wrong. Anytime you run 18 and 20 miles, you are pushing yourself, HA! But trust me, I let a lot go this training. I was just happy and thankful to be healthy enough to run distance again.

I’ve had some doozies in my life. Many things I cannot explain. Experiences I like to call GOD MOMENTS. This is one of them.

After the getting meningitis in October and the terrible drug reaction that followed I knew that I needed this training. And not just to help me get stronger physically. I needed it to heal me mentally. I was scared I’d never feel like myself again. I was scared of getting meningitis a third time! And what would it rob me of then?!?! I wanted my kids to have their mom back. Their healthy, happy, active mom. Heck, I WANTED HER BACK! And the only way I knew how to find her again was to literally run back to her. So after clearing it with all my doctors, I did. I began marathon training in late January.

Almost every training day I was forced to face my fears and I had to fight through a brutal fatigue. There were days when I straight up questioned my judgment. And sanity. There were days when I wondered if I was doing more harm than good. But I ran anyway. I honestly couldn’t have done it without the love and support of my family and friends. I finished a training that I never thought I could finish and was able to put my demons to rest. And God was with me the whole time. I truly believe that He protected me from the pain of the initial break to give me exactly what I needed to fight the thoughts in my head. I believe He revealed the break to me now to show me that He’s been healing and protecting me more than I ever knew. That He is capable of more than I can ever understand in my humanness. He humbles me with these gifts. And I am so thankful.

So the big question that now remains is, “Will I run my ninth marathon on Sunday?” The answer is, “Probably NOT”. Despite there being no medical reason I cannot run Sunday I think I want to pass on this one. My foot still hurts, in my opinion, too much to run a full marathon. And after everything that has been revealed to me over the past 24 hours I think that I discovered that the race itself was never the real lesson. God was all about teaching me and growing me through the journey. That’s just how He rolls.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you happily and gratefully sit this one out!!!

Celebrating and praying … 

I post these words every year. I simply cannot bring myself to change them. To do so would be an injustice to her. To me. And to all our family and friends who stood by us. It is our beginning together. It is a story of faith and love … and believing in miracles.

We were told when I was about 11 weeks pregnant that she did not look quite so “typical” … I didn’t care. I loved our baby. And I prayed.A few weeks later we were told that not only was our baby “not typical”, but that there was a chance I would be delivering her still born … I wanted our baby even more fiercely than I had before. And I prayed.

Several weeks later, we almost lost our baby … to which I screamed an adamant and angry “NO!” And I prayed.

A month later we were told that our baby had a “very large hole in her heart” … to which I said, “I don’t believe you.“ And I prayed.

Two months later we were told, “Your baby is small” … to which I laughed and said, “Of all the things that you have told us, this seems pretty manageable.” And I prayed.

Two weeks later, on what was supposed to be a brief doctor’s visit before we headed to our local water park, we were told that our baby was not growing, that she was too small and that she was not acting the way she should be. We were told that I would be given another amniocentesis to see if her lungs were developed. If they were, my doctor wanted to take her right away … I felt like my body was failing her. And I prayed.

My doctor gave me a drug to speed up our baby’s lung development. The results of the amniocentesis were not what we had hoped for. My doctor told us that our baby’s lungs were not developed, our baby could not breath on her own. Now we had a team of medical professionals. They hoped nothing would go wrong for the next 48 hours so that the steroid they had given me would have time to help our baby’s lungs grow … to which I said, “OK”. And I prayed.

Less than 24 hours later I had a hospital room full of people wearing blue who were running around and pumping my body full of fluids and drugs. We were told that we could no longer wait. We were told that our baby would not be breathing and that she would be very small and weak … to which I cried in her father’s arms and said, “I’m scared.” And I prayed.

Minutes later I was strapped to a table. I had refused anything that would alter my mental state. I wanted to be there for our baby. It took a long time to get her out. I was told that she was so small that she kept slipping through the doctor’s hands. I kept screaming, “Is she out?!?!” And I prayed.

Then, I heard a cry … to which I thought, “That is a loud cry for a baby who is supposed to be weak, small and not breathing.” And I prayed.

A few minutes later our baby was brought over to me, warmly swaddled, pink as could be, breathing on her own and with no hole in her heart. (Sure, she has some extra chromosomes, but who cares about that?) And when I saw her I thought, “You are my miracle and I love you.” And then, I praised God for our beautiful daughter.

Seven years ago today, through God’s amazing grace, Reese Lindsey Grace was born by emergency cesarean section. She was 6 weeks early. She weighed 2lbs 15oz and was 15 ½ inches long. My world has not been quite the same since … and I would have it no other way.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you celebrate a miracle … and always remember to pray!!!

  

Celebrating Reese …

I post this every year, because I honestly I feel that this is her testimony of strength and perseverance that she is unable to tell for herself. For me, there are no words that tell this story better. This is about her beginning and how our EPIC journey together unfolded … a legend of sorts about a little warrior who is changing the world one heart at a time.

We were told, when I was about 11 weeks pregnant, that things did not look quite so “typical” … I didn’t care. And I prayed.

A few weeks later we were told, that not only was our baby “not typical”, but there was a chance I would be delivering a still born … I wanted our baby even more fiercely than I had before. And I prayed.

Several weeks later, we almost lost our baby … To which I said an adamant and angry “NO!” And I prayed.

A month later we were told that our baby had a “very large hole in her heart” … To which I said, “I don’t believe you.“ And I prayed.

Two months later we were told, “Your baby is small” … To which I laughed and said, “Of all the things you have told me, this seems pretty manageable.” And I prayed.

Two weeks later, on what was supposed to be a brief doctor’s visit before we headed to our local water park, we were told our baby was not growing, that she was too small and that she was not acting the way she should. We were told that I would be given another amniocentesis to see if her lungs were developed. If they were, my doctor wanted to take her right away … I felt like my body was failing her. And I prayed.

My doctor gave me a drug to speed up our baby’s lung development. The results of the amniocentesis were not good. My doctor told us that our baby’s lungs were not developed, our baby could not breath on her own. Now we had a team of medical professionals. They hoped nothing would go wrong for the next 48 hours so that the steroid they had given me would have enough time to help our baby’s lungs grow … To which I said, “OK”. And I prayed.

Less than 24 hours later I had a hospital room full of people wearing blue running around and pumping my body full of fluids and drugs. We were told that we could no longer wait. We were told our baby wouldn’t be breathing and that she would be very small and weak. To which I cried in my husband‘s arms and said, “I’m scared.” And I prayed.

Minutes later I was strapped to a table. I had refused anything that would alter my mental state, I wanted to be there for our baby. It took a long time to get her out. I was told that she was so small she kept slipping through the doctor’s hands. I kept screaming, “Is she out?!?!” And I prayed.

Then, I heard a cry … To which I thought, “That is loud cry for a baby who is supposed to be weak, small and not breathing.” And I prayed.

A few minutes later our baby was brought over to me, warmly swaddled, pink as can be, breathing on her own and with no hole in her heart. Sure she has some extra chromosomes, but who cares about that? And to which I thought, “You are my miracle and I love you.” And then, I praised God for our beautiful daughter.

Five years ago today, through God’s awesome grace, Reese Lindsey Grace was born by emergency cesarean section. She weighed 2lbs 15oz and was 15 ½ inches long. My world has not been quite the same since, and I would have it no other way.

Happy Birthday my precious Reesey Roo! YOU ARE MY HERO! Mama loves you and all of your EXTRA parts!!!

Well, I hope you all have a day where you celebrate a miracle … and always remember to pray!!!

IMG_8224.JPG

A Good Friday …

As a Christian, Good Friday has always seemed to matter more to me than Easter itself. Good Friday is the day that Jesus actually died. What I value most about this day is what happened just before His death. It’s the part that humbles me more than any act ever could.

Jesus, in his human state, took on all of my sins. Heck, not just mine, everyone’s! Forever and ever!

E.V.E.R.Y.O.N.E.

ALL SIN.

FOREVER.

He became the sacrifice so that WE could all be washed clean of our sins by God. Every. Last. One. All sin that will ever be committed by anyone. Ever.

Whoa.

I’m not sure about you guys but the burden of even one known sin can immobilize me. Can you imagine His burden? Or His love for us, to do such a thing??? The thought overwhelms me with gratitude. And brings me to my knees.

Wow. He did THAT … for me …

Well, I hope you all have a GOOD FRIDAY!!!