Oblivious …

I understand that I’m hyper aware of my surroundings. And I realize that not everyone operates like this. But coming from my brain’s perspective they should, HA!

Well, I hope you all have a day where you aren’t oblivious!!!

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Thinking too much …

I was up pretty late last night and for some strange reason, this morning, I woke up SUPER early. I even gave myself permission last night to “sleep in”. Whatever THAT looks like to a typically early riser on a normal busy Friday morning. HA! Anyway, I also woke up WHOLE body tired. You know that feeling? It’s definitely NOT pleasant. UGH. So my question to myself is WHY? If I’m THIS tired ALL OVER and I can get a little extra sleep, then WHY THE HECK am I awake?!?! I blame my brain. Oy.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you don’t think too much!!!

World Meningitis Day …

Happy World Meningitis Day everyone! Being that I’ve battled viral meningitis twice I wanted to encourage everyone to check out all the fact sheets out there on meningitis. There are two kinds, viral and bacterial. Both can have some pretty devastating side effects and outcomes. Being aware of causes and symptoms is so important! And probably the biggest thing I want everyone to walk away with today is to TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS and ACT FAST. I only had a headache the second time around. No fever or other symptoms, and all my labs were normal. But I remembered THAT headache from the first time I had it and insisted that medical staff continue running more tests. I even had an ER doc yell at me! But I refused to back down. I just knew I was sick again. And I was right! Thank God I am a social worker with lots of medical experience because with as severe as my encephalopathy was, had I not adamantly advocated for myself, I would be lucky to have survived without significant neurological issues. OR WORSE! So please take the time to read up on meningitis today. Tuck the information away in your memory, just in case.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you learn some pretty important stuff!!!

A survivor (times 2) …

One year ago today I woke up early and headed for the gym. I did some speed-work and clocked my fastest 1/4 mile (7:13). Not to shabby! I went home and continued on with my typical morning routine. Then I headed to my dental cleaning. This would be that last time I would feel like myself for months.

Later that day I would find myself in an ER with symptoms I was all to familiar with. I was sick. And despite the fact that no one believed me I knew my body. I had meningitis. Again.

Today is the one year anniversary of my second round of meningitis. Still with so many questions left unanswered. That alone is a demon I must face every day. I have become obsessed with Facebook memories. Trying to find some clue as to how I got so sick so fast. Again. There is nothing there. Nothing. I finished a week of 100,000 logged on my Fitbit. I mention twitchy legs, crazy fast speed-work and a rest weekend. It was to be a well deserved break from my training that was going better than I ever could have hoped for. I was strong and healthy. Race ready. There was nothing in those memories that would indicate that I would become so sick in just mere hours. How can anyone’s brain be that swollen and they not show any signs or symptoms?!?! It’s baffling. Utterly.

There are days that I still feel like a ticking time-tomb. I’m not sure if that feeling will ever go away. The memory of this experience and the fall-out afterward will always be unsettling. The “unknowns” are worrisome at best. But I refuse to cave into fear and let it immobilize me. Life is too precious for that. I thought battling meningitis once was bad enough. Twice, just seems insulting. But I truly believe that life gives us lessons for reasons. Reasons we might not ever understand. And THAT gives me my peace. Trust me, I can easily focus on all the things that this illness has robbed me of. How disruptive it was to, not just my life, but my family’s and friends’ lives as well. I can resent the fact that I still don’t feel like myself and that I fear it happening all over again. I can focus on the anger I feel when I see my precious kids worrying about my smallest of ailments. Children shouldn’t have to worry like that! OH, if meningitis was a person I would have punched it in the throat long ago!

Anyway, as I see it I have two options. I can choose the road paved with anxiety, fear and bitterness … OR … I can be thankful that I even had a road in the first place.

Let’s face it, life is not always easy. Crap happens through no fault of our own. But life can still be beautiful. I’d be lying if I said this illness hasn’t changed me. It has. I am not the same woman who woke up on this day a year ago. I am, for better or worse, the Jennifer I was supposed to be on this day and in this moment. Meningitis helped shaped me. And I’m OK with that. I am an ever-evolving woman who accepts that change and defeat and pain are an acceptable way to form me into the woman I am meant to be. Meningitis was a pit stop. OK fine, TWO. But it wasn’t my final destination. God and the universe clearly are not done with me yet and that’s good … because I still have dreams. And as long as I have breath, scared or not, I will chase them.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you are a survivor (times 2)!!!