A paper cut …

I am not generally a wimp. I tend to have a pretty high pain threshold. A broken back at age 15, childbirth (four times and let’s not forget that emergency Caesarean section), multiple foot fractures, and two bouts of viral meningitis have put me to the test. Oh and let’s not forget running. That hurts … and marathoning, REALLY hurts. So needless to say, life and my passion have caused me a lot of pain. And I’ve survived all of it. But every once in a while I am subjected to something seemingly minor that I CANNOT handle … and I become a raging whiner.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you don’t get a paper cut!!!

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It’s dead to me (at least until I can bend my legs again) …

I have been happily overjoyed and grinning ear to ear almost all day. Yesterday was everything I needed! But I am also sore from head to toe. Literally everything attached to me hurts. My movements slightly resemble that of the tin man from the Wizard of Oz. HA! But seriously, I can’t get up without help. I can’t make any sudden movements without cringing. Stairs are NOT my friends. God forbid I drop anything on the floor, because no matter what it is, it will suddenly be meaningless to me.

Well, I hope you all have a day where things aren’t dead to you!!!

A screaming potty mouth …

All day long I have had this ridiculous pain in my back on my right side. It’s one of those pains that isn’t a constant, but if I move in just the right way I find myself blurting out nasty things.

Well, I hope you all had a day where you didn’t have a screaming potty mouth!!!

Growing …

My sweet Reese woke up in the middle of the night last night with pains in her little legs. This just breaks my heart! I remember getting these pains when I was a child. VIVIDLY. They were AWFUL. I know that the pains are harmless, and that they are actually indicating a good thing, but knowing that my child is in pain just unsettles me. Luckily with some ibuprofen, leg massages and cuddles Reese was able to fall back to sleep. To hear her breathes deepen and relax as she became more comfortable was such a relief. A gift to this worrying mama.

Nights like these are the parenting REAL DEAL. When we are in the trenches, tired and worried, trying desperately to make sure our kids are OK. I’d spend a million sleepless nights like this just to give my kids peace and comfort. Make that 10 million because … goodness … I couldn’t possibly love them more.

Well, I hope you all have a day where growing doesn’t hurt!!!

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)!!!

Foam rollers, no pain, no gain …

I’m in training for the Clif Bar Mountains 2 Beach Marathon. Needless to say I’ve been getting a lot more miles logged on my legs. Not more than I’ve ever done before, just more than the past 4 months have allowed. It feels great to be back at it. But it also freaking hurts! Seriously. Everything from the middle of my back to the tips of my toes is in pain on some level.

I think marathon training is a lot like having a baby. You forget that the actual physical experience can be UGLY. One way I combat my soreness is using a foam roller. For those of you who are unfamiliar with what a foam roller is, I’ll explain. It’s a modern day torture device used by athletes that I’m sure has its’ origin from some time during the Spanish Inquisition. OK, fine … I am joking. But it feels that way. It is so painful to use but it does have a purpose. Here’s what came up when I googled:

“Foam rollers are exercise devices used for massage and fitness. … When used for self-massage, they help soothe tight, sore areas (known as “trigger points”) and speed up muscle recovery. This process of rolling out tight muscles and relieving tension is also called myofascial release.”

OK, so basically you roll yourself out like dough and it’s supposed to be really good for your muscles. Think along the line of necessary suffering. And by suffering I mean it hurts like hell. HELL HELL. Like even Satan questions whether these things are ethical to use. These beasts hurt but I’ll admit that they certainly do help. Once you get past all that wincing and sobbing.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you have an intimate understanding of “no pain, no gain”!!!

Finding peace in my pain … 

I’m still incredibly sad today but it comes in waves now. It’s not easy to lose someone so close to you. I know this. I’ve been through it a few times over now. It’s a process. And it’s tough. Grieving is a reminder of how genuinely you can love someone. And what you lost. The pain is immeasurable. The sadness, so deep. Yet to feel all of this is necessary to gain a sense of a new normal. Things will never be the same and daily we discover how things will now be without our loved one. Some days are better than others. We learn ways to remember them fondly and manage our grief. But we never forget. Not. Ever. All of this discomfort becomes part of the journey that we continue to share with the person that we lost. I find beauty and comfort in knowing this. It becomes a relationship between souls, not people. A connection more profound than one that relies on our humanness to maintain. True love transcends all of that. 

Well, I hope you all have a day where you find peace in your pain!!!