Saturday, February 18, 2017

Health History 2011-2016

Hello world! :D

I realize that getting on this blog once a year or so for several years with the same song and dance looks a little bit like “the little boy who called 'wolf!;'” ...but alas I will prevail! ;) If you are new here, the song and dance is that I exercised again, got really sore, and decided it is way past time to start training again for triathlons and get back in shape. :D

Today, I'll skip the song and dance and instead give a BRIEF (and vague) summary of my health and training (ha! Ha! Or rather, non-training) history for the past few years so you know where I am now – at the start of my, soon to be consistent training. ;) Honestly, if you aren't truly interested in knowing just skip the rest of this and come back for more interesting future posts. I promise they will be 100X better! ;) Oh... I have actually been consistently running about 2 miles a day this past week! :) (Sadly sore, but happily consistent! ;))

RECENT HISTORY:

Six years ago (March of 2011) I began running for the first time in preparation for my first half marathon, which I ran two months later at a 10 minute mile (I haven't done it since, at an official race at least, but did it for fun many times after at a much faster pace... around an 8.5 mile avg. I think). I also did a tiny sprint triathlon with 8 other friends with one day notice (obviously I didn't train for that! ;o).

The following year (2012) I kept running; re-assembled my bike after many years; and learned to swim... to train for triathlons for the first time in my life (it was awesome! :D). I actually prepared for and participated in both a Sprint Triathlon and an Olympic Triathlon. :D It felt great. These were huge accomplishments and I was sure I would keep it up each year for the rest of my life. :)

And then... something truly tragic happened the day of the second race – the fresh and painful memory of which stung so badly that I couldn't get myself to keep training. I stopped training. For a long time.

I TRIED to start training again, over and over again. And I think I finally did get consistent about 2 years later... during the winter of 2014-2015. I was running with several friends and I think I ran 4-5 (maybe 3-4) days each week for a a few months straight and going strong.

Then my mother was placed on Hospice in a nursing home (dying of Kidney disease, also suffering from heart disease and several other major autoimmune diseases)... I moved her in with me the end of February 2015 and that was the end of consistency. Mom was completely bedridden with no use of her legs and too much edema to get in a wheel chair. It took all my time to care for her and was very stressful. I tried to learn all I could to know how to help minimize her symptoms and suffering. She passed on only six months after moving in with me.

The sacrifice was nothing compared to the honor and privilege of caring for my wonderful mother and I could NEVER regret it! However, there were health consequences for the next many months (which are still in effect now, two years later). My adrenal glands were severely fatigued, and I developed many symptoms of auto immune diseases I watched my mother suffer from... nephropathy, fibromyalgia, insomnia, digestive issues, allergies, arthritis, edema, weight gain, severe exhaustion (I fell asleep sitting up most afternoons after coming home from working)... Some symptoms were very severe. It was hard. I wanted to do triathlons again, and planned to (I was even signed up for a sprint triathlon the following year, but got a foot injury and could not run at all so “had” to bail... ;0). Despite the desire to train, I instinctively knew that I shouldn't... that I needed to exercise easy... jog slowly etc. My body needed REST to help it recover and repair - not intense exercise!

In caring for my mom and researching to help her with the autoimmune diseases she suffered from, I learned a lot that came in handy when the symptoms showed up in my own body. I learned about how stress and toxic environmental factors affects one's health. I also learned about food triggers. I finally acknowledged and determined that I needed to give myself some of the care I gave my mother. I haven't been perfect, (which has made it easy to see that the changes truly were needed) but my health has improved much. There are still things I need to do which I did for my mother to help me heal (easy to spend money on supplements etc. for mom – not always easy to do for myself). I continue to research and learn to be able to help myself, and my family. I still have much healing to do in my own body and am SO thankful for what I learn through my own experiences so I can help others. :)

I live a pretty healthy, normal life. Nothing I go through would cause alarm in others. No one knows about the nerve damage I feel or other physical discomforts I experience (or of the intense symptoms I experienced the first year following mom's death). But for me, I took care of my mother my whole life and learned a lot from watching and caring for her. I recognize pains and symptoms I experience as signs of early stages of autoimmune diseases. I know first hand where this path leads! And I am determined to get off it! :)

My mother suffered SO MUCH. But I know, because I am a mom who is happy to suffer so my kids will hopefully not suffer – she regrets none of it. I hope to learn a lot and help her posterity – and others – so all she went through will be a blessing to others and nothing she went through will be in vain...

And so, I will get back to "training" in a way that is healthy for me... with wisdom, not too intensely - but consistently. I will keep learning and improving my diet and do what ever I can to be healthy. For me, and for everyone who can learn and benefit from the success and healing I pray for. :)