Sometimes you have to pause
So after my flare in April (which sucked), I was starting to feel more like myself around my birthday in May. That’s right like over a month later. What a struggle and time of frustration for me. I’m not a sedentary person by nature and sitting around makes me crazy – now add a bunch of prednisone on top of that and well… let’s just say my husband deserves some kind of medal for dealing with me. So queue my birthday and I’m like – I’m going to do something today. I had gotten the green light to swim and maybe bike a little and take things slow. I went out and had a great swim.
Confidence building – still feeling pretty good after my swim I think – you know I need to get this whole clip in clip out fear over. I do it all the time on the trainer and it seems straight forward enough. Maybe a couple spins up and down the street just practicing and I’ll be done for the day. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, I knew I’d likely crash and took Ethan along with me in case things went terribly wrong. I had my new aero bars bike tape showing (very cool even though they weren’t going to get used today and some new Wattie Ink biking gloves from the kids to protect my hands when I fell.
We all crash
Well…. we all crash. The first one I knew would happen, but the second one – I was like come on! Oh did I mention I hit the pavement in just the wrong way – especially considering how slow I was really going. I had hit my elbow. The pain was reverberating all through my body and I felt dizzy and nauseous. I’ve banged my elbow in that funny spot before and know all too well its just a ringing that eventually passes. So I got up – checked my bike (as all good triathletes do and proceeded to walk my bike home with my head hung low but being the optimist I was I thought – well you have to get your falls behind you. Everyone falls. My elbow swelled up and bruised – I’m a redhead so I thought this was very natural. I had pain and couldn’t turn my hand over palm up or straighten it completely but I thought it’s still very swollen. I decide to just go on with my life and keep icing it when it’s sore trying to move it a little more every day and hope for the best.
Along with all these fun health events – my youngest son graduated from college. We are so proud of him and I was really glad I was feeling better and could really enjoy the festivities. My mom had come in from Ohio, Ethan’s girlfriend, brother, and brothers girlfriend all came into town and it became quite a big family affair. Watching your youngest son reach this milestone is one of those life moments where you not only are so excited for them as they start a new chapter but you realize you are also now looking at a new chapter. One with one less body in it on a regular basis. <3 Ethan was lucky to get a new job and it’s close to his brothers’ new house so they are going to room together (pray for them). They get along great now and they’ve both promised me to work things out when they get into a disagreement. <3
Things are not what the seem
After about two weeks from the crash and I started to wonder – maybe I had really done something to it (it still really stung when moved in just the wrong spot) – so I scheduled an appointment with a doc to get it x-rayed and checked out. The day before my appointment and I was feeling ok. Ironman Boulder was on FB watch so I thought a short 5k would be great. I haven’t run since earlier in April before my flare so it had been a while and man it felt like it. My arm was really uncomfortable, I felt painfully slow and just like I was starting all over. Struggling.
I was thinking – its time to get back to work. Rock and Roll Philadephia is only 13 weeks away and I had some big goals for that race as far as finishing time goes. So much on my mind, hoping this flare is definitely behind me, this arm is going to prove to be nothing but a bruised bone and I can move on with my training.
Well, I learned I had a slight internal fracture at my Doctor’s on the 10th June. I say slight because yes I could see it on the scan but it was within the bone so not nearly as bad as it could have been. Doc said I could swim and run and bike (on the trainer) if my arm didn’t hurt too much. I also needed PT which wasn’t available for 3 weeks from my diagnosis (seemed weird to me) but I scheduled it.
Flare 2 for the summer
That evening, I started to itch and not just a little but a LOT. I thought – whoa I must’ve come into contact with something I’m allergic to. I took some Benedryl and went on with my night. As the night went on things got considerably worse. I no longer thought I was having an allergic reaction. lots of Benedryl cream – two more Benedryls and nothing was helping. I also wasn’t having any respiratory problems like I usually have and things were starting to swell and hurt in my joints. My rash no longer itched but burned. I decided to try and sleep it off and hope that tomorrow was going to be better – well it wasn’t. It was another flare. My joints were swollen, rash still there, butterfly rash across the face – the full monty. Queue next round of prednisone and complete and utter disgust and frustration with my body.
The next day I decided I was going to get out and walk even though I felt like death. Ethan my youngest came out with me and was welcome company. I was really covered to keep any sun issues at bay but it was good for me to move and to try and stay positive in trying times. It can always be worse I told myself and I know its true. I’m out today walking – the last flare I spent a lot of days in bed. This was definitely not as bad. Still, so soon after the last one, it was not the news I wanted or expected.
Keeping busy and positive
Trying to stay positive and realizing that sleep was not coming with this much prednisone – I worked on building up some ideas for my Dopey race costumes and generally cleaning up my Run Disney Pinterest page which may or may not contain some tri stuff now. It’s hard to believe there are over 700 pins over there after years of collecting some of my favorite costumes and articles.
I’m very excited to run Dopey again in January but it will be my first solo half and Marathon as Taylor decided not to join me this go around.
I also got through Mike Reilly’s new book Finding my voice. I wrote up a short review on my Instagram if you are interested in a more in-depth commentary but let me just say here that it was very inspiring and I’d think anyone would have enjoyed Mike’s perspective. As an avid Ironman fan for years, I’ve heard Mike Reilly call people over the finish line on TV. One day – I’d like to hear that in person – maybe even my name. I get goosebumps for each athlete that is able to reach the goal of an Ironman. I know how much sacrifice, time and training it takes and it’s no small feat. Check it out if you haven’t heard of it!
Today is Monday, June 17th and I’m a week from day one of my second flare and I’m starting to feel more like myself again. I start to taper down a little on my meds tonight and am so grateful for it. I looked at some dream races today and thought… maybe. Still, I need to focus on getting better for R&R Philadelphia and Dopey. I think I may try for a swim tomorrow (a short one) and see how it goes. Doc this Friday to have a pow-wow about how to stop another lupus flare from coming on so quick! Maybe I got off the steroids too quick. There aren’t always answers with this illness – sometimes its just what ifs and maybes. So here’s to looking at dream races, keeping calm and recovering.
Has anyone else started their Dopey training yet? The calendar officially starts the first week of July but I know many start sooner!