Monthly Archives: January 2012

Too Tired to Think

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I. am. utterly. worn. out. I don’t know what’s gotten into me this past week or so, but I am exhausted. Absolutely exhausted. I drink coffee in the morning and then a glass or two of iced green tea, so it’s not as if I’m not getting any caffeine! And yet, I am still completely run-down. I mean, there has been a lot of excitement going on around here. We just signed a lease for our first house! I had a personal record run of 6.02 miles! I found out one of my best friends is preggers! But I’ve also been getting decent amounts of sleep. So who knows. I am still sticking with the point that I feel great while working out but awful when I’m not. But I can’t work out all day, not with a full time job and not with the life that we’ll be living over the next month or so between traveling and packing and moving and working!

Wednesday at 4:15PM I have a follow up appointment with my Rheumy. I am hoping and hoping and hoping that he tells me it’s ok to go back on Enbrel. The Nambumetone just doesn’t seem to cut it and I’ve been really sore these past few weeks.

For the first time though, I am scared that I may not be able to do it all.

Classes started today. The national workgroups that I’m leading at work start this week. Calculus still has to be completed. We need to pack up the apartment. We need to find a subletter. We need to move. I don’t know if I can do it all. I’m scared that I won’t finish Calc and I’ll get kicked out of Grad School. I’m scared that I’ll fall flat on my face while leading a workgroup. I’m scared that I’ll fall behind in class because I’ll be too tired to do the readings and take part in the discussions. I’m worried we won’t find a subletter. I’m worried we won’t have anyone to help us move. I’m stressed out and I feel like crap.

Somehow things will work out…

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Feeling Awesome by Work Out and Crappy by Anything Else

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  Say hello to work out Meghan. Running (well, “running” but it’s not walking, so who cares how many miles per hour it is?) with the breeze blowing through my hair, one foot after the other, busting out an uphill gain (Ok, so it’s only 50 feet, who cares?) while I’m doing a little dance move with my hands to Pink’s “Raise Your Glass.” Perfect. Seamless. True, legs are a little sore, calves still haven’t completely adjusted to the new vibram five fingers or the torturous cold air 4 mile jog that I am putting it through. Yes, my knees are a little rickety and at a time or two I slide ever so gracefully on a small patch of black ice. Yes I am absolutely covered in sweat from head to foot because for some unknown reason, I perspire 1000000000% more than the average human being.  Yes, my earbuds slide out every few minutes because apparently my ear holes aren’t properly formed for the latest Sony bud covers. Yes, my spandex pants are a little too tight, thus accentuating parts of me that I’d like a little more toned. Yes, I’m breathing through my mouth, gently wiping slobber out of the corners of my mouth and off my cheeks. Yes, I MAY EVEN BE mouthing or heaven help us, SINGING OUT LOUD to the song on my shuffle. But, don’t I look happy? I am in my element. I am doing it. I have AS and I’m out of shape and I’m running. And I like it. I even got Andrew out there running with me and putting up with my crazy routes. My butt feels NO pain. Take that SI joints, I have found a way to mute you. Take it! My lower back feels like I have brand new vertebrae of flexible steel. I don’t know if it’s possible, but just imagine it is. My muscles are relaxed and I feel like I could fly.

That’s work out Meghan. Now meet Meghan at any second of the day when she is not working out.

Meghan is broken. Meghan is in pain. Meghan is exhausted. Meghan is ready to throw in the towel. Imagine your neck and back and butt being steam rolled, spat on, and steam rolled again. That is Meghan on no Enbrel and not in work out mode. It could be an hour after working out, it could be in the morning before working out, it could be on a “rest” day. This Meghan is evil. She feels like crap, she is groggy. She feels like she has been up for 5 days straight. She wants a vacation.

 

How is it possible to be both Meghans? I’m not sure myself, but trust me, I know it is! I don’t get it. It exhausts me to start thinking about it (not currently working out). I try to figure out how I can feel so wonderful exerting energy that quite frankly, I don’t even know that I have in me. Yesterday, I did NOT want to get up. I knew we were supposed to run 4 miles and I wanted to run 4 miles but I didn’t want to get up. I hit snooze a couple times. Andrew got up and got ready and then came back into the bedroom. It took everything I had in me to get out of bed. Once I was outside, I felt a little more awake but really sore. I remember thinking to myself, there’s no way I’m going to be able to run 4 miles. But you know what? I did… and I’m not sure how- but I do know that during those 4 miles I felt invincible. So I guess my question is, is it possible to work out all day? Because if I could, I would. If that’s the only way to get relief, I am. in.

Next Monday, I have an appointment with my Rheumy (FINALLY!). I’m really hoping that he gives me the go-ahead to get back on Enbrel. Please cross your fingers– I think if I can go back on, I will start to feel 1000000% better!

 

The Best Money You’ll Ever Spend

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You hear it a lot with diet fads and exercising enthusiasts. You see it posted in shoe stores and in advertisements for shoe pads. The best money you’ll ever spend is on a good pair of shoes. Well, I couldn’t agree more. This time, I’m putting it on my “realizaversment” of AS. The pamphlets and the books say that exercising is good for folks who have AS and that it can help with the pain management. As many people with auto-immune diseases can echo– umm, ok smart pants… but, if you’re in a ton of pain and your back and neck are stiff and your SI (aka butt) feels like there is a knife in it, how are you supposed to exercise?

My answer. You make yourself. That’s the best way I can put it. Perhaps my motivator is a race of some sort. I’m signed up for a half marathon in February and a 5-day bike ride in the summer. I’m not going to lie, I’m scared shit-less (pardon the language) of how my back and SI will feel before/during/after these races, but I forced myself to go to the gym to exercise and I did it over and over and I’m continuing to do it. And you know what? For that 30-45-60 minutes that I spend working out, my back and SI don’t hurt. It’s amazing. And you know what? Rather than spending my time focusing on blisters or the way the shoe was rubbing my little toe or how my arches hurt, I enjoyed my work outs. How? By coughing up some dough to get fitted for a good pair of running shoes. The folks at the running store actually watched me run and they commented on my gait and found me a pair of shoes that work really well. And that my friends, is the best money that I’ll ever spend because when I wear them and i go to the gym or go outside and exercise- for those 30-45-60 minutes I feel minimal pain. And I’ll take that.

Those shoes and perserverance is how I ran a 5K this past weekend. Now I feel invincible.

 

In other news, Andrew’s sister-in-law, Mariah, whom I’ve mentioned previously on my blog awarded me with the Liebster Blog Award! Mariah, if you don’t remember, has RA. She is now preggers and off Enbrel and the drugs. You can find her over at From This Point. Forward. As stolen from her blog post:

A Liebster is: “sweetheart, beloved person, darling adj. dear, darling; beloved, liked very much; affectionate, loving adj. favorite, preferred above others; liked or loved above others.”

So here are the rules of this award:
  1. Thank the person who gave you the award.
  2. Link back to the Blogger (or Bloggers) who awarded you.
  3. Answer the following questions, down below.
  4. Pass the award out and recognize other Bloggers letting them know that you love them.
So, as mentioned previously, a HUGE thanks to Mariah Z-Leach over at From this Point. Forward., who was diagnosed with RA and hasn’t let it stop her… and now she’s an expecting mom (can’t wait for the baby shower!)
Ok. On to the questions:
Favorite color: Orange and Hot Pink. Just perfect.

Favorite animal: Besides my pup, Franklin and my bearded dragon, Roxy… Penguins or Manatees :0)

Favorite number: 2. It’s way ahead of most and has the motivation to work to improve.

Favorite drink: Iced green tea or Gin and Tonic

Facebook or Twitter? Facebook. I use twitter occasionally but Facebook is more fun.

Passion? The environment, cooking, running, biking, and living life to it’s absolute fullest. Oh and doing what someone says I can’t just to see the expression on their face.

Getting or giving presents? I love giving presents.

Favorite day: Flag day. Andrew and I picked it is as our anniversary and on our drive home from our first trip away together we found it was flag day…
Favorite flower: Snap dragons. Always loved them and their names.
The rules are unclear on how many folks to give this award out to, so I’m just going to award it to a few choice folks who I think our rock stars.
My first award goes to Jess over at Just Call Me Janks. She’s a 20-something Baltimorean who blogs about life in her 20s. She recently got engaged to one of my all-time bestest friends from college, Jason Ader. She has a great blog about life and I think you’ll all enjoy it!
My next award goes to The Faces of Ankylosing Spondylitis. This blog/website is a great project that showcases the stories of folks who are suffering from AS. It has some very insightful information and it really helps inform folks of what people with AS go through day in and day out!
Lastly, I’m giving an award to Kelly Christal Johnston over at Hurting but Hopeful. She has an extensive blog on family life with AS and the aches and pains and bumps in the road. She is a very strong woman who keeps a positive attitude!

 

Hey AS, I just kicked your butt!

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That’s right, folks! This morning I kicked AS right in the keester. I ran not 0.5, not 1.0, but 2.0 miles. Not a run-walk, a run. Well, a run as fast as I can run which is more of a jog, but really, I don’t care. I wasn’t walking. I am continuing to deal with not being on Enbrel although I am VERY ready to be back on it. As I mentioned previously, I show up at the gym hurting and then as I work out and loosen up, the pain gets better somehow. It’s like magic (except in my knees which have really been bugging me lately but that’s a story for another day).

I feel good throughout the workout and that adrenaline… you just can’t beat it. When I started running this morning I thought, oh I’ll just run a mile. Then I got to a mile and said, oh I’ll just run a mile and a quarter and so on and so forth, until I got to two miles. Now, as I mentioned, I may not make it to running a full 13 by the time of our half marathon, but I will do my absolute best to run as much of it as I can so that the next one, I will run straight-through.

Now, I am hurting more (it’s about 6 hours after the workout). My back and SIs are stiff, my knees and ankles have given up, and I smell like sweat, but still I couldn’t be happier. Today, I kicked AS for two miles. I’ll take it.

A Month of No Enbrel

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As I mentioned in previous posts about the implications of a tick and the follow-up to that post about having to go off enbrel to take antibiotics, I am still going through the motions of lyme’s and mono. I finished up my antibiotics and was very anxious to get back on enbrel because of my increasingly painful back and si joint flare-ups. Unfortunately, when I called my Rheumy for his approval, I did not get the response I planned on. He told me that because the antibiotics are all gone, I need to now wait a couple more weeks until I restart Enbrel to make sure I don’t have any continued symptoms. Blah. I am not excited about waiting longer.

The nambumetone seems to not help as much as it had been previously- perhaps because I am not combo-ing it with Enbrel. My back pain in the mornings has gotten worse and lasts longer than before. The one thing that I did notice is that when I went to the gym the other day, I arrived in pain. I wasn’t sure if I could work out let alone jog. I decided to push through it anyway because I need to get some jogging in in light of the Feb half marathon in California. I hurt to begin with but as I kept going, I realized that my SI pain got better. It eventually came back a while after the gym, but while I was at the gym, I felt good! Guess I’ll keep exercising!

In light of everything that has happened I’m not sure if I’ll be able to run the entire half marathon in Feb, but I can at least do a run/walk. At first when I came to the realization that running the entire thing was probably not going to happen, I was sad. I felt like I let myself down. But now, I am ok with it and I know that I can work hard to get in a good run/walk and then I’ll be ready to take on the next half marathon and run the whole thing. Besides, I made it to the gym 3 times this week and I biked a total of 30 miles and run-walked about 4. That combined with some long walks outside and I’ll take it.

So, it looks like I’ll be calling the doctor to see what I should be doing in the meantime while I’m waiting to go back on Enbrel… perhaps he can suggest a stronger anti-inflammatory than nambumetone (750mg horse pills). For now, I’m going to go enjoy the beautiful day!