My run is over

It’s official. My run is over.

Tuesday I had an appointment with the rheumatoid doctor I waited 4 months to see. It started out a little rough. The nurse asked what tests I had done. Tests?? What? None, I replied. She said that my visit was probably a wild goose chase and they would end up sending me back to my doctor. I felt discouraged. I knew something was wrong. I mean, just this week I started having a hard time bending my toes. I am in almost constant pain. It’s more of a dull ache, but still.

Next the doctor came in. She listened to all I had to say…that I was a runner for 15 years…started having pain in my joints…having a hard time bending my toes. She did an exam. She heard my knees grind when I bent them. I can no longer bend over and touch my toes. Then there was the pain in my hands and feet. She told me I have osteoarthritis. I also have a bunion on my right foot which is a great source of my pain.

I told her that I could no longer run. The last time I ran I had a lot of back pain and a piercing stabbing pain in my ankle that would randomly come and go. She said I most likely have a bone spur on my ankle and when I would run it would pinch a nerve. The doctor said she didn’t recommend running anymore. Instead I should do low impact sports such as walking or swimming.

It’s difficult because I am sore when I get up in the morning. I’m sore if I sit too much. I can’t do any high impact exercise without a tremendous amount of pain. Even walking hurts. It just sucks. I tried walking with hand and leg weights and ended up with tendonitis in my shoulder. The doctor said I am overweight. Outside of being pregnant, I’m the heaviest I ever was. The doctor said I needed to exercise more. Yeah, I wish I could run and do everything I was able to do before. Of course I’m going to gain weight. I went from running marathons to Netflix marathons. I feel trapped in my own body. It no longer does what I want it to do anymore.

But I do feel better knowing I have arthritis. I knew something was wrong. How do you go from running to hardly being able to walk without something being wrong??

Next month Angel and Paul are running a 10k. This will be the first time I will be an observer of the sport I was once so passionate about. I am a little sad because the time I ran in races were some of the best years of my life. I felt so healthy and alive. I’ve accepted that my run is over. Recently, I donated or threw out most of my running gear. I guess it’s on to a new phase of my life whatever that will be.

I was worried (and pretty much everyone I told asked) I caused this arthritis in myself by being a long distance runner. The research says that is simply not true. You are at higher risk of developing arthritis if you are a professional athlete running 50+ miles a week which I am not. The research I found said you are more likely to develop arthritis if you are obese living a sedentary lifestyle and not as likely if you are a runner. Honestly, I don’t know why it happened to me. That’s life I guess…you just never know what’s going to happen next.

I once was a marathon runner. Now I have arthritis.

Gratitude week 124

  1. Angel started having migraines and went in for an MRI. Everything came back normal which I am very grateful for.
  2. We finished watching Ozark. I think it was one of the best series I’ve ever watched.
  3. Mom and I had a spa day which I am very grateful for since lately everything seems to hurt. If only I could go every day..
  4. We had some record breaking hot days this past week. I needed a little summer in my life. It’s amazing how everything turned green within the past couple days. The grass needs mowing and there are leaves on the trees and flowers are blooming.
  5. We were able to sail across the bay to our boats summer home. It’s nice to see all the boats back in the water again. We are gearing up for my favorite time of the year.
  6. After the spa, mom and I met with Angel for supper. My mom picked out her grandma of the bride dress. We got to the store 15 minutes before it closed. There was a dress the right size and the right color that looked great on my mom. She didn’t have time to be indecisive about the dress, so she bought it! It’s nothing short of a miracle.
  7. It was Arabella’s 19th birthday over the weekend. My baby is 19, I can’t believe it! I’m grateful she celebrated another year of life.
  8. Arabella’s apartment is ready. I’m grateful that getting an apartment was wonderful inspiration for birthday gift ideas.
  9. Arabella’s boyfriend Will was in a car accident this past week. He took a curve a little too fast and hit a tree. I’m grateful he didn’t get hurt. Although his car has some damage and is in the shop, he doesn’t have to get a new car.

Gratitude week 123

  1. Mother’s Day; I was able to spend most of the day with my mom and all my children and their significant others. Angel made me a lemon cake and bought me a book. Alex brought me flowers and cheesecake. Arabella got me my favorite jelly beans. We played some games and had a bonfire. Paul made some ribs.
  2. I’m grateful for my husband who did most of the cooking and cleaning on Mother’s Day.
  3. Spring finally arrived in Wisconsin. It’s the start of my favorite time of year!
  4. I turned the heat off and took the quilt off my bed.
  5. I uncovered the pool today for the season.
  6. I had a really good therapy session.
  7. Paul had his annual physical and it went well.
  8. I finished the classic East of Eden by John Steinbeck. It was a remarkable book…there might be a post about it this week…
  9. Mom and I are going to the spa this week…can’t wait for that.
  10. Sailing season is starting…we’re planning on taking the boat across the bay this week to its summer home.
  11. I had another weekend of rummage sales. The big finds were a light blue floral area rug for $22, several snarky t-shirts, several albums specifically one with pipe organ music, colored exterior flood lights, candles and large candle holder, a beach scene picture, and some books. I bought some items for Angel’s house and Arabella’s apartment. I met some of my neighbors.
  12. This is worth a special mention. At a rummage sale I found a book of questions. I was specifically looking for an item like that for my blog to have more topics to write about when things get slow. I can’t believe I found an obscure item I was looking for at a random rummage sale. The best part is I paid 50 cents for it.

Gratitude week 119

  1. We joined a new church today.
  2. We had the pastor and his family over for a swim yesterday. They have 7 children, age 13 and under. I got my baby fix in for awhile. The kids were very excited to come over and swim, so that was positive. The pastor spent the last couple months meeting with us and getting to know us, so all in all it has been a good experience and I’m grateful for the time the pastor spent with us. It was probably around 20 hours which is the longest time I think a pastor has talked to us one-on-one.
  3. I was able to do some volunteer work for the church using some of my previous job experience. It was good to help out. It made me really miss the business we used to run. But it’s nice to know those skills still have purpose in helping others.
  4. My tattoo is fully healed. I was able to swim in the pool this week for the first time since getting the tattoo. I was able to get outside and go for a couple walks for the first time since the tattoo as well. The weather has been miserable, but it should be spring soon. Someone told me that we had the wettest March since the 1800’s. After about 2 weeks of sitting on my butt, I decided to walk around inside the house with weights. I figured doing something is better than doing nothing.
  5. I am excited to do the spring purge this week and get rid of stuff. Time to bring out the spring clothes and go through everything. I’m going to do some yard work this afternoon. I’ll be picking up branches, raking, and getting on the ladder to replace burnt out light bulbs. I’ve been itching to get out and do something after being cooped up for so long.
  6. Last Sunday we visited Arabella at her new job.
  7. This past week I ended up taking Angel to the ER. She ended up having an ocular migraine (which other people in my family have had but not me). I’m grateful I was able to help her out when she needed me.
  8. Paul’s step-dad Darryl is engaged and we were able to meet his fiancĂ©’s family when we went out for her birthday. They were very warm and welcoming.
  9. My best friend and her family came over last night to visit. Her son participated in the youth hunt and got a turkey right away in the morning which they brought over for us to sample. It’s always nice to get together with friends on a quiet weekend.
  10. I feel like I am out of survivor mode. The last several years have been such a roller coaster ride. It feels strange to have things relatively back to normal. And quite frankly, it is, well…rather boring. I have been feeling less motivated to write. Because what is there to write about?? Mundane things? In my natural state I am very structured, organized, and routine. Who wants to hear about that? Maybe it would be something new. LOL!

The old normal, part 6

Before COVID, I spent a lot of time at the gym. I don’t even have a gym membership anymore. How things have changed.

Back in the day, I used to go to the gym three times a week for at least an hour. In the summer, I would run the streets. I did countless marathons, a half Iron, and a 50k. When I first started blogging I wrote about training for my first marathon after reading a marathon training book written by a blogger. At the time I thought I could run a marathon and I could write on a blog, and I did. I even have running in the title of my blog. Over time this blog has morphed into something more than that.

I always thought I would be a runner. I didn’t often see a lot of older runners competing in races, but when I did I thought to myself that will be me someday. Running helped me burn off a lot of my anxiety and stress. I worried a lot about becoming injured because I didn’t think I would be sane without running. I know I have posted before if I couldn’t run someone would need to check on me because I would not be okay.

Then the world changed. When COVID hit my gym closed and all the races I was planning on running got cancelled. Not long after that, I had a 10 day bout of colitis that knocked me off my feet. A month later it was hard for me just to put the laundry from the washer into the dryer. I thought I would never be able to run again. I was able to but I lost most of what was left of my endurance. Then I started to experience joint pain which made it all but impossible to run without being in pain.

I’m not sure what is wrong. It could be a number of things or it could be nothing at all. I have an appointment scheduled with a specialist in May. My doctor thought the joint pain could be related to colitis. I recently read stress and trauma can cause inflammation like I have. Or maybe I overused my joints by all my long distance running. I also saw it could be a symptom of perimenopause. Or maybe I’m getting arthritis like some of my other relatives did. I started noticing bumps on the knuckles of my fingers. But until I see the doctor I’m just guessing.

I started doing low impact workouts but I find them to be frustrating because it doesn’t feel as if I am doing anything. I had to take a step back because I just couldn’t do it anymore. I miss running, I really do but I don’t feel like I will not be okay without it anymore. I don’t need to beat the hell out of my body anymore. But I don’t want to do nothing either. I’ve gained some weight. But is it realistic to think I’ll always be able to keep a youthful figure as I age?

Sometimes now I run into people from my running days. I’ve been asked what race I am training for. It’s hard to admit I am much more of a walker now. For 15 years I identified as a runner. Now it’s just another area of my life I don’t know who I am anymore. But one thing I can say for sure, I can live without running. I am okay. I never thought I would be saying that. Now it’s time for something new. I’m just not sure what that is yet.

The old normal, part 4

One of the things I missed most during COVID was visiting the elderly. Something I looked at with fondness before started to fill me with fear. What if I’m sick and I don’t know it and I end up killing someone?? It’s still hard to erase that fear from my mind.

Last weekend, Paul and I were invited out to our friends new apartment followed by a show at a local community theatre we haven’t been to before. We had a wonderful time. After the show, we went back to their place and visited some more. By the time we got home, it was after midnight. We were exhausted but our friends assured us they were not and didn’t want us to leave. Our friends Harv and Kate are in their upper 80’s.

It’s unusual for sure, but Paul and I have several friends we hang out with that are almost 90. When COVID came around, we pretty much stopped hanging out with them which is sad because they are not getting any younger. I really missed our time with them and didn’t like the new feelings of fear I had towards our friendship with them.

My daughter Angel was helping out a family by caring for a woman in her 90’s over COVID. She also had fear being around her. But nothing either one of us were afraid of happened. What did end up happening was totally unexpected. Angel was going for a walk with this woman when the lady tripped and fell breaking her leg. She has recently recovered.

One thing I did notice though, although there is still some fear involved with maintaining relationships with the elderly, the elderly are so unbelievably lonely. They need contact with other people to be healthy. I’m really looking forward to visiting with them again.

The old normal, part 1

I’ve experienced a lot a change in the last 5 years. It started with the death of my mother-in-law from cancer back in February of 2017. We went through a period of grief and loss.

Within the last 5 years we went from having three (up to four with the foreign exchange students) teenagers living in our house to being empty nesters last month.

Paul and I went from running a business to selling our business that I worked at for 10 years and he for 20. For a period of time, we were retired. Then Paul started a seasonal business. He also started a new career different from both businesses. So there were several career and job changes within the last 5 years.

With the selling of our business, we experienced a socioeconomic change. We moved into a different house in a different town. Our youngest daughter changed schools. We are attending the third church within five years. New house, new neighborhood, new school, new church.

I went from being a marathon runner to not running at all. I was diagnosed with colitis and started developing health issues. I started to notice aging more than I’ve ever experienced it before in my adult life going from my early 40’s to my late 40’s. My siblings started to develop health issues.

I found out about the crime my dad committed. It tore up my family. Then COVID came into play and tore up whatever family unity was left. My dad will be 75 in a couple weeks and it kills me that our relationship never amounted to anything. Most of my family went from tolerating him to despising him. My mom is teeter tottering back and forth between leaving my dad and staying. She moved in with us for awhile. She is experiencing a tremendous amount of anxiety.

It’s been two years today since my youngest daughter tried to kill herself for the first time. That has been a huge struggle and change in my life, having a daughter go from quirky to being so mentally ill she might die.

Then there are the other little changes, but changes nonetheless. Losing a family pet. Buying a new car after my old car got totaled. Not to mention a global pandemic that changed everyone’s life.

I am struggling with all the change. The new me doesn’t even recognize the old me anymore. What happens now?

What happens when the pandemic ends? Do we pick up the pieces where we left off and start a new old normal?

Fortune cookie wisdom #47

The will to do, the soul to dare is yours for the taking if you prepare.

I always thought I was really good at planning and preparing for the will to do and the soul to dare. But now I think it takes much more than that.

I was planning on touring Europe. I had prepared for the trip. I had a passport. I had my airline tickets. I was ready to check that continent off my bucket list. Then COVID hit and all the preparations were for naught.

I was planning on signing up for another 50k. I picked the race I wanted to do. I was really excited because part of the course included a water crossing. I was training. I was prepared. But then COVID hit. The race was cancelled. My gym that I visited three times a week over the winter for years closed. I got hit hard ten days with colitis and haven’t been the same since. I can’t run anymore without being in a lot of pain. I couldn’t even help my daughter paint her house without having joint pain. I wasn’t prepared for that.

There is a part of me that thought my kids would stay young forever. Through many sleepless nights, I thought that. I thought that through the temper tantrums, the busy school age running, and through the tumultuous teenage years. I didn’t think about them growing up and leaving home. Somehow I found myself not prepared for that part of parenting. A part of me doesn’t even know who I am anymore since that part of me is gone.

I wasn’t prepared for aging. It’s shocking to see my hair turn gray without any hair color. My neck is starting to look like the neck of a rubber chicken. Now when I look in the mirror, I see my mother. I look like a granny; too young to crack out the cardinal sweaters but too old to dress like I am in my 30’s. I had to break down and buy bigger pants since I haven’t been able to workout like I used to. I always thought those things happened to other people, not me. I am close to 50. Why wasn’t I prepared for this?

Sometimes it’s very hard to take a good look in the mirror. I don’t want to admit my best years in health and in looks are behind me. There is not a damn thing any of us can do about it. I do feel childish in feeling insecure about it. Sometimes I don’t even know who I am anymore. I have all these crazy middle age female hormones coursing through my body making me feel like an adolescent again, but I’m not. Doesn’t seem fair. But, that’s life. Sometimes I just have to laugh it off and say oh well. I’m right where I need to be.

Ready or not, here life comes…some things you just can’t prepare for even if you have the will and soul.

Gratitude week 109

  1. My husband is feeling a lot better after being sick. Since he very rarely gets sick, this was really eye opening. Thinking about losing him made me realize how much I love and appreciate him.
  2. Paul was feeling good enough to go on the annual guys ice fishing trip.
  3. I’m grateful for the safety of the men who went on the trip. They went fishing on Lake Superior which is always a little scary for me. One year they were up there an ice fishing guide died on Lake Superior, an expert died. A couple days it was bitterly cold. Paul’s 4 wheeler didn’t start and the next day Paul’s step-dad’s truck wouldn’t start because it was 18 below.
  4. My son and his buddy were able to make the long trip to ice fishing camp in his junker car without breaking down in a remote area with no cell coverage and freezing to death.
  5. Angel and Dan were supposed to close on their house last week, but Dan ended up having to go to Texas for work. Now they are closing on the house tomorrow. I’m grateful Dan made it back safely this morning after the 18 hour drive from Texas.
  6. Tomorrow my daughter will be a home owner. It’s hard to believe she will be moving out this week. The house will be a lot quieter without her and I will miss her a lot. But I’m grateful she is getting married and moving on with her life.
  7. Yesterday I went along with Angel and her bridesmaids to pick out the bridesmaid dresses. It was a lot of fun.
  8. It’s puzzle time of year again. I just finished a puzzle and am working on another one.
  9. I spent three days this past week working on my book and I started reading The Bell Jar which was a Christmas gift from Angel.
  10. Arabella’s boyfriend got a new job and Arabella has a job interview on Wednesday.
  11. When the guys were gone, Angel and I watched a couple good movies-Requiem of a Dream and The King of Staten Island.
  12. I went cross-country skiing today for the first time this season. It went better than I thought it would.

January recap

I had a feeling it was going to be a difficult year when the police showed up at my house in the wee hours of New Year’s Day. Besides going away to Las Vegas for several days, I’d be ready to scrap the whole month (if not the whole year if things don’t get better).

The first week of January I ended up getting COVID. At first I just felt a little bit off. I felt a little more tired than usual, lightheaded, crampy, and sore. For where I was in my cycle, it wasn’t too far out of the norm as I tend to be anemic. I thought maybe I was being a bit of a hypochondriac until I came down with a fever the next day. A couple days later, Angel felt sick.

Then after that, we ended up having to put our dog down. He was 14 years old with really bad arthritis, congestive heart failure, and cancer. He was on 5 different medications and he was gradually going downhill. He couldn’t see, hear, or get around well. He started shivering and biting at his paws, had a few accidents in the house, and lost a lot of weight because he wasn’t eating much. It was time. Part of me felt like we shouldn’t have waited so long and part of me feels guilty for putting him down. Maybe if I wouldn’t have accidently tripped over him a couple months back, he would’ve lived longer. I never thought I would overthink this and grieve so much over our dog, but I did. Thankfully the vet was very kind and compassionate through the whole process.

After that we went to Las Vegas. A couple days into the trip my husband started feeling a little off. Neither one of us thought all that much about it because it was almost two weeks after I had gotten sick. He spent one of the nights hanging out in the bathroom and after that had a stuffy nose, a tickle in his throat, and a dry cough. But we were in a dry climate hanging out in stale smoky casinos with our friend who was a smoker.

After we got home, Paul lost his job. His boss wants someone who can work year round since Paul took off last summer to run our seasonal business. This summer he was going to try to do both but probably wouldn’t have gave either business the attention it deserves. The news was rather unexpected and shocking. It creates a lot of uncertainty about the future. I think we will be okay financially, but the safety net has been taken away. As of right now, we are starting to gear up for our seasonal business this week. We have a booth at a trade show. I will start to work on the administrative end while Paul gets into sales. But after this summer, I’m not sure what is going to happen and I don’t necessarily like that.

The evening after Paul lost his job, he spent half the night coughing instead of sleeping. He heard his lungs crackle and pop. I could hear it too. The next afternoon he took a nap and slept most of the afternoon. When he awoke, he was burning up with a temperature of 103. He was still doing a lot of coughing and looked absolutely miserable. I decided to take him to Urgent Care.

The doctor thought he had pneumonia. Paul had a chest x-ray and two COVID tests, one instant and one not. The rapid test came back negative for COVID. They said they would send the results for the non-instant test through his patient portal. The x-ray came back better than expected. The doctor said he had a bad case of bronchitis, gave him a prescription for antibiotics, and he was on his way.

The following morning his patient portal said his COVID test was negative and he was starting to feel better with the antibiotics. He was feeling a little more hopeful he would be able to go on the annual ice fishing trip with the guys this weekend. Before that, he said he was like a country song. He lost his dog. He lost his job. He lost his health.

A couple days later, the day he was supposed to leave for the fishing trip, he got a call from the nurse saying his non-instant test came back positive. He was really puzzled because he thought he already got all the results back. The nurse said he had already passed the quarantine time and is no longer contagious. Since the antibiotics were working, he also had a bacterial bronchitis as well.

So, yeah, it’s been a looooooonnnngg month. I really hope we are done with problems for a while now.