Here's a little about what I've been doing in preparation for this:
Race! Race! Race! Running keeps me from dislocating. I can't explain it. it doesn't make much sense to me yet. but it keeps me in one piece! I found a great group on Facebook for Athletes with EDS. It's such a wonderful and encouraging environment as opposed to the regular EDS FB group where people complain a lot.
I've done a few races since I last posted, but my most recent was Ragnar Tennessee!
This is me and teammate, Jessica before my first leg. It was a cold TN morning, but the smoky mountains were beautiful!
This is Adam explaining things to me because this was my first road Ragnar. I had only done a trail Ragnar previously. Adam is responsible for making me a Ragnar Junky :)
*All the best start at 5 am, in my opinion. . . .
Ragnar Medals! Every teammate'a medal has a piece of this "puzzle." Together they say "Together we ran 200-ish miles." :) I believe is t was 194.6 from Chattanooga to Nashville.
We used my van for van 1. Each team has two vans and six runners.
We wrote our names on the window and checked off each leg as we finished it.
All you have to do is go on a long run with someone and you'll learn their reason for running.
I don't think anyone I ran with ran because "running is fun." Everyone has a different reason for running. I loved this race and loved meeting so many wonderful people. they are a great addition to my life and I am grateful for them. I am grateful for the experience. Though I will admit, it was brutal. I don't know if I can physically do another one. But I can certainly try. I had a difficult time on my last leg in this race having dislocated my knee. My teammates were so kind and encouraging. They cheered me on from the van and reminded me that all they cared about was finishing and not time. They were very kind. It was a good group!
I've been in therapy for the past few months. I have Obsessive Dominant Disorder. It's Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, but I don't struggle with the compulsions as much. I am unable to control how much I obsess about one particular thought. I think about it till I have made myself sick. This happens when I start to feel stressed. And when do I feel stressed?? When my life feels like it's out of my control! When does my life feel like it's out of my control?? Every time I can tell my EDS is progressing. So. . . EVERYDAY! I tend to hyper focus on the worst even of my life. So I have been in therapy for it. And I think I found a doctor that is just the right match for me. I've been to two other doctors in the past for my OCD. But this one is a perfect match for me. She has been so helpful to me!
My birthday is in five days. Four years ago on my birthday the worst even of my life happened. I was betrayed and hurt by two family members. This made my OCD the worst it has ever been in my life. I did and said things that "weren't me." I definitely wasn't myself. I have been spending the past four years trying to show these people that that wasn't me and that I am in fact a kind and generous person. I am very loving and I care very deeply for everyone in my life. My OCD makes me someone I'm not. My therapist has been helping understand that what happened to me was awful and my verbal responses are something I have to live with and make room for in myself because I can't take them back, She is helping me make room for the extreme discomfort I feel when I think about the horrible things I said. On the other hand, she is also helping me to not obsess over making it up to them because she understands, and agrees, that what these people did to me was a horrible heinous crime and how human beings could treat other human beings that way is just beyond us all. So she has been helping me try to stop feeling the need to show these people who don't deserve anything from me that I am actually a good person. I've been hyperfocusing on that one day of my life when I have 29 years of goodness around that one day. They don't deserve to be a part of my life. They were cruel and horrible to me and I am slowly learning to accept it. They are not right with me and my mind has a hard time being at peace with that. I often hope that at that special time and place when they are asked if they "right with their fellow man" that they will think of me, because they aren't. My mind starts to obsess with making the pieces fit together like a puzzle. When they don't fit together, I think about it over and over and over trying to force it all to fit. Trying to think of why they would abandon me during our busiest time which they were fully and completely aware of. Why they would keep money for work they didn't do. Why they would do this to me on my birthday. What kind of a person does that to another human being? It's cruel. Its' hateful. What they did was not okay and is still not right with me. It has been four years, but no single event in my life has affect me and my family so much as this one. So when I start to get stressed out or start to get frustrated over my progressing decline in health, my mind immediately turns to that incident. I have been very fortunate to find a doctor that I am making great success with, but the road is long. I remain diligent in my treatment with her, but it is a constant battle. I am constantly fighting with my thoughts and battling them and it is exhausting. But I am in a much better place now. She is teaching me to be committed to forgiveness.I know it's working because my other fears have started coming to my mind lately when I get stressed, not just this single event. More on that another day if there are any other EDS readers out there who struggle with OCD and want to chat about it. . .
Basically, I've been trying to get this "mind, body, spirit" thing figured out and I wanted to get my mind in a healthy place so I could be at my best for next years race season. I'm feeling really good overall these days. I'm still working on things and still struggle with my thoughts. It will be that way for a while. But I am so much better now than before. I don't get sick over the obsessions anymore.
I had surgery in August. I had to have a uterine oblation. With EDS being a tissue disorder, it's no surprise that the various organs in my body are fighting against me. I was going to go with the partial hysterectomy, but my doctor advised we go this route first. I am pleased so far.
I have an intolerance to pain meds? Any of you EDSers like that?
|6 hours post op. Doing work emails :)|
|24 hours post op. Walked 1/4 mile!|
Then three weeks later, I ran the Rock N Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon!
Work has been going so well. I just hired my 20th seamstress! This team is getting out of control! Luckily, I have a great assistant who can manage all these people! For any new readers, I own and operate a custom window treatments business. It has been wildly successful! We are now on Amazon Handmade. Still getting inventory in there, but you can check us out here. And we're finally getting our snazzy new website. In anticipation of an influx in orders I've been hiring everyone who asks for a job :) So hopefully this all works out! ha!
Where I'm going:
Upcoming events include a marathon in February, a sprint triathlon in April and an olympic distance tri in May. Then I'm off to Switzerland! That may be my last race. I've had to have some long hard talks with myself about being realistic and facing reality. My body is deteriorating and as much as I hate to say it, I think Switzerland will be my last race. I hope it's not, but I need to be realistic about my health. if I'm not realistic, I might do more damage than good. It has been very hard to accept that. I still don't think I've fully accepted it. I think I've said it out loud, but not really let it sink in, if that makes sense. If there is one thing other than my past experience that I mentioned above that gets me down more than anything, it's thinking about my deteriorating mobility. I get in a serious funk over that. So I think I'm trying to avoid accepting it entirely for that reason.
Anyway, I know this journey coming up is not going to be easy. And a lot of people ask why I'm doing it. I can't explain it verbally yet. I will be able to one day. But for now, support and encouragement without knowing the "why" would just be an amazing and kind thing to do. And if any of you have athletic pursuits while suffering through EDS, please let me know. I'd love to follow your journey. We're all struggling at the same time even if our struggles are all unique to our own bodies. Let's encourage and uplift instead of nay saying. I look forward to hearing any tips from any of you who train with EDS. Leave them in the comments! Can't wait to get to know some of you!
In closing, I just want to add that the last few years of my life have not been great. But I have a wonderful family. I have a husband who goes along with all my crazy ideas and encourages me to do all I can. I mean, running an IronMan with EDS? It probably isn't realistic. but who's my #1 cheerleader??? My amazing husband! So, yah, the past few years have kind of sucked. But my birthday is in 5 days. i'll be leaving my 20s and entering my thirties and I couldn't be more excited! It's a new decade and I have a great person by my side to go through it all with. It's going to be a great year.