I just got back from a 3 mile run. I am in "training mode" for my second half marathon which is coming up in 4 weeks. Last time I did this and I was 4 weeks out I was excited and really looking forward to it. This time I am unsure how I feel. I have been having such a hard time being consistent with my training.
Some of you may know that I am in the midst of being tested for MS. All things point to my medical issues being MS, but this is such a difficult disease to diagnose, it takes many months and sometimes years to get a firm diagnosis. I have daily symptoms of tingling in my arms and legs. I have back tightness and pain in my back (that could be considered the "MS hug"), I have headaches, neck pain and I have an overwhelming feeling of exhaustion all the time. On top of this I have trouble falling asleep and there are many nights that I wake up with insomnia and cannot get back to sleep for hours. The neurologist seems to be leaning towards MS. My MRI shows lesions on my brain, but not enough to conclusively diagnose it. I have had a spinal tap and evoked potential test which came back normal. I test positive for Babinski sign, which indicates neurological damage as well as having exaggerated reflexes in my legs and feet.
With no concrete answers I continue to try and manage my daily symptoms. I wonder if I am making the right decisions by pushing myself to complete this half marathon. I wonder if the people telling me to stop are right. What I do know is that I am a stubborn and determined person. I set a goal and I'll be damned if something undiagnosed is going to make me quit (did I mention that I could be just be plain stupid at times?). For some reason I have in my head this drive to push myself. This voice that says if you quit you lose. "Winners never quit and quitters never win", right? I struggle every day with giving in to it. To taking time to just sit and rest. I am not a rester...I am not one to sit still and just be.
Perhaps this is God's way to tell me to slow down. I have been having a lot of conversations with Him as of late, wondering what I am doing here and what He is trying to have me accomplish with all this. What is the greater goal, what is His plan? Sometimes I wonder "Why does He seem to let some struggle with so much on their plates and it seems others do not have much care in the world?" I know that all this will be used for a greater purpose, one that I may never even be aware of...but at times when I am low and overwhelmed and I cannot take another step without falling to pieces it is hard to remember where I get my strength from. I feel guilty about this and know that I need to put my trust in God and He will get me through this.
Is it a daily battle, sometimes, hourly and sometimes by the minute. I feel myself closing in and withdrawing. Wanting to hunker down to weather out the storm. I feel that I am not the mom I am supposed to be, not the wife I promised to be and not the friend I need to be. Then I lace up those sneakers, put on some music and go. I may have to stop and walk for a bit. I may have to walk the entire way. Some days I surprise myself and see that I am strong and run the entire way. What I hear in my head when I need to slow down is "don't stop", "you are a fighter", "just take another step, and then another". The music I listen to motivates me to take another step. I sometimes regret taking the run. When it is hot out all my symptoms are intensified. Monday I ran or shall I say I tried to run and I spent the entire afternoon and evening feeling awful...almost flu-like with my symptoms.
This is when I go back to the struggle...do I or don't I? Give in or push harder? I am an all or nothing person...there is no middle for me. As I continue to wait and search for answers I try to remember the following "With each step you take, you are farther from your starting point, closer to your goal, and stronger than you were a moment ago"
to be continued....