Sunday, September 7, 2014

This is so crazy!

Like a bad dream crazy!  I've just come off the biggest physical challenge of my life and mental one (actually being a mom is the biggest mental challenge of my life).  I am an athlete, I am a runner, I am happy when active...

Now what though- to make a long story short- I received my MRI results Friday and found out my ACL has been torn, again, and actually likely long ago (not sure how they know that- I deal with kid's hearts not ACLs :0), stage II arthritis in my knee, medial meniscus is screaming "game over" and I sit with a brace on my leg while I write this. I'm unsure what surgical options there are: medial meniscus is not repairable due to the grade of arthritis present (which I've never had an arthritic pain in my life, but my x-ray is showing different), my ACL may be repaired, but awaiting some tests on whether I have proper leg alignment to see if that is doable, and so I start PT tomorrow.  Some of you may be like- why are you sharing this with me?  Well I'm really sharing this for me.  My bookies read a book about a lady who had breast cancer while her dad also had cancer.  She emailed all her peeps/even some minor peeps with the info that she had breast cancer and some of the bookies thought this line of communication was ludicrous- weird, strange, etc.  I didn't think it was weird and no I realize I don't have cancer and this is likely a bad analogy, but sometimes people just need to write it down/get it out/make it real so they can move forward and let whomever wants to go along for the ride.

I was told, Friday, that my surgeon's goal is to help me be fully functional in activities of daily living  (walk up and down stairs, play with my kids, not need a whole knee replacement at age 50) However, he left out, and it was intentional, the goal to make it feasible for me to maintain the long distance running/training/racing I've become accustomed to.  This was a hard blow to be told I can't continue to do what I really love and enjoy doing.  I'm still trying to wrap my brain around it.  Who will I be if I can't run?  I know, I know you are likely saying in your mind  "stop being dramatic", which I likely am, but running means so much to me physically and mentally.  I just recently said aloud "I am a runner" and then three weeks later to be dealt this I'm a little bitter and scared about what it means.  My ACL tear from high school has put me in this state and it is just who I am and the "hand I've been dealt".

So now what?  I'm trying to stay positive and not call my sister and other Peeps and whine too much. Thanks to those who've listened! I'm trying to look at the bright side- I'm not dying, I have all my limbs, I don't have a terminal illness, I have a great family, great friends...  I'm at church this morning with my beautiful bionic brace on my leg and go to stand up and feel this "buckling" that has started ever since last Sunday's bike ride.  I'm immediately reminded not everything is alright. 

However, I soon felt awful.  Our pastor last Sunday had a scary event- mid 2nd service sermon- he lost his ability to speak.  He knew the words, but couldn't say them.  He was taken out of the sanctuary and taken to local ER and then onto University hospital.  He's undergone a barrage of tests and been diagnosed with TIA, and told it will likely not occur again, but amongst all the tests also found out he has a lesion in his right side of his brain which they think is benign, but will monitor.  He shared all this with us during his sermon today.So What The Hell is my problem- yeah I worry about never being able to race again, and I might actually have to eat healthy and follow or find other exercise activities to find my "happy place" but I don't have a "lesion in my right brain". 

I will actively try to stop the "negative" talk and move forward.  I'll make my sister proud as an A+ PT patient and I will try to refrain from pestering my ortho surgeon too much. 

I've of course also been reminded how lucky and blessed I was to have been able to train, compete and finish Pigman Long 70.3. It boggles my mind that if indeed I tore my ACL long ago I've been able to accomplish all that I have.  Someone up above knew I needed this.  Too bad I just realized I'm really a runner, but glad I realized it before it was "game over". 

So friends I'm not dying or suffering (really I'm not- just this annoying knee buckling issue and of course the humility of wearing a bionic knee brace), but I'm grieving.  I'm grieving this loss of running. I will have to redefine who I am or better yet find who I am with this little bit of me gone. 

Any time I experience loss it is just another reminder to live life to the fullest!  I better get at it then. 

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