Happenings 2/22

Well, this will be my first post at age 35. While things aren’t the easiest right now, I’m happy to be here. More on my birthday later.
I had my cardiologist follow up a little over a week ago. Now mind you I mentioned nothing about running, my primary reason to go there was to go over my 30 day event monitor. We walk in and he says “so sorry about running, I know you were mad” (see do no harm post from early fall/late summer). “Running is bad for you. Healthy guys they go run marathons and die. Bad for knees. (Picture this in thick Japanese accent). Jogging ok 5k maybe 10k but anymore more for Olympians ok”. Ok man we aren’t even here for that. I jog/walk/run 5ks when I can during treatment and I have no urge to discuss my post Lyme remission running plans with this guy. Ok so he asks about my erratic heart rate. I tell him still while I sleep. “So maybe we get 30 day monitor”. Hello that’s why we’re here. We tell him we did this and it’s like him pulling teeth to find results. After he does it just shows more sinus arrhythmia which is normal for my age. Long story short I will be getting a different monitor and I just finished up the at home sleep study he ordered. That was a pain in the tush.
Next up on the doctor front. Need to schedule EEG and MRI for neuro. It finally was approved by insurance but we’re running out of time here and trying to squeeze all this in while hubby is going through a busy work period is proving difficult. Then I’ll have a cardio follow up, a neuro follow up and one last Lyme doc visit in April.
How have I been feeling? Well after my ER visit I was doing really bad. The fatigue was unbearable and the nausea even worse. I also developed some canker sores including one on my tongue that made eating near impossible. Thank God for the extra long weekend because I couldn’t get off the couch really from Thursday-Monday when I felt a little better. Why was this? Who knows? Stress, not going out of town in a month, who knows. Finally on Presidents’ Day the nausea let up a bit and I said ok let’s do something. So I put on my seabands and we went to a festival up in Kernville.

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I continued to improve after that finally able to get back out on my walks. That’s another thing that may of set me off, I was trying to walk every day instead of every other. I was able to do chores and enjoy my birthday.
We decided to head up to Kennedy Meadows area to find a little hike. I packed my knee brace, some snacks and NUUN and we went off. On the way we stopped at a small general store, pet a couple puppies talked to a fellow Pats fan and spoke withy the owner of the store. She told us we could find the Pacific Crest Trail off of the campground. Having just read Wild by Cheryl Strayed I was excited. As we set off I was reminded I have a long way to go to regain my physical fitness that Lyme disease has hindered. I listened to my body, took sips of NUUN and rested when I had to. I’ll get back some day to the hiking that I used to enjoy… Strenuous jaunts that included trails where hands were needed or if it seemed to easy I’d jog… Anyway the reward at the end of trail was a beautiful footbridge. I love being outdoors with the family.

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Next up running wise? We’re still debating doing the Coaster Run at Knottsberry farm. But first I plan on signing up for Team Sparkle Run for Rhett virtual 5k. Rhett syndrome is a a disorder (not genetic) that mainly affects young girls. It’s a neurological disorder that severely impacts the way they can speak, walk, eat etc. I have no idea what these young ladies go through but having neuro Lyme I know a bit sometimes how it is to feel trapped in your own body. Registration ends tomorrow (2/24) so I urge you to sign up. You can run, walk, roll this whenever until mid April.

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Last up: and the winner is: Nicole Cepaitis. Please email: info@newportskinnytea.com do claim your prize. Just reference Valerie @flowingthroughthefight.com

Until next time💚

Tips for running/exercising with Chronic health issues

So I thought before I posted my race recap for Rock N Roll Arizona I’d write about some tips on how I was able to do it. I post these recaps with huge smiles on my face, but it takes more than just a smile for me to get there. I’ll be talking mostly in terms of the race but this goes for other workouts too, even walks with the dogs.
First off Prep If going to work out to the point of a sweat, even a light one I make sure that the day before I REST. This worked out well because we had a long ride the day before so I made sure to pack plenty of snacks for car ride, hydrate with NUUN (yummy electrolyte and/or vitamin drink tabs)and wear a pair of compression socks. More on those later.

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As far as goodies/aids:
As pictured above, I like a 1. comfortable to carry water bottle and water or NUUN .
I love Nuun’s material, it’s light weight I hardly notice it. I would have never carried water for short runs pre Lyme but this helps to give me energy and also to cool me off if I over heat.

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2. Peppermint essential oil. I had developed some back pain after the drive down, whether it was from Lyme or just driving who knows… I had some oil in my roller ball so I rolled some on my pain spot to sooth pre start. I also use this at the base of my skull if I feel warm or of its hot out to cool down.
3. Shades. A lot of us with Lyme have light sensitivity. It hasn’t been bothering me lately but wearing sunglasses helps with the floater I often have in my left eye and of course it’s good to protect your eyes anyway.
4. Sea bands. These little wrist bands are placed on a certain spot on your wrist and using acupressure help alleviate nausea. I didn’t use these in Arizona but I have used them on many-a walks, hikes and even normal activities: they work!
5. KT tape. I used this for post run shin pain for walking around Tempe. I’ve had on/off shin pain for about a year or so. Most likely due to Lyme and co-infections. This helps pull everything in so to speak. I’m no scientist. Lol
6. SPIbelt. Aka spiffy runners fanny pack. I use these to carry my phone and doggy bags on walks but for the run since I had gotten a new phone I used this in place of an armband. I also put little things I may need to get me through the run such as ginger chews or in an emergency; aspirin.
7. Knee Strap: I have had patella tendinitis pre Lyme due to years of figure skating, dancing and then hurdling. Now with Lyme my joint pain tends to flare a bit. This makes me pain level virtually zero.
8. Compression Socks. These are key. I used to just use them for long runs but now I’ll even wear them around the house. They are a must for my 5k’s. The compression increases circulation and helps pain in my achy legs. Since beginning treatment I’ve had some leg pain. I think in part due to inactivity but also just Lyme itself.
9. A watch with a heart rate monitor. I used my holter event monitor for the latest race but will use my heart rate monitor on my Garmin for normal runs just to make sure I’m taking it easy.
10. Road ID. I forgot to label it because it’s hidden under my KT…oops;). This bracelet has all of your emergency contacts on the wrist and a profile with all medical info and Meds. Just a must.
Lastly, post run be sure to rest, stretch and refuel. By rest I mean definitely put your feet up for some time. I took my son’s nap time to sit on the couch and watch my HGTV.
I hope this helps someone. We do have limitations but by making adaptations some things are really possible. More than we think.

Happenings 1/21

A couple weeks ago (for the second week in a row due to having colds/bugs plus an increase in Lyme symptoms) I stayed home from church. I pulled out my Bible to do some journaling and got a call from my mom that my aunt unexpectedly passed away. I’ve always been close with my aunts so this was very sad. I just wanted to share a few memories: When I was about 8 we went to visit her and my uncle in Florida where they were living at the time. One day we I believe we’re going to go horseback riding on this huge farm but when we arrived riding was over for the day so we walked around. From every direction, I swear even the tree tops there were these huge peacocks jumping all over the place. I swear they were trying to get me. I think I’ll always associate peacocks with my aunt. She was beautiful and unique like them… Speaking of unique I can remember one Christmas opening her gift and it was a Chinese food purse! Huh? We chuckled but then realized how funky and cool it was, I will always remember her for her unique style unapologetically herself, something we should all strive to be. My aunt had her own chronic health issue. I’ll leave it at that for privacy/respect for my family but I will say since my diagnosis we had a kinship, knowing a little what the other was going through. I generally am the last person awake in my household and I could always count on going on Facebook and reading her inspirational posts, comments on my photos, blog or wall. She helped me feel less lonely. Rest in peace.
The world also lost another special individual recently: Peggy SueIf you’ve run Disney before you’ve probably seen her. She was a fixture on the courses in her motorized scooter with a motivational sign. I ran Disneyland half marathon in 2013 four short weeks after losing my twins and being in the hospital with sepsis . I got the OK to run but I knew it would be rough seeing I hadn’t run in a long time. What made things worse was the heat. It was in the 80’s and humid so humid. I had heard about Peggy Sue on the RunDisney pages and when I saw her with her “hello complete stranger, im proud of you too” sign I was thrilled. It was toward the end of the race and I didn’t know if I would make it, she gave me that push. What I didn’t know that year was that she was just diagnosed with cancer, what I didn’t know is that she has a condition that weakened her muscles. She came out anyway and cheered for people she didn’t know, race after race despite her difficulties. How inspiring is that?
health
The first couple weeks of January have been rough. My Lyme symptoms had been strengthening again: fatigue, headaches, brain fog etc. I think this was happening for a few reasons: we hadn’t gone out of town in some time (we usually have an overnight about once a month but hadn’t recently and something about the desert and this house makes me worse), I was out of my NUUN all day which had been helping with energy, I was out of local honey (helps with allergies and inflammation) and I think also it’s time to do more Lyme bug killing. Also I’ve had a couple colds/bugs. People just don’t cover coughs for the most part around here…when we were in Arizona that wasn’t the case….I am feeling overall better after our run in Arizona (race recap will be up this week).
docs
I had a consult with the seizure neuro not long ago. He wasn’t 100 percent convinced that what I’m experiencing are seizures but he did take me seriously in regards to Lyme. He grew up and spent a lot of his life in Maine so because of my history with Lyme is ordering an EEG and MRI and even said we could do it without contrast. I’m nearing the end of my 30 day event monitor for my tachycardia at night. The office forgot to order it so we’re about two weeks behind schedule on that. Up next Lyme doc on Feb 5, cardio follow up Feb 13, and will be scheduling a neuro soon as well.
what else>
I’ve mentioned in my resolutions that I was going to look into learning more about oils. I’ve teamed up with EchoChic to do just that. I’ll have a weekly feature coming up soon. We had a good time in Arizona. Too bad we couldn’t stay because our team is super bowl bound. I’d love some tickets.
Whatever battle you’re fighting keep fighting and tell someone you love them(even if they’re furry). Continue reading

How Great is our God in Sin City, AKA RNR Vegas 2014

The irony that this was the first song on shuffle of my phone was not lost on me, but more on that in a minute. I’ve been meaning to write this up for ages, but hey at least it’s still 2014….
Memory Lane
We ran this race last year: I did the half marathon, my husband the full. I had my mom, step-father and grandmother come watch and help with our wee one. I had finally gotten to a point where I felt comfortable running 8/8:30 for my 5k, 8:45/50 ish for my 10k but the half marathon distance I struggled, I’d generally lose my gas around mile 11. In retrospect the endurance piece was probably those lyme buggers bringing me down. I had just felt a pre-cold coming on the day of the expo, no surprise but decided to stop by the b12 shot booth and that made me feel amazing! To sum up, I took pics with my running elivis’, ran a 2:18, smiling ear to ear, saw my family near the finish to high five, and then partied until dawn (ok so like 2 BUT late for us). I came away with it just being pure fun. Shiny silly fun. So when my lyme diagnosis came I was bummed that I couldn’t do this again….but then they added a 5k so I signed up, with the insurance of course.
The theme of weekend appeared to be ahh we’re late. In part, I think because of them adding the 5k this year which made it possible for bling junkies to do a race on Saturday and Sunday and get an extra medal. So lines abound for everything. I had just gotten over a cold that turned into a sinus infection and honestly I wasn’t even sure I was participating period. We made it to the expo about 10 minutes after packet pick up was supposed to end, but it was still going. Stopped at the NUUN booth and grabbed some of their usual expo special (2 tubes of NUUN with a water bottle for 20) and hopped back in a taxi line to head to SLS on the other side of the strip for my start. We has just made it there at 6 on the dot. I had take my temp, all the stress of running to make it on time through me into a little flare and I right at 100. Couldn’t get it lower….so I put my sweats on and threw a frown on. My aunt (who was running the 1/2 of the half) and husband (who was running the full) convinced to to at least start.
So I did, at the very back of the pack. With water bottle in hand I joined my fellow runners, said a quick prayer to make it through and to ask if I was making the write descion. The start was under a glowing archway. And we were off. The camaraderie was evident from the word go as people encouraged each other and just had fun, And after we run under the tunnel of lights I turned my music on in one ear and then the Chris Tomlinson song came on: I had made the right choice. I took it slow, ran when I felt able.
The course
It wasn’t entirely a closed course but a portion of the road roped off. I didn’t mind, it was nice getting high fived by people out of the town, or cheered on my folks who had been clearly enjoying all that Vegas had to offer. We passed the Riveria, and Circus Circus and finished at SLS parking lot through an archway of twinkly Christmas lights. For the last .10, I let myself just run, like I used to, freely. There was a concert after but we didn’t stay long, we had dropped off my son with my step dad and ran off and plus it was time to leave. My favorite part of the night was walking on the archway to get the monorail and hundreds of running a ran to the sides that overlooked the road, the last runners were on the course. One lady in a tutu, arms raised in victory and the women in front of her beasting it with a prosthetic leg. You would think it was Tweens cheering for One direction the way people were cheering. That’s it, Lyme disease would not take me from this community.
The next day I was in full on spectator mode. The run/walk had made me feel fantastic and gave me a lot of energy. My stepfather, son and I joined my aunt at her start. Again late so we didn’t have time for the concert. (Macklemore) it wasn’t Snoop like originally planned so I didn’t mind too much. But what I didn’t like was that the moved the stage to right where the runners spilled into the start area last year off of street (across from Mandalay bay-ish area). So we has to walk an extra block or two to get to her start. Very ineffectiant. I literally ran with her to the corrals we pulled over, I grabbed her gear and she just, I mean just made it. We got to see her run by about a mile in. Our plan was to take public transportation to see her finish…but after walking ALLL over the strip we realized it wasn’t feasible without a cab. I guess “old Vegas” just as accessible and we had a two year old in tow so cabs were out. It’s a bummer for those runners because crowd support is great for this weekend and they don’t get their lion’s share. They did however have a shuttle provided for them to get to near the half/full finish so we met our runner there.
After celebrating her success and quickly changing at the hotel. It was unseasonably cold and a bit windy. We headed over to the marathon finish and cheered runners, high fived and waiting for my husband to cross. It was cold…I know I said that but man. Unfortunately he had a slower run than normal so we were Popsicles when he crossed but I’m still proud!
Runner perks This year they gave you little bracelets to wear to access your discounts. We took advantage of the High Roller at the Link. It’s this huge Ferris Wheel you can sightsee the strip about 300 feet or so in the air. They have a bar so you can bring one on your little orb. It was really neat to see the Bellagio fountains going off from the sky. I would highly recommend it.
So over grade A-. There’s room for improvement, especially in organization area. I think when you increase the field of runners things get naturally a skewed. Also move the stage back to where it was… But overall Vegas is just fun. A big playground for adults and that’s the vibe I get from this race weekend. So go and have a blast, maybe even PR while you’re doing it. It’s a nice place to do it.
What I really got here was that I can still run, as long as I take it easy. And I really reap the benefits for at least a week following in energy, muscle ton, a little mental clarity. See you on the road….

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