Monday, September 17, 2007

Interesting Times – facing Reality yet imagining a better Reality in the Future.

Ok, long story short, let me go over some of my recent activities and that would make everything self explanatory.

8/19 – 8/23: Myopain Conference and Leaders Against Pain leadership training, Washington DC
8/23 – 8/26: New York trip (train ride from DC, back to LA on the 26th)
8/27 : back to work
8/31 – 9/3: Germany trip
9/4 : back to work, running errands to prep for the move explained below
9/7 – 9/8: Helped a friend move things out of storage and move stuff (like, big and heavy stuff) in 95 degree weather
9/10: Parents fly in from Korea to stay for 21 days.

I understand that I can’t even whine or ask for sympathy here. I’ve done all this voluntarily and I really thought that if I managed myself right, I’d be fine. I could be such an unrealistic optimist sometimes! Ha ha. This is what happened the following:

9/4 – 9/13: Feeling fatigued, barely surviving at work. Not able to train/work out. But keeping a good attitude and pretending to be “fine.” (I think I was trying to practice positive thinking, which ended up being more of a denial)
9/13: I couldn’t move my neck. The stiffness was unprecedented, and I was in pain. When I got home, I was in tears because I couldn’t believe how much my neck and shoulders were hurting. That combined with a really bad headache, upset stomach and chest pains, it was an all-in attack of my fibromyalgia symptoms. Bring it on.
9/14: I start religiously drinking Greenergy, dropped all other supplements. I don’t know exactly why I did that but I just wanted to have one thing working for me and see if Greenergy really helped, out of all my supplements. I was feeling better. Had heating pad on my neck all day long. Was able to turn my head half way on each side by the end of the day.
9/15 – 9/16: Trip to San Diego with my parents. It was still a stretch, but I had to do it. but we all went to bed really early, moving with my schedule. Thanks to their cooperation, I wasn’t feeling too fatigued. However, overall stiffness was prevalent and it felt like a piece of plank wood. I was stretching and doing yoga moves that would get me lubed up in my joints. Wow. Painful.

My body was screaming at me to stop. The level of pain this time was far worse than it has ever been in the past 2-3 years! Dang, I really was full of myself during the month of August – early September. I really thought I could do it all somehow. Lesson learned: NO, I CAN’T DO IT ALL IN SUCH A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME.

So now…I can’t swim because I can’t really move my neck without screaming. My mind is constantly battling – would running help me or harm me right now? right now I’m thinking that it would knock me down again. However, not exercising might prolong my fatigue/pain. Don’t think stretching and Yoga are enough…or maybe it is. I’m just too used to going out there and doing more active things.

Back in June, I signed up for an Olympic-distance triathlon on 9/30. Doing that race seems unrealistic at this point. It’s discouraging and disappointing, but when I look back on the things I’ve done over the past month, there is not a single thing I regret. The fact that I was able to travel and help a friend really makes me happy – and if I had to, I’d do it again (it’s one of those things that I had to do because I really care about this person). My body could have easily broken down then – but it didn’t! This past week or two have been extremely tough and challenging. I don’t like feeling like I can’t even go for a walk outside. I don’t like feeling worn out like this again. BUT I know this is temporary. I know that in a couple of weeks, with good rest and nutrition and slowly easing myself back into exercising, I will get me back on the training routine again. How do I know? Because I know I HAVE TO get back on track. And I know I can.

We all have setbacks. I think our strength is proven by our ability to deal with setbacks, not when things are all good and easy. There are many more races before the end of this season – and I might end up having to resort to doing a half marathon (not that that’s easy) or a half-century ride towards the end of this year or early next year. My neck/shoulder problems might keep me from swimming for the rest of the season. I don’t know yet. I have to talk to my physical therapist.

On the bright side - Being the absurdly optimistic person that I am, I am even thinking, this is probably the worst that can happen before I start training for my half-ironman next year! Ha ha. And that would make my story even more meaningful – overcoming a tough setback before training for a completing a half-Ironman! Yes, a bit dramatic, but I will imagine the best. That is what is going to keep me going. It’s so easy to just get discouraged and hate myself for bringing myself to this. However, whatever – it’s a done deal, I had fun while doing all the things I’ve done, learned great things and I just have to rest for now! Who knows, maybe I’ll do the sprint distance on 9/30 instead! J oh well. I’m going to pray about it and think hard about my next steps. For now, I just have to keep up the effort to get my energy level back and move forward.

Next, I will finally get around talking about the amazing experience I had in DC during the Myopain Conference and the Leaders Against Pain leadership training program. I will also share a lot of the useful medical info I’ve acquired from attending the conferences. It’s great to have medical explanations to why I do what I do to battle Fibromyalgia.