Sunday, March 30, 2008

** Feel Like Giving Up, but that would be Stupid **

Yesterday, I went to my genius sports massage therapist Dianna and got some heavy work done on my shoulders and lower back. Usually, after getting deep tissue work done for a good day or two I'm not supposed to do any heavy lifting or training - even if you wanted to, you would be so sore from the body work there would be no way you could do much of that. This morning, i mean right now, whew~ I am sore. My right shoulder is KILLING me. The spot on the shoulder that overlaps with a trigger point is tight and is aching to the touch. A double-whammy, so to speak.

I am supposed to stretch, I am supposed to pick myself up and go to the pool for some easy swimming to flush the toxins out. I know I'm going to. But right now, to be bluntly honest I really don't feel like moving or doing anything. ANYTHING. Months of this stuff - treatment, pain, recovery, more pain, more making me tired. I don't know how much longer i have to deal with this, and man, it is just enough for me for now, so i think.

BUT of course i know this is temporary. Months seem long, but in the grand scheme of things it is quite temporary. Over the past 4-5 months, my lack of training volume has caused me to put on some extra pounds. Now with these extra pounds i am starting to run and bike all over again. Let me tell you people - the extra weight does not help, not only when it comes to training, but in day to day living, especially for people with fibromylagia, arthritis or any other chronic pain illnesses. If you think about it, extra weight puts extra pressure on our trigger points and joints. It will take us that much more effort to move around - and would we want to do that on already weak, tired and vulnerable muscles? That's why exercising and eating healthy is important. I read in many articles about the high percentage of overweight patients who have chronic pain illnesses. I know it is almost a double-edged sword - it's hard to move around cuz you are in pain, but if you don't do anything you will be in more pain due to weight gain. And of course the heavier you get, the less likely you will be moving around any time soon. But at least if you can't move around you can eat healthy - lots of veggies and fruits, lean protein (fish, chicken), and add a lot antioxidants and vitamins in your diet to fight inflammation and strengthen your immune system. Then you might have some energy and decreased pain levels to go out for a walk. Then you might stop feeling so upset and unpleasant about being in so much pain - and overweight. Then you might start living a little. Maybe smile a little too. We must stop just complaining and blaming it on Fibromyalgia, and be logical, scientific and smart about our approaches in dealing with our pain. That is the only way to live day to day with this thing. It is extra work, and boy do I know that. And yes, today is the day I am about to just drop it all and go stay in my bed all day long. But I know, if i do so I will be defeating myself. What's worse, I will be feeling so bad about myself later today. I am not going to enter that vicious cycle. I just read a piece of information on Runners magazine: "For every two-pound gain in weight, the risk of developing arthritis increase nine to 13%." I bet that for FM patients, the risk multiplies.

I've got a heating pad wrapped around my neck and shoulders as I'm writing this. My entire back feels like I'm laying on a bed of needles. It sucks. It really does - but I also know that I can do some stretches, maybe get a hot bath with epsom salt, rest a little, have a good brunch and take myself to the pool to move around a little. And then I know I will be feeling a lot better - not perfect, but better. Sometimes I wonder, geez why do I have to push myself every day, how did i end up with the responsibility to go the extra mile every single day when others take their every day health for granted... But whatever, this is my reality. I have brought myself up this far over the years, and I didn't just come up with this. It was hard work and it is going to be hard work.

Once I push through this tough time of re-buildup, i will be fine. I am going to drop the weight, I will be fully recovered from my injuries, and I am going to be training full-capacity. I see that future, maybe a little far away than what i had hoped for, but the future is there. I must be patient, consistent and brave. To all of you reading this, I hope you stay on your fight. I hope that you beat the temptation to give up and be sad - and pick yourself up. Not many people know what we go through - but who cares about what other people think, we just have to fight our own battles, and encourage each other as we go through it. Nobody knows, but I know, you know and God knows. This debilitating illness has become the one thing that enables me to do all these positive and healthy things. I know I can turn this bad thing into good, and that's why I'm writing this blog as I'm treating, training and persevering. That is the true path to being a winner - we are not born winners, we are trained to be.

God bless you all, and I hope you are smiling, despite the tears.

** on a totally random note, Nike's Triax running shoes beat Asics, based on my 3-month testing (of course, this is very subjective). Finally, I found a pair of Nike shoes that provides the stability and support I need for my running! Thank you, the gentleman at Nike at the Grove, who endured my thousands of questions and nit-picking, and had me run around in over 5 pairs of shoes to find me the perfect one! **

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