Wednesday, September 23, 2009

100 days . . .

As of today, there are 100 days left in 2009. A challenge was issued on Running Mania ( to run every day for the next 100 days at least 20 minutes. I believe that is doable, so today is the first day! I won't report on everyday, but will give updates on how I am doing. Just to update my last challenge, if you look down at the bottom of my blog page, I am almost at my 2009 goal of running 1000K! I might be finishing that goal in September! I don't know what goal to pick now for 2010, but what a change from running between 300-400K in 2008.

I might just do 2010K in 2010.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Uggh . . .

And that is my Facebook status for today.

After what I thought was a quiet couple of weeks, I have a seizure last Wednesday and one today. Uggh. Seizures suck. I actually knew yesterday that I really pushed last weekend, with running (although they were easy runs) about 19K over two days, and waking up early (for me) for the Army Run. Plumb tuckered myself out and probably brought on today's little incident. Now I feel drained and I'm trying to counteract it with coffee. It never works. Post seizure tiredness does not respond to coffee. It never stops me from trying though.

The Army Run was amazing though. I woke up a little late and I wanted to run 5K downtown to the start line for the 5K, run the 5K, then after the M&G, run home the 5K for a total of approximately 15K for Sunday. Well, I was fussing around the house for wardrobe ideas, because it was cold in the morning, and I knew it would warm up fast during the morning, so by the time I got to the Pretoria Bridge, I saw the leaders of the 5K speed past. And, of course, Colonel By Drive was blocked for the race, so I couldn't have even crossed to get to the start line. Oh well. *roll eyes* No big deal. I saw J race by and she saw me.

I finally got downtown and headed for the pre-half-marathon hoopla. Met up with a few people, saw D and A and C, and a few others. Got to watch the big cannon go off for the start. Wow, what a noise!

Met up with J and J at Starbucks and we walked up to Pretoria Bridge to see the leaders of the half come and cheered on everyone else. It was perfect weather for a race!

I found out that the article in iRun about me came out that day, and I got to see people looking through the magazine at the post-race hoopla. It was a wierd feeling that so many people were reading about an article about what I face all the time. I hope people realize that I try to make all that a small part of my life and not all of it. It's funny how I hide or underscore that part of my life with my running or social friends and now they will all know about it. I also think that I really don't "fit" in as well as running friends because I'm a beginner, and I don't have the fitness level as many of they do. Something like my health condition just separates me more. Socially, you just can't date people if they know about it, and if they do know about it, it just doesn't last long, because you gain another "mother," in my experience. Boyfriends in the past have just become too obsessed over how you are feeling, or the amount of seizures, or afraid something is going to happen. I hate that. It just makes me feel more separated and less "normal." I don't hide it in my professional life, because I do use my health experiences to understand and deal with patients to make me more empathetic towards what my patients are going through. Also, if you are open about it in your professional life, it becomes harder for an employer to discriminate against you, because everyone knows they are doing it and the employer is more aware of hiding anything that might seem discriminatory. They still do it, but just in a more underscored way.

PS: You can read the article here: or pick up the magazine at any Running Room. I want to thank Jo-Jo for nominating me. It is a special thing to think that someone actually finds what you do to be inspiring. I guess it makes me feel all warm inside, but there are so many people that inspire me that I never really thought that other people would feel the same thing about me.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

So what is new . . . mechanical difficulties . . .

Mechanical difficulties . . . how to explain? You can go back in time in this blog and find out all about vagal nerve stimulators and my ongoing problems post-op for this unit for a year and a half now. I find it hard to explain and tiring to explain constantly to people.

Please visit this site to find out more if you are interested in an explanation:

The implantation of the second unit didn't go as well as the first, and it is believed that the tissue holding it in place broke or ripped, making the device slip out of place in my chest, allowing pulling on the wires that go up my neck. This has resulted in constant pain and tension up my neck from the wires and surgical adhesions (scar tissue) grow around the device and break with activity, also resulting in pain. I haven't had a lot of problems lately - it seemed I had reached a point of enough scar tissue had grown around the device to actually hold it in place for an extended period of time.

On Friday, though, I irritated the wire by patient care at work. The wire is threaded subcutaneously over my collarbone and somehow I stretched the wire and irritated it a lot. The next day, the swelling and pain was spreading up my neck and became very visible. It didn't abate all weekend. I had to call in sick on Tuesday, since the pain and swelling got bad enough to not allow me to sleep very well the night before. I thought it got better on Tuesday night and I was able to sleep. I think the swelling has gone down significantly today, so I'm not as concerned. I just have to learn to be more careful. I just hate that I have to be so careful with this implantation when I didn't have to be the last time. Scar tissue, I guess, isn't so stable and is subject to ripping.

Work is going well. I just hate that I am doing my job as best as I can and am probably doing it better than I used to with a better attitude, but I am still being judged on what I cannot help. It's not in the forefront, I just know it is happening. Paranoia? I don't think so. My next meeting to see how competent I have been this past month is near the end of September. I have done my best. I work surrounded by nurses that have less experience, less critical thinking skills, less caring, less nursing skills, less stress coping skills, less knowledge and I will still never be as good of them because I am epileptic and that is a label that sets me apart, even though it is not apparent to the visible eye and I don't work like I have any deficit at all. It just sucks.

Running is going really well. Dropping down to the 5K at the Army Run has allowed me to love just running for myself, rather than training for something. I have to learn that I shouldn't just go from training programme to training programme, that I should have space in between to rest my body and mind. It is a hobby, not a job. I like the idea just heading out, with a rough plan, and enjoying the time in my head and the space all around. Beautiful!

Thanks for all your comments . . .