life is short, smile while you still have teeth

I’m trying to be really grateful for everything in life right now. But it’s hard. My endometriosis is hitting hard, and I’m miserable. I feel like a baby every time I call the doctor and I feel like they are making notes about me and how I complain. I know that’s probably not the case, and even if it is – screw them. Unless they can swap bodies with me and feel what it’s like they can’t say anything.

I really thought my pain was getting better from the Depo shot. I was excited that it wasn’t making me gain weight, break out or crave carbs every two seconds like some experience while on it. It didn’t make me dizzy nausea and sick like the other types of birth control did. But after shot #2 things started to go downhill. Thanksgiving was fine & by Christmas it was back.

I don’t even know how to explain the pain to doctors because it’s never the same. My back is killing me in all spots, but mostly my lower back. It hurts to sit, stand, walk, bend and even lay down. If I move in the wrong way I can’t breathe. My pelvis is burning. Have you ever had braces? The pain is how it feels after you go in to get them tightened. Only 5X worse. I’m extremely tired. Not hungry. And I can’t focus.

I want nothing more than to be a normal 22 year girl who can run as much as she wants, and go out with her friends without wondering if I’m going to make it or not.

Surgery was mentioned again. But honestly what’s the point? It didn’t help last time and the way I felt after was nothing I want to re-live. Not to mention my insurance changed so that’s gonna be one fun bill.

I know I’m being negative, but it’s how I feel. I want nothing more than to go home, eat a pint of ice cream and sleep. Sleep until I’m healthy.

 

But instead, I’ll try and think of 5 positive things in my life right now:

  1. My family is pretty great about listening to me complain & moan about my pain.
  2. I did get to run last Saturday and it was glorious for the most part. Only got 5 miles but it was nice enough to wear running tights and just a t-shirt!
  3. My co-worker has a desk full of chocolate. Nothing like some emotional eating.
  4. It’s a short day at work – only 3 more hours! I would not make it if it were a full day.
  5. After work I can curl up under my heated blanket and binge watch One Tree Hill on Netflix.

Here’s hoping you’re having a better day J

just call me an old lady

A lot has changed in the past couple of years. 

I constantly hear people telling me to get out & live a little, drink another beer, go talk to that cute guy. My idea of a fun weekend is cleaning, going for a long run, wearing my sweats 24/7, laying around watching movies & netflix and splurging on a diet coke. My favorite day to go grocery shopping is either Friday or Saturday night after 8pm. I prefer to be tucked in my bed under my blankets no later than 10pm. And I LOVE waking up at 7 or 8 knowing I have a full day ahead of me.

Sure I used to go out. I went out with people who claimed they were my friends, but they weren’t. If I didn’t have plans for a weekend night I felt like a loser and felt friendless. Now I embrace those days & nights were I literally have NOTHING to do. I seriously love it. I have learned that I don’t need things like alcohol & guys to make my life exciting. Now before you get your panties in a bunch thinking that I am against going out, I don’t mind doing it. But you won’t see me throwing back a 24 pack of beer. I’ll probably have 1 or 2 because I’d rather spend my next day going for a run. Does that make me an old lady? I don’t think so. Does it make me more mature than you? Heck no. We just have different ideas of what a fun weekend night is. 

I guess what I’m saying is that after 22 years of my life, I think I’m finally starting to find myself. So if you want to call me an old lady, that’s fine. Because you can still find me at the grocery store on a Friday night, doing my laundry and passing out at 10. And that’s ok, because I love my life and who I am becoming. 

 

things college failed to teach me

1. You don’t get glamorous vacation time.  It’s ok – you deserve a week off for Thanksgiving, a month off for Christmas, another week off for Spring Break and don’t forget 3 full months of no school in the summer. You worked hard in class…go take a break. Yea that doesn’t happen in real life.

2. How to supervise. Um no. No one told me how to be a supervisor, it was just expected that I know. I guess I’ll thank Google for my education.

3. You probably don’t REALLY know what you want to do. Nope. I don’t. Thanks for hours of pointless classes that showed me exactly what to do with my life. Oh wait…

4. You think going to class as a full time student and studying is hard? Nope try again. Try working a full-time job. That my friend is exhausting. Sitting on your ass all day does wonders for your energy.

5.  How to be yourself. College is one of those things that people do because it’s expected of them. After high school you go to college. And after college you get a big girl job. Well what if that’s not me? What if I want something different? College didn’t teach me that that’s ok to do.  College told me to be boring and do what everyone else is doing.

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my mom told me i couldn’t hang out with you

I’ve never been good at having friends. I hate committing to things days in advance, and then waking up the morning of wishing I hadn’t made those plans. Sounds awful, I know.
I’m a hermit crab. I don’t mind being alone (ok sometimes I do, but it doesn’t happen a lot). I’ve always flaked on plans and I know I’ve hurt a lot of people in the past from it. I have no idea why I do this. Not one clue. But I do. And it’s something I’m trying extremely hard at to change.

For the past couple years, I make up excuses because I’m in pain or I feel sick. I choose to make up ridiculous fibs because I’ve been told by people in my life that it’s annoying to hear that I don’t feel well. My last boyfriend did this all the time & it drove me nuts. People thought that I was just faking it or that it was just an illusion. It’s not – I am in pain a good chunk of the time. Some days I do better at hiding it than others. Lately the pain has been bad again and so lately I’ve been a bad friend again. I don’t want to make exciting plans with friends only to have to bail the day of because my uterus is attacking me. I don’t want to be that friend that cancels plans because she’s in “pain”. If my back is killing me, or my abdomen is throbbing it’s not fun to walk around the store shopping and pretending like you’re having fun – because it’s not. I don’t want to go out to eat & sit there wishing I was at home in my sweats because I am so bloated I could pass for pregnant.

I want to be normal. I want to be healthy. And I want to stop canceling plans with friends (or having there be a lack of plans). So that’s one of my goals for the next year. To be a better friend, and to hopefully not let my endometriosis keep ruining my life. Because it currently is, and it blows.

On a happier note (I think), I signed up for my first 25k. Yikes.

Mac N’ Cheese and a PR

I’m not going to lie – I wasn’t exactly looking forward to running the Haunted Hustle at all during the week of. Even on that Friday I wasn’t really feeling it and told myself that if I didn’t feel up to it in the morning, I wouldn’t go.

The night before I ended up babysitting. We ate mac n’ cheese, whoppers and mini suckers throughout the night while watching The Nightmare Before Christmas & Monster House! When I was on my way home, I thought about how delicious pizza sounded. I stopped at Target at 9:30 pm and hoped that no one was judging my eating behaviors. At least I didn’t eat the whole thing by myself?!

I woke up still not feelin’ it but decided to go anyways because I paid $20 bucks and wanted the dang shirt. It was definitely cold – the race didn’t start till 11:00 am, but the weather was in the 40’s. I decided on a long sleeve shirt and my lucky shorts. My legs were FAAARRREEZZINGG. But the whole time during the race (except the first mile) I was extremely glad I wore them.

This race was fantastic. I have never felt so great during a run in my life. There weren’t that many people which meant that it wasn’t crowded at all. I ended up jogging behind two ladies, and I told myself that if I was still going strong at mile 3 I would push it.

I jumped the gun a little and started pushing at mile 2.5 because I was feeling on top of the world. It was a gloomy, but still a fall like day. It even started to sprinkle and was windy as heck but I just kept smiling. I passed the ladies and eventually saw that 3 guys who had started off like rockets were just ahead of me.

At mile 4 I noticed my garmin. I couldn’t even believe it – I was going to finish under an hour. So huge for me!! Just a couple months ago I thought that I would always be slow. I never thought I could get faster than a 10:30 mile, but I was getting faster with each mile!! I pulled ahead of the 3 guys and finished strong – coming in at 59:18. I was and still am so ecstatic!! And for once I didn’t feel like vomiting everywhere. That’s improvement!

As a side note, I lost my first toenail. Officially a runner? I think so 🙂

it’s time for some vicodin

You know how sometimes you have those runs were everything goes perfectly and you feel like you could run for miles on end?

Yea. That didn’t happen tonight.

Running with endo has proved to be a challenge time and time again. I was so excited to join a group of dirt trail running ladies tonight and thought for sure it would go smoothly. Think again Kendra.

Here’s what goes down when I have what I call a “flare-up”

  • My stomach goes into digestive distress. It’s ridiculously unhappy with me right now & it won’t let me forget until morning, if I’m lucky.
  • I could pass as pregnant right now from being so bloated. When you get spots of endo on your organs, they become inflamed and irritated causing mild to severe bloating. It gets so bad that it literally hurts to breathe or eat.
  • I get weak & exhausted way too easily. It doesn’t matter how much leg strength I’ve built up, it all goes to crap the second pain sets in.
  • Pelvic pain.  This could quite possibly be the worst. Just the motion of moving my legs gets harder with each stride, and my legs beg me to stop. Pain shoots all the way down my legs to my toes. It also affects my back. If I make sudden movements, the pain can take my breath away.
  • Vision. This one I have yet to figure out, but when I’m not feeling well and running, my vision gets all out of whack. Literally the whole trail will spin, shake and move to the point where I feel like I’m probably going to fall over.

But I did it. I ran 5 miles, burned over 600 calories, and didn’t fall . So despite the fact that this run sucked, it’s over. It’s behind me, and I’m ready for the next run.

Perhaps eating a slice of pizza and handful of candy didn’t help my case today. Or the packet of hot chocolate. Tell me I’m not the only one that eats it plain?!

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falling into autumn

Top 10 reasons why October is the best month EVER:

1.The weather. I love love love going to bed with my windows open and falling asleep with piles of blankets on me. I also love that my hair doesn’t frizz and become giant the second I walk outside.

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2. Decorations. Fall & Halloween decorations are the best. Pretty leaves, little pumpkins, witches, scarecrows, and more pumpkins!

3. Halloween movies & haunted houses. They scare the living crap out of me, but I have to either watch at least one movie or go to one haunted house. I will then proceed to sleep with my night light for the next 3 months.

4. Corn Mazes. Who even came up with the idea to have people get lost in acres of corn?! A genius that’s who!
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5. Hocus Pocus. If you don’t like this movie, I can’t even talk to you. I love this movie so much and I could watch it every day in October. Amuck Amuck Amuck!

6. Leggings. They are comfy, nuff said. Why would I even bother putting uncomfortable jeans on when I could just wear stretchy pants?! You can dress them up, dress them down – no matter what, leggings are there for you. Unless there is a whole in your crotch. Then you should immediately get rid of them .

7. Candy Corn. So much deliciousness in this sugary concoction. My whole family has an obsession with it, and we go through embarrassing amounts of it.

8. Carving Pumpkins. Alright, so every year I get all excited about carving pumpkins and then I remember how annoying it is to have to scrape the guts out. And then carve it without stabbing myself. But once it’s all lit up, I thoroughly enjoy the idea of carving pumpkins.

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9. Crunchy Leaves. I love walking or running on trails that are full of bright colorful crunchy leaves. Gives me some sort of weird satisfaction. And it’s pretty.

10. Pumpkin EVERYTHING. Pumpkin creamer, pudding, pie, cookies, muffins, pancakes, oatmeal, ice cream, candles. I’m obsessed with pumpkin – so delicious.

 

Yay Halloween!
Yay Halloween!

 

a reason to run

My very first race was a 5k when I was 16, and I remember feeling awful.  My time was 31:30 and I hated every second of that run, and didn’t do another race until I was in college. Even then, running was not on the top of my ‘favorite things to do’ list. Sure I liked to workout, but running was not for pleasure.

It wasn’t until a couple months ago that I really developed a true passion for running. It wasn’t until I was physically unable to run that I truly wanted to. I was diagnosed with a condition called Endometriosis – which is an invisible illness. It causes severe sickness, pain, fatigue, headaches, bloating, back pain, leg pain, and so much more that can’t even be described.  It felt like each month, it was getting worse & no one understood. I felt completely crazy, and convinced myself I was over reacting. I would go weeks without being able to workout & that drove me absolutely nuts. Eventually running hurt so bad that I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t kickbox, or lift weights. I was stuck doing very low-key workouts like walking or biking. The crazy thing? I actually MISSED running. I missed the feeling it gave me and most importantly I missed feeling in control of my life and body.

I had surgery in April, where the doctor found Stage ll Endo as well as 3 ovarian cysts. The Endo was burned off, and the cysts removed. The pain I encountered after was awful, but the emotional pain I felt was so much worse. I felt completely hopeless, like all my happiness was drained out of me. The pain meds weren’t helping my emotional state, and I don’t think I had a day where I didn’t cry for at least 2 weeks. I just kept thinking how my life was over and would never be the same. Dramatic I know.

Part of living with Endometriosis is that there is no cure. Sure it was burned off in surgery, but it can, and more than likely will grow back. It could grow back as Stage l, or it could grow back as Stage lll. It’s unpredictable and undetectable on ultrasounds. It can grow anywhere in my body and it can ruin my organs. It’s been 5 months since my first laproscopic surgery, and I’m already in pain again. Pain that shoots from my hips all the way down to my toes. Pain that causes me to curl up in a ball and remember those hopeless thoughts I had just a few short months ago. Pain that takes away my happiness.

Having Endo and running (or just day to day living) can be not so fun sometimes. There are so many days that I want to run, or go for a bike ride but I physically am unable.  Sure, I can push through the pain sometimes, but there are days that I cannot. It’s frustrating to see all my hard work get thrown away sometimes.

So why do I run? I run because it makes me feel like I have control over my body. I run because I’m going to be in pain whether or not I’m running or laying in bed all day. On days I run, I think about all the opportunities I have in life, and it brings my happiness back. I realize that I’m more than a crappy condition, and think about how worse my situation could be.  It gives me time to think, to reflect and to grow.

Most importantly, I run because it “Teaches us to keep moving forward, one step at a time even in the most painful moments.”

Running my first 10k
Running my first 10k

disappointment & embarrassment

A couple of weeks ago, I ran my very fist 1/2 marathon. Ok it should say ran/walked/cried my first 1/2 marathon.
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After my post-op appointment in May I was told I could finally start working out and running again.  So what did I do? I signed myself up for the 1/2. I knew that if I didn’t fork out the money, it would never happen and I needed something to distract myself and get myself back on track. Next, I found myself a plan. It was originally supposed to be an 8 week plan, but I had no idea how well training would go, if I’d still be in pain, or get sick so I changed it to a 16 week plan, because that’s how I roll.

That first day back at running I really contemplated putting a sign on my back that said “don’t judge me I just had surgery.” I hadn’t ran in months, and it literally sounded/looked/felt like I was having an asthma attack. I BARELY made it a mile. And then I walked and was so incredibly discouraged. Eventually I worked my way up to being able to run a solid 5 miles without feeling like complete death.

Training did not go as planned. I was currently on a medication to treat my Endo, and as a result it was making me incredibly sick. I’d wake up exhausted, go to work, come home exhausted and lay down on my couch. My contacts were driving my up a wall, my head was constantly pounding, I was dizzy, and I was certainly not about to go running. Fortunately, a few weeks prior to the race I was switched medications which took the sickness completely away.

Of course, the week of my race my pain came back in full force. I woke up on race day feeling nervous, and not quite sure of myself. But there I was at the start line, with my race bib on,  Katy Perrys “Roar” on repeat and 13.1 miles to go.

All ready to go!
All ready to go!

Thoughts while running my first 1/2…

Mile 1 – I’m STARVING. Why am I so hungry? I ate 2 pieces of toast with peanut butter, and a packet of oatmeal before. My stomach feels like it’s eating itself.

Miles 2-4 – Feeling great! I can do this.

Mile 5-7 – This was around the point that I started having doubts. My mind was just not in the right place and I already was thinking how big of a failure I was. I was incredibly mad at my Endo because it was taking over my life and making things harder than they should be. It was around these miles that I started the walk/run method.

Miles 8-10 – The pain started setting in. I’m not talking typical runners pain. I’m talking full force throbbing pelvic, sciatic nerve, back, shoulder, EVERYTHING pain.  It’s hurt to walk, it hurt to run, and I let my emotions take over. People of all ages were passing me. All I could think about was that the fast runners had already crossed the finish line an hour ago and I wanted nothing more than to collapse on the ground and not move for hours.

Miles 10-13.1 – Sheer disappointment.  At this point, my goal of running in under 2.5 hours was completely smashed. All I could think about was how I was such a failure and how I hated every second of the race. I was irritated that so many people had passed me and I was irritated that I was in such pain.

For weeks I had envisioned the happiness I would feel when I crossed the finish line. But when I crossed I felt nothing. I wasn’t happy, and I certainly wasn’t proud of myself. My time was 2:57:50. People run full marathons in that time.

I felt embarrassed for the next week about my time, and didn’t even want to tell people what my finish time was. It wasn’t until the following week when I went out for a run that I really felt like a winner. During the race, I met a lady around mile 10. We walked/ran together and chatted about life. She asked me if this was my first half, and I said yes it was. She happily said “You’re going to PR this race!” And I did. And the best thing about that? I can only get better.

It might hurt some days more than others, but I will only continue to get better and faster. And sure I’m slow for a runner, but I’m fast for a runner with Endo. I can finally say that I am 100% proud of myself for my accomplishment!

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