Sunday, February 27, 2011

No one said it would be easy

I slept about 5 hours last night. It isn’t 7 or 8, but I’ll take it. My body hurts all over--like a major weight work out a couple of days ago. It’s the deep tissue massage. 

I threw up some yesterday. The nausea was so intense. I wonder why I can have an absolute GREAT day followed by a day where I feel miserable. It was hard for me to get anything done yesterday. I attempted to study for about 5 hours--and nothing was accomplished. I finally gave up at night and checked out what all my Facebook friends were up to on a Saturday night--mainly college friends and family (aka Facebook stalking). 

Then S started texting me. He had asked me earlier if I wanted to bike ride tomorrow. I do, but I can’t. I’m going to hang out with Stacey and her new baby boy. So, we had this little text conversation about how all our college friends are having babies now. I guess that’s the thing to do...if you are physically able to. I didn’t say that to him, of course. 

There are reminders all over Facebook. Reminders that leave me sometimes asking “why?” and sobbing through the nights. But it’s my own fault. I go looking at the baby pictures and the family photos. Sometimes my whole “newsfeed” on FB is full of baby news. I could simply click away and not read further. But I don’t. 

March marks the awareness month for Endometriosis. I wish that I could forget this disease and not talk about it anymore. But that would be selfish. 

Because there are millions suffering. MILLIONS. And the average diagnosis takes 9 years!

How on earth can we let young women go 9 years without answers, if any? 

It breaks my heart. 

So I keep on talking and posting and hoping and praying. 

I want to just shut up. But over and over, I am reminded how lonely I felt when I was in so much pain without answers. God, how do we deal with this? How do you raise awareness for a disease that people shrug off as “female problem”? Do others think I LIKE to talk about bleeding, pain, and infertility? Do they think I like to bring up the Lupron hell and detail the side effects? 

I hate endometriosis. I absolutely hate it. I wish that I could ignore it. But someone out there might be reading all of our blogs...or Facebook posts...or awareness site. So I keep on talking and bringing it up. 

“No one said it would be easy, 
             No one said it’d be this hard”
~Sheryl Crow

It is so discouraging to be running a marathon for awareness on a disease that others look down upon. It is so embarrassing to talk about my pain and that I’m in menopause at 27. I hate it. 

But I have to keep plugging away. I have to keep running. And I have to keep talking. 

The site is still up. It seems as though it failed because not much was raised in awareness. But it is still there. Maybe someone will come across it. 

Someone that needs a little bit of hope. 



Help us raise awareness and funds for Endometriosis research. www.hope2endure.org


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Catching my breath...at last

The past two nights have been filled with so much relief because I have been able to sleep more. I went from 2-3 hours a night--to almost 7! My eyes stopped burning. The nausea was barely noticeable. My body is not having those tremors. I ate all day...because I could. It was glorious!

Yesterday, I hit up the pool. The dreaded pool. I hate swimming with a passion. I used to get panic attacks in the water when I was younger. I always thought something was after me in the water. Crazy, I know, but growing up where there are alligators in the lakes kind of had an effect on me. 

So, I made myself go to this community center--to avoid the stares at a gym when I’m floundering in the water. It was only me and some old ladies in an olympic size pool. And the two lifeguards sitting beside it. I took my dorky swim goggles and towel over to the far side, away from everyone. It was rather hilarious, but nerve-racking at the time. 

I looked pathetic I’m sure, but I kept at it. I was gasping for air like I had asthma. I do that when I run too (since on the Lupron), but it doesn’t bother me. I know my body is working a little extra on that poison, but it freaked me out in the water. I kept telling myself not to have a panic attack to further my humiliation. 

“Breathe, Patty....just breathe”, I told myself over and over. 

Why am I forcing myself in the water again? Well, mainly, I can’t really do a triathlon if I can’t get in in the water and used to swimming. But the other reason is I know it is better for my bones because there is no impact. All the running kind of pounds my body a little. 

Despite all the drama, I survived the pool for 30 minutes. I left the community center almost in tears, with raccoon eyes from the goggles, but I survived. 

Then I headed to get another deep tissue massage. He’s still working on my hips--since they were causing me a lot of pain and immobility on my runs. The sessions are extremely painful, but I can tell it is helping. And I survived that too. 

I got home exhausted from my little activity and took a little time to rest in bed, before heading to Shoguns with my Arkansas family. Kristen was having her sweet sixteen birthday dinner there. I was nervous about eating more--I had been chomping down all day and feeling great--but I was afraid to push it. 

I still pushed it. I felt like Adam Richman on Man vs. Food because I was nonstop. I ordered the veggies and ate like there was no tomorrow. I didn’t get sick. I didn’t throw up. I burped like a sicko constantly, but I was fine (just gross).  

I’m making it through. 

Thank God for the days of relief and the nights of sleep. Thank the Lord for the times when I can eat and live. He is so good. So, so, so good. 

The Little Rock marathon is in 8 days. 

8 days!!!

I am pretty worn out today, but we are running 5 miles. Ohhhhh snap. Thank you Lord for all that Shoguns--I needed the calories to fuel the training today. 

"True to your word, 
you let me catch my breath 


      and send me in the right direction”
~Psalm 23:3 (the Message)




Tuesday, February 22, 2011

One of those days...

One of those crazy, “nothing makes sense”, crying days. The kind where I feel like my world is collapsing and I’m all alone, far away from family and friends.

Yeah, one of those days.

The lack of sleep has taken its ultimate toll.

I wanted to quit today.

Quit school. Quit training. Quit running. Quit everything.

I wanted to pack up my life and go....home.

But this is my home.

I can’t escape insomnia. I can’t run away from it. I can’t beat it. All I can do is call the doctor and ask for something else. Some other drug that will give me rest and peace of mind.

So I did.

And then I cried some more.

I called my sister during my meltdown, announcing my defeat...in life. ‘Cause that is what it feels like when this stuff takes over. Defeat. Failure. Loss.

It’s like the more I try to push, the more the Lupron and hell pushes back.

“...don't get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take.” ~Joshua 1:9

And this is where I trust even more. On these days when I’m falling apart, trusting that God will put the pieces back together. Believing that He will hold me close when I’m crying and carrying on.


 "If your heart is broken, you'll find God right there; 
if you're kicked in the gut, he'll help you catch your breath.” 
~ Psalm 34:18 the message

 "You've kept track of my every toss and turn 
      through the sleepless nights, 
   Each tear entered in your ledger, 
      each ache written in your book.”
~Psalm 56:8 the message




Monday, February 21, 2011

M.I.A and my brain

I was pretty zonked yesterday. I spent most of the day in recovery from the 21 miles of running. I think my body was kind of in shock. Maybe my brain too. 
My nights have been horrendous. I sleep about 3 hours total, waking up constantly with hot flashes. I feel like I’m on fire sometimes. I do have prescription Ambien. I don’t like taking it, but I have the last few nights. I’m still not sleeping though. 
I can’t wait for the time to go to bed because of how exhausted I feel. At the same time, I dread the night because of all hell it brings. Insomnia is no fun, especially when wanting relief from the side effects of Lupron. 
The sleepless nights have taken a toll on my ability to function normally. I feel like an awkward mess most of the time. Like at church, when usually I’m outgoing and “bubbly”. Last night I was nervous, anxious....awkward. It takes every part of my being to sit through it all. I couldn’t even look at our pastor afterwards when he was talking to me. Ummmmmm, again....awkward. 
This morning I did 25 miles on the bike. I honestly don’t know how I’ve been able to push through the exercise. It is completely an act of God, seriously. I feel horrible most of the time. It is a struggle to get out of bed. Yet, somehow and someway, I get it done. 
I know this post really doesn’t make much sense (not that any of my other posts did either). I’m just attempting to keep track of how I feel...and maybe release some of the awkwardness. 
“Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am. I don't mean that your help didn't mean a lot to me—it did. It was a beautiful thing that you came alongside me in my troubles.”
~ Philippians 4:13

2 more months of shots. 

Lord help me get through. 




Please help us raise awareness and funds for Endometriosis research: www.hope2endure.org 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

20+ mile run on Lupron!

Kevin and I ran 20 miles today. Actually, it turned out to be 21 miles. We were supposed to just run 20.

Goodness gracious, 21 miles of running.

It was both glorious and painful. I never would have thought that I’d be running this much...on Lupron. It is hard. VERY hard. My heart rate while running before Lupron would hit maybe 180 max. However, now it stays at about 195-200 the whole darn time. It is just a constant push, push, push.

The bone pain is hard too. My hips and knees hurt! I feel like someone is crushing me at times.

The high heart rate and the pain are not the worst though--hard to believe.

The biggest obstacle has been the nausea. I’m having such a hard time keeping food and liquids down to fuel my runs. On top of that, it is hard to run when I feel like I’m going puke every step. Pedialyte has been incredibly helpful to me lately. I carry a bottle of it when I run...and I drink it before going to sleep at night. Oh, the miracle of water and electrolytes!

It was okay today though. I needed the Pedialyte at about mile 8. Then, I was okay.

I made it 21 miles. I can’t wait ’til the Little Rock Marathon in 2 weeks.


Please help us raise awareness and funds for Endometriosis research: www.hope2endure.org 

Friday, February 18, 2011

A new day!

Thank God for new days and new beginnings!

Yesterday was one of the worst days on the Lupron. I was throwing up all day. I barely made it through my classes. I didn’t do much else but try to take in fluids and saltines. I threw up the pedialyte on the drive home. I threw up water and crackers in the drive way walking into the house.

But today is a new day.

We were supposed to run 20 miles this morning, but Kevin got called into work...and I’m depleted. So our 20 mile run will be tomorrow. That means I have the whole day to recover and praise God for getting me through the storm once again.

God is good, always.

"On your feet now—applaud God! Bring a gift of laughter,

      sing yourselves into his presence.

 Know this: God is God, and God, God.
      He made us; we didn't make him.
      We're his people, his well-tended sheep.

 Enter with the password: "Thank you!"
      Make yourselves at home, talking praise.
      Thank him. Worship him.

  For God is sheer beauty,
      all-generous in love,
      loyal always and ever.”
~Psalm 100 (the Message)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Looking back

Just as each day brims with your beauty, 
      my mouth brims with praise.” ~Psalm 71:8 (the Message)

I wrote the following note (posted below) in October, just days before my last surgery. I was stuck in bed at the time, unable to move much.Fast forward to four months later - I’m running the miles again! The journey isn’t over (it never is, right?), but I can’t help but praise and thank God for His faithfulness.

Whatever you are going through today, remember that He is our healer and redeemer. In every hardship, disease, and sorrw, He continues to bring us through. He is so, so, so good! 

"I'll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness, the taste of ashes, the poison I've swallowed. I remember it all—oh, how well I remember— the feeling of hitting the bottom. But there's one other thing I remember, and remembering, I keep a grip on hope:  God's loyal love couldn't have run out, his merciful love couldn't have dried up. They're created new every morning. How great your faithfulness! I'm sticking with God (I say it over and over).  He's all I've got left.” ~Lamentations 3 (the Message) 

God is so good....always! 

"Kevin went for a bike ride this morning. He is doing 65 miles. I wanted to go. My road bike is standing lonely in the garage, waiting for me. My muscles are begging for me to stop the atrophy. My heart is pumped up to beat like crazy again. My skin misses being drenched in sweat. 
But I can’t move right now.
These stupid sharp pains grab at my tummy and pelvis. I lay in my bed and wrap my heated blanket around my core, telling myself that I will feel better this afternoon.
It has become rather pathetic. 
I haven’t felt better in 6 weeks of “afternoons”. And I’ve been fighting the pain, off and on, for months of “afternoons”.
This is getting harder. I want to fight this sickness with a work out. I want to run until I can’t feel anymore pain or bike until my insides are numb. But every time I try to push, the stabbing pains get worse. I retreat back to my bed. Or crumple on the floor in the middle of a failed effort.
This cannot be happening! This is not my body. I am an athlete. I am strong. I am competitive and powerful!
This isn’t me!
This is just a bad nightmare. I’m ready to wake up and feel good again. I’m ready to rise up before the sun and hit up a run. I’m ready to bike until my legs, butt, and feet go numb. I’m ready to push in the weight room, laughing at the resistance that tries to keep me down. 
I’m ready for the good pain. The kind that comes from challenges and competitions. I’m ready for muscle soreness so bad that I have to sit on ice packs after a 170 mile bike ride. I’m ready for the wonderful burn of a face plant after my upper body hits fatigue in the middle of a plyo push up. I’m ready for 28 miles of running “just for fun”. 
I’m ready to be able to eat more than chicken broth and saltines. I miss my fruit and veggies!
I’m ready to sleep through the whole night without waking up to take a hot showers through out the night to ease the pain.
I’m ready to go outside and enjoy the amazing fall weather doing something fun, instead of trying to figure out which way I can position myself on the bed so that I hurt less.
This is beyond frustrating for me, but it won’t get me down. I’m going to conquer this disease and gut it out. 
I do not know what the future holds, but I know that it’s in God’s hands. I know that this pain will pass. I know that I will feel better in the afternoon. Maybe not this afternoon, but it will be soon. And when I do, my rides will be longer. My runs will be faster. My body will be stronger. And my faith will be deeper. 
Just wait...” 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Training on exhaustion

Before the sun came up, Kevin and I hit up the bikes for a ride for a 100+ minute ride. It was glorious! My hip pain was almost non-existant. I don’t know if it was because of the bike (instead of the running impact) or if it was from the sports therapy session yesterday...or maybe both. Whatever the reason, thank the Lord!


 "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”
~Philippians 4:4 

After our training, I had a full day of classes that left me completely exhausted by 5 pm. After arriving home, I crashed. My pain levels were much better, but my body is completely depleted. I have not been able to sleep regularly for weeks....no, months. On average, I am getting 3 hours max a night. 

Ohhhhhhhhh Lupron!

I am praying for sleep tonight...or any night. 

At day's end I'm ready for sound sleep, 
   For you, God, have put my life back together”
~Psalm 4:8


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Still clinging to hope

It has been one of those days that fly by, filled with business, but not much to show for it.

I was looking forward to church all week, but it was hard to pay attention in the service. The pain in my ovaries, hip flexors, and back was pretty intense (and still is). The pressure on my bones made it hard to focus on the message. I was still happy to be there though.

I managed to take in a little bit of what was said. I know the sermon was on hope--something that I have been clinging to all my life. 

Hope, even when my family was homeless growing up. Hope during my parent’s bitter fights and divorce. Hope when my wedding was cancelled...twice. Hope when the pain began and the disease was discovered. Hope after surgeries and life on Lupron. Hope, even now. 

"God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, 
his Spirit deeply and gently within us”.
 ~Ephesians 3:20 (the Message)

"I remember it all—oh, how well I remember— 
   the feeling of hitting the bottom.
But there's one other thing I remember, 
   and remembering, I keep a grip on hope:
God's loyal love couldn't have run out, 
   his merciful love couldn't have dried up.
They're created new every morning. 
   How great your faithfulness!”
~Lamentations 3 (the Message)

"I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—
plans to take care of you, not abandon you, 
plans to give you the future you hope for”. 
~Jeremiah 29:11

It has been very dark these past few months, but I can see the sun rising soon. I know there is relief, joy, dreams, and life waiting to overtake me. A great future awaits...just around the corner....I hope. 




Saturday, February 12, 2011

18 mile run - done!

Well, I made it.

Kevin and I ran 18 miles today. The snow and ice made it too hard for us to run outside, especially on the country roads--where the plow still hasn’t visited. So we were forced to hit the treadmill.

18 miles on a treadmill feels like eternity. It gets boring. Plus, the nausea from the Lupron was incredibly intense. I threw up around mile 10, but that was just one time.

In the middle of mile 16, the pain hit me like a huge freight train. I felt sharp stings around my ovaries, right rib cage, lower back, and hip flexors down to my thighs. It was so intense with each step that I began to hunch over. I realized that if I kept jogging, even slowly, that I would collapse. I slowed to a walk and finished out the last bit.

I  let go of my pride and the urge to push past the pain with a sprint. I was slow, but I made it to the end.

Kevin and I after the 18!

After I was done, my insides felt like they were convulsing. By the time we got to the house, I was done. The nausea was so intense I was afraid to shower. The sharp twisting was tearing me apart. I did make it to the shower just enough to rinse off. Soon after, my whole body began to shake. I was freezing and in pain. After bundling up under my comforter, the tremors continued. 

I fell asleep shaking. When I woke up, the pain had let up. The nausea was fading. 

I ate a cinnamon roll, easy mac, and green beans. Yes, seriously. Food that I wouldn’t have touched before the Lupron (except for the green beans) have become my cravings. I’ve learned to eat whatever I can on this drug. I can’t afford the loss of calories when I try to eat healthy because nothing stays down. 

Now, I’m back in bed with the ice packs on my core. I’m doing ok. Exhausted and hurting, but happy that I finished the run. The Little Rock marathon is 22 days away...almost there!



Bring the rain


"I know there will be days when this life brings me pain, 
but if that’s what it takes to praise you...
Jesus, bring the rain”
~MercyMe

My 18 mile run begins in an hour. My body is ok. The pain is not as bad as last night. I have not had any hot flashes since the shots yesterday. Just nausea and pain. But I got this. 

And God’s got my attention. 






Friday, February 11, 2011

That’s life!

So begins month 4 on Lupron...which is why this post is probably a little dramatic and sad.

I have been in bed most of the day. Sharp pains shooting from my ribs into my hips and down my legs. I thought that it wasn’t supposed to hurt anymore, but it does.

Just like before.

I am so tired of being sick and in pain. I’m weary of pushing through the struggle again and again. But I keep on going. I have no choice but to keep pressing on.

And that is what hurts. Day in and day out. Every night.

Pain. Pain. Pain.

Where is the hope?

I wake up to pain. I spend my day in pain, in anticipation of the night, where I will lay in pain...begging for sleep.

If I cry about the pain, than I am weak. Or so they think.

So, I am tempted to sink back in my little hole, away from the world and all who judge my pain. I am persuaded to try and ignore the pain.

How can I say anything about a female bleeding disease? How can I speak up about my ovaries and uterus being stabbed with sudden jolts? How can I talk about my pelvis stinging? And my empty, broke, barren womb?

How can I dare bring up any of my pain with endometriosis when it is just...a female problem?

It is not going to kill me. It is not cancerous. It is not the end of the world.

“It is just life”, were his words to me today. The man at Kevin’s office, who thought he should inform me of pain and how it is a part of us. How it is “just life” and something I have to deal with.

And then I get told that it isn’t that bad.

It could be worse, they say.

It could be cancer. 


You could be dying.


That’s where they get me. That’s where I feel like a weak, pathetic woman, crying about a disease that shouldn’t be cried over....because I’m not dying.


I’m ok. I have a good life. I have a lot to be thankful for. I’m blessed.


So, what is wrong with me? Why am I still crying over the pain? Why am I upset over the drug?

Because it hurts!

It hurts every single day and night. It doesn’t ever go away. It is always within me, lingering.

I don’t want a prescription for pity. I just want people to know that endometriosis hurts. And the drug that is supposed to stall the disease is now tearing me apart.

Lupron is not my “healing booster”, like Kevin called it today. No, no, no. Lupron is my poison. It shoots death into my body. I am no longer the young 27 yr old athlete. I am an aging old woman.

I hate this pain. I am so tired of this sickness. I sometimes wish it was terminal, just so that I could know that relief would be coming very soon.

That sounds morbid, I know. But it’s true.


I trust that God has a reason for all this pain and for allowing this disease, but that doesn’t stop me from wishing that he’d come back and take me now.

But I guess that’s life, isn’t it now?



I ♥ Jamie Oliver

I woke up at 4 a.m., unable to sleep, again.

Insomnia. Dang it.

So I consulted the man of Food Revolution, Jamie Oliver, on what to do.

Should I make banana tarte tatin or citrus cookies?

Or should I just twist Mr. Oliver’s recipes up a bit and make my own kind of cookies?

I go for the later.

Jamie’s Food Revolution! 

I ate a cookie for breakfast. Thank you, Jamie. 

Now I’m heading to the doctors for a wonderful check-up as I begin month #4 of Lupron. 

I hate this drug. I hate the way it makes me feel. 

More than likely, I will probably be in a lot more pain today. The first week always makes my body hurt worse. Even though they say the pain stops after the first 2 weeks, it doesn’t. My core always stings for a while after the shots. I might throw up a lot today. I will probably be in bed for hours when I get back home. 

But that’s ok. 

Tomorrow, I’m going to get up and run 18 miles. 

And eat some more of Jamie’s cookies. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I’m still an athlete

"I give myself a good cry if I need it.
But then I concentrate on all the good things still in my life.”.
-tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

I had a good cry tonight. 

I cried over my weakness and inability to perform like the strong athlete that I once was. I cried over broken dreams and lost loves. I cried over loneliness. 

Maybe there was some self-pity involved. But I really didn’t let it last long--I promise. 

After my cry, I bundled up in my winter layers--ready to strip down if the hot flashes hit me suddenly--and walked the hills near the house. It was just a little 2 mile walk, right after a 4 mile jog/walk on the treadmill. Today was a “rest” day on my running. I just wanted to move enough to keep the stiffness out of my legs and get some fresh air. 

country roads on my walk


More country roads...


A beautiful view on my walk
When I got back to the house, exhausted and nauseated, I laid down in physical defeat. I started to wonder how I was going to run the 18 miles this saturday, especially after my fourth round of Lupron tomorrow. 

It is going to be hard, but I can do it! 

I may be weak and slow right now, but I’m still an athlete who is determined to persevere thought the tragedy. Plus, there’s got to be a reason God made me so competitive, stubborn, and crazy with sports. I’m not going to quit running and pressing on just because of the pain.

Last summer after a 150 mile bike ride!

I’m still the crazy trainer and endurance athlete. I’m still the girl who loves to run in 105 degree weather so she sweats more. I’m still the obsessed runner who has plans on running my age in miles every birthday (plus one extra mile to grow on!). I am still the cyclist who biked through 3 states in one stretch. 

Biking thru MO, OK, and AR

I’m still an athlete. Lupron & Endometriosis can’t take that away from me. I may be emotional and stuck in bed some days, but I’m still going to push on.

Last summer--when I had Abs! Ha!

"Strength! Courage! Don't be timid; don't get discouraged. 
God, your God, is with you every step you take.” 
-Joshua 1:9


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Breathe

Here in Northwest Arkansas, we have been a little snowed in for about 2 weeks now. Much like the rest of the US, winter storms have been sweeping in like crazy, leaving behind massive amounts of snow and ice. Unfortunately, where I live is in the boonies somewhat, where the snow plows don’t visit.

So here we are, week 2, and we are snowed in....again.

STUCK in the snow

My classes have been cancelled every day, but one,  for the past 2 weeks. Life has been at a standstill. And it makes me wonder if God is just telling us in a different way to just stop...and be. 

Breathe. 

Sure, we have a million things to do. We have lists to be made and tasks to be completed. We are rushing around, missing life, while staying busy beyond belief. Maybe the snow days are a good time to rest, reflect, and pause for just a moment on the life that God has given us. 

Breathe. 

This is something that doesn’t come naturally to me. I’m not a “chill” kind of girl. I am an obsessive perfectionist. I freak out about rest. I don’t like to be still--which is one reason I think this past surgery was so hard for me. I have to move. Or at least that is what I tell myself. 

I moved plenty today, despite the snow storm keeping me close to the home. 

I ran 8 miles. It was a struggle. Slow and painful, but I did it. I think what makes it harder than normal is the emotional part of it all. I will be doing just fine, running along, praying & praising, as happy as can be---and then BAM!--it hits me. 

I start sobbing. Yes, while I’m running. It’s like all of a sudden I think, “Patty, you are so much slower than you were before all this surgery and drugs. What is wrong with you?”. I get so down on myself. I focus on my pain and pace because I lose sight of the Lord. I forget all that He has brought me through when I’m crying over how fast I can go. 

It’s a disaster on my runs some days. IThe hormones and pain are hard to deal with. I gasp for air and push to keep up with my former race times. God is definitely taking me through, teaching me to be still, slow down, and just breathe. 

Breathe. 





Monday, February 7, 2011

Drama queen

Today was meltdown day #9,393,239,338 for me.

I missed the 4:30 a.m. wake up call to hit up the run with Kevin. Actually, I didn’t miss the blaring alarm on my iphone. I heard it. I got up. Put the lights on. Attempted to move around.

Then sat down on the bathroom floor and fell asleep.

Yup.

Epic fail.

This is coming from the trainer who woke up continuously at 3 - 3:30 a.m. for months and years without skipping a beat. Early mornings have never been a problem to me. In fact, I have always loved waking up before dawn. I was one of those annoying people that could jump around and smile hours before the sun came up. My clients would give me the “I hate how chirpy you are at this hour” face as I greeted them at 4 a.m. with, “wakey, wakey!”.

But not anymore. Now, I’m exhausted all the time. The mornings are a battle to get up. I feel like a bus is on top of me, weighing my body down. The days drag on. I find myself praying for the night time--for when I can finally lay down again. When the sun sets, all I can do is beg to sleep--pray the hot flashes subside and the pain fades enough for me to rest.

Please, God, let me sleep. 

Insomnia takes its toll. Just like the Lupron does on my emotions.

Cry. Cry. Cry.

I’m an emotional basket case, dragging myself around, begging to get through the day. I spent a good hour on the floor in my bedroom today, trying to gain the strength to move.

Get. Back. Up.

I tell myself over and over.

I did manage to get my 6 miles of running in today. My body isn’t too thrilled with it, but I managed.

At least I was smiling in this pic :)
The running was hard, but I was happy.

Thank you, Lord, that I can run again. 

But just as soon as my heart rate calmed down, the flood of tears took over.

Cry. Cry. Cry.

I went to get my passport renewed for a spring break trip. The manager at the photoshop was a hottie. But I had snot pouring down my nose and puffy, water-filled eyes. I’m pretty sure I looked like I had been cutting onions for hours--or crying for hours. He kept asking me if I wanted to take a new picture. “Maybe try to smile?”, he asked.

I told him it was fine. I was fine.

Cry. Cry. Cry.

I could have sworn the world was ending today. But I was wrong.

It was just me, being dramatic about everything--passport photos, eating, studying, writing, moving, sleeping, training, running, and praying pleading.

In the words of my best friend, Kate, who shares my world of emotions daily,
"Life would be less dramatic if I could just stop dramatizing everything”. 


Yeah, I agree.

I am definitely a drama queen.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Compassion

I’ve spent most of the day in bed. Exhausted and hurting. I got up with a little gusto, but couldn’t hold myself together long enough to survive the church service.

Wouldn’t you know, the sermon was on Matthew 9, the same chapter that I was pouring over this week. It was about compassion and our walk of faith. And the woman who bled for 12 years. She is mentioned in Mark and Luke as well.


"And a woman who had suffered from a flow of blood for twelve years and had spent all her living upon physicians, and could not be healed by anyone,
Came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His garment, and immediately her flow of blood ceased.
 And Jesus said, Who is it who touched Me? When all were denying it, Peter and those who were with him said, Master, the multitudes surround You and press You on every side!
 But Jesus said, Someone did touch Me; for I perceived that [healing] power has gone forth from Me.
 And when the woman saw that she had not escaped notice, she came up trembling, and, falling down before Him, she declared in the presence of all the people for what reason she had touched Him and how she had been instantly cured.
 And He said to her, Daughter, your faith (your confidence and trust in Me) has made you well! Go (enter) into peace (untroubled, undisturbed well-being).” 
~Luke 8:43-48 (Amplified bible)

I cry whenever I read that passage. I held back the tears when the pastor talked about all the pain the woman was going through--both physically and emotionally. He said that we needed to have compassion on those who are suffering.

"Compassion, in Hebrew, is ‘racham'....The word racham is very close to the word in Hebrew for womb, ‘rechem' and is infact from the same word root. It is far more than a feeling of pity or sorrow for someone hurting. It is the exact feeling that a mother would have for her child to the point of even giving her own life if it need be. That is the compassion G-d has for us and the compassion He wants us to have for our fellow man”                               ~"Biblical Compassion- a Hebraic View”, by Ellen M Min
 If you would have told me that I’d be suffering from this disease 10 years ago, I would have laughed at you. I would have responded in pride, scoffed at your ignorance of how athletic I was, and I would have mocked this disease. I was young, strong, and clueless. I was on top of the world, pursuing my dreams as an ice hockey goaltender, and training with the best. I thought I was unstoppable as an athlete. I thought nothing could hold me back physically.






I didn’t know what the word compassion meant back then.

If anything can be learned from this battle with endometriosis and my struggle on Lupron, it is this:

I have learned compassion. I know what it feels like to have so much pain, that I beg God to take me home. I know what it feels like to struggle physically. I know the days of not being able to get out of bed. I know the nights of crying out for relief.

And I know what it feels like to hurt for someone else--to feel such heartache for their pain. I know what it’s like to cry out to God for them--begging him to comfort their spirit and send relief. Not out of pity, but out of true compassion.

A compassion I never would have known without the pain of suffering and disease.


"The race is not always to the swift, 
   Nor the battle to the strong...
   Sooner or later bad luck hits us all.”
~Ecclesiastes 9:11 (the Message)

I lived my whole life in pursuit of perfect, physical health. I gave my everything to be the best athlete and have a strong, muscular body. But all that means nothing now. 

Now, I’m just a crumpled mess in my bed, sucking on saltines, surrounded by fans, and praying to God that I can get up at 4:30 a.m. to make the 6 mile run with Kevin at the gym. 

6 miles that used to be nothing to me. 

But now feel like eternity. 

Twizzler season



I woke up at around 3 a.m. absolutely starving. 

Hormones.

Mr. Lou-Pron loves to give me these crazy cravings after waking me up with hot flashes in the middle of the night. 

I went for the twizzlers. I ate about a dozen of them before feeling sick to my stomach, knowing full well that the sugar always back fires on my body. I always feel like pooh after inhaling a whole bunch of sugar. But I  keep eating the junk anyway. 

It’s a huge battle for me to eat right now. The nausea has been knocking me on my butt. I am used to eating nutritious food--veggies, fruit, fish--and taking care of myself. It’s what I do for a living. I train and teach others how to lead a healthy lifestyle. 

But the past few months with Mr. Lou-Pron have me throwing everything up. It seems that the usual stuff I love--like broccoli, green beans, tuna--don’t stay down. With all the running and training that I’m doing, I need calories. I need fuel to push my body physically. I know that I feel horrible when I eat sugar, but it is better than nothing. 

As crazy as it sounds, my biggest obstacle is eating the junk. The day before my 16 mile run last week, I threw everything up that I tried to keep down. I was trying to hard to eat brown rice in an effort to carb up for the run. It resulted in a mess. As I laid on the floor in the bathroom, crying my eyes out because I knew I needed calories, Nee told me over the phone to, “Just eat the twizzlers”

So, I did. And my body kept it down. 

Every day I wake up trying again. Yesterday, I got sick eating an apple for breakfast. The vomiting makes me emotional more than anything because I think about how my body needs fuel. It’s the trainer in me that gets upset. 

After crying my eyes out over the apple, I inhaled a cinnamon roll. 

Yup. 

And I felt just fine--besides the little sugar drag it gives me after the rush. Hormones apparently don’t like diets. 

Then, I got on the treadmill. I ran my 8 miles. 

And I was still fine. 



So what if I am eating junk food? At least I am eating, right? 

It’s so hard for me to process eating junk food as ok in my little trainer brain. But I’m trying. 

Now I’m going to try and eat a banana again so I can take my supplements. But I’m not gonna lie, I just might end up eating the twizzlers or a cinnamon roll instead. 

Just sayin’...

"For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven”. 
~Ecclesiastes 3:1

This might just be twizzler season for me. 




Saturday, February 5, 2011

"Have courage, daughter"

"Stir these stagnant waters of my soul, 
Merge me with Your river which springs life, 
I don’t have all the right words to say 
That will provoke You to want me 
Anymore than you already do”
~Amber Brooks

I struggle in my faith. 

I struggle with doubts--wondering if there is a God and if He can hear me--in the craziness of our world. There are days and nights when it doesn’t make sense to believe. Times when the pain and suffering is overwhelming, causing me to question a Father up in heaven who says he loves me. 

It’s hard to understand faith. It’s hard to grasp hold of something I cannot see. 

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, 
the evidence of things not seen.” 
~Hebrews 11:1

Especially now, in this day and age, when the days are filled with stuff--things I have to get done in order to keep my own little world going. Work, socialize, eat, exercise, sleep, blog...

It’s amazing the things that take the place of my faith--of my relationship with God--things that I could survive without. Things that I probably don’t need--like watching repeated episodes of Man vs. Food or the cookies that are baked at 4 a.m--but I seem to find a way to fit it all in. 

Then the end of the day comes, void of any time spent in the word and prayer, and I wonder why my faith is struggling. I wonder why my heart is empty, dry, and aching. 

Some days, I wake up longing for quiet time spent with God. I dive into the bible, excited about reading the words of the One who created me. Other days, I’m rushed, claiming to be too busy. I open up my devotional and try to cram it all in out of the guilt. I do it because I believe I have to, not because I desire to. Then there are the heavy days (and most nights) when I’m hurting so bad that I cannot see the words on the page or open my mouth to say a prayer. All I can do is cry to believe. 

My blog is filled with countless questions to the Lord. Many days, I write right after spending time in the word or in prayer. I used to keep a notebook with all my thoughts after reading my devotionals, but it was too hard for me to sit up and write after surgery--so I began to type it all out and post it. I like to look back and see all that God has taken me through. It helps me to believe. 

I pray a lot when I run too. Faith hits a whole new level when I’m on mile 8 and desperately seeking some strength to endure. Or even when I’m on mile 0.5 and fighting fatigue. I find that the thing that helps me the most when I am struggling on my runs is praise. 

If I am able to take my focus off of my pain--the achy bones, the nausea, my black toes (gross, but the pounding has given me some bruises and blisters)--and begin to praise God for His hand on my life, then I conquer my runs. 

My faith gets me through my most difficult runs. I don’t understand it. I can’t comprehend it. I can’t describe it. But I know that the Lord is there with me, cheering me on, telling me to have courage and believe. 

“Just then, a woman who had suffered from bleeding for 12 years approached behind and touched the tassel of His robe, for she said to herself, ‘If I can just touch His robe, I’ll be made well!’ But Jesus turned and saw her. ‘Have courage, daughter,’ He said. ‘Your faith has made you well.’ And the woman was made well from that moment.” ~Matthew 9:20-22

I’ve got a 10 mile run ahead of me today as I train for the Little Rock Marathon in March. I’ll be running on faith, prayer, and the hope 2 endure

My faith may struggle, but the Lord’s love for me is constant. I might find it hard to believe, but He never, ever leaves me. I might fill my days with needless stuff, but God still thinks of me, wants me, desires me all the same. 

And He’s cheering me on. 

Have courage...His love never fails. 









Update: I forgot that I already did my 10 mile run this week. Today was only 8 miles. I’m blaming the forgetfulness on Mr. Lou-Pron!






Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Silence

"When you're in over your head, I'll be there with you. 
   When you're in rough waters, you will not go down.
When you're between a rock and a hard place, 
   it won't be a dead end—
Because I am God, your personal God, 
   The Holy of Israel, your Savior.
I paid a huge price for you: 
   all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in!
That's how much you mean to me! 
   That's how much I love you!
I'd sell off the whole world to get you back, 
   trade the creation just for you.”
~Isaiah 43 (the Message)

Yesterday, I fell silent.

I didn’t blog. Even though I am stuck in the house due to a wintry storm of ice and snow, I couldn’t do anything.

I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t think. I couldn’t write. I couldn’t even just be.

It wasn’t the physical pain. It wasn’t the Lupron or this disease. Nor was it the news of another pregnancy--someone else’s joy that I failed to celebrate with all of my heart.

It was me. All me.

Confused. Upset. Sad. Angry. Frustrated. Hurt.

Bitter.

I let every emotion creep into my world for just a little bit yesterday. The breaking of my heart, my dreams, was the only thing I could feel for a moment. I thought the harsh reality would last forever.

But I refuse to allow the suffering and tragedies of my life to define me. I refuse to give into the self pity and despair. I refuse to stay down on the ground, defeated in the battle against hope and all that the Lord has planned for me.

I am not endometriosis. I don’t have to be intimidated or identified by it. Instead, I’m going to trust that God is going to use this suffering for something amazing--just like He promised.

"I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for”. ~Jeremiah 29:11 (the Message).

He knows what he’s doing. He’s got this all planned out.

The tragedies of our lives can’t ruin us if we give it all to the Lord. He will work out everything for good--if we just trust Him.

“...every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good”. ~Romans 8:28

Every detail.

Every tear that falls. Every ounce of pain my body endures. Every prayer I try to utter.

And every time of silence.

It’s all going to come together someday.

A triumphant victory from this life of tragedy that all know.

"If we don't know how or what to pray, it doesn't matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans”. ~Romans 8:27