July 30, 2011
What is this definition of running hurdles?
It is running past and over the barriers of Multiple Sclerosis (MS), a physically disabling disease.
Running over the hurdles, the hills and down the valleys.
Yes, and I do run.
I was athletic prior to my MS diagnosis. Running was a passion. I am happy to say it still is!
MS attacked my legs first. Sometimes I believe it takes what is nearest and dearest to your heart.
It had left me near unable to walk a couple times the first two years. Each of those times I questioned if I would continue to walk much less run. My legs surprised me I have to say. I have learned since not to give up confidence in them too quickly. I have been, for the most part, steadily running the last few years. I even made some ten-mile runs for a while. While at the same time I managed to increase my speed. I was as amazed as I am assuming you are.
I thought I lost running forever more than once. I am fortunate I’ve been able to keep this passion in my life. It has taken some creativity to say the least. Learning new tricks is what I call it. Learning new techniques and yes a lot of determination.
Is it harder? Yes. But then so many things are now. Walking is harder still. Believe that one? I never believed or claimed it made much sense. But I blame this one on my body. Really why blame myself?
I can’t neglect to mention I also had a passion for weight training prior to my diagnosis. That began about the same time as the running passion. I continue to do that too. I find it very useful in keeping my body moving. Muscle strength being so important this only added to my compulsion and drive to continue after my diagnosis.
Is that harder? The same answer, yes. Read the rest of this entry »
September 1, 2011
Whether they are a bit unsteady, unstable, or buckle it does not give one a feeling of confidence on their feet.
My buckles can be so quick and forceful I would swear it is a backwards buckle. My leg returning from the buckle or straightening is what I notice most. I labeled them my knee knocks.
Then I found that soft touch on my calves or knees could also trigger them. A bit troubling but despite the trigger it was a matter of finding a way to manage it. It would be wonderful if this turned into a symptom, which did not occur more than very sporadically. But as with any symptom first you need to assume it won’t as matter of safety, safety in this case means avoiding a fall.
When my knee knocks began I tested my legs thoroughly before every run. When I say thoroughly I am not kidding you. I had a variety of tests, which I still use when I am in doubt of my leg strength. What are my legs response to different foot landings and their response to foot landings with force? I stand on one-foot bend my knee and bring my body weight back up. I do this several times on each leg. I call them my one leg sort of squats.
I also test my leg response time. Do I recover it quick enough to keep my footing, balance, and coordination?
My goal, ascertain if my legs had the strength to recover from my knee knock. I also tested my legs during the run. What were triggers, landing on my heel during a slow down, or running downhill when the force one leg bears is more than my body weight. These are just two examples. So I learn what to do, what to avoid, what to pay closer attention to as well as what will make the run feel more stable and comfortable. Read the rest of this entry »
August 28, 2011
Today as so many others I found myself watching the clock. I keep myself busy; tinker, go out and about, then watch the clock. I get away from myself and get around people. I smile, laugh, and make small talk. I feel better. Then I get in my car, no feel worse. I’m back home tinkering again, watching the clock.
Watching the clock tick by, I’ve been there done that. Now today I’m there doing it again. The pain is not much different today, no matter since my tolerance level is. Read the rest of this entry »
August 24, 2011
Rough patches. Nothing new to anyone struggling when they are faced with an attack (or flair-up) of old symptoms or the appearance of new.
My latest event, although not categorized as an attack or flair-up was a three-week severe pain cycle. If you do not know the kind you may have heard of someone who knows them well. This is the pain that leaves you unable to speak to your neurologist in a manner outside of simply “just help me” at the same time doing everything to will yourself from sobbing.
The first priority is how to get through it and get through it calmly. There is born a whole new definition of calm. You do the very best you can with that and frequently remind yourself you are only human yet feel like it requires no less than a superhuman.
So I give myself credit where it is more than earned. I was the superwoman who did get through it. Give myself a deserved and again earned pat on the back. I am thinking I should add a gold star to my journal for each of these cycles I passed, got through, even when in absence of the grace I strived for.
In general my exercise helps manage my pain. For this I have always counted on and relied upon. Reaching the exact formula for improvement in pain and the subsequent continued management is the key. But this begs the question of what and how much exercise. Read the rest of this entry »