This really isn’t a love story… I guess it’s more about the crazy twists and turns life takes. It’s about how love changes, develops, fades and disappears. It’s about how the people and stuff that once felt so important becomes history and no longer registers as a priority. It feels like I’ve lived so many lifetimes since October of 2014, but things have been especially nuts over the last year, or so.
I’ve felt sort of guilty about talking about anything other than this virus or the riots that are ruling our country’s universe at the moment. Over the last year, I have had a friendship or 2 that I thought were so very steadfast die, and have had a really humbling injury that I thought would not heal without surgery. I felt re-inspired to pick up my solo dates again when I did the Adult Gymnastics Class that broke my 5th metatarsal in Date #17. After I broke my foot, I poured a lot of my energy into figuring out how to modify my Crossfit workouts to keep myself somewhat fit and sane while I was healing, but healing WASN’T happening!
Cycling is my other love, and that wasn’t happening either, since I wasn’t healing. I’m a single Mom of 8 year old and 5 year old very active boys. The idea of being out of commission and unable to be there for them in my normal capacity even longer because of surgery was really stressing me out. It was also the first time I have experienced something that wasn’t healing. It was unsettling. This situation also really clarified for me who was there and who wasn’t. Some people disappeared and some were there more. I’m very independent and grew up taking care of a lot of things on my own, so asking for help or support when I need it is not one of my personal strengths. A few close friends understood me enough to gently reassure me that if I needed support while out of commission, they were there. In hindsight, I can see how this injury was just emotional training for what was to come.
My foot was broken 10/16/19, I was set free from the boot in late January 2020, and had the final x-ray to determine the surgery and/or rehab verdict on 2/21/20. No surgery or Physical Therapy was needed, thank goodness, and I was just instructed to not run or jump until 3/21/20. My bone was FINALLY healing. I was back on the bike first, and started to inch back into running after 3/21!
I started to notice some vision changes in some riding situations in March. It looked similar to when there are issues stabilizing a GoPro or action camera. I also had some neck pain and stiffness, I assumed because my youngest still loves to sleep with me and shares my pillow. I blew off my stiff neck and vision stuff. My neck improved, but I noticed during a challenging ride up and down Mt. Lemmon in April, that my vision was still different. I noticed impaired coordination on my right side the morning after that ride. I went on thinking I was dealing with a pinched nerve and made a chiropractor appointment.
May 9th I took myself to the Emergency Room (ER) at the hospital because, along with the coordination impairment of the right side of my body, my speech was beginning to be affected and I was feeling dizziness. I was really worried and scared. I didn’t want to be ignoring something that could kill me in my sleep or something really serious…The ER conducted a full physical exam, including blood work and an EKG. Then they ordered a brain and neck MRI with and without contrast. After approximately 3.5 hours at the ER, I was diagnosed with probable Multiple Sclerosis. I canceled the chiropractor appointment and scheduled an appointment with a neurologist.
I’m going through the process of getting a real diagnosis now. I’m both scared and hopeful. I’m scared because I’m still in limbo. I don’t really know for sure yet why the right side of my body chooses to turn off and on when it feels like it. I don’t know what’s making my speech slur sometimes. I know the lesions on my brain and on my cervical spine MRI scans look consistent with MS lesions, but am waiting for spinal fluid and blood test results to rule out other things. If it’s MS, I know people live full and good lives and there are a lot of treatment options and always new treatment advances being made. I’m scared about the same thing that gives me comfort, which is weird, and that is the fact that I have zero control over any of it.
I have no idea what’s happening with my body and brain. I have no idea what any of this will mean to my overall health and mobility in the next year, or my lifetime. I wouldn’t have control of that or know that without the MS situation either. I know I have a strong and loving support system. Who they are, and are not, was clarified over this last year. I grieve my losses, but choose to see it the same way I see what’s happening to me physically. It’s out of my hands. Life is happening as it is supposed to be right now, and I can give energy to the negative parts of what’s happening, or I can give energy to my blessings. I have sooo many blessings. In this uncertain time in the world when so many people are losing so much, I have my beautiful boys, I have a strong and loving support system with my family and friends, I have a wonderful career, I have a great place to live and even though I have glitches, I’m strong and healthy. I’m giving energy to my blessings.
I know what my priorities are. They are having a happy and healthy life with my boys, and showing my love, gratitude and appreciation for my family and the people who are my friend family. My goal is to celebrate and be grateful for every second I am able to move. I still feel these dates with myself are important, but feel like the reason they are important has shifted so much. Also, in this time of COVID, Dates with myself will be on hold a bit longer, but I should have plenty to write about in the meantime…