Wednesday, November 19, 2014

One Shoe On

So I starting thinking that I would just run and blog about the journey. I thought it corny but running it can very often be a metaphor for life. There are great runs, good runs, and bad runs. I try (and I do mean TRY) not to think of them as bad runs. I try to think of them more as personal teaching moments with accelerated heart rate. Not so much the last few runs.

I marvel at the running motivational statement I read do often: "A run doesn't start until you forget you are running." Really? Who are these people? I have on those great runs and don't mind the mileage and do love a good runner's buzz but I do not think i have ever forgotten I was running. EVER. Or the twaddle about working on complex problem in their head as they run. I have had problems and a run has relieved stress about whatever it was I was facing or perhaps cleared my head enough to work on it later but I don't seem to be able to think about any one topic for more that a few seconds. I am doing it wrong. I must be. If I did it right wouldn't it be easier? Perhaps I am just too concerned about drawing the next breath when running up a steep hill or not tripping over my own feet (or in this case other debris in my path) and falling down. My focus was on my path...and finding a place I could jump, tuck and roll if a car got too close.

It's really a battle some days. Battling myself. Battling weather. Battling my existing stress. 

So it can be hard. Why keep doing it? If I don't feel like I am flying down a hill all the time why bother? If I am not running half marathon distance without a walk break, why keep trying?
It was 18 degrees and I do not do well sucking in the polar vortex when I run so I stalled until evening. Finally 50 degrees. Better. But I still didn't want to run. Its winter (or at least feels like it) and I just don't want to do it. Its hard to breathe, my nose runs, my lungs seize, it takes half a mile before my frozen blood actually gets to my fingertips....I can easily find thousands of reasons not to do it. But I got one shoe on my short, fat little foot and I was all in.

So I ran.

1.5 miles in I wanted to walk. I still believe that people are runners even if they do take walk breaks but I was not wanting a break I wanted to stop. Just a little farther. So I kept running. A passing thought flashed through my brain "you could short cut home..." No I kept running. I ran up a hill feeling lead legs, I dodged the rush hour frantic drivers trying to get home on my in-the-near-dark run and one blasted dog (I say dog but it looked more like a small horse). I kept running. Why? Why did I not just sneak back through the neighborhood and go home?

It would be so easy for me to quit. I would have actually felt good to stop and just walk ALL the way home....slowly. Don't get me wrong. I do not deserve any persistence award for running. But just like not wanting to run there are things that i just don't want any part of and I frequently want to just not deal with them anymore. Things I don't want to do. Things that are overwhelming. Stuff that is just difficult. Undesirable situations that must be confronted. Work. Looking for work. Single Motherhood. Money. 

I see this in my son. I know that he gets a peeved at me telling me the only time I say his name is when I am asking if he checked his blood sugar. (yeah, okay I saw it a lot). I see him get overwhelmed when he is sick and misses school and faces the sheer magnitude of his make up work. Trying to find a spot on a finger to get blood from that doesn't have the callouses of a construction worker. Always having a glucose meter in his pocket or backpack. When his insulin pump site comes out in the night and he wakes up nauseated, high sugar and occasionally vomiting. I try to be very honest about what is difficult for me and careful not to sound like those horrible motivational posters so many put around the work place. I tell him when I don't want to get up for work. When I don't want to cook dinner. When I would rather have a painful dental procedure than pay bills. But I try to temper this with showing him that I try to persist in these small things. Maybe if I am lucky, I can show him making the effort to persist is worth it. 

If I get one shoe on, I am half way there.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Running Scared

I have been really scared only a few times in my life. I mean REALLY scared. You know, the random waist-high dog charging you in the dark while you run, that creepy guy that tells you no matter what you say he just "knows" that you love him, and the high speed wreck on the highway.....

Don't get me wrong. I have been scared. I am scared often but that clutching fear, hair on the back of your neck standing up, if I don't run I will die scared...not often. Then I had kids.

I have 3 beautiful children. 3 boys. And we have had our cup run over with health problems. 


RSV at 4 months old and when I close my eyes I can still hear that horrible noise he made with every breath he drew. Nebulizing him every two hour around the clock during Christmas. Yeah, that was some heart squeezing fear. I got so used to the labored sound of his breathing that if I didn't hear it I was suddenly bolt awake in bed. Still has asthma as a result.


Born in distress. In labor and watching more people enter the room every few seconds is unnerving at best when trying to concentrate. Begging my wonderful doctor to let me try...she agreed but said if he wasn't born soon I was looking at emergency C-section. He still has a terrible cough every time he is sick.

And then there is Riley. I thought that I had been afraid for my children until I experienced fear of watching my child in the Pediatric ICU with DKA. Diabetic Ketoacidosis. At 12 my son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. His pediatrician missed the initial diagnosis even with excessive water consumption, peeing and weight loss. He was also breathing like he was gasping for his last breath. I don't like to think very long about how close he might have been to that being the case. He was unconscious in the hospital for two days. I listened to him rasp. I had never seen ashen skin before. All I could remember was that beautiful baby and how did this happen. I was totally helpless. I could do nothing but wait for his blood sugar to come down. I remember one of the doctor's bringing a group of students by to just listen to him breathe. He said it was because it was not a common symptom to see and wanted the students to hear it so they would recognize it in the future.

We were sent to the hospital for pneumonia.  

He remembers almost nothing from those two days. But it has been burned into my psyche. I have wanted to do something even since his diagnosis but what? I'm not famous. I'm not important. How can I raise awareness. How can I be supportive? 
I know that I am supportive everyday helping him cope with this the best I can but there has got to be more I can do.....right?

I run. I am no elite. I am not really fast or have super endurance but I keep lacing my shoes. I run in support of him. I have, even if just in my mind, when I go to do a race, say "This is Riley's Run.

Still not sure how I can help with this but I felt this was something I needed to do and see where it goes. So I run to be supportive. I run so others will understand that so many children suffer from this because their own bodies starting destroying their pancreas. I run for awareness. I run for all my boys but I they are all Riley's Runs. No one should have to be scared of this. Not one more child.

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation