Sunday, April 2, 2017
Going the Distance: I remember when....
This time 10 years ago I was getting ready to take a leap of faith. I'd been diagnosed with Post-Polio Syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease in early 2007. I was told that the "best" I could hope for was to stabilize the symptoms where they were if I quit my award winning 20 year VA career just 3 years shy of being able to retire. Shortly after the diagnosis, I got still and asked for Divine Guidance. The answer to my prayers came through my pen, my divining rod for healing as I wrote poems about visualizing myself healthy and whole. The first poem I wrote was called, "Running the Race," which foreshadowed my 2009 Boston Marathon run.
But it was not until I met Ryan J. Means, DC that I would be able to go the distance in my health and wellness journey.
It's not that long ago yet a lifetime ago and so let me take you back to when I remember when.....
...I couldn't swallow well because the left side of my esophagus was weak and I aspirated food. I had to do a chin tuck and take a dry swallow and drink liquids through a straw and the worst part for me - I couldn't talk during a meal!
...No matter how hard I tried could not maintain a regimen of working out. I ran the 2009 Boston Marathon and crashed and burned after I ran it. I had a great run in 2010-early 2011 and then really crashed and burned after my nephew's suicide. I had a great run in 2014 and then had a very serious knee injury that was supposed to sideline me
...I had the physical therapist from hell, a massage therapist who shrugged his shoulders when I told him my goals to return to running and being told I should go back to the Post-Polio clinic because, after all, we know that this is only going to get worse again.
...I had to take naps during the day and had no endurance to get through a day
...I couldn't do a squat for squat, had very little upper body strength and couldn't swim for longer than 15 or 20 minutes at a time
...I had a wound on my nose that would not heal - for years - and many would say I was crazy for not going to the doctor but I trusted in my body's Divine Intelligence to heal everything...thank you Dr. Ryan for turning me onto the work of Dr. Joe Dispenza.
...People thought I had Parkinson's Disease because of head and hand tremors
...I had a major problem with balance and could never run on a treadmill
...An MRI showed an atrophied gastroc muscle, bone spurs, degenerative arthritis, a fatty lipoma, no cartilage in the knee joint and degenerative changes from reconstructive leg surgery and I was told I would need a total knee replacement!
...I had a deep desire burning in my soul to run unencumbered and free and to reclaim my life but had no idea how I was going to get there!
But here I am...I've run two consecutive Bermuda Half Marathons. I train five days a week. I can do squats away from the wall. Some days... well many days, I put in a 14 hour day without a nap. There is just a tiny scar on my nose from that wound. I swim for an hour once a week. I run twice a week and if the weather is not conducive for a run, run on the treadmill. I cross train on the Arc Trainer and the upright bicycle. I can focus on steadiness for my head tremors and hand tremors and know that everything is healing. I use a Theraband Stabilizer to work on balance and do gastroc strengthening exercises because I have grown a new gastroc muscle. I still have my knee and we are running long and strong!
I remember when I faced a very bleak diagnosis and prognosis. I had no idea what the future would hold until I lit the spark of my imagination.
and then slowly the miracle happened....
Oh yes I remember when everything hurt and chronic fatigue plagued me and I did not know how I would make it through a day.
And I thank the Universe that my prayers have been answered and I now have what one day I fervently prayed for.
To your health and wellness!
My latest book, 'Going the Distance: The Power of Endurance' is available on Amazon chronicling my journey to health and wellness as a survivor of paralytic polio and trauma and a woman who refused to quit!