It took me almost 13 years to write this blog. I don’t think I have been in denial the whole time, but I think things had to get worse before they could get better. When porphyria strikes, it can be crippling for some, and of course deadly for most of us if it goes undetected. Pair that with hemochromatosis and you have fun all around. As a triple threat, let’s add in Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and see what happens. So this now brings you up to date on what has happened since I got married if you are new to my blog. I am not even going to go into how all of this has changed my life at this point, because the support groups I am a member of talk about this daily. What I am trying to do is to provide others with a different look at how to cope with what life has thrown at them.
In order to overcome anything, you first have to change your attitude. Do not allow the past to alter your future. This is a challenge daily for people who are not in pain. For those of us who are already a little different, well, this becomes Mt. Everest for us to climb. It is not impossible, it only appears that way. Which beings me to the lesson I learned today.
I completed a 5k by jogging. Now, here’s the old me. Dance for 12 years, soccer for 4, and my best mile ever was in high school at around 7 minutes. I came in right after the people who ran track and boy was I proud of myself. The me today doesn’t have any delusions of grandeur at this point. I was simply trying to finish. I was already in pain for doing something dumb the night before…I tried to jog on the trail 3 miles with my friend. Note to self, never do that again. Rest the night before. So, we started off slow for various reasons. We weren’t really trying to get the best time. We all just wanted to finish. There were tons of people and we were bringing up the back. Three of us broke away from the rest of our group who were going to walk it, and we decided we could jog it. Oh yeah, note to people with PCT, it was sunny, bright and hot. I must admit I was worried. I did not wear a hat, but had on sunscreen.
The two ladies I was jogging with helped me to keep a good pace. I have a tendency to go too fast at times when I need to remember I have a long way to go (I always made a good forward for you soccer fans). So, we see this older man speed walking and he seems to be doing great in his red spandex pants. Seriously. We pass women jogging with babies and then they pass us right back. We pass people running with tutus and various other people. All the while I am trying to imagine the finish line. Somehow, I manage to leave my friends behind, and pass the man in red spandex. I really am in pain by this point, but I see another man who seems to be in pain and his friend is encouraging him the whole time. He seems to be having a leg cramp, and his friend is telling him to lean on him. I start talking to God, as I often do, and then I imagine making it to the end. I did this for me, and it happened to fall during my girl’s soccer games, so I imagine them running down the field as I am running. I know they would want me to do well, so I press onward. I also imagine my trainer praising me and telling me I can do it. All the people in my life who have encouraged me to have the strength to face things I would rather ignore. I see the cheerleaders at the end of the mile 3 marker and only have to round the corner to cross the line. I can’t believe it…I make it to the water station and try to cool down and wait for my friends.
I see them coming and cheer loudly. Whew. We made it. The man in red spandex sees us and makes a gesture. I notice his necklace of beads and his badge that says Native American. He kisses his lips in what I believe is a gesture of thanks and puts his hand to his ear to indicate he can’t hear. Wow. At that moment, I wanted to cry. I wanted to sign back to him, but didn’t know how. We merely smiled at him and said thanks back. It was another of those moments when I believe God is trying to show me something I might have missed. I believe things cross my path for a reason. As one of my awesome friends has said “God, or the universe, or Buddha, or whoever seems to understand that we need each other.”
“Spirit has fifty times the strength and staying-power of brawn and muscle.”