I’m not in so orange of a mood right now.
I’ve got yet another diagnosis update for you today, which you have my permission to skip if you’d like. (Though I wish you wouldn’t; it comforts me to think that people across the globe are partaking in my miserable rantings.) I am WELL AWARE that all these updates are quite prone to boring the running shoes off anyone reading; but, I would also like to point out that I, too, wish with every particle of myself that things were different. I want to be reporting about cool things in my running world! I want to write posts with titles like The Girl in the Orange runs her first 10k! and Currently Training for my first 1/2 Marathon! or New PR!! or Now experimenting with barefoot running!, or…SOMETHING! I want to post about SOMETHING exciting with lots of exclamation points and adrenaline and happiness and runner’s high!
After multiple, MULTIPLE visits to such people as pediatricians, phlebotomists, and orthopedists, we are still left scratching our heads as to what this…this, this, thing crippling my joints could be. The blood testing ruled out the rheumatoid factor–it’s not arthritis. The extensive x-rays ruled out “mechanical” issues (e.g., torn something, broken something, missing something), and narrowed it down to some sort of “wiring problem” (e.g., autoimmune disorders, skeletal disorders, food intolerances, miscellaneous syndromes, etc.). I’m not sure whether this is good or not; in fact, i believe I’m of the opinion that the only GOOD diagnosis is one that we are able to be 100% secure in! (Which obviously hasn’t been hit upon yet.)
I’m not supposed to run.
Yesterday I decided, screw it, I’m running anyway.
I got a crazy adrenaline rush just from sliding on my running capris and shoes for the first time in, oh, two months:
and was super psyched to just pound all this angsty anxiety into the ground, feel the wonderful burning in my lungs, so I wouldn’t be so numb anymore, so I would have sensation. (As per my running-inspired poem, Footfall.)
I had sensation.
It was pain.
Running honestly felt like my calf muscle was wrapping itself around the bones in my shin and squeezing as hard as it could, trying to snap them in half. I’m not ashamed (well, I’m somewhat ashamed) to admit that I ran the majority of 1.4 miles with tears streaking down my face; which, of course, just made me want to run harder. I wanted to run away from those tears–and when I did, it hurt, hence, more tears. The most vicious of cycles.
I don’t know if I’ve ever been as frustrated with something as I am with this. Something that used to be so easy, rewarding, and just, well, good, is now excruciating, anxiety-inducing, and nearly impossible.
Let’s face it–adolescence is rough. (I’m aware that I sound very much like a whiny teenager right now, but it’s true–remember?) Running was (almost) my only coping mechanism. (Writing and blogging are also pretty therapeutic too, but nothing I’ve experienced is able to burn away pain so easily as running.) Now that’s been robbed from me, and that’s one of the cruelest things ever.
Mother Dearest bought me my very own bottle of Advil to sit on my counter, so a.) I stop stealing her ibuprofen, and b.) so I don’t have to swallow the vile-tasting, bitter generic pills. The optimistic, lighthearted part of me (oh, it still exists! It’s just not coming through very well in this post) wants to laugh at both the irony and novelty of this. It is rather amusing. And it makes me feel better, if only for 6-8 hours.
(Next to my new owl contact lens case–thanks Lily!)
But even Advil can’t fix everything; the pain comes back full-force as soon as the effects of the drug wear off. And I can’t run, I can’t really do anything…I just want to go to sleep, and stay asleep, until my joints fix themselves.
Please, if you’re a runner, and are reading this, don’t take your running for granted. It’s a beautiful, raw, powerful thing–don’t skip out on it because it’s too hard (ah, yes, I am sympathetic to the plight of the procrastinating runner–but now I sorely [no pun intended!] wish I wasn’t), and please appreciate it for all it does in your life. You never know if, or when, you’re going to lose it.