I confess, whenever anyone says to me, “how are you doing?”, my initial thought is like don’t you read my blog? But then, I remind myself that a) my posts are ludicrously long, b) people are busy, and c) I have been so focused with keeping up with my race reports that I haven’t actually talked about how my health is, how we’re doing in NC, and how we’re wrestling with the basilisk monster that is ALS:
So this post is to remedy that oversight…
I am awesome. Every single day contains sparkling gems of why it was absolutely the right decision to move to NC.
Take Wednesday: my dear friend Cathy and our godson Luke were visiting because they just moved back to Charlotte. We hung out in our apartment complex pool until it was time for them to leave and my dad (who rearranged his schedule) and I went to the van store for service. Then he took our recycling for us (b/c our brand new apartment complex is actually from the STONE AGE and doesn’t recycle). I did a 2-hour call with ALS.net ambassadors, worked on this post while waiting for DP to get back from our fabulous, 10-minutes-away gym so we could eat the dinner he fixed before he left…in MD, he would have just been getting home from work on the Metro by then.
I sleep great. I swim 3x a week with my mom/dad or someone else. I have so many friends around that DP asked me (gently) “um, when do you think our social calendar will slow down a bit?” Oops.
So yes, it was the right decision to move, even though we miss our friends and family in the DMV.
I am weary. While I usually have the NPR app going at all times, I’ve had to turn it off this week. The world is just too horrifying right now. Yes, I know it’s important to talk about race, terrorism, and what’s causing the violence, but I just can’t take the ongoing coverage or imagery of baby strollers crushed by trucks and the live streaming of people bleeding out. My heart just. can’t. take. anymore. I’ll tune in again (hopefully) when the violence dies down (hopefully) and thoughtful dialogue commences (hopefully).[I remain up for any conversation involving beer, chocolate chip cookies, our complex pool, games that fling whipped cream, or FaceTime.]
I am fired up. I am trying to redirect my time and energy to things that I can (at least somewhat) control to make my corner of the world better. The Ales for ALS events have been great fun and given me tons of ideas for next year.
I hinted about coming excitement involving Team Drea — DP and I actually have a bunch of projects in the works that we’ll be rolling out over the next few months.
Here’s one hint: You should plan to come to Raleigh to run or spectate City of Oaks on November 5-6. That’ll be my 12th race of the year, the last one for the season, and we want to celebrate the journey with Team Drea (all of whom have been on their own journeys) and all friends & supporters who can make it.
I am progressing. This is usually what people mean when they ask “how are you doing?” My ALS is still progressing bit by bit. My speech is a little harder to understand, voice a little weaker. I look to DP to tell long stories. My toes drag more. I feel twitching in places I didn’t before (arms, fingers, stomach, lip) — it’s not constant and not painful, but it sure is depressing. My body is reminding me that time is running out, twitch by twitch. It sucks.
That said, my swimming technique is better than ever if you ignore the fact that I’m not really kicking. My arms are better, my breathing is mostly even, and I can swim for as long as I used to take to swim 1.2 miles (~42 minutes). But now, I’m only swimming ~600 yards. I so don’t care, it feels amazing.
My breathing is somewhere between 93-98%, which I attribute to the swimming and thankfully slow progression. This is the best news of all.
My quads and calves are still strong thanks to the trike (and continuing to walk with the walker, however slow). I was happy that I could power through the gravel at the 17.76k. My handcycling is on hold as I wait for new, smaller hand pedals so I can shift more easily. It’s too damn hot to handcycle anyway 😉
^^I just realized I started with ALS symptoms and morphed into triathlon “symptoms” — I love this so much I’m leaving it.
I am grateful. For my life.