Saturday, November 10, 2012

Health Update

October has now come and gone, and still no running for me. My health seems like it has continued to improve, but so slowly that at times I can't actually tell if I'm getting better, or if I'm just getting better at functioning at less than 100%. The good days aren't so bad, but the bad days are still fairly regular, and are sometimes fairly difficult to deal with. I've done my best through all of this to remain as upbeat, forward thinking, and positive as possible, but at times this has been quite hard too.

I've seen a total of 5 western medicine doctors (sports medicine, nuerologists, internists), as well as an acupuncurist, a massage therapist, and a somatic experiencing practitioner. I've done extensive blood, urine, saliva, and stool testing, as well as MRI, X-rays, and a lumbar puncture. These tests have almost certainly ruled out many of the more sinister and/or specific diseases/conditions which fit with some of the symptoms I've had (MS, Lupus, Vasculitus, Neurosarcoidosis, Hypothyroidism, Lyme disease, Celiac's, etc). If I have a fairly well understood condition then I almost certainly have an unusual form of it that isn't showing up the way it "normally" would in tests.

What this leaves me with then is the possibility that I have some kind of excessive physical stress induced fatigue syndrome (i.e. over training). Although I'm very aware that this is a very real thing, and a very real possibility in my case, I'm not certain I'm to the point just yet of accepting this as a diagnosis. I'm currently waiting on a large wave of more tests that the most recent doctor I saw told me would, if not diagnose, at the very least, paint the picture as to what I need to do to get healthy in as short of a timeframe as possible. I'm also planning to have another brain and a spine MRI in a couple weeks.

Once all of these tests are back there really isn't much else I can do if everything still looks more or less "normal." At that point I would simply need to move forward with getting healthy, aware that I may never know what has been the definitive cause of all of this. Although I would much prefer to know exactly what has been the cause of all of this, I'm also feeling myself getting closer to the point of not really caring anymore. Not to say that I don't care about my health, and that I'm not doing everything I can to try to get better, but that I am beginning to feel myself ambivalent as to what disease/condition I'm dealing with. Certainly if I do have some specific disease/condition I need to find out what it is to best treat it, but as more and more testing makes it less and less likely that I have a specific disease/condition (at least one that medicine currently recognizes), then it becomes less and less necessary to be able to put a name to all of this. It then just comes down to getting healthy, and that is something I very much look forward to working toward.

At any rate, I may be getting a bit ahead of myself in thinking much about this before I get the results of these next series of tests. I have found through this whole thing though that it helps very much to have a bit of a mental plan in mind for what to do if a bunch of new tests come back "normal", as this is now something I've had to deal with at least a half dozen times. In this current case I think I may finally be to the point that I'm ready to move beyond the testing and the searching for a diagnosis, and ready to simply move toward being as healthy as possible. This actually feels like a very liberating and refreshing shift. Of course, if this plays out like so many things in life, it'll be now, that I'm willing to stop searching for answers, that I'll find what I've been looking for the whole time. That would be OK with me too. I guess time will tell.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Camp Scholarships Now Available

If you missed the announcement over on IrunFar, I'm super stoked to say that The Alaska Mountain Ultrarunning Camp will now be offering scholarships based on financial need. I've put the first $1500 down on this program, and have begun taking contributions to hopefully raise enough funding to cover up to 3 full scholarships. Thanks to those of you that have already contributed. If you're interested in any of the details of the scholarship program please check out this link:

You can find details at the above link on how to apply for a scholarship, how to nominate someone for a scholarship, or how to contribute to the scholarship fund.

Heading up to Oregon for the weekend to hangout with a couple friends who are running the Lithia Loop trail marathon. Looking forward to getting out of town and checking out a race I've never been to, even if it is from the sidelines.