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Monday, May 14, 2012

Getting Something Back

Way back, at age 19, I decided to start running to get in shape. I loved it. I managed to run every day, which is a big deal for me. less than 6 months after I started, I was stopped by my first arthritis flare in my ankle. I had no idea what it was at the time, but it scared me, and had me on crutches or limping for 5 months.

After that, it came and went, but the swelling kept my foot from bending correctly, so no more running for me. The arthritis got progressively worse, sometimes keeping me bedridden for weeks. Then, between flares, it was all I could do to get some of my strength back for another round of flares.
I even climbed several mountains in the meantime, when my joints permitted, but being able to jump or run, to propel myself through the air one leg at a time, wouldn't come to me. It had been frustrating to say the least.

I read up on everything I could, and was particularly interested in the effect of dopamine in autoimmune diseases. I had noticed if I was in the middle of a flare, but I heard a good song, or something else that made me happy despite the pain, I'd sometimes get an amazing, euphoric feeling, and that would set about recovery for that round.

I don't know if anyone knows the full story of what I've gone through over the last two years, but it's been rough to say the least. Through it, I found new ways to look at things, to figure out what's really important, figure out where I'm going, and to feel halfway decent about myself for I believe the first time in my life.

January had me bedridden two separate times, but I didn't let the depression from prolonged pain win that time. I've had only minor flares since, the most recent on my hand lasting for LESS THAN A DAY.

I thought that was good news, but today, while out walking London, I did something, just to see if I finally could, and I'm sure I looked a lot like a drunken asshat.

I ran.