Jamison Kampmeyer Memorial Run

This is the first race I ever ran…5 years ago.  It went by a different name then.  This would have been the 6th time for me to run it.  Instead, I volunteered at race day registration.  Then I hopped on Tim’s bike and cheered Jaden on as he ran the race.  I got to see a lot of friends out on the course and being able to cheer for everyone took away a little bit of the sting of not being able to run it myself.

At the start line with our friend Sarah, who went on to get a 5K PR!

About half a mile in…looking good.

Around 2 1/2 miles. 

Sprint to the finish!

He got 2nd place in his age group.

We live in a fast neighborhood.  These are the trophy winners from our corner (literally).

Jaden had a great time and was thrilled with his trophy.  This was his third 5K of the year.  While it was his slowest race, it is the first time he has run one without me or Tim ‘pacing’ him along the way. 

The race honors a fallen local firefighter and there were several local firefighters and members of the National Guard who participated.  It is amazing to see these guys come out and support our small community.

This is shorter than my usual race recaps.  I guess I’m just a bit bummed that I didn’t get to run this year.  I was glad to be able to volunteer and I hope that next year I will be back, and better than ever.

Thank you

So many of you have said so many nice things since my last post.  I am very grateful to each of you who reached out to me via text, facebook, email and in person.  While I have not responded to the vast majority of those messages, please understand that I read every single one of them and it means the world to me that you would take the time and energy to reach out to me.  I am humbled.  And blessed.

It is my intention to respond to all these messages.  Please forgive me if the follow through isn’t 100%.  It doesn’t mean I don’t care, it just means that I don’t have the energy. 

Several people suggested that I find someone to talk to about what I’m going through.  I think that is a very valid suggestion.  As is the suggestion that I may need to revisit the idea of medication to help me get through this period of time.  Other suggestions included essential oils (I know almost nothing about this and would need some help with the details), a weekend away by myself (can’t afford it and it seems isolating), a girl’s night out (I don’t have the energy for social environments right now and I don’t want to depress the people I’m with).

I just pray that I will get through this injury and pain and that I can put this stage of my life behind me.  Until that happens, I will try to smile.  Again, thank you all for your kind words and encouragement.

This one’s not pretty

If you have known me for a while (in real life), some of this story may be familiar to you.  If you don’t know me that well, please just let me vent.  I’m hoping it will help.

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I’ve been depressed before.  After my older son was born, I battled postpartum depression.  It went undiagnosed for way too long.  I didn’t get the help I needed and I slowly dissolved into myself.  I lost the will to do much of anything.  My apathy extended to every area of my life.  I stopped eating.  I slept all the time.  I got pretty sick.

It took a long time to get better.  I needed help.  I talked with professionals.  I took some meds.  Eventually, after a lot of hard work, I got healthier.  But the most drastic change came when I started running.  I was amazed at what my body was capable of doing.  I was shocked at how my mental outlook changed after a few miles.  I set goals.  I achieved those goals.

I felt strong and successful.   Those feelings extended to other areas of my life.  I went back to school (twice!).  I had another child.  I kept running.  Things were good.  I had stress, but I was able to adapt and handle those stressors in a healthy way.  All because I was a runner.  I had achieved balance.  I had an excellent way to relieve stress and clear my mind and work through any challenges I was facing.

I can feel myself falling into the same hole of depression.  I’m trying hard to fight it, but it’s like these long, black fingers keep pulling me down into a deep hole that becomes more and more difficult to escape.

Everything suffers.  I am short-tempered with my kids and my husband.  I have no motivation to clean the house or do any of the innumerable projects that I put on the once-I-graduate list.  I just want to sleep.  Everything that I know needs to be done seems to require vastly more energy than I have.  The simple demands of my children overwhelm me.  The laundry will sit in the dryer for hours until I garner the strength to fold it.  I would give anything to be able to nap all day—but then the mom-guilt would overtake me.

This time the slide into depression has been different.  The activity that I love was taken away from me.  It has been almost 6 months since I have been able to run.  In that time, I have dealt with disabling back pain every day.  If I try to lift my three year old, it hurts.  If I bend over the wrong way to tie my shoes, it hurts.  If I lean quickly to catch a football with my son, it hurts.  It hurts to unload groceries from the car.  It hurts get the pasta pot out from under the cupboard.  It hurts to get out of bed in the morning. 

I hate what this injury has done to me, but more than that, I hate who it has made me.  I don’t smile as much.  I’m cranky and tired all the time.  I yell at my kids more than I should and I play with them less than I should.  There are so many things I wanted to do with my family this summer and instead, I am just stuck.  I am not a whole lot of fun to be around.  And I haven’t been able to reciprocate so many of the kindnesses I have received. 

And I feel like this is so stupid!  I mean, people deal with real pain every day.  They can’t go to work.  They can’t sleep.  They can’t walk.  There are people I see every day who are dealing with more difficult things that I can imagine.  I don’t know what it is like to help a loved one through cancer, or to raise a special needs child, or to go through a divorce.  I just hurt my back and I can’t participate in my ‘hobby.’ 

But this is my pain.  And it is real to me.  And just because I haven’t had to deal with any of those other ‘hurts’ doesn’t mean that my ‘hurt’ is any less.  Or that my depression isn’t valid.  Or that I should just get over it and be thankful for everything I do have.  Because I am thankful for what I do have…but all my blessings don’t negate the powerfully overwhelming feelings of sadness that I still have to deal with.  And no matter how many times I try to focus on the rainbows, all I see is the rain.

I don’t know why I’m saying all this, other than I feel a need to get it out and try to clear my head.  I don’t need sympathy or pity or Pollyanna-well-wishes.  Just understanding.  Compassion.  Grace.

Injection #2

Today was my second set of lumbar injections at Bone and Joint.  The process was remarkably similar to the first set of injections a couple weeks ago.  My arrival time was 10:00.  Why they need me to arrive 90 minutes before the procedure is scheduled is something I don’t quite understand. 

I skipped the Valium this time.  Last time I ended up being completely useless for the entire day, thanks to the Vitamin V.  These injections were slightly more painful (because I didn’t take the Valium?), but still not too bad.

I talked with the doctor a little bit about the amount of pain relief I got from the first set of injections.  We spent some time differentiating the different pain I was experiencing.  I am still having pain in the hip/iliac crest area.  The injections aren’t going to do anything for that pain.  They are just going to help with the back pain.  I rated the first injection at about 50% for the short term relief of the back pain.  (very short term-about 2 hours)

This time, after she did the injections, she kept me on the table and used the Xray guidance to determine exactly where I was having the hip pain.  Initially she thought it was SI joint, but we determined it was definitely more pelvis/iliac area.  It could be related to the back pain, but until the back issue is resolved, we won’t know for sure.

After the procedure, they gave me the same after care instructions and sent me home.  I had to record a pain diary for 8 hours post procedure and was told to expect relief for the first 2-3 hours and then increasing pain up to my baseline after that.

When I got home, I decided to take the dog for a walk to see how I was feeling.  Nothing really hurt, but it wasn’t like I felt fantastic.  But, how’s this for pain relief?  When I got back from the walk, I moved the laundry from the washing machine to the dryer.  It didn’t hurt! 

That might seem pretty insignificant to most people, but it was a huge deal for me.  That hasn’t happened in months.  Unfortunately, by the time the clothes were done in the dryer and it was time to fold them, the pain came back.

The next step is a follow up office visit in about 2 weeks.  At that point, we will discuss whether the relief I felt was significant enough to make me a candidate for the median branch neurotomy.  If I am, that procedure would probably be scheduled for the beginning of August.  If not, I have no idea what will happen.  But there will be tears.

So, I guess I’ll just wait a couple weeks and see what the doc says at the next appointment.  I covet your prayers and positive thoughts.