Sometimes I want to slit the throat of every metaphor and cliche saying that comes within my proximity.
A few weeks ago, I had to modify my marathon/ultra marathon training into eight weeks. This way, I'll be in decent condition for the Chicago Marathon and pretty pumped for the TCS NYC Marathon & NYRR 60K.
August showed me every ounce of its ass to kiss because here I find myself balancing blocks in a twisted game of Jenga. Next Tuesday, I'll be going in for laparoscopic surgery. Yep, that's right kids. Goddamn surgery.
The Aliens are Trying to Take Me or Life is Like a Mack Truck.
Wednesday afternoon, I was greeted by an exceptionally skilled gynecologist and surgeon who asked me to come into his office immediately. In turn, I hopped on the train, clutching my best friend and praying that it wasn't another cancer scare. Unfortunately, going to my follow up appointment a week ago revealed that I had cervical and ovarian polyps that surfaced on my ultrasound. Despite appearing exceptionally happy to the public, I still have my moments. Receiving this news made me feel like I am severely losing at life. Some people wallow in their depression for a long time; I learned how to channel it through other platforms. Through coaxing from friends and family, I used my marathon training as that platform.
After filling out the necessary paperwork, taking the dreadful walk into the examination room and getting a pelvic examination, the warm doctor assured me to relax. One of the nurses guided me to another area to get blood work and directed me to his office. I saw a wall full of accolades, noted that he is a founder to a medical organization and a plaque thanking him for his service in Haiti. Most times, I am in complete awe of someone's accolades but he fascinated me. Talking to him added to that level of comfort.
When he came back in the room, he looked at me and asked...
"...so do you know anything about endometriosis?"
I slightly found myself breathing lighter because I've been reading about it for years. In fact, I asked my regular gynecologist if I fit into this category many years ago. To hear a doctor confirm my thoughts was both reassuring and frustrating. I didn't want to be a Google search warrior and looked over every sign of my condition.
Grieving, Endometriosis & Overwhelmed
Read this kidnapped snippet from the Mayo Clinic below:
Endometriosis (en-doe-me-tree-O-sis) is an often painful disorder in which tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus — the endometrium — grows outside your uterus. Endometriosis most commonly involves your ovaries, fallopian tubes and the tissue lining your pelvis. Rarely, endometrial tissue may spread beyond pelvic organs.
Endometriosis folks. How the fuck didn't my previous gynecologist NOT see this. When I started reading up on endometriosis, I was pissed to see how much I have damn near every symptom.
Back pain. Constipation. Diarrhea. Emotionally imbalanced. Pelvic pain. Shoulder pains. Weight moving up two dress sizes a week before my menstrual. Miscarrying and having a hard time getting pregnant.
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Immediately, a sigh of relief to finally have a diagnosis for what plagued me for years infuriated me. All of this from endometriosis.
I lost and left several employers because of my menstrual cycles. One of my favorite races to date is the Front Runners New York LGBT Pride Run (5 Miler) through New York Road Runners. During that race, while I'm smiling in the picture, I was in an immense amount of pain due to what I simply thought was Pre Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) and my sciatica. One of my best friends Rayne, rode my old hybrid bicycle alongside me on the course for the last two miles pushing me through the muscle spasms and my tears.
With the exception of a handful of people, most people didn't know that I miscarried after running the Brooklyn Half in 2014. It was another incident in which I thought that I was coming down with an illness and probably menstrual related. After this race, I secretly ran the Brooklyn Half to mourn. As much as I am transparent, even some things are sacred, especially in this age of the internet. It's almost as if we have to relearn how to keep certain things to ourselves. It's not an act of hiding but maybe protection.
After the appointment, I crumbled. I felt a sea of emotions ranging between relief and frustration. Naturally, I questioned if I would still be pregnant with my twins right now if it wasn't for endometriosis. How many children would I have if I was diagnosed years ago? Will I feel much better after laparoscopic surgery on Tuesday? Does my doctor's credentials really live up to his excellent reputation?
It's hard to dance on the idea that I might feel less physical pain than I do at this moment. Emotionally, I am hoping that my therapist will guide me in the healing process. As far as my upcoming marathons and upcoming ultra marathon, I am making yet another modification.
I'll be following my doctor's orders after surgery, taking that entire week off. I'll move around and modify this plan by speed walking, resting when necessary and when my body gives me permission, I'll run. Will I make a PR like I originally thought? Probably not. Make it across the finish line or even make it to my race? Time will tell. Did I learn something from all of this? Absolutely.
Milestones are great. Being admired from many of you is nothing short of surreal. Regardless of where you are in life, remember that there's something that can break you or drive you. Perhaps you don't see that at this very moment. Maybe you smile like me through all of the pain but it's okay to give yourself permission to feel outraged too. It's not negative. You shouldn't feel ashamed of being human. We are all capable of feeling something.
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