To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.
-Steve Prefontaine
Make it simple, but significant.
- Don Draper

Sunday, January 26, 2014

To Cane or Not To Cane, To Run or Not to Run

Nobody messes with Barnabas and his cane!
Meniere's Disease has been taking its toll on me. Behind the scenes I have A LOT going on. Stress, positive or negative, we have learned, triggers some of my Meniere's attacks. Attacks then stress me out.  Attacks aren't letting me run.  Not running stresses me out a lot. So I've been trying to find ways to cope and deal with it all.

For quite a while I've been saying how I feel like I need a cane. When I'm home I can grab things to stay steady and my animals don't care.  At stores Man Friend stays at my side because it is often I completely lose balance and grab him so I don't fall. I don't always have him around obviously, and I get pretty nervous. I wear my medical ID bracelet just in case, but seriously who wants to fall in public or get looked at like you are drunk during the day?  I was killing time Friday in a store waiting for a meeting. I wandered toward the pharmacy and noticed canes for sale. I grabbed one, put it to a good height and decided to test it out. What did I notice? Every single person that walked by slowed and looked me up and down. I don't know how to describe how it felt. Yesterday Man Friend and I were at a different store and I found a "cute" cane. I felt better walking, steadier than I had been moments before. I didn't feel stared at, although I did see people looking. We stood in the store for a long time talking about it. I realized I feel better with one, but I just don't feel ready to be mocked. I've been mocked in public before when I asked MF to repeat himself because I couldn't hear. This whole invisible illness stuff sucks! Work is where I know I would be blatantly made fun of and talked to about it. I'm one step away from working in a junior high. Respect and privacy does not exist there. I have to go every day, four hours a day. I don't feel like being the joke for those four hours even though I would possibly be able to walk without feeling as nervous. I didn't buy the cane. I don't feel like having to explain MY life to nosy gossips.

It is now Sunday and I wanted to get in a five my run to prepare for Ragnar. Since I wrote last I have gotten my Ragnar legs. I CAN run long, obviously, but for the sake of the team and because I've been getting knocked down so often, I have one of the easier assignments. My goal is to try to regain some of my speed so I can help as best as I can this April. I've been having vertigo all day and woke up with crazy bad ear pain, which is always a precursor to an attack. I'm not certain running will happen today.

I'm on the couch Spirit of the Marathon. Seeing Frank Shorter at the start made me smile. Let's insert him here, and that's Steve Prefontaine's sister with us! The excitement of these runners puts me back to how I was a couple of years ago when I was at my peak performance and not having such terrible Meniere's issues.  I really miss it. It makes me want to run. To race! Heck I even said I'd almost like to do a third marathon (not Disney) where I can see how I do without an injury (I got hurt 17.5 miles into the Portland Marathon) or character photo stops to distract me. I hope that's a fleeting thought because really I don't feel a 26.2 desire anymore. Really I just desire to be able to run without fear of complete vertigo and nausea at any given moment. I think it might be a time for a. Is it to Coos Bay to have another little pep talk with Pre!


  1. I've got one more marathon at least in me, I think we need to look at the race calendars!

    1. I'm thinking you're onto something with Marine Corps!


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