Sometimes despite all my hard work and efforts, reality wins out. Reality is that I have a compromised immune system and it no matter what I do, it eventually makes itself known.
Last Saturday I ran the St. Patrick’s Day Lucky 13 half marathon. Being my first long distance run/race post Phoenix marathon, Coach Paul said I needed to take it easy and not race for time as my body and bones are still trying to completely recover.
The race weather forecast was cold with rain and potential snow. Cold weather running is easy to dress for because I just add more layers. Wet weather like rain is much more challenging. Running produces a lot of body heat, so I have to dress for at least 10° warmer than my starting temperature. I opted for lighter layers without my waterproof jacket.
The race started dry with limited wind. At 4.5 miles into the race, the course had an impassable deep patch of standing water.
The water patch required all runners to “shimmy” along a concrete wall to avoid getting their feet soaked or running on the river rocks of the Jordan River on the other side. Concrete wall tight-roping was a first for me in a race.
At mile 9, the weather let loose on everyone with gusty wind, and snow. Running in cold, 40+ mph wind and snow without a moisture barrier was miserable. I picked up my pace and ran as quickly and safely as I could, trying to avoid slipping and falling.
That night, I was tired and could feel my body trying to fight off an infection. I made Green Smoothie Girl’s magic “tonic” and woke up feeling better on Sunday, happy the immune boosting tonic had done its job.
The last two weeks have been absolutely crazy. I sent Chelsie off on her 18-month LDS mission, while simultaneously finishing preparations for the Utah Valley History Day contest. Late nights, lots of work and the added stress of facilitating an academic contest for 150 students in Utah Valley; combined with assisting the Salt Lake History Day competition finally caught up to me. Despite making more tonic, and trying to rest, I ended up sick with an upper respiratory infection.
When ever I get sick with any infection, my immune system looses its delicate balance and Crohn’s disease really makes its self known. Yesterday while assisting at the Salt Lake County contest, my gut couldn’t take the stress anymore and I barely made it to the restroom on time.
Crohn’s is an ugly disease; painful, frustrating and embarrassing; it always keeps me humble. Accidents are a reality and yesterday when I cleaned up the floor in a public bathroom, I felt personally humiliated because I work so hard to try and control something that in reality, I really can’t.
I eat clean, exercise regularly, take supplements and live a healthy lifestyle. Stress and sickness happen, that’s reality. For the last 22 years, it’s combined effect on my body with Crohn’s disease, is my daily reality.
On Thursday, March 29th I will have a colonoscopy. I haven’t had one for nearly 3 years and I’m overdue for an internal update. The stress of the last couple of weeks has finally passed and I can work on calming my raging gut down. Here’s hoping for some positive news and a healthier body next week.