In the summer of 2015 I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and thought I had finally figures out with the pain and fatigue was. Several times of the last years I have raised concerns with my doctor over what appeared to be fluid around the joint closest to my finger nails. It began with one finger and then two fingers. My doctor did not seem concerned nor did he wish to do any more testing to find out if something else was going on.
Jump to my training for the Princess Half Marathon and I was doing great. I was running three days a week for about 13 miles. I was really doing very well and was keeping my miles at about 12:30-13:30 minutes per mile from beginning to end. The end of April I ran and I hurt. I thought okay, I have hip flexor muscles that are acting up. I began seeing a chiropractor, getting massages, stretching and foam rolling but this didn’t seem to change anything. I could run about 2-3 miles and then I would hurt so badly on my right hip i would barely be able to walk home. I had X-rays and nothing showed up so I decided to take about 16 weeks off from running to allow the muscles to heal.
I did not get any better, if anything I got worse and began walking with a limp. I began doing more research and had more X-rays done. I was very discouraged and knew I had to finish the 13.1 miles I had signed up to do. This was not just for me but for Heather too. This was my way of symbolically honoring her 10 years since Leukemia/Lymphoma entered our world. I had tried to walk the 3-Day for breast cancer and only got 47 of the 60 miles before I could not finish. To my defense I had a stress fracture on my foot that I got the first day and continued to walk for 2 more days. But I had something to prove to myself.
I felt some better and I decided to try running again in December. I could run 2 miles and no problem, but shut the front door at running 4 miles. I couldn’t do it and I was so discouraged. I just wanted to cry. I had the biggest event I had planned for, with friends coming to run with me and I couldn’t train, I couldn’t walk let alone run. I couldn’t let myself, Heather, my family and friends down. I had also fund raised to be the top fundraiser with $4,577.00 going to Arizona Children’s Miracle Network. I just HAD to finish those 13.1 miles.
I decided that I needed to see an orthopedic doctor and not a sport’s medicine doctor. I made the appointment for the first week in January. I figured that I get to see him, possibly a hip injection and be good to go. I went into the appointment very optimistic. I never dreamed he would tell me what he was going to tell me. My right hip had severe joint damage and degeneration of the cartilage. My running days were over. He did tell me I would not damage myself more if I ran the Half but it would be better if I walked those miles.
WOW! I was not prepared for that. Now what do I have. Based on my history, my right hip and the joints on my fingers I have Psoriatic Arthritis. GREAT! So thrilled. I rounded out the week with going to physical therapy and getting a hip injection of kenalog. I also needed to get in with a Rheumatologist to get on medications to slow and hopefully stop any further joint damage. I was angry that my regular doctor misdiagnosed me and I could have prevented the joint damage if he had taken me seriously.
I hit the genetic auto immune cesspool from both parents. My birth mother, Jane, had psoriasis and also alopecia, which is a huge auto immune disease. My birth father, Harry, had horrible psoriasis and restless legs. I have had psoriasis since I was a baby. PsA, Psoriatic Arthritis, also mimics many if not most all the symptoms of Fibromyalgia, from sleeplessness, to restless legs to fatigue etc.
I began to process all that I had learned and I began to wonder could I begin training some so that I could walk those 13.1 miles. I felt I had let my running partners, Scott and Shannon down as I would have to walk the whole thing now. Scott and Shannon both said we start together and we end together, that they would walk with me. Not to build up strength to be able to wake for 3 plus hours solid. I have learned there is nothing I can’t do one I put my mind to it. My sheer determination and will. I had something to prove to myself and this just made it so much harder to do…