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“Just do something” is the voice that resounds in my head. My aching, pounding head. This is day #6 of the feverish migraine-like headaches and throbbing joint pain that has kept me up at night. People have often asked me what an autoimmune disease “flare-up” feels like. Well, this is it: Imagine the worst hang-over of your life combined with the fatigue, aches and pains of the flu and the nausea and stomach cramping of a stomach virus.
Yup. It sucks. The thing is, since I work for myself from home, most people don’t see me during a flare up. And for the most part I portray the image of perfect health. I’ve been compared to the Energizer bunny or as my husband so lovingly calls me, The Human Tornado. But what people don’t realize is that sometimes the ONLY time I do feel good is when I am moving.
It’s hard to remember this during a flare up. I just want to curl up in bed and do nothing. All day long. And maybe I give in for a day or two but I just feel worse. So I remember the best piece of advice given to me after I was diagnosed with these stupid thyroid and celiac diseases from a friend who recovered from Thyriod cancer, still lives with thyroid autoimmune disease and competes in a ridiculous amount of ultra marathons and grueling obstacle course races: “No matter how bad you feel, just get out the door and do something. Take it minute by minute and mile by mile; you will start to feel better and if you don’t turn around and try again tomorrow”.
So I took his advice today. I was sick of sitting at home, sick of feeling sick to my stomach. I met a friend at one of my favorite places in the world to run, Red Rocks Amphitheatre, and made the goal of running/hiking 6 miles. I figured the beautiful scenery would distract me and the intensity of the hills and stairs would take my mind off the pain of the flare up.
Well, it worked! Today I ran/hiked over 7 miles. The most I have done since I was diagnosed almost a year ago and so much closer to my goals of completing an ultra marathon and racing in the Obstacle race World Championships in 2016.
So tomorrow, no matter how I feel, I will lace up my shoes, step outside and do something.