Well shit, another year gone. I’m going to be honest with you, 2018 was not RAD as the youngsters of 1980 would say. You know what let’s just talk about the last four years while we’re being real. Christmas Eve 2015 I woke up had a cup of tea went to the bathroom and literally tore my asshole (sorry to be crass but this is life, it’s not pretty sometimes). So backtrack a few steps to shed some light here so you all aren’t scared that you will suffer the same fate – There was a lot leading up to ripping myself a new one. I have celiac disease and nobody knew till I was in my 40’s. It took almost a year to finally get my ass fixed via a Lateral Internal Sphincterotomy.
Let me tell you something sometimes I still question if I’m dead or alive. The recovery was…I can’t even think about it without going fetal on the floor. Next up February 2016 I was running and nearly dropped to the ground convinced I was having a heart attack but in reality the C5 and C6 discs in my neck had herniated pinching a nerve that ran down my right arm to my thumb causing intense pain in my arm and shoulder. Initially I was told I would never run again but a trip to a specialist and an MRI cleared that up – I could still run but absolutely no more barbell overhead presses or anything resembling and overhead pushing motion. It took about 9 months before the feeling came back in my hand and there were many things I couldn’t do. So I had to adjust and adapt like humans have evolved to do so well. 2017 I started to notice that my vision and ability to control my limbs was really funky when I went out for a run. I was also having a hard time writing without my eyes jumping around mostly side to side and I couldn’t control it. And the migraines that last days and days also decided 2017 was their year to shine. The debilitating exhaustion and intense muscle and joint pain made 2017 pretty stellar. I spent most of the year feeling incredibly lost and confused. June 19th 2018 I was diagnosed with Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 6 which is an inherited neurodegenerative disease that has no cure. My father has SCA6 and I’ve watched him struggle and get worse over the years. When I started to notice my symptoms I decided to talk with a genetic counselor and get tested. Knowing what is coming for me has been harder than I had anticipated and some days it severely kicks my ass. Have you ever watched a drunk person try and convince someone they are not drunk? That’s me pretty much every day with my brain. Things that used to be so easy are getting harder. The control and confidence I once had over my body is slipping away, I was told by my neurologist that I can no longer ride bikes. I’ve been an avid cyclist and lover of bikes since I was five years old.
So where am I going with this sad clusterfuck of a timeline? Life can be an unpredictable asshole smacking you right in the face like a sucker punching coward. That’s why you’ve got to be kind to yourself because life won’t. As long as you do your best today you are golden and honestly sometimes your best is going to be staying alive, asking for help, pulling the shades and sleeping all day. Appreciate what you can do now. Try not to get on the but I used to do this train, it goes straight to hell every time. I went for a run yesterday and I kept thinking about how grateful I am that I can still run at all. I’ve accepted and embraced that I have limitations as well as the fact that there will be more to come, there will more than likely come a day when I can’t run and it could be soon. By looking at me right now you might not know how much I am struggling, keep in mind, most people are and you will not be able to see it by looking at them. So don’t be an asshole because someone isn’t moving fast enough for your timeframe. Be kind and compassionate. We all, no matter what our situation, can use more love and understanding.