Saturday, March 28, 2009

March 28, 2009

Today marks... well nothing, really. It's another Saturday, and things still remain fairly day-to-day as far as basic strength and functionality limitations. I am still waiting for this initial polymyositis onset to come under control. I am not working full-time yet, am not able to engage in normal social outings, and still can't perform much in the way of self-care. I feel stronger than I have, but have yet to feel any significant improvements. My leg muscles feel the most improvement so far, and I have been walking and using cardio machines like the recumbent bike and elliptical trainer at work. However, my trunk and arms remain fairly weak, and there is quite a bit of arthritis in my hands, wrists, and elbows that prevents some very basic dexterity. I still have trouble swallowing, and it affects my speech. So, the last few weeks have seen a little improvement, but this improvement is relative to the bottom of the barrel where things were pretty ugly.
Fortunately, optimism remains. I am aware of the side effects of large steriod doses, and I am attributing a general positive mood, energy, and mania to those, but can't help sometimes being glad that I have always been a generally upbeat person. I am trying not to feel sorry for myself, and negative moods generally result from the feeling that I am ineffective at work and steering a sinking ship with the projects that I am supposed to be managing. I know that it's probably worse in my own head, but I hate feeling like I am doing a poor job. I am not a good leader, manager, boss, mentor, etc. at the moment, and this impotence makes me feel like less of a person.
I have tried not to worry too much about the long-term ramifications about this disease on my lifestyle and hobbies yet. I am comfortable with the knowledge that this initial onset could take several months to recover from, and I try not to worry beyond this anticipated time period. I have friends who are cancer survivors, and I sometimes feel a twinge of guilt when I think that I'm not grateful to be alive. This disease never put my life in danger, it just presented some significant disabilities. I am not content to accept them yet and focus on the things that I can still enjoy in this life. I want to run again, and on my terms, including trails, ultras, and racing. I want my identity back the way it was, and so much of it involved physical strength. I'm not ready to let those things go. Not yet.

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