Thursday, July 31, 2014

The 8th Mile and 8 Mirena Symptoms

A few months ago I posted on FB that my friend and I were in; we were running the Boston half-marathon this coming October. We had run it together in 2005 and were determined to get back in shape after each having 3 kids. Since then, I have managed to work up to running 8 miles (soon to be 9 this coming weekend) get my husband on board to train and run with us (he's competitive, as am I, so that wasn't hard ;), and support my dear friend Nikki in all she has been going through since taking Mirena, a scary scary IUD, out of her body.

I am going to start with the Mama-training that I have been doing to work up to 8 miles because in all honesty, it initially wasn't easy! I have Lymes Disease, which I have been treating holistically with diet and herbs since March 2012 (I will post more about that at a later date), I was on bed rest prior to my daughter Livvy being born in November and have lost an amount of blood nobody should lose, twice. One hemorrhage happened after a "simple" DNC to remove a piece of retained placenta 6-weeks following my son Luke's 100% natural birth. And once during my emergency c-section with Livvy due to placenta previa, which required 2 transfusions. Clearly, placentas and I don't get along, thank goodness tubes are now knotted! In other words, my body has been through a lot, had a lot to recover from, lost a ton of muscle tone and was no longer the body I had in my 20's, to say the very least! Running one short mile was taxing, and that was quite frustrating. Being an athlete, my go to run was always 3 miles and now...1 was nearly doable, ugh. I kept at it, started stretching every night, doing sun salutations in the morning before the kids woke up and incorporating core work whenever we were all on the floor together playing or before bed. Basically, whenever I could fit them in. I also still have a significant diastasis, so core work and bringing my abdominal muscles back together to support my back is essential. I squeeze things in when I can and my husband and I alternate running when he gets home from work. Other than the days I get to run, there are no scheduled workouts, specific gyms times or classes to take. Now, we eat everything from scratch, and I mean everything; from almond milk to granola bars to dinner - nothing in a bag or box or even a can for that matter, except coconut milk! So, preparation is key and I try to have everything prepped and ready by the time Luke gets home, so that taking 30-45 minutes to run doesn't impact our dinner, aka, the witching hours. Its not always easy, but it works for us, and I am so thankful to have an awesome, supportive husband that helps with the kids and dinner. He's honestly and truly the best! Anyway, training for previous half-marathons I followed a pretty strict work-out regimen and I followed Hal Higdon's programs. Now, I have a general idea of what to do. Once I was easily running 3 miles, I began to increase my runs on the weekends. Each Saturday I go up a mile and one week I went from 5 to 7 without difficulty. It feels good to do something for myself, and is probably the only thing I do for myself, literally - we need a date night like no other :) Although I should be, I'm not doing weight training right now, but I have arm and shoulder strength from always having one of the 3 kids in my arms! Livvy is always in the ergo as well, so I am constantly squatting to pick up toys and clean working on those glutes, and the boys, they keep me moving! Workouts are different, but good different! I feel awesome running, have my Lymes under control without joint pain and am psyched to have made the leap to run! Being a mom is the hardest job I have ever endured and I give my all to my kids. It's so easy to forget about yourself, so I knew I had to commit to get out and run and not feel guilty about it. As an OT, I also know how important it is to exercise for body, heart and mind, and I want all the Moms out there to know that taking an hour a day to exercise is the best thing that you can do for yourself and your family. Start with one, guilt free mile and go from there, you deserve it, Mama-training begins now!

Now, let's chat Mirena. Nikki's training is a little behind mine and she is not even 100% sure she will be able to do the half-marathon. So, as doctors and the pharmaceutical companies are making billions on an FDA approved birth control, Nikki has had an MRI, CT Scan, blood work, saliva samples, and has seen every specialist from a functional medicine doctor to a rheumatologist. Everything is coming back negative, thank goodness, except for newly diagnosed Celiac Disease and a ton of food sensitivities. Another person close to me also had Mirena in for a time and experienced a number of the same symptoms as Nikki. I am happy to say that I connected these two and I think that it helped Nicole realize that she wasn't crazy. She wasn't somaticizing and there was something going on, but many people don't have support and medical doctors will often times not link symptoms to the IUD, shocking right? Not so much. There are also online forums, blogs and support groups to help people learn more about Mirena and the impacts it can have on your life. In this blogpost I am going to give you the 8 symptoms that the 2 people in my life experienced from Mirena and my only advice to you is - if you have it in you GET IT OUT! Encourage your husband to get snipped if you are done having children, use other methods of birth control, such as condoms, but don't go the Mirena route because the road is treacherous.
I have never believed in birth control because my mother, who is actually the complete opposite of me and extremely medical minded but I am forever grateful to her for this, always linked my Aunt and Godmothers breast cancer and brain tumor to being on the pill for so many years of her life. It makes you wonder why there is so much infertility nowadays and why so many young women are having strokes. Anyway, I'm diverting, but just educate yourself prior to just following a doctors advice in any situation. Here are the 8 symptoms that my loved ones shared:
1. Numbness/Tingling (left arm and hand, leg and face)
2. Severe Anxiety and Panic Attacks 
3. Heart Palpitations/Heart "Racing"
4. Feelings of having a stroke or heart attack or losing consciousness
5. Difficulty swallowing
6. Fatigue/Exhaustion and Mental Fogginess
7. Inflammation
8. Joint Pain

Hopefully, as Nikki continues to slowly improve, she can get Mama-training too, but for now, just getting better is her priority.

Please note, as stated in the disclaimer that this blogpost is not intended to be used in the place of medical advice.

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