So a bunch of things have happened here in these last few weeks, and I think my text to my sister pretty much made me realize that maybe it’s time for a little self-care. My text went something like, “I think I hit perimenopause. Do you have any advice for me?”, at which time she promptly called me and scolded me for loading a text with a giant question rather than what texts should be used for like, “I’m running late” or “see you tonight!” I think one reason I haven’t posted a lot on this blog is that I don’t want people to “know” that I am not doing my best. But the thing is, I am doing my best, it just looks like sh*t.
My mom has cancer. Big, scary cancer- late stage 3 melonoma. There are not a lot of good options here for her- she had 2 surgeries and a skin graft for her initial surgery, but the road of recovery has been slow and paved with less than stellar medical professionals. (Sorry mom in advance to splash all your backstory into the blogosphere, but I am pretty sure no one reads this besides you and Kris anyways. ;)) She has found a course of treatment that is palatable to her at this time, and I am very happy that everything seems a little less tense, more hopeful and optimistic. I booked my flight to be there in 3 weeks today, and that made me feel much better. You may know from a previous post how much of a fighter my mom is– and I am feeling positive about her treatment at this moment.
In the meantime, I should have clued into the fact that I was not doing too hot. I bit through my mouth guard about 3 weeks ago, and yesterday, my dentist was like, “Wow, that’s really hard to do-are you getting a divorce or something?” I am certain he was joking, but it’s not like I see him often, so I was a little put off, but YAH, I did bite through my mouthguard, and I have had horrible throat and neck pain, and every time I lift something heavy (uh? Kinda my job?), I feel that pull in my neck and jaw (and shoulder…and…well, it goes on). So I have to tell you that I am SCARED. I know it’s OK to be vulnerable, but I am SCARED. I am scared for my mom. I feel ALONE, being so far away from her and my sisters. I feel very separated from my family at this point – which has been cool in many ways, but lonely and scary in a lot more ways.
I tried to keep cool about the mom situation and keep doing things as planned, racing and training, working on my business, and being the Director of Summer Entertainment at “Camp Ogilvie”. I raced to a PR at Age Group Nationals in Milwaukee two weeks ago, and we camped in Marquette last weekend, and since then I have dragged myself through this week. I had entertained the idea of continuing to race this season up until Wednesday, when I realized I was swimming not so much as a training exercise but to lessen the horrible jaw and neck pain I had that day.
I can’t remember the last time I took a vitamin or ate a plate of vegetables other than a hastily thrown together salad. My hormones have taken an even worse nose dive since coming off the Whole 30 (yes, I know I vowed to follow through and “eat clean forever” and didn’t). I also realize now that I basically beat the crap out of my body to lose weight 2 years ago, just as I was probably entering perimenopause, and that perhaps that is starting to catch up with me. Watching my dog lose all thyroid function this summer gave me another smack to the head, in that I realized that maybe I don’t HAVE to feel this way. Maybe this isn’t just getting older, or moving away/life change, maybe there is something else going on with me. Until I figure it out what is going on and in order to be available for my mom’s recovery, I do not plan to train or race at all. I will do my best to take better care of myself and do what is good and necessary for me so that I can continue to be a role model to my clients who face stressful situations in their own lives and model the need to maintain self-care in order to take care of those around us. The women who put their trust in me to help them work on their goals deserve that much. My family and especially my daughters, and most importantly, ME—I deserve that.