Saturday, 27 October 2018

After 3 weeks of trying to find answers to my exercise-induced anaphylaxis, I took a deep breath and said enough is enough.  A few days ago, I was able to write this:

Today I ran wild. I ran with blatant disregard for the history of the past and the expectations of the future. I ran in the wake of the full moon light, blindly feeling the ground beneath my feet and letting my feet skim faster and faster across the earth. I refused to let fear tether me and choke me.
In my mind I was skipping across the ripples of the pond of probabilities that is only the NOW.
I am promise.
I am passion.
I am purpose. 

Thank you to my many friends from far and wide who have offered support and suggestions for my little problem.  I am having some testing done, and am implementing some strategies to minimize my risk while running.  When I gain some clarity around this all, I'll post some details.

Bounce Strong.

Friday, 12 October 2018

Please tell me I'm not allergic to running...

What do you do when the one thing that give you peace, the one thing that give you sanity, the only thing that gives you the ability to cope with stress...starts to threaten your life?

Am I being a little melodramatic here?  Maybe.

Have I been faulted with wearing my heart on my sleeve?  Often.

I am seriously needing to find some answers to a little problem I'm having?  Definitely.

I'm hoping someone out there, somewhere, can help me.  I think I'm developing an allergy to running and it's terrifying me.

Here's my history:

Oct 2014
Situation: Running 3 hours in a torrential rain storm along the forested river in the Comox Valley, BC when there was an inversion with thick woodsmoke in the air
Reaction: a few hives on my torso after the run, resolved quickly
Stress Level: don't remember
Rationale: pores dilated and absorbed the smoke - slight reaction.  Nothing to worry about.

Nov 2015
Situation: Running 1 hour in light snow in the city of Winnipeg when there was an inversion and heavy exhaust in the air
Reaction: hives on my torso and a swollen inner lip, resolved within 90 min
Stress Level: moderate, had just moved to new city, new job
Rationale: I didn't think anything of it and thought I'd frozen my lip as I was new to winter running

June 2018
Situation: Running 90 min early in the morning in Winnipeg in heavy humidity and totally dead air (inversion) after a thunderstorm the night before
Reaction: anaphylactic; barely made it home before airway was closing, swollen lip, hives all over body, ended up in ER for epi shot
Stress Level: high
Rationale: Inversion and crop spraying in the region caused concentrated chemicals in the air which absorbed through my skin; MD referred to specialist (1 year wait) and I now have 3 epi pens

Oct 2018
Situation: 2 days ago I ran for 35 min in the same park I always run in after work and had ran in the day before. Light wind with lots of dust, light snow, temps around freezing.
Reaction: throat closing first, sneezing, itchy armpits and swollen lymph nodes, massive hives everywhere, intense itchiness, lastly swollen lip; took loads of Benadryl and was able to avoid epi pen (barely)
Stress Level: very high
Rationale: no idea - no inversion, no chemicals in the air that I could think of, maybe stress?

This week has been tough.  I've been more than a little stressed and what helps me more than anything is a good cathartic run.  So when I burst into the house on Wed night and ran for the medicine cabinet, shaking, gasping and looking like a leper so much that my kids asked if they could safely touch me as I repeated over and over "I can talk, I can breathe, I can talk, I can breathe" to make sure I had an open airway...I totally broke down.  What the HELL was going on?  Why was this happening to me?  Don't take this away from me too God, I sobbed.

After spending the next 12 hours completely knocked out on Benadryl, I dragged myself to work yesterday and put on the best show I could.  However, last night I wrestled with God in the night like Jacob.  I was genuinely tormented...begging Him not take my running away from me.  I was now terrified of running, at least in the city where I lived, and that was NOT COOL with me.

Then from somewhere deep inside me I heard a voice that, echoing Lauren Diagle's tune, said,

"Look Up Child.

I've got you.

Let me do what I do best.

Just chill out.

For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

I woke up this morning with a renewed peace that whatever will be will be.  This evening after work I ran.  I was so scared.  I ran close to home and in circles around Grace Hospital, but I was ok, and my legs flew with an ease that came from a source outside of me. I felt amazing.

If anyone has any ideas on what could be triggering my allergic reactions, please comment below. I can't wait for the allergist on this one.

I don't know what is going on or why I'm having increasingly frequent and severe allergic reactions from simply running, but I know that I'm not going to put God to the ultimate test as I've been known to do in the past.  Despite what I thought was my best efforts, I've let it get to the place where He needed to threaten my running to get my attention.  So I'm going to stop, listen, and let Him do what He does best.  Because the alternative just isn't worth it.