Jogging Journal: Day 1 of Trainning for My First 5K

5:30 A.M. on Monday, December 4, 2017 – The sound of my alarm wakes me from my deep slumber. Normally, I’d hit the snooze button several times before deciding to get out of bed. But not on this morning. I was on a mission! One I had mentally prepared for over the past week and decided to finally put this plan into motion.

So, what had me waking up at the crack of dawn without any reservations?

I had finally convinced myself it was time to follow through with something I never saw myself doing and just go for it! I was going to start training to run my very first Miles for Migraine 5K.

Miles for Migraine is a registered 501(c)(3) Non-Profit with the mission of improving the lives of migraine patients and their families, raising public awareness about headache disorders, and helping find a cure for migraine. Miles for Migraine produces fun walk/run events, typically 2 mile walk and 5k and 10k race to raise money for migraine research. We also host youth camps for kids and teens impacted by migraine or other headache disorders.

To be honest I absolutely detest running! I played soccer as a kid and well into my teens, but I ended up being the goalie. I didn’t have to put as much effort into running on the field as my teammates. I only ran laps with the team before and after practice. Which was maybe the equivalent to 2 miles.

Back then I was physically capable of running. I just did everything possible to avoid it. Now, that I want to go out and run, my body could rebel against me.

Since being diagnosed with vestibular migraine, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, I’ve struggled to keep in shape. And it has nothing to do with me not wanting to workout. Your typical type of exercises like sit-ups, has triggered nasty bouts of vertigo that can go on for hours. Even things like dancing ends with me getting painful fibro flare-ups and hurting for several days.

With all those reasons avoid participating in a marathon, I still needed to make this happen. It is with that motivation I crawled out of bed this early this morning, dressed in 3 layers of shirts, 2 pairs of socks and 1 pair of leggings, and hit the pavement on what would be my first jog through my neighborhood.

As the cold air hit only the parts of my exposed skin, I waded through puddled filled sidewalks against the rain on a mission to get through the first mile without passing out our throwing up. Yes! I’m that out of shape.

My feet moved at a steady pace, one that I was most comfortable with until the rest of my body began to slow the other parts of me down. I was out of breath, but my drive to continue, kept me moving past one business after the next.

Before too long, my house was on the horizon and within seconds I’d be able to set foot through my front door knowing I not only accomplished Day 1 of training, but that I didn’t turn around the second it went from sprinkling to pouring rain.

A minute after walking into my living room, I felt a sense of pride and a whole lot of exhaustion. This was a major milestone for me. One I will look back on and say this is what true dedication is all about.

The small sacrifice I make each morning from here on out, is going to be worth it the moment I cross that finish line. Knowing that I accomplished something I never thought possible will truly be a victorious moment for me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today Parenting Team: How Careful Planning Helps my Chronically Ill Child Attend More Events

Check out my latest Today’s Parenting Team article on how I’ve successfully helped my son attend more events; like seeing Coldplay in concert this past summer.

 

http://community.today.com/parentingteam/post/how-careful-planning-has-helped-my-chronically-ill-child-attend-more-events

Excedrin® Continues to Help Raise Migraine Awareness with Their Latest Program

 

 

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Excedrin® has, once again, creatively intervened to help foster empathy for people with migraine.

In September, a new program was unveiled to help get the conversation going between co-workers with the launching of Excedrin® Works. This latest platform from Excedrin® offers videos with different perspectives of an Interpreter, Pastry Chef, and Emergency Medical Technician moments before and during a migraine attack.

This brilliant use of 360-degree virtual reality technology, places users in real-life migraine workplace experiences, allowing them to see, hear and experience the effects of a migraine – everything but the pain.

Not only is Excedrin® using the 360-degree virtual reality technology to spark a dialogue in the workplace about the impact of migraines it empowers sufferers to talk about their condition with their colleagues.

What’s even more appealing about this program, is how Excedrin® compiled a great discussion guide that is available for downloading to share among employers and co-workers.

After viewing the individual videos of Maggie, Sarah, and Han I felt an overwhelming sense of compassion towards each of these migraineurs. I personally know what it is like to not want to discuss migraine in the workplace. There was always that fear of others doubting your symptoms and worst, assuming your using your medical condition to get out of an important work matter. It was always emotionally and physically draining on me.

 A recent survey from Excedrin® found that[iii]:

●       7 out of 10 Americans with migraines say working during a migraine attack negatively impacts their work performance

●       Nearly half of migraine sufferers have had to debunk migraine myths – like coworkers claiming they are actually hungover!

●       Almost two out of five (38%) feel limited in their professional life due to their migraine

●       63% of migraine sufferers will power through and pretend they’re OK, making this the most common reaction to a migraine attack at work.

No one should ever have to downplay their health to avoid uncomfortable confrontations from co-workers.

That’s why I truly appreciate how Excedrin continues to use of innovative measures to further educate others about a neurological disease that approximately 38 million Americans suffer from.

Another applause worthy move Excedrin® made for this program, was announcing Nascar’s Danica Patrick, a migraine sufferer herself, as their new spokesperson.

As migraineur of 30 years, mom to a teen living with migraine, and patient advocate I fully agree with the decision to bring Danica on board.

Although I’m not a professional stock car driver, I do know that during a migraine attack, the thought of being surrounded by crowds is furthest from my mind. I want a dark, quiet room where I can lie down and wait out my often-debilitating symptoms.

Being a longtime avid fan of Nascar, I was ecstatic about the opportunity to interview Danica. I not only learned how she manages life in the fast lane as a migraineur, but also how her involvement with the Excedrin® Works plays an important role to raise migraine awareness in the workplace.

INTERVIEW WITH DANICA PATRICK, SPOKESPERSON FOR EXCEDRIN® WORKS

1. About how old were you when you first started to experience migraine related symptoms?

I’ve been suffering from migraines for about the past 2 years, so since I was in my early thirties.

2. How long after that, did you receive your migraine diagnosis?

For a while, I wasn’t quite sure what was going on. I thought I may have had carbon monoxide poisoning – from being in the race car – or maybe that it was even a food allergy, since I often got nauseous as well. After testing a few theories, and working with my doctor, we determined that I was suffering from migraines.

3. Speaking of symptoms, what type do you normally experience before, during and after a migraine attack?

I know pretty immediately when a migraine is coming on – it’s a familiar sharp pain – and when that happens I treat it right away. When I get migraines, they start mild and increase in severity. I often experience auras – which look like floating halos. Sometimes I also experience sensitivity to light.

4. Out of those symptoms, which one is the most debilitating for you?

I don’t think any one symptom is more debilitating than the other. Collectively my symptoms make suffering from migraines a very painful experience. Couple the pain and visual symptoms with the nausea I often experience, and it can derail your entire day – sometimes longer.

5. Could you please share your known migraine triggers? (ex. Environmental related-humidity or barometric, certain foods/drinks/fragrances)

I have many different triggers, there is no one specific thing that I can attribute them to. However, I’ve noticed that I most often experience migraines on the days that follow my races. Those weekends can be especially grueling since my schedule is crazy – I always need to make sure I am eating enough meals, drinking enough water, etc. so that come Sunday night I am not completely wiped out.

6. Does anyone in your immediate family (maternal or paternal side) have the migraine disease? 

No

7. Do you currently seek the medical expertise of a Neurologist, Headache Specialist or Migraine Specialist for your migraine disease?

The majority of my medial insight comes from my primary care physician.

8. Do you take anything as a migraine preventive? If yes, would you please share what those things are?

Because migraines are very unpredictable, I do not take anything as a migraine preventative. However, the moment I feel a migraine coming on I take Excedrin® immediately.

9. Were you just a little hesitant about sharing that you have the migraine disease with your team and car owner?

I wasn’t hesitant about speaking about my migraines with my team. If I’m not there or fully functional, the race can’t go on so it was important for me to be as open as possible with those around me so we can all help each other.

10. What piece of advice can you offer to anyone living with migraine that might be afraid to have the conversation about their diagnosis with their employer or co-workers?

Sharing your medical information with people can be scary. I totally get it. But I also think that the people you work with – people you may spend the majority of your time with – would appreciate your transparency. Who knows, the people around you may suffer from migraines too. You’ll never know until you open up the discussion.

As part of Excedrin® Works, Excedrin® has created some helpful tools so that migraine sufferers can have more productive conversations about their condition at work. At Excedrin.com you can check out our 360 degree VR videos which depict the real migraines of two sufferers. There is also a migraine discussion guide available for download, which has some helpful tips and tricks for how to talk to your boss, coworker, etc. about your migraines.

To download your own guide and other helpful materials to share with co-workers, please visit Excedrin.com

***Some information in this article was provided by these additional resources: [iii] Excedrin® Works Survey