People often post what a difference a year makes. But – it isn’t until you experience such a year that you truly understand how a year can change everything.
It isn’t so much the dates, the travel of time, but rather, the collection of events that make up that year.
One year ago today, I was just returning home from travel. I had gone on a one week cruise, and then the day after returning from that, I had driven to South Carolina by myself for a training for my business a the time. I then drove over night by myself to get home, and was awake for 25 hours – I don’t recommend this.
So of course, on the Monday when I was feeling ill, I assumed I had caught a bug. I upped my fluids, took some vitamin C, and went to bed early. The next morning I woke up with a fever. Not a large one – or so I thought.
When my body was shaking, and my neck was so stiff I couldn’t turn my head, I knew I needed to panic – a little.
I went to the doctor, and turns out I had a fever of 103- too high for an adult. And the combination of fever, stiff neck, and overall malaise led me to earn a trip to the ER. When I waited for 4 hours with chills to be seen.
2 failed spinal taps, more blood draws than I remember, 3 MRI, one MRA, and several doctors later. I left the hospital with a diagnosis of A-Septic Meningitis.
11 days in patient, in a bed, unable to move takes more of a toll on your body than you realize.
I had a walker, and had PT to relearn how to walk. I had zero balance or stability for the first few weeks. It took 2 months – but I was almost back to normal walking at that point. and as a runner – this was hard to deal with.
I dove back in to coaching my track and field athletes, teaching little minds at the preschool, cooking food for my family, and closing my business. Before it was even a thing – I Marie Kondo’d my life.
The after ripples are there. My memory still isn’t 100%, and every once in a while I have a tremor in my weakened right hand, and I have one more follow up with the neurosurgeon to be sure the “bent vein” in my brain is not an Aneurysm. Those things are so trivial compared to where I was one year ago. I was telling my family my wishes, loving my children, and having long talks with my husband about what I wanted for each of them. I DO NOT remember most of my inpatient stay – just bits and pieces sewn together like a movie on the silver screen.
I was so discouraged, but then so hopeful. Medication started to work, PT made me stronger, and I had a fighting spirit in me to do more – to be more – to help others do the same.
Today – one year later, I am in possession of 3 medals from two races this weekend. One for the 10K I ran on Saturday, and one for the Half Marathon I ran on Sunday – the other – a medal for completing the challenge of running both races.
These races weren’t easy, and they definitely don’t define all of me – but – they did remind me how much I love to run – how good I feel when I complete a race – and the camaraderie of runners. As I defined on Facebook hours after the race – A runner is a different breed of human.
A year of fighting with my body – working through the pain and the tears – being unabashedly selfish. Doing the things I needed to do for me, my family, my health – to be sure we have the time together we want to have – those are the things I have done to make things better for us.
Because it wasn’t until months later I truly realized that I almost died – and through almost dying – I realized the things that made me want to live – that I live for – that bring me Joy – and I made room for them. All of them.
I intend to keep running – and find a way to make my running mean more for others – sharing this story is a huge part of it.
Want to hear about my races – find those here:
And – today – I am signing up for 2 more races – and will be completing this race again next year! Want to join me? stay tuned!