Sunday, February 14, 2010

Costochondritis- A Valentine Marathon

Well...I thought today I would blog about Valentine's Day. I was going write about trying to break up with Costochondritis who, stubborn SOB, does not want to break up with me. No matter how much weight I gain, how rude and moody I get, he will not leave me. Gag.

However, I'm going a different direction. =) I don't do much as far as getting out of town since it's painful, but I had to be there for this. Today, I had the honor of watching my brother, and my beautiful sister-n-law finish a marathon. It. Was. Awesome. We got up really early and met them at different parts of the course- after we cheered them on, we would run to find our car and scramble to get to the next mile marker before they did...and I loved every minute of it. I even yelled. A lot. Did it hurt? Yup. Did I do it anyway? Yup. Because today, as far as I was concerned, I was not a girl with a life changing condition, I was just a sister who was REALLY excited to cheer on her family.

So today, on this stunningly beautiful Valentine's Day, I refused to pay attention to the blood sucking Valentine that doesn't seem to get the phrase, "ummmm, this isn't working out for me."

It's hard not to watch a grueling and powerful event, like a marathon, and not relate it to life. You knew I was headed this way. -) So as the sun beat down on us and I watched these exhausted, strong runners at mile 23, I began to think about the journey I've been on. That we've all been on. I began to think about the different turns, the different temperatures, and the hills, the downhills, the weather, and the strength and pace it takes to finish a marathon. The whole motto of "give it what you got, and then give it what you don't got" rings so true.

And what about the people on the side holding up signs and cheering for us?! It was so wild to watch the different reactions today while I was on the sidelines. Some runners paid no attention to our cheers. Most likely they were in a stretch of their journey where they needed to dig deep, stay on course, and couldn't relate to those around them. And I totally respected that.

Some people offered smiles at my crazy chants. Mostly likely they were in a place where they couldn't verbally relate to us, but they could acknowledge us, and in their own way, show that they appreciated the support. Which selfishly made me feel good and consequently, I would crazy cheer some more.

And then there were the people who would laugh, chant back, and hoot and holler with us. Even though they were spent, they fed off our energy and cheered right back. Obviously, I loved those people because they loved us. lol. Typical human behavior.

But there was one more group. The group who were not in a zone, who were not smiling, who were not laughing...but struggling with every fiber of their being to put one foot in front of the other. This group, I needed to encourage and ask nothing in return. But they knew we were there. I knew this. And at different points in our journey, we can all relate to this group.

And at mile 22, this one runner ran off the course, grabbed his water at a H2O stop, started laughing and yelled," THIS SUCKS!" This was a highlight for me. I could not stop laughing. And he kept laughing with me. And then he got on with it. And finished the race.

Another highlight was when at mile 23, I got to see my brother running like a champ, and then my sister-n-law running like a rock star. I was so excited to see them, knowing they were both was so close to finishing their goal. Then my brothers friend and my hubby jumped in the race with him to finish the last 3 miles. I won't lie, I was jealous that I couldn't run with him. But you know, this race wasn't about me, it was about them. And my brother was not alone in the hardest part of the race. I had a lot of comfort and peace about that. He had support on each side. This sight was so powerful to me. And my sister-n-law had a friend running the last 7 miles with her. Super cool friend. And by the way, she ROCKED it! It was SO cool be there to watch her run this beast of a marathon. I loved cheering her on. She's amazing.

But then came the rough part. My brother started to pass out the last mile and a half- the dude had been TRUCKING! And he'd only had 1 goo (the nasty food that marathon runners eat- you are suppose to eat at least 3-4). So when he and my hubby finished, my brother passed out at the finish line and woke up in the Medical tent with an IV in his arm and a thermometer in his booty. =) It really scared me, but he's okay. An hour and a half later he had his marathon medal around his neck and a smile on that handsome face. They made it. They did it. They finished.

I think the hardest thing about the invisible illness marathon is that you don't always know where the finish line is. And when did the starting gun go off?! I didn't have my proper running shoes and attire on! Nor did I get the map, the schedule, the t-shirt, or the website. And I was like dressed in formal attire and spiked heels when I heard the loud "pop," go off and whoosh- there I went!....and then at mile 2, I was like "Whaaaaaaat in the world?" Anyone else?

So what do you do when you find yourself in a race you didn't sign up for? ....well, I'm still learning. All I have so far is: kick off your heals, let your feet toughen, hike up your dress, pace yourself, pray to get from mile to mile, and from time to time, look up and smile at those cheering you on. Receive it. Unless it's a doctor who is throwing sedatives at you like party favors and boots you out of his office like a sling shot covered in, "I have no clue, I wish you luck, that will be $700." Then just stick out your foot and trip him.

So wherever you are on your journey: The starting line, half way, in the rain, drained by the heat, on rough terrain, coasting, your blistering feet don't want to walk any more. Or maybe you're battling grueling miles that seem never ending and you can't lift your head up and talk to anyone. No matter where you are, I leave you with this cheer:

Give it what you have and then give it what you don't,
Keep walking and stepping, if jog, your muscles won't
And know that you can pull off this rough trail of muck,
And laugh, and cry and scream and yell, "This really really sucks!"

Then keep a moving!!

So this is me, on the sideline of your journey, cheering you on.

Woo- HOo!!!! KEEP GOING!!!!!!!!!! You Got this!!!!! the curb....that had to hurt.


  1. HAHA great post...

  2. Definitely an awesome post Lucy! I was wondering, have you ever tried biking (stationary or road)? I feel like it wouldn't hurt the costo that much and it would definitely increase blood flow. Get back to me with your response.


  3. Hi there!

    Thanks for the positive feedback. =)

    I have tried biking. I used to do spin classes 3 times a week. I LOVE them!!! For me, holding on the handle bars causes bracing and thus, is pretty painful. And you kinda jostle around a lot, which for me, hurts my chest.

    But I don't want to discourage anyone. I'm totally a fan of anyone doing it, if it doesn't hurt. Give it a go and let me know how it goes!


  4. I can do my eliptical (sp?) machine as long as I don't do the arms so I just keep my hands down. It's a bit risky but I feel better than doing nothing when I can't go out and walk.
    Can't wait to get the results of your tests!

  5. Jenni,

    I love the elliptical too! I've been able to get on it the past few months without using the arms as well. Love it! SO thankful that we can at least walk and do a little of the elliptical. Way to go, us!

    I can't wait to get the results either. You are sweet to anticipate it with me!! Food allergy testing was suppose to come back yesterday. But dr. office called and they are delayed a bit. I said no problem. Should get that this week.

    Found out yesterday that Celiac testing will won't come back until next Wed at the lastes. So ready!

    Hope you have such a blessed day,

  6. I'm starting to try to keep track in a notebook about possible food trouble. I am so curious about the celiac. You see, my brother was diagnosed with that a few years ago. He was so bummed to go gluten free. We were all praying and then the whole family came together to pray for him and he is medically confirmed healed! He eats everything and is healthy and strong! BUT that means I might have a genetic bent and it could be showing up this way?
    So if you do have celiac, there will be a way out for the pain!!!! ANd then we'll still contend for totally healing! The specialists were amazed at my brother!
    Be encouraged!

  7. JENNI,
    WOOOOOOOOOOOOW!!!!!! Oh wow. Jenni, you're brother had it?! Wow.

    I do know that it can manifest via costo and you can have stomach issues or not any at all- which I'm sure you've check it out- just wanted to throw it out there. =) My own stomach issues didn't start until 2 years after I got costo...just a thought as you go along.

    You might have this! WOW. It's such a genetic disease! If you get some time, google (celiac and chest pain) and then (celiac and costochondritis) to read about others with celiac who have costo. It's really interesting.

    Jenni...God may be leading you right down this path. I'm sorry, I cannot help but really really really excited that it may be a huge key for you. I would totally go to a GI specialist and get some beginning tests done- blood etc. They will take you seriously since your brother had it. Not trying to tell you what to do, =) I'm just pumped that this may be a door of healing for you. Wow. But you're in tune with the spirit, you'll know when/if it's time to check out the dr. route.

    HUGS and now encouraged. =)

  8. OK- I was a little pushy in that post-lol- sorry (insert sheepish smile)

  9. Huge Grin for your sheepish smile! Yes, I am going to ask my Dr. when I go on April 1st. I did tell the two different Gastro guys I've seen and the upper endoscopy didn't reveal anything. But I don't think they've checked the blood work which I know from my brother isn't as conclusive as the actual going in there. Boy, it's hurting today so we'll see!
    About being have my permission! I think you are exhorting me! (a good thing!)

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  11. Jenni,

    Thank you for your sense of humor and grace. =) I'm so sorry you are having a bad pain day- that breaks my heart. I'll be praying for you tonight.

    Thanks for sharing the info on your brother! You've had 2 endoscopics done? wow! Did they take biopsies of your small intestine? That may be a silly question, but I'm just so curious!

    Do you notice your pain is worse or you have ummm"quick bathroom runs" or acid reflux when you consume oils or anything of that nature? I've been keeping a food journal and last night we nailed down that canola, sunflower, and safflower oils all cause those symptoms in me. Wild, huh? Keep me posted on what you find out makes your pain worse!

    I read on webmd that certain celiacs can't absorb fats such as oils etc....I may not even be a celiac- lol- but I'm sure hoping somebody it! haha.

    Here's the article I found, I'm sure you know way more about celiac than I do since your family has walked through it- so you may already know all this stuff- but it's really interesting, so I'll throw the link out there anyway.


  12. Hi. I just found your blog by googling this icky thing called costo. Mine is lower rib. No doc has diagnosed me, but I'm sure beyond a shadow of doubt. Hoping your blog and other sites will help. Had cat scans and tests galore. Nothing...but somehow met a physical trainer who suggested maybe muscle tear. After googling that, I accidentally found costochondral separation. Ignored that idea for some time. Came back to it six months later, and found costochondritis. For the first time all the symptoms matched. Not just some, but every single one.

    I hope...

  13. Angela,

    Hi there, way to go figuring out what you have!

    I so hope you find something on this blog to help you as well. Thank you so much for sharing your story with me. You hang in there and keep digging. Sounds like you have been aggressive in trying to figure all this out and working to be your own advocate. That rocks and is totally the way to go. I pray you find swift healing in all this!


  14. Praying for you big time, friend.

  15. Hey Sister,

    Thank you so much! I'm fervently praying for you too! I asked for some encouragement today, so thank you for letting me know that you lift me up in prayer. Still waiting on test results on this end.

    Many hugs to you,