Posts Tagged ‘Hypermobility’

Couch potato lifestyle.

First off, I could never be an actual couch potato – I don’t own a couch and I am in fact a human bean. So, that is out….

But in all seriousness, I just spent my entire measly paycheck on various medical supplies to offset my most recent bicycle crash, the pain that comes with logging 80 miles (!) in one week, and the arthritis like pain developing in my wrists and fingers due to excessive and hard restaurant work. If I were to lead a more sedentary lifestyle, I would probably be in less pain and would be more wealthy… but I would I be richer? What a lame life!

I’m really, really, REALLY glad that I can ride my bike and work such a stressful job and still be, for the most part, okay. I’m even more glad for days off to relax and let my body rest and heal.

You know is frustrating, though? I have a legitimate excuse to be a couch potato – I have a syndrome, and I still do things, regardless of the pain. Lots of people, many in my friend circle included, don’t have any problems except laziness, yet they refuse to capitalize on the fact that they, a. have strong healthy bodies, or b. could potentially have a strong, healthy body with a little work. ARGH. It frustrates me.

Anyways…. I gotta go chill. I’m going to gymnastics tonight.

Biking.

Somehow in the jumbled mess that is finals week, I managed to secure a job. Now, I have applied for tons of jobs and and off campus, and never seem to get any luck, so I broadened my scope and agreed to a job in Ann Arbor when it was offered. (Okay, I jumped enthusiastically and thanked the girl a million+ times. Agreed is a major understatement.)

So, we fast forward to Tuesday night, when the last table had been bussed, the restaurant was cleaned, and I had no more people to host. I headed over to the bus station and a feeling of dread creeped over me. The buses ran until about 11:30, which was fine on the weekdays, but on the weekends, they stop running at 6, leaving me stranded in Ann Arbor.

Here’s where another bit comes in – I don’t have a car. I don’t have money for a car. If I had money for a car, I wouldn’t have money for insurance and gasoline. IF I blah, blah, blah, you get it. And the thought of continually begging/mooching rides off my friends at 10:00 a night is an awful, terrible, no-good, very bad idea in my hyper-independent mind.

But I have a bike.

A janky bike, but a bike nonetheless. The back brakes don’t work well, and the seat will occasionally drop, leaving you hovering in mid-air and startled. It doesn’t change gears very well, and it’s sized for a thirteen year old, not a twenty year old with long legs. It’s banged up and scratched and dented because I crash frequently occasionally. But I love that it goes over bumps like they aren’t even a problem, and I can crunch down and put everything I’ve got into pedaling.

There is a link between Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti called the Border-2-Border trail, a hiking/biking/running/walking trail that will eventually go all the way across Washtenaw county. However, there is enough of it completed to get me from my home to Ann Arbor without ever having to go on a road or a potentially dangerous spot. So when my dear friend suggested that we bike to Ann Arbor because we had no more school and were young and wild and free, I agreed.

22 miles later, we pulled into our friend’s house to use his foam roller and other muscle-stuff and discuss our journey. We made it! And then we explored. And then we checked out the four mile loop around the rowing team’s section of the river, and pet little dachshunds out for a stroll. And then we headed back, which is when we started to realize that this may be too much for one girl running on 3 hours of sleep, and another girl with a stupid syndrome. With the cry of  “This is the second hardest part!” at every hardest part, we made it, the wind to our faces in both directions.

So, when public transportation and personal transportation fails, I will have my bike. I’ve already gotten some cracks about how Ill probably just crash, or how a daily 9 mile bike ride is too much, but really, there is no other option. I’m serious about this. Heck, I even got a bike helmet! (It’s blue! And looks incredibly stupid in the manner of bike helmets that are incredibly stupid)

You know what the best part about all this was? No pain. As of this year, I have been in pain every single day. My jaw. My hips. My knees. My fingers. My joints always hurts and they never get better… but a couple miles in, the pain transferred to my muscles and stayed there. I felt normal, like I could accomplish things, or be athletic, or not be held back by old person limitations. And the only thing that hurts today is the scrape from falling over a curb, the bruise from smacking a tree, the other bruising from catching my seat lever, the…..

Ahem. This summer will be a grand adventure that will leave me dead or with excellently developed leg muscles. Let’s hope for option #2, shall we?

Life

I should be studying. I should always be studying. But I’m writing out thoughts while enjoying this lovely spring weather.

I’m at a weird point in my life. I recently found that my numerous joint troubles and other vague somatic complaints can be summed up in a single syndrome: Hypermobility Joint Syndrome. Basically, the connective tissue necessary to hold my joint in their sockets is almost non-existent and weak, and my muscles are then being joint holder-inners and muscles, so when they wear out… my joint dislocate. In addition to weak joints, people with HJS are always cold, always clumsy, and are at risk for a whole slew of scary things like chronic pain, early-onset arthritis, and mitral valve prolapse.

I’m not allowed to run anymore, which has unfortunately killed my dreams of racing Usain Bolt someday, and becoming the ultramarathon queen of America. Darn. But I can weight train to make my joints stronger, and then maybe I’ll be able to survive without handfuls of pain pills or a wheel chair.

I realize that there are significantly worse things that could happen to me, but it still sucks to know that at 20 years old, I have limitations that will never, never, ever go away. And I have to work harder than the average person to reach a level of functioning of an average person.

All right. I’m done feeling sorry for myself in that regards. At least it’s not cancer, yeah?

Recently, I reached the six month point of a terrible breakup, and it’s got me pretty down. I acknowledged that fact by reading a bunch of old letters, and it was heart-rending and I regretted it. I am daily haunted by by the guilt of how I dragged the break-up out by never giving him a straight answer. I just hope that the poor way I handled things never turns him off to the idea of love, because someday, someone will cherish him.

But as for me, I don’t attract men. Only women. And the occasional autistic man (he asked me out on a date. I said no. It was awkward), and everytime I think that maybe I’m liking the idea of dating again, I am held back by the thought that I may break someone’ heart again. My own sadness and disappointment and hurt I can handle… when I cause someone else’s, I just.. I just can’t. And since my future hopefully holds a several trips with Doctor’s Without Borders, I don’t think any kind of relationship would be a good idea. It would involve being away for nine months at a time with no leave, and I can’t bear to make someone wait for me again.

Sometimes I hate my ex. I was not touchy and pleased to be that way, and he changed that. Now I find myself craving physical touch, and there is no where or one I can go to for it. I think that the Song of Solomon had it right when it said, “Do not arouse or awake love until it so desires”, because the lack of it in my life has left an achingly vacant hole that keeps me up at night. Granted, I don’t regret any of the time I spent with him. Our relationship was a beautiful, lovely thing that I look back on fondly, but I wish that my physical desires had been kept under wraps in order to spare me this awful need now…

I sure hope God knew what He was doing with that scenario, and I certainly hope He is making it better for Jonathan too.