So if you don’t follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you probably don’t know about Felix, the alien. Felix the alien is the cyst that was on my back, near my right shoulder. For YEARS Felix the alien went dormant, just a little bump in my back that was there to remind me of a few moles I had removed 8 plus years ago.
Sometime over the last few days, Felix the alien got angry and really really agitated. He got inflamed, turned bright red and was extremely painful to touch. As in, wearing a t-shirt was painful. Dreamboat looked at it and freaked. My parents looked at it and freaked. When I finally got a good look at it, I freaked.
And that’s when I knew… Felix the alien had to go.
I made an emergency appointment with my dermatologist for Tuesday morning. The nurse that took me back to the room called it an alien. The doctor, Elizabeth, who came in with her perfect porcelain skin and super dark hair and bright blue eyes looked at it and called it an alien. I had one of two options, she said: Medication and pain killers, or we take it out that day. It would be painful, she said. I suffer from migraines, I replied, my pain tolerance was pretty high.
And as much as I loved Felix the Alien…. he needed to go.
It took 5 syringes of lidocaine to numb me up enough so that it could be cut out. It was already ready to pop just by that. Then the surgery began. We talked through the entire process, needing another 2 syringes of lidocaine. It took less than an hour. I was already feeling better, with being numb and the irritated alien out of my back. But then I forgot about something important about this process: the stitches!
The cyst was pretty deep and required 8 stitches. No running, no lifting, nothing that could pull on them given they are in such a specific location expected to be torn out at any given movement. For two weeks. TWO WEEKS?! I agreed because what else could I do?
Then I sat down in front of a calendar. I get my stitches out 8/1.
My migraine surgery is 8/13
I can’t run for those two weeks.
I’m “back” from surgery on 8/28….which is in the middle of the first week of marathon training.
So basically, I’m going to jump into full marathon training with virturally NO running 6 weeks prior. The first long run is 8 miles. I’m thinking about blowing off the first week and jumping into the second week of training since I’m “back” from surgery mid week. Suddenly my dreams of getting specific times for my fall races dwindle and fade away, and the weight loss I was hoping for blows away like the crumbs of the gluten free crackers and peanut butter I snacked on last night.
Depressed? Definitely. Defeated? Somewhat. Determined? Absolutely.
The best thing I can do is stay as fit as I can, and that means lots of bike riding. I need to watch the diet as closely as I can, cutting out the extra calories I would usually eat if I knew I would be slamming a 4 mile run so if nothing else, I can maintain the weight I’m at (no matter how depressing it is) and most importantly, I need to focus on being positive and not letting this defeat me.
Who knew NOT being able to run would do this to a person? Only another runner. Which is why I am sharing it with you, because I know for a fact I won’t get the “well…it’s JUST running, I don’t understand why you are stressed” and I don’t have to stare at them like they are insane. Don’t you know? Running is part of who I am now. Not running is like not breathing, or eating, or laughing, or smiling!
It’s amazing how not being able to run reignites the desire to pound pavement.
So here I am. Sitting at my desk with 8 stitches in my shoulder, a 6 migraine on a 10 point scale, feeling miserable but oddly positive on what the future months have in store for me. I refuse to let this defeat me, and will need every drop of will power to make sure I stay just as positive as I want to be.
A few words of encouragement from my friends is a bonus. 🙂