So this has been an interesting two months, to say the least. Back at the end of May, I was moving from one job to another, and was insanely excited about the change that was coming. It has been amazing for my family and me, but theres been something bothering me the whole time. One Saturday, we took the dogs to the dog park, came home, and I headed to the store to pick up something quick. When I entered the store and began to head towards the item I needed, I began to feel weird. I wouldn’t call it ‘dizzy’, but I couldn’t maintain balance. I immediately grabbed a shelf, then an item on the shelf so nobody would freak out about what was going on with me. A few minutes passed, and I felt better. Weird, but better.
Then I got home and my dumb ass thought going for a run was a good idea. I headed out for a quick one, but not too far in, it began to hit me again. One foot fell off the sidewalk, and I began to clutch for walls that weren’t there. I bent down for a minute or two, and hoped the feeling would subside. A mile away from home, with no phone, I had to navigate my clumsy ass back home. A walk jog mix, I finally got inside in the AC, downed some water, and put on a cooling rag. I attributed this to dehydration.
The following Monday at work, I turned around to brew a cup of coffee (I have a coffee maker at my desk), and immediately the sensation came back. This concerned me. I even asked a co-worker where an urgent care facility was in the area. I thought about going on my lunch break, but we were leaving for Colorado for my sisters wedding two days later, and I didn’t want to start a cycle of Dr visits. I held off. “Wait until we get back, and see how you feel.” I thought.
While in Denver, I got in two runs. The first one I headed out, and about a quarter mile in I began to feel nauseous. “It’s the altitude, keep it slow you’ll be fine” I thought. Then I got dizzy. Same thoughts. I finished a two mile run, super slow, but felt OK. Maybe my thoughts were right, or maybe I was just fighting some ear problem, but it will go away. After all, flying didn’t bother me (well, my ears anyway. I hate flying), so I must be good. Sure thing, we had the wedding, and I even went running for five miles. I don’t remember any episodes, but I do remember feeling extremely dehydrated. This probably was legitimately the altitude and heat. So I thought I was fine. We got on the plane and came home.
We’d been back about two weeks, and I hadn’t had many issues. Then one Saturday we were at church. I was sitting there listening to the preacher, when suddenly I began to feel nauseous and like I was going to fall off the chair. I grabbed the sides, and starting breathing to keep myself from throwing up. This was the final wake up call. It’s time to get this looked at. I also had some lymph nodes that were very swollen on my neck that had me concerned, but they’ve since gone away.
With the desire to get this taken care of, I went to an urgent care facility 48 hours later. The Dr noticed some fluid behind my ears, but no sign of infection. She prescribed some allergy medicine, that I already have in my medicine cabinet and I never picked up, and told me to get with my primary care. The next day that appointment was scheduled. I went through the rest of the week feeling pretty OK, even putting in some good runs. After all, Columbus Marathon training started the next week, and that doesn’t wait for anything.
I put in my workouts, and while I may have had smaller dizzy spells, I never had one of the “major” ones. So I kept up with running, and while I was cautious, I didn’t hold back if I felt I didn’t need to. If I was close to home, or running in a park, I would certainly push it. Get me on the towpath or away from home, I might cool out a little more. But I managed to get it all in, except for one run on the first Thursday of training. That day, I was nauseous much of the day, and had a few of these moments. I needed to take that night off.
The next week I didn’t miss a thing. I worked hard at work, worked hard at running, and ticked 41 miles with my longest run only being 12. Each run seemed stronger than the next, and as I had my Dr appointment scheduled for the next week, I thought it would remain a routine check-up. Sunday even consisted of helping put together a swing set at my mother-in-law’s house (damn those horrible instructions and hardware), and I felt great. No worries.
Then Monday (yesterday) hit. I’m not sure if it was the cool front that moved in, it was in the 90s all last week, or what, but when I got near my lunch break, it began to hit me again. I stood up from my chair and thought I was going to throw up everywhere. I immediately grabbed my keys and went and sat in my car for a minute. I only head knodded to people on my way out of the office, and kept my eyes on the prize. By the time the fresh air hit, the feeling of throwing up went away, but the dizziness and nausea didn’t. After a few minutes, it all subsided, and I managed to go for a short drive. I came back, ate lunch, kept it down, but my ears! My ears have felt like they do on a descent of a flight for 48 hours.
I got to the Dr today, hoping for more answers than urgent care gave me, and I walked away with more questions. I have a visit with a Physical Therapist next Thursday, and hope that they can give me some answers. If we don’t get any there, then my follow with consist of imaging on brain. That is so fucking terrifying! Look, I know this is likely something that is temporary, if not, at least manageable. But the fact that I went from thinking an anti-biotic would take care of it to “Your ears look fine, it might be your brain” is not cool. I’m not trying to be all “doomsday” here, but I am hopeful for the best, but I’ll prepare for the worst, whatever that may be.
One thing is for certain, as long as I have the pressure in my head and ears, and no answers from medical professionals, I am going to be EXTREMELY cautious with running. It’s devastating to me to think that, because I was just thinking the other day of how I’ve been slipping into that groove. Things have been clicking and working, and I’ve looked forward to each workout after the previous one ends.
I don’t know what’s going on, and I don’t know why it’s going on. I just know I can’t wait for this to be behind me, and miles of road to be in front of me.