More Than a Dog

September 29, 2011

So, I have had Jack since he was six weeks old. We have never spent more than a few days apart in nearly 12 years. He knows me and I know him.

Throughout my time having him I have gone through a lot medically and he was always nearby to cheer me up.

Now the tables have turned to an extent. He is okay but he had to have surgery to alleviate an open cyst. The details are unimportant but now he is bandaged up and I am taking care of him.

Money is objective and I would do whatever whenever to keep him safe and healthy. I think the same is true for him although he is incapable of saying anything. I just know.

I don’t know what I would do if I didnt have him around and really don’t like to entertain the thought.

Hopefully many of you will be able to have a dog like Jack. I am glad that I do.

My Story

September 13, 2011

I didn’t have any symptoms until I was 13. My right thumb pulled inward kind of like making a four but not that drastic. Anyway, once I noticed that I went to my family doctor. He wasn’t sure what it was and he referred me to a pediatric neurologist in Dallas. I was then diagnosed with dystonia.

Dystonia is a progressive neuromuscular disorder. Basically my brain sends too strong signals to certain muscles which cause them to act differently. In my case the symptoms progressed slowly. It was only in my right side for many years, began to affect my speech in my junior year of high school and by the time college came around it became more generalized. It hasn’t affected my legs though.

I never really even felt ‘different’ until after college when I was looking for a job and companies wouldn’t give me a chance.

The current prognosis is unsure. Researchers have identified 20 different genetic mutations that may cause dystonia. I do not have the first genetic mutation. As far as treatment I take oral medicine and it ‘helps’ I guess. I can tell a difference when I don’t take it. There is brain surgery called Deep Brain Stimulation. Google it. It’s purpose though is to regulate electronic activity so it will be more ‘normal’

I had it. The incision line where they went in wouldn’t heal and it had to be removed. I however know people who have had it and you can’t tell they have a disability. I don’t know that I would try it again.

Anyway that’s the jest of my story. I just wanted to clarify for those who knew a little and to educate those who didn’t know at all.

Changing of ‘Seasons’

September 8, 2011

In Texas compared to other parts of the country we pretty much have two long seasons of summer and spring and maybe a two week period we could call winter. Anyway, this week the temperature finally broke. We broke either a city or a state record of 70 something consecutive days over 100.

The cooler weather is much welcomed but it is taking some adjusting. I had been waking up early to run before it got hot but now I can wait several hours later. I don’t really like waiting longer to get moving but I have no reason to get going early anymore.

This changing of my routine also affects my dystonia. I don’t know if it’s negative or positive but I can notice a difference.

I could always wake up when most people are still asleep and go but it hasn’t happened this week yet. I think I may be noticing my dystonia being different is because I have been running longer and faster with much less effort. Maybe my body is tired.

Who knows. But thankfully we only have to deal with this sort of thing like twice a year.

Negative Splits

September 3, 2011

So I know that most of my posts are either about running, disability related issues or my dog and well this is another one of those.

Earlier this week I went for a run in the evening where usually run…around the lake. Normally I don’t keep exact time but this day I wore my watch and was pleasantly surprised that my back half was five minutes faster than my first half.

I have tried to maintain negative splits while running and so far it’s proved effective. I just hope I am able to keep that strategy when I race. If I am I’ll be in my goal finish time.

Typically I don’t run with a watch. I just make note of when I leave. I can tell when I am going too fast.

Toward the end of August I met the 1,000 mile mark for the year. I’ll probably finish the year with 1,500 or so.

Sure I run a lot but it’s just because I enjoy it. I’m not going to win any big races anytime soon…but I. can’t say I’m not trying.