Friday, November 12, 2010

My first half marathon

I am doing my first half marathon on Sunday.

Turner's Tokens got started because I was hit with something called Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS) after having a simple stomach bug on May 2, 2009. Basically your immune system gets so pumped up about attacking the virus that is attack you, that after the virus is fended off it turns and starts attacking your nerves and destroys the part that sends messages from your brain to your muscles. Eventually it realizes it is doing something wrong, backs off and your body then has a chance to recover. Some recover all the way, some don’t; there is no way of knowing which one you will be.

It’s amusing that May was chosen to be GBS Awareness Month by the GBS Foundation International; I became very aware of it.

On May 18th I checked into a hospital after getting out of bed and falling only to find my legs were not working, tongue was going numb, arms were weak and chest was tight. By the 23rd I was fully paralyzed and on a respirator for a couple days. On the 26th my body began the slow reversal of the paralysis and I was able to come off the respirator before they put me on a vent. On the 30th I was transferred to a rehab facility to relearn how to eat, stand, walk, write and pretty much everything else. I spent about a month there and on July 9th I was released with a wheelchair and a walker. I continued attending outpatient therapy until September of 2009. From there I joined a gym and began training for the Houston 5k Turkey Trot in November of 2009.

December 2009 I started Turner's Tokens to help me build my hand/arm/core strength along with fighting boredom when I was too tired to do anything else. In between making tokens and trinkets, attending events and working part time for an ad agency I have been training for the half marathon that my sister suggested we do about 4 months ago. I continue to struggle with endurance and some strength issues but I can tell I am improving, even if it seems like it is a crawling pace.

I have been so busy with other things lately and I have not had time to train for 2 weeks and the race is on Sunday. It worries me a bit that there is a time limit of 4 hours but I think I can stay ahead of that. Otherwise a truck drives around at the end and picks up everyone who has not finished. I don’t care if that truck is chasing two feet behind me; I’m going to cross the finish line on my own two feet. My only goal is to finish.

I am going to be pushing hard and hopefully on Sunday I will be able to have a picture taken with a medal after completing 13.1 miles.

I am attending the Rock 'n' Roll San Antonio Half Marathon on November 14th.

For more information about GBS/CIDP please check out the GBS Foundation International website:

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