The Good, The Bad and the Exhausted

It’s been a rough few months for my family. My mother’s health and mind are declining faster than I’m able to cope with. My father’s memory is fading, too. My brother was in the hospital for a month and I ended up in the hospital for four days for pancreatitis. We were all feeling helpless and at times, hopeless.

But within those two months of ickiness, there was Mother’s Day, my dad’s birthday, and my birthday. My son finished fourth grade, his baseball season ended (hopefully his last season ever) and he grew another half inch.  I lost 5 pounds (although I don’t recommend pancreatitis as a way to lose weight). My husband, son and I all read a bunch of great books during this time, had several amazing sushi dinners at our favorite restaurantsocks, Ichiban, and we finally saw the movie, Wonder Woman.

When the shit started to hit the fan in May, I was finally running more after this long winter. I was up to 8 mile runs on Sundays. It was a great stress reliever, but it was also nice to have mileage goals in mind again. I had hoped to be at 12 miles by now, but my body had other plans for me. So this morning, after my first full cup of coffee in a month, I put on my favorite socks and went for my first run in three weeks.

I’m not gonna lie. It was really difficult. The first half wasn’t bad, but I started to lose energy just after mile one. Had to take walking breaks on the way back and finished the 5K with nothing left in me. Just thinking about the power of my sock capes flying behind me was the only thing that pushed me through that last quarter mile. The heat and humidity were a factor, too, I’m sure.  I nearly passed out twice after I got home (saw spots, light headed) and my energy didn’t really return until the evening.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not very good at treating myself well. But I really need to. I need to learn to be good to myself. I need to learn to let things go, to not stress over situations that I cannot control right now, or possibly ever. I need to listen to my body. I need to admit that it’s ok I don’t run as much as I want to and it’s ok I can’t eat whatever I want right now. It’s sucky, but it’s really ok.

Now that summer has finally arrived here in Maine, I’m trying to have a more positive outlook on at least the next few months. If I can’t run as much, I’m hoping to take more walks in the sunshine and try a little more weight lifting. If I can’t eat ice cream every day (which is a crime), I’ll try to find yummy but healthier options. I’ll try to spend more time with all of my family, bring out photos to remind all of us of good times in the past and continue to plan good times for our future.

I will try to live in the moment. I will try to not wish away the weeks, wanting the painful bits to hurry up then go away. I know the pain will pass and I can get to the other side eventually. I just need to live through it, learn through it and move on. As my dad always says, “You can’t live more than one day at a time, right?”


So here’s to you and me, living in the moment during this summer of hope. Let the good times roll!

A letter to my pancreas

pancreasDear Pancreas,

I know. I know you’re angry with me.  Last week, you made it very clear you were pissed off.  I realize now that you were trying to tell me several weeks ago, with those little twinges.  But…..can you please tell me why?  What did I do wrong?   Have I treated you badly?

I eat right, Pancreas, you know I do.   I exercise—and don’t tell me running hurt you because that’s bullshit and you sound just like my father when you say that.  I rarely drink alcohol. You and I know my weekly glass of wine  (or margarita) did not do this.

So what is it?  TELL ME!!

Is it….could it….is this because of how I spoke to you and my entire body?  Because I hated you and criticized you and wished you were something else?  But…it wasn’t YOU, it was the rest of my body!  You know! My belly, my arms, legs, back, ass….


I guess it sounds like the *entire* body, huh?  But don’t you remember?  I told you and the whole body that I would love it more this year, that this was the year I would appreciate all of you and realize all the gifts you give me.  I didn’t do that?

No. I guess I didn’t.  I’ve really tried though.  I’m trying to love all of you and not nitpick about my saggy stomach (which I greatly appreciate that sagginess now that it’s not filled with 10 pounds of fluid!) or my floppy arms or my aching back.  And Pancreas? I do love you, no matter how much you hurt me.  I need you and I love you.  I love that in the past, you’ve allowed me to eat nearly anything I wanted (besides gluten, but that’s not your fault) and you worked so perfectly as I fueled my body to get ready to run races and along my road and even a half-marathon last year.  Remember?   You’ve been amazing to me.  I appreciate you. I truly do.

I will do whatever it takes to win your love back.  I will eat bland and mashed food (like the doctor ordered) until you heal…until you feel like yourself….until you feel worthy of my love once again. I’ll even listen to Weird Al’s song, Pancreas, just for panc

We *will* live in harmony once again, Pancreas.  We’ll have a milkshake or even an apple, and it will feel good.  There will be no pain.  It will be like this never happened.  Like it was just a bad dream.

I’ll take care of you, Pancreas.  I love you.