Return to the Land of Lakes and Healing

Minnesota is known as the land of 10,000 lakes which also produces Minnesota's "State Bird" which is the mosquito. To be exact there's actually 11,842 lakes according to the "Cliff Claven" part of my brain which is easily distracted these days. This would explain the bizarre factoid start of this blog. It is also home to arguably the best health care in the world just north of Minneapolis in the small(ish) city of Rochester. 

I returned to the "Land of Lakes" for my second round of my healing journey at the Mayo Clinic. It has been a bit of an "up and down" ride to say the least.

As I mentioned in my last (April) post, I have tried super hard (is that good grammar) to remain positive and focus on my healing journey instead of belaboring or counting all my symptoms each day. Having said that, I'm human, and the Long Covid journey can be a wild ride. Some positives, I now can say that I'm "vaxxed" or should I say, "make that a double" Pfizer-vaccinated Denver constituent. 

My wife and I went all the way to Salida, Colorado with an eight(?) hour roundtrip drive specifically to get Pfizer for our first round as that was the closest we could find for that particular cocktail. Pfizer vaccine as we've read (on a variety of sites including Survivor Corps) that some long-haulers have better luck with that vs. J&J or Moderna. (Disclaimer: I am not an expert nor is that an endorsement from me or Survivor Corps of expected results.)

Regardless, for all you "vax haters" out there; do you remember having to prove you were vaccinated to go to school or participate in a sport? Yeah, do your part. It's not a 5G chip or alien semen you're injecting. You'll be fine. (see above disclaimer.)

As always, I digress. Regardless, catch my two-part video update within the blog including the very park where I have had many a training run at nearby "Wash Park" (for tourists known as Washington Park.) It's the same park where Liam, his mom Joan and I were interviewed by local 9News prior to our last race together at the Revel Rockies Half Marathon. Part two of the video is in Rochester, Minnesota where I had my second visit to the Mayo Clinic.

As I discussed in the video, it's been a tough couple of weeks. My trip to California was not the "fountain of youth" that I was hoping for. While I did very little physically, it really wiped me out and the last five days of California and the ensuing week in Denver was pretty choppy waters for me. Symptoms remain and change like Violet Beauregarde's gum; day-to-day, week-to-week, and within a day. 

While some days, I may start better than others, the Covid monster does their work pulling the different puppet strings making sure to deliver a bouquet of symptoms along the way every day. As I mentioned in the last video, the neuropathy continues to "spread" for lack of a better word into my fingers. My right pinkie is numb now most days. I will take that as it doesn't really bother me or create sleep issues--the feet say, "hey wait, that's our job!." The docs are "dialing in" medication to help there more recently switching to Lyrica.

Anyway, I have always tended to manage problems or crisis pretty well, but can start to wither like many when overwhelmed. After my "literal" walk in the park in Denver, I had to mentally manage my dad going into the hospital as he's dealing with advance stages of dementia. As I was prepping to head to the airport, I was "hit" with a $9,800 tax bill for last year. 

That "cut" doesn't quite match up with the 70% pay cut I took moving to disability. So much for that tax bill that benefits all Americans according to the bloated Circus Peanut. (Was that my outside voice?) I've yet to meet anyone without a yacht that it's helped. (And no, I haven't met any yacht club members lately.) Anyhow, I ironically wore one of Boston Marathon t-shirts for the plane ride out. While it's been awhile (2015) since I've run the race, it still stings a bit seeing everyone revel with their entries when I feel my qualifying days are slipping away.

On that note, my run buddy Liam also gained entry! I am super happy for him and his Mom and Dad. If I'm being honest, I tried to get him in with my last marathon but my body (for other reasons) was not up to the task. I feel selfish saying I wish it was me pushing him through the scream tunnel, but he's amassed a team; between his parents, Maggie, and qualifying with Michele. I will be ringing my cowbell there or back home regardless.

My body still can't run and insult to injury was a freakish knee thing that popped up this week. All of that "snowballed" into a couple of my lowest mental health moments. This week when I neared the bottom, I called my wife and also reached for my Muse S headband which provides meditation and sleep for the soul. One such session on the AirBNB couch really helped.

Anyway, soak in the video and as always...thanks for everyone that's cheering me on in my toughest marathon yet.


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