Life is Full of Setbacks

January 30, 2012
Life is full of setbacks. Success is determined by how you handle setbacks. ~ Lululemon

I have been diagnosed with myositis.  A month ago I had never heard of myositis, now I know more than I want to and what I have read is scaring me.  Myositis is swelling, inflammation, and deterioration of skeletal muscles. The causes are unknown, but it is thought to be autoimmune in nature. It is a rare condition, affecting only 5-10 people out of every million. And it has no cure!  WTF – this must be a mistake, it cant be happening? As the ‘philosopher’ Lulumen said  ‘Life is full of setbacks‘.  But to quote another philosopher ‘Fair suck of the sav, how much can a koala bear?’  

Hindsight is a wonderful thing and I think I can trace the progress of this condition to way back in late 2010.   I started a return to running program in mid-October 2011 after the knee troubles.  All was going well until Christmas day when I noticed that my ankles and forearms were swelling and were painful to touch. Since I returned to running I had noticed painful muscles in the lower shins which I thought was due to increase in running and also a change in running shoes.  I massaged, stretched, iced the lower shins ant  took anti-inflammatory but the muscle pain and tightness did not seem to ease. I also had the fall a few weeks out from Christmas so I thought the pain in my arms was from either the fall or from rowing which I started in November. I continued to run through Christmas and into the New Year but my fitness felt like it was going backwards; running was becoming more difficult and laboured with elevated heart rate on what should have been relatively easy terrain. 
My canckles – doctor thought they looked normal! 
This combined with the pain and swelling of lower legs and forearms which was not getting better convinced me to cut my holidays in the Victorian high country short and to come home to see a GP.   He had no idea what it was but ordered blood tests and referred me to a rheumatologist.  The rheumatologist was confounded by the symptoms but felt it could only be a handful of things. In addition to the blood tests, he ordered a nuclear body scan and an MRI of my forearms.  
The MRI scan of my forearms did not show muscle tears or sprains but the significant muscle oedema was indicative of muscle inflammation – myositis. My body’s immune system is misdirected and it is attacking normal healthy tissues. The overactive immune cells are targeting my skeletal muscles, causing muscle weakness. The treatment prescribed was corticosteroid drugs to suppress the immune system and REST – no exercise of any kind.   The doctor laughed when I said that I had this race I would like to do. Forget that for now! From what I understand each case of myositis is different. I am hoping that all will be well and I can resume my running life – again and soon.  
Breathe deeply and appreciate the moment. 
Living in the moment could be the meaning of life. 
~ Lululemon
View from top of Mt Bogong.