Naw, I drove up with a bunch of friends to watch. It was the least I could do for my friends and teammates looked at the same weather forecast that I did and made a conscious decision to both run 26.2 miles as best as they could and face hypothermia at the same time. They knew that they were going to be running into the wind with a moderate to heavy rain while it was 40° for three or four or more hours.Then, my doctor stuck her head out of her office and looked up and said, "You would've started and finished that race if you would've had the chance." "In a New York minute" I answered.
That's what I might've been thinking when my friend Noah snapped this picture of me. Or maybe how lucky I thought I was that the wind was coming at my back and not in my face like everybody who was running.I also remember what was going through my mind when I chose to lean on that poll. That I was able to keep my hands warm and dry but there was nothing I can do to keep my feet from getting soaking wet. I decided that I would stand by that poll until I felt my feet were too cold to allow me to walk back to the car safely. It was the least I can do to support my friends and teammates who are out there in T-shirts and shorts.
I really feel it was worth my time to stand out there in the rain. Just for this moment for my friend Shan to take a step backwards on the course just to give me a high five. Just to see that smile. He actually showed up in his finisher's poncho where we were all eating lunch and told me that the highlight of his race was seeing me and giving me a high five.
Believe it or not, driving up to Boston to see the runners has a lot to do with my neuropathy......Going back to Boston was kind of a big deal for me. Four years ago was a year after the bombing and I felt compelled to go cheer for the runners. I borrowed a friend's minivan and six or seven of us drove up for the day.
Let me try to explain what this has to do with Guillain-Barré syndrome. GBS and its lovely variance are autoimmune conditions that are triggered by something. Something that gets your immune system a little awake and then it doesn't go back to sleep when you're fine. Sometimes it's a surgery were something is implanted in your body like a lap band, or an actual virus, or a flu shot. The immune system kind of goes"oh, what's that? Okay, I'm done with that, but now I'm confused I'll make up a new enemy, all go off and destroy this guys nervous system!"
So now let me tell you a little story going backwards in time. On May 7, 2014 I walked into my doctor's office. I told her that there was something wrong with my hands and feet. About two weeks earlier I had crazy pain in my feet and shins and ignored it and then it turned into weakness. I told her that three weeks earlier I had the worst food poisoning of my life. After we watched the Boston Marathon we found a hole in the wall barbecue place to get a bite to eat. I remember saying that maybe it's not a good idea to have the pulled pork because I have to drive 200 miles and get everybody home. I remember thinking chicken was more safe than pork. The doctors confirmed that my autoimmune condition was triggered by food poisoning from undercooked chicken.
Anyway, I was talking with a fellow GBS survivor about how to deal with the fear of relapses. I told her we can't live that way. We can not get worried about geting worse again. In fact, I don't let my mind dwell on what could happen if I have a relapse. When my mind is idle I'm thinking about how I will qualify for Boston.