Life gets tough at times and throws things your way you don’t expect or want to even accept, but sometimes you have no choice.

Last August I had a small stroke and since then my body has been affected. While there wasn’t anything done permanently to my brain, there seems to be one lasting effect. When the nurses rushed me into a room, the right side of my face drooped,  and my right arm was weird. I was borderline code grey. I don’t remember much. Actually, I don’t remember anything. I was asked a million questions and according to my husband and the nurses, I didn’t know the answers. Diagnosis: Small Stroke.

Since then a lot has happened, but obviously I am still running. But it took a while for me to run back to where I was. I felt “off” and odd, I didn’t feel like myself. It’s almost like I had to re-learn it all over…again. But this time it was completely peculiar. Because I would start off running but my right arm would start falling down to my side. I would try to bring it back up to regular runner’s form and I just couldn’t. My brain would send the signal down to my arm and hand but my arm wouldn’t react. It kind of scared me and made me sad at the same time. My hand just balls up into a fist and tucks down for almost a year this is what I’ve been dealing with. I have to wear some sort of compression on my arm or wrist to help ease the blood flow and numbness.

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I make stroke survivor running look good 😉

A few days after the stroke I went to see my neurologist and told him what was going on and he suspected it was due to the stroke. I got MRIs and catscans done. I do have a mass and white matter in my brain. Along with suffering from chronic migraines that can contribute to strokes. So from there it has been a long road.

But it has been a journey…as always. But it is something that I am in the process of learning to accept which is a little tough. While you all think of me as a strong person, I do have my moments where I do cry and I do feel weak. I do think will I survive all this? But none of this have a cure, what happens now? And the answers do all come at some point. And I do regain my strength, don’t fret. =)

But the acceptance part of the new ME is where I am at in my journey. I am learning to accept the stares that I get when I run. Before, I knew they were because of my scar and my hump, now it’s because of my running form. I am all discombobulated. And while it is isn’t as easy as it might be for some to accept it, I am learning to see that this is ME.

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Life isn’t perfect, and people definitely aren’t perfect therefore we shouldn’t look and stare and judge others, but unfortunately we live in a society where it happens. I can’t control that, but I can control how I feel about it and it isn’t going to stop me from doing what I love, nor keep me from being me.

Life is already a ridiculous battle we all are dealing with, so why should I make it harder on myself? I am taking it step by step and know that there are some who don’t get it and will stare or snicker. Just like it happened with my Scoliosis. But this time, my strength is a lot stronger and I have overcome so much already that I see myself brushing this off much quicker than expected.

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With everything I am going through and everything I have overcome, I will continue to fight and have been. And on January 7th I will prove it to myself by running another marathon! SURPRISE! I am announcing a secret I have been keeping for almost a year while I’ve trained my ass off for the runDisney WDW Marathon. The last marathon I did was my dream marathon. The NYC Marathon where I broke my ribs due to my Scoliosis. But this marathon carries a lot more risks but I am fully aware and fully intended to carry it on to the finish line and I can’t be more excited! I have already successfully done 4 half marathons and several 5Ks and 10Ks since the stroke and I’ve always believed in myself so this marathon is going to be AMAZING!

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The runDisney Walt Disney World 25th Anniversary Marathon medal! And it WILL be mine!

-gelcys

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