On August 9th the living room would not stop spinning. Lying down, sitting or standing it doesn’t matter. It was as if I’m strapped in a Tilt-a-Whirl.
Closing my eyes helps a little.
The spinning gets to my stomach but I’m hungry but I don’t want to eat. I feel like throwing up.
I double up on Dramamine which makes me drowsy.
I start taking Prednisone again to see if it helps. It does and I’m able to function but I’m functioning on a drug on don’t want to be functioning on anymore and I’m frustrated.
Two weeks pass and I see my primary doctor and he sends me to the ER. All the tests report normal.
My primary doctor makes an appointment for me to see a local neurologist.
This week dawned new school year and I was back in the classroom teaching again. It wasn’t easy. There were a few bouts of dizziness, nausea, and flashing headaches and everyday I came home exhausted. But I survived.
The Global Energy 5k run is in two weeks. On June 2nd I started training to run my first 5k. I thought the run would serve a hearty middle finger to my disease. On July 31st, I completed 3 miles. I felt great.
Then on August 9th woke up with vertigo.
I have not trained in 28 days.
Today, I feel defeated. Not a failure. Not a fraud. Not depressed. Just defeated. See, as much as I don’t want to accept this thought, I know it’s true: failure is always a better teacher then victory.
Who we are, what we stand for can only be realized when we are vulnerable, wounded and we embrace the lessons that failure is teaching.
Yes, I wish I was telling you about today’s run and how great I feel and how I’m going to crush the 5k.
But I can’t. Not right now. My body says no and I can’t will him to say yes.
Yet thankfully there’s something inside me that just won’t break.
I credit my blue-collar, parents who I never seen quite. Ever. The love of my wife and children. The people who read my writing. Who invite me out to lunch because I once wrote something that inspired them. Or who invite me to speak to their football team on the eve of their first game because my story, despite the defeats, is one of absolute victory.
So, instead of running right now I will write. Because my disease can not, will not break my writing spirit. In fact, my disease has only empowered me to write and share with you the victories and defeats of my story.
And for that, I say thank you.