It's been a while, but I thought I'd check in. I completed the Couch to 5k last year and, aware that my joints hurt like hell when they're cold, got a treadmill to sort of stay in shape over the winter.
Then disaster struck. The niggling pain in my shoulders got worse, and worse... And I had another flare up of back pain (which I haven't had for two or three years) and in January I stropped off to the doctor's with "It's been ten years of this rubbish, I want a proper hospital appointment and x-rays and..." Stabby pain in right rib was and is unpleasant too.
So I got my wish. Full MOT.
Last Thursday, had a rheumatologist appointment (had been referred there due to inflammatory markers in my blood tests).
Hypermobile joints (almost every one, except my knees bizarrely although the ankles make up for it by being EXTRA extra bendy).
Slight scoliosis in my neck.
Slipped disc between my shoulders.
Rib pain because rib cage is twisted.
I have been referred for physio. Again.
I was asked if I exercise. Of course I said I did the couch to 5k, expecting the inevitable "stop running."
Nice rheumatologist looked at me. "Do you swim?"
Nay, said I. I can, but I don't in general.
She recommended pilates to build core strength to support my dodgy joints and wonky neck.
She asked if it hurt to run and I confessed that actually it usually felt better afterwards because "everything's had a good shake up and settled down again."
At which point she laughed.
Far from banning me from running, she said to concentrate on form and to "take it easy," that some exercise was better than none and to work with the physio to ensure I wasn't stressing my joints too much. Don't run a marathon, but keep moving. "It'll get better as you get older as the joints stiffen up, and that's when you might be able to take up yoga again."
Yes, I'm slightly upset that there is no fix and therefore I will be on painkillers for the rest of my life, especially as I'm 35 and therefore that might be a while.
But I'm also quite happy that I don't have to give up running.
So that's me at the moment. Running with zombies to keep on going and - fingers crossed - continuing to do so for a while yet.