Last night, Tim, Amelia, and I had just sat down for dinner. Rowan was watching us from his exersaucer (he'd already had his dinner of mixed veggies, berries, and bananas--he's going to be a big eater, let me tell you). My cell phone rang, and I didn't recognize the number. My students sometimes call my cell with questions, and so I almost didn't answer it, thinking I'd call the student back after dinner. But, for some reason, I did.
It was a man on the other line, and I didn't recognize his voice. He told me his name is Dr. Ken Kaeser, and he's a chiropractor from Chicago. I actually have been expecting his call, but for some reason didn't imagine this was him calling. So how does a chiropractor from Chicago know about little old me from Bedford, Indiana? You can thank my friend, Pete Bochek, for that. Pete is a reader of this blog, and he and I know each other from Hal Higdon's v-team web site (www.halhigdon.com). He messaged me a couple of weeks back and told me that he wanted me to see his chiropractor in Chicago. I'm five hours from Chicago, but told him that if I thought he could help me, I'd go. Pete sent my blog posts to Dr. Kaeser's wife, who passed them on to her husband.
Dr. Kaeser told me that he's been reading my blog. I think he sold himself short--he's been STUDYING my blog. He knew everything. Most importantly, he wants to and thinks he can help me. He knows a lot about ribs, and he thinks that might be the root of my problem. If you remember, my right lower ribs are sore, but no one has been able to tell me if this is related to my pain. Also, when I run, the pain becomes severe in my epigastrium area, which can occur if the intercostal nerve is involved. All of these signs point to ribs. At the least, the rib issue needs to be evaluated and ruled out.
So, we're going to Chicago on Monday. I'm seeing Dr. Kaeser on that day, and then the following day. That will give him two separate appointments with me. My hope is that I'll come home on Tuesday feeling much better, or at least with some sort of diagnosis. It may seem crazy to make a 5-hour (one way) trip to see someone who can maybe help me, but something is telling me to go. And that feeling I cannot question. I am lucky that Tim can take off a couple of days and go with me and Rowan.
Here is a passage given to me by my brother, Wes, that I am finding helpful right now:
"When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation--some fact of my life--unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God's world by mistake."
I'm going to Chicago realizing that this situation is completely out of my control, and that someone/something else will determine my fate. But I think going there is supposed to be part of the journey.
This may all seem sort of outlandish to some people. "Why don't you just stop running?" I take comfort in knowing that the runners, at least, will understand. I have a high pain tolerance, as do most distance runners. We're conditioned to deal with pain. I've also given birth completely naturally. I've run in pain from a variety of injuries. Never, however, have I run through something like this. I'm digging deeper than I ever have--deeper than even in a race--to keep running. I loathe every step of my runs, and I constantly play mental games to get through each mile. I do this because I have faith that someone, somewhere (perhaps Dr. Kaeser) can fix me.