My life in a nutshell over the past week plus.

It has been an eventful week.  Rather like climbing on a roller coaster and riding it endlessly, day after day, with very few breaks.  Sometimes the lumbering pull upwards, and others the adrenaline filled free fall, completely out of control and whipped from moment to moment.  Now that the ride has ended I feel … sad, but free.  Empty, yet motivated.  Relieved and mournful all rolled into one.

Let’s start with the easiest.  I resigned my position from the softball team.  I am sad, but I am also relieved.  I need a break, both physically and emotionally from it and I hope that, when given the time to heal, I will renew my love of the game.  I ran the full gambit of emotions on that decision, from hurt, to anger, to acceptance and finally, to relief.  I garnered an apology from the manager without ever asking for it, nor indicating that I was hurt.  Those are the best kinds of apologies because they actually feel real and not forced.

This decision has opened up an opportunity for me to focus intensely on the upcoming kettlebell competition.  I no longer need to worry about over tiring my shoulders or my knees during my workouts in order to reserve some physical capacity for softball.  I can work to full exhaustion and take scheduled training breaks based upon my KB needs, rather than schedule my training around my softball deficiencies.  That is positively freeing.  I can work on what makes me feel better about myself rather than focusing all of me energy on the things that I can no longer do as well as I once could.  Yay … dilemma over.

On this past Saturday, my family and I walked in the Angelman Syndrome Foundation walk to help raise awareness for the disorder.  About a year ago, my cousin’s toddler was diagnosed with Angelman Syndrome.  When he called me to talk about it, I had never even heard of AS, which is a big part of the problem.  There are huge organizations raising millions for cancer, MS, MDS, Leukemia, etc and so forth.  I am not taking anything away from those efforts … they are absolutely to be commended.  However, Angelman Syndrome is under-recognized and therefore, underfunded.  Even with that underfunded status, in the past 10 years they have made significant strides in research.  Not only have they pinpointed the exact chromosome affected, but they are working on treatments which, while maybe not *curing* AS, have the potential to make significant strides in quality of life for the individuals afflicted.  I can not begin to explain all the scientific terms/data/research/explanations … I simply don’t know enough, but I can help raise awareness and point people in the right direction to learn more.  Try these links, if you want more in-depth information:  Angelman Syndrome Foundation and the Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics.

Meeting the kids and adults living with AS at the walk was heartwarming and heart wrenching.  These are wonderful kids, joyful, spontaneous, sweet … and sometimes feisty.  I say kids as most of them are like young children, although many of the “Angels” we met were adults.  My heart ached for the parents, but was also filled with joy because they are, simply put, Angels, these kids.  I know that the road for my cousin and his family will be long and difficult, but I believe it is going to be filled with unexpected joy as well.  As a family, we were inspired to do as much as we can to help this cause.  My 11-year-old son has determined that Angelman Syndrome will be his exhibition project for his 6th grade graduation.  This was a great kickoff for him to meet older angels and get some ideas for ways in which he can help, whether it will be to sponsor a walk here in our town, or to fundraise and volunteer at next year’s already established walk, or something completely new.  I love that his soft heart has been touched by this and that he wants to help.

Lastly, remember my Whole30 experiment to find out if there were some food items contributing to my pain and inflammation issues?  Umm, yeah.  Apparently, I have a pretty severe gluten intolerance.  When I put the wheat/gluten foods back into my diet, my system reacted with a vengeance.  I broke out in hives, frustratingly ITCHY hives, that still have not completely cleared up.  My pain level skyrocketed, with every joint screaming in agony every time I moved.  I really hesitated to believe that gluten was responsible for all of that, however the hives (and the doc) confirmed it.  So life for the past couple of weeks have been less than stellar as I attempt to change 44 years of eating habits.  We are not even talking about the bad habits, those things I thought were good habits are being affected as well.  Just learning to live in a world filled with cross contaminated foods is, yay, so very much fun.  It’s taken longer than I like, after re-removing the offensive beast, to lessen the inflammation.  I am also experimenting some to learn if it is all grains, or just wheat.  So far, limited amounts of organic, guaranteed gluten-free oats have been tolerated.  I’m not pressing it.  I haven’t attempted rice, quinoa or couscous yet, although I think couscous is probably a complete no go.

That’s it.  My rollercoaster ride of emotions.  I have had worse and longer rides, so getting to the other side of these isn’t all that horrifying.  I’m hoping it will all calm right down so I can focus on something OTHER THAN MY OWN BLINKIN’ SELF for a while.  

This is who inspired us to join the Angelman Syndrome cause.  :)

This is who inspired us to join the Angelman Syndrome cause. 🙂

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