Reflecting on 2017

This past year has by far been the most difficult year of my life. It’s been over a year since I’ve been able to run and began this wild goose chase to figure out what was wrong with my leg. I went from marathon running to being in chronic pain just doing the simplest of activities.

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Santi and me before the Manchester Road Race in November 2016.

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Ellie and I after the Cambridge Half Marathon in November 2016

I started graduate school last summer still not having any idea what was going on with my leg. All I knew was that I was in constant pain. I was in pain walking to and from the train station, I was in pain standing up for hours in the cadaver lab, I was in pain just walking up the stairs to get to class. I remember telling my mom that I couldn’t make it through another semester like this. I was absolutely miserable.

It was pretty shocking to find out in the middle of the semester that I had a rare medical problem causing my right popliteal artery to become completely blocked and my left one to become problematic as well. Then it was just icing on the cake to be told by my doctor during finals week that he didn’t know what to do. The ultrasound showed that I had small veins, which wouldn’t be great to use for a bypass. Granted to say, I had to leave school to find some answers.

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That’s some pretty crappy circulation

I’m now so thankful for what I used to take for granted. I’m thankful that my foot isn’t numb after walking up a few flights of stairs. I’m thankful that I don’t have to grit my teeth while I’m driving because I’m in so much pain from pushing on the pedals. I’m thankful that I can go hiking and walking outside again. I’m thankful that I’m able to use the elliptical, and will hopefully begin running soon. I’m thankful that the first surgery was successful even though there were some complications. I’m beyond thankful to just have some answers and a clear course of treatment.

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This is what the incision looks like now. Not too bad after gaping open a few weeks before.

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Samson and I love going to this park.

I’ve got the next surgery date scheduled; February 12th! I’m looking forward to just getting it done, so that I can get back to my normal life. 2018 has to be better than 2017, right!? It feels like my life has been flipped upside down this past year. I learned that life doesn’t always go as planned and that some things are just out of my control.

In 2018 I want to get back to running. Even if that means just running a few miles a day instead of marathon training I’ll be happy. I want to do more backpacking and bike touring adventures. I miss that just as much as I miss running. I want to get back to school to become a physical therapist.

Most of all, I just want to be happy.

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Feeling happy standing on the Continental Divide during our 2015 bike tour.

Good riddance, 2017! And here’s to a good 2018!

Here are two videos I made from trips I took in 2016. I hiked the Long Trail and bike toured in Alaska. Hopefully there’s more times like this to come in 2018!

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