30 Posts of enCOURAGEment Post 20

An amazing story of one mans drive to dominate his diagnosis of lupus and live a full life.

As promised, this time I have a guest blogger for you.  I first read of Adam’s story on a lupus Facebook page.  Because my husband was interested in the endurance race that is all the rage right now, I knew how powerful Adam’s story was.  But for you to fully appreciate his story you must CLICK HERE for a brief action packed overview of the Tough Mudder.

Adam writes……

I was diagnosed with lupus in 1995 when I was 15.  I was having trouble simply walking up stairs.  My mom took me to the doctor and he listened to my chest and heard crackling.  Immediately he sent us over to the hospital for a chest x-ray.  Back then the x-ray took over night to dry, so I went home, Hospitalbarely able to breath as I tried to sleep.  In the morning we got a call from the hospital telling us that I needed to come in immediately.

They had no clue what was wrong with me.  There was a parade of doctors in and out of the room.  They took me into surgery, and when I woke up I had tubes coming out of my chest. My kidneys were the size of softballs, basically I was really sick.  It took two weeks of being in the hospital until they completely drained my chest.  I had three liters of fluid around my chest and one around my heart, when it was all said and done.  At the end of the two weeks is when they finally diagnosed me with Lupus (SLE).

For the next 10 years of my life I would be on Prednisone, different amounts at different times 5-20mg at any given time.  When I started with my adult rheumetologist we tried Plaquinil and a few other drugs.  That is when he decided to give Rituxan a try.

About six months ago my friends asked me to join their team for a race called “The Tough Mudder.”  tough-mudder2-v2I was hesitant to do so since I was not sure how my body would react due to Lupus.  I never ran in a race before, but figured you only live once.

I have been mostly healthy since my doctor put me on a Rituxan treatment back in 2006.  I had a horrible flare in 2007, due to United Healthcare refusing to pay for the treatment the second time around, which took me six months to completely recover from.  I had to wean down from 80 mgs of prednisone and lose 40+ lbs of water weight.  My thought process was that if I could live through a flare, I could definitely get through a 12 mile course with obstacles (this couldn’t be any tougher than trying to recover from a flare, right?).Pill-Bottles-683042

I started training for the Mudder in January. I got the flu in the beginning of February, a week after my flu shot, so I lost a few weeks of training.  Once I was able to get back to the gym, my wind eventually came back to me.  I was able to get to a point where I could run three and a half miles at a time, in approximately 30-35 minutes.  In addition to that, I did some strength training on my arms.

May 18, 2013.  Race day arrives, training is done, all I can do is my best.

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Adam

I am not going to lie, some of the obstacles were pretty killer.  My body was tired, my legs were cramping, I lost a contact along the way, but my teammates kept encouraging me to go on.   I willed my mind, to make my body, do things I did not know I was capable of doing.  I survived freezing water, electrical shocks, miles of mud, tall obstacles, and dark tunnels.  I completed the Tough Mudder earning the much sought after orange headband.

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Adam and family

My advice to anyone with Lupus who is feeling down, or has been sick, is the mind is a powerful thing.  If you keep a positive attitude you can overcome any obstacle in front of you.  For those interested in doing the Tough Mudder, I suggest working on your endurance and strength training.  Start with a small goal of maybe running a mile, eventually you will build up the strength to go further.

Best wishes to you all.   Adam

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The Team

Many thanks to Adam for sharing his story with us.  Anyone living with lupus knows just what a feat this was for him.  Just to get up the courage to participate in the light of the unpredictability of the disease, is major.   Kudos to his friends who included him and supported him in this brave endeavor.  To learn more about lupus, click here.

Please feel free to pass along this encouraging story to others.

Until next time….Leslie Rose K

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Romans 12:12  Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
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3 responses to this post.

  1. Wow, I admire Adam greatly! I know that at my age and with my legs and feet I could never do Tough Mudder, but I do try to push myself all the time. Always trying to do more than before. Some days it is a success others not so much. But I keep trying and that is what keeps us going! I loved reading about Adam and his story, he is very encouraging that is for sure! Besides I am hoping to one day to be able to walk just 3 miles once again.

    Reply

  2. […] promises  to get more complex and challenging as the years progress. Adam can attest to this.  Adam our Tough Mudder participant (post 20)  finds himself in a tough situation again.  Here is what he had to […]

    Reply

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