Positive Abnormal

A training season never goes by uneventful. Something always happens, be it an injury, a crash, a mechanical failure, a family issue, there are always hurdles thrown in your way to test your resolve. Some cannot handle that test, and some thrive on it. I am still trying to figure out which type I am.

The latest issue has been brewing for awhile. I have always had swollen joints. I remember even in my early twenties that my hands would swell up at times, so I have sort of gotten used to it. Lately though it has been happening more frequently and with much more pain associated, at time waking me from a deep sleep. So I decided to get it checked out. Blood was taken and x-rays snapped, and then the wait starts. I got the blood results back in a few days but had to wait a month for follow up so had Jennifer look them over. Most results were in the normal range with the exception of a few, which had the eerily words in bold at the top; Positive Abnormal

Always fun to see … 

So I went for my follow-up and got the news. It’s either a form of Lupus (unlikely) or, as Jennifer had been thinking for awhile, psoriatic arthritis. So, on one hand it’s good to know what it is and what to do, but on the other hand it’s requiring more damn medication. As the definition goes for this, Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is an inflammatory seronegative spondyloarthropathy associated with psoriasis and characterized by stiffness, pain, swelling, and tenderness of the joints and surrounding ligaments and tendons (dactylitis and enthesitis). Studies have confirmed that increased levels of proinflammatory mediators are found in psoriatic lesions and the synovium of patients with PsA. The networks of proinflammatory mediators whose possible involvement in PsA is being investigated are released by a variety of cell types, including innate immune cells, adaptive immune cells, and resident nonimmune cells (http://discoverpde4.com/aberrant-inflammation/pde4-in-psoriatic-arthritis.html?gclid=CP_umbKugbwCFTNp7AoddgsAKg).
So the treatment will officially begin on Friday when I start taking methotrexate. It starts with two, then 4 the next week, then 6 from then on, once a week. Along with this will be monthly blood letting to make sure my liver is not being damaged, and daily high dosages of folate to make sure mine is not depleted.

Now, the $100,000 question … will the affect my training??

The short answer is no, not really. The doctor would like me to lay off running until we get through the first cycle to make sure there is no damage. The X-rays shows degeneration in my spine between L5 and S1, which explain the back issues I have on the run and on the bike, so degeneration in ankle and achilles (which explains that also) and in my hands … 

Derrrr … 

So, in order to continue training everything becomes about the bike and the swim. I have to take my plan and alter it to make up for the lack of running, meaning essentially I convert each mile of running to four miles of biking and each 3 mile segment of running to one mile of swimming. As an example I have a 2 hour run this Saturday, which is 9 miles for me. I can choose instead to bike 36 miles to make that up, or swim 3 miles (4800 meters). 

Lots of math in my future … 

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