Tuesday, June 26, 2012

This momma WILL run!

I have a paralyzed vocal cord. That is a fact. It has made me who I am . . .that is also a fact.

Many may assume that when you have a paralyzed vocal cord, it only affects the quality and sound of your voice. For those, who are living with a paralyzed cord, you know that is not the case. It also effects your breathing a great deal.

The old standard “run at a pace where you can hold a conversation” doesn’t hold true for me. I can barely walk and hold a conversation without having to pause during long sentences to catch my breath. I even get short of breath climbing up stairs!

That being said here is the down and dirty on what it is like for me to run for a long distance (and yes I consider anything over 1 mile a long distance!)
A “normal” run for me:
1. Quick, shallow breathes
2. Aching muscles in legs and chest
3. Chest and neck very tight
4. Excess mucus in throat, get congested easily, have to continually clear my throat
5. Expiratory Stridor (Very noisy, wheezy)

For many years having a paralyzed vocal cord and sounding the way I do, has defined me. I have let it limit me in many ways. I am on a journey to accept my voice disorder as it is. After 6 surgeries and little-to-no improvement in either voice quality or breathing, I NEED to stop searching for a fix. To let go of the elusive idea of “sounding normal”. Maybe just maybe, my "normal" is good enough!

Running is not just a challenge for me, it is physically and mentally difficult. For many years I have said “I can’t run a long distance because I can’t breathe”. No more! Now I say “This momma WILL run!”

I invite you to join me on this journey! I welcome your thoughts and insights on how to become a better runner.

1 comment:

  1. Very excited to follow you on this journey! Already inspired by your first post! Good luck to you!!