Medication, Training, and Crafting Update

Lithium...

I went in to see my doctor on Thursday. We talked for a long time about my options, and eventually decided to start on lithium.

It's scary because it has a 1/1000 risk of causing heart defects in developing fetuses.

So why on earth would I decide to try this medication, since we would like to become a family of 4 sooner rather than later? Well...

- Seroquel is not an option, unless, of course, I want to spend my days sedated

- Haldol is an option, but I would have to struggle with clumsy legs on most of my runs. Running is one of the best things for me: stress release, a goal to chase (!), structure - and did I mention a goal to chase? I am, and likely always will be, so motivated by the dream of becoming faster. Struggling to control my legs and get them to move makes me dread running all together.

- Not being on medication isn't an option. I was really disappointed to hear this. Future episodes might come on slowly, with signs, like before, or they could come on suddenly without warning. They've been caused by hormone surges before, but could be triggered by anything now.
What is the likelihood of another episode? I may never have another one, or something could happen tomorrow. There is no way to tell, and having an episode is too risky. I may hear voices telling me to do uncharacteristic, potentially dangerous things. They could even tell me to do something to myself, to others, to Greta...

So, we went on to explore other options, and after hearing the risks of all other available medications, we chose lithium as the safest option.

- Lithium works very well for people, but like I said can cause heart defects. Because of that risk, I will just test for pregnancy often. During the period in pregnancy where the heart forms (aprox week 6-10, but I will confirm with an OB) I will switch back to Haldol or Seroquel. This poses the least risk to the developing fetus and allows me to be on a good long-term medication (hopefully) without side effects.

Other options either 1) didn't have enough data on birth defect risks (not knowing = scarier), 2) had a potential birth defect that wasn't as easy to attempt to avoid during pregnancy.

I never, ever thought I would have to be making this choice! It's scary, definitely, but I'm comfortable and happy with our decision.

On to more upbeat medication news: Since starting lithium on Friday, I haven't had clumsy legs or crazy fatigue/sleepiness! It feels so good to be on something without negative side effects!!

While I'm on lithium I need to get my blood levels checked every 3-6 months to make sure I'm at the correct medication dose and there are no thyroid or kidney issues. Here I am on Friday going in for my baseline check.

My sidekick came with me because she wasn't allowed back at daycare after a 101 degree fever on Thursday. Her fever later that evening climbed to 102. You can tell she's not herself here.. but still trying to be her super-smiley and active self!
Training has been going great!

I'm loving being back training under Jerry, and loving seeing progress!

This afternoon I went out for a quick speed session. Nothing too taxing: 2x200, 400, 2x200, 400. I hit two of my 200s in 36, and my second 400 was in 77. Woot, woot! I had a dopey smile on my face the rest of the day :).

Two weeks ago I did six 400s and split most of them in 81s.

I know I need to learn how to move my legs faster on shorter stuff before any of my other paces/race times can come down - so I'm really pumped to finally be seeing some progress!

Mileage has been near 60 for the last two weeks, with 1 day off/week. My long run this week increased to 15 miles. I was happy to be able to run that far - it's been two years! - and even happier to have great company for it! Lindsey and Sara, two of my athletes came down for the run (Sara skied), Nate ran/pushed the stroller (so nice!), and Craig skied.

Saturday mornings are usually a group run from my house. People as far away as Stillwater, Red Wing, Minneapolis, S. St. Paul, Faribault, etc have come to join. Want to join in on the fun? Send me an email at nichole (dot) porath @ gmail.com and I'll add you to the email distribution list I use to send out the invite each week! The more, the merrier!

Ready for an 8 mile run Sunday morning!
Well, she was ready for a mid-morning nap, let's be honest.
We ended the run at the park to celebrate 60 degrees in November!
She loved it, I swear
Weee!
This week's big workout is 3x1 mile at 6:00 pace on Thursday. I'm nervous! Just last week I did 800s at 3:00 (well, tried for sub-3, but didn't quite have it). Jerry's really starting to challenge me now! Yikes!

Other fun stuff: Recent crafting projects!

Since Greta will soon outgrow her cow costume, I decided to make her a cow print blanket to use instead. When she cheers for dad at ski races she's all bundled up in a blanket anyway - so this will be perfect!

I chose to use two different kinds of Minky, which make the blanket SO soft and so warm! I honestly want to make another one, not in cow print, for me!

Helping
I decided to make the blanket 44" square, the width of the fabric, which made things really easy.
About ready to cut!
Fluff got everywhere. Pants, carpet, Greta's mouth.
Now the back
Now that the blanket is together, I need to figure out how to make and add a hood. Nate also suggested I make a tail as well :). 

I've also started another counted cross-stitch Christmas stocking. I've made one for Nathan, myself, and Greta - so am starting early for kiddo #2 :). They take me about 2 years to finish since I try to pick out the most detailed patterns I can. Nope, not exaggerating. I love them when they're 100% stitched and detailed! As long as I'm making one I might as well make it an heirloom!

This one is going to take a while... good thing I have some time :)
Greta's in progress, 2014

Yep, both of ours are 100% cross stitched!
Now it's your turn!

What's the last track workout you nailed?

Are you racing on Thanksgiving? If so, where? What's your goal?

Nichole Porath

Nichole is a blogger, elite level runner, and coach. She ran professionally for Brooks for two years after qualifying for the 2012 US Olympic Marathon Trials. During that time she founded TNC endurance, where she coaches and motivationally speaks to organizations large and small. This blog details her rise to national-level racing, and continues to follow her as she gets back into racing after starting a family. Read on, friends!

10 comments:

  1. Yea love nichole updates! Glad you are doing so well. I hope lithium works for you :) Super glad ro hear all the updates and love the pictures. Hope Greta starts to feel better, p.s. how many teeth does she have now? Awww the park picture makes me feel sad in a way, i remember going there almost everyday when the girls and I went to stay with you :) Good memories

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    1. I loved hanging out at the park with you! Maybe we can do it again next summer!

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  2. Love your updates pray for you every night

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  3. Your Christmas stockings are so beautiful!!!

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  4. Woah! That is some seriously detailed cross-stitching. I did cross-stitching for 4-H one year, but the picture was basically just a stick-figure pig. Oh, how I am jealous of your nice weather.

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    1. A stick figure pig! HAHAHA! Please take a picture of this gem for me.

      Did it win you a ribbon?

      Oh, 4H!

      BTW, this reminds me... for the billionth time, that you need to move back to MN. To Northfield, specifically :)

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  5. Track? I haven't been on one of those in AGES!!! :) I'll be running a 5K, European XC style here in Tucson for Thanksgiving! Instead of being one of the top 500 female finishers in order to win a pie, I have to be second in my age group. First place AG gets a "turkey" (quotes from the race directors...). Guess we'll see what happens :)

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    1. A European style XC race? That sounds awesome! You'll have to let me know how it goes.

      Mostly I'm wondering what this "turkey" prize is, though... you have me really curious. A turkey costume? A... wait, what else could "turkey" mean??

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