"Don't let the fat chick beat you"?

I have been racing for about 5 years now. I am not a typical runner or even triathlete. I fight with serious medical conditions every step of the way, but each step makes me stronger. I have two boys both with special needs and I have learned to chalk that up to making me stronger as well.

It is with sad heart that I must report that lupus has won the battle this year, but trust me when I say the war is far from over! My racing days are not over by any stretch of the imagination. This is just a minor setback that will make me stronger.

I am me!

I know, it is easy enough to say I am me!

My name is Sammie, I am a single mom of four wonderful boys (ok, so two of the walk on two legs and two are on four).

I joined the military right after high school, got out had my two two-legged boys and then got back in a couple of years later. Less than a year of getting back in I found myself in Baghdad at the beginning of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM (aka OIF 1). While I was there I got hurt (non-combat related), after 14 months boots on ground I returned home. I was medically discharged because of the injury and I was told I would never walk normally again. Some days are better than others but every time I lace up my shoes I have to be carefully of where/how I step and I have to watch the thermometer (if it is below a certain temperature I get reminded that I did mess up my leg and it is not healed).

For health reasons, I have cut out all land animals.  My boys refer to me as a fishetarian (the oils in some fish are good for the joints). Again, I refuse to let that stop me. Yes, one day it might, but that is not today. When I dream I always dream big. I will be an Ironman, I will get a marathon in every state, I will… well, you get the picture! All this might take me longer than planned and I might have to take alternate routes to get there, but trust me, I will be there! Sadly, I have to update this and say the “tentative diagnosis” is no longer tentative. I found out In January 2011 I have both lupus and RA.  I realize this will have some major impact on my life.  It does not mean, however, I will NOT roll over and play dead.  I know to many people who use their possible disabilities as an excuse.

As far as my boys go I have been blessed/cursed with two special needs children. “Jose” has Asperger’s Syndrome (a form of autism) and “Cuervo” is bipolar. I say I have been blessed with them because they have made me slow down and realize just how precious things are and how it is necessary to slow down and enjoy the smaller things in life. I am cursed because I can never have set plans (I know, like any parent can!) everything we do is tentative. Trying to find the right combination of medication, therapy and structure is like balancing a plate of tennis balls. My four legged boys, well, they are pretty special too! Charlie is a Great Dane/Lab weighing in at about 100 pounds, not only does he think he is a lap dog, he also has a thing about chasing lights and shadows! His sister passed away at the beginning of August due to kidney failure, she had been my best friend and companion for only six years. Freddie moved in four days after Carin passed (I was hoping they would meet, but that was just not meant to be). Freddie, like Carin, is a boxer. He and Charlie have become the best of friends, neither have taken the role of Alpha (that is my job!) and they could spend all day chasing each other around and relaxing under the bushes if I let them.

That is me in a nut shell, or maybe I am the nut shell!