Before I jump into talking about the start of my 2020, talking about 2019 is necessary, because last year was a very important year in my life. The beginning of last year started out pretty rough. If any of you know about my chronic condition I have been dealing with for years, you will understand what I am about to say.
For those of you that don’t, long story short, I have been dealing with a medical condition that has really gotten progressively worse. I have been told by certain specialists that I have severe fibromyalgia. I have been diagnosed with numerous different conditions, but this one is the most accurate. In short, that means chronic musculoskeletal pain, causing fatigue and major tenderness in certain areas of my body. All of that causes extreme stabbing and pinching pain localized in my chest and back. Towards the end of last year, the pain spread to my knees and feet.
Early in the year of 2019, there was a morning that was a turning point. I could not physically move and get out of my bed. My mom had to come help me roll over and sit up. That is not something any 19-year-old should experience. Anyways, after that we started really hitting hard on going to more specialists to get to the bottom of it. Unfortunately, any x-ray, MRI, blood test, breathing test, anything you could think of, was not showing us any promise. Because of this going back and forth with tests and being in a lot of pain, it really started affecting my school work. I got so far behind, it was absolutely drowning. I was razor thin close to signing some papers to take a medical leave, go home, and get to the bottom of it. I almost started dreading the racing season, because if I can’t physically get out of bed in the morning or do basic daily functions, how am I going to get out of a dragster?
I do not mean for this to sound like a sob story, but there is a point to this. I ended up pulling it together and passed my classes that quarter. Wasn’t a Dean’s List type of grades, but I made it. Racing season came around, and it was by far the hardest season of my life. There were races where Dad had to help me out of the car. There were times between rounds where all I could do was somehow climb out of the car, lay on the trailer floor, and cover myself in ice packs.
I am going to be honest with you, I could tell you all day that the pain did not hinder my performance at all on the track, but I would be lying. There were moments where I would look over at my opponent and I would cringe because it felt like I was having a heart attack (that is the best way I can describe the pain). I did not necessarily lose rounds because of that, but moments like that made it difficult for me to do all that I know I could do.
The important point I want to make is that I did not let it get to me mentally. Once that car was on, and I was pulling through the water box, I was able to mentally put those worries that I was about to be in pain behind me. I believed that showed when I placed 3rd in Muncie Dragway’s track points this past season. Even though I would wake up on race days in excruciating pain, I still had the attitude and the mentality I was going to send some racers home that day. A good example of this is I bet none of you that saw me at the PRI show this past December noticed I was absolutely dying the entire time walking around all day. I have gotten really good at putting on a smile and doing my job.
At the end of the season, I was ready to focus again on finding out what was going on with me. I ended up getting put on painkillers, and that is not the solution I wanted. My coworker/best friend Kasey recommended this chiropractor that she believed could really change my life. That is the one specialist I have not seen, so why not at this point. With once again another x-ray, he found it. Come to find out, I have all these misalignments down my spine that were really affecting other areas of my body. He also showed me my shoulders, how they come around so much, which could very much contribute to why my chest hurts constantly. The best way my chiropractor explains it is if your car is out of alignment, and you are going down the track, it is going to cause a lot more issues than just an alignment problem. Same thing applies here.
I do not know what I am looking at when I see x-rays, but I took one look at it and I saw it easily. With my other three x-rays, I was never able to look at them after I took them. But I saw this one and it was amazing that I can finally see proof of why I feel the way I do. I think I left that appointment more mad than hopeful at the time. I was mad because all the tests that I have had showed the problem. The amount of money, time, and praying was over a solution that a doctor could have pointed out years ago if they would have taken the time. My life would be completely different today if that were the case.
This was two months ago when I went, so the past two months I have been starting with my adjustments. We are starting out very slow and steady, with muscle stimulation and using an activator. I am most definitely not at the point to where I can be twisted and popped like you normally see at a chiropractor. The first month I started feeling like a whole new person, like I could breathe better almost and sit up straight with no effort. I started to feel a sense of normalcy for the first time in six years. Let me repeat that, six years.
Recently some of the pain has come back, because of a “cycle” my body is going through. Basically, it means my muscles are confused to why they are being adjusted, and they want to put me back to where I started off. I am not losing hope, because I trust this chiropractor and trust this long process. From here, we are just going to keep on going and see what kind of progress I make.
The point of me telling you this is if I end up getting the results that we are hoping for, I expect a different and better-than-ever Mayce at the racetrack, and really as an overall person. I have been working really hard on making some other changes to help me to be ready for the season. I have been on a vegan lifestyle change for two months now. I’ve learned that meat and dairy is inflammatory, and my entire body is extremely inflamed. By cutting that out, and eating a natural, vegan diet has dramatically made me feel better and less swollen, if that makes sense? I can’t go jump in the gym and run a few miles yet, but I am slowly getting into making my body feel happy again.
I could really go on all day of what the roads I have been down with this journey, and I know I am not the only one. I hope someday I can be a voice for a lot of people that have dealt with what I have dealt with, and help them through their journey. I do not know exactly how I am going to do that quite yet, but if you stick around you might end up finding out.
I see 2020 as being very hopeful. I will graduate college with my bachelors in June, I will be starting a big girl job, and I will be driving an amazing race car, all while I am feeling like a new person. Thank you to everyone that has helped me through this whole process. My parents especially, because I know it is not easy for them either. And to my close friends and coworkers, for being abundantly supportive and helpful.
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