Mayo Memories: After (Part 3)

Everything after May 2018 can be defined as "After Mayo" and will remain a key milestone for the rest of my life. I hope I'm not so cautious in the future about my immune system and virus exposure. COVID didn't help, but now that we are vaccinated, I'm finding the balance between protecting myself from a flare-up and putting my EBV/CMV adventure on a back shelf. We won't forget the lessons learned and the precious value of good health.

The 10-12 months after I returned from the Mayo Clinic were a very important part of my recovery. Before Part 1, I took my health and energy levels for granted. I could easily knock out double workouts, put in a long day of work, travel and adventure all weekend without concern and usually driving others into the ground. I had a good run for over 40 years. 

Once things started going sideways in Spring 2017, and flipped me upside down Fall 2017 into 2018, I was (and still am) afraid that "Jenny" was never coming back. The trip to Mayo (Part 2) was never the cure, just a step in the process and luckily we left in May with no official scary diagnosis and a plan to continue on the path to recovery. Of course, I am hopeful I'll return to "Jenny" Version1 but I'm ok with the Jenny V2 that understands the power of a virus, conserving energy, and being grateful for my health.

I continued to do the things that were working before the trip to Rochester and added a few more.

  • Homeopath (monthly)
  • CranioSacral treatments (monthly)
  • Japanese Acupuncture (monthly)
  • Massage, specifically for my neck (monthly)
  • Pilates (weekly)
  • Exercise (hiking for months, then slowly introduced cycling back in and finally skiing)
  • HRV monitoring (daily) - ithlete and then Whoop
  • Bloodwork (not as frequent)
  • Work (part-time)
  • Journaling (daily)
  • Meditation (daily)
  • Yoga/Stretching (daily)
Nothing changed overnight or even after a few months, which was frustrating yet logical. By taking a few weeks off from any exercise and then slowly reintroducing walks and hikes, I did start to see minor improvements in my HRV. I was RED for a very long time and only in the last year have I started to see a trend toward more GREEN and YELLOW with the occasional RED. Most days I recognize where I'm at and how to adjust, but having the monitor on my wrist and the app reminding me is helpful.

I was seeing a healer every week until mid-2019, when my symptoms decreased and energy increased to back off to every 6-8 weeks. When my part-time contract ended in March 2019, I felt confident enough to pick up a full time project and then in August transitioned to full time employment with travel. Since then, I've been able to maintain. Of course, no travel, isolation, and masks in 2020, has been very good for my health and immune system.

I did a hard stop on healer treatments in March 2020 and have only gone back to Homeopath and CranioSacral. So far so good, even with a very likely chance we picked up COVID early on our Whistler ski trip. This past month, I've felt strong enough to try trail running again as well as mix in a few intervals on my bike rides. I'm in a good place with Version 2 which should give me another 40 or more years!

June 2018 - Back on the trails after a long May rest

July 2018

Aug 2018 - Tour of Utah
Kept to hikes while everyone biked, but that's ok

August 2018
Back on the bike & able to ride over 15mph without dizziness & headache

March 2019 - I'm back!
Able to ski at speed and all day with energy