Posts Tagged With: illness

Moving On

It has been a month since I heard the news. It’s been a month of doing absolutely nothing. By choice. But, But. but! Isn’t that what they say? The choice to do nothing is still doing something? I chose to ignore.

In truth I ran in purple this weekend with you in mind. Doesn’t that contradict everything I said I feel? Nothing I said I would do? A prince’s power to make me think of you. A Purple Reign. The night before I got the word. You are still a heartbeat; alive and kicking they say. You just don’t have as much to say. Duly noted. I won’t say it either.
But, let me back up and just say “But, I ran.” I know I will sound like someone else when I offer up excuses, but they are all true. I wasn’t feeling well before the Purple Run. I was tempted to turn a ten into a five and call it good. No. I could only tell myself came here to run. Not make my excuses. The temptation was fleeting and gone before I could really chew on it. Instead I threw up.

This was a good run, all things considered. A solid sub ten minute mile the entire way. Through crowds of meandering families strolling with their strollers and dogs I managed to break an hour. Boston in my ear, telling me he’s going to buy me a beer…right after a run to the Dunk. It’s only an app but it had me giggling. I like my Boston.

I have moved on from this. I’m setting my sights on a half. My first since September. I have moved on.

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Hot Child

ODAAT – One Day at a Time – has turned into Hell in a Hand Basket…whatever that means. I’m tempted to review my last entry just so I can remind myself where I left off but I will tell you the same thing I told myself. NeverYouMind.

Let me tell you about the strangest run ever. Last Wednesday I was slated for eight to nine miles. I think I told you that much. It was a balmy 91 degrees with 90% humidity. Dripping-Sweat-Standing-Still kind of weather. I knew it was going to be a New Guinea run but somehow I also knew there was going to be trouble. Don’t ask me how I knew because I felt fine for the first six miles. Somehow I knew to grab a wet towel, though. But by mile seven there was a special kind of struggle. I found myself eyeballing the countdown clock, willing it to go faster. Instead, with a mile to go, I slowed down. Like waaay down to an almost eleven minute mile. With four measly minutes to go, I stopped completely. 8.5 miles in 91 minutes. It wasn’t long after that the real fun began. Muscle spasms and twitchiness, chills, dizziness, sweats, and all out exhaustion. Every rib hurt. Every skin cell ached. I asked Kisa to make dinner but by the time he put it in front of me I couldn’t swallow a single bite. Believe me, I chewed and chewed the same forkful because when Kisa cooks it’s heaven. Usually. Not this time. I was in hell. Heat exhaustion. My core temp was spiking and, and. And! Since I had never experienced anything like it, I was oblivious to the issue.
With two days of rest and fluids I was fully recovered by Friday but Kisa refused to let me run again until the humidity had broken…last night. 8.7 in 90. Not a huge difference in performance but the temperature made all the difference.

Best song of the night – Tell Me Where the Wild Things Are by Alessia Cara.

ODAAT – tonight is supposed to be a repeat performance of Monday. Wait and see.

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Petty Little Things

Confessional: I have been sick since Vegas. In my defense, I went to my primary who announced it was late season allergies. She didn’t examine me in any way despite my vitals being out of whack. Blood pressure: 140/100; pulse: 90; core temp: 99; no monthly since Sept and 3lbs lost in four days. I thought it was something just a little more than “allergies.” But then…wait for it…I had told her about Vegas. The rainy and windy marathon. And, and. And! The family issues. Nine days in a row with less than three hours of sleep each night. I’m a woman who needs her solid eight. Let me snuggle down with nine and I’m a happy camper. No wonder I was breaking down. My primary didn’t come right out and say “stress” but I suspect I had exhausted myself right into illness. I took to my bed the day before Thanksgiving and didn’t leave it until the end of the weekend.

But, But! But. I am turning a corner. I don’t know why this counts but I’ve been listening to Tom Petty radio on Seriously for three days straight. Somehow it prompted me to order new cold weather running pants and register for my all time favorite nemesis, the dreaded St. Pat’s 10k Road Race. Don’t ask me how my mind works. The important thing is this: me, myself and moi are starting to return to the run. Finally. Why is this such a big deal? Because the last time we had a horrible run the trainers were hung up and all but abandoned for nearly five years. I let the pain rule my head and the fear strangle my heart. I wore the crown of Can’t and bore the cross of Won’t. My sanity turned saintly and I almost lost it all. It’s a silver lining to say this time is hugely different. The fear lurks but does not dominate my desire to start again. The toe is still very black but I can’t wait for one dodgy digit to heal. The only petty thing I can wait for is this cough to go away. I’m still rattling a little phlemy in the lungs and my ribs are sore from the exertion. I don’t dare step out into the cold and rain in this condition. I can barely breathe straight at it is. For right now it’s enough to know the mindset is there. As Mr. Petty says “you can stand me up at the gates of hell but I’ll stand my ground. I won’t back down.” Holyoke, I’m coming for you.

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Big Bad Bust

Ya’ll ready for this? I lied. I said I was done whining. Well, guess what? I’m not. Ever since the mara I have been progressively feeling worse and worse. No, I don’t have the typical post-race depression. Of that, I am sure. Being bummed out doesn’t come with a creeping cough, rapid weight loss (over three pounds in four days) and feeling tired, tired, tired. To make matters more mysterious I have missed my monthly. Again. 10/26 came and went; a total of 31 days ago.

I’m not complaining. I’m more worried. Looking back, I just chalked up so many things to the run: losing weight, lower back ache, missed periods and most recently, the new ailment: the persistent cough. For awhile I was loving the 6…71/2…9…11 pounds lost but now that it’s reached 14.9 I’m a little freaked out. In reality it’s the last weigh-in that has me bugged the most. For the last four days I have been a sedentary bug, lolling on the couch and yet, yet I have managed to lose 3.5 lbs. Did I say four days? Come to think of it, I have been a sloth for the last week and I’ve still managed to lose weight.

Yes I have an appointment to see a doctor. Selfishly it’s because I am anxious to get back to the run and bore you all with my mileage & pace blatherings. That feels normal to me. Honestly, I’ll go quietly mad if I don’t. Where else can I reset my clocks, go back to manufacturer’s settings, return to good and even out the crazy days in my life if I don’t run? Don’t say yoga. Please don’t. I don’t have a quiet mind and I’m not about to start communication with my nonexistent chi. I’ve got drumbeats in my head and demons on my soul. I’m not going to find my center of anything through an om. It’s got to be a run because nothing else will work. It’s run or bust.

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Best Laid Plans

My last blathering was about Chicago and all the planning the Kisa and I were doing in preparation. Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans?

Let me just talk about the 5k and get that out of the way. I have this runner friend who is constantly dissing his race times with disasters: I didn’t sleep the night before; I got lost on the course; I didn’t train AT ALL; my ankle has been giving me trouble…And yet, he would PR this particularly “terrible” race. Each and every time. I, my friends, am going to sound like that friend…minus the PR.

The night before we were to fly to Chicago; the night before the Terrapin 5k remember, I came down with a stomach bug. My first ever. I’ve had food poisoning and I’ve had the flu but I’ve never, ever, ever had this kind of gut-twisting, can’t-decide-if-I-should-kneel-or-sit (cuz I gotta do both at the same time) kind of stomach vileness. And. And! And, at the the same time as my period. I’ll be blunt. It was not pretty. I spent the entire night either in the bathroom or thinking about being in the bathroom; all the while praying this thing would clear up by morning…or at least in time to board the plane. No such luck. I’m a nervous flier but the flight down was a white-knuckler in more ways than one. Then the hour long taxi ride to the hotel was a study in bowel control. Lots of deep breathing and humming to myself. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry over the ridiculousness of it all.
Then it was time to run the Terrapin 5k. So there I was – I hadn’t slept. I hadn’t eaten in 36 hours. I wasn’t hydrated. I couldn’t keep anything in. My period was raging. To top it off, earlier in the week I had received an email from race officials stating there would be no race-day bib pickup. You would think it would be a no-brainer to give up this run, especially since it didn’t look I’d have a bib number to run with anyway. I think, all things considered, I could have logged a DNS just this once.

But. But! But, I have never DNF let alone DNS. Now was certainly not the time. Never mind that I was literally sick and tired and not just saying that. When I found out I could pick up my bib I didn’t want to pass up this run. I just couldn’t. Illness be damned.

So I ran. In truth I forgot about being sick. I forgot about being tired. I forgot about being in a corral (I was actually pleased to be in the way back in case I had an incident). But, the more I ran the better I felt. Soon I was cruising along the waterfront and watching the boats bob. I was enjoying the sun sparkling on the water. With runners behind me and ahead I was in my element. I love being in a pack. Soon I felt strong enough to pick out runners to quietly slide by. Each passing mile felt better and better. I finished in just under 30 minutes (without incident) with a smile on my face.

And the rest of Chicago? I’ll say this. It took me another two days to find an appetite but that didn’t slow me down. That’s a story for another time.

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Annoying One

When I first thought of the title for this entry I knew I was going to start blathering about a dinner date I had last week. (Definitely not you, Smiley. 😉 ) This is one half of an otherwise great couple and I just have to vent. I have to. Every time I go out with him and her I can count on two things: him to crack me up and her to annoy the crap out of me. It wouldn’t be so bad if I couldn’t bet my life (yes, My Life) on the fact that this woman will bring up three things every time I see her. Yes. Every. Single. Time. Without fail. I can guarantee she’ll bring up an illness of hers, beginning with the sentence, “I can’t (fill in the blank) because of my (insert varying allergy/syndrome/disease/virus/ailment here).” She usually launches into how bad the WhateverItIs is for several long-winded minutes. Not so bad until she circles back to the whatever ten minutes later. Or. Or! Or, this is the worst – she contradicts the whatever by ordering/subjecting herself the very thing she not supposed to do/see/be within 500 yards (This is her: hand to head. Sigh. “I’ll just take an Advil.” Sigh. “I’ll be fine.” Sigh.) I bet my life she’ll also mention the home-schooling of her children (home-high-schooling at this point). She is the proud parent of the kid who says “oxygen potassium” instead of “okay.” Get it? OK? And the third thing she’ll mention without fail? The Fitbit badge she has just earned (I walked to India!!!) OR how badly she whoops someone’s azz in some app trivia game (okay, so usually both Fitbit and trivia come up so that’s actually four things she will mention without fail). I sound bitchy. I sound awful, but. But! But, here’s the thing. I could really like this woman if she had something new to say…something like “I feel great today!” Imagine that.

But. That’s not what this is supposed to be about. This is supposed to be about the fact that I ran one mile last night. One single, solitary,  annoying, little mile. That’s what the training plan called for so that’s what I did. It took longer to change my clothes, put my hair up and lace my shoes than it did to run the meager mile. I was jumping off the tread as soon as I jumped on. Ridic. One mile. In truth, it actually worked out because I had a Just ‘Cause walker meeting to get ready for…but that’s a story for another day.

Song of the run: I Bet My Life by Imagine Dragons.

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Wheels on the Bus

My boss used the analogy of wheels falling off a bus to describe how I should allocate my budget. “Tell me what you absolutely, positively need to have in your budget to make your operation run. What would break your department and send the wheels off the bus?” Hmmm. Interesting concept. When you are dealing with over a half a million in expenses it’s a little difficult to decide, but lately I have been applying the wheels of the bus to my personal psyche. I don’t think the wheels have fallen off my mental bus but I think the tires are running dangerously low…maybe there’s even a flat. I can keep the apathy, like a smothering smog, come creeping back in.
In the last month I learned that my mother from another life is gravely ill. I am ashamed to say I have not been able to face her or her illness. I have not sent one word of compassion. Not one note of courage or consolation. I can barely read her almost daily posts on FaceBook. I am avoiding the whole damn situation. Completely. And it makes me feel like sh!t.
In the last month I learned a friend I fell out of touch with died an early and sudden death. I let a wave of emotions flood me when I first learned: shock (he was only 41), confusion (how come I didn’t know this earlier?), curiosity (what happened?), guilt (we didn’t stay in touch despite being really close in the 90s), and finally, nostalgia (we had worked together, drank together, made memories in New Jersey, Maine and Massachusetts together). After the first cycle of emotions I circled back and found anger, sadness, indignation, and the overwhelming inability to articulate why this death bothers me so.

In the last month a friend I used to hear from regularly has slipped out of sight. I think he’s ill but I haven’t bothered to find out.

In the last month I decided to downsize my office. My current abode is big, way too big. I currently have a huge corner desk, a ginormous 9’x9′ bookcase, a filing cabinet, a standup 1980s server, a second office N&Z desk, five chairs, a three-drawer cart, a large heating/cooling wall unit and oh yeah, a garbage can. And, And. And! I still have room for a dance party. It’s ridiculous. So, I’m giving it up so that two of my librarians can move in and utilize the space better. A new office for me will start construction on Monday. I’m stressed. I want to downsize but did I size myself out of a position of authority? I don’t even know if my big corner desk will even fit in the new space. What did I do?

In the last week my dreams of getting a new kitchen came crashing down when my husband announced his car needs $2,000 worth of work. Like now.

Here’s how I know I surely have a flat tire on my life bus. Just ‘Cause is in three months, less than three actually. I have not started fund raising or serious training. At all. The St. Patrick’s Day road race is next weekend. My 4.82 mile run last Sunday was my last run. Period. I stopped just like that and I don’t know why. My mother wanted me to post pictures to FaceBook. I promised I would. I didn’t do it. I have been meaning to connect with a friend. That phone is always out of reach. I see her doing well on FB and think I don’t need to connect. My sister is graduating from a pretty impressive program. She is downplaying the event and hasn’t asked me to come home for it. Is that the reason why I haven’t made plans to make the trek? Or is it something else? Am I pretending to care when I really don’t or is the fog of apathy so thick I can’t see my true self?

Categories: Charity, Confessional, Fund Raising, Hilltop, Just Cause, Librarianship, life, renovations, running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bronchial Waiting

Is it wrong of me to be waiting for bronchitis to set in? As my husband hacks up a lung every night I wonder when, not if, I am going to come down with this particular affliction. I fear that I will. It’s only a matter of time. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

Since being home from CA I have managed to go to work, do laundry, clean the litter boxes, take out the trash, make dinner every night – including a killer Thai soup for Kisa (if only to clear out his sinuses with a healthy dose of red curry paste) and read (I have started Personal History by Katherine Graham and Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien and finished Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban for those inquiring minds). What haven’t I done? Walking. In truth I have done minimal walking. Like less than two miles a day. Let me repeat that. Less. Than. Two. Miles. A. Day. Pathetic, sad, crappy I know. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I can’t confuse jet lag with what I am feeling currently. Every morning I say This is the day I will log 10,000 steps (or five miles, however you want to look at it). This is the day I am going to downward dog and sit up. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter because it didn’t happen.

I think it’s because I am waiting to get sick. My preemptive strike is to take it easy before the illness takes me out. I should have stocked up on all those catchy named catch-all cold remedies like Emergen-C, Cold-Eeze and Airborne. My relatives were handing them out and chugging them down like frosty margaritas on a muggy fourth of July. Shoulda, coulda, woulda. I’m full of excuses.

In truth, the bronchial waiting is over. I should be giving my lungs something else to worry about, like a hard New Guinea run. Enough said.

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Empty Ringing

After a two hour conversation with my mother about drowning and helicopters and weddings and death we decided to hang up. She had to go and I had to eat. A mutual disconnect. But, I promised to call her back in two days time. I hadn’t said a few words of my own. Words I needed to say. Words like blood work and medication and forgetfulness and can’t breathe and scared out of my mind. More than anything I just wanted to tell her I haven’t always been like this and to ask her when did I change? When did I become so anxious that my flesh erupts in angry stinging stress burns? Spontaneous combustion.

I called her back in the sanctity of my bedroom. Clutching the phone as a lifeline to my being I told her about the recent battery of tests. I was launching into the “we can rule out…” part when the phone went dead. I immediately dialed her number, desperate to get her back, to finish the sentence. I didn’t want to worry. But, the worry was on me when it rang and rang. Shouldn’t it be a busy signal if she hasn’t recognized the lost line? The ringing rattled me. I tried again. And again. And again. Finally she picked up. “That was weird,” she exclaimed. “The phone was ringing but I couldn’t answer it. I knew it was you and I couldn’t even say hello.” For some reason this frightened me more than not being able to finish a sentence. What would it be like to be a mother and know my daughter was trying to reach me, to be comforted, to alleviate a fear?  I couldn’t imagine her helplessness.

We got through another ten minutes of talk before I lost her again. We went through the cycle of me calling and not getting through. Finally when she was able to pick up I said quickly, “I can’t bear the thought of not properly saying goodbye. It would kill me to not tell you I love you.” Her breath caught and we laughed.  This time we hung up on our own terms. This time we beat the empty ringing. This time mother and child went to bed knowing one calmed the other.

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Under the Weather


Jones and I are sick. Sadly so.

Me, I only have a sore throat and a sinus thingy. My throat is sore enough to feel like I’m swallowing shards of glass and my head feels fragile, like it will shatter if I move too quickly. Or blink. I should have known better. The weekend started with itchy eyes and sentences punctuated by staccato sneezes. Allergies, I thought. Kisa gets this way by July. April and May used to be my cruelest months, although not recently. I completely ignored the signs. Felt worse by the day until I needed a day off from my life. Couch-bound I slept for hours.

Jones. Ah, Jones. He hasn’t been right for days. Dragging his ass on the carpet. Excessive cleaning where the sun don’t shine. Countless trips to the men’s room. Finally Kisa hauled him off to the vet while I waved a weary hand and croaked, “have fun” from the couch. They were back in record time. Triumphant. “Jones needed to express himself!” Kisa crowed proudly. What? “He couldn’t do it so the vet expressed for him!” I’m still picturing Madonna voguing. I’m confused. Jones crawled out of the cat carrier, a look of irritation on his face. Oh. I’m still confused. With one wary eye on Jones and a dubious ear towards Kisa I listened to him explain expression. I’m beginning to get it and just as I say as much, Jones flops over to lick his azz.

I’m glad one of us is feeling better.

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