Joined: 28 Jan 2008
Location: Toronto, ON
|Posted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 3:22 pm Post subject: Down But Not Out
|Some of you may have noticed that it has been about three weeks since my last update. Then again, you may not have even realized that I've been gone, since I don't exactly have a track record for regular blogging. Anyway, I wish I was able to say that during my absence, my body has been running smoothly and efficiently, like a well-oiled machine. But alas, to say that would be to lie. The truth is that my body has been running like an old car wreck that was left in a ditch to rust fifty years ago.
I don't know why I've been having such difficulty. Theoretically, I should be in great shape. Sensible eating, regular exercise, good overall lifestyle choices. So why, oh why, have I spent the last three months battling a variety of illnesses and injuries?
It started in early December when I was struck down by strep throat that did not (thank God!) affect any other member of my family. About five minutes after recovering from that, I walked into the chiropractor's office with some mild stiffness and walked out with a bundle of pinched nerves that put me out of action for the next month. After many sleepless nights during which I actually wept with pain, and after about four different prescriptions for a variety of drugs, I got over that hurdle and started running again.
A week later, one of the kids brought home a stomach bug from school, and very generously shared it with the entire family. I was the last to be afflicted - it was painful and very, very gross - but at least I got over it relatively quickly. With that behind me, I felt confident that I would be able to not only get onto my feet but stay there. I had a couple of very good weeks and got myself into a wonderful training groove.
Then I caught a cold. At first this did not bother me unduly. I mean, it was only a cold. People get colds, feel like crap for maybe a week, and then recover. It's even perfectly safe to run with a cold as long as all of the symptoms happen from the neck up. So I thought, no big deal. I'll be better before I know it.
Except I wasn't. A week came and went, the cold came and went, and a fiery sore throat and hacking cough stayed with me and completely sapped my energy. Every morning I would wake up and cough up a lung. During the day all I could do was collapse on the couch and watch meaningless TV while my throat burned away. At night, the only way for me to grab any sleep was by staying virtually upright. I'd wake up every half hour or so and cough, cough, cough. There was no question of me being able to go to work.
I went to see Doctor Nigeria. I cannot pronounce his name, but he's a doctor and he's from Nigeria. Doctor Nigeria told me that I have either bronchitis or pneumonia, and he sent me for chest X-Rays and gave me antibiotics. Two days later I went back to Doctor Nigeria for the X-Ray results. I was hoping he'd tell me that the X-Rays had come out clear and that I had nothing to worry about. Instead, what he said was, "The X-Rays showed up something and we don't know what it is". That was as specific as he was willing to get. He told me that I had to go for follow-up X-Rays for the purposes of comparison. When I asked him if it was likely to be something serious, he said, "If it's serious, panicking will only make it worse".
Jeeeeez, way to reassure a patient! I left feeling no better, but this time I was armed with a prescription for some heavy-duty narcotic cough suppressant stuff. I filled the prescription, went home and took the drugs. And fell into a glorious slumber that lasted for the whole night. By Monday, after three days of taking the drugs, I was feeling a lot better - almost normal. I went back to the clinic and politely declined to see Doctor Nigeria. I will wait, I said, for one of the doctors to be available. What I did not tell the receptionist was that I needed to speak to a doctor who would give me some answers, not freak me out. Doctor Non-Nigeria was very nice. She checked me out and declared that my lungs sounded clear, and that my throat looked free of infection. She gave me what I'd gone there for - namely, a doctor's note stating that I was fit to return to work. She also gave me more information about those confounded X-Rays. I had a tiny nodule in one lung, that may have been temporary damage resulting from the cough. It was likely to be nothing serious - apparently, the lab I had the X-Rays taken at returns an unusual number of positive results that turn out to be nothing.
So I'm likely to be fine. I am back at work, and from this weekend, I will be running again. And if anything else happens to my health, I think I will actually scream. I am going to try to pre-empt that, though, by submitting to a full medical examination, including a full set of blood tests to see if there's anything messing up my immune system.
For now, I'm just going to maintain a positive attitude and get back onto the road as soon as I can.