Wednesday, July 21, 2010
I have spent the last four weeks with one of a number of problems slowing me down, and I haven't liked it one bit. It was as if my life was on hold. It is the last thing you need when you decide to take charge of your life.
I was at a softball game feeling strong. I was hitting well, fielding well... and well a slide into the third was how this four week roller coaster all got started. I ripped up my knee and it got infected me. But that didn't stop me... I kept going. I kept running, biking... I had to give up swimming and yoga but I could still challenge my body in the fresh air. I wasn't gonna let this infection catch me know way.
As it started to heal I celebrated with a long bike ride to a rural town. A 40 mile bike ride. I felt great, there was some nice hills to tackle and I just found my strength and rhythm. I also found out that when I got home there was some missing coverage of sunblock. I had let two little pieces of my back get severely sunburned for four hours in the high sun. Ouch! This was a the worse sunburn I had ever gotten. I felt a little silly. How could me and my partner miss that part of my back. I couldn't lay on my back for a couple of days. Yoga was still out, swimming still out as I couldn't get my bathing suit on. I took a day off, but I kept running and biking.
At the farmers' market the following Saturday I was distracted and sliced through my finger! What? Oh it was bad. I could feel the knife sever through my flesh. I ran from the scene and gave it immediate first aid with the help of a friend. I cleaned it, she wrapped it, it was a sharp knife and clean cut. I recovered from this injury in record time. It did slow me down... I couldn't do anything for three days. Nadda.
My race was coming up. I signed up for a 10K in Smith Rock, Oregon. I was still feeling good because I had been doing a lot more running then normal, because that and biking was the only thing I could do. I was ready for a steady 6.2 mile race.
The following Wednesday was the hottest day of our summer. It was in the 90s and windy. I appreciated the winds, until a gust brought a sandpapery itch to my eyes. And it didn't stop itching and watering for 13 days of misery. I was caught. I couldn't do anything. I spent the first couple of days trying to figure out what it was. Was it allergies? I took benadryl, I took Clartin. No relief in the eyes, they just doped me up and doped me out. I felt like a dope on a bed. Wasting my short Pacific Northwest Summer away. 1 day of sunshine here equals 4 days anywhere else. That is right we Western Oregonians have 1 day of sunshine to everyone elses 4. I monitor these numbers.
I missed the race. I went to Redmond, crossing the beautiful Cascades thinking that I would find relief from these allergies. I didn't it got worse. At the camp by the race I realized that these eyes couldn't stay outside. I needed to get indoors, where I could apply compresses whenever I want without getting sand in my eyes.
My partner walked me to the car, and we drove all over looking for a hotel room. Well, the Sisters Quilt Show had come to Eastside and we had to drive 45 minutes North to find a room. It was great. Air conditioning, bed, lots of towels to make cold compresses. I took a lot of bendryl and tried not to think about the loss.
People started saying PINK EYE and I didn't like it. I didn't like BACTERIAL CONJUNCTIVITIS references either. I went to the government provided low income clinic, which please not turned out to me be more expensive than Urgent Care. I spent $140 for a 10 minute visit with a doctor who had no idea what was going on or what I should do. It was a robbery. They took advantage of me, I couldn't see what was going on, why not? Anyway... I got antibiotics out of the deal.
But it turned out it wasn't a bacterial infection! It had almost all signs of bacterial conjunctivities, itchy pussy scratchy bright red eyes that seal shut but harden puss every night. I was still missing days of work, days of exercise. I was losing strength, or at least mental strength.
I got depressed. I wanted to eat horrible foods and just feel sorry for myself. I would have a drink or two before bed just to put me out of my misery. I decided to go to the eye doctor on day 10, but I had to wait through the weekend until the office open. When I got there it was way better than the first health care clinic I went to. Just like I needed they treated my eyes like the most important things in the world. Off the street and into the clinic I was receiving top notch care in a matter of minutes. The doctor used different machines, eye test and told me a lot about what I was experiencing. ALLERGIES. A really terrible reaction to something in the air hot Wednesday. How much did this awesome immediate care cost $66 dollars! Plus the steroids. And I was better! Almost upon the first application of the steroid eye drops.
I felt amazing. I ran for 6.2 miles and pretended like I was running through Smith Rock. I went dancing. I hoola hooped. I played in the streets. It felt like a near death experience that I can live to tell about. Oh I kept dancing, until I fell and sprained my ankle. I am not kidding. I sprained my ankle. Looked way worse just 48 hours later and I think I will be able to swim tomorrow.