Saturday, February 18, 2017

And Just Where the Heck Have I Been?

In January I signed up for a 5k walk, the Chocoholic Frolic.  5 kilometers is a little more than three miles, and after pushing myself through all the cancer and surgeries and other events over the past three years, I felt that a little challenge was in order.  I signed up, got a friend to join me, and even bought a new pair of walking shoes for the event.  I felt very good about the whole thing.  Yay me. 

The second day of February, my throat hurt.  I went to the doctor for a strep test, and walked out with antibiotics and a steroid shot.  Usually, the medicine works, and I'm back on my feet again after a couple of days.  This time, I started feeling worse, but it wasn't in my throat, it was now in my chest. I used my inhaler often, but I was still having trouble breathing.  I also had no appetite, which should have been a huge red flag for me.  I dropped ten pounds in two weeks, and not in a good way.  No eating meant no energy to do all the things I missed out on while I had cancer.

Larry was very firm:  I was not doing the 5k, he insisted.  I was sick.  He, of course, forgot about the huge amount of stubbornness in my DNA. Nobody can tell me that I can't do something! I was on a mission, to prove that I could do this one thing.  It took on mythical significance in my mind.  If I didn't do the 5k, that meant that I had given up. That was my perspective

I did the 5k.  I woke up that morning, did not have a fever, and felt that I could complete the walk.  So I did.  I showed up, walked very slowly, and finished.  I consider this to be a great accomplishment for me, a generally sedentary soul.  Larry said he was proud of me, but he also yelled a little at me for being so stubborn.  I didn't argue with him. I felt too horrible. 

There were consequences, in the form of bronchitis. I felt as bad as I did when I was on chemo!  I ended up with more antibiotics, more steroids.  They helped a little.  Then came a sinus infection and VERTIGO.  Yes, vertigo. I didn't even know that was still a thing.  If you've never had vertigo, it's like you spun yourself around and around until you make yourself dizzy, but your brain never returns to normal.  I couldn't turn my head without nausea, the bane of my existence.  I will do just about anything to avoid throwing up.

My body had had enough.  I simply had to rest, whether I wanted to or not.  It's no use trying to push yourself when you end up worse off. That sort of defeats the purpose of a challenge, burning yourself out like that.   I took a couple of days and just slept.  I took the third round of antibiotics and the drug for vertigo and I slept like my life depended on it, which it probably did.  I also ate, even if I wasn't hungry.  Taking care of myself became a priority this week. 

And today, I feel relatively normal.  I'm not dizzy, I'm breathing okay, and I'm awake.  I think I've learned a lesson--that I don't have to push myself so hard. I can still do the things I did before cancer.  I just have to take care of myself differently, and do what my body tells me. 

4 comments:

  1. Tina, glad you are on the mend but what a horrible few weeks. Taking care of yourself always needs to be a priority! Hugs :))

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am so sorry that you have been so ill. When your body says rest, it means it. I am currently battling a cold due to pushing my body beyond it's limits. I feel your pain but thankfully not vertigo.

    ReplyDelete
  3. My gosh-I hope your recovery has been progressing. Still make sure to rest and eat chocolate when you want! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm sorry you're sick, but so proud that you accomplished that for yourself. Hopefully by now you're feeling much, much better. Vertigo stinks... here's hoping that stays away for good.

    ReplyDelete

I welcome comments, but reserve the right to correct your spelling because I am OCD about it!