Sunday, December 12, 2010

The World's Longest Cold in the History of Modern Medicine

So I successfully completed 17.5 miles without any knee pain and other than being pretty tired on Sunday and Monday, I wasn't too sore. And then it all went to crap.

I woke up in the middle of the night on Monday with a sore throat. It was like I knew something was coming and had trouble falling back to sleep. I woke up not feeling well and by the end of my work day, I was sick. I had finally caught the cold that The Pilot had a couple weeks ago and was making its way through my family and co-workers. I really believe in the power of positive thinking so I kept telling myself that it was just a cold and I could beat it in just a day or two. I brought my laptop home so I could still work at home and not infect any of my co-workers. I thought for sure that I would be back in action by the weekend and wouldn't need to modify my training schedule. I didn't have time to modify my schedule! I was scheduled for 12 miles on Saturday and 20 miles on Sunday. It was a big one! But the days rolled on and the cold was not getting better. It just kept getting worse. I spent my weekend on the couch with tissues, juice, water, ice cream, cough drops, Mucinex-D and a whole lot of anxiety and frustration about not being able to train.

The weekend came and went. I worked on Monday (and probably shouldn't have) but by the end of the day, I had completely lost my voice. I also started to noticed that I was struggling to breathe. I was diagnosed with asthma when I was in the 4th grade but it was been pretty well managed since I was prescribed the miracle drug, Singulair, about 10 years ago. During all of my marathon training over the past 6 years, the only time I've had much trouble with my asthma while training is when the humidity and/or air pollution levels get high in the summer.

I spent much of Tuesday night sitting up in bed hacking up a lung and struggling to get a deep breath. I called the doctor's office first thing in the morning and when you tell them you are having trouble breathing, they get you right in. The Pilot drove me to the doctor's office where I received a breathing treatment, some antibiotics, a steroid and a heavy duty cough medicine so I could sleep. I also received strict instructions to come back if my breathing hadn't improved by morning....

I think the cat was mocking me and my coughing fits....or maybe she was having sympathy coughs?

The narcotics in the cough medicine weren't enough to keep me asleep and breathing normally so I spent most of the night sitting up in bed, coughing, wanting to smother the sleeping Pilot. I guess when you are used to sleeping in hotels right next to the airport, you can sleep through just about anything. I woke up miserable but had an eye doctor appointment that I had scheduled nearly two months earlier. I quickly forgave The Pilot for his ability to sleep through the sounds of my lungs trying to dislodge from my chest cavity because he got up at 6:00 am with me and took me to the eye doctor. By the time we left the eye doctor's office, I was at a whole new level of miserable. My eyes were dilated and naturally it had to be a beautiful, sunny (RARE) day in Columbus. I was also having A LOT of trouble breathing so The Pilot drove me back to the doctor's office where I got another breathing treatment and a steroid shot in the hip (yowza!)...and bad news.

Marathoners in training tend to be irrational creatures. We sometimes ignore all reasoning and forget that we are, in general, smart, educated people. This is why injured marathoners tend to rush their recovery and then get hurt again. I knew I was in no condition to be working out in any way but with the Goofy Challenge only about a month away, I thought maybe, just maybe, I'd still be able to get in some decent mileage over the weekend. All those drugs would surely get my back on my feet by the weekend, right?! No such luck. The doctor and the nurse (who happened to be a marathoner), told me no working out until at least Monday and only if my breathing was back to normal.

After 10 days of not sleeping well and not working out at all, I was done. I couldn't even help it and just started crying. Right there in the doctor's office. I felt like an idiot. The marathoner nurse told me not to panic, that I would be back on my feet in no time and then went to fetch The Pilot who had been waiting patiently in the waiting room for 45 minutes. After a hug and a smile from The Pilot (yes, that's all that I needed at that moment), we left, armed with some samples of an even stronger cough medicine.

The Pilot had to leave in the morning. I know he was worried about leaving me but I couldn't help but think that certainly flying an airplane full of cranky passengers would be easier than taking care of a sick and cranky marathoner that can't train. Plus, I knew my mom would be happy that she could step back in to take care of me. Being a nurse for nearly 40 years and being my personal nurse for 30 years, I can imagine that it's hard for her to take a step back and let someone else take care of me. She does it like a champ though. And when The Pilot left for his 4-day trip, she showed up with dinner....and then I showed up at my parents' house the next day where they fed me lunch and dinner. It was exhausting to get dressed and actually get out of the house but it was nice to get a change in scenery.

I'm still not sleeping normally because the steroids have me all hopped up but I can now move around the house like a normal person and still be able to breathe. The coughing is slowly going away and my energy level is coming back. My legs feel like tree trunks and my body is puffy from the steroids so I'm not exactly looking forward to my first post-crud workout. I'm doing my best to listen to all the advice and will avoid working out until Tuesday. That is when I plan to trek over to the gym to test my legs on the treadmill. I'm hoping that I can make it 30 minutes and then I'll take it from there.

Thank you for all of the get well wishes and training advice over the past two weeks! I'm probably one of those most annoying sick people in the world but I'm definitely thankful that this was just a bad cold/bronchitis and not something worse. I don't think I could handle anything else! I'm also extremely thankful to have The Pilot, who dropped everything to play nurse and for my mom for letting him do that. I'm constantly reminded that I am surrounded by the most loving and thoughtful people in the world.

1 comment:

  1. Glad you are feeling better. Beth says the Pilot gets his sleeping ability from his father.
    Steve and Beth