Maybe I'm not as determined as I thought.

I never thought I was going to be the person to say this, but I may not be able to triumph over my medical issues after all.

I've been reserving judgment for some time now: trying not to blog about it, talk about it, worry about it - hell, trying not to even think about it - for fear that the mere inclination towards defeat, however temporary, might bring my entire life as I've come to know it crashing down upon me. But I have reached a point from where it is going to be very difficult to recover, and if I don't open up and be honest with myself, and with those who have supported me for the past several years, I'm going to explode.

I came down with some kind of flu about 3 weeks ago, when it was going around at work. When I continued to have nausea and fatigue, I assumed that it was a combination of my exisiting (annoying, but not threatening) conditions, the flu, and sheer exhaustion from closing on the house, dealing with my friends' drama, my divorce, etc. My insurance hadn't kicked in yet, and I was running out of my medicine, yet I thought it would be no big deal to bridge the gap by not taking whatever I ran out of for a bit - in fact, I've been so concerned with trying to come off my prescriptions that I was somewhat glad for the opportunity to try, and the only reason I even attempted this (again) was because it was time for me to come off of a few of them, anyway.

The nausea continued, though - even on the day my Army recruiter took me to find out if my body fat was too high for the Reserves (it was - more on that some other time). Then last weekend I came down with yet ANOTHER UTI, and when the nausea worsened, I assumed it was the antibiotics - even though I've had sulfa drugs many times. Desparate for any answer at all, I took pregnancy test after pregnancy test - with no real reason to do so - and they were all negative. Tuesday morning I came to work late and Thursday night I stayed home from work after I got horribly ill at lunch. Later that night, I started having chest pains and throat constriction and had a friend take me to the hospital. Concerned about my history - and family history - of cardiac issues (just electrophysiology problems, though, not heart disease), the doctor admitted me for the night.

Tests were inconclusive, as they always are: the same tests I usually receive, with the addition of chest x-rays and a stress test. If you weren't so young, the cardiologist told me, I'd be concerned - but I'm young and otherwise healthy, so he didn't see any real problems. (Of course, he had to throw in that I'm "not the build of a typical marathoner." Jackass - like I thought I was!) Both ER docs ordered me to return to activity gradually, find a GI doc, visit my cardiologist and physician, and increase the medicine that raises my blood pressure (midodrine.) GRADUALLY? I wanted to scream. I've been non-training for weeks now! I'm going to lose ALL MY FITNESS!!

{Just in case you wondered, it's quite humorous to be in a cardiac ward with bradycardia and hypotension and be denied salt (they always think you want it when you say you need it), only to have the attending physician ask you if you've ever considered taking salt tablets.}

So I've reached an impasse. I must decide if it is in my best interest to continue to train for the year's races or try to defer them. Not so much because racing is bad for me, but because I may not be healthy or strong enough to maintain a level of training that will prepare me for the length of race - any race, really - that I wish to undertake - and still finish safely.

I am trying not to think too much about it. But that seems to be working, because thinking about not throwing up and making all my doctor's appointments without missing too much work is taking up most of my time. (See, at least I still have a sense of humour about it :D )

5 tidbits of wizdom:

IM Able said...

You HAVE TO have a handle on the health issues, darling. If you're pushing your body to do all of these other things and it's not healthy, you're risking some serious issues. It's not courageous to put yourself at risk -- it's just risky. If you make wise choices now then you'll be around long enough, and healthy enough, to enjoy all of it later -- work, love, training, joy, etc.

Just get healthy first. Otherwise you're asking for problems! The running will still be fun in a few months or a year. In fact, it will probably be better because your body won't be under duress.

Duane said...

I know this sucks, but please take care of yourself. Your fitness will return faster than you know!

Thinking of you,
D

Tea said...

IM ABLE said it better than I could. There is a time to fight through issues, and there is a time to rest and recover.

This is your time to recover.

Alili said...

Jayme put it beautifully. Please take care of yourself. Rest well.

adam brown said...
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