On Pollyannas, Sore Asses, Illnesses, and IronMAJ

It was the Best of Times; it was the Worst of Times.

OK, Dickens references are admittedly played-out. Let's just say it's been a Good News/Bad News kinda week.

Good News: I rounded out the highest-volume training week of my life last week with 12+ miles of running, 5500 yards of swimming, and 140 miles of cycling - and, best of all, because I'd been increasing volume gradually, eating enough protein, recovering and sleeping, and cutting back on booze and caffeine (almost completely), I ended the week without mishap.

Or so I thought.

Bad News: Sunday night through Tuesday morning my temperature skyrocketed and my body ached. TMFI alert: the area where two lumpy bruises had sprouted (presumably saddle sores, because they seemed merely ingrown hairs a few weeks ago) was now red and swollen all over like a baboon's bottom. On Monday, the doctor declared them infected saddle sores and I laid home two days with antibiotics trying to break the fever.

Wednesday rolled around, and Good News: the swollen area was "softer" and the fever was gone. Bad News: now there was a new, sore, red, swollen spot on the front of my left thigh near my hip and a weird rash on my right arm that the doc hasn't even seen. She put me on a different antibiotic, told me she didn't have to drain it (good news), but then scrunched up her face (bad news), explained that this is progressing very "strangely," added something about cellulitis, shook her head and sent me for bloodwork.

Bad News: I forgot my insurance card. Good(?) News: they have it on file because I'm there getting blood drawn so often.

So here I sit, on my new antibiotic, contemplating one of my prescription painkillers, preparing for another Epsom salts soak, and it is impossible not to think something I have promised not to think as much, or blog about anymore: What next?, Why me?, and, When will it stop?   I mean, I can't get just a few bumps that go away with new shorts, time off, and antibiotic ointment.  No, I have to be the one who gets the weird shit that keeps me home from work, bottomless, for days - and may derail IronMAJ altogether. 

Plain and simple, I am tired.  I am tired of being the sick person, tired of going on and off prescriptions, tired of getting stuck with needles, tired of feeling sick. (And this is just the physical stuff. Forget financial, emotional, professional.)   So part of me asks, Meggan, why do you even try at all? It would be so much easier to simply throw in the towel.  After all, things MAY not get better. There's an equal chance they may actually get worse.  

I know what you're probably thinking right now. You're thinking, that's not a very good attitude, or don't act like a victim, or (most commonly) you need to think positive thoughts.

But being positive is much more than just being a Pollyanna, going around blowing sunshine up everyone's ass all the time about if you think it, it will happen (don't get me wrong, I believe that, too).  Being positive is knowing that the best may happen, but that the worst also might.  It's understanding that it's not how we deal with the best of times that shows our strength, it's how we handle the worst.

No, things might not get better.  But that's exactly why you can't give up.  You can't give up, because then it wins. And if it wins - it being the universe, luck, the illness, whatever - then instead of a 50% chance things won't improve - there is no chance.

So what do you do? 

You ask why me, what next, when will it stop, and why don't I just give up?

And then you fight even harder.

So, what's the best that could happen?  A week or so off the bike and possibly out of the water (no way in hell am I wearing a swimsuit bottom around that poor sore lump right now!)  And the worst that could happen?  I have to give up the century and possibly the 5k swim.  But even that doesn't mean I can't run (reasonably, once the infection clears a bit).  I've already completed most of the swim and most of the cycling portion of the IronMAJ.  I've already gone almost 100 miles.  I have almost swam almost 3.  I've already gone farther than I've ever gone in my life.

And there is still a Rock'n'Roll Marathon in Savannah in November.  (As I love to say . . . that 26.2 miles ain't gonna run itself.)

Things may get better.

They may get worse.

Either way, I'm going to come out swinging.


1 tidbits of wizdom:

Alili said...

We'll both come out swinging - rock on MAJ.