Monday, March 15, 2010

Just when...

...I thought it couldn't get any worse, it did. Mother Nature has a very funny way of throwing us curve balls (and no - I am absolutely NOT pregnant). Just when I thought the tides had turned, the winds had changed, that I was standing on the dawn of a new day (can you see the sun rise? The wind flowing through my chemically-altered hair...? Hear the swelling of violins?)-

Things changed.

My new diagnosis: Pneumonia.

I wish I was kidding - but sadly, I'm not.

I've spent the past day searching for The Why. Trying to figure out what happened - and when. And Jen and Elizabeth have both been fantastic along the way. So too were my folks and Nathaniel (but that goes without being said. But it should be said - because I'm very lucky to have them in my life).

Why?

Why is this happening to me?

I don't want to throw a pity party - and I try to refrain from doing stuff like that...because there's not much I can do. But this is beyond training and racing. This is affecting my Quality of Life, overall health and happiness. Something so trivial as racing is at the very back of my mind at the point (where it should be).

I want my health back. Everything else will be icing on the cake.

Could it go back to Kona? Before Hawaii?? Or was it the recovery afterwards? Was it sinus infection #1 or #4?? Or the January cough that felt awful but (according to my then-but-now-about-to-be-fired doctor) didn't need an X-Ray because it "didn't sound that bad"? Perhaps the dumbfuck (and I get to say that because its my blog and I'm frustrated) that SHOWED UP TO TUESDAY TRACK WITH BRONCHITIS...?

(Newsflash: IF YOU'RE SICK AND ARE COUGHING UP PHLEGM, WERE JUST DIAGNOSED BY A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL WITH BRONCHITIS, HAVE JUST TAKEN YOUR FIRST ANTIBIOTIC AND ARE STILL CONTAGIOUS, DO NOT EXPOSE OTHER PEOPLE TO YOUR GERMS AND PERSONAL IDIOCY. YOU ARE JUST BEING SELFISH.)

Sorry about that.

Actually - not really. Again...its MY blog. And I get to rant.

But seriously - where's the line? Where's the rush to train through illness? Is it REALLY helping? Think about it asshole and then get back to me.

When I started coughing last Thursday, I thought it was sinus drainage (the possible culprit in my January cough - again...according to my newly-minted-ex-doctor). Friday was about the same...and then I skipped Saturday's Masters swim because it just didn't feel "right". I was tired and didn't think the intensity would do me good. I substituted the hike instead - and didn't regret it for a moment.

The day was beautiful, time with Nathaniel was extraordinary, and being outside in the greenness of Southern California was priceless. No regrets.

As for the Orchestral Performance - I loved it! It was fantastic - and I am SO happy about playing the violin. That being said - I feel awful about exposing people to my germs. Had I know what was really going on, there is NO WAY I would have performed. Also... I may have peed a little trying to suppress my cough during one of the pieces. But no major harm done...I was sucking on cough suppressants and sipping Robitussin during intermission.

But I did learn that - I can hold in a MAJOR cough - extremely well.

Sunday night was rough: I thought about going in to the Emergency Room...but figured I would call my doctor in the morning first thing. And naturally - every other sick-person-over-the-weekend was also calling. First thing. Long story short: there were no appointments available until Wednesday, and given my lack of sleep, cough, congestion, and rapidly-diminishing mood - that was unacceptable.

And instead of heading to Camp Pendleton's Naval Hospital - where during my last ER visit I waited 5 hours before being seen (don't ask) - I headed to Scripps Hospital (same place where I went post-bike crash. I figured they did a SUPER job fixing me once, they could probably do a better job than anything that I've already gotten. Sorry - another rant. Its the pneumonia... I swear that I can't help it). They were GREAT. The doctors and nurses were completely understanding, didn't make me feel like I was crazy for having the symptoms that I had, and confirmed something was very wrong.

And then they gave me the necessary tools to fix the pneumonia.

Still - there's the undercurrent of Something Else That's Not Right going on. Four sinus infections + 1 suspect January cough + 1 sinus surgery + 1 Pneumonia since late October...Wow. That's just...well....wow. Not right.

But that's long term focus. Short term - squash the pneumonia. And take steps to fix Long Term Issues. Finding a new doctor is a start. From there - we'll see. I'm open to just about anything at this point. The part that makes me sad - is I miss training. I miss that great run feeling. Feeling STRONG in the pool. And like I've got that extra gear on the bike.

I miss feeling like me.

But I also need to be grateful for what I've got...

I've got a fantastic family and network of friends. My social network is incredible - and I'm grateful to everyone. Even if we've never met - thank you for taking the time to share this Journey with me. And for Those who are going through struggles of their own - you are not alone. Life isn't easy. And we can't always control what happens... But know that you are not alone.

And a bag of Peanut M&Ms never hurt.

I'm so happy to be playing the violin again - and in a professional orchestra, no doubt! It is fantastic... and I'm already exploring other facets of music that I would like to pursue in the near future.

I feel like I've reached a great balance. That things in my life are all coming together - that I've managed to unravel my Knot, picking apart the various threads and "stuff" is falling into place. Except for that pesky health thread.

So...with that being said (and with some help from Saturday's hike pictures - because those were some really happy moments for us)...

The Road may be long and uphill at times...

With some curves thrown in for good measure...

Undoubtedly there will be bumps along the way...

Some rough, prickly bits as well...

And the destination may seem very far away...

But I've got the best friend (and fantastic support system) EVER...

And I know that through it all, lessons will be learned, I'll discover more about myself, and things eventually will work out. They just may take a little more time than I initially thought... And that's okay. Because as long as I can keep my eye on the prize (health!) and the many wonderful things going on in my life - I'll be happy.Sideways-glasses and all.

If anyone has ANY ideas, suggestions, or advice. Bring it. I may or may not have headed to an homeopathic vitamin store (casually mentioned to me by a sympathetic nurse) - but that's a different post. For now its (more) pain meds, antibiotics, and the Will To Survive.

Everything else is just icing my friends, icing.

36 comments:

SSB said...

Oh no! So sorry to hear this. Pneumonia sucks (I used to get it about every year when I lived in Vegas). Good call on going to the civilian hospital. When I had military coverage I always felt they were so happy to get someone they knew they were going to get full reimbursement for, so they took great care of me. Hope you feel better soon!

San said...

Oh shit. Sorry to read this. And yeah, no training sucks! Be glad that you finally found out.

I'm no doctor, but make sure you eat more proteins and greens and go and get your zinc and iron levels checked. If they are down, your immune systems has a hard time fighting this pneumonia and the antibiotics are trouble for it anyway.

I hope you feel better soon. Glad you've got such a good and loving support team.

Cheers San

ADC said...

Oh Marit, that is a real bummer. I am so sorry to hear it. It really has been difficult few months for you but you have that right attitude and I am sure you will feel better in no time.

maryeggers said...

Marit, you can't rush recovery, the body has to heal on it's own timing. start from the bottom. The foundation. everything is built on a strong foundation.

1. Rest
2. Nutrition (normal good nutrition with treats along the way)
3. Some people like to try to mega vitamin dose themselves healthy, but your body will pee it out.
4. Slow return to action. SLOW.

Your body is begging you for a break, give it. I promise a 200% money back guarantee that you will get better, and be stronger. Let the body do it's thing, it's an amazing machine!

Kelly said...

Marit, I've been following for a while but never commented. Just want to say I hope you are feeling better soon! Despite the health issues, it really seems like you are finding all the things in your life that make you happy and fulfilled. Take it easy and relax...your body will figure out the rest.

Kim said...

MARIT! im so sorry to hear that you have pneumonia. UGH! terrible! you are entitled to have a HUGE pity party if you want, complete with cupcakes and peanut m&ms. this is your body saying, "REST!" so do that. you will come back stronger than ever. xoxo

Dave said...

Hope you feel better soon! :(

Angela and David Kidd said...

Crap Marit. I feel so terribly for you. But at least you've figured out what is wrong and you can start to heal. And one thing I think you've already learned from your back injury, when you are forced to take some time off and recover, you come back so much freaking stronger and hungrier than if you'd never been forced to take time off. Soon you will feel like yourself again x 10.

And I'm certainly no expert and probably shouldn't be chiming in here, but IMs do crazy things to your immune system and you rocked 2 of them last year. After I did IM Wisconsin I kept getting staph infections. It took almost 1.5 years for my body to get back to normal and for me to stop getting them.

Trigirlpink said...

ICK. This sucks Marit. No way around it. I don't really have to explain "I know how you feel"

You'll race with me late summer when everyone else is tired and burned out ok?

hugs...

Pedergraham said...

Marit, I'm just sending you some really big hugs. I have been chronically sick since Lelia started school full time. Maybe you should check and see if you have a stuffy-nosed five year old hiding under your bed? (that was my weak attempt at humor). Anyway, I'll be cheering for you to find the right people to take care of your medical problems. It took me a long time to find the ones to diagnose and treat my back problems so I know how frustrating that can be. I am glad you are getting joy from music and your violin-- i am just a phone call away if you ever want to chat.

Maria said...

Oh Marit, I'm sorry this happened, to you of all people. Evidence that bad things happen to good people for no reason. But what a spirit you have to think positively about it, only you could start a blog ranting and end it with positive karmic thoughts. You're going to get through this and you're going to get through it with flying colors.
Feel free to rant to us anytime!

cherelli said...

Total bummer dude. Guess the immune system got more rocked than you thought last year. Make sure you are taking some form of intestinal flora whilst on and after the antibiotics - shop yoghurt is OK, better off getting those small containers you get in a health food store that are packed with lots of lactobacillus and acidophilus . Garlic is a natural antibiotic; drink lots of fresh juices (apparently may helps to thin lung secretions) - anyways I'm just reading from a huge book called "Prescription for Nutritional Healing", there's lots more in there. I can always fax the section to you if you don't want to leave the house! In the physical downtime I hope you continue to enjoy your creative writing and music and playing with the cats and spending time with N...take it easy, consider it a "motivation building phase" and beware the competition when you are finally unleashed!

Molly said...

Oh ouch. I've had pneumonia, I know how not-fun it is. Hope that your meds kick in and get you working towards healthy ASAP and that this is the final straw before many healthy months ahead!

maija said...

Oh no! Sorry about the pneumonia! I hope you get to feeling like you soon!

Great pictures!

NadiaMac said...

Long-time lurker here. So sorry about the long series of yucky illnesses (and fire that doctor STAT)! FWIW, my mom had similar issues-- almost a year of sinus infections, bronchitis, sinus surgery then pneumonia landing her in intensive care-- and getting a super pulmonologist to manage her care made all the difference (as did managing allergies/asthma better, but that doesn't sound like your issue). Good luck with it.
NM

GoBigGreen said...

Oh darn it. I am not sure what to add, but i think we all have our proper "recipe" for health and wellness. I would say " come back to MN..." :) but that would mean you would be getting allergy attacks about now too.
in all seriousness I think rest and sleep will help alot. And whatever the MD's give you, etc...Have you had acupuncture? sometimes that helps with the symptoms of the primary cause.

Hugs to you and try to breath, and know that the summer is long and at least you arent here where our summer lasts...Wait. Its gone.

Beth said...

Oh Marit, I am so bummed for you. I know you will be JUST FINE and be stronger than ever once you get through it all and achieve your goals! But still, I'm bummed for you because I know how hard it is to not be able to do the things you love and feel 100%. Praying for you and sending you lots of rest and healing thoughts! Also hoping you find that right doctor that will know how to best take care of you. That is so important. And remember - Sept is a long way away and we have plenty of time. We will laugh about it all then!! ;) Chin up!

Missy said...

Pneumonia can suck it! So sorry. You've had quite the year but it sounds like you've got your head screwed on straight and a great support system. Take care of those lungs!

Missy said...

Pneumonia can suck it! So sorry. You've had quite the year but it sounds like you've got your head screwed on straight and a great support system. Take care of those lungs!

Michelle Simmons said...

I'm sorry you're sick again, Marit! Ugh. Years ago I used to get chronic bronchitis... like every 7-8 weeks I'd get really really sick. I definitely think there was something wrong with my immune system during that time because it was like clockwork. SO FRUSTRATING! I hate to tell you that I never actually figured out the 'why' part, but I did eventually stop getting sick so much and it coincided with the time in my life where I *really* cleaned up my diet. Fresh whole natural foods across the board. I can't say that's what fixed me, but now when I get sick my gut always says 'go back to the basics' and I'm super focused on eating clean and natural foods. Probiotics too- like Cherelli said. :)
Hope you get well soon!

BriGaal said...

Ugh, so sorry about this :( Feel free to rant and curse all you want, no apologies!

Charisa said...

Oh dear, no good at all! So sorry you are sick again - what a pain! Hang in there Marit - hope you feel better again soon.

Runner Leana said...

Oh no Marit....pneumonia...I am so sorry to hear all of that. Between your sinus infections and surgery and now this you have every right to be upset and frustrated. Get plenty of rest, drink lots of fluids...this is not a time to rush back into training, but you know that already.

I really, truly hope you start to feel better soon.

jennabul said...

PNA (sorry, acronym for pneumonia) since October??? That's horrible. I feel so bad for you Marit, well happy you have such a great support system, but bad for your respiratory system in general. YUCK! I think once you get over this + having had the sinus surgery, you should be able to look for much better things to come in terms of health. Good luck! At least the weather is nice...you can sit out and get some sun...

Kim Schafer said...

Oh no!!! So sorry you've got pneumonia. Vicks vaporub works wonders for me. I can understand how you would feel so frustrated after all these illnesses. I wish you much healing and all good things! Take care!

Kim said...

Shoot M. That is not cool, but you are handling it so well. I have to give you a call to say I'm thinking of you and so proud of you for having a good attitude and knowing that racing will be there when you get better. It really will. Just concentrate on getting healthy and you'll be totally fine!!

Shachi said...

Oh my! Sorry to hear about your pneumonia....hope you feel better real real soon and can get back to training :)

I visit your blog often and read most of your posts - don't comment as much but really wanted to send some TLC your way after reading this :)

The hike pictures are fab....and the quotes as well :)

Jennifer Cunnane said...

Marit I feel so bad for you and can relate because I felt like you do last year with all the crazy events in my life. It will turn around - I promise and everything will seem that much sweeter due to the time off. I cannot offer much other than finding a top doctor who can help you work through the immune system issues and I do agree probiotic helps. Have you been tested for allergies? We both have had sinus surgery but I think additionally my having started allergy drops (like allergy shots but you put under your tongue daily) has helped a lot!!

Rebecca DeWire said...

Oh man, you have had a rough go of it lately! You have got to be so frustrated, but hopefully you will feel better soon. Your hiking pics are beautiful.

Stacy said...

So sorry to hear about the pneumonia. As a doctor I'm sad to hear about your sub-par care :( Glad you made it to Scripps and got to the bottom of things!
Will make me think next time I tell someone, "It's just a cold. You'll get better soon." Oh wait I just said that 2 minutes ago! But I always do say "Let me know if you think things aren't getting better."
Best wishes for a speedy recovery!

E.L.F. said...

The cure: box of sheet cake from Safeway.

Stef said...

Hi Marit. I for one am glad to see you ranting on your blog! As you said it's YOUR blog and if you feel mad, allow yourself to FEEL it!

Really sending you good vibes to feel much better very soon. I like one of the first comments on here to let your body heal and do it's thing. That seems like sound advice that you are putting into play. You are so strong and I love your perspective.

Celebrate who you are every day.

Richie said...

Hi Marit you have my sympathies- I got pneumonia a couple of years back and it took me months to get stamina back. Don't despair- you are young and fit and I am...well... not so you should find it a bit easier than me!
I am so jealous of you playing in an orchestra. I love playing music but have never been burdened with any talent.
Get well soon
Richie

Mer! said...

So good to hear your voice today....and ditto to what ELF said above =0

You're going to get through this!!!!

Mary said...

Oh no!!! :(

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