Monday, March 14, 2016

On Getting Sick and Getting Well

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I got sick this winter.  Really sick.  Sick to the point that my 12 year old thought I was going to die.  The flu shot done me wrong and I spent 2 weeks in bed with that and then another 2 weeks sort of in bed with pneumonia and then another 2 weeks trying to figure out if I was ever going to be able to do anything without wheezing and coughing and flailing around for my inhaler. I have asthma which is a great look-at-what-a-wuss-you-are punchline (I'm looking at you Big Bang Theory), unless you have it. Then it's scary as hell, especially if you've had an attack when you couldn't get to your inhaler or worse, one that laughed at your inhaler.

I've spent years wishing I could run. A few years ago I actually managed a mile, but then I got H1N1 which turned into pneumonia and my lungs never really came all the way back. I was born with it, so over the last 46 years I've made roughly 100,000,000 jokes about how I only run when something's chasing me and how I'd give myself two black if I tried to run because they don't make a bra that would keep the girls down, but in reality, I've always wanted to run.  I think running would make me feel strong and safe and really, really good. But, you know, asthma- which for years kept me on the sidelines, especially in the years before the meds we have today.  Years of sipping strong, black coffee between wheezes on hot summer days taught me that running was a BAD idea.

Today though, after several weeks of slowly rehabbing my lungs (including some truly terrible meds that have me alternating between raging hulk and weepy anxiety girl and which have, I'm pretty sure, alienated most everyone I know except my mom) and a lot of research (Life's A Wheeze is my new favorite thing ever), I did it.

I ran.

Granted, I only ran 3/4 of a mile and I probably walked another 1/2 mile in between laps, but I. Ran. In fact, I'm now Runner 5, saving the world during the Zombie Apocalypse., which I'll admit makes me feel pretty badass.

I'd love to say that post run I'm feeling strong and safe but mostly I'm still feeling pretty fragile and scared.  I spent most of the run chanting "don't die, don't die, don't die" in my head.  All the 'roids in my system still have me swinging wildly between rage and paranoia and a powerful desire to hide under my bed and I'll be on some of those meds for the long term because apparently the leading cause of asthma is asthma (according to a friend who knows her stuff).  But today I at least made a choice to try to get back to where I was, to try to figure out how to live with this instead of hiding from it.

I'll probably get sick again.  Life is long and I work with little kids and the world is a germy place. I'm not ready to give up and I'm not going to spend a the time I have left on the planet wishing I'd done the things I was afraid to do.

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