On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jog-trot, jog-trot, curnchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion, knowing I had won the race though it wasn't half over, won it if I wanted it, could go on for ten or fifteen or twenty miles if I had to and drop dead at the finish of it, which would be the same, in the end, as living an honest life like the governor wanted me to. -Alan Sillitoe, "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Not FREAKING this again: a day in the life

Pardon me for a moment while I veer off of running briefly, for another health-related topic.  This might get long.  It will get whiny.

I'm calling this one... "a day in the life."  A Sunday in the life, specifically last Sunday.  I woke tired, but excited.  It was Terra Cotta Warrior day!  We saw the things, they were cool, we posed for photos (I'm the one on the right, with the cute shoes), we went out to brunch.  Leaving brunch on our way to check out cherry blossoms, I accidentally closed the car door on my head.  Don't ask.  I'm kind of an idiot.

It wasn't a rough hit.  I felt the impact and had an immediate but fleeting ringing in my ears and a dull pain.  Pretty much an every day sort of smack that you don't even really register until a bruise comes up.  Three years ago I would have called myself an unfit-for-print name, laughed, and moved on with my life.  Three years ago I wasn't on coumadin.  Three years ago I wasn't at high risk for a brain bleed with any head trauma.  Beyond the graphic name, I don't really know what a brain bleed is but I know I don't want one.

So, instead of getting on a 3:30 bus back to New York City, I spent the next several hours in the ER at George Washington University Hospital having blood tests and ct scans.  And I'm fine.  Completely and totally fine.  Except that I'm also upset.  Completely and totally upset.  Upset that I hit my head, upset that hitting my head meant going to the ER, upset that I have this clotting situation, upset that I have to take rat poison blood thinners.  I'm tired of having to explain to doctors that yes, someone my age had a pulmonary embolism - in fact, two! - and yes, I know it's rare, and no, the hematologist doesn't know why.  I'm tired of going to my GP three times a month and my hematologist once a month.  So. Tired.  And basically just feeling really, really sorry for myself.

I know I'm supposed to be grateful that I'm alive, and I am.  I truly am.  I am alive and I am well.  What I have to do to keep myself healthy pales when compared to what others go through, and I respect that.  I'm in awe of myself that I nearly died, twice, but didn't and am here, now, fine.  I'm in awe that my lungs can carry me a mile, let alone 10 or 13 or more.  But...  but...  sometimes, like today, I think back on the healthy 29 year old I was a couple of years ago, before all this began, and I get just a little bitter.

Lovely GWU ER bracelet!

Okay, I'm over it now.  All I've truly had to give up because of the coumadin was ice hockey, spinach, and sleeping on airplanes, and I wasn't really any good at ice hockey.

But the nightcap to my craptacular Sunday?  I left the National Geographic bag with my reproduction Terra Cotta warrior on the train.  Oh, yes: and I had to spend $143 to take the train because I missed my bus and the rest were sold out.  That was money I'd earmarked for new LunarGlides!

Tomorrow: more running, less whining.  I promise.


  1. Oh you poor thing. Sometimes I think we just have to vent it, say it, and move on with it. But here you are (albeit a bag and $143 lighter), and you are still awesome.

  2. Thanks. I appreciate it. I wrote this on Monday, and I think I'm pretty nearly over it by now... for now, anyway. I hope so. I hate to be the person who feels sorry for herself, but I was totally wallowing in it that day.