Monday, March 30, 2009

It's 6:15 in the morning, and I've been up since 4:30. I don't need to be awake for another hour and a half. Needless to say, my sleep schedule is pretty much shot.

This past weekend was an adventure - and not really the fun kind, though the videos of Mandy playing with gloves in the ER while threatening to give me steroid shots in my butt may just have been worth it. But only just. The clencher was really when she tried to do shadow puppets with the X-Ray viewer.

Ok, back up. So if you haven't been able to tell from my previous posts, this winter has been... stressful. To put it mildly. Horrible allergies, mono, sinus infections, wrecked bikes, knee problems, screwed up training plans... It's been rough. Especially the being sick part because I've never really been that "sick" person before. Typically I have an excess of energy and basically want to do everything. But no more... Granted, the mono was probably the kicker for everything else. I hear it's pretty serious stuff. And it probably would have been better if I'd realized that I had it instead of training through it. Which is probably why I've been sick on and off ever since.

So anyways, things sort of came to a head this weekend. On Friday, the cold front from the seventh circle of Hell blew in, and the sinus pressure in my head started to get crazy bad, until it wasn't just my sinuses, it was pretty much my entire face. I was more fatigued than I'd ever been, and my stomach felt kind of... weak. Somehow, I managed to get through that day, and figured if I could just get a good night's sleep I'd be able to be back at it on Saturday. Wrong. woke up Saturday to the same pressure - my temples were throbbing, and it felt like someone had placed a weight on the middle of my face that was slowly sinking down towards the back of my head. Time to go to the doctor! I've never really had headaches before, but I knew I couldn't deal with this for another day. The doctor tentatively diagnosed me as having TMJ, which means I grind my teeth when I sleep. Only problem with this diagnosis - I'm a mouth breather. Which means my mouth is open when I sleep. Real problem? I've been so freaking stressed out the past two months, I've started tensing up my jaw muscles whenever some stressful situation arises. They were going in overdrive, and finally gave out. Regardless, the doc gave me an anti-inflammatory shot, and Mandy and Andrew had to come get me because I was 100% knocked out. Doctor told me if I woke up in 6 hours and wasn't better, I needed to high-tail it to the ER for a CT Scan. Fantastic.

Fast forward 6 hours... headache still not better. Call Mandy, drive to ER. The ER is packed. We camp out in the farthest end of the waiting room until I'm finally called back. I get my own room (yay), and Mandy and I entertain ourselves with her Flip video camera until the doctor comes. He doesn't do a CT Scan. I describe my symptoms, he tells me it's still allergies, and prescribes even MORE medicine, including a new antibiotic because lo-and-behold apparently I still have an infection. Which isn't really surprising. Then he tells me a nurse is going to come in shortly and give me a shot to at least do away with some of the misery for that night. 2 hours later, nurse finally comes. I've fallen asleep, and Andrew has shown up, and Mandy is waiting with him back in waiting room. After I finally get the shot, the nurse then says I have to wait 20 minutes before I can leave. 35 minutes later, I page her, say please can I go home, and they finally, FINALLY let me leave. I go home and pass out. So yesterday was interesting. I definitely wasn't feeling my best, but my head was a lot less painful, and I got all the new allergy medicine, and actually managed to get out for a bit. Did 45 minutes on the bike, but e-mailed Aaron and told him it would probably be a few days before I "trained" again. My body needs a break, and it hasn't really had one since I got sick in January - not longer than two days, anyways, and I'm determined to give it three this time.

Coming back from sickness used to not be a big deal, because it wasn't like I was really doing anything strenuous. Now, though, it's more challenging. I have to really listen to my body and know its limits. Something I've never been great at. But I can't have any more weekends like this. Even if that means I'm not competitive like I wanted to be this season. There are more important things, and I know if I'm not careful that triathlon will start feeling like a chore instead of an obsession. It's teaching me to put my Type A personality aside and remember that I train because I ENJOY it. I'm not on the Olympic team. I'm not a pro. I'm just someone who enjoys the lifestyle - but the only way to enjoy the lifestyle is to stay healthy!

So my focuses for this week are: drink tons of water (fancy Penta water, mmm), take all my medicine, SLEEP (didn't work out last night, but I know I'll be ready for it tonight!), rest rest rest from training (walking and easy freestyle, at the most), eating healthy, taking my supplements, not stressing out and getting all tense. Let's see if I can actually manage to DO all of this!

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