Monday, June 25, 2012

Get Down With The Sickness!

I am supposed to be in beautiful San Diego right now for a work conference. My favorite place in the whole country to be! Instead I am sitting on my couch, legs propped up with lap top, iPad and iPhone, alternating among, Facebook, work email, and Greek episodes on Neflix. How did people ever survive being sick before the Internet and iPads?

Here is a progression of the events over the last week. I'm writing this more for my own benefit, so I apologize in advance if it lacks the typical excitement of a Racing Stripes blog post.

Monday: I woke up with a very minor sore throat, went for an easy run which felt great (and had a low heart rate) so I figured everything was good. In fact, the longer I ran, the better I felt! At work, the sore throat persisted, so I got some fruit and soup for lunch, along with Cold-Eeze. I figured I was probably coming down with a cold, but that I could fight it off or shorten it with these simple things. That night, I did not sleep well at all because my throat hurt.

Tuesday: I set the alarm for 5:00am, insisting that I go to my hill workout at Iwo Jima no matter what. I knew I was going to have to miss some of these workouts due to work travel and a July 4th race, so I wanted to make sure I went to every single workout I could. I was tired from not having slept well and it was really humid out. I purposely lagged behind my teammates during the hill workout so as not to overdo it. I felt really awful in the middle of the workout, but things turned around toward the end, and I did the last two at full effort. Probably a mistake. I haven't run since.

Public service announcement: if you think you are coming down with something, do NOT push yourself in a workout. Easy running only!

I showered at a nearby Golds Gym and headed into work. I attended a 9:30 meeting but went home afterwards. My throat was extremely sore and I didn't want to get other people sick.

Wednesday: I worked from home because the throat was getting even worse. It really hurt to swallow and I had to constantly be sucking on a Cepacol in order to feel decent. The rest of me felt fine, my energy level was normal and I had no congestion. Just a killer sore throat. I went to a Minute Clinic for a strep test because I didn't want to deal with the hassle of my doctor's office. It always takes forever when I go there and I always have to park far away. At the Minute Clinic, I was told there was a virus going around featuring a very sore throat, and I tested negative for Strep. She gave me Lidocaine to gargle with that was supposed to numb my throat.  The Lidocaine didn't do much because I later found out that the swelling went much further back than the Lidocaine could reach.

Thursday: I lost my voice. I was able to speak in a very low, dramatic whisper, but it hurt to do so. Even still, I went into work for a meeting. There was no way I could miss this meeting because I was the organizer, and had been planning it for weeks with an outside vendor. Thankfully, I didn't have to do much talking because others in the meeting had most of the knowledge that I did. I was just the one managing and coordinating everything. I spent the entire meeting alternating between Cepacol and warm water with honey. I think I looked ridiculous sitting there with a bottle of honey in front of me, but I needed it! At night, I took NyQuill, but that did nothing. The act of swallowing was so painful, that whenever I felt myself falling asleep, I would swallow, and the pain would wake me up. I was up in the middle of the night having Cepacol and gargling with the Lidocaine, because I couldn't sleep with the pain.

Friday: This was the worst day ever. Greg was trying to get me to go to my regular doctor, but now I didn't have any energy. I didn't feel like I could go anywhere. I was tired, I lost my voice completely (except for a whisper) and my throat was killing me.

I knew that I was in no shape to travel, so reality set in about me having to cancel my trip. I was so excited about San Diego. On a professional level, I had spent a great deal of time building a presentation that was going to be given and coaching the presenters, but now I wasn't even going to see it! I was supposed to be meeting with 5 different vendors (being wined and dined) most of whom I only know by speaking with over the phone. I was also going to meet a lot of the sales people who I work with over the phone but had never met in person. I had my running route all planned out. I had done that same route as a 20-miler back in 2008 and it was one of the most beautiful runs of my life. My hotel was conveniently located right on the route and I was really looking forward to it. I even made plans to meet up with some friends who live in San Diego who I haven't seen in years. Thankfully, there were plenty of other people from my company going so it wasn't like the world was going to end without my presence. I was going mainly for my own benefit. I'm new to this company and this industry and it would have been great for networking and understanding the industry.

Friday night was yet another night of not being able to sleep because I kept waking myself up by swallowing.  More Cepacol. More gargling with Lidocaine.

Saturday: My wonderful husband took such good care of me! He took me to urgent care where we spent about two hours. Maybe more? It felt like forever. At least I got my "airport" experience-- I had to show ID, I had to be X-rayed, and then I had to wait forever. But the end result was getting meds that made me go to a happy place!

Greg made this yummy soup!
I was running a fever, and my throat was so swollen that they had to x-ray to see further down. They ruled out Mono and Strep, and did a throat culture to see if it's a bacterial infection. I won't have those results until Wednesday. It's either a bacterial infection or a viral infection, but she started me on antibiotics just in case. I was prescribed steroids, which immediately helped the swelling in my throat. But it was accompanied by some severe sweating. Best of all was the Vicodin which meant I was finally able to sleep without pain.

As I mentioned before, Greg took such great care of me. He went to the grocery store and bought me everything on my list. He made a delicious healthy soup for us too. Best of all, he kept me company and gave me massages!

Sunday: I finally started to get my voice back and the pain in my throat had subsided immensely, although not 100%. I'm thinking it's because of the steroids. Congestion arrived, which I took as a good sign because at least my immune system was kicking in. I spent the day playing online chess, tracking my friends who were racing in an Ironman, and watching Netflix. Unfortunately, the Vicodin didn't help me sleep as well on Sunday night as it had on Saturday, but it was still much better than it had been earlier in the week.

Greg made asparagus soup from scratch, along with baked salmon. Both were delicious and very healthy!

Today: I have my voice back, but it still hurts to speak loudly. Now my main symptom is fatigue and dizziness. I am not sure how much of this is due to the illness or the side affects of the meds. I don't take Vicodin during the day, so it would have to be the steroids, which I took less of today. I am well enough to be writing this blog, so that is certainly a good sign!

Looking ahead: I haven't run since Tuesday, and the earliest I would think about running again would be Wednesday. Tomorrow I will be off of the steroids and the Vicodin, so if I feel better, then I might attempt something easy on Wednesday. But I am not going to push it. The last thing I need is to prolong my recovery time. Most of my co-workers are in San Diego, so it makes sense for me to be working from home. Today is an official "sick day" because I'm too tired to focus on work. I expect that I will have more energy tomorrow to actually be working. At least I hope!

On the plus side, I haven't been stressing too much about all the time off running I'm having to take. Yeah, it's annoying and I know I will lose some fitness, but I've accepted this. Thankfully I don't have any key races in the near future, so I can take as much time as I need to recover. I'm getting better at speed chess, but I have to stop moving so fast and letting people take my queen! Nothing kills your chess mojo like a queen loss.

Also on the plus side, I figured out how to get people at work to keep their distance from me during my taper and not get me sick. (I'm such a hypochondriac during my taper.) I just have to pretend like I am the one who is sick, and everyone will be sure to stay far away!

Anyway, hopefully I am on the mend. I'm so grateful to have such a wonderful husband who took me to the doctor even when I didn't want to go. I think I'll go have some leftover soup now.


  1. This sounds awful. I hope you are feeling much better soon!

  2. Poor girl. :( I'm really sorry you had to miss your Cali trip. Thank goodness for your hubby, though. I wouldn't worry about your running just yet. You'll be surprised on how fast your fitness returns once your body is 100% healthy again. Hope you feel like yourself again soon! ((((HUGS)))

  3. awww, feel better SOON!! I hate being sick, no fun! Great idea to pretend to be sick in your next taper too! :)