Sunday, November 3, 2013

Strange Week

The week started with, "Are you kidding me?" It was a strange seven days.

My light last couple of weeks has resulted not in a fresher, stronger body, but rather in the disappearance of my hard-fought-for fitness. Where did it go? It hasn't had time to wander away too far. Monday I went out for a little shuffle. I did 2.24 miles and was shocked at my pace (or lack thereof) and huffing and weakness of the thigh. *Sighs with tear filled eyes. It was not much better at the pool where I swam 1,800 in 64 degree water, but was sucking air the whole way. *Sighs more and contemplates bodily harm to self.

I guess I've reached the advanced age where I have to keep this body in perpetual motion or my fitness evaporates like the morning dew.

Tuesday I shuffled 3.39 miles and my legs were pretty much toast. At the pool, the water had warmed to 66, so I was able to stay in long enough for 3,200 straight. The pace, though, was horrendous. It was only a few weeks ago that I set a PR at 400 meters, and a little before that, I destroyed my adversary, Randy Beets, at Swim the Suck Ten Miler. *Sighs and contemplates shooting road signs.

Wednesday, I shuffled another 2.28 miles and met Big John at the pool. Although the water was still 66, I got cold quickly and got out after only 1,500 meters. *Sighs and considers life in a mental institution.

Thursday morning while I as at work, Dad called and told me Mom had fallen the night before. She broke her hip, and was scheduled for surgery that day. A few minutes later, my sister called. Both of us teach for MDCC, and both of us were in class at that time. She wanted someone at the hospital because Mom has lots of chronic health problems and narrowly survived several repeated mal-practices two years ago (long, long story that must sounds too shocking to be true to anyone who had the patience to listen or read). I gave my class their marching orders and left.

To make a short story long, I was at the hospital all day until my sister, who is a real American hero, relieved me sometimes that night. I really can't remember what time. It is amazing how cloudy my thinking becomes and how large my belly gets while hanging out at hospitals. I have learned to write down everything. I also have learned that I lose all control over what I shove into my mouth, and I gain weight by the minute. Anyway, when I went home, I put on shoes, fired up the Garmin watch, and headed my recently acquired huge belly out the door not for fitness but for stress relief.

I made it 5.05 very slow miles before my legs tapped out. It looked like just a little bit of my long lost fitness was starting to coming back to me. Just a little bit. Then I fixed up a day bag and went to bed because I had to have Dad at the same hospital at 6:30 am Friday morning for his TURP. That's right, we had Mom and Dad both in the hospital at the same time. Luckily, Mom was in 470, and Dad was straight across the hall in 471. My sister and I were both there until I went to Mom's house for lunch. Dad had bought and cooked food for us before he went in, and I could tell it made him happy when I said I was going there to eat. Before eating, however, I took a little 3.12 mile shuffle

Saturday, I relieved my sister at 8:00 am and was there until about 6:30 pm. Dad got to go home, and Mom was moved upstairs to 5th floor for rehab. I must say they both have received good care at the Greenwood Leflore Hospital. Our bad experiences with health care two years ago occurred in the LTAC unit within the Greenwood Hospital. There they seem to manage death not life. I have had three church members die there and despite having someone in the room 24/7, writing down everything, and asking questions and challenging things like the cessation of necessary-for-life medications, my mom almost didn't survive her stay in what I call the Death Ward. The way she survived is she had an appointment with a specialist in Jackson. He was horrified at what he saw and immediately admitted her to St. Dominic where they saved her life.

Once home, I went out for a run with no plan. I just started running and slowed to a walk after 5.35 miles. Although the run was slow, it was quicker that Thursday's shuffle. If I were in good form now, I might have gone for twenty miles, but that presently is not within my reach.

I will post again soon, like tomorrow.