dear lungs: I am sorry I took you for granted

Two weeks ago, I didn’t feel well.  I had night sweats and chills; I was tired and achy.  I wrote it off to sunburn and overexertion.

Then I realized I had an actual fever on Wednesday the 10th.  Did I stop moving?  Of course not.  My laptop was at the office, and it was a dear friend’s birthday Friday, so I kept going in, figuring it was a summer cold that would go away soon enough.

Saturday the 13th though, I could barely move.  My throat was too sore and swollen to swallow, so I took myself down to the nearest CityMD to check for strep.  (It wasn’t).  The doctor suggested bed rest, so I went home, and did just that, skipping the Pride Parade and then staying home and out of the office Monday and Wednesday that week.

Then, Wednesday night, I couldn’t breathe properly.  And back to CityMD we went, Paul driving me this time.  I wheezed and gasped a bit, and was eventually prescribed an inhaler and more bed rest.  Which I took.  Well, mostly – I went to the final Scout meeting on Thursday night, and threw my son’s birthday on Saturday morning.

But now, every time I do something, I’m exhausted and wheezing again the next day.  It’s horrible.  I’m trapped at home, too weak to cook or clean (although I did manage to sift through all the 5th Brooklyn finances today).  I can’t go outside, and today was BEAUTIFUL outside.  I’ve been missing work, missing friends’ birthdays, missing EVERYTHING.  Moving around at all – even to pick up the living room – gets me out of breath.  It’s horrible, and it doesn’t seem to be getting better.

I realize, I’m lucky to only be sick short term.  But right now, I just want my life back.  I want to be able to move again, to leave the house, to go to work, to be able to pick back up everything I usually do.  I can’t even go to the park with my son, much less get on with my career, with my exercise routine, with my entire life.  I’m so frustrated and out of hope that this will ever stop, that I’ll ever be able to pick my life back up again.

I’m sorry I took my own mobility and fitness for granted; sorry I assumed I would always be healthy and able to move around as much as I wanted.  Now, I can’t breathe well enough to manage anything, and I’m permanently exhausted as a result.   I just want to be able to move around the city again, to enjoy the summer, to be able to live the life I built…that I’m worried will crumble from neglect now that I can’t tend to it.

This is a mess of self-pity; I realize that.  I’ll see a pulminologist on Tuesday, and hopefully get something stronger to fix the problem, whether it’s walking pneumonia or bronchitis or something else.  I’m supposed to fly to Canada in five days though, and if I can’t breathe now, how will I survive that trip?

I feel like I’m physically broken – I know I pushed myself too far, that I took my health for granted.  I won’t make the mistake again, I’ll listen next time I have to slow down because I don’t feel well.  Because right now, this physical slowdown is starting to spread to my brain, and it’s turning to despair that I’ll ever get my life back enough to be at a point where I have a speed to slow down from.

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