I am not posting a self portrait challenge today. I have a good reason. I feel like hud and here is why:
Ok, I have taken up ATTEMPTING to run. Usually this consists of Brigitte dragging my ass to the gym, getting on a treadmill and alternating running with walking because I am not fit enough yet to run the whole time.
I have mentioned that I have a compromised respiratory system. Asthma, to be precise. My lung history just isn’t good. I could barely walk up a flight of stairs without having a major make out session with my inhaler. I also suffered from chronic pneumonia. I had an xray taken of my chest and one of my lungs is partially collapsed because of it. Fun, no?
Since I lost 140 lbs eleven years ago, my asthma RARELY acts up. In fact, it has been about two years since my last major attack and that was brought on by a freakish allergic reaction. When I do get bad attacks they are crazy-scary. They can come on really fast and if I don’t get to an inhaler right away it is bad because it gets to the point that I cannot draw enough of the medication into my lungs to help. It is also a panicky feeling and it is so easy to start hyperventilating and that just makes things much worse.
Today I decided to try running outside. Tuesdays and Thursdays are the days that Bridgy can’t work out and as we all know, I am still without a car during the day so I thought, “I should try getting out in the great outdoors and run!”
I was pretty stoked. Scared, but stoked. I knew darn well that I was going to be one of those people that experienced runners would look at lumbering along and say, “LOOK at that dork. They shouldn’t let people like that out of the house!”
Before I left I called my friend Michelle and left a message on her voice mail:
“Hey, Chelly, it’s me. I’m calling to let you know that I am actually going to be running outside today. If I die, I bequeath my IPOD to you, although that is partially a curse because it comes with my lame MP3 selection of Neil Diamond and Air Supply!”
If only she knew.
It was cold this morning and cold isn’t good for Asthma so I took a puff of my inhaler to be on the safe side and put it in my pocket with my cell phone.My spiffy new IPOD clipped on,I was off like a shot.
For the first six blocks were fine! Great!! Wonderful!!! I love running outside! Look at the cool patterns the steam from my breath makes as I clip along!
I should never have run in the cold, or during my valley’s infamous inversion where the air quality is like sludge. The other issue I didn’t consider is that running on a treadmill keeps me at a steady pace. Remember how I tend to work out a bunch of raging emotion when I exercise? Well, my head and heart and soul are all a LOT more in shape and fast then my poor body is. I was running MUCH too fast.
All of these things caught up to me and started to squeeze my lungs like a vice. It came on so fast. It felt like I went from free breathing to not breathing at all in a matter of nano-seconds.
I lurched over to the curb and went to grab my inhaler.
It wasn’t there. Neither was my cell phone. They had fallen out of my pocket and I didn’t hear them fall because of my music.
I don’t mean to sound dramatic, but this was very, very bad. Very.
I didn’t even have a phone to call 9-11 and I figured I had about 5 minutes before I would be at that point.
(Ironically, this is when my IPOD started playing music from “Moulin Rouge”. I pretty much felt like a tuberculosis victim at this point and I was wearing red, so it was sort of appropriate. I did feel gypped that Ewan McGreggor wasn’t there looking all hot and singing to me, though.)
When I realized my conundrum, I started to panic, which wasn’t too good either. I had to fight and pull all sorts of stuff from my head to try and keep my breathing slow and measured. It is damn hard to do. Try taking one of those hollow stir sticks for coffee and try breathing through it and see how calm you stay.
I had all these thoughts racing through my head, one primarily being that this would be one of the most retarded ways to die on the earth. Seriously, no one wants to go out in such a lame way. I hadn’t even showered and my hair? HELLO!!!! Is it vain to think that if I AM going to check out it would be preferable to leave an attractive corpse?
What? That’s Morbid?
Eh. You’ll get over it.
What was I saying??
I realized that my sisters house was two blocks back from where I was and she had inhalers at her house. I know that I could have knocked on a door if it got to the critical point, but truthfully, it is hard to think rationally in situations like this.
It was a really long two blocks, but I made it. I was able to use an inhaler and started to get more oxygen in my lungs. The down side is my lungs are still spazzing out. I have spent the rest of the day hacking and coughing. I’m pretty wiped out and my chest hurts like a mother. We retraced my path and found cell phone and inhaler both.
In the end, everything ended OK. I survived which means that Michelle isn’t going to be subjected to inheriting music that she puts firmly in the “Lame as HELL” category. I’m also not going to stop running, because I really like the way it makes me feel most of the time and I have lost almost 12 pounds. However, I highly doubt I will be attempting the “Great Outdoors” any time soon.(Thanks for the photo and the email, Dave. It always helps to have people empathize.)