So, lesson learned: don’t compete in a triathlon when you have some sort of open wound/bug bite bothering you. It’s probably a better idea to go to the doctor. The nastiness of the tri–barefoot across sand, gravel, rocks, swimming in gross lake water, and shoving my foot into my dirty ol’ cycling and running shoes–well, apparently BACTERIA might be a part of the equation. Now I’m stuck with an infection that made my foot blow up like a balloon (a bright red, really painful one). It’s so not pretty (there go my plans of strappy summer sandals!!!).
Luckily, I was smart enough to see my inflated foot & think, “ummm, this is probably not normal,” so I headed off to the ER at 7am on a Tuesday morning. A lovely way to spend a morning. Actually, the ER was empty, my nurse was incredibly nice and soothing, & everything moved as quickly as those things can (3 hours or so? wow, maybe not so quick). I had to get an IV of antibiotics right there, which scared the crap out of me–especially when they insisted on x-rays and blood tests. Oh no! Luckily, everything else checked out OK–so they discharged me with crutches! I was told to keep my foot elevated as much as possible, keep the wound wrapped up, don’t do much walking around, and take some more antibiotics.
I told them my pain was a 0 on a scale of 1 to 10 (not sure why I’m trying to prove my pain threshold to doctors)–but admitted anytime I actually had to walk on it, the pain was about a 5. Chuck thought I should’ve upped my answers & I could’ve walked away with some pain meds. I wanted to tell them, “It doesn’t hurt nearly as badly as when I forced myself to do a 3 hour swim/bike/run on Sunday.” But man, after I’ve been sleeping & then try to walk on it—oh wow ouch it’s such a sharp pain. But for the most part, besides a couple of half days at work, I’ve been in my bed elevating it & feeling no pain at all. But it still looks gross and swollen. I hope these antibiotics work some major magic soon, just so my fear of amputation can be diminished. (I’m dramatic).
I feel stupid, of course…like “man, why didn’t I take care of this earlier?”…” why did I do that tri?” but also sort of resigned to the fact that these things just happen. I used to be afraid when I had to rest and nurse an injury that I would gain about 40lbs and lose all athletic ability. But, nothing much really happens. I’m not moving a lot, so my appetite immediately diminishes to a normal person’s (my appetite when I’m exercising=ferocious). And a couple of forced weeks away from my training can send me back recharged. This is what I tell myself today, anyway. If I’m in the same position (in bed) next week, I may have a different perspective.
What I do realize is how much I move throughout the day. I’m a drama teacher–so we’re talking setting up sets, figuring out costumes, running around to make a show happen, etc–there are times when lunch is the only time of the day when I’m seated. And I like it that way. But I know this is one of those moments where it just doesn’t pay off to push myself. It’s our last week of school, though–so I made it in this morning for 2 performances & will head in again tomorrow for 2 more–these are actually pretty easy days because the kids are doing most of the work. And the rest of the time is spent here. Off my feet. In bed. Luckily classes are over tomorrow, so it should be perfect timing for recovery.
I guess there are productive things I could be getting done while sitting here in bed. Watch some informative documentaries, plan some curriculum for the summer, or flesh out a couple of business ideas (FLESH OUT=bad use of words right now). But currently I’m watching loads of Bravo Reality TV (thank you Kathy Griffin, Real Housewives), sending occasional text messages, logging in and out of facebook way more than anyone should, and internet researching pictures of other people with skin infections (I’ve banned myself from that last activity…will do as the nurse told me, and try positive thinking…but how come anyone ever asks me to think positively, I immediately think of the worst thing that could happen?) I figure I’m going to have so much time to spend with me, myself, and my electronics–I’ll have plenty of time to be productive.
I go back to the doc tomorrow night, and they will determine if these antibiotics are working (or working fast enough). I can’t tell much difference myself, but luckily they did a high-tech marker outline on my foot to show areas of infection (p.s. doc–that totally smears when I take a shower, hope this doesn’t impede my recovery)–so hopefully another night’s rest & another day will be enough time for some shrinking. It would be really awesome if the swelling went down some more sooon–so I can show off my best feature: disturbingly bony ankles.
There you have it. I just kind of toss all my training to the side & with it the thoughts: “how am I going to recover?” ” when will I be able to at least go for a swim?” “when do i workout with the trainer again?” Every time there is something in my way of training, I usually get angry at it. But I’ve learned that doesn’t work. It just makes me miserable. I look at this rest period as a time to well–rest my body. 4 triathlons and 1 marathon since March…a little on the ridiculous side when you think about it. One week, two weeks, a month, two months, however long it takes until I’m 100%—I can’t say I look forward to it, but it really is an invaluable lesson I learned (be careful with your body! it’s priceless!)–so a little time off my feet is a small price to pay.