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Saturday, February 19, 2011

"Try-Athletes": Cough Syrup, Riot Cuffs & Ethel?

Funny stories... Listen...

A couple of days ago, I received an email from someone who told me I have the opportunity to go on a Long Slow Distance ride in the winter if I want to bring my own exercise bike to a pre-planned area with the rest of the club... if I am not mistaken, the Long Slow Distance ride (LSD ride) sounds like another acid trip to me...

It's the end of our first 4 Week Challenge and we were supposed to have a big shin-dig celebration and we.... wait for it..... spent the evening in the ER!!! WOOOOPP!

It all started a few weeks ago when we started doing triathlon workouts......

I got supersick. I went to the hospital, I got meds, I stayed home from Try-Club for a night, and I got a little better. Then Jenny got sick. And apparently I wasn't fully better. Because Jenny gave it back to me. Or, maybe I gave it to her. Or maybe we got it from the pool. Who can tell, really?

Yesterday morning, I left the house early to go pick up Jenny so we could carpool to work because parking would be an issue. I found that if you leave the house before 7:15, you can speed around the roads as much as you like. And by speed, I mean go 40km/h. It's like the Wild West - wide open roads at that hour of the morning. But wait half an hour and it's wall to wall traffic.

We work in a place where we sometimes get our spirits developed. This sounds odd, when out of context, but it isn't weird. We don't work in a photo lab or a distillery, but in a Catholic high school. And the spiritual development isn't rigorous; it's usually humourous with some type of moral. The moral for this year's session was to not sit next to loud-lips-cougher Jenny because you won't be able to hear buddy talking.

She was sent home. Without any dinner.

I called her after work to see if she was ok. I told her I was going to WalMart to get my meds and to go to the hospital since I was getting sick again, so we decided to make a night of it, and she would come to get meds, too. That's just how we roll.

We went to the hospital first. Who goes to the ER on Friday at mid-afternon, we thought? It turned out we would have had to stand in the parking lot to wait to be called in to see a doctor. So we went to WalMart to get my meds. While there, Jenny thought she would stock up on Vicks Vapo-Rub and check out the (de)humidifiers... we didn't know which is best to get so we figured it was best to get out of the grandma aisle before someone thought we were loitering. PS, it's hard to find Vicks Vapo-Rub.

We went to the cough syrup aisle. Cough syrup is nasty stuff. I don't drink it. I hate it. It's made out of fish ears, I am sure of it. Ms Muffet decides to look at every one. She expounds at length about how wonderful her cough syrup is... the one with the green on the box. The she says, "Look at this one!" and picks up a small white box of CS.... in slow motion, I see the box rise, the bottom fall out, and the entire thing swing toward me....

I think nothing of it - it's a plastic bottle, right?

Well, a plastic bottle falling from 4.5' in the air explodes.

Yes, it explodes.

I don't know if they always do, so if you try to MythBust this and it doesn't work, I don't care, but this particular nasty bottle of CS flew from the shelf, hit the floor and burst.... all over my right pants leg. There is a huge orange puddle of cough syrup spreading in front of us like runny jello.

Meanwhile, Ms Jenny looks at it, looks at me, giggles her face off, and says, "Did you see that?"

Ummm, yes. I still see it - on my pants.

"What do we do with it?" she asks, "Who do we tell?" all the while, laughing crazily.

I still can't believe the cough syrup tried to fly.

"I think we have to tell the pharmacist people." I trudge over to the pharmacist and ask her to have the clean-up ('Clean-up in pharmacy!') people come over.

"That's so gross! It smells like penicillin!" Then she says, "Oh my God, that was funny. C'mon, let's get out of here!" and puts the empty, busted bottle on the shelf.

Seriously. Now I smell like penicillin. Orange-flavoured penicillin.

My pants leg was actually wet from the amount of cough syrup that hit me. It was like a drive-by splatter. I had to go to the hospital like that.

At the hospital

We walk back into the hospital, and there was only one guy ahead of us to register. There is a man on the chairs next to us that has one of those little kidney bean shaped pans next to him which I am pretty sure is a bed pan.... why does he have one of those in the waiting room? Has he been there that long?

There are people in the waiting room with masks on. Not a good sign. It's like SARS & H1N1 all over again.

Jenny goes up to the desk and gets registered. Jenny gets a mask to put on, and when she comes back toward me, she tells me I am going to get one, too. Me heart starts racing immediately. I do not like this stuff. I don't like masks and other tie-things-on-your-body stuff. I am claustrophobic enough. That little bracelet they put on to identify you in the hospital - that makes me sweat.

I go up, and before she says hi, she gives me a mask. I want to cry. I'm not THAT sick. This is not an infectious disease! What the hell is going on around here that we needs masks?

I go through the same old same old. I tell her I was there not long ago, the meds didn't work, etc. She tells me to do the regular blood pressure business, temperature and to sit down.

I go sit down, and Jenny tells me I am wild eyed. I tell her I am not happy. I have to wear a mask and my pants are full of cough syrup. And there are two people in the corner who are being rude and staring at us and I know it is because of my pants.

Jenny says she is glad she has to wear a mask because now she doesn't have to put up her hand to cough anymore - she can just cough straight into the mask.

I say I'm stressed out because I have to wear a mask and now I have a strangulation bracelet on and I have dirty pants and people are being rude by looking at us because of my dirty pants, which is Jenny's fault due to the syrup debacle.

She says she can't take me seriously because I look like The Joker and she wants to paint bright red lips on my mask.

She says she is eating some chocolate and asks if I want some. I can't focus. I can't even breathe or think straight - it is too hot and I have too much stuff on - it is out of control in the hospital.

We go sit in the other part of the waiting room where there is not so many people and we take the masks down for a bit and I try not to think about the plastic riot cuff on my arm and the Hannibal Lector mask on my face. We start taking pictures and calling ourselves zombies and corpses, then posting them on the internet - why not, it's not like we are mature professionals or anything. LOL

Jenny is very calm - she starts having conversations with the other inmates, asking them how their days are going and how long they have been there.

Finally, we are called in, after laughing our heads off and coughing up the waiting room for a couple of hours. When we get inside, they put us side by side, where we peek out and continue to do the same thing until the doctor comes to see us. We are ridiculous. He asks if we are together and we try to say "Sorry" with straight faces.

When the doctor comes to see me, he gives me some medicine and then sends me on my way. I notice he has a girl's name. Alrighty about it.

Finally Jenny comes out and we leave. We get almost to WalMart and I see Jenny's prescription - her name is on hers, not the doctor's name! We compare prescriptions - he gave me someone else's tag! I am through the roof with viciousness! Now I have to go back into the place where they truss you up with all kinds of medieval torture instruments, in order to get my paper fixed! If they want to see The Joker, then they will see The Joker. I am done. I am tired, and my lungs hurt and now they are calling me Ethel. Who is this Ethel they speak of?

Jenny says she is going to come back in with me, for moral support. We get there, and the nurse takes care of it quickly. I decide to get my presciption filled on Saturday because I am exhausted.

The New Plan

So we have missed the last 2 workouts of our first 4 Week Challenge due to illness and exhaustion. I had a migraine on the Wed and on Thur, went to bed at 6:30PM. Mat was the only exercise machine going!

We have discussed at length whether or not we feel we have given up or if we are truly ill. We have come to the conclusion that we have really put 100% effort into this since Jan 31. We changed a lot of our habits and we have taken on a lot over this past month.

This is the beginning of the second semester of the year for us. Our curricular goals have changed and our extra-curricular workload has increased. We are rehearsing 6 days a week with our students and have now broken it down to where we have off days so neither of us gets too exhausted. This was a mistake we were making this past month.

I am now keeping track of what I am eating and drinking, as well as my sleep schedule. I feel like I am training for the Olympics, when in actuality my only goal is to get healthy. Is this what healthy people really do? This is an awful lot of work.

We are researching the best ways to do the things we are doing - the core exercises, the swimming, yoga, eating better, making healthy choices.

We have come to the conclusion that we are not giving up. We got sick, and we are taking a few moments to get better and to catch our breath, so to speak. We have been told by a few people that not taking time to get better will make us weaker and in the long run, will do damage.

We are learning but trying to keep it fun. Otherwise, it'll become another task that we just don't have the energy to do.

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