Rest...rest...rest...I knew what that meant for most people, but what about me? Before I left the doctor's office, I said, "Rest. OK, like sit around on the couch all day, kinda rest?" He replied, "Whatever it takes. Listen to your body, but whatever you were doing or not doing last week, didn't seem to work." My mind flashed to me lying on the dining room floor, crying because I was too weak to move. The kids had to go get my husband, so he could help me back to bed. Then he had to get them ready and off to school. Still quarantined in the guest room, I would randomly try and yell out instructions to help out.
As I snap back to the graveness of the conversation, I just had to ask it..."OK, I get that I really have to rest, take my meds, and drink fluids, and I know this sounds crazy, but I have to ask, when do you think that I will be able to work out?" He says, "Look, I get it. I workout all the time too. I know how badly you want to get back to it. I will tell you this again, listen to your body, but don't be stupid. It is going to be a looooong recovery for you. I am talking months. Months of you hacking and coughing up stuff. When you do finally workout, you may not feel it completely when you are working out, it may be more likely to hit you right after, when you are recovering. Make sure that you ALWAYS have your inhaler with you. You are going to need it for the next couple of months."
Months? That is what I hear. Months...hacking...listen to your body....don't be stupid...inhaler. I thanked him, vowing to myself not to be back on that table in a week. I would rest and "listen to my body."
I stop off at the pharmacy and by that time, the pharmacist recognizes me. I hand her the two new prescriptions and she simply says, "You poor thing. You are really sick. You should be at home and someone else should be getting these for you." I can barely muster a smile as I waited the 15 minutes to for my prescription to be completed. As I was checking out, the technician looks down at what she is handing me and lets out a, "Whoa! OK, make sure you are listening. Are you listening?" I was, barely. "This is strong, serious stuff. You need to read all of the side effects, and if you have any of them, even a little, call your doctor immediately." I nod and agree, she certainly got my attention, but inside I was thinking, "What the heck is this stuff?! Should I be worried?" Ah, so is life. And off I went.
Home again, already tired and a little down. Back home to get into my sweatpants and sit on the couch. Awesome. More resting. More worthless TV that I could not even concentrate on. More pills, cough syrup, and Gatorade. It was rather depressing. I went from a super busy, active woman and mom to a sick, barely breathing couch potato. I was so tired and sick that I could not motivate myself to shower. Anybody that knows me, will tell you that I take at least one shower a day. I was starting to go on three days with no shower. It was simply too much work.
Yet each day, I started to feel a little better. I rested. I medicated. I showered once in a while. I listened, and low and behold I was getting better. Either it was me listening or it was the anthrax-like medicine eating away at the virus and infection inside of me...or maybe both. By the next Saturday, I was feeling really good, so guess what I did? Worked out.
Probably not the smartest thing for me to do, but the sitting around was getting to me worse than the pneumonia. But because I am so hardheaded, I didn't ease into it. I didn't go and maybe work on some skillwork and call it a day. I decided I was going to do a "hero WOD". Hero WODs are workouts made in honor of someone who has given their life for their country and also happened to be a CrossFitter. This particular work out was named "Wood"and consisted of running, burpee box jumps, sumo deadlift high pulls, and thrusters. In my head, I was thinking that I could do this workout, because at the end of each round there was a built-in one minute rest. I was thinking that this would give me time to catch my breath, since I had been "sick." Perfect.
When I got there, another CrossFitter and good friend was there finishing his WOD. I told him what I was going to do, and he laughed and said, "Don't you think you should ease into things? Maybe just do a long row or something." I explained my thought process, he shrugged and shook his head, and off I went. By round two, I was wheezing and had really shallow breaths and chest pains. At round three, I said to him, "Maybe I should have only said I was going to do three rounds." Still, I kept going. It was the whole mentality that I had already written it on the board, so I had to finish it. I finished my last two rounds and thought, maybe they were right. Maybe this would have been under the "don't do anything stupid" category that the doctor was talking about.
Somehow, all of the warnings, tales of me needing to rest, and the comments, "You know, pneumonia can kill you. It isn't something to mess with" were finally setting in. Maybe it was the doctor, maybe it was the warning about the meds, or maybe it was the slap in the face called a workout followed by chest pains, wheezing, and multiple hits on the new inhaler that made me listen. Whatever it was, I was listening, yet finally in recovery.
To be continued...