It’s coming up on a year since the whole ride started. It was a Monday morning, February 16, to be exact. I got out of bed and felt a little less stellar than normal. No one feels excellent every morning. It was Monday and at the time, I thought work was a bite in the ass.
I changed and popped in the DVD–at least I was doing Triometrics, one of the physically easier P90X3 workouts.
One of the first workouts I did in P90X was Plyometrics–jump training. Every Saturday morning I did it, and every Saturday morning for the first eight weeks, I was nauseated. I’m a psycho, but I’m not an idiot. I’d stop and walk around until the nausea passed.
And until that morning when I did an easy workout, it had been more than four years since I workout made me feel like I was going to throw up.
It was a concern, to be sure. That shouldn’t happen. But I’d had a bug in October, followed by a horrible cold at Christmastime, followed by the worst flu I’ve ever had just after Christmas. Usually with the flu, I’m past feeling like the undead after three or four days. The post-flu wobblies tend to pass after another two. This one lasted two and a half weeks.
So I finished the workout, scaling back a little, then took a shower and plowed through work for the day, not feeling all that well.
Two weeks later, at a presentation I had to give, I propped myself up at the table, because if I didn’t I was struggling to stay upright. At lunch, we went to a restaurant across the parking lot–a couple hundred yards away. I had to rest twice on the way there and the way back because I couldn’t walk the entire way. Less than five months earlier, I ran 17 miles on Saturday morning because why not?
Long story short, I was eventually diagnosed with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (which always makes me think of former Dolphins wide receiver and former NBC Sports anchor Jimmy Cefalo, for some reason). ME is better known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
As I write this, I’m in remission. Or I’ve recovered. Or maybe I didn’t have CFS in the first place. I’m fortunate (ha!) to have been on the forefront of a medical frontier, it seems.
I’ve written about this before, a lot. It’s hard to go through this and not write about it.
The God people love to talk about giving of your time, talent, and treasure (they love alliteration, the God people). But I think God wants more than that. I think God wants us to be responsible for our experiences, too. And for our friends and for the friends we don’t have yet.
While I would never presume to tell anyone what it’s like to have severe ME–because even at my worst, I didn’t–I have learned some things. And with the passage of some time, I’d like to think this story is worth telling and might be helpful to read.
I’m no expert, but I do know what I went through. And I know what I’d do differently and what I’d do exactly the same if I had to go back and do it again.
As I write this, I am cleared to work full-time again, something that I never thought would happen. I’ve done some walking to work out and as soon as my stupid left foot heals (stress fracture, doncha know?), I want to gradually move into more efficient workouts.
I won’t claim I know a damn thing about having cancer and recovering, but I do know what it’s like to count time away from the worst experience of my life in the hope that I never experience it again. I’m going to start that the clock on November 25, for reasons that will eventually be explained.
That means, I’m two months and change into the relative resumption of my life. That passage hasn’t been as easy as I thought it would be, which I’ll also explain.
I hope this isn’t woefully self-indulgent.
I star in it (because, you know, I freakin rock), but if I do this correctly, it won’t be about me. With skill and maybe some divine guidance, I’d like it to be about some universal things in life that everyone eventually does the work to understand–or not.