It was cold this weekend, the first really cold night of the winter.  On my run the wind drove the snow into my face, collecting on my lashes and dripping onto my cheeks.  After cresting a large hill I got a break from the stabbing cold.  Lunch and a hot shower were a nice reward.

My recent obsession with decision to start running was my family’s fault.  I’ve pushed  the memories of my wife’s illness into the darker nooks, but I’m not entirely free of it. My wife doesn’t have that luxury of forgetting; it’s obvious to her every day.  The latest challenge has been anemia.  Her blood count has been slowly dropping, and she’s now at the point where she feels tired and weak.  While I’m on my run, she’s mustering the energy to finish the most basic tasks.  She’s been getting intravenous iron infusions and they’ve given me a whole new perspective on what my patients endure when I write a “simple” order.  She has terrible veins, and it often takes an hour and six nurses to get the IV in.  Several hours after the infusion, she feels crappy, with muscle pains and nausea.

Her perseverance and a new respect for the fragility of things inspired me to take better care of myself.  And while I’ve tried to keep things out of mind in order to get on with life, it comes back to me in more subtle ways.  When my wife started to feel ill last week I noticed I became cranky, didn’t sleep well, and was generally out of sorts.  By the time it turned into a run-of-the-mill—albeit unpleasant—bronchitis, I felt fine (she, however, did not).

Continuing on the topic of adjustments, we moved recently, which has been wonderful in many ways, despite the Great Vole Crisis.  PalKid loves her new, very pink room, but she’s still getting used to the place.  She’s shown up in our bed quite a few times over the last month, and while she’s really, really cute and cuddly, it doesn’t make for a good night’s sleep for the grownups sharing the bed.   I’ve spoken to other parents who have marveled at the ability of such a small creature to take up such a large space.

Last night the kiddo came home from her first skating lesson. She’s been asking for a long time, and it seemed like a good activity to try out.  She came home glowing.  I haven’t seen her this happy and excited since her last trip to the American Girl Store.  In fact, I think she was even happier.  She was able to stay up on skates, felt that sense of accomplishment, that relaxing warmth you get after exercising in the cold.

When I was a kid, my folks and I used to go cross country skiing at a local golf course.  It was usually on a Sunday, and we’d come home tired, and happy, and sit in front of a fire drinking hot chocolate and watching football.  I look forward to the day when my family is ready to take off on a winter’s day for a run or a hike, come home and collapse on the couch fighting over who makes the hot chocolate.

6 thoughts on “Aftermath

  1. “I’ve spoken to other parents who have marveled at the ability of such a small creature to take up such a large space.”

    *chuckle* I’ve wondered the same about my cat. Curls up into a ball, but takes up the WHOLE bed.

  2. You write:
    She has terrible veins, and it often takes an hour and six nurses to get the IV in. Several hours after the infusion, she feels crappy, with muscle pains and nausea.

    … and I thought MY veins were bad, but I still manage to give blood. I admire your wife’s willingness to manage her daily life, as well as she can, instead of giving in to fear or apathy.

    I have one friend who had one of the earlier gastric resectionings done. Her ability to absorb nutrients was so bad that, in spite of massive doses of vitamins and minerals, she has needed iron infusions all too often, and her bones were **dissolving**. She had the procedure reversed, but even then, there are the issues of the difficulty of absorbing nutrients. Yes, I’m overweight, but not going that route, or the lapband. Too many Imponderables.

    I was never a pink girl, but my mom disliked any shade of purple, so any furniture she painted for my room…pink. Bleah. However, PalKid is welcome to all the pink I won’t have!

    I have been ice skating a whole once, in the late 60’s, at a neighborhood girl’s party, at a rink in San Diego CA. I was vewy, vewy careful, stayed near the railing, and managed never to fall. I had roller-skated a few years earlier, so that might have helped, but I could only go forward–turning, going backward, leaping, were beyond my daring. I hope PalKid has many more opportunities to ice-skate.

    Children and small animals and the middle of the bed. They take up one-half of the bed, but it’s the middle half, usually. If there are two adults and one child or critter, no matter how small, and no matter how big the bed, the adults get the short end of the stick…and we continue to love the occupiers, despite that.

    May all your family see an increase in health, happiness, flexibility, and resilience this year.

  3. As far as I know I have lovely veins. What I have is “a vigirous vegas nerve response” (to use the phrase of a research MD) which results in fainting and vomiting at about 50cc. Though I will say all of those incidents involved research MDs and lab techs, not all-day every-day phelobotomists.

    (I’m terribly impressed at your willingness to run in a true Northern winter. I whimp out at about 40F.)

  4. We usually fight over who DOESN’T get to make the hot chocolate.

    My kids have started to take up ice skating too – they’ve been having a lot of fun, and it looks like the park down the street will be setting up a free outdoor rink, so it should be fun (as long as it stays cold – it was 60 degrees here the other day).

  5. I hope your wife goes soon from feeling bleagh to better.

    I admire your tenacity to run in the cold. I prefer doing my walking in cool weather, but cold (i.e. ice on the ground) scares me out of the workout. We don’t get much of that where I live, but it’s a problem at the house in the mountains where we escape to whenever we can.

    Actually, I’ve slacked off horribly on walking this past year, partly because I was living and breathing an MS thesis, and partly because my not-terribly-worn shoes had started to hurt. But the thesis is done, it’s a new year, the new walking shoes should arrive tomorrow, and then I’m starting a weekday walking program. That’s partly due to your inspiration, Pal.

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