This week has proved a frustrating one in many ways. My workload in school has been reasonable all semester-- then this week I had two-midterms and two papers. As if that wasn't enough work, I shot myself in the foot by being a moron and not writing the papers ahead of time. Then I spent what felt like half the week bouncing back and forth between different doctors and my health insurance to continue attempting to figure out what the heck was going on with me. Despite my pneumonia-scarred lungs, propensity for chest infections, and past respiratory difficulties, the doctor I saw is concerned that it's some magical underlying defect that got totally missed in my last full cardiac workup three years ago. I understand wanting to leave no stone unturned, but getting the referral approved by my primary care guy so that my insurance would cover it was probably enough of a hassle to GIVE me a heart condition. Suffice to say, I'd be down for any healthcare reform that cuts down all this hoop-jumping, no matter whose idea it is.
Anyway, what the cardiologist decided to do is put on me on a halter-monitor for 24 hours and test my blood for every condition known to man and a few only Wookiees are supposed to get. When I went into the office on Friday (this is one huge positive to this situation: the cardiologist's staff was very helpful and were able to get me in to see them on only about 24 hours notice) I was hooked up to the monitor (sadly, this mechanical implant had no impact on my ability to dance the robot). They drained out what felt like about half my blood to test and then told me I'd have to redo my cardiac stress test on Monday. I was also told they'd have to shave patches in my chest hair in order to place the electrodes. Thinking myself ahead of the game, I asked some teammates into depilation what methods were best. Well, 6 coats of Nair later, I had a patchy, stubble, itchy chest with a few chemical burns and a slight rash. I realize that might be crossing into the TMI category of blogging, but for any young males out there thinking they're going to go smooth- DON'T DO IT. If you have some medical reason to get patches shaved, GO WITH THE PATCHES!
On the plus side, I'm feeling much healthier than last week. I have a solid wheeze going still, but I think that's mostly seasonal allergies. I can breathe deeply for the first time in weeks and I have tons and tons of energy (too much, in fact- without any physical exercise I find sleep very difficult). BU alum Dave Proctor came to visit this week and was a temporary resident of 15 once again. Dave and I never got to run as teammates, so it was nice to hang out with him. I'm looking forward to seeing his post-collegiate career take off!
Lastly, and perhaps the brightest spot to my week, my friend and old high school teammate Owen Graham emailed me to let me know he had quit his college team. This would usually be cause for disappointment, but Owen's former coach was one of the most irrational, irresponsible, and plain bad coaches I have ever seen in the sport. Owen went from a promising, undertrained HS prospect to a chronically injured and demoralized runner who began to wonder if his high school performances would remain his lifetime PRs. Now he's dealing with the last of the injury issues he suffered under his former "coach" and is on the comeback trail. I was very flattered that he sought me out to write him a training plan and advise him through his road to competition. I forsee the biggest issue in the short term being lingering injuries from years of abuse and in the long term, Owen's tendency to be too tough for his own body and neglecting to take the proper steps to avoid injury.
Hopefully, by this time tomorrow, my heart will be found healthy and in fine working order and I will be cleared to begin training again. Hope everybody out there is doing well!