Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – July 30, 2004
Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – July 30, 2004 – Howard is fixed – working – eager for a daily walk – looking for an exercise buddy. It makes perfect sense for me to be that person. Has that happened? I think we know the answer to that question, don’t we. I had a stroll with Howard the day he was miraculously resuscitated, reprogrammed and anxious to test his mettle, but nothing since!
However, yesterday – on the occasion of my birthday #55 – I did a forty minutes Pilates routine. It happened out of the blue, and may have been in deference to my birthday. I had plans to get up this morning and do another workout, perhaps involving Howard or free weights or maybe a Winsor pilates workout. This great event did NOT occur!
Before you judge too harshly, let me explain. I had dinner with Eric and Dorothy last night. Eric opened a bottle of California red wine that I’d brought back from California for him when I was there on vacation in 2000. The wine was superb – rich, full bodied and delicious. We had it with Caesar salad, steak and frites. Chocolate cheesecake for dessert. What a splendid meal.
We sat at the dining room table after dinner, chatting about politics, movies, sailing and the upcoming long week-end. I noticed that the candlelight was bothering my eyes, which were stinging and feeling a bit itchy. An hour later they were really sore and I decided to head for home. The lights of oncoming cars were blinding and my eyes felt as if they had a film over them.
I kept blinking and trying to clear my vision. Fortunately the drive home was short and I made it slowly and carefully. I looked after the Alphabet Boys and then went to the bathroom to look at my eyes. They were badly swollen and incredibly red. I used some of my dry eye, medicated drops and the stinging was alleviated a bit, but not much.
This is not a good scenario for a person with panic and anxiety. I immediately felt light-headed and “brain tumour” flew into my thoughts. That’s it! My heart started to beat a bit too fast for my liking and “heart attack” was added to the list of possible causes for my swollen eyes. I know it’s hard for you to make the connection, but for an anxiety driven personality it’s easy. I put a cold compress over my eyes and then added some more drops.
By the time I went to bed my eyes were no more than little slits. I was afraid to go to sleep. I thought my brain tumour might explode. If that didn’t happen, then my heart was going to stop beating. I had a flashback to John Candy Disease. I lay on my back and took some deep breaths. “Okay”, I said to myself, “Just relax. I looked at the clock with my little slit eyes. The numerals were fuzzy. “Oh no – I’m going blind. This must be fast acting glaucoma. I’ll be sightless by morning.” I imagined myself groping my way down to the den to call for help.
Exhausted, I finally dropped off to sleep. I woke up this morning and my eyes were welded shut. Crusty bits flaked off at the edges. I stumbled into the bathroom, relieved that both my brain and heart appeared to be intact. I bathed my eyes open and then went down to the medicine cabinet in the second floor bathroom. I use the last of my eye drops and checked out at my face. I looked dreadful. My eyes were blood-red and more swollen that last night. I made no connection in my thinking to either allergies or red wine.
I spoke to my friend Big who immediately said, “Take a Claritin anti-histamine, it sounds like an allergic reaction – probably to the red wine. I bathed my eyes again and then headed down to Shopper’s Drug Mart where I picked up some non-drowsy Claritin and Visine drops for itchy red eyes. Now a couple of hours later, the swelling has gone down considerably, but the redness is still acute.
I think blindness has been averted and my racing heart is back to normal. And that, my friends is why I didn’t do a workout today. As you know from last month, I’ve given up on charts, plans and three ring exercise reminder binders, and any immediate plans to run a marathon or start rock climbing are also on hold.
It’s now seven thirty in the evening and as soon as I finish my writing, I’m going into my workout room to have a chat with Howard. Did I say chat – I meant walk. Now that I’ve been given a reprieve from blindness or certain death, a half hour of exercise seems like a bargain in comparison.
So no promises in this progress report. No great declarations of becoming a physical goddess – just some hope that by making a different choice, I can start to make exercise a regular part of my day. You will be the first to know if I can keep some exercise momentum going!