I suppose myself sometimes to be a runner. Okay, I'm a walk/runner at best. I probably would just be a walker and be done with it, but running is actually easier on my bionic hip than walking. I guess because the stride is shorter. So, I run. I run until I can no longer suck air into my lungs. Then I walk. I walk until I can breathe. Then I run.
Rinse and repeat.
The sucking-air-into-my-lungs issue is a teeny, tiny little bit of asthma. Maybe. Just a touch.
I have had seasonal allergies since I was a little kid. Autumn was always the worst. By the time I was a young adult it would often result in bronchitis. The first time it was a big issue, Buffy was a newborn baby. She was born in August. So Mandy would have been not quite two. She was born in January. So right in between. I was twenty-five.
It was the beginning of November, and I was sick. Very. I remember being at the doctor's office sitting on that table. Well, I wasn't sitting. I was lying. I was too weak to sit. I was really sick. The doctor came in, spent a minute and a half with me, and told me I had bronchitis. I didn't care what I had. I just had one question.
"When will I be better?"
I had two babies at home. I never slept more than two or three hours at a time when I was at my best. The rest of the time I ran around taking care of babies. But now I couldn't run around or sleep. My babies needed me. I had responsibilities at church, too. And I needed not to be dying.
His response? "Maybe Thanksgiving."
Thanksgiving? Are you kidding me? THANKSGIVING?!? Can't you see that I am dying and my babies need me. Fix me!!!
Then he asked me how long I'd been sick. I thought as hard as my dying brain could think. Pardon me while I lie back down. That might help. September. That's it. The end of September.
He smiled like I was an idiot. He asked why I had waited so long to come in. I'm thinking, "What part of I-have-two-babies do you not understand?" But I answered that I didn't want to spend the money, and that was the truth, too.
He then explained to this dumb kid with two babies that I had allowed the infection to take over my body, and while the antibiotic would do it's job in just in a few days, that it would take weeks to recover my strength and get my energy back. Of course. Why didn't I think of that?
Throughout the years after that I took better care of myself, for the sake of my children if for no other reason. Except for that one time when I had bronchitis and was pregnant. But that is a Dr. Magan story (of All Eve's Fault's fame), and I'll save it for another time.
So, fast forward to more recent years. I had bronchitis really bad about seven or eight years ago, and after the third doctor's visit I almost got put into the hospital. I don't do hospitals. I came home four hours after anterior total hip replacement surgery. Maybe that tells you a little more about me than I really want you to know. I can be a bit stubborn and self-reliant.
After that I determined that if I want to live to be a ripe old age if the Lord tarries, then I'd better come up with a plan to better manage my allergies, thus avoiding the bronchitis threat. I haven't had bronchitis since, but of course I will get it next week since I've written about it. See White On Rice.
So, several years later I was at the doctor's office for a checkup. We were discussing how long it had been since I'd had bronchitis, and he was giving me my due 'attagirl'. Thank you. "But I do carry that cough with me always, deep down inside", I hear myself telling him. "It only comes out when I laugh real hard."
It was nice of him not to tell me to just avoid laughing. Instead, he told me to laugh, so he could hear this deep-down hidden cough. I told him that I couldn't laugh unless he said something funny. He gave me a look. I pretended like that was funny and laughed. Then I coughed my deep-down hidden cough.
He looked at me like I was stupid. Do you see a pattern here? Different doctor, too! Good thing this one is my friend. He really is. So, he told me that what I had was not a deep-down hidden cough. It was a wheeze. I was wheezing. I had asthma. Just a teeny, tiny little bit. Maybe. Just a touch. Okay, I added in that last part myself.
I told him that I sometimes had that same problem when I was running. Especially when it was hot. And humid. Any time it was humid. Even if I were not running. Again, that look. :( He said that everyone with lifetime allergies will eventually develop asthma if they live long enough. Funny man. He wrote me prescriptions for two inhalers. I am still using the original two. Ha!
This started out being a story about running and finishing well. But the introduction took up too much space. So, I'll finish it tomorrow and link them together. The rest of it really does have a great spiritual lesson, I promise! :)
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