Small Realities

Inside the mind of Lance Schonberg

Slow Recovery

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Being sick sucks.

Right now I’m at the tail end of the worst illness of my life so far (unless you count a burst appendix when I was eighteen which could have killed me but didn’t).  During some recent training for my new position at work I started to show some symptoms that I initially attributed to sleep deprivation but eventually turned into something flu-like.  If it had stopped there, I’d have been much happier, but some exciting bacteria set up shop in my lungs and came close to driving me to my knees.  A week after training, after spending my weekend lying in bed or on the couch, I took a sick day to spend the same way.  It helped some.  I went to work the next day feeling a little better, but that was as good as it got.  The description I used on Facebook and Twitter was something to the effect of “I feel like an 80 year old smoker with emphysema in his one remaining lung, only with less energy.”  Funny, if it hadn’t been true.

After a week feeling like that, I went to the doctor to be diagnosed with a lung infection.  She didn’t actually use the word pneumonia, but it probably applies.  Here’s some strong-ish antibiotics.  Take them.  Get better.

Good news when I’d been thinking I’d never felt so bad for so long before.  I would be allowed to get better.

I’m still getting better.  My lungs feel close to normal even if there’s still an occasional cough and I’m still a bit stuffy.  A week ago, I tweeted that it was amazing how good 25% lung power felt after being at 5-10% for so long.  Today I feel like I’m something near normal breathing capacity and think I might be brave enough to attempt a light jog on the treadmill after the kids are in bed tonight.  Just not a very long one.  But a marathon this year is beyond dreaming now.  Next year.

It’s occurred to me that I live at a good time to catch this kind of infection.  A hundred years ago, it probably would have killed me and if it hadn’t, would certainly have shortened my life in a dramatic way by permanently scarring and weakening my lungs.  Living now, a five-day course of small orange pills and I get my life back.  Modern society has a lot of problems and issues, but I’m still glad to be here.

My writing productivity went to hell and June probably won’t be that much better than May in terms of overall production, in spite of my last post, but I’ve made some great progress on a couple of things since I started to get better and expect to have a half dozen submissions out in the next week.  I’ve missed 100 Word Stories for the last several weeks and won’t be submitting tonight either.  My voice isn’t there yet.  Next week, I hope.

More importantly, I can play with my kids again instead of just watching.  There were days I didn’t have the energy to even manage a video game after work, never mind basketball or a bike ride.

The one positive: I lost ten pounds.  Not exactly my first choice for methods of weight reduction, but any time you can take a positive spin from something that sucks you should grab it with both hands.  The real funny thing is, from the size of my remaining stomach, my supposed “ideal weight” doesn’t look as unreasonable as it used to.  Something to think about.

Stay tuned for details on my first story to hit print.  I haven’t got an exact date, but e-mail discussions lead me to believe it will be soon.

Be healthy.

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