Training for the Camino or the Olympics?

It’s strange, I was under the impression that I was planning to tackle the Camino, not become a world-class hurdler but it seems that life has other ideas for me.  I do find this notion a little ridiculous as I was always terrible at athletics (my dodgy knees saw to that) but because I didn’t want to let my house down on school sports days I was usually the one to put my hand up and volunteer for the events nobody else wanted to do (mainly shot-put, triple jump and hurdles).  Well, that and the fact that I can usually be relied upon to give something a go or be easily bullied into things if I don’t really care either way in the first place!  But I always maintained that I wouldn’t enjoy myself and would take it at my own pace because really, I was only there to put in a show for my house, not because I actually cared if I won or not.  Swimming sports was a completely different story, as a natural-born water baby I was fiercely competitive at anything aquatic and usually ended up with blue ribbons and the occasional red one.

But I digress, athletics is not my strong point but I did a lot of hurdles.  When I finished year 8, which was the highest year level my small middle school went to, and moved to a much larger school known for its athletic prowess I gracefully stepped aside for the more competent hurdlers (breathing a sigh of relief) and vowed never to involve myself in such a ridiculous sport ever again.  But it seems that despite my best efforts my planning for the Camino has involved nothing but hurdles.  The most recent being medication related.  You see, I suffer from a rather ridiculous condition known as ‘my body is stupid and can’t maintain its own blood pressure’ or more commonly known as ‘recurrent vasovagal syncope/neurocardiogenic syncope’.  Yep, not one to do things by halves I have once again picked the most fancy-sounding, least known about, non-life-threatening but rather life impairing condition to be affected by.

A couple of posts ago I wrote about starting my new medication – Midodrine (which is supposed to raise blood pressure by constricting veins).  It’s been 2 weeks now and Midodrine and I have been having a bit of a rocky relationship.  There is no doubt that some days have been pretty good but overall I have not noticed a huge improvement.  Then again it has only been 2 weeks.  I have still been having good days and bad days and I believe that on the whole it has all been a bit better than before the Midodrine, even in the hour and a half between when one tablet wears off and the other one kicks in (they are taken every 4 hours) and I regress to having a mental capacity lower than that of my dog (he can at least negotiate stairs and has a short-term memory that lasts more than 3 seconds) the number of good hours outweigh the bad.  Here is a pathetic picture of my dog just to illustrate the point…
That was until last night.  I was supposed to be going to my regional St John’s Ambulance meeting so it was a 4 tablet day instead of a 3 tablet day (so I could go the distance) but the extra tablet pushed me over the edge into ‘too much Midodrine’ territory which is not a nice place to be.  The pressure and pain in my head rivalled that of a sinus infection or migraine and it throbbed with my pulse, I was aware of my pulse beating in my neck, ears and chest and I felt rather nauseated; all I wanted to do was lie down and go to sleep but that only made the pressure worse – which is kinda the point of Midodrine in the first place but obviously not to this extent.  So it seems my body has other ideas when it comes to the miracle drug that was supposed to make it all better.  Damn.

In my misery and desperation last night I composed a letter;

Dear God, or Karma, or whoever is responsible for this crap (I like to keep my bases covered)
I have had enough, please make it go away.  I promise I will continue to live my life how I want to live it which should really be good enough for you as what I really want to do is study medicine and become a doctor so I can help people, so seriously, why would that be a problem for you?  There are thousands of people in the world who do bad things and yet they are allowed to go on living their lives and being healthy – why can’t I?  We have already established that begging, threatening, pleading and kneeling make no difference so really, what else do you want me to do? There’s not much left!  If I am somehow making up for wrongs I have done in a past life I think it’s been enough, I personally don’t think I am capable of doing anything in any life that would make me deserve this crap so stop being such a prick and give me a break.  That, and, my next life had better be a damned good one, I’m thinking princess might be good, or empress – maybe of the whole world because buddy, believe me, you owe me big time. Lets just pretend you’ve proved whatever point it was you were trying to prove and I passed whatever test it is with flying colours because, to be completely honest, I don’t really have much left to give you and I would really like to get on with living my life and doing my thing (whatever that turns out to be because I haven’t exactly had the time or the mental capacity to figure that out yet)
Yours in complete frustration

Fortunately I am not leaving tomorrow, I still have just over 2 weeks to get this right and I am determined that I will be on that plane.  The only thing that would stop me is if someone had to carry me onto the plane or there was the real potential of me arriving in Paris as a nonsensical vegetable.  There would be no point in having a holiday under those circumstances and no chance of me being able to walk more than 500m per day which would mean the part of the Camino I have decided to do would take me around 250 days to finish and I would end up sleeping under the stars most nights.  My travel insurance will not cover me for anything I have already had or any treatment I am receiving, as my mother says, it’s only money – but that is one thing I am kinda lacking a the moment so would prefer to not have to cancel last minute and lose it all.

My head feels a little bruised and fragile today but much better than yesterday – I still need to talk to my doctor though.  I am getting a little more nervous about how I’m going to cope but I wont know until I get there now will I and it is another adventure – I guess no matter what comes along I will take it in my stride 🙂


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. una
    May 13, 2011 @ 04:52:17

    I keep saying to my fellow swimmers/friends how lucky we are to be able to swim in the sea every day and I also hill walk etc. My heart goes out to you and I will send a little message on your behalf to all the “gods” above and around us and as I swim tomorrow I will think of you and hope your wish comes true.


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