pain

The “mental” triathlete: understanding the craziness

I admit it’s not an easy thing to understand.

How I look is exactly how I feel here. This is just after finishing what was probably my first triathlon last year.

How I look is exactly how I feel here. This is just after finishing what was probably my first triathlon last year.

Why do it, if it causes you so much anxiety?

Why do it, if you don’t seem to enjoy it?

Why do it, if it comes with so much pain?

Yesterday, as I headed out the door to go on my weekly longish bike ride I felt like I wanted to cry. I was feeling cold and I was sick of the cold. I’m generally burnt out (I’m in desperate need of a holiday) and tired. I’d much rather just laze about under a warm blanket and watch crap TV on my comfortable couch.

This morning I forced myself out of bed, got dressed, foam-rolled my legs to try to wake them up, and instead of taking my time to say hello to the world by eating breakfast in my robe and getting some caffeine into my system, I ran out the door to do my medium-length weekly run.

When I was cycling across Europe two years ago, I blogged a lot about my daily anxieties; so much so that a friend asked, “Are you sure you should be doing this?”

The answer is yes.

I can think of a few reasons why.

Most importantly, I refuse to allow anxiety and an inner tendency towards laziness to take over my life.  (more…)

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The shoulder and my drug-induced daze

It was like finally coming out of a long, very dark tunnel into a warm, bright day. It was wonderful.

But then the road led me into yet another tunnel.

It sounds a bit overdramatic. I’ll admit I generally tend to overdramatize. I’m a storyteller. What can I say?

But that really was what it felt like. I was out of the tunnel for two and a half glorious days.

Pain sucks. It really does. I had a couple of wonderful, almost pain free days but it’s back.

I’ve tried posting updates on my shoulder situation a couple of times in the past two weeks, but each time the writing was very dark and morbid. I’d write a whole page and then decide there was no way I could post that crap even if it was how I truly felt at the time. What I should have done was post something while I was still at hospital just after I had finished my shoulder operation. I was hilarious during those two days – or so I think. I messaged my kids saying, “Who wants to speak to their mother while she’s high on drugs?” The youngest was the only one interested, but he giggled quite a lot while we spoke.

Let me tell you, morphine was a huge disappointment until they took me off it. When the nurse told me she’d give me morphine to help manage the post-operative pain, I got excited. I’m a goodie two-shoes. I’ve never even remotely considered trying any sort of drug. So this was my first legal chance to try something I figured was hard-core. The pain remained and I was put into a disturbed and very superficial sleep. It was awful. The oral morphine was absolutely useless. The intramuscular morphine worked much faster, but in addition to the troubled sleep it made me feel sick and completely annihilated my appetite. Losing my appetite might have been the scariest thing that ever happened to me. I had ordered some great hospital meals (and a chocolate fondant dessert with ice cream) for that day. But when they arrived, I couldn’t put a thing in my mouth. I’m still upset about that.

I went home after two days in hospital. I wasn’t given morphine to take home with me. All it took was 24 hours and I was screaming for morphine. (more…)

A Father’s Passing: One Year Later

It’s been a year now since my Baba departed this world into the next. Since his death, I wrote several blog posts about him or with significant mention of him:

Writing about my feelings over the past year has helped me. The simple act of getting what’s on the inside to the outside is helpful, of course. But more importantly, the comments I’ve received on my posts either directly on the blog or through discussions with family and friends has helped me learn that what I’m going through is normal. I had never really seen people in mourning. Mourning is such a private thing. Too many people don’t share it, including me. I share it through my writing. But I find it extremely difficult to share it by visibly displaying it. I suppose we don’t want to burden others with our pain. Or maybe we don’t want to appear weak. Or perhaps we know that life is already hard enough for everyone; we might as well deal with our own issues internally so others can get on with their own lives and issues.

Whatever the reason, we tend not to share our mourning with others. And the result for many of us is that we don’t understand the process and we find it difficult to deal with it. This is why I’m going to continue to write about this until I feel I don’t want to anymore. Many people have arrived at my blog by doing a simple Internet search using keywords such as “father”, “death”, “passing away”, etc. This means that there are people out there that need to understand their own mourning process through learning from the experiences of others. I know that I’ve learned much from my readers’ comments. I thank them dearly.

This past year has been very difficult for me. It doesn’t seem to be getting easier. (more…)

The Life of a Divorced Parent

It is very difficult for a divorced parent to wake up in the morning to an empty house. As parents, we spend most of our lives complaining about all the hard work, the lack of sleep, the lack of peace and quiet, the problems, the multi-tasking… But not a single one of us would have it any other way.

A parent’s decision to divorce is one that is usually made over a period of years and one that is not made lightly at all. There are many repercussions to “ending” a relationship; one is that it never really ends when children are involved. More importantly, one’s children are directly affected by the divorce of their parents. While weighing the pros and cons of divorce, the best one can do is put the children’s interests above one’s own. Many people come to the realization that their children will suffer more from their parents’ unhealthy marital relationship or from living with unhappy parents than they would suffer from their divorce.

That does not mean there isn’t any suffering involved. It is DAMNED difficult afterwards. (more…)

A Daughter’s Pain in Losing Her Father

I had a dream last night. I was missing my Baba so much that I somehow managed to get into his grave to lie down next to him. Graves in Egypt are small underground rooms. The grave door was open and sunlight was shining through. It felt nice to lie down next to him. I felt safe. As I was lying there, my Baba started to stir. He slowly opened his eyes. He was awake! I was so overjoyed. I remember feeling in the dream that the nightmare of his death was finally over. He was back as he should be. I quickly called my brothers and sister to come. Baba was awake!

(more…)