My grandfather was supposed to call me tonight. I keep looking at the clock, counting forward by four hours and backwards by twelve. My grandmother is in the hospital again. Her latest chest infection, a by-product of her advanced COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), has failed to improve.
COPD is a terrible thing. My grandmother can take a breath in but then can’t breathe out. Imagine a mucus-filled sponge that keeps you from being able to exhale. After seeing my grandmother’s condition continuing to worsen over the past few years, all the while knowing she was still smoking, I despise cigarettes with a new fury. What kind of monster keeps someone so tethered to it, even as it kills them?
Since I have been exercising my lung capacity has changed. Now when I take a deep breath, it feels like the breath goes all the way down below my navel, where it bulges pleasantly, kissing the shoreline of my pelvic floor before flowing back up and out again. So easy.
That said, this is the first time I have ever blogged while sitting on an ice pack. My gluteus medius are in spasm. Ie - some of my butt cheek muscles are freaking out. This is what is causing the majority of my lower back and hip pain. I am supposed to roll on a tennis ball to try to get them to ease off, but all I have is a golf ball and it hurts like hell.
I am frustrated because it affects everything I do - walking, bending, standing. It gets worse after I work out, and my hip flexors don’t feel like they have gotten any stronger with all this exercise. I am afraid it won’t get better, that this will continue to hold me up and I won’t be able to move forward. I need to feel like I am getting stronger, better.
John and I have spoken about the kinds of things we want to do in the coming year. I think of the things that I can’t do now that I am desperate to be fit enough to accomplish. I want to bag a Munro. Eventually I would like to climb Ben Nevis. And walk the Great Glen Way. I want to be able to have complete confidence in my body, to hike, flex, climb or hop.
Since our visit to Canada I have been determined to change my relationship with food. After seeing my grandmother’s decline I am equally determined to do my best for my body, to build its strength and stamina. To let my lungs celebrate breathing, because lately that is what it feels like they are doing. My chest feels wide open and clear and even my heart feels lighter.
Now if only my damn ass would cooperate, I could move on.
The clock says 20:53. Plus four hours is 7 minutes to 1 a.m., minus 12 hours is 12:53 p.m. B.C. time. He still hasn’t called.
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