Would you believe that a sore throat could result in death? It can. If you get a sore throat, take it very seriously and see an Ear Nose and Throat doctor as soon as you can. This infection has become more common, and in adults moreso as well as children. It has a 20% mortality rate because it is often mistaken as an upper respiratory infection, a cold or allergy symptoms. I thought I might have strep throat because it felt like I was swallowing glass on Sunday. Later I couldn’t swallow. I was up pacing all night.
“Go to the hospital now,” said Dr. Stefan Kieserman, an ear nose and throat doctor, “because soon you won’t be able to breath.” I am thinking, you’ve got to be kidding me, how did this happen? But I couldn’t talk because my voicebox was affected by this serious infection that comes on suddenly and blocks your airway. When I got to the ER, I handed them a note that said “I can’t talk,” and they whisked me back immediately, swabbed my throat, and set me up for a scope which revealed the blockage. They acted swiftly to salvage what was still left of the airway, and got me breathing on a tube and gave me oxygen. After a few days of 3 IV antibiotics, IV steroids, and of course an insulin drip, I am home and happy to be resting. Still can’t talk, which actually hasn’t been too much of a challenge in communicating. I bring a paper pad and pen with me and people seem to get it right away. Please keep this experience in mind, and click on the link if you would like more details.
When I told a friend that I was heading out of the city this weekend, off to a Triathlon Training Camp with my team, Achilles International, he asked why I was doing this. At first it took me a minute to understand his question. He elaborated, “There are things I like to do, but I don’t feel the need to become competitive about them.” So I explained that I am not doing this to compete against anyone. I “do it” because 1. it feels good to get out in the fresh air, to enjoy the scenery of wherever I am (usually in Central Park or running along the edges of NYC) to take my own body out for a spin, like any motor needs. 2. It feels good when I come to a stop, to refuel and relax. 3. The most important reason is because I have diabetes. It puts my mind at ease, knowing that I just did something great for my insides. Staying in the best shape I can, without overdoing it, gives me a sense – perhaps an illusion – of control over my own body. Any medical condition can, if you let it, give you feelings of trepidation about the potential for a reduction in your own physical capability to enjoy life to its fullest. Sure nobody gets the gift of being good at everything. But it isn’t about being #1. Or even #2, for most people. Once you find something you enjoy, you just want to keep doing it as much as you can. it really is the journey of practicing or training. As much as I appreciate and value the physical rewards of feeling good and taking care of my health, I have gained in non-physical ways that I had not anticipated. More on that in my next post, because now, dear readers, I must pack for my 3 day adventure with Team Achilles at the Crystal Mineral Springs Resort.