One time many years ago my father shared a semi-private hospital room with an older man who had to be tied down. He had to be tied down because he kept pulling out tubes that were going into his body. He did it over and over again. It didn’t matter how much the nurses tried to convince him to leave the tubes alone, the instant they were out of the room he’d remove any line going into his body. As a last resort, the nurses tied his hands down. Undaunted, he’d work and work to get free. Every now and again, he’d tear loose and out would come an IV line or a drainage tube. My dad would call the nurses, they’d come in and tie him down again. And the cycle would start over. This went on and on. One day the elderly man got loose and before my dad could hit the nurses button he’d ripped out his IV line and before the nurses could get there … HE PULLED OUT HIS CATHETER. Just riiiiip … yanked it out. Do you know how a catheter works? Man. That old man was one tough son of a bitch.
Up until today I’d always thought THAT RIGHT THERE was the worst pain a person would knowingly and willing put their body thorough. Up until today. Today when I tried to get out of bed and couldn’t. Today when I tried to stand up from the toilet and had to use the sink for help. Today when I thought of how stupid it is to have to bend over TWICE while dressing – once for underpants and ANOTHER TIME for pants. Today when I cursed the stupid idea I’d had to start working with a personal trainer whose sole mission in life it seems is to make me wish I was Italian and that I had a cousin who could track that trainer down and teach him a lesson or two. With a tire iron.
Let’s just say this – I’m sure he’s very good this trainer of mine. I’m sure he’s very, very good and I’m sure if I was in phenomenal shape going into this he could still give me, or anyone, a kick-ass workout. However, truthfully, giving me a hard workout would not be difficult. For anyone. My eight year old could give me a hard work out by asking me to make her a grilled cheese. Grilled. With cheese on it. I’m just saying I’m a little out of shape.
I guess cancer will do that to you.
Being as out of shape as I am is unacceptable to me. So I’m back at it. Back in the gym, back working my muscles and tossing weight around. And today my body is all like WTF?! And doing everything in its limited power to convince me that this working out thing is a bad idea. A very very bad idea.
At the end of my workout yesterday, my trainer told me he wanted me to spend today doing “active recovery”. Which basically means some sort of light activity. Not too much as my muscles are apparently repairing themselves. Which I find hard to believe. I can’t believe my muscles are stupid enough to actually fix themselves just so I can break them down again. But I’m – for once – doing everything I’m told. So I decided to go for a walk. I had to go to the post office anyway and why not just hoof it up there? So I did. It was nice, my walk, and would have been even nicer if I wasn’t crying for most of it. I have to be honest and say if you’d passed me (and it wouldn’t have been difficult, snails passed me) you wouldn’t think I was actively recovering from anything – except maybe having a hot poker rammed up my ass. At one point the sky clouded up and I prayed for rain. Rain please rain! I silently begged between grunts and moans because if it rained I’d take a cab back home. Or the bus. Or hop on the back of one of those snails. But it didn’t rain. And I had to walk all the way back home.
I keep telling myself it will be worth it. But let’s be honest, from the girl who once thought gauchos were a good idea, I don’t always know what I’m talking about.
I’d always wondered what made that man rip out his own catheter all those years ago. It just didn't make sense. Especially because it undoubtedly prolonged his hospital stay. But now, all these years later it is quite clear to me that obviously that old man had a personal training session scheduled the next day.