Sick of Sick

A dream that wasn’t a dream, until it became a reality, now looking not much like a reality at all.

I’m sick.

In fact, I am more sick than I have ever been in my 41 years of living on this planet.

Today makes a full week, and the fifth day of a constant cycle of shivering-to-death, then sweating so profusely that everything on my body becomes soaked, including my hair. In fact, right now, right at this very second I’m in sweat stage. I ate the second half of an avocado and within five minutes my t-shirt is soaked, my hair, my shorts …and sweat is running down my arms as I type.

day 5 of temps as high as 103.8
Photo: me, right now, 11:05 a.m, with a 102.2 temp and drenched in sweat.


I sweat, then I shiver …rinse, repeat. There are a pile of sheets and blankets in the corner of our bedroom just because of me soaking them during the night.

The body aches are tremendous causing the worrier inside of me to question whether I’ve somehow done something else. Back, joints, shoulders, neck, all sensitive and weak, slow and clumsy.

Walking to the kitchen is a chore. Steps, slow.

My head hurts so bad that it makes me moan, and I know I can only write in short little spurts before having to go lay down for a little while.

So why in the Hell am I writing? Because I want to document this. Just like when I wrote Bruster Boy, I want to know that someday I can come back to this and relive it.  When I get cocky, or stupid with my training, planning and decision-making, I can remember what happened when I was this sick. This low. This disappointed. At 4:30 a.m., still unable to sleep, I told my wife I was going to document it. That I needed to.

She just told me to quit talking at 4:30 in the morning, and rolled over.

Lesson Learned

Even though I have been home all week trying to get over this, yesterday, because I had invited a whole slew of University of Georgia Marketing and Web folks to the agency for a strategy discussion, I had to be there to lead it – sick or not – as I was not going to cancel on them after they had traveled all the way from Athens just for our meeting.

I showed up at my agency with a 101 temperature.

Everyone rolled with it, said it was cool, and that I did a good job, but it was a total embarrassing disaster for me. Before the meeting, I was shivering and barely able to talk while one of the account executives was covering me with a blanket and making me tea with honey.

By the time UGA showed up, I had switched to sweating. I endured almost two hours of technical and analytics strategy discussion with wet hair and visibly sweating in front of everyone – soaking through my t-shirt, dress shirt, and wiping my forehead every two minutes with a %^$#! napkin.

Think: George Costanza and the Kung Pao Chicken

After 30 minutes, I had no choice but to stop, collect myself, and setup a fan 12 inches from my body to keep some semblance of control.

At the end of the meeting – my hair was drenched, clothes soaked, pride in the toilet, and I just simply went home to crawl under a rock and die.

Whatcha Got Dude?

The doctors believe I have pleurisy.

Pleurisy occurs when the double membrane (pleura) that lines the inside of your chest cavity and surrounds each of your lungs becomes inflamed. Also called pleuritis, pleurisy typically causes sharp pain, almost always when you are inhaling and exhaling.

Mayo Clinic

How? No freakin idea, but its the absolute worst thing, for the longest time, I have ever gone through. Ever. And yes, it hurts to simply breath.

You don’t realize how much you breath until every single breath hurts.

Heartbreak Hill? You Don’t Know the Half of It

I have Boston coming up in 18 days.

The Boston Marathon. The granddaddy of ’em all. The one that scores of runners spend a significant portion of their running lives cherry-picking races just to get a time that qualifies them for entry; and there I was, lucky enough to score a slot on my very first try as just sort of light push by local running friends Amy, Laura and Jim.

Before that day in the car when they said I should try, I never even cared.


Getting into Boston is a big deal for me now


Although I always say I never cared about Boston, once I qualified and got selected, I felt extremely special and there started my love affair, like so many others, with this historical and famous marathon.

I was training hard for a 3:05 on this course.

Things were coming along nicely thanks to Bill Squires.

Three weeks ago I ran a 41:22 (6:39 pace) 10K race, and two weeks ago a 3:32 at the Georgia Marathon as simply a comfort gauge at the distance. It’s a hilly race with 1,543 feet of climb, so the goal was to simply become comfortable with the distance by not blowing up and keeping steady splits.

Everything was on point.

That is, until the Pleurisy.

This crap has killed me. If I don’t recover soon, it might be a long shot for me to even make it to the starting line of the Boston Marathon, let alone finish it.

The dread and disappointment I feel over this right now actually brings tears to my eyes. I know that I’m being overly emotional during this suffering, but I was so looking forward to this event.

The hype.

The streets lined wall-to-wall with cheering fans from start to finish.

Heartbreak Hill.

Shoots, even just the chilled back lobster feasts with my bride, pre-race.

Now, it’s possible none of that will happen.

A dream that wasn’t a dream, until it became a reality, now looking not much like a reality at all.