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IMG_5318One morning I woke up to an uncomfortable feeling.  My throat was itchy.  A hacking cough exploded from my lungs.

It sounded terrible.  Something has found its way into my lungs.  Every breathe irritated a build up and stirred a headache causing more coughing.

My body was aching.  Pain in my head seemed to spread into more pain in my joints, muscles and normal functioning was uncomfortable on its way to being more and more sore.  I groped for my cell phone.

As comfortable as I could get, I began canceling appointments, rearranging other meetings and contacted key people with whom I needed to meet.  For one of those very rare times in my life I sent a note to my office that I would be taking two sick days.

Two speaking engagements loomed on the horizon.  One was the next day.  A second one was not only in three days but it would also require a plane flight to another state.

Just to be on the safe side, I called my medical clinic and scheduled a visit to a quick exam.  Have not all of us been through IMG_5319enough illnesses  to predict how things are going to pan out.  I would be worse before I got better and maybe if I went to my doctor early enough then I could get some meds and shortchange the bug that was growing inside of me.

Like so many of my machismo brothers we self-diagnose and self-over-the-counter medicate until we break down and go in only to be told that we are getting better.  We who are the sick ones know that we are getting better but the doctor’s office said that they had no openings until the next week.  This time I was going in before I passed the worst of my illness.

My regular doctor was out of the office.  They scheduled me with someone what had an opening.  I was ushered into the waiting room by the nurse who took all of the preliminaries.

Then the P.A. came in.  She was friendly, professional and knowledgeable.  All of the symptoms were discussed and the test results showed no evidence of Flu or Strep.

Is it not amazing when serious options are eliminated and I cannot help but be a little disappointed?  If it was neither the Flu nor Strep then there was nothing that the doctor could do!  Rats, since the medical clinic cannot do anything to help my illness do I really have to fork over the co-pay?  Yeah, it is a guy-thing.

photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography


Sunday evening was very cool.  I was excited to start on an adventure with good friends.   Maybe I twisted too quickly getting out of his car.  Moving from the warm car into the cool evening air may have been too much of a contrast.  Pain shot through my left hip.

I grimaced.  Do you suck in the air through your teeth when agony sneaks up and bites you too?  But, I didn’t let my friends know.  No use being a baby about a little discomfort.

The more that I stomped around in the woods, the worse the pain became.  Rest would have made sense but our journey West knew only a limited amount of opportunity before we were called back home and into the office.

Every day I popped pain pills and carried out the woodsmanship that we had planned for an entire year.  Both hips were sore.  On top of that my back was beginning to ache. 

Back problems are no fun.  They ruin everything. I was disappointed that my slow movements were escalating

If the pain persisted I knew that i would have to go and see my doctor.  Lots of tests would have to be taken and any subsequent diagnosis would not be any fun at all. 

I imagined a prognosis of a few months to live.  Some malady with a name that I couldn’t pronounce would be my undoing.  God was calling me home . . . such heroic morbidity, eh?

Now, ten days later I suddenly remembered.  Walking across a parking lot with groceries in hand my mind pieced together the cause of my pain.  Aren’t such reflective recollections amazing?

A week ago Friday, I was walking the streets of downtown with a good friend. The weather turned soggy and sprinkled enough rain on the sidewalks to get them slick.  Locked into conversation while walking I stepped on to a slick spot, went airborne. 

But, because of my highly trained athletic skills I landed on three appendages with one other reaching for balance.  My friend was very impressed with my recovery.  It was a break dance move of the coolest kind.

That unexpected near-fall was my eventual injury.  The twisting and straining surely tore something that began to surface days later.  At least I wasn’t dying of some rare tropical disease.  While it may not have been break dancing, I did break something.