Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Playing catch-up again

It's once again been a long time since my last update, it seems.  As I look at the past 2 weeks, I have been crazily busy.  Last time, I wrote about getting a new PR in the bench press.  And, I whined about illnesses - cancer, in particular.

Despite my whining about the cancer stuff, I have also seen a silver lining in some of this adversity.  My wife and I have been married for 28 years.  That's a long time for anyone to "put up" with anyone else.  Yet, through all of this, I think it's been clear that our marriage is doing really well.  We are always there for each other, always worried first about our partners.  It's a great feeling to know that after all of these years together, when life gets challenging, our commitment to each other never wavers.

That bond was put to a test again this past weekend, when my wife spent an entire day in the local emergency room with unexplained bleeding that just wouldn't stop.  I think her medical care has been mostly incompetent for the past few days.  I'm not going to go into details, but there has been a terrible lack of communication, poor decision-making, very little empathy, and doctors trying to rush her into major surgery, without giving her any other options.  She is going to see a different provider at a local teaching hospital this Friday, and hopefully, we will get better answers than we've gotten so far.  I just wish that many doctors would be more honest and up front about side effects from treatments and treatment options, even if they don't offer those options.

In  my wife's case, there is a clear advantage to treating her in a more modern and better equipped facility.  But, the doctor didn't bother to tell her that there were better options.  She wanted to do a procedure immediately yesterday.  When my wife refused, she tried to schedule surgery for today, telling my wife that she'd try a simple procedure, but if it didn't go well, she would proceed to a very significant surgery.  Again, my wife declined.  She then suggested Thursday and my wife temporarily agreed.  She has since cancelled that appointment, and will get a second opinion before anyone touches a scalpel.

Around all of this, I've had a crazy couple of weeks.  I trained other ski instructors all weekend two weekends ago.  Then, I had a quick trip out of town.  At CrossFit Shadyside, in Pittsburgh, I had a great workout and got a new squat clean PR of 195 pounds.  This is a lift where just being strong is not enough.  It requires good technique, and that's been limiting my progress.  My new PR was simply a matter of getting better at this particular lift, rather than being stronger.

The evening after this PR, I started to feel sick.  That took me out of action for a few days.  Last Saturday, I was supposed to start teaching my ski students for the season, but I was with my wife at the hospital instead.  The next day, my wife insisted I follow through on some existing plans, telling me that she would simply rest at home for a few days.

So, I taught skiing on Sunday, meeting my students for this season for the first time.  They are amazing.  Only 7 years old, decent skiers (but there's a lot I can teach them) and they like to go, go, go.  But, being only 7, a full day of going non-stop becomes too much.  Late Sunday afternoon, I watched them simply fall apart.  The entire group seemed to run out of energy all at once, and we slowed things down for the rest of the day.  This is going to be a great season.  It will probably be just a month or two before I'm struggling to keep up with them.

Right after skiing, I headed to the airport for a brief trip out west.  I had a great time visiting some friends and I had a great workout at CrossFit Potrero Hill.  By Tuesday night, I was home again and I'm back in my office today.

And now it's almost Christmas.  I haven't done any Christmas shopping yet.  I don't know if my wife has.  We had agreed to keep things simple between the two of us, but we still need to take care of the rest of the family.  Maybe we'll have time to shop for Christmas presents the day after Christmas.

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