After having what was one of my best weeks last week, I 'My Name is Earle'd' myself and got hit with not one but two of my other long term bodily issues namely gout and lower back spasms.
This is going to be a bit of a rant so lets start at the top...Monday.
So I had a business trip this week to Toronto, one that i was looking forward to as it was not a long trip and the people on the other end are awesome, Monday and return Wednesday and it was an excuse to eat fun things that i have been avoiding the since the beginning of January.
So i woke up that Monday morning with what was the beginning of a gout flare up in my left foot. Now for those of you that dont know what gout is, it occurs when your body cannot manage the uric acid levels appropriately. Basically this uric acid crystalizes in your joints and gives you the most searingest of searing pain. Some have said it is like walking on broken glass or nails, for me it is like having someone inflate a balloon inside the toe joints of my foot almost until the balloon will pop and the outside of the balloon is made of broken glass.
So recognizing this feeling as the beginnings of a flare up i went to get started on my medication to ease the pain and breakdown the crystalization. Uh-oh. only a couple of doses left, and no time to get the pharmacy before we needed to get on the road. Okay, going to have to suck it up for a bit until we get to Toronto and I can get to a pharmacy. So I continue on getting ready. As I am trying to manipulate a sock on to my gouty foot, I twist a way that my back does not agree with and 'pop' there goes my lower back muscles into spasm.
I have dealt with both these issues before over the years ( back since i was about 18 and gout since i was about 26) but never usually at the same time.
The smart thing would have been to recognize that this was some higher power saying, ' bub maybe you should sit this one out' but would i listen to that higher power? No. No I am just not that bright.
So I struggle through getting myself ready to go and get the rental car.
Now we only have one rental car outlet in our town, so that leads to a monopoly to basically do whatever they want in terms of rental vehicles. When i booked the vehicle a week before I asked to have a vehicle with winter tires on it. Because guess what Nova Scotia, it is not legally mandated for rental car companies to provide vehicles in the winter with winter tires. So after a back and forth on how stupid this is, I agreed to pay the 7$ additional dollars as I feel like my life and my traveling companion's life would be worth the "upgrade" especially with the forecast looking pretty grim on Tuesday.
So I get to the rental car place and......no car. I am informed that the only car with winter tires is currently having an oil change. Now I am not a nervous traveler, but I am an organized traveler and I schedule everything out to leave windows of time in case of weather, or other delays. I must say I did not expect to be waiting for almost a half hour for the car I booked a week ago to get back from an oil change.
So now my foot is starting to swell in my shoe, my back is aching from siting in the 3 dollar customer chair at the rental car place and up pulls a dodge charger. Now normally I would be psyched to have a fun car like that as the rental, but it is built to look good, not really for comfort.
So I wedge myself into the car and off I go to get my traveling companion.
The drive to the airport was fine, aside from the constant nagging feeling i have in my back and the slow methodic pulse of my foot trying to hulk out of my shoe.
So now here we are at the airport, we arrive about 10 minutes before boarding, only to find out that my traveling companion didnt pre check in and no longer has a seat.
Let me explain something, if you have been reading this blog or know me, you know this, i always book the emergency row for seats on a plane. It is a small additional amount but it provides a big dude like me just a little more room for the knees and legs. In booking and paying this extra amount, I feel like that should guarantee you these seats regardless of pre check in. That is why you have payed extra, to have these seats. Well apparently that is not what Air Canada thinks. According to them it is okay to give away these seats if you are not there 10 minutes before the plane boards. Now i get that for the other seats, but not really for the seats that you have to pay additionally for, and select at time of purchase.
After a few expletives, I had to abandon my traveling companion as i had checked in and needed to get to the gate and time was ebbing away. ( Luckily my traveling companion did get on the next flight so everything was okay, but jeez that was not cool Air Canada).
So I start to hobble my way down to security, my foot and back just burning with pain now.
So at security, its training day!!! YAY!
All the new security personal are job shadowing at each station so they can learn the various positions, so awesome.
As i de-belt, and get everything into bins I explain to a pair of security people that I am having a major flare up gout in my left foot, and if i have to take my shoe off, i dont know if i will be able to get it back on. My dress shoes have metal plates in the heels I add (having found this out on a previous security experience).
Okay sir walk through.
Sir can you take your shoe off?
No i just explained to that security officer that i have a bad flare up of gout and i really dont want to take off my shoe.
Okay sir, then we will have to give you a full body scan and swab.
Cant i just go in that circle thing and you can do a full body xray?
So after being wanded 3 times front and back, swabed, patted down, I am finally told to go to the circle room for a scan. Whaaaa?
As i get to the circle thing the security officer says to me in a whisper, i dont know why they just didnt send you here in the first place, none of that stuff really works anyway.
So after a 5 second scan, I am cleared to go.
I grab my belongings and hobble to the gate.
On the plane and in my seat. Now, I hate planes.
Again, not a nervous flyer, but as a big dude, I hate being jammed into a seat next to people i dont know, i dont care if its 10 minutes or 10 hours, hate it, hate it, hate it.
The flight was pretty uneventful, aside from the back and foot pain, and the chinese guy beside me who kept falling asleep on my shoulder. #cuddles
So we land, hobble out of the airport and into a cab. Now the hotel we are staying at is literally 4 minutes from the airport.
The cab driver was not a friendly sort, as my father in law would say, not a lot of haha with this guy.
He tells me it is a minimum of 21$ for this cab ride. I say, ' gowaaan buddy, really, that much' he says ' well you can get out of my cab if you no pay'.
Okay bub, lets dance.
I say ' look friend, i can pay, you can drop the attitude'
I get a hard look in the rearview mirror, but no more conversation.
We get to the hotel I hand him my credit card. He looks at it like it is ebola.
No credit, cash only.
No cash, credit only.
He says something under his breath and gets his credit card machine, processes my transaction and stomps back to his door.
I smile ever so sweetly and say ' Thanks a million, have a great daaaaaaay'! and start laughing like a crazy person.
Up to the hotel room. Thank Jebus.
Luckily the hosts of this meeting are rock stars and one was able to get me to what i hope will be my salvation - a Shoppers Drug Mart.
I grab my empty gout med bottles and hobble down to the lobby.
Okay, I have been a life long user of Shoppers Drug Mart, and honestly cant think of a time i didnt use them as my pharmacy.
So when we pulled into the parking lot I thought i could hear angels singing. Might have been the pain, but seriously angels.
Get to the counter, explain my woes.
Sorry sir your perscriptions are out of date. Say what now?
It seems you have not gotten the refills before the expiration date.
Holy Fuck you gotta be kidding me.
There is nothing we can do for you.
You cant float me like a days worth of meds, just until i can get home?
Can you call my pharmacy back home, there can verify i am not a crazy person, they have helped me out in the past.
A reluctant - okay.
Now i can only assume that the person that answered is the one person down there with no soul, or ounce of compassion, because the gal that called was really trying her best to explain the situation and the level of pain i was in. I think i know who it was that answered because there is one person of our Shoppers that looks like she just hates life, and i have never actually seen her smile in the 7 years i have used this pharmacy.
Regardless, it was a very firm no.
Okay, plan B Aleve and Robaxacet.
Getting a large package of each, plus tooth paste and hair product ( those were removed from my carry on at the airport - apparently terrorists have wicked clean teeth and styled hair) off we go back to the hotel.
Hobble back to room, and start the med train. WHOOOT WHOOOOT
After some more hobbling, more meds a lovely dinner at the Keg, it was in bed by 830 and a very uncomfortable sleep.
Tuesday - meeting day.
My foot is now the colour of a tomato and the size of a grape fruit.
There is no way i am going to make it to the meeting this morning.
I give it a good try and hobble my way into the shower, this was a comical experience because i couldnt stand for long, there was no tub ledge to sit on and it was a shower nozzel that wouldnt adjust for height. Because of my back i couldnt bend, so basically my chest and my back below my shoulders got washed.
Ever try to put on underwear when you cant bend and any change in direction sends blinding pain through your foot to your brain?
Well it took at least 15 minutes just to get on the basics.
Time to call it, no way I am getting to the morning meetings.
So here I am, on the floor of an airport hotel, in my underwear, half snapped on robaxacet texting our hosts to let them know i am out for the mornning. #livingthedream
By lunch i am still not much better, but the robax is in full effect, so i get the rest of my clothes on and off to the afternoon meetings I go.
Great meetings, happy that I went, a lot of great people around that table.
Back to the hotel room floor. Ahhh my airport hotel room floor.
Everyone is off for dinner and a night in the city, i decide to get room service and continue trying to get the swelling down in my foot with aleve and bags of ice. My back trying to relax, laying on the floor of my airport hotel room.
Finally i drift off into a robaxacet sleep and dont really wake up until next morning.
Packed, hobble hobble, shower, hobble hobble, dressed, hobble to the lobby.
The rest went as it should, both of us on the right plane, got to meet Pinball Clements on the flight, no issues with baggage or drive back home, and eventually the swelling in my foot has come down and my back is starting to feel less like a nest of twisted vines.
So why am i writing all this, well, it is a long way to say that my week of training has been awful, so, sadly, no #cigarSunday this week:
Monday: 20km bike + 30 min floating in a hotel pool
Thursday: less pain
Friday: 45min swim - approx 1000m
Saturday: ( hoping for a bike ride, back dependant)
Sunday: ( hoping for a swim, time dependant)
Heres hoping i never have another week like this in preparation for the triathlon. #brutal
Sean 'BigBoyRunning' Ryan