Friday, August 28, 2009

Between coughing fits

Between the cold and my Advair I now have bronchitis. There is a warning on Advair "increased risk of respiratory infections" right next to the warning "may cause lethal asthma attack". Go figure. My asthma medication can make me sick might cause asthma and death. Since I am rather partial to breathing I guess I have to keep taking the stuff. I don't have any other options since the lamer non-lethal inhalers aren't strong enough for me. In any case, I have a headache and my ribs are killing me from coughing so much. I went to my doc and got put on antibiotics and went to my acupuncturist and got stuck full of needles. Today I am feeling a bit better. It is easier for me to breath and I'm not coughing so much. Now you would think that with bronchitis and spates of frequent hard coughing fits I would be at home in bed. Au contraire, not only am I at work, I have made it to the rink twice this week. I just can't stand not being on the ice any longer. I don't care that I can't jump or spin (too dizzy from the meds) I just want to be out on the ice, feel the breeze on my face and hear the wind across my ears from skating too fast. There is a certain freedom when skating. Another skater said that it feels like flying. I think it feels like swimming but without the drag of the water. There is certainly a liquidness to the movements which is delicious to feel.

I managed to see both of my friends and my coach on Wednesday night. I got to see both of them skate their programs. Jackie looks wonderful and Amy's spread eagle has improved greatly. We are all bummed that there is no ice next week but we are all looking forward to group lessons starting again in mid September. The North Shore FSC, where we all skate, is considering adding an adult membership option for their club. Right now we are each individual members of USFSA. It hasn't made sense for us to join a club since they are expensive and we tend to walk on to different session at different clubs each week as our work tends to interfere with skating quite a bit. Jackie is going to join anyway but she makes it to the same rink more regularly than Amy and I. Amy and I will probably join if they decide to have a reduced adult membership rate. My coach is rooting for it during the meetings. She has a very good point; adults shouldn't have to pay as much since most of the ice times fall during work hours and are inaccessible to us. The club has actually reduced their evening hours this fall which is terrible for us adults. There are no more 7pm slots which means I have to go straight to the rink from work to make the 6pm slot. No more dinner for me before I skate and if Amy misses her train from Boston she can't make it to the rink either. Bummer. It is a good thing that there is a rink near work where I can skate a couple of times a week.

Anyway, I only lasted 40 minutes skating on Wednesday but I have great news. I was doing patch and I did two perfect forward figure eights! The first since the mid 70's. I was so excited. I managed to trace two entire figure eights on single edges without accidentally hitting my second edge (or going on the flat of my blade as it is also known). This is huge! This is what I have been trying to do since I started patch practice last year at adult skate camp in Lake Placid. I am so pleased with myself! I also did some decent three turn eights and some serpentine (three circles) figures. I am still trying to do back outside eights. I can now make one complete circle from a dead stop on my right foot but I can only make it half way round on my left foot before the whole circle spirals in to the center of the figure. It'll come with practice. My forward eights are now starting to look like something. Most of the tracings are on top of each other to within two inches instead of a foot and a half. They are close to the correct size and shape. I am going to have to take my scribe to the rink soon and check the circles I'm making and see how out of round they are. To me they are looking pretty good but I'm prejudiced.

I have been working on my three turns and counters as well. I have decided that there must be something in the air at Lake Placid. For some reason both of these were much easier to do up there. I have been able to do a few lame back outside threes; I always touch my foot down on the counters; and I don't have the nerve to do the back inside threes. When I was at camp I was able to do all three most of the time. It must be the Olympic air. I always skate better up there. Of course being on the ice three hours a day might have something to do with it also.

When I got off the ice and was telling my coach about my excellent figures we decided that all three of us will learn loops during our first group lessons. We are all very excited about this. My coach says it will help with many of our freestyle elements. I have just always thought they looked cool ever since I first saw them skated when I was a kid. I wanted to take patch just so I could learn loops. I didn't stay in the sport long enough to ever learn them. I was very bummed this summer when I fell up at Lake Placid and had to sit out the loop class that was held by the patch goddess there.

I miss skating. Zach tells me that his acupuncture treatments will get me off the inhaler soon. I can hardly wait. It can't come soon enough for me. I am grouchy not being able to skate.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Lung Trouble

A month later and the flu is gone but I still get out of breath just going up stairs. I have been going to the odd public session when I can and doing mostly figures. If I do any freestyle at all I have to stop often and catch my breath. I am constantly coughing. It really stinks. I had to pull out of the Charter Oak competition. Of course I put it off until the last minute to withdraw. They were going to keep my money either way so I waited until the day before.

I went skating Monday night and got to see everyone at the rink which was wonderful. I love talking to everyone and seeing how they are doing. My friend Jackie's skating has come such a long way. Her spirals look great now and I can't believe the jumps she is doing. Incredible. My other friend Amy just passed her adult silver test. And my coach is worried about me. Skating starts in mid September and we are all excited about going again. We didn't want to leave the rink since it was nice a cool inside. It has been 90+F with high humidity for the last two weeks. I have been miserable.

The day after skating I came down with a cold, so much for practicing a lot during my vacation week. Hopefully things will improve. I see a pulmonologist in early September (doesn't matter that I can't breath that is his first available: don't you just love American medicine???). I can hardly wait to get back on the ice for real. I need my lungs to heal faster.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

To Breath or Not to Breath

I haven't been writing because I haven't been skating. After I got back from LP my lungs were feeling full and kind of goopy. My acupuncturist started working to clear them out. I skated a couple of practice sessions and you would think I had been off the ice for months instead of one week. I was panting up a storm and shaky on my blades. Very strange. Then on the way to work the following week I had an asthma attack. I hadn't had one in eight years. Luckily there is a medical center at work and I drove straight there. I ended up with the traditional Albuterol inhaler. This helped except it only lasted three hours instead of six. I went to my regular doctor the next day. I got put on Flowvent. Over the weekend I started hacking up green goo balls. This was not good. Back to the doctor on Monday and I was put on antibiotics. By midweek I had something that was more than a cold but not quite the flu. Off to the doctor again. They told me I had a cold. My coworkers who came down with the same thing got diagnosed with the flu. No diff. I was sick. Really sick. No skating for me.

A week later I was done with the cold/flu but still had asthma and a horrible cough. My ribs ached. I tried skating but I ended up having coughing fits and had to get off the ice after half an hour. (That nearly killed me since I had the entire rink to myself and I just couldn't skate anymore. Bummer!) Back to the doctor and I was put on Advair. All this time I have also been going to the acupuncturist. I can't believe how horrible this has been. It has been making me tired. I get winded just walking the level corridors at work. I have missed four weeks of skating practice and I am supposed to compete this Saturday. Ugh. I am so disappointed and frustrated. I really want to go. I keep talking myself into it and then out of it. After skating for 20 minutes today I had talked myself into going. Then I went to acupuncture and he said, very wisely, "if you are on the fence, stay home and take care of your body. I know how crazy you athletes can get and you need to take care of yourself." Now I am talking myself out of it again.

Things running through my head:
  • It isn't like it is a big competition.
  • I am only doing two moves in the field patterns and two spins.
  • I would be on the ice less than five minutes.
  • There is only one other lady competing in my group.
  • I am 47 years old what the hell are you beating yourself up for?
  • Stay home and take care of yourself.
  • There will always be another competition.
  • My competition dress never got made since I was too sick to even sew.
  • I'm crazy.
  • My acupuncturist is right.
  • If I was a real athlete I would just suck it up and go anyway.
  • I should go just for the experience.

So I vacillate back and forth. I am driving my spouse nuts since we are definitely going one minute and definitely staying home the next. I will have to make up my mind tomorrow. I'll let you know what I decide. Meanwhile I have to practice tomorrow and see what happens.