23 January 2014

"It's Probably Not Gout."

"Hold on a minute; I want to do some research on tropical diseases, and then I'll be right back."

I waited in my shorts at the sports doctor's office for about 15 minutes, reading The Lost City of Z as the paper on the table stuck to my lower thighs. I'd be back a week, getting back into life, work, running, when I noticed a weird lump on my knee. "Marshmallow knee," Wayne baptised it, but I called it "Water balloon knee" in my head. I stopped running, worried, and was forced to stay in shape by cross-training at the gym (which was honestly not such a terrible thing in the bitter, horrendous cold we have been having here in NYC).

"You don't have a history of gout in your family, do you?" said the doctor when she returned.

"Um, no. Not that I know of."

After my knee was proclaimed okay, and that draining it was only optional, I headed back to the subway. My head was in a fog, perhaps damaged by the cold, and maybe the lack of oxygen my body was getting as a result of my asthma. (Actually, I don't think my asthma was that bad. But it was brutally cold.)
Bundled up for winter running. I hate the cold.

I got on the subway. I had a lot of unanswered questions in my head. I wasn't really sure if my knee would hurt while running, but there's only one way to find out: try. I had a lot of other unanswered questions, mainly, the cliched, "What am I doing with my life?" You know - why I am not writing; career questions; location questions. A big issue I have is the cold - I love New York City, love my lifestyle, my friends, my family, my community, my neighborhood. But since I got frostbite a few years back, my feet get cold very fast and it can be quite unbearable. It's also very painful. And sometimes, I want a different life - more relaxing, more quiet, more peace, warmer. I like being outdoors in gardens, sitting in the sun, enjoying nature. Maybe New York's not the best place for me? Or do I want to give everything up and travel for a while - but then what? I can't do that forever.

I ended up taking the 7 train in the wrong direction. I was confused as why we were at 5th Avenue instead of Vernon Jackson. Then I stood in the bus in the cold, waiting, tears in my eyes as my toes grew more and more painful. Ray cheered my thoughts as his voice rattled in my phone about a 24 hour race he was planning on putting on so I could hopefully qualify for World Championships.

Nothing is solved, but it's another day, not a terrible one, and I'll keep moving ahead, hoping to figure things out soon.

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