An update of my health and running status is hardly going to be the epitome of an exciting read for most people, but I want to chronicle this moment for my own personal satisfaction.
I woke up this morning to find a white blob protruding from my tonsil. I groaned, cursed the 10km “runch” from yesterday (lunch time run, it’s a thing now, I’m telling you) and prodded my glands. No swelling and no pain. Being in front of the mirror at the time meant I had the chance to register the look of surprise on my face. After letting relief rush over me for a moment, I immediately had to know what the hell the white thing perched on my tonsil was.
Of course, I simply had to arrange an appointment with Dr. Google within a few milliseconds of my discovery. So while I brushed my teeth I dexterously keyed the words “white stuff on tonsil but no pain” into my iPhone.
Tonsil stone. That’s what it was. Relief and disgust makes for an odd combination of emotions to have to register before leaving the house to go to work at 07:30. I left with the stone lodged right where I spotted it and tried not to think about it.
After an hour or so of successfully resisting the urge to buy a miniature pneumatic drill, I went to the bathroom and coughed vigorously. Few things make you feel more nuts than when you force yourself to cough in front of the mirror, bizarrely maintaining eye contact with your poor suffering self throughout. It worked though. So this happy Jappy is free of glandular fever doom and tonsil stones, for the day, at least.
I’m longing for the day I can wake up without having to peer down my throat to check the status of my health. It’s approaching though, of that I’m pretty sure. Since December I haven’t had to take pain killers for my throat. That’s almost four months. I don’t want to jinx it, but not rejoicing the fact might push the virus to punish me for my ingratitude. So, I’m taking this opportunity to thank my immune system for pulling it’s finger out. Now please continue with what you’re doing.
I’m a little apprehensive about writing why this progress has come about, because it involves potentially having to allude to the existence of “witch doctors”… but since it has turned my life around, I want to share my story on the internet in case it ends up helping anyone else whose life was shot to pieces by bouts of recurring glandular fever. I mentioned Gina Burton’s services a little while ago and only went over the dietary recommendations she provided. This is because skepticism was pretty rife even in my hippy-tendency-filled brain. Gina had recommended I take some African herbal supplements, provided by a lady in New Zealand. The lady herself, had discovered them through a witch doctor in South Africa – she used to work for a large pharma company and set up her own business when she discovered the only way to cure her bust up knee was by rubbing African potato tuber on it. Must have been a moment of immense disillusionment for her.
Once I finally let go of the voices telling me I was going to die upon ingesting an alien substance purchased over the internet, I gave it a go. After all, I could just as easily have a hidden allergy to pharmaceutical products and collapse upon taking something I’ve never had before anyway.
Just over 3 months in and my body is almost completely renewed. I have energy again, the brain fog is lifting, I can run without crippling my throat and energy levels and even when my throat rebels a little, it’s so mild I can practically ignore it. I cannot express, neither in words nor in the form of any other communication mode, just how liberated I feel.
I decided to celebrate by signing up to the Aletsch half marathon at the end of June. Typically, I had forgotten just how unfit a year off from regular running has made me. Hill intervals on the Uetliberg during my runch was self-flagellation at its peak. I also lacked the foresight to check the profile of the race beforehand. The last kilometer is an ascent of 300m. Kill me now. At least we’re running through UNESCO heritage alpine territory.
In the meantime, I am continuing the quest to touch my toes with the help of regular yoga classes. The hips have never felt so abused, but I suppose it’s best to loosen them up now, as opposed to waiting for a baby to come along one day and get its head stuck in my rigid hip bones on its way out.
Bouldering is also back on the agenda, although, the frustration there runs even deeper, possibly, than with the running. Having gained a little weight from the lack of activity, I have more than just the lack of muscle to blame. Despite all the obstacles though, I am so glad to be able to engage in sports again. After all, it’s practically the whole reason I moved to this country. It’s time to make up for lost time.