Pneumonia is not funny!!

So, it has been some time since my last post; where I was relishing in a post race glow after the British Heart Foundation Olympic Park 10K.

Since beginning my blog I have made several mentions to the fact that, at times, training had been a struggle in 2016. Shortly after the run at the Olympic Park, I found out the reasons behind this.

A few days after the 10k I went out with training buddies Jo and Becky to attempt a pace run. From the get go I struggled to breathe; I barely uttered a word the whole way round.

During a couple more runs during the same week I had the same issues, on one in particular I experienced pains in my side – which I assumed was a stitch.

Later that night, after suffering from severe pains in my side and chest I made my way to a&e. Several hours later I was diagnosed with a Chest Infection and advised to rest. For someone who doesn’t do “rest” well; this was a challenge. However, I did as I was told. Only on the following Monday afternoon I was back in a&e after the pain became so agonising I could not breathe, stand, sit or walk without crying.

10 painful hours later I was diagnosed with Pneumonia. Both lungs had become so infected that the pain I was experiencing was a result of Pleurisy; my lungs had become so inflamed that they were pressing against the skin causing the pain and trouble breathing. Luckily as I was young, generally fit and well, I was able to be treated at home on IV antibiotics three times a day. So in other words – HOUSE ARREST. No training, no working – just Nurses and rest; which was a challenge in itself due to the Pleurisy – I could not lay down to sleep. I couldn’t attempt the stairs – so the sofa became my friend.

I ended up on house arrest for 10 days. At this stage, due to inactivity, a Chest X-ray showed that part of my lung had become deflated. So I was told to “get active” again. Immediately I thought “fantastic” – let’s go running, but quickly realised that if stairs and a simple walk round the shops was an issue then running was a long way off.

A few days later I was discharged from hospital care. I was free! So that weekend I attempted Boot Camp for the first time in weeks……Which made me realise it was going to be a long recovery.

Just over two weeks have passed since I was discharged. In this time I have had so many people lecture me and give me the “I told you so” look. Most assume that I got Pneumonia due to the fact that I train too much. This is completely incorrect. I had a cough that didn’t go away – as a result my immune system was weak and I picked up a virus which led to Pneumonia. Yes, I could have paid more attention to the way I felt leading up to being diagnosed. But, then again, I would have still assumed It was a cough I could not shake.

Am I fully recovered now? No way. I am slowly improving now that I am back at Boot Camp and running again. I still have pain In my chest if I take a deep breath and my heart rate goes through the roof when I run; which means that training for the line up of events is proving extremely difficult. Many have said “maybe you shouldn’t do this event, that event” but I don’t agree. I am still mobile – if it means I have to go at a slower pace and take longer to finish so be it. I will complete all events I have signed up for in 2016, just for now I will not expect personal bests!

I’m sure many people who have suffered with any injury will sympathise that getting back to your fittest is tough. Its frustrating. For me there have been many tears – before, during and after my diagnosis.

Not only do I have to re train my legs and my mind – but also my lungs. I have to remember my limitations and forget what the person next to me is doing. It is going to be a struggle in the coming weeks, but I will get there.

But I will not give up because winners do not quit!