In mid-April, I ran a half-marathon. A few weeks later, I developed a stress fracture. Since then, I've been building back up from that. I had a boot for two weeks, then I got out of the boot and was only able to run a mile and that mile gave me pain, so I cut back to an even more conservative plan that had me building up from three cycles of 9 minutes walk/1 minute run to today's final six cycles of 5 minutes walk/5 minutes run. After a rest day tomorrow, I should be able to run three miles for the first time in more than a month on Friday. I want to get going again. I've signed up for another half-marathon in November. I'm tired of babying my feet.
Except now my calf hurts. And my friend and co-worker Diane just got diagnosed with a blood clot. And all I can think about is that this a blood clot, even though when I used my foam roller, my calf was ridiculously tight, and there's every reason to believe I've been overcompensating on that leg whether I realize it or not. And when I found a lump in my breast it hurt so bad the day before the mammogram and not at all the day I was cleared as "normal." And the lump in my leg throbbed until it came out and I discovered it was a harmless lipoma and no other lump in my leg (and there are many) hurts because I assume now they are all lipomas.
So I'm going to my doctor tomorrow morning to have what is in all liklihood a muscle sore from being really worked again after a month or so of lighter workouts checked out to make sure I'm not going to drop over dead. Because that is where my anxiety goes -- straight to dead. Rational? No. Logical? No. But if I let myself think about a blood clot for more than five minutes, my chest goes tight and I feel like I can't breathe, and then I wonder if it's a panic attack or a pulminary embolism from my blood clot that I probably don't have. And even if I do have one, Diane has one and is most certainly not dead, and I won't be dead, either, because I will take the medicine and everything will be fine.
So far, the tightness in my chest has not been a pulmonary embolism. It is totally anxiety, which can be a tremendous bitch.
But I'm going to the doctor, more for my anxiety disorder than for my calf. This is what I do now, at forty. I do not try to convince the anxiety disorder that things are no big deal. I just go get facts, and most of the time, things really are no big deal. But I no longer wait around to see if the cat throwing up means anything special or if the lump in my breast is a cyst or breast cancer. I just go and let a professional person tell me what is the what.
Then, on Friday, assuming there is no blood clot, I'm going to RUN.