As you may recall a few ago, I posted about my wife's condition that I receive a tetanus and hepatitis A shot -- this was her condition for my participation in the Louisville Ironman and swimming in the Ohio River. The next day, a coincidental, extremely painful lump under my arm which baffled three doctors as I sought a second opinion. Once doctor tried to drain the site to determine if it was a cyst or infection; another much older doctor hadn't seen such a reaction since small pox vaccinations in the 50's; and, the last doctor was 'googling' the symptoms and trying to determine if circulation system somehow fed into the lymph node. He stated, "Well, it could be a reaction to the shot as the circulation or it could be cancer but that is doubtful as the pain came on suddenly. If the lump is still there in three weeks, come back and we'll take some pictures of it. Don't worry because this would be treatable, curable cancer -- you know, chemo. Rest for awhile and don't aggravate it."
I took some time off, two days, went for a short bike ride- it was aggravated. I rested some more (week plus off) then went swimming and finally, the swimming was starting to click -- distance, breathing, propulsion! In the blog post I wrote, I didn't think the shots were necessary and I only did them for my wife which leads us today...
Swimming is not my strong suit. Last year, I had a near drowning, and two panic attacks during races but managed to get over them -- even winning my age group in one race. Today, I practiced in the lake without my wetsuit which caused some psychological concerns which effected my timing/breathing. I was just off...I wasn't doing well whereas last week -- rock star!
Due to the beautiful day and every conceivable motor boat, sailboat, stand-up paddles, wind-surfers and kayakers were on the lake making it quite dangerous for the open water swimmer. Therefore, the wife I stayed within the buoys closer to shore. Frustrated with my ability, I told my wife, who was paddling the kayak, that I was going to turn back when I felt a thin weed between my toes then a sharp pain in in the back of my thigh near my knee.
"&#$@ !" I yelled.
The more I move the deeper the pain went. When my left foot or leg moved, I felt the tug on my right thigh and sharper pain. Entangled in my left toes was a weed which somehow seemed connected to the sharp pain in behind my right thigh! It finally occurred to me as to what was happening. I, then, looked towards the shore but didn't see any fisherman as I would have yelled to them, "Stop reeling in me in!"
Into the weeds I spied an abandoned bobber with fishing line connected. When I moved, the bobber jumped and the lake weeds moved. "Christ, I'm hooked! I got a fishing hook in my thigh!"
Karen looked on in disbelief and thinking as to how she could help. "No, don't move me! Go to shore and ask those fishermen if they have a knife so I could cut myself free." She paddled ashore while I tried to tread water in place. When she returned, I lifted my left foot out of the water such that she could cut the entangled line.
"Oh crap, you are hooked! There it is!"
Once free, swam to shore, found the rusty hook in my thigh and pulled it out. Luckily, it didn't go past the barb or it may have been worn done enough such I could remove the hook. Bits of rust were in my thigh and I managed to squeeze the pieces out.
Am I bummed about the mystery illness? No. Am I bummed about a possible cancer diagnosis. No, as it seems unlikely. Am I bummed about the hook in my leg? No, a temporary setback. I am bummed about my swimming though -- my bad days, out-number my good swims. I need to turn my brain off during the swim and just not think. My thoughts will drown me. Now, I am very happy though that I did get tetanus shot!
(This just occurred an hour and half ago.)