So the respiratory stuff turned out to be pneumonia. Not walking pneumonia but real, full-blown "if you don't promise to stay on the couch we're putting you in the hospital" pneumonia.
After a month of going from running a couple of miles to zero and a month of being winded walking up a flight of stairs, I am both happy and sad to say that yesterday I walked 1/3 of a mile to the store to pick up my prescriptions and 1/3 of a mile home.
Yesterday, 3 weeks after being diagnosed with pneumonia, my doctor still hears rattles in the base of my longs, but the rails and most of the crud are gone. I told the doc that I had been at the point of starting to run for real again and starting to look at races like 10ks and half marathons to train for as the season was starting to approach. She was sympathetic and said then I would have to do something she knew I didn't want to do: a course of prednisone.
Prednisone. A foul tasting drug that, at first, makes you feel like you have super powers. It also makes you eat like a horse because that little switch in your head in your head that says, "You're done eating," never gets flipped.
To give you an idea of why I hate prednisone, let me tell you about the first time I was on prednisone years and years ago. My son, who has a kidney problem, had been on prednisone for a while. I knew about it, I knew about it's side effects and everything else that went with it. So I dutifully took my prednisone and went food shopping. At the register the kids starting scanning the items. First he scanned the meats and fruits and veggies. Then he scanned the half-eaten bag of Oreos, slowed up a little at the almost empty bag of chips and pretty much empty 2-liter bottle of Coke Classic. After each item he looked at me a little more frightened. Finally I shrugged and said, "Drugs."
He chirped up and said, "Oh, OK," and finished ringing me up.
So here I am on prednisone and concerned about the graze factor but I feel like I can actually walk now. Hopefully after Thanksgiving I get the all-clear and can start a c25k program again. It will be the 5k in 5 weeks program from Runner's World because another 12 week graduate program will make me crazy. I may not be able to run the Hyannis Half at the end of February, but I'll be able to do the 10k. It also means that I have to sign up at a gym and use the deadmill for training because with the respiratory stuff, weather may be a factor until I'm finally over everything for real.
So... I'm taking advantage of the steroids and the Indian Summer weather and making sure, for at least the next week or so, that I take someone shopping with me so I don't eat my way out of the store. :)