February 14, 2012

Seeking Patience

Seeking Patience

It is strange that the years teach us patience; that the shorter our time, the greater our capacity for waiting.
~ Elizabeth Taylor

I have been really struggling with asthma this week.

Despite all the regular prevention I do, there are times like this – when for some reason like stress or a virus or something in the wind – when nothing really seems to help. Right now, I have no idea what is causing the problem – I can just tell you that something is not working right.

So today, no running for me.

At the suggestion of a friend (another doctor) I took a great big dose of a steroid and I am waiting. I am taking extra regular doses of my bronchodilator and I am waiting. And since both of these drugs amp me up like I have several pots of coffee I am not waiting patiently.  I am jittery and rather restless and almost for the first time ever, I feel like running might feel great as an outlet for all this extra energy.

Oh, the tragedy of it all. 

But the truth is that since January first I have basically run every day but one (when I was on a plane) until today. So suddenly not being able to run for a reason that doesn’t involve being at a cruising altitude of 30,000 feet seems not quite right.

I am not a patient person naturally.  It’s a thing I have to work at and cultivate constantly.  In my moments when I am tired or stressed or feeling low, it it the first thing to go.

The naturally impatient look at the patient and wonder What are they waiting for? How can they just sit there? Why doesn’t that make them anxious?

We are the people who peek under the lids of presents, read the end of the book, and definitely don’t wait to know the gender of our child. Mostly, we want you to get to the point and we really really really don’t want to wait for results.

When I am struggling with my breathing like this, I direct all that impatience at myself. If I could just figure out the triggers, if I could just control it, maybe if I take a bit more of this or of that…and of course when I do the drugs that I am taking make it worse…

The common advice is just to breathe. But what do you do when you can’t?

So today I am will seek patience in other things. I will try to see if I can find calm in the deep focus of my work or the love of my children or even in just writing this down.

Tomorrow, I will try to breathe again. And perhaps I will try to run.

Happy Valentine’s Day to All!



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