Saturday, October 19, 2013

Tired Puppy


When I get tired these days, I get really tired.

I went to work for three partial days this week, went for a long walk, and spent Friday waiting around at Dana-Farber.

The work days went well. I spent most of the time clearing up administrative items that had collected over the time I was gone. On Thursday I also met with colleagues about a project I can help with in the short term. That was productive. But the meeting was at the end of my day and I was pretty tired by the end of it.

On Wednesday I went for another stamina-building walk with Wonderful Wife. We went to Appleton Farms in Hamilton. We've driven by it many times on the way to Crane Beach but had never explored it.

We have belonged to the Trustees of Reservations since we moved here in 2009. They own, preserve and manage more than a hundred open spaces in Massachusetts. We've barely scratched the surface but the ones we've visited have all been excellent.

I've read about Appleton Farms in the Trustees guide. One part of the (very large) property is called the Grass Rides. It consists of a bunch of grass carriage paths that the Appleton family built through the forest. I think they are still used for equestrian events like fox hunts (without the fox).

Adjacent to the Grass Rides is a huge section of rolling pasture land with scattered stands of trees. Part of it is the Great Pasture, which the sign says is the largest remaining open space in the state.

I write about it at such length because it was the best of our walks so far. Fall colors approaching their peak, a sunny day with temperatures in the 60's, a gorgeous landscape and the discovery of a new favorite place combined to make the walk spectacular. Being surrounded by natural beauty has always been the best tonic for whatever ails me. I always feel both energized and calmed when I wander in such places.

Wednesday's walk was the high point of my week.

The photo is taken at Pigeon Hill, which you can see just left of center on the map.

Yesterday we spent much of the day at Dana-Farber. I only had two appointments, but the doctors were very late for both of them. I think I've written before that we've noticed that during treatment we rarely waited and post treatment we seem to always wait. Waiting is always annoying, but we also remember how sick I felt during treatment and how much more torturous waiting would have been during that time. So we're willing to accept the inconvenience now for the benefit of patients who need the promptness more then I do. There are plenty of people in the waiting lounges at Dana-Farber who are obviously much sicker than I ever was.

Vis a vis today's topic: that waiting is also tiring.

This week, both while walking and at work, I noticed that I have gained significant strength compared to just a couple of weeks ago. That's encouraging.

But I also reached my limit this week. Last night (Friday) I was completely exhausted. When I get exhausted these days it is fairly unpleasant; I'm very uncomfortable in my skin throughout the afternoon and evening until I go to bed. Yesterday afternoon I took a nap on the sofa for an hour but it didn't help at all.

We went to bed shortly after 10:00 and I fell asleep immediately. I had my usual wake-up at 1:30 AM and noticed that I already felt much better (then went right back to sleep).

Today I don't feel the discomfort of exhaustion but I have no energy to do anything. I've tried to make progress on a couple of projects but can't stay with them more than a few minutes.

To be honest, one other factor contributing to my exhaustion this week is the Red Sox. They had several late-running playoff games this week that lasted until midnight. I didn't make it to the end of any of them, but I still stayed up too late.

Today I am lying low. That's difficult for me because it's another beautiful fall day. But my body clearly won't allow me to do anything but rest today.

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