Friday, January 07, 2005

Things to be thankful for

Finally sent off that revised paper to International Sociology. Under normal circumstances my immediate thought should be "Hey, treat yourself ! Hit the shops!" Unfortunately I don't have that urge. Not today anyway. Still have that paper I promised Odalia to revise for Journal of Family and Economic Issues. I promised her before the holidays that I'll have that on her desk by Monday.

Warm and sunny today, and should have been one that screams "go out for a run!" - if not for the visibly foul air, that is. Ran out to the waterfront yesterday afternoon, took 50 mins. which was strangely enough 10 mins. faster than the last time I did it, just before we left for the UK. I said strange because my legs felt really heavy yesterday. My lungs were no good either (sneaked a couple of puffs right before going out - don't know what I was thinking), and I was heaving and puffing in a grotesque manner for the first 2k or so. My breathing eased out after that but I didn't seem to have the energy nor strength to speed up. I felt like a jogger and it was not pleasant.

As I stopped at the bridge in the park to do my post-run stretches, all was well until I got this itch on my left arm and I absent-mindedly gave it a scratch. The skin where I had scratched soon developed into lots of small red itchy bumps, the sight of which freaked me out mildly. As I am nearly done with the faffing around with my arms and legs, my whole groin, upper thigh and bum area suddenly began to feel abnormally warm. Hot (not in the way you're thinking, you with the dirty mind). Anyhow, unusually hot. When I got home and stripped to step into the shower, to my horror I have developed some kind of allergy reaction and was covered in red bumps and patches of all shapes and sizes all over my body. Immediately phoned for help and asked B to get celestimine or similar drug on his way home. I couldn't think of what it was that had brought it on, but could be that bunch of unidentifiable herbs that B had brought back from Kadoorie Farm after his race. Could be the sushi I ate for lunch. Could be the jumper I was wearing. Could be anything or nothing.

Anyhow, the drama soon trailed off as the patches quickly got better after my shower. I thought of Job, and of Alastair Gray's modern day rendition of the story in his recent collection of short stories and other bits and bobs . I thought about what it would be like if the reaction did not subside, if it became a chronic condition I have to live with. What if my skin flares up everytime after I'd had a run? What if my skin flares up for no reason at all? When you think about it this way, aren't you thankful? I know I am.

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