Wednesday, May 5, 2010


The interaction of the mind and the body can have profound effects. In fact, the extent to which this happens is uncertain. There is another term, somatoform disorder, which describes illnesses that exhibit symptoms not explained by medical tests.

Last week I went to the doctor again. I had a stressful few hours and that night has the same back pain that I had a month ago. It was not as intense but the same thing in the same place. I went to the local Mayo Clinic less than two miles away and the doctor there could not find anything wrong with me. He said that I might also have kidney stones. Well, for kidney stones the pain is rather bearable.

One of the things that neither doctor has been able to explain was the gurgling noise when I breathe when I lay down or sometimes when I exercise hard. So as I often do I sifted through a small pile of internet research. My diagnosis: I happened to get a cold and get so stressed out the same week that the back and shoulder pains were due probably mostly to the stress and the lung thing was due to the cold, but magnified by the stress. Finally, it made sense that it hurt more when I was laying down because that meant I wasn't at my computer working. Sleeping for me is a temporary concession that life is good enough to wait a few hours before I do more. So when I became so stressed out my mind and body said you should not be sleeping you should be trying to get an income.

I get colds all of the time. Runner's World once said that people who run 60 miles per week or more are more than twice as likely to get a cold as those that run less than 20 miles per week. How that applies to 100 miles a week above 7000 feet in March when it's a little cold outside I'm not sure except to expect a little coughing, all the time.

The gurgling was back strong as ever Tuesday morning and night. I just don't understand that. Is a virus attacking me? Is it some sort of asthma complication? I am still very stressed out and that is causing this problem? Is the combination of physical labor and running every day just too much for me to heal?

I have a huge amount of confidence about what a human body can recover from. I also am very aware of what the mind can do. We can push our bodies over the limit and fall over dead. That's part of the reason the marathon is so popular in the first place. The first guy to do it died.

One final note about health is a story from a relative. My relative was having breathing trouble and trouble walking up the stairs and the doctors did some tests and could not figure it out. My relative insisted that they find the problem. So they performed an echogram, I believe, and found a heart tumor. She was rushed to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester and they took it out. It just makes me wonder what they aren't finding or don't know about me.

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