During Lotusphere this year, I was in pain. I had what felt like really bad sunburn down the left hand side of my body, from the mid-thigh to my upper chest. Nasty blisters, redness, throbbing pain. It wasnt nice, and even my normal horse-strength painkillers couldnt shift it. Being the son of a fisherman however, moaning about it at the time really wasnt the done thing. I soldiered on, but during some of my sessions, it really started to take its toll. The pain basically ate away at my normal level of stamina, and so the 'wild' bill that you proably know and have bummed drinks off of in the past, wasnt really on form this year. Most folks thought I was just hung-over - which would have been more normal.
Now blokes dont go to the doctor, unless there's actually blood. At least a limb falling off. And since my Doctor is about my age, fit as hell and cycles for thousands of miles every day, I kinda avoided him as much as possible. For the last 12 years or so.. But no, this wasnt good. I called and made an appointment from the closing session of Lotusphere.. Sigh. The flight back was a bit of a bugger, and you have to feel sorry for poor Pants who had to sit beside me as I snorted, moaned and snored my way back over the Atlantic.
So after getting over the jetlag, there I was sat in the doctors examining room running through a long list of symptoms - and to his credit after wading through this mess, pronounced 'Shingles'. A nasty stress related nerve condition related to chicken-pox. And said basically that it was on the wane, take these over the shelf painkillers, stay away from stress and catch up on sleep. (Like most presenters/exhibitors/organisers at Lotusphere, sleep was a concept as opposed to reality in the weeks before Lotusphere). Sigh. And before I could make my escape, he exclaimed that he'd not seen me in a while, so would I step on the scales.. Ah.. 'One at a time' they shouted. And would I have my blood pressure taken.. And would I have various blood, urine samples.. And so forth.. Damn.. He caught me.
He did test my blood pressure a few times, as he had some difficulty believing that someone with my BP pressure could still be ALIVE. So he calmed down a bit and patiently explained that I was morbidly overweight, killer blood pressure, and that I smoked and drank too much. All of which I knew of course, sowing much confusion on the other side of the desk. Immediately, he stuck me on weight pills, blood pressure pills and ordered me to quit smoking, drinking (as much) and start exercising.
And this I've been doing fairly well since then. Members of the infamous DevLab 1 Supper club spurred me on with encouragement as I came back from the gym at the hotel, all red-faced and breathless, etc. Well, no, they waved beer and cigarettes at me, but thats what friends do.
All was well until about four weeks ago, where basically I went onto the 'superstrength' Blood Pressure pills, and crashed for two days. Slept for 36 hours, etc. Fairly horrible stuff. We're not sure if it was the BP pills, but they were changed in any case. And from that point in time, its been a fight to get back to 'normal'.
But I'm glad that two weeks of 'normal' has been achieved, and I've cleared most of my immediate to-do list (much to the relief I'm sure of the View conference organisers, who have been more than patient over the delays).
So folks. Listen to your doctor. If I cant be a good example, let me be a terrible warning.