Monday, August 06, 2012

It's A Blogging Injury

This Too
Many wonderful things happened at Blogher '12. I came away with a number of tangibles and intangibles and there's good, fun work ahead of me. I also came away with a surprise gift.

The background here is that I am not in good shape. I'm a decent weight, I can do what I need to do on a limited basis - lift furniture, run after a dog, catch the bus - but I'm not in great shape. I do carry a lot of stuff around on a regular basis because I live in a walking city, not a vehicle one. For that purpose I wear a backpack so I don't bend my spine out of shape.

There was swag at Blogher. There always is because the powers that be are committed to keeping the ticket price for the conference steady so they make up the difference with sponsors. I am not immune to the thrall. After all, thanks to Blogher I haven't bought toothpaste or sponges for the last three years. So, yes, I'm not a rock, I take the free stuff.

One of the other things I'm not immune to is the fear of not looking right. There I am trying to meet new people and leave a good impression on the people I only see once a year. A hand-me-down backpack with the brand of a finance giant embroidered on it is not the image I'm looking to project. So this year I brought a handbag with my camera, my iPad, a notebook, water bottle, and all that stuff in it. Got a Blogher '12 tote bag with some swag in it and just chucked my handbag into it. Every time I got a drink, a business card, or anything else I tossed it in on top. I tried to be good about switching shoulders often and didn't feel so bad.

About 3am I woke up. It was the pain that did it. I won't say it was excruciating but it wasn't something I could possibly ignore. My upper chest was a band tightening and tightening. Every time I swallowed it felt like a golf ball was lodged in my chest. I had heartburn and started to feel a little insane. The swallowing thing was a bummer because I needed to eat something before I took muscle relaxant. Even when I was able to do that I didn't feel like I could lie down and I was tired and kind of freaking out. It occurred to me I might be having a heart attack.

I wasn't having a heart attack.

I had to google the symptoms to prove it to myself but I wasn't. The symptoms are, of course, so vague that after a spicy meal you could convince yourself you were going Sanford & Son. In the end, after studying them, I couldn't have looked a doctor or a friend in the face and said I thought I was really having a heart attack so I didn't.

Finally I got back to sleep. When I got up I didn't feel much better but as I moved around, let the hot shower water pelt my chest, I could sense improvement. I took more meds and got on a bus and went to an awesome wedding. It took fully 36 hours for the swallowing thing to go away.

After much thought I figured it out. It was a blogging injury. I spent a day and a half carrying a heavy tote bag around. When I sat down I was hunched over an iPad live tweeting sessions or over a table meeting my new lunch friends. By the time I lay down and relaxed all my chest muscles constricted with indignation and squeezed my esophagus like a dying tube of toothpaste.

I'm better now but I'm going to have to warm up before next year.


  1. Lot's of stretching, muscle rub and carry a freakin backpack next year!!! Hope you're feeling better!!!

  2. lol! Glad you're ok, and thanks for the laugh :-)

  3. Sorry about the injury. I've had that before and it sucks.

    Bummer that I missed you this year!!

  4. Okay this is weird... remember my Wi-heart attack? I keep baby aspirin around... it quiets the mind while I google symptoms on the internet.

  5. i know that injury all too well. i call it "high school" (my backpack was almost a third of my weight). take it easy, stretch, and you'll lose the soreness soon. :)

    1. oh, just saw you're better now. morphine's funny with the blocking of the words i'm reading whee.