Lights, sirens, failure

By Mir
August 6, 2006

One of the (many) things I love about Otto is his calmness in crisis and his penchant for understatement. Given my bent towards hysteria, he’s a useful balance to have around.

However, here I am feeling like a gigantic loser, and he tells you:

She started feeling under the weather Friday afternoon and, after some talks with the medical staff, decided to head home last evening.

Which, okay, is TECHNICALLY true. But he sort of left out a few key details, like how some of those “talks with medical staff” happened in an ambulance and at the Emergency Room. It’s not as though we were all sitting around chatting and then I was like, “Hey, you know what? Screw you guys; I’m going home.”

[Me: Why did you say “after some talks” like that? It makes it sound like I just elected to leave.
Him: I didn’t want people to worry.
Me: But now they’re going to think I just wussed out.
Him: No they won’t.
Me: That’s what it sounds like.
Him: You can tell them the whole story later.
Me: But. But.
Otto: I can revise it, if you want. Make it more harrowing. Talk about the ambulance almost running that old lady down.
Me: Nevermind.]

The truth is that I didn’t feel quite right from the start; when the alarm went off at 4:15, I chalked it up to nerves and not enough sleep. We got ready and checked out of ye olde Fleabag Motel and went to wait out front for our 5:15 taxi. We met two other groups of women waiting for taxis for the 3-Day, and all quickly came to learn that the taxi company was swamped and we’d be lucky to get there at all. Our 5:15 taxi showed up at 6:45, finally, and then the crusty old cab driver turned off the meter and then charged us $40 for a 6-minute cab ride that was 1.5 hours late.

[Hello, Tommy’s Taxi of Framingham! I suspect you were Tommy himself driving the cab, based upon the phone call received while we were en route. Your “take it up with the owner” schtick was fooling no one. As I and the other ladies told you, I hope you feel really, really good about ripping off people who are walking for charity, and not only will I make it my personal mission to make sure you don’t have the opportunity to do so again, it’s just bad karma. Please look for our letters to the BBB and your local paper. I hope the $40 was worth it. Jerk.]

We caught the last 5 minutes of the opening ceremony.

The first hour of walking was very stop-and-go. They had to route us through several major intersections and everyone was still bunched up together and it felt like we were standing around more often than we were moving. As time passed, we spread out some, and then we moved a bit more steadily.

It also starting pouring.

So we walked and we splashed and the sweep vans full of happy! cheering! people! drove back and forth honking and waving (the sweep vans are hilarious, by the way… one was covered with boobs, one was covered with martini glasses… one was the fiesta van, done in a mexican theme… they were very cute) and there’s some sort of bike patrol that rides along shouting out things like “remember to hydrate!” That wasn’t quite as amusing, in the pouring rain (go figure), but okay.

By the first pit stop (maybe 4 miles in?) my stomach was killing me. I refilled my water and sports drink bottles and cruised the snacks. Bananas! Bananas are good for upset tummies. I ate a banana.

By the second pit stop, my head was hurting. Well, no matter. I had a bottle of advil in my pack. I took some and refilled my bottles (those bikers had put the fear of God into me; I was drinking, drinking, drinking) and ate some graham crackers.

We figured we were about an hour out from lunch at about 11, and here is where time went into some immovable vortex. In reality, we wouldn’t reach the lunch stop until around 1:00. It’s probably good that I didn’t know this, because it was right around 11 that I realized I might be in trouble, but I reasoned that I could surely walk for another hour. And once we got to lunch I could sit down and rest and then I would feel better.

(Two miscalculations figured into this: One, due to missing most of the opening ceremonies, we didn’t have a route plan. Had we had one of those, we would’ve realized that lunch was at about 13 miles, rather than the 10 miles we’d assumed. Two, we weren’t walking as fast as we thought. Whoops.)

About an hour before lunch (when we realized we were still an hour out), I started to silently panic. I took some more advil (even though it hadn’t been 4 hours) and put my sunglasses back on even though it was still cloudy. It was clear to me now that I had a migraine. I was having some trouble seeing. I has stopped eating about an hour before due to nausea; now I stopped drinking entirely for the same reason. Of course, as soon as I stopped drinking, the sun came back out.

[I spent some time berating myself for not bringing my prescription migraine meds. But the truth is that I can count on one hand (with fingers to spare) the migraines I’ve had in the last two years since my hysterectomy.]

We plodded along and FINALLY hit the lunch station. It was set up in some sort of sunken parking lot where we had to descend a million concrete steps to get down into it. I have almost no memory of what happened between then and getting checked in at Medical, but I do remember wondering what would happen if I took a header on the stairs.

Somehow, we got down there, we hit the port-a-potties, and my walk partner found us a spot in the shade. I sank down into the grass and told her to go get some food. It was somewhere in here that I confessed to having a migraine, and I’m pretty sure she lectured me for not telling her earlier, but I waved her away and told her I was just going to sit for a minute and I’d be fine.

I took off my shoes and socks. Eileen came back with her food and I don’t know what happened; probably we argued and eventually I said I’d go to Medical and see if they could give me something stronger for my head. (I think I hadn’t mentioned to her, even then, about my stomach. I think I was assuming that was a side effect of the migraine. She would yell at me about THAT, later, too.) She wanted to come with me but it turned out that we were sitting right outside the tent, so I told her to finish eating.

I lurched over there and waited in line with my eyes shut. By the time I got up to the front I started talking in what I thought was a normal voice and the check-in lady couldn’t hear me at all. So I leaned in closer and raised my voice and the next thing I knew they had me flat on a cot. Which, you know, was actually pretty comfortable. Except for the part where everything was really LOUD and they were poking and prodding me.

So my blood pressure was low and I was running a bit of a temperature, and I was trying to explain (without opening my eyes, because by now, my eyelids seemed to have stopped functioning) that really, if I had my migraine meds I’d be fine, but maybe if they gave me some aspirin or tylenol to take on top of the advil that would do it, really, and those people who were busy covering me with very cool and delicious but OH SO NOISY ice, they did not listen to me.

In fact, they took away my badge. I didn’t figure this out until later, after Eileen had come in to check on me. But if you’re deemed unfit to continue, they put you on Medical Hold and they replace your badge with a Big Red Loser Badge. I may have become a tad belligerent.

[Me: Hey! I don’t want this red loser badge! Give me back my real badge!
Nurse: Honey, I know you’re disappointed—
Me: I want my badge back! Why don’t you draw a big red L on my forehead instead!
Eileen: Ummm… she’s… upset.
Nurse: That’s alright. She needs to be transported to base camp to be seen by the doctor there.
Eileen: Mir? Sweetie? Shut up.]

Someone came in a car to drive us to base camp, and on the way there I started shaking, which I’m not sure I even would’ve noticed, but Eileen and the driver were talking about it, so I had this sort of out-of-body experience of listening to the two of them and then thinking “Oh! Hey! They’re talking about me!”

At base Medical I had to plead for a trip to the port-a-potties before they checked me in (I think it helped when I told the nice nurse I didn’t want to barf on her shoes), and then I was settled onto another cot and I opened my eyes long enough to see that they had what appeared to be the entire medical staff hovering over me. I felt very special. Actually I felt mortified. But, hey, at least I started crying, then! That helped!

They took my vitals again (blood pressure even lower, temperature even higher) and Nurse With A Soothing Voice told me she was a fellow migraine sufferer and she was going to rub my neck because it would help. I muttered something in reply and then a vice descended on my neck and my snuffly little tears turned into full-fledged wailing as she assured me that she was helping and crying was a good release. If I’d been a bit more in control of myself I would have told her to STOP IT IMMEDIATELY but I seemed incapable of saying much other than GIMME BACK MY BADGE (which, in the grand scheme, I’ll admit was pretty much beside the point) so I just laid there and wept while she made fireworks explode all over my head.

The doctor came to see me and told someone to call an ambulance. Something about how they couldn’t do anything for me there, oh don’t cry sweetie, if they get you better you can come back and walk tomorrow, this is for the best, etc. Eileen told me she’d come with me, and I told her she should stay and walk, and she told me to shut up AGAIN, because she is mean. Then I started crying all over again about ruining the walk for HER, and then she told me to shut up a THIRD time, and then I probably asked for my badge back again, because that’s sort of how my logic was going by that time.

The EMTs were two lovely young ladies who took excellent care of me, if you overlook the extraordinarily lurchy ride to the hospital. I’m not at all clear on why they needed the lights and siren, unless it was just sort of fun for them to use them; but to FEEL the ride (and later, to hear Eileen’s account of it) it made no difference because no one paid any attention, anyway. Apparently an old lady stepped off the sidewalk (wearing headphones! rock it, Granny!) right in front of the ambulance. (They claim we didn’t hit her. I have my doubts.)

While the driver and Eileen chatted it up, the EMT in the back and I made scintillating conversation. I recall:

1) Threatening to puke on her shoes. She gave me a barf bag and told me to give her a minute to change into MY shoes. She’s my kind of people.

2) Her radioing in to the hospital and reporting amongst my stats “patient is unable to open her eyes” and me protesting “I CAN open my eyes! I just don’t WANT to!” Because I am 5, apparently.

3) Her making me do all of these strength test thingies (squeezing her fingers, pushing up on her hands, etc.) and me saying “I didn’t have a STROKE, I have a HEADACHE,” with the implied “you MORON” dangling there at the end. She was not offended, even though by this point Eileen was yelling for me to shut up (again! so mean!) and it was clear to everyone except me that I was a complete brat.

At the hospital, I was not allowed to scoot my own bottom off of the ambulance gurney onto the hospital bed. No. They had to do the 1-2-3 lift where they move me on a sheet. Fine. Except they forgot they had me hooked up to one of those oxygen things via a tube lodged in my nostrils, so when they moved me, my nose was ripped clean off my face (what a mess). Kidding. The tubing (and my nose) are flexible. But it wasn’t comfortable. Maybe they were just getting me back. Who knows.

Nurse Ratched came in and started an IV, responding to my shrill, “Um, why does this HURT SO MUCH?” with a cheerful, “Well, I’m pressing pretty hard!” Something about my veins being flat. Whatever. All I know is that I look like a confirmed heroin addict, now, complete with bruises from the tourniquet strap, which is a first for me. I curled up under the sheet and tried to stop shaking (still with the shaking! blood pressure even lower, temperature even higher! I’ve always been an overachiever!) and prayed for death.

Eventually Hot Doctor showed up and listed off a bunch of drugs the nurse was giving me, to which I immediately responded by getting loopy and declaring, “I’ll take whatever you’re giving. Also why do I never get a hot doctor when I’m WELL, only when I’m sick and look like crap?” Hot Doctor was a little afraid of me, I think. Eileen laughed at me while I lamely finished up with, “Hey, I don’t live here, it’s not like I’m ever going to see you again. Or like you’re unaware that you’re hot.”

And then I passed out.

I woke up hours later, startled by a VERY loud thump. Hey, it was Friday night at the ER. Apparently some drunk ripped out his IV while lurching to the bathroom and managed to collapse headfirst onto the floor. Sounded like he split his skull clean open. Suddenly I didn’t feel like such a difficult patient.

Eileen wanted to take pictures of me and I finally argued her down to just a shot of my Big Red Loser Badge, the barf bag, and my IV arm. What an awesome scrapbook she’ll be able to make of our 3-Day journey, huh?

Hot Doctor showed up again to tell me I was being discharged but that he didn’t think I was in any shape to go back to the walk. Recalling what I’d said to him earlier, I stayed uncharacteristically silent. Except to say that I had to pee. Eileen trundled me off to the bathroom and when we returned, I was discharged.

While I’d been sleeping/unconscious, Eileen had gone to the cafeteria for dinner, done a dozen crossword puzzles, and called her husband to come and get us. He showed up about half an hour after I was discharged. I curled up in the backseat and went to sleep, drifting in and out of consciousness and vaguely aware that we got lost on our way back to camp for our stuff (I’ll have to ask Eileen about that later; I have no idea how lost we were or how long it took). Eventually we were headed home, and they both tried to talk me into staying with them for the night and I said no, I needed my own bed, I would crawl into it and sleep and be fine.

Yesterday I woke up with a temp of 101, so other than a brief trip to the kitchen for ginger ale and crackers I really did spend the entire day in bed. Today my temp is almost normal but the headache is back, and I’m still wondering What The Heck Happened. (At the hospital, they said I was dehydrated but not dangerously so, and their best guess was a virus. NICE TIMING, VIRUS.)

On the one hand, it utterly sucks to still be feeling so sick. On the other hand, if I’d woken up well yesterday (or, okay, knowing me? even today) I’d be kicking myself for not going back. So, OKAY EILEEN, (before she tells me to shut up again) I ADMIT IT, I was too sick to continue. Happy? I earned my Big Red Loser Badge.

But I am just so, so sad. I feel like I failed. I’m angry that I didn’t even make it through one day. This was not at all the experience I was hoping to have. And I know, the point is raising the money, the point is the awareness, but it was important to me to actually DO the walk and I can’t help being disappointed.

Plus I still pretty much feel like I was run over by a truck, so that’s not helping.

So much for my tale of triumph. But someday I’ll look back on this and laugh. Right? Or at least not cry about it? Maybe?

Until then, I shall raise a ginger ale toast from my bed here, to the women who are today actually finishing all 60 miles. I’m sorry I’m not there with them.


  1. daysgoby

    First off, only you can have a near-death-ish experience and make us laugh about it.

    Secondly, why does that 3-Day Walk have to be the only walk you do? Wouldn’t it make sense to get better (that part non-negiotable) and then walk 60 miles? Say, in a week. 60 miles in a week. That’s what, 8.something miles a day?

    I know, less hoopla, and no sweep vans. But it would still be 60 miles for breast cancer awareness.

    I hope you’re better soon! How are the kids?

  2. tori

    Everything about this sounds like me! You being irritated that Otto made it sound like no big deal (my husband does that and for some reason it bugs the crap out of me!) I’m glad you are doing better though! What a scary experience! I can totally relate to the whole out of body thing. Last time I had surgery, I heard nurses yelling “she’s tacky” and I remember thinking someone wasn’t doing well, and then all the running feet stopped next to me! Please don’t feel like a loser, you did awesome. Maybe you can use it for your inspiration to finish it next time. I always find when I am mad I am so much more motivated! And also, hot doctors? Why do you only get them when it is you that is sick? When I visit someone at the hospital the doctors are never hot, just when I am totally sick and yucky looking.

  3. Kathryn, DYM

    Oh, Mir. This made me so sad. I was so excited for this awesome experience you were gonna have and now to be robbed by a stupid virus? That just plain EATS! Seriously. I’m so sorry. I am glad you found out where the hot doctors are at. I thought they all lived on the TEE-vee.

  4. Suebob

    I am glad to see that you are back and typing and, as usual too funny. Take care.

  5. Karin

    You’re no failure. I mean think about it – you might not have walked 60 miles for breast cancer. But you had low blood pressure, high temperature, the shakes, a migraine, puking, a virus, a treacherous ambulance ride, IVs, and a big red loser badge! All in the name of breast cancer awareness. You rock! Okay, maybe you don’t feel that way. But at least you’re pretty. :)

  6. shannon

    It’s okay to feel sad, but only for a little while. Because in the grand scheme, YOU RAISED $6000!!! TO HELP THE BOOBIES!!!

  7. Aimee

    You. Are. Not. A. Failure.

    Quit it. You cared enough to raise all that money for breast cancer, and everyone who knows you (even only internet-ly) knows that if you’d been able to continue, you would have. That’s not failing. Not. DO YOU HEAR ME?

  8. Cele

    Hmmm, I remember at some point in reading this that I felt sorry for Otto, he did his best. Fortunately men do not think like women, gosh think of how much fun they’d be if they did.

    Mir, Mir, Mir, Mir… To make you feel better, there is always next year. Now, take care of yourself and feel better. We are very proud of you…and Eileen too.

  9. Cele

    And by the way Aimee is TOTALLY RIGHT.

  10. Daisy

    I wanted to post an encouraging word — but Aimee said it best. Read hers and re-read it. I am SO proud of you!

  11. Dee Dee

    You did awesome! And I knew there had to be more to Otto’s version… I don’t know you but through the internet and I know that there’s no way you would have stopped walking if you had any say in it. Great job raising all of the money that you did. You can always do the walk another year, if you feel the desire.

  12. Mike

    Mir, knowing you, I’m sure it took the combined efforts of Eileen, Nurse Ratchet and Hot Doctor to keep you where you belonged. Good for all of them, and good for YOU to acknowledge when biology overrode determination. I know you’re sad and disappointed…but we’re all happy you’re going to be ok, and that you didn’t push so hard you got seriously hurt. *hugs* and sorry, no Loser badge for you!!

  13. Sharkey

    If it helps you feel better, just think of it as getting a glimpse of chemo side effects. At least you didn’t lose your hair! :)

    And also? Aimee IS right!

  14. Stephanie

    You did a great thing which took tons of courage! Bravo! We are all so proud of you.

  15. MMM

    I haven’t gotten around to reading the whole post yet, but I want to comment on the title alone. If failure means raising $6000 for charity, then I totally want to be a failure, too! Great job, Mir! You did a wonderful thing!

  16. waywardgoddess

    I attempted to ride my bike in a 2-day, 150-mile ride for diabetes. I talked it up for MONTHS. Was out on eth rode riding, and preparing. Raised a good deal of money and was all ready the day of the ride.
    I went out, and almost immediatly knew I was in trouble. I wore a heart rate monitor and it zeroed out. My heart rate was so high that the monitor couldn’t register it. I could hardly breathe and my head started pounding. My reaction to eth stress of it all was to start crying.
    When I got to the first rest stop, not even 10 miles in, I was pulled from the course. I also felt like a big giant looser. I felt like I let down everyone who had supported me, and worse, I let myself down. So, I know exactly how you feel.

    I’ve decided that I’m doing another ride. This time, I’m not getting involved in all the hype. I’m not telling any of my family and friends about it (outside of my husband and kids, of course). I’m going to contribute the minimum donation amount that I need, and I’m just going to go out and do it for me. I’ll let everyone know that I did it, afterwards. No pressure.

  17. rachel

    yikes! so glad you’re feeling better enough to amuse us all with anecdotes.

    My husband is the master of understatement too. “Rachel’s been sick for a while” – translates into ‘Rachel’s been on massive painkillers and antibiotics and practically bedridden for 9 months”.

    You’re not a loser. Congrats for all you did.

  18. Gillian

    Red badge? Is that the one of courage, or the scarlet letter one that Hester got for sealing her driveway? Oh, right, the driveway thing was on the up and up. Like Dory would say ‘Just keep swimming.’ just keep uhhh something – no short term memory here. We are all making you virtual tea and scones.

  19. wavybrains

    I’m sorry this had to happen to you. Get better soon!

  20. Randi

    You’re absolutely right to feel guilty! You should have kept walking! Why the heck did you let a little virus like that keep you from walking for a cause…you should have let nothing stop you. I can’t believe how much of a wimp you are.

    Hopefully by now you’re thinking “Jeez, I did everything I could do…I’m not superwoman.” and that you feel silly, because you’re not superwoman and you can’t do everything, but what you did do was AMAZING! You’re a role model Mir…most people wouldn’t keep going as far as you did when they were that sick, but you kept trudging on! You raised thousands of dollars for a cause, and didn’t do it for a tax write-off, but because you were supporting your friend. This is something that your children will be able to respect the rest of their lives, that even though their mom couldn’t finish, she went through hell just to try. I hope I can do something that amazing that my children will be able to look up to. Congratulations Mir, you definitely, DEFINITELY don’t deserve the Loser badge…I’d like to think of it more as a “through hell and back” badge.

  21. kate

    Oh I am so sorry I know how disappointed you are.

    I am just glad you are ok.

    Last year when I did the 3 day it was so hot that first day and we had to walk 26 miles. They sent a huge number of people to the hospital due to dehydration and they red flagged them as well.

  22. Sheryl

    Stopping doing something when you’re unable to do it is not failure, it’s recognizing your limitations, and taking care of youself, which is success in my book. I think Julie would agree.

  23. Jenn

    You are not a failure. You are not a loser. You are an amazing woman who raised an incredible amount of money for a cause that could use every penny. I am so sorry this happened and that you were not able to finish. But you are still a hero in my book.

  24. Sara

    Otto understated the story because he knew only you could relate your experience in such a hilarious way. Hugely disappointing, of course, but you’ve acheived a tremendous amount. Just rest now and get better.

  25. Leslie

    I’m glad you survived with humor intact. And the virus? That sucks. I don’t remember seeing any of those in the goodie bags at BlogHer, but my infant son came home with the crud, too.

    Think of the red badge as a souvenir, a “what-doesn’t-kill-me makes-me stronger (after-it-first-makes-me-weaker)” kind of deal. Remember, it’s the cash you raised for research and the care and concern you manifested, and not the actual number of miles walked, that counts in the end.

    Rest, relax, and then get back out there to do some good work. I hope you’re feeling better soon.

  26. Lessa

    Oh Mir! I’m so sorry that you missed out on the experience – but I am still so proud of you! Heck, woman, I can’t walk down the hall without promising myself that I’d get in shape because hell – down the hall! I shouldn’t be cursing that it’s so long! And you! you with the Oh So Pretty-ness and 60 freakin miles you was gonna do? Man. Color me jealous. Seriously. Such determination! I know your disappointed, but I’m totally proud to know you – in the sense one can know someone she’s never ever met.. heh.

    Feel better soon, lovely Mir!

  27. Mary Tsao

    Thanks for the great story, Mir. I’m sorry! But you did good, even if you didn’t finish and you got the big L. Just kidding. You did good! I’m glad you didn’t die trying to be some kind of hero. Please. You are a true hero for the awareness raising and fundraising you’ve done.

    Honestly, I have been feeling about 80% well since BlogHer. I think the back to back weekends of BlogHer and the walk was what did you in.

    But seriously, 11 hours of walking? Um, that’s more than I’ve ever done!

  28. karen t

    You have done something so selfless and wonderful you should be really proud.I commented before you left about how I didn’t keep up my blood sugarlevels and felt really ill? Well what I failed to mention is that afterwards I threw up in the middle of Kings Cross station into a bag. With holes in it.And then my daughter told the class at news time the next day.At home-time the teacher came out to ask how I was -oh the shame. I had to keep telling myself then that I had done something good (the walk bit obviously ..not the vomit part)Anyway I hope you feel better very soon and don’t be so hard on yourself.

  29. And Baby Makes Four

    You have absolutely no reason to beat yourself up silly. You know, you suffered for the cause WAY more than those weenies who only WALKED 60 miles. ;) At least you came back with a good story to tell. And now, you have an excuse to earn MORE money for charity, when (if?) you decide to do it again next year! I just knew that last post was understated and I couldn’t help but worry about you. Glad to hear that you still have your lovely sense of humor and outlook on life. Get well fast!

  30. chris

    (((HUGS))) sweetie.

    I know how disappointed you are. But you did your part raising awareness and MONEY. And we would have been so sad if you dropped dead during your walk.

    Hope you are feeling better.

  31. Briana

    Mir, I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and I must say that you are a real trooper. In so many ways. And we are all proud of you.
    It’s hard to take that step away from something you were set on achieving, and it proves that you were determined to finish. The bottom line is that you went out there and gave it your ALL. Sounds like it took the whole medical team to pull you away from it… now THATS determination!
    Be nice to yourself. You are NOT a looser! Hear me?

  32. Elleana

    So sorry that you got sick. Timing is such a b*tch.
    But you are amazing for going and raising the money (and for putting up such a fight about your badge!) Also, you are amazing for being able to put all of that into words that mkae us smile and feel so strongly for you – especially while you’re still sick! Don’t beat yourself up, and know that all of us readers here are SO PROUD OF YOU.

  33. Susan

    My boobies are so proud of you. And the rest of me just wants to give you a big hug, and maybe some chicken soup.

    Feel better, pretty Mir.

  34. Amy

    First of all, you did NOT fail. You should be very proud for all the hard work you put into such an important cause.

    Secondly, that ambulance ride must have been nuts. I once knew someone who drove an ambulance around Boston and he said people would not move out of the way for him if they were waiting for a parking spot or if it inconvenienced them in any way. He said it was so sad and disgusting he couldn’t do it anymore.

  35. anonymous

    You did not fail! You are still the prettiest, smartest, most wonderful person on this whole big wide internet. I am in awe – $6,000 raised!!!! My best for my annual March of Dimes is only $1,000 and that was with my employer helping out. You are my hero, if you walked or not, for this and for so many other things. Mir, we love you. And are SO glad you are feeling better.

  36. Em

    I’m sorry you are disappointed but think of it this way – you walked 13 miles with the flu! And when you retell it, you should add Uphill! In the SNOW! Geez, like thousands of people did the 3 day, whats a little walking? You got a violent IV, wrastled a nurse with neuro issues and took a ride in a wailing, strobing Bus O’ Destruction. You are like Mir the Superhero. Regular people walk with a blah white badge. Super Mir defeats actual illness covered in ice and her magical RED badge.

    Take THAT, Virus! Go tell cancer what she’s capable of.

  37. Julie

    Yes Sheryl, I totally agree and I do believe there were many (many many) times during chemo, when she gave me the same talk.

    Love ya bunches my lotus blossom (((((((hugs)))))))

  38. Lady M

    Mir – when I saw Otto’s post, I knew that there had to be a lot more to the story. I’m sorry that the virus got you. Yuck! I’m proud to know someone who raised so much money and awareness for the cancer cause.

  39. Kris

    Mir, you are a boob. Yes, you are. And you helped raise boobies! Oh wait, that was boobie money. (Hey, just think of the possibilities if you were able to raise boobies!!)

  40. Meg

    Mir, holy crap, how awful! I’m glad you’re OK. I understand your disappointment about not finishing the walk. But mostly I’m just glad you’re OK!

    (raising boobies… hehehehe)

  41. Bob

    You did your best. No one doubts that. And no one except you is calling you a loser. There was nothing you could have done to complete the walk. That you made it as far as you did (and putting yourself in the hospital doing so) is a testament to your will and commitment to your principles. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I didn’t donate because you were walking 60 miles. I donated because you were stepping up and doing something for others. I am proud to say that I am (I think, in an internet sortof way) your friend and am the richer for it. I understand your disappointment. But try to receive solace from the comments above and from the knowledge that you tried your best. That is all anyone could expect from you. You have always exceeded my expectations and are number 1 in my book.

    Take care of yourself and feel better soon.

  42. Carol

    Pssst….the actual walk was symbolic. It’s okay that you were unable to complete it. Notice I didn’t say that you DIDN’T complete it – you were unable. Big difference! Besides, it sounds like you put up one helluva fight. Please don’t be disappointed in yourself! The most important part of all of it was raising the money. You did a fantastic job in the area where it counts the most!

    I’m sorry that you got sick and are still sick. I hope you feel better very, very soon. I know that you are still very pretty, and really, isn’t that the most important thing? ;)

  43. Liz

    Feel better! Give Otto a big smooch! When you sign up to do the walk next year, I’ll be right here donating more money! Let’s go for $7,000 next time.

  44. Melanie

    Mir, Mir, Mir,
    Like everyone else has said, YOU DID NOT FAIL!!!!! Thank you for all you’ve done to raise awareness for Breast Cancer and to raise funds for research. The success you attained is not measured by the miles you walked on a given day. I hope my own walk is as successful as yours was.

  45. Ben

    Oh, honey, I’m so sorry. About everything (even the Hot Doctor). It’s like a bad dream.

  46. Katie

    I am so proud of you for even signing up to do the walk! And $6000, you rock! I’m with Chris, it would have really sucked if you had died and couldn’t write about it so I’m glad they gave you the red badge. Take care of yourself!

  47. Lesley

    I had to come out of the shadows to say YAY! for you. I also was thwarted in my attempt at the walk in DC in 2001. Had to stop on day 2 due to a knee injury so i know just how you feel!
    You are great and so NOT a loser!!!

  48. Meghan

    That sounds like an excruciatingly unpleasant experience. I hope you are feeling better soon. You are one of the only people i knwo of who could make that experience FUNNY.

    Best wishes to you and here’s hoping you have no visits to medical professionals in your near and long-term future. I am still laughing about your gyno visit.

  49. Susan

    Bless your heart, Mir. I hope you’re feeling much better soon. We forget how BAD we can feel when we’re sick until it happens again, huh?! Take care of yourself… get plenty of rest.

  50. Lesley

    Hey, two “Lesleys” in a row? Cool! Mir, the money has been raised, right? And I’ll warrant that entertaining story you told right there does just as much to raise awareness as a tale of “Yeah, I kicked that walk’s ASS!” So you’re STILL an overachiever in my book! I hope you feel MUCH better tomorrow in all ways.

  51. bad penguin

    That does not sound like fun. I always get the junkie arm whenever I have blod drawn/get an IV/come too close to a needle, and it sucks.

    Don’t beat yourself up. You were obviously very sick and in no shape to go 60 miles. And you did raise $6,000!

    I hope you feel better soon.

  52. Jenny

    Mir, I’m sorry that your first 3 day ended up being a migrane tainted half-day. You are a major inspiration, and I hope that you’ll feel better soon.

  53. Pieces

    You made me laugh during your story and cry at the end. I’m so sorry that your experience was disappointing. I can only imagine how bad you feel. And being sick sucks on a normal day. You are not a failure–you are amazing. I hope you feel better soon!

  54. Janis

    Well, you may have been in an ambulance and babbling incoherently at a hot doctor (I’m sure he chalked it up to heat exhaustion and the meds) – but at least your highlights looked fabulous throughout your ordeal. Let’s stay focused on the important stuff here! You did a great thing. And you’re pretty.

  55. Amy-Go

    I am crazy proud of you. Feel better fast!!

  56. Her Bad Mother

    All you should be feeling right now is PROUD. DAMN PROUD.

    Hell, I’m proud and I’ve only just barely made you acquaintance.

    WHat you did rocked. Nothing else matters.

  57. Jenn2

    See? Everyone still loves you. You’re still the fabulous, copper-highlighted blog goddess. Quit kicking yourself or I’m going to mail you my labor video, cleverly disguised as a new release movie. *insert evil laugh here*

    And I’d write the foundation requesting your badge. ‘Cause when you’re old and senile, no one will know you didn’t do the walk…not even you! heh heh heh

  58. Tug

    YOU made the effort. YOU tried. YOU can’t help your health…don’t be so hard on yourself. You’re still awesome!!

  59. Vaguely Urban

    Mir, I’m so sorry for your disappointment, but just wanted to tell you that I think you are awesome for how much you did to get to the start of the race, and for how hard you pushed yourself in the first leg, despite feeling like crap. Your heart is 100% hero, even if you didn’t finish this year. You should be extremely proud of yourself.

  60. Suburban Turmoil

    Good Lord. That was ROUGH! I loved the part about the hot doctor though. I bonded with you in that moment. :)

    Hope you’re feeling better soon.

  61. Fraulein N

    Sorry you fell ill and had to miss most of the walk, but yeah, you hardly failed. In fact, someone get this woman a Big Green Badge of Awesomeness! I think we all know you would have dragged yourself back there, virus and all, if you’d been able.

  62. Krisco

    I love how you called Hot Doctor what he was.

    Oh, I mean, I love that you were doing the walk. Yeah, that’s what I meant.

  63. InterstellarLass

    I’m soooo sorry you didn’t get the experience you wanted. I’ve done two marathons, and I know how much training and time and dedication events like this take. And when you don’t meet your goals, it’s crushing. But. It’s much more important for you to take care of yourself so that you can walk another day!

  64. The Lazy Organizer

    What an incredibly adventure! The kind that you didn’t want to have in the first place and hope to never have again. Yet. It makes a great blog doesn’t it?

    Go Red Lobster badge! Sorry. That’s what I saw every single time I read, “red lobster badge”. Now why would they use a picture of a lobster for a breast cancer research fund raiser? I’m going to have to think about that one. And yes. I can’t tell the difference between a lobster and a loser.

  65. Elizabeth S.

    Oh dear! Over at wantnot we had no idea you were so sick! But you sure made some interesting memories for a great cause. :) We’re so proud of you!

  66. Coleen

    Mir, I am so very, very proud of you.

    Yes, really.

    I am also so very, very sorry I didn’t come back and check up on you sooner. I wasn’t able to finish Day 1 or Day 2 last year, and I know a little bit what that feels like. You are the furthest thing from failure ever. I’ll think of you in October!

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