Several years ago, my friend Elizabeth Burke and I rowed twice a week through the Seattle winter. We ventured out without fail as dawn was breaking - rowing two single shells or a double. We'd row from the Fremont Bridge to the Chittenden Locks and back, or maybe across Lake Union and on to Lake Washington. Sometimes we'd come back to our home at the Lake Washington Rowing Club and wipe the ice off our boats. But we always came back with an irrefutable sense of moral superiority! We'd done it again!

Rowing - particularly Rowing Through the Winter - provides a richness of metaphors...instructive in my life as a Family Physician and the Home Dialysis CarePartner for my profoundly ill husband, Steve Williams. Now that Steve is gone, rowing reminds me of consistency and focus - so critical during grieving. Rowing requires balance, as does my life.

Row with me this winter. Linda Gromko, MD

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Senior Women's Sweep Team Offers Unexpected Opportunities: Early Mornings and a Unisuit!

I started rowing with the Senior Women's Sweep Team on Monday - a very nice bunch of women and a great rowing experience. We are preparing for some Greenlake race in August - who would have thought?

Actually, I wouldn't have seen any of this coming. It has been three months today since my husband Steve died. His care needs were so enormous - home dialysis, 24/7 care due to Critical Illness Myopathy, diabetes, renal failure, and finally a leg amputation due to a gangrenous foot.

Until three weeks ago, all activities were at least coordinated with him in mind. And while I love the more liberal rowing schedule that is probably saving what sanity I can claim, I'd give it up in a heartbeat to have Steve back.

But rowing, writing, and work keep me feeling at least sort of normal. There is always so much to do in a medical practice. And the world just keeps going on.

I was feeling pretty good about this rowing thing - and even about racing, until I asked if I needed to get a special shirt or something to wear for the race.

"Oh, you'll need a unisuit," the women told me.

A unisuit? There isn't enough time for liposuction - or enough psychotherapy to get me through this!

Oh, I'll get through it. It'll even be a victory - stretching my vision of what I can and cannot do. Sort of like Spandex, I guess.

It's so great to have a team sport - the regular drill of getting there, the accomplishment of even showing up, and the chance to challenge our bodies - and our minds - with new adventures!

Take care,
Linda Gromko, MD

1 comment:

  1. I actually enjoyed reading through this posting. Many thanks.

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