The Spiderman syndrome

spidermanhamleyswebRemember the story of Spiderman: young journalist Peter was bitten by a contagious spider and his body reacted in an amazing way – he developed super skills. It was a set of skills that many people dream of. However, with great power comes also big responsibility. The skills could easily turn against Peter if he did not control them. He understood that they should not be abused and must be used wisely.

Now, how Spiderman relates to my story. During the years of hard training – no pain/no gain – and overcoming in almost all situations, I developed a degree of resilience and pain tolerance. That’s why boxers and fighters train abdoominals so heavily – the neural receptors get used to fatigue and pain and do not give in during the fight. Usually, I am able to train and work under conditions when most of the folks would call it a day and go home. It is a good skill that enables me to accomplish many things. I am the last man standing at a party, helping the others getting taxis. Next morning I am the first to wake up, alcohol is broken down with efficient metabolism,  and I even have energy to do a little bit of exercise and some work on my computer.

However, with a great skill also comes great responsibility.

handinfusionLying here in hospital in Šahy, my home town for 18 years and I can’t do anything because I have a needle in my forearm in order to get strong antibiotics straight into my blood stream. I contracted some infection while travelling home from Sarajevo and Belgrade – maybe a blister got infected due to absence of hygiene.

I travelled from Zagreb to Sarajevo all night without shower. On Tuesday, it seemed just like a bigger blister – so I decided to live with it. On Wednesday, it was much worse, the blister was swollen and it had all 50 shades of purple. I should have sought help in Belgrade but I decided to wait one day till I get home. I went to the emergency ward around 20:30 and the doctor got mad. He was talking about lethal danger and infections from underdeveloped countries – he told me off like a small child. I deserved it but I also presented my rational arguments why I did not seek care earlier.

zadarhandstand1With you health, you should never hesitate to make a coward decision. Never. I take a lot of risk in my life and this was too much. An innocent blister might have developed into an infection. Who would have thought that, especially a person with such a strong pain threshold? Pain tolerance developed through training and overcoming yourself is a great thing – a skill that helps you survive. But with a great skill comes also a great responsibility – responsibility to recognize the symptoms of your body and listen to them. It is like Spiderman: the bite from a contagious spider gave him superpowers but he must use them wisely – not to harm other people or abuse them for their own profit.

One thing to remember- it is good to have some pain threshold but at the same time it is even more important to be able to listen to your body and avoid situations, when the pain threshold is tested.

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