Life On Two Wheels

Along the river and toward the mountains a morning shadow shimmers across the road. The rays of the first light jet through the trees and across a figure gliding upon the road. His breath trails in short spurts, petrified as it hits the icy air. All is quiet except the slight sound of the athlete as he summons himself for yet another days work. Soon the rest of the world will bustle with life as well and the brief simplicity of cyclist and nature will disappear into the everyday struggle of life in full motion; the errands and intervals, the appointments and intersections, and the deadlines and finish lines OutPaceTheRace

Sunday, April 30, 2006

An ear ringing experience

April 26-30
North Bend, WA

Monday and Tuesday were some rough days. I thought it was because I'd raced hard for a week while I was sick- or something, who knows? Anyway, I just kept on training and kept getting more and more exhausted. Basically sleeping then getting up and training & then going back to bed until 6:00 when I'd wake up, eat and abruptly go back to bed. Oof, talk about life wasting... So on Wednesday ( the 26th), I rode for three hours and came down with a fever and a number of "bad" sick symptoms- including, uhh, "the loose stool." After that I figured it was time to stop training and try to fix whatever got screwed up by racing in Georgia. Jonathan mentioned that I might have Bronchitis after the race & a friend thought it was pneumonia… swift, just what I need. The next morning it was to the point where I could hardly get out of bed. Around ten I came down stairs and switched to a reclining chair. I slept there for about 5 hours trying to convince myself that I was able to get to the doctor, then the pharmacist and back home without passing out or killing myself. I weighed the options and called the team doctor instead. He didn’t answer so I slept for another hour and decided to feebly walk myself out to the car and drive to the doctor. I got there and walked in and ended up waiting a while. I hadn’t eaten since the day before because I had no appetite, so I kept guzzling Gatorade to keep the blood sugar pathetically and ineffectively above feinting level. Finally a nurse came out and I got to see the doctor. He heard the story and said I’d probably induced pneumonia, but he’d take a few x-rays and see for sure. Of course, I’d taken some Tylenol before I got there to lose the fever, so now I was absolutely soaked in sweat & still had the fever. So when I took my shirt off I just about froze to death. It was worse putting the soaking wet shirt back on… Anyway, he finally came back in and said it was Bronchitis, which by the way, is far better than pneumonia, and he’d put me on antibiotics for 7 days.
Alright, that’s the first part of the story, the second part’s about getting to the Safeway pharmacy (yeah, that’s right California, were not quite yup enough to have a different name for Safeway’s…). I drive over there and feel like I could lift the world with one arm. I get in and stroll up to the counter show ‘em the prescription and they say it’ll take ~10 minutes. Okay, so I take a seat and kinda sleep-wait. They eventually call me up and I pay for ‘em ($95 smackers, at that price I’m pretty sure there the super deadly kind), then I go over to the window to get the run down on how to use ‘em from the pharmacist. This is where stuff starts getting fuzzy. He was babbling and I’d used ‘em before so I knew the drill. Anyway, I began getting dangerously light headed ‘n figured if he got done quick I could sit back down in that chair ‘n take a quick rest before I made the trek back to the car. I didn’t get the chance and feinted on the spot. Crap. I woke up like 45 seconds later, or in enough time to see three pharmacy workers nestling beside me and here the intercom say “we have a 911 emergency.” It was enough for something in my head to say in my head “you’ve got to get out of here asap.” So I was like, “I’m fine (obviously), thanks.” And I pretty much just started going. I couldn’t really see because I was so dizzy, so I stayed by the side of the isle as I went. Got to the registers, went on the sides, kind of. Then I got out of the store and rested on what I knew would be the “smoker’s bench” for about 45 seconds before going the rest of the 20 meters to the car. I’ve no idea how I found the car either, I just kind of walked into it, got the key in the hole and sat there until the super loud ringing in my ears subsided. About 2 minutes later the fire truck showed up and I watched as they went in. But I was safe and on the road again. I got home and once more claimed the reclining chair until 11:00, when I went back to bed…