Me and Dzangel

Me and Dzangel
RMC 5K 2007

Monday, September 28, 2015

Hindsight is 20/20. But will I learn?

It's been a couple weeks since my last post and I've been thinking. Scary, I know!
Not to sound like I'm whining but it was a rough week. To say I was tired last week is a huge understatement. No energy, listless and just generally out of sorts. The runs and ride I did were lackluster at best. I just never felt "good". That's the only way I can describe it. Nothing I could really put my finger on. But the time spent on the trails and road gave me plenty of time to think.
What really got me thinking was feeling like I was constantly sucking air. I felt like I could never take a good deep breath. Like someone was giving me the worlds tightest bear hug. I started to wonder how long this damn bug has been giving me fits. I remember telling Tammy that after a few WORS races back in 2012. I had races where my legs would feel good but I just couldn't catch my breath. I just chalked that up to not enough/too much/the wrong kind of training. Now looking back I wonder if maybe it wasn't my training but my parasitic pals.
That's how the athlete's mind works. I know I'm not an elite athlete, but I try damn hard. And when I have a bad day it must be something in my training regimen. And I'll bet any athlete worth his weight in sweaty workout gear will admit to the same thing, at least some of the time. It never occurred to me to see my friendly GP. Just train harder. Or - gasp!!!- take a rest day! Would an earlier visit have nipped this in the bud? Who knows.
Now a disclaimer. I know it's not a good idea to self diagnose using the tubes of the interweb but I prefer to call it research. Apparently my little shortness of breath can be a symptom of babesia. I like the term some of the web pages use. Air hunger. That's just what it feels like. Like I want to take a big deep breath but I can't quite fill my lungs. It feels like that next deep satisfying breath is right around the corner but it never arrives. I don't always feel like this. The feeling comes and goes. Sometimes it seems to be more in the back of my mind and it doesn't really bother me. Other days, or weeks, I feel like I'm trying to breathe through a straw.
I guess the gist of this post is don't hesitate to see your friendly physician when you don't quite feel right. People who know me well are going to laugh very hard at that last statement! The least that will happen is he/she will laugh and say "train a little harder"! Or they might dig a little deeper and find a little something and treat it before it becomes a big something.
I'll end this by saying I'm keeping a positive attitude even if it may not seem that way. I know I'm lucky to be able to get out and run or ride or whatever I may choose on any given day. I'll take the good days and enjoy them. The not so good days will come and go. And I really believe I'll beat this. Three more weeks, give or take on this dose of meds and then I will know for sure.
Just a few links if you're inclined to know more.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Cautiously, but not overly optimistic

Ding ding! Round three!
Here I go again. It seems my babesia just won't give up. This time it's six weeks of the yummy yellow metallic tasting Atovaquone and Azithromyicin. It's been just over a week since I started, or should that be restarted the medications. And I feel better. At least I think I do. I've got a little more energy, although it's hard to tell on 11-7 shift. The joint/hip/abdominal pain is not as bad. Tolerable would be an apt description. I can manage that but I don't like thinking that way. I'd rather it was gone altogether.
 I suppose that's how I've been thinking lately. What am I willing to accept? How much pain will I put up with? I really don't like where that leads. Although it may not seem to be the case I've cut back on my running and cycling. And I really don't like where that leads. I'm not happy when I have to sit back and spectate. I prefer to participate. For better or worse, it's one way I define who I am. As I'm getting older I might have lost a step or two and I may not have quite the endurance I once had but I can accept that. We all lose a little as we age. It's knowing I should be able to pick it up, push the pace or go the extra mile and just can't that's been driving me bonkers. 
But I'm not going to give in and let this get the best of me. So I'm slower. More time to enjoy the scenery. I can't go as far. I guess I need to find newer routes to explore. I will just cross my fingers, swallow my medicine and hope I kick those nasty bugs this time. Hopefully by the beginning of November I'll have good news.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Back to square one!?

It appears that it has been a few weeks, so that would mean it's time for me to empty the old cranial cavity. I'll try to keep this short. No promises.
I just finished three glorious weeks of vacation. Nothing special during those weeks. No big trips or fancy getaways. Just three weeks away from the same old same old. Now it's back to the salt mine and shift work.
And it also looks like it's back to the same old same old when it comes to dealing with my little pain in the bloodstream pals. I thought I had my bout with babesiosis beat-finally. The dose of nasty tasting Atovaquone and some antibiotics led to one "all clear" test result while I was still taking them. Fingers crossed. Felt good for a couple weeks. No aches, no pains (okay, not enough to complain about), felt a little pep in my step. Maybe even some endurance sneaking back. One more blood test to make sure I had the evil little bastards licked. And guess what??? THEY'RE STILL THERE!!! I had a bad feeling even before the result came back. I had a few good days, but it seemed like the bad days were winning again. The achy joints came back with a vengeance. I had a few days where it felt like staying awake and alert was all I could do. I'm starting to feel a little bit angry, depressed and confused. Will I ever get rid of this? I'm not sure what the next course of action is, but I'm not very optimistic. I suppose that's the pessimist in me.
But, I'm not going to let it stop me from doing what I enjoy. It may slow me down. It may make some days shorter than I would like. It just isn't going to completely shut me down. So, if you're running, riding or ???? with me over the next little while, cut me a little slack. I don't mean treat me with kid gloves and go too easy. Just give me a chance to catch up once in a while. Give me a minute to get my wind back and regroup. I'll still be out there. I just may be a step or two slower. And ya know, I'm okay with that!
Thanks again for letting my use this forum to put thoughts to (computer) paper. That really helps!