So, damn it. Here we go again.
If you’ve been following along with this blog, you’ll know that I was admitted to the hospital the weekend before I left for Florida. That admission was kind of a mess. My blood pressure had fallen really low and that led to the discovery that my BP meds were probably at a dosage that was no longer needed, in that exercise and tightly controlled diet were doing the job pretty much on their own.
The problem with low blood pressure, at least for me at this point, is that it leads pretty quickly to my kidneys starting to shut down due to dehydration. That process was reversed during the three days I was in the hospital through IV hydration, and we thought we had addressed the problem by cutting in half the dosage of one of my BP meds.
But not so fast.
Wednesday of this week was a really great day for me, ride-wise. I met both of my goals- ten miles an hour and forty miles total for the day. My legs were strong at the end of the day. Even though it was very hot- near 100 degrees- I felt good throughout the ride. I’ve described elsewhere the glitch as far as not having a place to stay when I arrived in Lake Butler, but that wasn’t really a big deal.
So on Thursday everything seemed to be going OK. I did notice that I seemed to be moving along somewhat slowly as I packed up for the day’s ride, but I chalked that up to my first night camping instead of sleeping in a bed.
As soon as I got on the bike, though, it was apparent that something was up. I felt weak and wobbly from the first push on the pedals. My immediate inclination was to stop and get something to eat, as I had not been hungry before I went to bed the previous evening.
There was a handy pizza stand right next to where I had camped, so I had the nice Pizza Maiden make me one, which I then sat outside and ate.
One pizza later I got back on the bike. After riding about a mile, I called a halt. I didn’t feel steady on the bike (even with all that pizza weighing me down) and I was worried about being at risk on the busy road on which I was traveling. I stopped, leaned my bike up against a sign, and sat down on one of those above-ground utility cabinets. Nice folks brought me out some cool water from a nearby apartment building. When I couldn’t pull it together after sitting for a while the local rescue squad was called and I was off to the North Florida Regional Medical Center in Gainesville.
And, as I said back at the beginning, it’s deja vu all over again. My blood pressure is low. I’m dehydrated (despite drinking enough Gatorade on Wednesday to float a battleship). My kidneys are crying “uncle!” I’m back tethered to an IV pole.
The recommendations this time around go even further than last time. Stop both the Azor (which had already been reduced by half) and the Bystolic altogether. Wait at least two weeks before resuming my trip. Oh, and find somewhere other than Florida to resume it in. Antarctica, I guess.
So I’m really pretty down at this point. I have already hugely modified the trip from what I had originally planned. I now need to ask my wife and her mom to do without me for another two weeks. Relocating the start of the trip to somewhere meaningfully more temperate will cost at least $500 and probably more in airfare and bike teardown/shipment/reassembly. And I have only packed one pair of non-bicycling underwear.
Well, OK. The last one may verge into whining. But I guess it’s either that, or cause my kidneys to fail, or just fly home. At what point does audacity turn to folly? I guess I’m about to find out.