It’s Deja Vu All Over Again

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Wheel full 70px So, damn it.  Here we go again.

Wheel full 70px 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.

Wheel full 70px 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.

Wheel full 70px But not so fast.

Wheel full 70px 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.

Wheel full 70px 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.

Wheel full 70px 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.

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Wheel full 70px 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.

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Wheel full 70px 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.

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Wheel full 70px 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.

Wheel full 70px 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.

Wheel full 70px 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.

Wheel full 70px 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.

 

9 thoughts on “It’s Deja Vu All Over Again

  1. Sorry to hear the troubles continue. Not sure what I would do, stubborn me would hang with your relatives in Florida, if my memory is not too bad you were headed that way, for a couple of weeks doing day rides seeing if you can build up to your needed distance and pace, then continuing. Practical me would hang it up and go home, but when there spend the rest of the good weather season biking, then walking and hiking then cross country skiing until spring/summer when you can take another shot at it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I noticed you hadn’t posted in a few days. Glad to hear you got the medical help you needed promptly, but sorry to hear that you needed medical help. Don’t let the delay get you down. Use the two weeks to talk with a nutritionist and devise a comprehensive plan for meals (I don’t need to call it fuel for your body do I?) it might be that all the salt in the pizza had a negative effect.
    Looking forward to your new plan.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m very sorry to hear of your health problems!!! I wish you a prompt recovery, and don’t worry about re-planning once again your trip: you will enjoy it anyway!!! DON’T GIVE UP!!!

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  4. Maybe I’m on the wrong track, but, did you try monitoring your blood sugar around the time these problems were happening? Many otherwise totally healthy people get a blood sugar crash after eating a lot of carbs. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reactive_hypoglycemia . Many people without diabetes experience this effect, and, it’s entirely possible that your recent dieting and physical activity have largely reversed your type 2 diabetes, so you’re going to feel different after certain kinds of meals than you’re used to. Personally, I specifically avoid eating a whole pizza, or even half one, just because of this effect. I also feel like total crap after all kinds of other carbohydrate-fests. Well, maybe this isn’t it, but it’s something to think about anyway.

    I’d advise shifting to meals that don’t spike your blood sugar. Because fat and fiber can slow the rate at which sugar enters the bloodstream, you can also somewhat alter a meal’s effect just by eating in a different order: fiber and fat first, followed by protein, then carbs. This rules out having significant amounts of sugary drink early in the meal (and ideally you would avoid sugary drinks always). I also strongly suggest putting sizable meals AFTER any athletic activity and never right before. If you’ll pardon the possible irresponsibility of me giving this kind of advice as a non-medical professional, it kinda sounds like you’re healthy enough to do what you want, but you just walked right into some no-no’s that would have made it a lot harder for almost anyone.

    I also personally find pizza really dehydrating. I have to drink a bunch of water after overindulging in pizza. I’m not sure why, but maybe it’s saltiness like Mrs. Whatsit suggested. If it’s salt, that kinda points to cheese and tomato sauce, which are both two awesome things that I love, but I guess they’ve got to come in only small amounts if you’re cycling in Florida in July. Also, many brands of tomato sauce are, unfortunately, loaded with sugar, so you ought to be skipping those anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. David,

    I’m not particularly comfortable giving this advice. I don’t completely understand the medical situation and from your last post about your hospital stay it sounds like a complicated picture. But I’m just going to come out with it. If I were you mission commander I’d do the conservative, risk-averse thing and scrub this mission. Take the next eight months to address these issues and get as far away from these medications as you can. You could make substantial improvements in both your overall health and fitness in that period of time, sort out the medication issues, and come back and take another whack at this in February when the weather is more suited for riding the southern tier.

    That said, I’m not your mission commander and who’s to say life will offer you this opportunity again? If the docs thoughtI could stay out of the hospital by ditching the meds, and If I knew this was likely my only shot, I’d start improvising right now. Find a way to back off, cut the daily mileage in half while figuring out the hydration issues, and make peace with the idea that I might be packing this one in somewhere in Colorado after a great ride up to that point. Does Greyhound or Amtrack offer you any options to get up north where the weather will be friendlier? Could you get to Yorktown VA, for example and take the Adventure Cycling TransAmerica Trail west?

    Anyway, I’m wishing you the best. I know what this means to you. Feel free to reach out.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Also sorry for your health issues and wish you the very best in deciding where to go from here.

    I am also going to throw in my two pennies and suggest spending more of your money. How about shipping your bike back home and buying a second-hand, but reliable, motorcycle and riding it along your original B2B route plus riding it on home. Maybe that would take some of the sting out of not being able to complete the bike trip at this time.

    Whatever the outcome is you have a lot of people pulling for you.

    Good luck.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ll just respond quickly here to the great suggestions in this thread. I’m at my sister’s house in Spring Hill, Florida and am in a place where I can puzzle through the significant issues the past few days have raised. I don’t know how anyone can think straight during a hospital stay. I know I couldn’t. So keep an eye peeled for my thinking out loud about the situation here over the next few days. Whatever I wind up doing I promise it won’t be boring.

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    • We never expect you’ll be boring, and you are right that no one can think clearly while a hospital patient. The lack of decent sleep alone, what with vital checks and the various noises not to mention whatever causes you to be admitted, will pretty much guarantee no reasonable decisions being made.

      Liked by 1 person

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