It’s Deja Vu All Over Again


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.


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.


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.


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.


Thinking outside the (pill)box

Wheel full 70px I take a lot of pills.  All recommended by my various docs, but “a lot” just about sums it up.  Here’s a week’s worth.


That box is 9x2x1 inches/22.5x5x2.5 cm.  A month’s worth of my meds in four of these boxes fills about a third of a front pannier.

So two questions:  First, take a look at the list of what is in each day’s compartment.

Daily (prescription)

  • Allopurinol (for gout)- one 300 mg tablet.
  • Atorvastatin (for high cholesterol) – one 20 mg tablet
  • Azor (for high blood pressure) – one 10-40mg tablet
  • Bystolic (for high blood pressure) – one 5 mg tablet
  • Torsemide (for high blood pressure) – one 20 mg tablet
  • Dexilant (for acid reflux) – one 60 mg capsule or Famotidine two E40 mg tablets (alternate every 90 days)
  • Januvia (for Type 2 diabetes) – one 100 mg tablet
  • Invokana (for Type 2 diabetes) – one 300 mg tablet
  • Niaspan (for high cholesterol) – one 500 mg ER tablet
  • Synthroid (for hypothyroidism)- one 200 mcg tablet
  • Fenofibrate (for high triglycerides) – one 160 mg tablet
  • Cyanocobalamin (for Vitamin B12 deficiency) – one 1000 mcg tablet

Weekly (prescription)

  • Vitamin D (for Vitamin D deficiency) – three 50,000 unit capsules


  • Aspirin – one 325 mg tablet per day
  • Glucosamine and Chondroitin – two tablets per day
  • Potassium gluconate – one 595 mg tablet
  • Vitamin B complex – one tablet per day
  • Vitamin E – one 1000 unit capsule every day

Wheel full 70pxI’ll note that my endocrinologist wants me to stop the Invokana when I start the ride, as he doesn’t believe I will need it at that level of activity and he is concerned about its side effect of causing dehydration.  That leaves me on one diabetes med: Januvia.  My GP doc wants me to stop the Torsemide at the same time, based on the same concern about dehydration.

Wheel full 70pxSo what about the others?  I trust my docs (and my GP is an avid bike rider), but I doubt either of them is on any of these meds.  Does anyone reading this have any real life experience with taking one or more of these meds and bicycling to excess?  I’d appreciate your feedback.

Wheel full 70pxQuestion two is: how can I ditch the boxes. I need my meds separated into daily doses, as some of the pills are quite similar in appearance.  I am also concerned about keeping each day separate from a cross-contamination standpoint.  I think it would be a good idea to just handle one day’s worth of pills at a time.

Wheel full 70pxSo small zip-loc plastic bags?  Individual daily packets made with a Food Saver heat sealer?

Food Saver 800px

Something proprietary I don’t know about?  Your recommendations are very welcome- thanks in advance.

David Edgren