Sunday, April 11, 2010

Is There A Doctor In The House? (April 10: Day 38--Lake Charles, LA)

After my "smelling the roses" ride, my knee was swollen and painful, and my back ached as if I had hoed two acres of bad soil.  That evening, I listened to the drunks argue outside my room, I took two Advil and slid into bed, trying not to think about who or what, had previously used the natty bedspread.  I woke up at about 3 AM to use the bathroom...not much happened...then at 3:15, again, nothing...3:30....oh my goodness, in serious pain, I was now passing blood in my urine....ouch, ouch, ouch......I was shivering, nauseous, in pain, the a nasty 'rent-by-the-week' motel.  I got up and down, up and down....pacing, pacing, pacing....try to sleep....can't lie still...up and and out of the bathroom,  lights out so I don't wake up Mary.....wanting to scream, but biting my lip instead....up and, pacing, long is the night....will it never end....  up and down, up and down...throw up....cry...   Finally, morning broke and at 6, I went down to find one of the tour leaders.  Linda was up, with her 'headlight' on, making breakfast.  Disheveled and red-eyed, clutching my lower abdomen, she took one look at me and knew all was not well.  And right she was; I was fairly certain I was the unfortunate victim of a urinary tract infection, or a UTI.

Now we were in Silsbee, Tx, and there is nothing there but unemployment and folks without, the closest urgent care was at our next stop in Lake Charles, some 70 miles away.  In what seemed an eternity, the group finally departed on their bikes, while the leaders broke down 'camp', loaded the trailer and van, and also got on the road.  Thankfully, Karen Carlson gave me some AZO tablets and cranberry juice, so at least the worst of the pain had subsided, even if my pee was now the color of cherry/orange Popsicles.  

Finally in the Urgent Care, I was seen within 20 minutes....of course, it was only 9:30, and only the truly ill were there at that hour.  They needed a 'sample', which was a challenge.....(you men have no idea)....and I managed to stain their toilet bowl bright orange in the process--I don't think it would take a genius to figure out who did it....oh {{blush}}, how embarrassing.  I tried scrubbing it out with the toilet brush, but it wouldn't come off.  I hope it isn't permanently stained! {{sigh, blush}}.  

Into the examine room.....the doctor enters.....
"Are you one of those women riding to Florida"
"I have a friend who did that a few years ago.  She rode every single mile. Are you doing that?"
" my present condition, I don't think every mile is going to be possible"
"Oh...well, she didn't get sick or injured'
"We have a few people who have ridden every mile...we call them, "EFI"ers"
"EFI--what is that"
"Well, are you sure you want to know--it isn't very ladylike",  I said as he prodded my abdomen.
Eyebrow go up....."OH--what does it mean?"
"Every fucking inch", I answered.
He belly laughed so hard that he 'depressed' harder than he intended, causing me to squeal "Ouch"
"Oops...sorry" (Well, what did I expect at an Urgent Care on an early Saturday morning?)

Forty-five minutes and hundred dollars later, with a diagnosis of "urinary tract infection" and prescription in hand, I was headed to Walgreen's with the doctor's parting advice of "Wash your bike shorts more often  (By the way, readers, they get washed after every wearing... {{SIGH}}) "and no riding until Monday

So for the past two days I have, once again, been benched for medical reasons. 

Question:  When a football team wins the Super Bowl, do the players that have been sidelined for medical reasons feel they were part of that win?  Having missed so much riding due to saddle sores, and now this problem, have I really ridden across the country?  Twice I CHOSE not to ride because I didn't feel the riding conditions were safe for me, and I don't regret those decisions...for me, they weren't safe.  So, given that, I was never going to be an 'EFI' candidate....but I never counted on so many sick days.

Regardless, I am doing something that two years ago would have had the impossibility factor equivalent with walking on the moon, and yet, here I am.  So I get to embrace what I am doing instead of dwelling on what I perceive as shortcomings.  Yay, me!!  Three years ago, I was wrapping up a divorce, all alone in Ohio and trying to leave as fast as I could, very overweight and smoking cigarettes to help me, I am riding across America.....yes, I've come a long way.  Yay me!  So, I may not be riding 'every ****ing inch', but in the big scheme of things, I have.

The trouble with being off a few days is that it interrupts the mental and physical flow of things.  It is mentally hard to get back on the bike and into the rhythm after being off a few days.  The routine has been interrupted--doing "A, B, then C" everyday by rote has been broken. So tomorrow, I will be back on my bike...then go into a scheduled rest day, so it will actually 3 more days before I can actually resume the normal routine.  Hopefully, nothing more will cause this routine to be disrupted.

So tomorrow I ride..........tomorrow, I once again walk on the moon.

72 miles


  1. I have been following the group's trip from the beginning and reading all the blogs. I have enjoyed them all and almost feel as though I am part of the group! I want to let you know that I especially enjoy your posts. I like your writing style and your sense of humor. I'm sorry you have been plagued with so many "ailments", but your good attitude will pull you through. You go girls!!

  2. You told me once that we "make" (by choice or circumstance) our own "realities" for a reason............

  3. Shari--Quite true.....bacterial infection...not so sure that was a choice

  4. But you are still on an amazing trip!! Feel better soon, MoM! :)

  5. You've already learned about expectations on this trip and I think this post is a perfect example of how you've changed your thinking in the past 2 months. Sure, you were hoping to ride everyday (or at least almost everyday), but like everything, life happens. And it isn't always fun or pretty. But instead of moping or quitting, you keep going and see the positive. Instead of looking at what you haven't done, you look at how far you've come. And trust me, it's far! You are a completely different woman than you were 3 years ago--and you definitely were forced through EFI then.. So you've done your EFI journey for this lifetime (even if not by choice), and now this is your opportunity to enjoy yourself and take care of yourself. Don't feel the need to try and meet some unrealistic goal because that will sour your entire trip.

    And yes, it still counts as winning the Super Bowl ;)

  6. Oh, and that post is from your secret friend

  7. Dear Secret Friend~~Thank you. That made me tear up! Thank you for that acknowledgement. It landed.

  8. I love you Mom and I agree with Secret Friend. Feel better soon :)