Sick as a dog

It’s hard to believe that it’s already Labour Day. This summer feels like lost time.

I never really got better after the horrible illness that made the Valley GranFondo such a tough ride. The symptoms cycled on and off, with two week spells of nauseated misery followed by a few days when things would go better, activities and food were manageable, and I would start to hope I was on the mend. The cyclical nature of the illness seemed baffling to the doctors I consulted during the relapses, who consistently tested me for the wrong things and then reassured me it would eventually clear up by itself when the results came back clean.

By the time I eventually got a diagnosis and the right meds (thanks to a coworker who recognized the symptoms and suggested a different test) it was the end of August and more than six weeks since I’d been able to eat properly. In that time I’d lost twelve pounds, developed deficiencies in just about everything, and reached a state of exhaustion so severe that at red lights I would slump over the handlebars on my bike, unable to keep myself upright. Even when I had pneumonia in 2007, I don’t recall being so totally drained of energy and life. It felt like I was viewing the world through a thick, dense fog that left me three steps behind everything around me, moving with limbs as heavy as lead.

I’ve been reassured by my doctor that once I’ve completed the course of antibiotics, it should only take a couple of weeks for things to start feeling more normal. In the meantime I can at least eat again, and my strength is slowly coming back. This weekend I’ve been doing what I can to make up for lost time, although it was a bit disconcerting to find myself keeling over with exhaustion at the end of a 25km bike ride on Friday. In less than a week, I’m supposed to be riding to Whistler. At this point I’m really not sure about my ability to make the distance, but I do know that I’m going to try as hard as I can and go as far as I can and even if I don’t get to the finish line, that will be better than not trying at all.

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