Just came from the doctor's.
I have pneumonia!
After four and a half weeks of better-to-worse-to-better-etc., it took him about three minutes to figure it out. When he pronounced it, I almost broke down in tears of gratitude. Here I'd thought I was going crazy. I was a pretty healthy guy, I thought I'd rectified all the overtraining mistakes I'd made in August and September (you'll have to search for that related post -- no time to link right now...), thought I was being reasonable in my goals, following Friel's training plans to the letter, making progress, then... bang. Everything came to a screeching halt 4.5 weeks ago when I came down with a small cold -- that wouldn't go away -- and then moved to my lungs -- and then I started coughing up this flourescent green stuff in the mornings... so on.
It was so insidious! Symptoms waxing and waning... I took every natural remedy known to mankind, and a few unnatural ones. They must've helped, because I never felt really terrible. (In fact, I'm proud to say that the doctor and nurse were very impressed with my lung capacity test today; I couldn't help but kvell a little when she told me I had good results -- for someone without pneumonia. I may not ride like a hard man, but I can puff like one!)
So, the gratitude was for the fact that there was a good explanation why I couldn't kick this thing. It wasn't some stupid inexplicable immune system failure. It's my first year working in public schools and I caught pneumonia; welcome to the club.
I'd never met this doc before -- my first PCP on my new health plan in my new living location. But I literally almost kissed the guy when he told me he thought it would be fine for me to ride lightly, mostly indoors, as long as I don't get worn out. "Heating the body up is great for this kind of thing," sez he. Doc! Will you be my adoptive kindly uncle? Wait, I think you already are!
But wait. It gets better yet.
I mention my cycling training, and he tells me that he does some local triathlons. I get a sudden thrill, that "Oh, this is too good to be true" moment. I'd been hoping to find a PCP who understands the endurance athlete mentality, and wouldn't lecture me about it. I grip the armrests to keep from jumping up and hugging him, and manage to ask quietly, "What kind of bike do you have?" Needless to say, a wonderful discussion flows from there, including an invitation from him to go riding. Soon. As in, he gives me his home phone number.
He prescribes some antibiotics and assures me I should be feeling all better within two weeks, maximum. You mean after four and a half weeks, there is an actual end to this? I'm not mysteriously, endlessly ill?
I'm the happiest person ever to hear that he has pneumonia.