Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Well, THAT explains a lot.

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.


Adam said...

congrats on the pneumonia!

Always good to know what you have so you can beat it. :)

get better soon. Hit some weights while you recover. Back,neck, and triceps exercise will allow you to hold aero position a lot longer.

Velosopher said...

Ha! Thanks for the kudos, Adam. You nailed it: I know I can beat this.

Yeah, been keeping up some of the resistance workouts, though not quite at the same level as while I was in Base 1/2. I think the hard truth is I'm going to have to revert to Base 1 (even if a truncated version) once I can exercise normally. That puts me on track for a peak in roughly mid- to late summer. Oh, well -- a lot better than nothin'!

idon'tremembereatingcorn said...

good to hear that you may have it figured out? What was the key to the diagnosis?

Velosopher said...

He diagnosed it after hearing all my symptoms (including stuff like fluorescent green in my sputum) and especially after listening to my lungs with a stethoscope while I breathed deeply. Until the stethoscope, he was puzzled because I seemed so healthy in all other ways -- which was my puzzlement exactly.

suitcaseofcourage said...

Are you KIDDING me?! I'm so sorry, but it sounds like you have a great doctor. I LOL'd when you mentioned he said you could still train. You're a Flahute, definitely.

Hope you're better soon!

Velosopher said...

SoC, good to hear from you!

If "flahute" means that I'm too stubborn to obey what I know is good for me, then I definitely, absolutely and without question qualify. (Kidding -- I know what it means. And thanks -- but look where it got me! I think in fact it was that 2.5 hours in zones 1-3 in 14 degree weather about six weeks ago that started off this whole bronchial adventure... That was my run at flahute, but yeesh, had I known!)

SuitcaseOfCourage said...

Beginning to think that my "winter-wimpiness" (a la indoor trainer) is making more and more sense . . .

Velosopher said...

Play it safe, me bucko -- when in doubt next year, I'll be suffering on the trainer. Better bored than bed-ridden.