Terii’s Cycling Babble

Yay! We Did It!
July 3, 2017, 12:50 pm
Filed under: Day Rides, Misc

Loke & siblings on their birthday.

It’s official! The average life span of a husky is between 12-14 years. There were times when I wasn’t sure we were going to make it to the minimum, but as of July 1st, 2017, it happened. Loke turned 12. All his infections and various other scares with tumors, antibiotic resistances and such, but we held on and made it through.

I posted last on June 29th, saying I was about to go to the health ward in hopes of getting some help.

Perhaps, because it’s the start of the official ‘vacation’ time in Sweden so people want to get over every little ache and such before heading off, but the health ward was a madhouse with people dropping in like crazy. I checked in and made it up to the waiting room. I hurt. Everything ached and burned, though at least once I was seated, the profound weakness started to ease up and my breathing improved.

Finally, after an hour and half, a nurse called for me. She was a bit impatient as I made my way to the exam room. Once there, I started to explain the issue, with some of the back story about the Lyme Disease, how I felt 1000% better when I was being treated for it, but the symptoms came back. She didn’t listen. I could see it. I started to get frustrated. Perhaps it was a mistake to mention the pain, because she focused on that instead of hearing what I was saying about not being able to breathe when I did anything that required moving, or how it was like my muscles just turned to jelly.

I talked, she didn’t listen, proving it completely when I stopped explaining and the first words out of her mouth were, ‘I’ll book you with a physical therapist.’

Instantly, I could see how the next month or more was going to play out. 2 weeks or more to get an appointment with the PT because most of them would be on vacation and the rest buried with work load. Then taking the time to do what the physical therapist said, meaning at MONTH at the very least before I’d be back to talk to the nurse to again attempt to get them to LISTEN. Then, who knows how long to get an appointment with a doctor, who I will then still have to convince that another trip to the PT will NOT help. All the while, the weeks and months, I’d be in pain, gasping for air with my vision going gray and limbs threatening to drop me in a pile on the ground/floor every time I tried to move more than 100 yards at a time. What? Some damn stretches and little exercises are supposed to fix the shortness of breath or the fact my muscles feel like a battery-driven toy with the power running out?

I burst into tears and started ‘yelling’ without actually yelling. You know, that slightly raised voice, suppressed through gritted teeth, struggling not to erupt into a full throated scream of rage? My dignity and grip on trying to be calm and rational just gone in the face of the woman’s damn indifference and arrogance. My sobbing, yelling/not-yelling tirade went something along the lines of, ‘No! PT will NOT fix this. That is not what THIS is. I’m in PAIN. I CAN’T BREATHE! I CAN’T MOVE! LISTEN to me. I’m not lying. I’m not making this up. JUST SOMEONE HELP ME!‘. There was more, but it was really just repeating the same words in different order, pounding her with my desperation and frustration as it were.

I would have laughed at the look on her face except I was just so angry. Then she started telling me to calm down, that the doctors were busy and couldn’t see me right away. I broke out of my rant to tell her I didn’t expect to see a doctor on the instant, but that she needed to listen and not waste my time, making me suffer longer, with PT. Then she asked for a moment and scrambled out of the room while I regathered the shattered pieces of my dignity and composure.

When she came back, she said she had set up for me to have an EKG to check my heart because of my shortness of breath. Even though I was fairly sure that was going to come back normal, I agreed. At least it wasn’t a physical therapist. Also, she booked me a time with a doctor for July 4th. A nice big chunk of time so I’d have time to talk to the doctor. That’s great! Provided she actually listens to what I say rather than making a snap judgement that leaves me to suffer.

The nurse/technician who set me up for the EKG and ran the machine was a doll. She really was. Seeing my face, she asked if I was okay, encouraging me to talk to her while putting on the sensors. She couldn’t do anything about the problem, except run the EKG, but the fact that she was actually hearing what I was saying was something of a relief. Someone in the Swedish medical profession who wasn’t just brushing me aside.

I admit, I felt a bit silly about my meltdown as I left, but honestly, what was calm rationality getting me? Nada. I think I would have preferred more anger and determination over histrionics though.

Oh, yeah. There’s also another source of immense stress. There’s an issue with the Tax Authority. I won’t go into it, but could be looking at fines or charges for someone else’s mistake. Yay.

So, between my physical issues and that delightful legal stress, perhaps my medical melt-down was no surprise. I’ve been teetering on the edge of anxiety for a couple weeks at least.

With 2+ days devoured with trying to get the medical and tax matters dealt with, there was no riding. So, on June 30th, I was determined to head out for a ride.

By the way, I’m still loving those gears. Jens dropped Loke and I off at the garage and I set out. It was quite a pretty day. A bit warmer than Loke and I prefer, but pleasant, breezy and sunny. The furry one seemed to be glad at being out and moving and, once on the trike, I felt mostly okay. A bit weaker than when I was taking the antibiotics. The shortness of breath though? Not a trace. My muscles had energy even if they lacked ‘fitness’. None of that burning muscular pain either.

As the good feeling stayed with me, I pushed on to add distance. The garrison out-n-back as well as the northern out-n-back along the river. I’ve not done that part of the river loop in ages. Been too busy coddling my hip, which on that ride felt fine. So, off I went.

We finished up with over 6 miles and a better frame of mind.

July 1st, I finally got out on my birthday kayak. Getting it ready went much better from a physical standpoint than it had on the day I aired it up in the back lawn of the apartment building.

There were some issues though. Was worried about dropping the paddle and losing it in the river. I couldn’t take my phone out for photos because I didn’t want to lose grip on the paddle. I was in a badly seated position which made propelling the kayak difficult, but couldn’t effectively shift into a better seating arrangement because I didn’t want to lose grip on the paddle. Sensing a theme? Another huge annoyance was my flotation device. A vest. It had fit very nicely when I tried it on the first couple times, even when I sat down. For some reason, as soon as I sat down my kayak, the chest portion of the vest wound up above my nose. Jens walked around in the area where I paddled and when I was just a few yards from where I’d launched, he called. I actually had to put the phone through the arm hole to get to my ear. It’s not that the vest was too big. Any smaller and I would barely have been able to zip it closed. It just rode up and there is no groin strap to keep it down.

So, that’s about all since the last post. Fingers crossed for my doctor visit tomorrow.


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