Thursday, December 08, 2011

Almost Over

I can't believe that we are already there. The season and the year simply flew by. It seems as though we were just starting the cyclocross season and now here we are at the tail end of it. For us, there is just this weekend with one race on Saturday and then next weekend with events on Saturday and possibly one on Sunday. We are not planning to head to the national championships or the world championships, both of which are held in early January right here is the USA. I get crushed badly enough right here in New England so see no reason to travel great distances to get spanked.

Hiking the AT in Shelburne, NH the day before Thanksgiving.

Speaking of flying by, the holiday season is cruising as well. In all honesty I can't believe that it's almost over. We got totally hosed out of Halloween due to the freak snowstorm and power outage that lasted for days. Then for Thanksgiving we got hit with another snowstorm for which we were again ill prepared and as such, the holiday snuck by in the blink of eye.

Now it's a couple weeks before Christmas and we don't even have a tree yet. Cathy did a good job of putting some decorations out which the cats are having fun playing with. Part of the issue is that after Thanksgiving we had the local, Sterling cyclocross races both days which although non-spectacular for either of us, had us flat out the entire weekend running back and forth each day. We'd also been scrambling to do chores around the house before winter decides to set in for real, if indeed it does.

Also early in the week last week, I somehow got some funky infection. It started with a bit of an odd pain in my right ear. I thought nothing of it but on Tuesday AM as I was sitting at work, I started to get the chills. At first I though it might just be a cold as I'd under-dressed for the race Sunday and had gotten pretty cold. Also, I attributed this initially to the fact that I rode my motorcycle in to work and even though it was warm, at 6AM it's still pretty raw and I got fairly cold. It was when the right side of my face started to swell up and I started to feel worse that I suspected something was awry.

A call to the doctor's office was only able to net me an appointment with the nurse the following afternoon. A Google of the interwebs had me convinced that this could just be a ear blockage and so I went home and went to bed. I climbed freezing into bed dressed in expedition weight thermals, under all of the covers, blankets and down comforter, with a toque on, while the outside temp climbed to nearly 70 degrees. An afternoon of restless sleep punctuated by the chills.

When I finally dragged out that evening Tuesday, my face was a mess; worse than normal. It was swollen, red and warm to the touch. I felt pretty darn miserable as well. I knew that this was bad and contemplated going to the ER but didn't want to be that guy who overreacts all the time. Instead I decided to wait for the appointment that I'd made earlier, the next day, Wednesday. This wasn't looking very good for racing on the weekend, which was a bit disappointing as it was the final weekend events of the Verge cyclocross series.

To make a long story shorter, this was a bad idea. The nurse freaked out when she saw me and my Cellulitis, snagged the doctor, who however was unimpressed. He prescribed oral antibiotics (Augmentin) and sent me on my way until the following afternoon when I was supposed to check back in. In short, things did not get better by the middle of the next day, which was now Thursday. I verified with the doctor's office that the next step would be the ER then headed there. As expected, they pumped me full of IV antibiotics and sent me home with a nifty IV hookup still in my arm and instructions to come back for more on Friday.

The Thursday AM photo doesn't really express how huge the swelling seemed.

Luckily, when I woke up on Friday AM things were looking much better. By the afternoon when I headed back the ER they were even better yet. Unfortunately, the ER is no place to be on a Friday afternoon. We waited around for 3 hours before getting in and hooked up for the IV. Then they had the drip set on extra slow and what should have taken 1/2 hour took nearly an hour. At that point though they were trying to chuck folks out of there as quickly as possible to make room for the incoming slew of weekend warriors. They yanked the IV out, stuck a bandage on it and sent me home.

I was glad to have come out of it OK. Secretly I was pretty concerned, for a few reasons. For one, I've had Cellulitis before, 15 years ago in my hand. They had a really hard time controlling it, even with IV antibiotics, multiple times a day over the course of an whole week. The face is really close to important things, like the lymphatic system. If the infection spreads there, you are basically porked. Lastly, I'm also on this nifty medication for arthritis that suppresses my immune system, making me particularly susceptible to infections. All good stuff.

The scary after shot on Friday PM. Scary as it's as good as it gets.

So here we are. I missed the last weekend of Verge racing. This weekend is Ice Weasels already. I'm not sure if I'm psyched for it or not. One weekend, the regional championships, after that and then we are done. Hopefully the weather will change for real and it will feel more like the holiday season. This 60 degree stuff in December has gotten old. I'm ready for some winter, and some change.

1 comment:

Jonny Bold said...

Jeez Mike, thats some serious shit. I'm glad it all worked itself out and you're healthy again.

It's funny, those pictures you took of yourself, you look so angry or stern, and yet I've never seen anything that remotely resembles that look from you. Just the opposite as I'm sure everyone that knows will attest. But I suppose we'd all have a look of concern, considering the circumstances.

Happy snow mobiling/holidays to you and Cath, JB