Monday August 11, 2014
If you felt this crappy on a work day, you’d just call in and take the day off. And that is essentially what I’m doing today. I’m calling in sick to the bike ride. Actually, this is part of my ride one day/rest one day attempt at keeping my asthma under control. But I don’t know if it is working. My lungs have lost their raspiness which is not a good sign. When they are raspy, it at least means some of the airways are open and the mucous moves. Now my lungs are so tight, there is no rasp left. It is just tight wheezing and short breaths. I feel as if the lower 2/3 of lungs are useless. I cannot get a deep breath. If I try, I cough a feeble, useless cough that hurts enough sometimes for me to wince in pain. The pleurisy-type pains in my lungs are nearly constant. And the smoke is even thicker again today. When the air is visible and the sun seems like it is shining through thin stratus, even though it is a clear day, then that is enough for me to feel like crap.
Around 11 am, I head the couple miles back down the road to the bakery. The prices were so reasonable, I decided yesterday that I’d come back to get lunch and treats today. The guys are very enthusiastic. It is a change from peanut butter and trail mix. All of the sweet treats are things I can’t get back in Australia – sweet pumpkin cream roll, choc rice krispie/peanut butter bar, and pecan pie. These will get rationed over a couple days if the Commander doesn’t pull something sneaky.
The high today is forecast to be 104F. My little thermometer will get as high as 103F in the late afternoon. With the thick smoke and the heat, it is pretty much misery defined. I feel pretty horrible, so that makes ‘unpleasant’ seem worse than it otherwise would. I spend most of the day in the tent just lying on my back with my wet jersey over my head to keep me cool. Maybe it helps filter the air too, but probably not. The only time I get up is to refill water bottles and wet down the jersey. Inside the tent in the shade is actually cooler than any other options I try. I do drink enough to stay hydrated. A dehydration headache is the last thing I need!
I convince myself to go for a walk down the path along the river. It is pleasant and scenic but I’ve got little energy. My lungs must not be getting enough oxygen in for my heart to pump to all the places it needs to go.
I go for a swim in the very cold but shallow and icky water. I make sure not to get any of that in my mouth! This cools me off temporarily but the steep climb back up the bank is rough on my lungs. Ugh.
The guys and I check out the lower part of the river and watch some kids jumping off a dock. But that’s about all I can muster today before going back to the tent to lie down, listen to music and try to breathe.