The End of the Affair…

with cycling? Perhaps.

The really discouraging year reached a new crescendo of misery over the last 3 weeks. It started with the possum. Luke the Dog does not like possums and possums don’t like Luke the Dog. Stoker tried to separate the two and got a small bite from the critter.

I look cute but I bite.

Possums do not often carry rabies, but they can. Out of an abundance of caution her doctor advised a series of rabies shots and antibiotics.

Stoker developed a severe digestive side effect from this Possum Problem Protection Program. Very severe. After a week she called her doctor for a virtual consultation. He said it was the antibiotics and it would go away. But she was still having problems a week after the pills stopped.

She finally saw the doctor in person Tuesday. He was concerned and ordered some tests. I had been urging her to get to urgent care or an ER for an IV for days. Her sister who has medical training said the same. And finally, at 8 PM on Election Night we arrived at the ER.

They did some tests which showed a ‘critical’ low potassium level and poor kidney function. They gave her two IVs and and a potassium IV, and were thinking about keeping her overnight. Finally at 4 am they decided she was well enough to go home. We got less sleep than the candidates did.

So what with worry and running around driving a very weak Stoker to appointments and ER visits and chasing down medications for her, I haven’t been out on the bike since last weekend. I did two club rides last Saturday and Sunday, the first time I’ve done that in many months. I actually felt pretty good. I always lose some fitness during walnut season since I work ‘counting nuts’. But last weekend gave me some confidence that I might not be too far out of shape.

On Thursday Stoker was much better, and later that day she saw her MD who was pleased with her improvement. I had an appointment myself that afternoon for yet another bank draining dental appointment, so I couldn’t do the club ride. Since I hadn’t ridden for 3 days I went out for a morning spin, planning to do about 2 hours with a few hard efforts to continue getting back to pre-walnut season shape.

I rode two miles, but I was actually hating being on the bike. That never happens. I rarely quit a ride before I had planned to. When I do it is because I’m sick, or the weather is bad, or I’m dehydrated or exhausted from consecutive days on tour.

None of that was the case on Thursday. I didn’t have any pains or injuries or sickness, the weather was great, and I was well rested, at least as cycling goes. It is true that I slept only 2 hours on Tuesday (because of the ER visit, not the election) and 4 hours on Wednesday, so I certainly wasn’t at my best.

But this was something new. I didn’t want to be on the bike. I hated the idea of turning the pedals and just wanted to go home. I thought I loved cycling but in that moment on Pezzi Road I hated it. I didn’t care if I ever got on a bike again.

To Ride or Not to Ride? Thursday the answer was not.

I will probably keep riding. It keeps my weight down and my good cholesterol up and helps control my blood pressure. But my love affair with cycling is on hiatus. Temporarily? We shall see.

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