“Obviously you’re not a golfer”

Only one seizure today and who can blame me?  Aral has been getting progressively more and more dehydrated from this stomach bug that’s ripped through town.  Tess and I have started, nay, even completely recovered, but our little man woke up lethargic, with sunken eyes and refusing fluid and food.  We walked him over to the ER because the clinic couldn’t see him until almost noon and he just didn’t look good.

We cleared the ER and ended up going home after swinging by the car shop to pick up the Subaru.  It needed new brakes in front and a new serpentine belt in addition to changing out the winter studs (which we really didn’t need all that much this year) for summer shoes.  We took it slow and everyone had a good time.  Tess even got to see some new “interesting” houses on the walk.

By the time we got back to the house Aral’s burst of energy, saved for the ER alone, had started to run out.  It was nap time.  Tess took him to bed and joined him.  I loaded the bike up for a simulated tour around the valley.  I headed up 50 my intent to make it to Parlin and back in one piece.

Getting the Cheese
Getting the Cheese

The rhythmic wrrr-wrrr of the crank arms turning under my power its kind of mesmerizing.  This road has to be near the top of one of my favorites to tour because most of the way there’s this huge (7 or 8″) of siding.  Even on the steep parts as you climb up Monarch pass (which I did not today) have two lanes and plenty of siding in most places.

The ride out there went fast mostly because I had this incredible tail wind pushing me along.  Its almost too bad I didn’t have a sail, I wouldn’t have had to turn the cranks even on the hills.  The wind felt good with the sunshine on my back and I was moving efficiently, like I’ve been riding long distances regularly.

Saguache Turn Off

I stopped just after the entrance to Hwy 114 where it turns south toward Saguache and ate some bread and cheese.  Drank the better part of a liter of water too.  The Colorado high country really sucks it out of you.  There was a pasture of cattle on the other side of the rail with new calves jumping around in the grass.  Red winged black birds were as thick as mosquitoes, oh and there weren’t any mosquitoes.

With the possible exception of two idiots racing along in their trucks doing 90 in that 55 and one douche texting while she drove people gave me some space and even occasionally waved.  Even better they were spaced out well enough that the silence, or at least the sounds of the place weren’t muted by the sounds of traffic.

The QT at Parlin
The QT at Parlin

I got back in the saddle and finished the climb up to Parlin.  I stopped at the QT and drank some more water, tinkered with my bike a bit.  Enjoyed the sound of birds in the willows and generally just soaked it all in for a while.

The ride back to Gunnison was a struggle.  I started the climb out of Parlin with my mouth open and a 15 mph wind sucking me dry because actually I’m a noob.  I had to grind Granny gear for a while too, the wind was just pushing me around too much and well I’m recovering and a weakling too boot.

I made a few more stops along the way, picked up a deer skull, drank more water and, like a tried and true bicycle tourist endured the endless headwind.  The struggle let my mind be at peace for a while, or at least focus on things other than medical bills, frustrating diagnoses, loss of work, shame, embarrassment, anger and the rest.  And while I was focused on things like the soreness in my toes and ass, or the dryness in my nose and mouth, or the sound of the Kendas rolling over the dirty and variable surface of that big fat siding, or even when it was niggling over minor mechanical tweaks I’ll eventually make on the bike it also got some time to settle and not worry for a while.  No shakes, no dizzy, no stress.

When I made it back to Gunnison I had downed the last of my 4 liters of water and decided that I needed sugars stat!  I stopped off a McD’s and enjoyed a couple of refills of Dr. Pepper (I know its bad for me).  Fortified I rode back to the house with perhaps more carbohydrates in my system than I’ve sucked down in a long time.  It felt good for a while.

I played with Aral and talked with Tess until they went to bed.  Took the dogs for a walk, tossed the chuck-it for them until Gigi decided that she was done playing.

Honestly, I’m too physical tired right now to feel anger or frustration.  The pile of bills is sitting right next to me and I couldn’t give too shits about it right now.  Red wing black birds are building nests in the willows along Tomichi Creek and Aral now knows where his tummy is.

Tomorrow I go into visit with my PCP and fill out the remainder of my Short Term Disability paperwork.  Tess is spot on, at least I can think this right now, when she says I’m actually pretty lucky considering all the different points about this situation and that we’ll work it out given time.  The seizures haven’t stopped, but at least I no longer have them and the stomach flu and believe me that’s something I’m extremely thankful for.  Also, regardless of how sucktastic I am currently on my bike, at least I have it as a coping mechanism in my life again.  And given recovery and time I’ll get better and go further.

Thanks again to everyone who endures me through those dark moments and to everyone for your optimism, advice, and understanding.  I got a moment of clarity today and I’m going to let my Inner Dude come out a little more I think.

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