Though I feel like I'm in the same place I was 4 months ago when I wrote my last entry, a lot has happened, so this will be another catch-up time with a lot stuff most of my close friends already know. Maybe I'll give some section headers so you can skip. Let's get started. Since I last wrote…
I Got Sick
Back in June — in fact, a week after my previous post — I was hit hard and fast with a fever and mean headache. Initially, I took Tylenol and put ice on my head, but was really beat. Alieve ended up bringing down the fever, so I stayed on that for a week waiting for things to get better. Unfortunately, as the week progressed I became weaker and my legs started to become some until after a week and a half I could barely walk. I set an appointment for the next day and found spots on my legs when I got up in the morning. My doc knows me well and immediately recognized that I was in bad shape and lower spirits than usual and had his nurse wheel me down to the emergency room at St. E's hospital across the street from his office.
In the emergency room, the nurse whispered to the attending nurse "possible meningitis," which are apparently the magic words for service in an ER, given that I skipped the whole waiting room and went straight to an ER bed on what the doctors said was one of their busiest nights in months. Meningitis was immediately ruled out and I went through the gamut of standard tests. I'd also developed a chest pain, so, after a bad read on a chest scan, I was diagnosed with pneumonia. It wasn't pneumonia.
After a few days in a regular hospital bed my doctor, along with the infectious disease specialist, settled on a diagnosis of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, or some local variant. I was treated with some stronger antibiotics than what they'd had me on and was released (though weak and barely walking) on my fourth day there. After finishing 10 days more of antibiotics, I started to get some strength back and was able to ride my bike a week later, exactly 4 weeks after my fever had struck. In case you're wondering, there are generally 2,000 cases of RMSF in the US each year, though this year is expected to be significantly higher due to drought conditions in the South.
I Paid Off Some Debt
June would have seen the payment of the remaining balance of my credit card from school, but instead it went up a few thousand due to medical bills. HOWEVER, at the end of September, my balance was $0.00 for the first time in at least 5 years. It was a pretty big deal for me and I've kinda told everyone I can. I had more than 12K on my credit card when I graduated 3 1/2 years ago. So in that time I've paid off more than $15K on my credit card and about the same on my student loans (which still have a ways to go). I'm pretty excited to feel a little relief. Even with a higher paying job, there have been so many unexpected expenses this year that finances hadn't changed very much after TT&R – that's tax, tithe, and retirement for those of you that don't know my shorthand. Woohoo!
If you read my last post, you've probably figured out that I have not upgraded my bike as I supposed that I would by now, but that's alright. I've still been riding and am stronger now than before getting sick. The cooler weather, of course, hasn't hurt.
On Oct. 1 I rode 71 miles in the Pinewood Purgatory ride in Lufkin. The weather was perfect and there were plenty of folks reppin Bmt, so we had a grand time riding, hanging out at the stops, and of course eating!
Now that you're all caught up again, I can start on more day to day stuff as it comes up.