My bike trip is stalled at 48 miles. I haven’t pedaled for over three weeks due to being too weak. I was  doing 4.5 miles a session.  The last session I only did 4 miles because I had overexerted myself in the morning.

I had been out with Yudhistre cutting fence posts. I would measure and he would cut and stack.  Extra pieces become firewood and I was loading a lot of that into my van.

Then the roof caved in. The van is still not unloaded.

I got what I thought was a cold and it turned into bronchitis  which I finally got antibiotics and an inhaler for. The inhaler turned a relentless and near constant cough into more an occasional visitor but after 4 days on antiiotics I am still too tired to do much of anything though today I am able to sit up for a couple of hours at a time.

The whole situation got complicated by low hemoglobin. Normal hemoglobin is 13-16.  At  dialysis they manage my levels by giving me Epogen.  They aim for 10-11 as more than that they claim could cause strokes or something.

They got a lab reading of 13 so stopped giving it to me for 2 weeks and then resumed it at a lower rate.

One day I was looking out the window on a rare winter sunny day and colors were washed out. The last time that happened my hemoglobin was 7.5 when I was failing interferon treatment for Hep C. Low hemoglobin will make you short of breath.

I asked them to test me and my hemoglobin level did get to 8.  That triggered a blood transfusion which should have revived me. While I noticed more energy it wasn’t dramatic.  That is what prompted a visit to my primary physician and the diagnosis of bronchitis.

In retrospect  the 13 was a lab error as that would explain how their response ended in such a low reading.

He had me get a chest x-ray which ruled out pneumonia but affirmed the presence of a pleural effusion, which is fluid build up in the lung cavity. We have known about this since last summer but now he made an appointment with a lung specialist and hopefully we can get it drained.

So between broncitis, low hemoglobin and the pleural effusion, inhaling more than about half capacity has not been an option. Since the transfusion I have been able to walk the 10 feet (3 meters)  to the bathroom without panting but that is about the extant of it, longer journeys than that mean chest heaving.

So hopefully I will improve soon but for now no exercise bike, trip stalled.

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