I’ve spent the last year being down.
It’s was a combination of stress from grad school and chronic back pain. It kept me from being as active as I wanted, hiking, and otherwise enjoying the outdoors.
Then there was a big up.
After 6 months of medication to manage my back pain, yoga to get stretchy again, a lot of walking, and finishing up my degree, I was really to take life by the horns. I started hiking again regularly and going on some big adventures with Chester and Gretel.
A little over two weeks ago, Gretel hiked her longest, steepest trail yet. She had hiked a really steep trail before. A week prior, she had hiked her longest trail. She had not hiked one that was both steep and long though.
We hiked to Blanca Lake in the Cascade Mountains. This lake had been on my bucket list for almost 2 years. The trail climbs about 3,300 feet in 4 miles and was uphill in the snow over half of the way. Gretel did start to get tired on the way back down (and so did I) but she was a champ. The physical accomplishment and, the spectacular beauty of the lake, was a definite high point – a huge “up” in our life.
Then things went down. Way down.
A few days after our hike, I flew to Las Vegas for a conference. How fun right? Well, it wasn’t. It was one of the most frustrating conference experiences of my life. Several people were coughing and hacking throughout the sessions and I ended up getting sick. Real sick.
Although it was one of the most excruciating days of my life, I managed to travel home. My 103 temperature went down over the next couple of days but then it went back up. My “bronchitis” suddenly felt different to. Hubby took me to urgent care.
My fears were confirmed when the doctor reviewed my x-rays – I had pneumonia.
It really sucks. It could have been worse. I don’t have the kind of pneumonia that puts you in the hospital and I only have it in one part of one lung. It’s still not fun.
At this point, I am “better” but I still feel like I can’t breathe. I am still spending a lot of my time on the couch resting. I hear that it can take 3 – 6 weeks for people to get their lung capacity back and some are never the same.
So after doing one of the biggest hikes I’ve done, I will be starting my fitness from square one again.
Luckily, Chester and Gretel enjoy all of our adventures. No matter how big or small, it’s always the best thing they have ever done. As they always have, they will help me get through the bad time.