Yesterday Michael and I went hiking. It’s actually something the chiropractor suggested as a way to test the theory that the breathing trouble I’ve had for years now was not actually asthma but pulmonary edema (most likely caused by a bout with Whooping Cough when I was in San Francisco). The idea is that extreme exertion should trigger the fluid build-up in my lungs. The punchline of the story is that the hike did indeed trigger some fluid accumulation which has lingered into today. It also triggered something more insidious – the awful chest pain that sent me to the ER many times when I lived in SF. I can’t wait to talk to the doctor about this one.
I think I knew that I was going to get a confirmation of the diagnosis even before I went on the hike. I have painting the living room/ dining room area for about a week now, and the longer I stayed on the ladder painting, the more likely I was to have breathing problems at the end of the day. If I worked too long, I couldn’t look up anymore without getting dizzy and losing vision. Something is definitely wrong.
The room(s) I’ve been painting have really high ceilings, for the record. I’m not so sick that I can’t handle a standard 7ish foot wall. In the living room portion, the ceiling slopes from about 7 feet up to about 17 or 18 feet. Above the dining room and in the hall, the ceilings are at a sustained 17 or 18 feet height. Michael took some pictures:
I’ve almost finished all I plan to do before we leave town again. When I come home, I’ll get to the kitchen and hall, I think. I just had to learn to pace myself, taking days off when I was feeling down.
Anyway, the hike itself was actually quite nice, despite the struggle with breathing. We went out to the Highlands Ranch Backcountry since it is close to home, and not rated too terribly difficult in case I needed to get out of there in a hurry.
You can click on the map to make it bigger. We walked from the parking lot on the lower right side of the map, up the East-West Regional Trail to the first branching area, down to Bucksnort, up Longhorn Ledge, through Outlaw, and back down the East-West Regional Trail. We chose this path because it seemed have a decent change in elevation (a total of 500 feet) and a long enough distance (6.3 miles) to cause the problems I was trying to trigger.
I had the impression that a lot of Colorado is scrub lands. From the car, all I really see are yellow fields (although they tend to be green during the change from winter to summer) and low bushes. I really didn’t expect the pretty things I saw on the trail.
There were a lot of nice views as well.
There were some man made things worth noting on the trail as well.
All-in-all, I had a good time hiking. Admittedly, I may not be up to doing anything much more strenuous than what we just hiked right now, but I’m betting that in time I’ll be able to handle it.