August 18 & 19
Last night and this morning I came to a stark realization… I know 100% (without a doubt) that I have Giardia. I’ve had it twice before. Once I got into my room and was able to really relax, it became painfully and disgustingly clear that those were the symptoms coming over me the past couple days. It hit me full force the day after I got into town.
Jetpack got into town a little after noon, and we split a room. After running errands to resupply (plus dodging into different businesses to take care of my emergency bathroom calls), I eventually settled back into the room. It was mid-afternoon when I was finally able to take a much needed nap.
At 5 pm Jetpack and I met some of her relatives that lived nearby. They were introduced as Claire and Steve, and treated us to a fancy dinner at a brewery called CowFish. Claire and Steve were in their late 60s. They were retired and incredibly well traveled. Boy, did they know how to have a good time! They were a hoot! Thankfully, I only had to make two emergency bathroom visits during the dinner.
That night I thought I would die. There wasn’t a 45 minute span from dusk till dawn that I wasn’t running into the bathroom in misery. It was so bad. I felt terrible that I was such an awful roommate, but Jetpack seemed unfazed. She’s an Emergency Medicine Physician’s Assistant, so this was small potatoes to her.
This morning I felt even worse. Today was supposed to be the day before I do the 24-hour challenge. I felt foggy, queasy, had a migraine, and was still on the toilet as much as I was off of it. I decided I wasn’t going anywhere and would stay for a third night. Being a PA, Jetpack could write prescriptions. She offered to call in a prescription of Flagyl for me to pick up at the local Safeway pharmacy. I couldn’t agree to it fast enough! Flagyl is an antibiotic that I and many other hikers are quite familiar with.
She called the pharmacy, explained the situation, gave the pharmacist her name (along with other official information and ID numbers for various qualifications) and voila… my script was ready 45 minutes later. Jetpack is my hero! She went into full physician mode and gave me a list of approved foods to eat that would help stop me up. After picking up the Flagyl and a few of her recommended food items, I settled into the hotel room. My plan was to try and rest, recover, and re-hydrate as much as I could – putting special attention on the re-hydration.
Jetpack left out at noon, getting a ride back to trail with Claire and Steve. I planned for one more night, then a nearo tomorrow, and then the 24-hour hike. I’d catch and pass her at some point during the 24 hours.
The Flagyl is one pill, three times per day for 7 days. I’ve already taken two doses. My recovery diet has included eating bread and plain chicken all day, while drinking copious amounts of water and electrolytes. I feel much better, and the diarrhea has slowed — considerably. However, the bloating and horrendous gas continues. I can’t stay here another night, so I’m getting back on trail tomorrow. My plan is to hike a short distance before stopping at the point where I want to begin the 24-hour challenge.
I’m incredibly anxious, but I still feel game. I think I’ve stayed on top of my hydration and calories enough to counteract all the harm the Giardia has done, but we’ll see…
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