Wednesday, July 30, 2008

barkeep - I'll take a vodka with lyme.

well - you haven't heard from me for a while - and I'm guessing that some of you picked up the spelling that I used for the title. When I left Manchester Center, my knee pain was gone - I had however started a bit of a headache. I rarely get headaches and with 800mg of advil 3 times a day for the knee, was surprised that I would have one. Assuming it was just from caffeine since I had been in town for 3 days. I hiked on. As each day passed - I felt worse. No appetite, no power, very lethargic, my neck started to tighten, and then the headache got out of control. Would normally be a 7-8 out of 10, then every few mins would jump up to 12 out of 10 and I would wince out loud. Advil all day helped take the edge off of it. Was trying to hike to Rutland VT to get to the hospital. Of course had to go over the tallest peak in the state (Mt. Killington) to do it. : ) Was able to call a trail maintaineer to come get me and drop me off at the hospital. Myself and 2 Dr's all felt it was Lyme Disease. By this point I had a large rash on my left foot (the rash and headache are the key's). They drew blood and sent it off - takes a few days to get results back. They were worried that it might be Lyme Meningitis - so they gave me a CT head scan - and then - oh yeah - got to have a spinal tap. (not talking about the kick ass band with amps that go to 11). Spinal tap showed 10 white blood cells - should be none, but kind of a rounding error. As the next day went on, my nose and lip became numb, my right eye dropped and swelled, and I couldn't control/use all of the muscles in the right side of my face. They brought in a Neurologist for some tests and we upped my Lyme antibiotics to an IV based one vs the oral one. Just got the results back - it is Lyme Menegitis. Going to have to have a Pick Line installed as I am going to have to be on the IV meds for 3 weeks. Have met with a social worker to look at housing options - or might fly home. Have put about 12 bags of fluid in me - took 4 or 5 before I had to pee the first night - so I was very dry! Fluid and food - feeling better - but the moment the pain med wears off - my headache comes screaming back - so something is still causing inflammation of my brain. I'll be honest, didn't exactly plan on this. Several people out here have gotten Lyme - but they have been able to take pills and keep on hiking - everyone knows that when I do something - I go all out - so why not have it attack my brain! The hospital is great and have let me borrow a laptop so I can check in with you and let you know what is going on. No game plan yet and please don't ask me about the million dollar question - I'm not making decisions for another day or so. Spirits are still high, but also understand reality. Just part of my journey right now. Kind of ironic though - I'm dealing with the heat, cold, rain, topography, physical challenge, and even mentally holding my shit together - and it might fall apart thanks to a creepy crawly smaller than a freckle. I'm at Rutland Regional Medical Center 160 Allen Street, Rutland Vermont, 05701. room 212 802-775-7111


Anonymous said...

Oh, man. I have to tell you, I had viral meningitis as a kid. I still remember the headache, and the spinal tap was the worst pain I can remember. And I've given birth twice.

You have my prayers. Don't answer the million dollar question until you get the "guidance" you need.

Anonymous said...

Kev-that was definitely NOT what you signed up for. So sorry to hear that. Please keep us posted. We are sending our good thoughts, prayers and hugs your way.
Stacy Sarnell

Anonymous said...

Kevin! I've been so bad - read your blog all the time, but have never left a comment. We are so infinitely proud of what you've done. Will certainly be praying for this to clear up... and if it doesn't go that way- wow - what a priceless journey. We're all cheering for you here!!!
Holly Justice

Anonymous said...

Dude---so sorry to hear this. Take care of yourself and get on the mend. You have some time to rest and reflect on the journey, so take advantage of it.


Anonymous said...

Well Stinky,

Have to say the drama meter is getting buried here. Think what this week's episode will do for the price of the movie rights!

I'm really sorry about this turn of events; this well and truly sucks.

In most ways it doesn't matter though, even if you don't walk another step on the trail this year, you were well through the hard stuff and proved you were capable and on track to finish that thing. And most important, you got your head on straight, which is saying a lot :-)

Be proud and keep your head in your zen place. Showers and nurses are good things. And with a conversation starter like that idiotic kilt (e.g. " I walked commando for a thousand miles") you shouldn't lack for things to talk about...


Mark said...


We're thinking about you back here. No matter what, even if you don't go any further, it's a helluva accomplishment what you've done, and you've definitely proven that you would've gone all the way. Anyway, don't answer that question for a little bit b/c you've got the time. Besides, it's 110 heat index back here so I wouldn't rush coming back right now.

Mark Andrews