The faded pink LW balloon, at St. Peter’s hospital in Helena, MT.
Lael has clarified the pattern of her situation in the days since the big attack. Mornings are fine, if still characterized by cold-like symptoms, afternoons and evening are increasingly challenging as her breath shortens, coughing fits grow like thunderclouds, and the wear of illness and hundred-plus mile days accumulates.
She rolled into Helena today about 5:30 PM, 100 miles from her morning camp. Her breath was shallow, her breathing labored. She went directly to St. Petere’s Urgent Care facility where she was admitted for diagnosis, including a chest x-ray which eliminated pneumonia as the culprit. I didn’t hear the exact words, but a respiratory infection of this sort is generally called bronchitis. She was prescribed an albuterol inhaler, an antibiotic, and something else to relieve the symptoms, which I don’t recall or she didn’t mention.
Lael took her script to the local Walgreens pharmacy, which was meant to be filled in 20 minutes. She rolled back to downtown Helena to the outdoor store to replace a bivy she lost during the day, but the store was closed. She will ride tonight without the bivy and will look for a replacement of some sort in Butte. At Walgreens once again, she picked up her meds and supplies, and rolled out of town. She spent no more than 3: 30 in Helena.
Working nine, ten hour days at a busy bike shop in Alaska, I do my best to step out for a moment if and when she calls. I didn’t hear from her at all yesterday. Eighty degree days in Anchorage make it hard to steal away from my repair stand, but it is even harder to hear her labored breathing. All she wants is to ride fast and far.
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