The 2017 Iditarod Trail Invitational
The 2017 ITI started at 2 p.m. Sunday at the edge of Knik Lake. I was there, but rather than standing next to a loaded bike and bubbling with nervous excitement, I was on the sidelines. I've mentioned this before, but I'm pretty bummed about missing the race. I need to get over it. I'm in Alaska, enjoying gorgeous scenery, and visiting friends. To be honest, though, the prospect of an Idiatrod Trail adventure is one thing that's kept me optimistic through all of my issues over the past few months: Anxiety over the world's current state of affairs, increasing brain fog, poor writing efforts, and diminishing physical capacity. Now that I know the likely cause, I have a potential solution to my issues. This is reason for optimism, but I still have the anxiety and the brain fog without the release of physical activity and joy of adventure. I've been taking it fairly easy. This just makes me feel worse.
I learned last week that I have Grave's Disease. It's an autoimmune condition that's thought to affect people with genetic predisposition, and possibly triggered by bacterial and viral infections. Like most autoimmune conditions, it will never go away on its own. Diet and a few lifestyle changes are on my radar, but Graves Disease requires treatment, one way or the other. The initial path is to experiment with medications. My hormone levels tested high enough to justify an aggressive dose of methamizole, which I've taken every morning for a week. The drug supposedly has some nasty side effects, but those haven't yet hit. To be honest I don't feel any different yet, but it's a hopeful path even if not ideal.
Those last two paragraphs were difficult to write, and I'm am struggling to go back and read them. My brain fog is actually pretty bad today. One of the effects of hyperthyroidism is difficulty focusing for more than a few seconds. When reading, I scan through a line on a page, lose my place, and fail to find the next line. By the time I've gone searching for it, I mostly forget what I'd already read. This struggle with reading is recent and intermittent, but it freaked me out to an extent that I didn't tell anyone or even conduct a Google search — "I'm losing my ability to read" — for fear it would make it so. I worried that I was losing my mind. Maybe early-onset dementia. And that would be so, so much worse than losing my physical capacity.
But everything is fine, of course. Beat is out there plugging along and mostly enjoying himself, although the first days are always hard. He's still recovering from a cold that prompted him to bring a small pharmacy with him to the start. He frets about congestion and foot pain. Actually, he's like this initially every year, before he settles in and develops that groove that's always made him unstoppable.