We came back from hiking on Monday, two days earlier than planned. The temperature ticked up from the mid-90s to the high 90s, and so did the humidity. We did 12 miles on Saturday, 9 on Sunday, 7 on Monday. We both got bit up by chiggers on Saturday, which is a thoroughly miserable experience. If you are from the North you don't know about the South's dirty little secret: CHIGGERS. You can't see them and they don't start to itch or burn until hours later, so you never know exactly where you were when you got bitten.
If a mosquito bite is a pea shooter, a chigger bite is a nuclear bomb! I cannot emphasize how excrutiating they are. We each have about 20 of them, mostly on our ankles but I have two between my fingers and a couple on my back. It's been 3 days and they are still driving me crazy and waking TC up at night.
Frustration #2 -- the cardiologist
The cardiologist's office doesn't seem to be particularly well run. Despite my telling them on Friday they should use my cell phone number, we got home on Monday to find a message on the home phone saying their treadmill was fixed and could I come in that afternoon. Lucky we decided to come home early, right? I called them back and said yes, but when she found out I had drunk coffee that morning she said they could squeeze me in on Tuesday afternoon.
So Tuesday morning she calls and says the treadmill is broken again! I ask if I could possibly get some information about the three tests I already had taken, including the 24 hours on the heart rate monitor. After being on hold for about 10 minutes she told me "It hasn't been read yet." She said she'd have someone look at it after lunch and call me back.
So I sat in the house all afternoon and you guessed it, no call.
So here's what I don't understand: why do I need Test #4 when they apparently haven't looked at the results of tests #1, #2, and #3?
And something else I thought was weird: on my first visit, after tests #1 and #2 and after getting hooked up to the heart rate monitor, I was given an appointment card for a "follow up" visit in 2014. Why do I need a follow up appointment a year from now when they don't even know yet if anything is wrong?
SO....I'm losing faith in this guy and feel like I'm being over-tested for the insurance money. So I think I'm going to decline test #4 and wait until they can evaluate the results of tests #1, #2, and #3.
We leave for Peru in five days and I need to get myself in a good place mentally. Someone in our group posted a YouTube video of the same trail we are taking, and it looks positively DAUNTING. My mantra for the next 5 days is, "I am strong. I am capable. I can do this."
The video is long, but here it is if you are interested in seeing what I'll be doing next week:
Sorry this is long, but it is nearly 3:00 a.m. and I can't sleep because of the dang chigger bites!