Getting There & Breathing Better

For those who’ve been worried (I guess I list myself among that group) my breathing is better.

I had a few days to kill before Toronto, so I drove up to Montreal as I’d planned on sight seeing. I was so exhausted on the road that I pulled into a Holiday Inn Express, where – inexplicably- there was a palm tree out my window. Seriously.

The HIE was great (laundry = win!) but after a bad night of sleeping due to even worse breathing, I figured the best thing was to get myself & my sorry lungs to a hospital or clinic for some doctoring. Yeah, yeah, I know – you all told me. I should listen to you more often and sooner…

I looked up hospitals and found one right across the border back in the US. For insurance reasons I figured it would be much easier to visit a US doc than deal with out-of-country treatment paperwork. I’m sure the Canadian docs would have been stellar, but I feared the complications because I’m not a citizen.

So this morning I drove to the clinic at the River Hospital in the 1,000 Islands area of New York, where I was treated with such care and respect – even love – that I felt immediately better.

A nebulizer treatment, a prescription for a course of prednisone and a thumbs-up on my theory that this whole thing started when I French kissed a pine tree in Pound Ridge (damn you, pollen storm!) and I’m on my way again.

On the way to Squam, to make my pollen tour complete, I decided to visit my friend and famous gardener, Margaret Roach, and took a S l o w stroll through her grounds (she lives in the Taconic State Park) so I could catch any other pollen that was yet missing from my lungs.

I know how to live. Here are some shots from her amazing home!

I’m breathing much better, I’m much calmer, happier and I’m finally without the pounding, wrenching headache that had been my close companion for a few days.

It was so bad on Saturday night that I had to flee from the Arts Fair at Squam and just sit in an air conditioned car for 30 minutes (the pollen filtering powers of the PT cruiser are wonderous.)

The doctor told me she thought the headache was due to lack of oxygen, although my blood pressure was pretty high (for me) I’ve been having nicely low BP since I’ve been riding my bike so much, but no bike riding for the past week and LOTS of struggles breathing = elevated BP. It went down dramatically just by sitting for a bit after having the nebulizer treatment.

The nurse at the clinic was kind enough to do the legwork with my insurance to see if they’d cover a super-small portable nebulizer I can take in the car (they will) and I’m off to pick that up along with my scrips.

Squam Arts Workshop was amazing – just wonderful. A participant said her word to describe it is “Satisfied” – but not in the negative, “only satisfactory…” way. Rather, as she sat on the porch during the pot luck on Saturday, she said she was completely satisfied with everything at that moment – and I had to agree with her.

That evening, as a going away gift, the moon came out full and round and beautiful over the lake – just amazing. It was fun to lay in bed and hear folks exclaim over the lovliness.

I have a bunch more images of my time at Squam up at my flickr page – please visit it to see them!

To celebrate the successful finish of my 6 classes at Squam – all of them full of hard working, fun, exhillerating students, Sunday morning when I left I drove up to Canon Mountain, NH and rode the tram to the top.

I walked around a bit – as much as my lungs would allow in the 4,081 ft altitude, sitting a lot and spending a long time enjoying the view. It was worth it.

Then back in the car.

My goal was Montreal, but I hadn’t made any hotel reservations because I wanted to leave things open. It’s a good thing I did. As I got sleepier and sleepier due to the afternoon sun and my bad breathing, I decided the prudent thing was to pull off. You know the rest of the story…

So now I’m in 1000 Island Land – and given that I don’t need to be in Toronto until Tuesday evening (I have my hotel reservation all set) I’ll just hang around here tonight. I’m off to look for a nice, interesting, cheap hotel. Wifi would be nice, but – added bonus of River Hospital – I can sit outside and watch the boats going by on the river (?) and use their wifi.

I figure I’m allowed – I’m a patient. Sort of. Was.

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