After six months of training, I am not racing the U.S. Open Triathlon this Sunday.  More accurately, I’m deferring my participation until 2009.  How did this happen?  Well, it’s been a long week.

As you probably read in my earlier posts, my trip to Minneapolis was awesome.  But I arrived home feeling a bit under the weather, and by the time I woke up the next day I felt like I’d been hit by a truck.  My body was sore, my sinuses ached, and although I had no drainage I had a 101.7 fever.  I cancelled my business trips to Seattle (Microsoft Partner Advisory Council meeting) and Chicago (EMC Consulting training event) and got my doctor to squeeze me in for an appointment.  I tested negative for influenza and strep, and so he decided that I likely had a rare sinusitis bug and put me on a very powerful antibiotic called Avelox (in the quinolone family, along with the infamous Cipro used to fight Anthrax).

Avelox quickly killed off whatever I had.  Within two days, I was feeling a lot better.  But I found myself getting progressively jittery, and soon I was back in full-blown anxiety mode for the first time in over five months.  I was up all night, pacing back and forth, arms shaking, mind racing, brain chemistry totally shot.  I did manage to get a few hours sleep, but not near enough to make up for how hard the week had been, and without getting into details, the morning was absolute hell.  (Thanks to Joanne, her mom, my mom, and Nicole for helping me through it.)

Luckily, in my “mental” state I got even more obsessive than usual (I know, imagine that!), and I decided to research my antbiotic.  I found that for a small number of patients, the quinolone family of antibiotics causes extreme anxiety and other psychosis.  Wonderful.  I immediately made another appointment with my doctor.

He again squeezed me in, collected a detailed history of the week, and concurred with my findings about Avelox.  He took me off the drug immediately and prescribed Augmentin—which, interestingly enough, was the antibiotic I should  have had, as my initial test was a false negative and in fact I had strep throat instead of sinusitis all along.  The half-life of the Avelox is 12 hours, so it’ll take a while to get out of my system, but just one day later I’ve managed to get almost 9 hours sleep and I have no more anxiety symptoms.

Of course, I’m bummed about having to miss my triathlon, but if I’m honest I must say I’m a very lucky guy.  Back in March, my initial anxiety produced far more silver lining than cloud, and if I look back I have to admit that I’ve probably enjoyed swimming, biking, and running more than I would have enjoyed any actual race.  God clearly had a plan for me back then and I know He does again this time around.  Although it was nice to lose a pound a day and finally hit my target weight of 188 (40 pounds lost from my max!), I honestly would not wish those 48 hours on my worst enemy.