The long road home

Due to my recent pneumothorax, I couldn’t return to Auckland by airplane. The only way to make my way back to the Big Smoke was to travel by land and sea. This morning I’ll catch The Coastal Pacific train from Christchurch to Picton, followed by the Bluebridge ferry from Picton to Wellington. Fortunately mum and dad live in Wellington, so I’ll stay the night there. Tomorrow I’ll catch The Overlander train from Wellington to Auckland, catch a Taxi from Middlemore Station to where I parked my car, and then finally drive to the North Shore. It’s going to a long two days!

Graduation and iffy lung

I’ve been down in Christchurch for the last few days. Tomorrow, I’ll be graduating and receiving my Masters of Engineering. As I’ve already been to a graduation ceremony before (for my Bachelors of Engineering) it’s not too big of a deal for me. But the occasion is still very much so for the family. I’ve got the folks flying down from Wellington, as well as some of my extended family and friends from all over the show to attend this. They want to witness my moment of glory!

That could have all went to custard.

For old times’ sake, my good friend and regular gym buddy hit the gym today. I was feeling great, but become somewhat light-headed half way through a seated leg press set. I stopped, sat down and had a sip of water. The dizziness continued and I became increasingly light sensitive. Something was not right. I tried to make my way to reception to ask for help, but passed out a few steps later. Oxygen deprivation I guess. An ambulance arrived and I was taken to hospital. As I had suspected, I had just had a pneumothorax. A chest x-ray confirmed this, a small 20 mm pneumothorax on my troublesome right lung. Due to the circumstances, namely tomorrow’s graduation, I was compassionately discharged from hospital.

The following day I was able to attend the graduation, to the relief of my parents, without too much issues breathing. The pneumothorax wasn’t big enough to warrant a chest drain and was left to sort its self out.

Learning to swim (again!)

Everyone knows how to run. Whether this is an element of a team sport, jogs around the park, during physical education (P.E.) classes, or merely to catch up to a bus after arriving late! Most people know how to ride a bicycle. In many parts of the world, cycling is a principle mode of transportation and a popular recreational activity. Not everyone can swim.

Due to New Zealand’s geography, most Kiwis live within reach of the ocean. Accordingly, most parents enrol their children into swimming classes. I learnt to swim when I was in primary school. But for some reason or another I have since forgotten! An Ironman contains a 3.8 km swim so it’s vital for me to become a competent swimmer!

Today I enrolled myself in a swim class. From this morning’s one hour lesson, I sense that I’ve got a long way to go before I could even swim 3.8 km, let alone this followed by a 180 km bike ride and a 42.2 km run!