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1st Day of Experiment: Definite Improvement!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Thank you to everyone for your wonderful support, suggestions and for being "with me" through my struggles!

I skipped my Ramipril last night and experienced a noticeable uptick in my energy today. Not running any races, but there was more focus, energy and ability to be more truly "with" others. My elliptical workout reflected progress as well. Not that it really ever suffered that badly. In 30 mins. I typically run around 425 calories supposedly burned...not that I believe the number, but I use it as a marker for how much oomph I put into my workout. I had dropped down to 380-390 but today bumped up to 411.

Last night I had one of those nights where I just could not get back to sleep when I awoke at 3:30 (the brain just would not stifle the chatter no matter how many slow, deep breaths I took...yeesh!)...so by all rights I should be severely dragging by now...but I'm not. I'm encouraged!

Stay tuned! Hoping for some energy to start pursuing various avenues the spirit has been willing to consider but up until now my body just wouldn't cooperate...!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 6/19/2014 7:55PM

    Sounds great!! Hoping there is an alternative to this medicine or its okay for a lower dose. Sorry to hear about the wake up and monkey mind chatter : Hope its better tonight!
Seeing those new doors opening!
Thinking of you and knowing that intelligent mind will come up with a good solution! I have faith in you!

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HIPPICHICK1 6/19/2014 3:57PM


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KANOE10 6/19/2014 11:38AM

    I am so happy to hear that you are feeling better and are finally getting some energy back. That energy will give you the strength to look for options in your life. This is good news. I am up at 3:30 am also. I am on Hawaiian time but waking up on mainland time.


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BILLB000 6/19/2014 11:36AM

    I admire your persistence, Don. That is the way to get some answers and resolutions. Watch your BP's if you went off the Ramipril. Maybe your MD can help with dosage once you have some data for him / her. So glad the spirit continues to be willing.

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L*I*T*A* 6/19/2014 9:57AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RAINBOWFALLS 6/19/2014 8:48AM

    I couldn't fall asleep last night and I am dragging this morning. Maybe it is our weather messing with our ability to sleep well. Glad to hear that you are pumping up the workout!

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BILL60 6/19/2014 7:34AM

    Sounds much better than yesterday. Hang in there, my friend.

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FERRETLOVER1 6/19/2014 7:30AM

    I am so glad to hear that you are experiencing so much more energy, Don! I agree with the others here who asked if you have talked to your Doctor about this experiment - he should know what you are doing.

As for waking up at 3:30 and not being able to silence the voices in your head...boy, can I ever relate to that one! It happens to me, too. It is so darned aggravating, too! However, I also notice that it doesn't seem to interfere with my energy levels during the day, so maybe it's my body knowing that I have had enough sleep? Could be your body doing the same thing.

Keep on posting so we know how you are doing, Don! Keeping you in my thoughts every single day!

Comment edited on: 6/19/2014 7:31:30 AM

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WATERMELLEN 6/19/2014 6:50AM


Don, this is so encouraging!! Glad you're experiencing the resumption of a bit of your ol' oomph . . . and as for the sleeping issues, the link above is to an article I've found comforting when I cannot sleep because it "normalizes" insomnia. The panic about being unable to sleep is often more problematic than the sleep loss itself . . . .

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    Don this is incredibly encouraging. I am not a supporter of RX for myself. I see way too many problems with people because of that sort of thing. No thank you!

Here's to getting YOU back! emoticon

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ONEKIDSMOM 6/19/2014 5:11AM

    Baby steps, Don, baby steps. And sympathy for those 3:30 a.m. "mind chatter" insomnia nights... had one myself a couple of nights ago. Glad to see you back blogging... whining on my own helped me through many a rough patch. You are WORTH this! And having the conversation with the Dr. about that Rampiril and the side effects might be a good follow up after your experimentation. emoticon

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ALIIDA 6/19/2014 4:16AM

    I'm so relieved to read this after reading your last blog.

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123ELAINE456 6/19/2014 2:32AM

  What a difference a day makes. Have you called your day and told him what you did yet? He needs to know. Looks like things are improving for you. God Blessings Always. Good Thoughts, Prayers and Hugs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Coming Your Way. Take Care.

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SLIMMERJESSE 6/18/2014 11:59PM

    I really think that new doors will open for you.

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STRIVERONE 6/18/2014 11:42PM

    Echoing SAM60SUMTHINK. There may be an alternative to Ramipril that will meet its objectives without the negative effects.

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SAM60SUMTHINK 6/18/2014 10:37PM

    What a difference a day makes!

You did let the doc know you did this adjustment, yes?


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1CRAZYDOG 6/18/2014 10:35PM

    good luck. Day #1 success, hope da #2 is too!

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Deep In The Valley of "meh"

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Apologies for dropping out of the Spark-iverse as I have, but this has been a month of torture. I haven't had anything of value to say to anyone. Although I have much that I could rant endlessly about, I haven't had the energy to do that NOR could I see the benefit in passing along all of my bottom-feeding, soul-rending, deeply dark and cruel bashing of myself and the whole wide world.

I have been very, very hard on myself. And made it harder yet by shutting out the world, aside from a few close friends, family and therapist.

Let me try not to get too lost in the details:

May 19th: Remember that slam-dunk appt. I was going to have with my electrophysiologist? It was anything BUT! A major upending in my understanding of my cardiac condition occurred: previously I believed that my slow heart rate was a subset of my atrial flutter. Since my pacemaker was controlling my heart rate, my flutter was under control too, right?

Wrong, wrong, wrong...! These are two separate conditions. Therefore controlling my heart rate offers no assurances that my atrial flutter is controlled. The cardiac ablation was done to control the flutter, but it offers no guarantees that the flutter may return at a later date.

How did I get this wrong? As my therapist said: we sometimes "hear" things the way that we want to...I had to have a reliable solution to the flutter and a reliable method for knowing if it returns.

How will I know if the flutter returns? I already know that I've been pretty oblivious to sensing trouble with my heart. I previously thought checking my heart rate was a means of checking the flutter. Not so. The only way to reliably check for the flutter will be routine EKG's or through the pacemaker readings which I'll be doing every few months.

Therefore, with the potential return of the flutter comes the potential risks of the pooling of blood and the risks of clotting.

Hello anti-coagulants: there is no way to discontinue them without assuming some risk of throwing a clot due to an unexpected return of the flutter.

Goodbye cycling. My world just came to an end. All the dreams & schemes of being able to savor the utmost feelings of freedom and joy by hitting the open roads on my bike and 30# of necessities...they just went up in smoke. I felt like someone just clanged an immense, impenetrable door locking me into what felt like the jail cell my life had become.

I got very ugly & Grinch-like, detesting and cursing sunny, blue skies. Remembering commutes through chilly morning fogs and cursing those too. Seeing cyclists everywhere and my heart sinking in despair. I didn't like myself very much, realizing at the same time while having such nasty impulses that in the scheme of things I truly am very fortunate and could have far more difficult health challenges to face and I know many of you out there in the Spark Community have been tremendously inspirational in overcoming such hurdles. So I beat myself up for having such thoughts!

Fortunately BEFORE I attained this more accurate and disturbing understanding of my condition I was able to join in with my bike club's annual Great Finger Lakes Bicycle Tour...not riding, but offering SAG (Support And Gear) services and joining in with roaring campfires, playing my guitar and on the 2nd night having fun joining a drumming circle...no drum handy so I beat my guitar like a drum...lol! I was able to enjoy myself somewhat as I didn't yet have the knowledge that my flutter could return and my need for anti-coagulant may be lifelong.

I also was able to join with DS in a road trip for a long weekend out to MI to spend with parents and other family members.

To better understand the depths to which I've sunk let me share also a very crazy-making symptom that has been simultaneously plaguing me: fatigue! Inexplicable, inexorable, inescapable...I have been passing on most of my workouts these days...yielding to the "meh" that has been tugging away at my soul. I once pushed myself into a spinning class...it was like "Zombie" Spin....no shortness of breath, no muscle soreness, just felt like I was barely able to turn the wheels in the overwhelming undertow of my life.

So let's throw a couple of serious health problems of other family members into the mix also shall we?

Oh, and how about a refrigerator that gives up the ghost resulting in tossing out hundreds of dollars of food and icing down in coolers the little bit we were able to salvage? The new one arrives next Monday...

I followed up with my electrophysiologist again to talk about my fatigue and he could not see anything un-toward with both my EKG and echocardiogram. The only thing he could offer was that perhaps setting my heart rate at 60 was too low...how about juicing up my heart by bumping up the pacemaker to 70?

Sure, I'll try anything! But given my past obliviousness to my cardiac functioning I wasn't optimistic. And no, there hasn't been any improvement.

Finally today a light bulb: A while back with this heart problem I had started taking Ramipril. Recently I had been light-headed at the 10 mg. dose so it was reduced to 5 mg. But I still had a few of the 10 mg. pills left so I spaced them out to like once a week, cheapskate that I am, couldn't just throw them out.

But I noticed on my first day of the higher dose my energy REALLY tanked. So I began to wonder.... Google is my friend, right?

Whaddya know? Ramipril side effects:


---dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position

---unusual tiredness or weakness"

Reading this I realized too how scattered I have been feeling also, struggling to hold onto all the zillion bits of my life in as tight a manner as I'm accustomed to. Feeling very, very "off."

So I'm feeling some hope of being able to "experiment" with Ramipril and at least pull out of this deep trough in the not-too-distant future. I am hugely missing the ability to enjoy moving my body, to feel the usual depth of my emotions and music! I've nearly completely lost the ability to lose myself in my music!

The other dilemma awaits: do I give up cycling? Or do I allow some cycling in a limited, more cautious fashion? Just the thought of cycling and setting limits causes my heart to sink...cycling always brought a "sky-is-the-limit" feeling to me! It's time for me to explore other pursuits...perhaps yoga, perhaps jogging more, perhaps...but it takes energy to care, to push forward. Today I noticed after resting my hands in my lap how aware I was of the energy it would take to lift them out of my lap. Not that I couldn't do it, but it would be a noticeable effort. Not that I couldn't mow my lawn, but it would take a lot more time as I would be slower and more tired than ever afterward. This has also been part of the reason for my lack of blogging or joining in with other discussions here among our SparkFamily.

I'll be back: I know there is a rebound buried in me that I'll be able to excavate in due time. I'll catch up with you all then or perhaps here and there along the way...


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZELLAZM 6/21/2014 3:50AM

    I'm just catching up on blog posts and didn't know you were going through this. I did miss your posts - did I get unsubbed again? At any rate, I'm sorry that this has been your life lately, but when I think of all that you've been through, I trust that you will be able to handle this as well. You will find a way to celebrate your freedom and move forward on your journey. I've been encouraged myself by reading all the rally-round posts you've received from other Sparkers. Blessings and prayers from my side of the world...Michelle

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OUTDOORGIRL70 6/19/2014 4:33PM

I am so sorry to here what you have been going through from the 2 blogs. I will be praying for you and will put you on our prayer chain.

I too have been going through a lot also so I know how you are feeling.

God Bless my friend


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KANOE10 6/19/2014 11:36AM

    Don, My heart goes out to you. This is a very hard curveball to face. With your usual insightful analysis, you are exploring all options of health. You are showing courage by facing your health issues and by taking care of yourself. My brother loved running and had to give it up due to his knees. Now he surfs and walks. I know you will find happiness again, no matter what. Don't be hard on yourself for your very normal reactions. I think part of your tiredness may not only be that drug, but also from stress and sadness.
I am sorry you are going through this but I know that your love of life and strength will get you through this. We are all here for you.


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RAINBOWFALLS 6/19/2014 8:44AM

    I am glad to hear from you again and I know you will pull yourself out of the rut. Try not to beat yourself up to badly after all it is a bummer to face everything that you are facing. Take care

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WOMANWITHGRIT 6/18/2014 3:58PM

I am so sorry you are having such a time. But also honored that you share so openly what is going on for you, how you feel about it, and your thinking about where to go from here.

You are a friend to me and to many on these pages, and I'm sure you can see the care and love in these comments - and I trust you'll take it in....

Heart issues and medicine for heart issues are so complex. My good friend has walked a path of checking out side effects for his cardiac meds and this has paid off immensely. You sound like you're on this road as you are more invested in your good health than anyone else is.

All we have is today. You are a wonderful person and when I get to one of these places, one of my better moves is to start a list of things for which I am grateful.

Lots of people here for you- Pam emoticon

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HILLSLUG98239 6/18/2014 12:07PM

    Ugh. That's just plain rotten. I cannot imagine the funk I would sink into if told I couldn't ride. I know you'll rise above it and find a way, but I empathize with the pain of this journey.

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BILLB000 6/18/2014 9:51AM

    Sorry about all of that Don. That is a lot to go through on all levels. Would it make sense to request another stress test, only instead of walking, ride a stationary bike while the monitoring is happening. You could, during the stress test ride to the intensity level, and and help determine a safe heart rate level. That is to say if your cardio thought it could be safe to try biking again.
I am also wondering ,too if you could hook up with a few sessions in a cardiac rehab program and let them monitor you while you stationary bike and they could help you determine safety parameters over a period of a few sessions. I guess I am not ready to have you let go of your biking yet until you have exhausted all options. I know how much you love it.
I would miss it terribly also.
Please keep us posted.
Be safe

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HIPPICHICK1 6/18/2014 9:18AM

    I used to love biking. I rode everywhere. I cycled to school, to work, to get groceries...my bike was my "car" in the summer. Then one day I got off my bike and my knee hurt. I couldn't put any weight on it. I hobbled into the house with my bike and wondered what the heck had happened. Nothing as far as I could tell. I tried riding again and every time I did the knee pain was worse. At that time I had no physician as there as a shortage of doctors taking patients so I did what any self-employed artist would do - nothing. I stopped riding and sold my bike. I was really sad. I missed it terribly but I have many really great memories from my bike riding years. I haven't ridden a bike since 1998 or so.
A couple of years ago I went to the gym for an aerobics class. The teacher talked about a bike race in Quebec and wanted to celebrate that race by turning the aerobics class into a spinning class. I temporarily forgot about my knee, got on the bike and within 10 minutes I was in pain from the cycling. I stopped, stretched and left the class.
Nearly two years ago I was ordered to STOP ALL high impact exercise because of ongoing lower back issues (compression in my discs). I was jump training and running at the time and I had to STOP it all. I got depressed. I felt broken. I wondered how in the world I was going to manage my weight if I couldn't blast 400-500 calories every time I worked out.
Now all I do is swim (in the summer), walk and do yoga every day. And I can still manage to manage my weight, so YAY!
The nature of life is change and the only thing we can do when change is upon us is let go...or be dragged. We have to let go of these ideas we had of how is was "supposed" to be.
It's truly unfortunate that you feel you have to stop riding. It's sad to hear your heart is broken, but it will mend and you'll find something else that keeps you interested and happy, because you are just that kind of guy!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SLIMMERJESSE 6/18/2014 8:26AM

    Not even moderate bike riding? I can see why you've been in a funk. I wondered about this after you had the pacemaker inserted. Hope you are feeling better and less "off." Life is hard sometimes.

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WATERMELLEN 6/18/2014 8:24AM

    What a hugely articulate and exploratory blog this is . . . I've been missing hearing from you, absolutely, and like Barb hoped it was because you were enjoying that blue sky freedom.

Here's hoping that the Rampiril adjustment will help. And the therapist with respect to the (understandable) onslaught of depression: so true that we "hear" what we need to hear and the rest somehow floats by. The SAG service sounds as if it was somewhat satisfying; so perhaps you'll get some help from your heart guy in figuring out "how much" cycling would be OK.

We are continually reinventing ourselves. Continually reinventing our relationships too. In the face of life exigencies. And it's tough. But no point in beating ourselves up, none at all. Especially in comparison with others who may seem to be dealing with challenges "better" but are after all dealing with different life exigencies, probably with less grace than it looks like on the outside!!

Which you knew already. Of course.

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BILL60 6/18/2014 8:08AM

    You hang in there my friend. Hope you find the outlet you seek.

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FERRETLOVER1 6/18/2014 7:55AM

    emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/18/2014 7:56:57 AM

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ONEKIDSMOM 6/18/2014 6:59AM

    Oh, my, Don! I had been missing you but my pink cloud world imagined you out being so busy enjoying your freedom... and this! Well! Overwhelming to have your world-view upset like that!

So, clearly you have got your determination worked back up, and for this I am grateful. I was going to say something like BARBWMS did about fatigue being a symptom of depression, which could also be part of the response to such a turn-about in your awarenss of what you're dealing with, but I see she's got it covered.

Your name, by the way, just got added to my dedication list for Sunday's race. Hope you don't mind being on the list of those for whom I swim, bike, and run! On my shoulders, with many others... until you find *your* way.


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    Don, there isn't a day that has gone by that I haven't thought of you. All of this which you shared doesn't surprise me. I knew it would take a mountain dumped on you all at once to stop you in your tracks. Same with me. But we are survivors!

You will find a way back to the light of who you really are. RX's are taboo in my life but I don't need them either. I would continue researching what you can do for your situation and not stop until a suitable set of corrections works. That's what I'd effort about. That would be my goal. I would set aside the dream of riding a bike for perhaps supporting those who can use it on long rides. Temporarily perhaps and you'd feel better about yourself for doing it.

Your life isn't over by far. You have too great a spirit and it simply needs to surface in different ways at this time.

Hang in there friend. You will find your way home.

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123ELAINE456 6/18/2014 2:09AM

  I'm so sorry to hear about all that you are going though. I know it is so discoursing. I agree with Linda and the other posts. It will take time going though this and finding answers. Take One Step At A Time. And One Day At A Time. I know Medications can have a lot of side effects. They can hit you like a ton of bricks. The side effects like you are having and a lot more. Try to work through it the best you can. Thank You for the update. I have heart problems too. Six Heart Attacks since 7/23/2013. So Hang in there. Things will get better. God Blessings Always. Have a Wonderful Week. Good Thoughts, Prayers and Hugs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Coming Your Way. Take Care.

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NADINEL 6/18/2014 1:01AM

    You have had a lot to deal with. You solved one medical problem (meds), but I hope you do not give up on cycling unless you are told by your doctor (and get a second opinion, too) about it. Everything in moderation. You need exercise to continue to be healthy. If it's just because of coumadin, I would not give up cycling. I am on coumadin for life and it IS manageable.
Fridges are a necessary evil. Sorry about the $$ or $$$$$$.
I am rooting for you! Take a deep breath and have a great rest of the week! emoticon

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_LINDA 6/18/2014 12:16AM

    Oh. Wow! Talk about a face plant and world class road rash!! So very sorry to hear this news Don :((( Never cycle again??? Seems too harsh!! You could as easily fall and break something jogging (I managed to do it just walking to my apartment :-P) In fact, we can be hurt in myriad of ways. Did you get it specifically from your Dr. cycling is not a good idea, and if so what else to avoid or what can you do? Any alternatives with less side effects then this Ramipril? They always seem to have lots of medicines that treat the same condition..
Hoping there is abetter outcome than this! Thinking of you, and seeing how it is closely mirroring my our situation right now...
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 6/17/2014 11:00PM

    Oh boy. All I can say is it is so discouraging when you understanding of things is tossed to the winds. I know you'll find your way through all of this and I hope that medication tweaks help.

Glad you updated. Take care of you . . . I know you will.

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SAM60SUMTHINK 6/17/2014 10:51PM

    Don, I'm so sorry that you're going through this. The feelings you describe are a sure sign that biking isn't a good idea right now. Especially since the meds play into the problems; "Dizzy" and cyclig just aren't a good mix, on top of the other issues.

I know what it's like to feel like you've been slammed against a proverbial brick wall. The down feeling is normal, even predictable. It's a form of mourning... even when a 'loss' may be temporary rather than lasting. But the difficult times that grab the gut and churn the mind can lead to incredible discoveries of interests and abilities lying within us. I can't stress enough: While taking care of the necessaries, ENJOY exploring new options. Optimism does wonders for the physical well-being. And saying those words is easy, while the reality is not. Finding the positive takes a lot of time and energy when you're stuck to that brick wall. So be nice to yourself, take it easy. One step at a time. Day by day. Because while it's hard to see anything but negatives sometimes, posiive possibilites EXIST... all around us. Stay alert so you can feel them.

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STRIVERONE 6/17/2014 10:42PM

    Hi Don,
You are generally so upbeat, I didn't realize the severity of your problems. I hope some of these health conditions can be resolved, but if you have to make major adjustments, remember you have lots of real world and internet friends who still value your contributions. You might have to dial back your verve a bit but I'm sure there will always be a place for you at STBC. Everything doesn't need to be over 20 MPH.
emoticon, Vin

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DDOORN 6/17/2014 10:32PM

    Yes, the intersection of biology and psychology has been HIGHLY vexing and bedeviling...!


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BARBWMS 6/17/2014 10:29PM

    Wow.. what a lot to deal with.. I'm impressed with your detective work, though. The other thought that hit me, however, as I read it, is that fatigue and disinterest are major symptoms of depression... but I hope you track down the causes and find a way to cycle again; if not cycling, then something else that gives you satisfaction and energy.

Best Wishes... I hope the trajectory is all upward now.


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Vehicle Inspection

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Both of our household cars are up for their annual vehicle inspection this month, which is about to become even more crazy/busy than it already has. So I decided to do a two-fer today and bring them both into my auto shop.

One person, two vehicles...hmmm...okay, I've been slacking a bit lately on my workouts due to bicycling events attended in which I couldn't participate...twice this week. So I knew I needed to kick it back into gear today.

Dropped off vehicle #1 and since the auto shop is only 6 miles away I jogged back home and later drove the other vehicle down to swap 'em out.

In the meantime I caught up with my bicycle-repairman neighbor as I had troubles swapping out my old bike saddle for my slick new Brooks Flyer saddle:


I leaned up against my car to enjoy actually SITTING on my bike and new saddle...can't wait to get going!

Which brings me to MY vehicle inspection: still standing by my zero sugar, zero grain approach to food. However I have to admit to having a few days slip by in which I haven't tracked everything and gone a bit overboard here and there. The weight has continued to fluctuate between 212-215...and you know? I'm not beating myself up, nor itchy-antsy to knock those pounds down quickly and am almost sighing into this pause with a degree of comfort as I know slow & steady wins the race. But I have to tighten up on the whole tracking deal...it is the last acquisition in my arsenal of living a SPARKED life and because of this it is far too easy to allow it to slide. Tune up time! :-)

Tomorrow brings me my long-awaited "vehicle inspection" as I pow-wow with my cardiologist and "theoretically" this should be my last day on my anti-coagulant medication...woo hoo!

Some nervousness persists, however, in that I will have less than two months to get ready for the Five Hundred Miles Across New York and I realize that my relaxed approach to working out (getting only 3-4 cardio sessions in per week) may leave me coming up short when it comes to getting ready for a solid week of 70-80 miles of cycling each day!

Already an opportunity for a self-supported ride will slam into me my very first weekend of riding at the end of May...I really don't want to pass this up, but dare I jump into this so whole hog right away...? I'm way WAY torn!!

Stay tuned while I wind my way through the crazy-busies ahead!

Keep 'er Sparkin' everyone!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZELLAZM 5/28/2014 3:18PM

    So, how did your powwow go and how has your week been?

My "vehicle" has been running on empty lately, thus the delay in visiting blogs!

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CHANGE4FIT 5/27/2014 1:10PM

    Long time since I've stopped by-hope all went with wtih the "inspection".

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WMUGRAD 5/20/2014 1:48PM

    Hope you had good news from the "machanics." Im feeling super jealous of the amount you have been riding lately. I dont think I have put in 20 miles on my bike this year so far. This weekend will change that.

If you feel good I wouldnt pass it up. You know you so do what feels good.

You rock!

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DOUGDC 5/20/2014 9:55AM

    Don -

Hope you're feeling up to the touring challenge, and the doc gives you a clean bill of health.

I, personally, found touring with others fraught with scheduling challenges. I found a guy who shared my schedule preferences for rising, riding and resting, and we did well. Until he had to leave for work related reasons.

Best wishes on all fronts!

Doug emoticon

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DOGLADY13 5/20/2014 6:43AM

    Looking forward to hearing about the doctors appointments.

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WATERMELLEN 5/19/2014 9:18PM

    You'll know what's right when the time comes, Don: you're pretty tuned in. No need to make a decision TOO much in advance, right?

All best with your check up. You've had an awesome recovery and used this time to consolidate in so many different ways!!

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L*I*T*A* 5/19/2014 2:37PM

    hope all went well with your dr's appointment...

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HAKAPES 5/19/2014 12:48PM

    How is your mood without sugar?

I tried it once, and looking back, I was quite in a depressed mood those times.

Thanks for the comments on swimming... what are your options for swimming around you?

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HILLSLUG98239 5/19/2014 10:07AM

    I bet that new saddle is pretty! As a lover of hand-lugged steel-framed bikes, I love the thought of a Brooks saddle crowning my beauty. I'm just scared of investing that much and then wimping out during the breaking-in process.

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SLIMMERJESSE 5/19/2014 8:54AM

    Have a great doc apt today and, wow, 500 miles across NY sounds like fun.

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KANOE10 5/19/2014 8:14AM

    I hope you like your new saddle and that your doctor visit goes well. You take such good care of yourself. I am sure you are going to figure out how to prepare for that 500 mile race. Have a very good tune up..hope the end of May works out for you!

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ONEKIDSMOM 5/19/2014 6:37AM

    Considering how my quads felt after 38 miles, I would be hard pressed for that 70-80 mile cycling day... but someday... someday. Good luck with your training, and well done with your recovery! May that cardiologist appointment bring confirmation of good news. emoticon

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    How are you doing with your water intake? I find that if I up my water my weight goes down much faster as long as everything else is in line.

Good luck on getting off those meds!

As to the training: ask your doctor about it today. Also talk to those going on the journey and see what advice they can give you to get your body up to speed for this incredible quest.

I'm probably telling you what you already know here. Just know I support you.

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PMRUNNER 5/19/2014 5:49AM

    Good luck with the prep and the decision!

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123ELAINE456 5/19/2014 1:25AM

  Mention the 500 Mile Ride to your doctor and see what he says. See if He will give You the Go Head With the Ride or Not. Enjoy the Saddle Seat. Check with a former rider that has been on the ride before and see what you need to do to get ready for it. You are doing Great. Have a Wonderful Week. God Blessings Always. Take Care.

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_LINDA 5/18/2014 11:47PM

    A test ride perhaps, checking out the wheels and rider before the big event..The need to see if this huge event should even be in the picture at this time? Just a thought, is a tough decision..
There is the double standard of weight with men and women -men in the media can pretty much look like what they want, but not women, but there is also the age thing, women also have to be younger. Way more May December men to women. One of the rare exceptions being Bonny Prince Charles -he preferred the old hag compared to his young bride :P
Have a great Memorial Day long weekend!

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SPEEDYDOG 5/18/2014 11:00PM

    Hi Don,

Back-in-the-day, long before carbon-fiber bike frames, seats had springs and Brooks made the best saddles. Even back then, Brooks saddles were expensive.

I see you have been busy, car inspections, bike upgrades and ticker inspection.

Good luck on your 500 miler!


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1CRAZYDOG 5/18/2014 10:31PM

    Can't help you out with the decision, but wishingyou luck.

Balancing life . . . not easy some days.

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Jog Along the RiverWalk With Me!

Friday, May 09, 2014

DOGLADY13 lived in the Binghamton area for a number of years and asked about some parts of the downtown area through which I've been jogging a lot recently.

So I thought for a change I would take along my phone and take some pics of my route which takes me from my fitness center (Riverwalk Athletic Center, part of the DoubleTree Hotel) along the RiverWalk trail downtown Binghamton, over the Washington St. Bridge which is closed to traffic and only for pedestrian / cycling use and then up over the Vestal Parkway to the old MacArthur school which has been taken down due to damages it sustained from our infamous floods. The quarter mile track is still there along with a little park for kids, baseball field and basketball court. I jog four times around that and then return back to the fitness center.

The two selfies at the end are the sweaty me at the end of my hour-long jog and then the showered up me ready to see clients for the night! :-)

A wonderful track for enjoying the pics is from BossaCucaNova...love their name and am CUCKOO over the groove of this song...perfect for jogging along!


Other songs enjoyed on this jog:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=uq-gYOrU8bA Graceland remains as one of my Desert Island albums!

And Basia takes on a cool bossa groove here:


Here is a link to my slideshow:


The Binghamton area is going through tough times and definitely depressed and showing signs of wear & tear as industry has been peeled away to the cheap labor of third world countries, but our natural beauty continues to inspire me and always satisfies my soul when I take time to get outside. I hope local leaders can do more to parlay our natural beauty and groom our waterways (confluence of Chenango and Susquehanna rivers) to catch the eye of people passing through and entice them into stopping over.

Looking forward to our annual bike giveaway tomorrow...featuring my first public wearing of bike shorts and club jersey! :-)

Have a SUPER weekend everyone!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZELLAZM 5/15/2014 2:24PM

    Just catching up on blogs - lovely pix of spring springing, of the dogwoods (I think they're dogwoods) and the park in your town - also a great shot of the bridge - it looks like it must be 100 years old from the style. Hope you're having a good week...

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WOMANWITHGRIT 5/13/2014 9:33AM

    More great pics of wonderful NY state...thanks. Pam

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DOGLADY13 5/11/2014 4:41PM

    Such a beautiful part of the country. The local economy was hurting when I lived there in the early 1990s. It makes me sad to think that it isn't improving. The people in Broome county were some of the kindest people I'd ever met and the city and surrounding countryside are beautiful.

Thank you for the pictures, Don.

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SASSYCHRIS1952 5/10/2014 9:02PM

    The pictures are beyond beautiful! Thanks for posting emoticon

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L*I*T*A* 5/10/2014 11:28AM

    love your slide show...........
puts us right there with you...
thanks for sharing your beautiful Binghamtom!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FERRETLOVER1 5/10/2014 7:58AM

    Wonderful pictures, Don! I totally enjoyed my riverwalk with you. Thanks for sharing these great shots!

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_LINDA 5/9/2014 11:45PM

    emoticon emoticon photos!!
Amazing what you captured with just a phone!
Enjoyed the tour and also the music. Graceland is one of my all time favorites!
You have a very beautiful area to get out in.
Enjoy the bike give away and your non scale victory of wearing that skin tight outfit!
You rock!

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LUVLYLORELEI 5/9/2014 11:21PM

    I miss Binghamton. I really enjoyed living there and miss some of those sights. I use to walk over the Washington St. Bridge when I walked to work -- although sadly, mostly of the time I drove to and from work. I had no idea I was squandering a great opportunity to get fit. Those pictures really brought me back there.

Comment edited on: 5/9/2014 11:23:00 PM

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1CRAZYDOG 5/9/2014 8:49PM

    Awesome! Thank you so much for sharing.

✲ •。* ✰ ˛★* 。° ✲。* •★ *˚。*。✰
“All the powers in the universe are already ours.” Swami Vivekananda
;˚ 。
★ *˚ ✰ 。* ✲˚。✰* ˚。✰ •* ˚ ✲。* ˚。

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    What a wonderful area you live in. Many things to be doing out and about. Thanks for sharing.

You look so thin!

Comment edited on: 5/9/2014 8:36:52 PM

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ONEKIDSMOM 5/9/2014 4:40PM

    Looks like a lovely upgrade since I last lived in the area! I didn't realize Laura lived around there at one time, too - another point of commonality! Small world, and thanks for sharing... one of my favorite times was the Pops on the River concerts... do they still put those on?

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123ELAINE456 5/9/2014 11:31AM

  That was a Lovely Slide Show. The Photos are Beautiful. And a Wonderful Place to Walk, Ride Your Bike and Jog. Thank You for sharing all if this with us. God Blessings Always. Have a Great Day tomorrow at the Bike Give Away. Take Care.

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DAISYBELL6 5/9/2014 10:01AM

    Thank you for posting the slide show. I really enjoyed it!

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VALERIEMAHA 5/9/2014 9:08AM

    Wonder environment, photos, and experience!

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KANOE10 5/9/2014 8:57AM

    That was a lovely slide show. I loved the pictures. You have a wonderful area to jog in.

I know you will enjoy event tomorrow wearing your new clothes!

By the way..someone at work asked for advice yesterday on weight. I paid it forward by telling her about Spark.

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Be the SPARK You Want to See in the World!

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Riffing off a couple of fellow super blogsters, HILLSLUG98239 & ONEKIDSMOM:

Success is not an accident

How did you get started?

HILLSLUG98239 struggles with others being jealous of her accomplishments and wonders why intelligent people can't put 2 + 2 together and just DO IT!

My response: education and intelligence isn't enough. Food is steeped and wrapped into SO many layers of emotions and feelings that can skew our minds and thinking terribly!

I've been there, done that for FAR too many years...and yes, I STILL struggle around those issues which continue to have the potential to knock me off the rails of my healthy and well lifestyle!

There is SO much more to making healthy lifestyle choices than intelligence. Which also speaks to a corollary erroneous belief others can have that somehow people who make poor lifestyle choices and as a result are obese, are intellectually inferior to their peers.

When we are successful it is because we've worked hard to find our unique path. And much of that work is emotional. To succeed others will have to do the same. There's no magic to this, just a few basic guideposts (1 - eat less, 2- better quality food choices, 3- move more) the rest is up to us to hammer out through our own trial and error.

What we CAN do, however, is to be the best example of living a life filled with SPARK to entice and invite others toward doing the same!

ONEKIDSMOM offers an example of my Gandhi-ism in her blog. As does HILLSLUG98239 too!

I've been developing one of my own examples: I recently changed dentists (darned insurance hiccups!) and got on to talking about SparkPeople, weight loss and bicycling. He is a bit overweight and showed an interest, mentioned how he wanted to get back to cycling.

When I returned to see him (darned old fillings needing re-doing) he excitedly shared with me how he rode his bike over the Brooklyn Bridge this past weekend! I cheered him on and loved to see his smile and joy in his face! He mentioned how he wanted to lose his belly and I encouraged him to pay attention to his food and shift toward more "real" and plant-based foods and of course to use the SparkPeople Nutrition tracker!

It just feels so terrific to see the SPARK catching on in others!

Keep paying it forward everyone!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HIPPICHICK1 5/11/2014 6:51PM

    I said something similar in one of my recent blogs. "...I think that anyone who is healthy is healthy because of conscious choices, not by accident."
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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_LINDA 5/8/2014 12:18PM

Thanks for the referrals although onekidsmom is already a regular must read.
Food is a hard critter to wrangle to the ground. I doubt anyone will ever get it perfectly!
Keep on Being the Spark!

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SPINNINGJW 5/8/2014 7:53AM

    I find the most amazing blogs by clicking on my siblings Sparkfriends. It doesn't hurt that you linked ONEKIDSMOM's blog. This is an amazing look at the work that goes into developing a healthy lifestyle as well as the emotional and societal aspects of living a healthy life.

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ZELLAZM 5/8/2014 4:27AM

    Way to spread the Spark, Don! A dentist, no less! emoticon

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CRYSALLIS1 5/8/2014 1:33AM

    Great blog. So true. I hate that I have not been up to par the last week. I'm on my way back to a positive Spark for myself & others. emoticon

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123ELAINE456 5/7/2014 11:37PM

  Awesome Blog. Well Said. Well Done, Good Way To Spread The Spark. Have a Great Day. Take Care.

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L*I*T*A* 5/7/2014 10:35PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ONEKIDSMOM 5/7/2014 8:23PM

    Way to spread the Spark, Don! emoticon

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    I think your response was an intelligent and very well stated one. However, I was thinking along the lines of her blog title my self today. Specifically: people in our lives expect us to stay the same for their comfort even if they do not like some aspects of who they think I am. It is still the known element and therefore comfortable for them. When one changes it stirs up things in those around us and often they do not like it. It may not have anything to do with them specifically, it just makes them feel out of sorts.

I got a lot of this when I got down below my goal weight. I am getting this now with financial management. I'm standing firm and allowing others to adjust or not. I also will do the same when I again go below my goal weight. It is what it is.

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WATERMELLEN 5/7/2014 6:35PM

    You are just one awesomely supportive person -- I've seen your encouragement in action over and over and over again here, welcoming new persons to the site and always with a kindly word of congratulation and celebration. So grateful for all of the gestures you've expended my way, for sure. And: not at all surprised that you are the same person in "real time"!!

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KANOE10 5/7/2014 6:21PM

    It does feel wonderful to pay it forward. That is good news about your dentist. I have told my dr about Sparlk people.

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1CRAZYDOG 5/7/2014 6:10PM

    Read both those blogs and they're excellent!

So glad you could spark-start the dentist and share your enthusiasm. AWESOME!

`*•.¸ ♥ ¸.•*´¨☆¨`*•.¸ ♥ ¸.•*´¨♥¸.•*´¨☆(¸.•´¨`¸•
*¨♥ *`*•.¸☆´¨`*“
“When you’re growing, you’re thriving and everything is possible.” Manny Goldman
,¨`*•.¸ ♥ ¸.•*´¨☆¨`*•.¸ ♥ ¸.•*´¨♥¸.•*´¨☆(¸.•´¨`¸• *¨♥ *`*•.¸☆´¨`*“

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VALERIEMAHA 5/7/2014 11:37AM

    You are my hero and a guide, brother Don, in the SparkWorldSangha!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

Hmmmm...for some reason HILLSLUG's blog wouldn't open for me, but I found it by getting to her page, etc., so just in case:


Comment edited on: 5/7/2014 11:44:59 AM

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SLIMMERJESSE 5/7/2014 9:46AM

    Very cool!

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