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Everybody Wants to Rule the ROAD...!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

I've always loved the song "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" by Tears for Fears and today while riding my bike along this song has been stuck on my brain...nice driving rhythm:


I like the outdoor imagery used in the video of driving along, flying in an airplane, etc. It has that wide open sound which makes me think of the rhythm of biking out on the road.

Today was just wonderful! I was BACK! Between biking to the Annual Walk/Fun Run Against Obesity and biking the LONG way home I totaled almost 22 miles on the bike PLUS jogging / walking 4.8 miles for the event...woo hoo! What a GLORIOUS day!

It was SUPER to catch up with one of our fellow members of SparkPeople, FRECKS96 ( www.sparkpeople.com/mypage.asp?id=FR
), who went on the RUN ahead of me. Although I mostly jogged, I don't feel like a *runner* per se, so ended up kinda in the middle of the group doing my own thing...but felt GREAT to be able to jog along as consistently as I did with just a little fast walking here and there.

One of the COOLEST things about the event was catching up with folks and turning them on to SparkPeople! I had a chance to speak at length with the social worker for the local bariatric surgical group which sponsored the event ( www.stscny.com/walk.shtml ) and shared much about SparkPeople and my own "failed" weight loss surgery background and how I came back with the support of my SparkFamily accomplished what I have the "old-fashioned" way: healthy eating and physical activity. I stressed the benefits those considering and / or carrying out weight loss surgery could reap through joining SparkPeople and passed along flyers.

ADDITIONALLY I met with our area's real-live successful Biggest Loser Trent Patterson www.people.com/people/package/galler
who has gone on to opening his own fitness training studio: Training For Life Systems www.trentpattersonsst.com/index.html

Trent's a terrific fellow, VERY approachable and open. I again pitched SparkPeople to HIM, suggesting it could be a SUPER adjunct to his efforts as a personal trainer. He was very interested and planned to catch up with me to talk further about SparkPeople.

There has been great effort undertaken through our local pharmacy / health center nearby Binghamton University: HealthyU www.clintwoodhealthyu.com/

They've been sponsoring their own version of Biggest Loser and a number of folks participating in this were at the event. We had fun sharing some of our experiences and I pitched SparkPeople as something that could be helpful. Their ears certainly perked up when I spoke of my successes!

Lastly, a sweet thing, I ran into my old primary care doc. Yep, the one who "knew me when"...back in the bad-old-days of morbid obesity. He was impressed and implied he thought I had lost weight through bariatric surgery, but I shared the "not this time" story with him and AGAIN pitched SparkPeople and suggested he pass this along to patients of his who might benefit.

It felt so wonderful to be both celebrating myself and to be Spreading the Spark so actively today! The folks to whom I spoke seemed like instrumental people who were in positions of affecting many MORE people by pointing the way to THE SPARK! :-)

My thighs are "talking to me" tonight..suspect the jogging worked those muscles sweetly...it's one of those pleasant, gratifying bouts of soreness...YES!

Stretching throughout the day and have another round awaiting me before bed...night all...and Keep on SPARKING!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_VALEO_ 5/18/2010 7:00AM

    Thanks for the link to the song... it has been such a long time since I've heard it.

Good job on spreading the Spark and being an inspiration.
You jogged/walked for a good cause, and I'm sure you've inspired those who just came to support the racers.


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GRACEFULIFE 5/16/2010 9:33PM

    That entire Tears for Fears album is great work; really well put-together rather than a random collection of songs like seems to be most common anymore.

Sounds like a great time, and LOVE those post-workout soreness bouts. It reminds you that you are alive!

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ZELLAZM 5/16/2010 4:20PM

    Wow, you have really been spreading the Spark! WTG!

Glad you've recovered and are back to enjoying all your activities!

Blessings for a good new week

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L*I*T*A* 5/16/2010 10:36AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FERRETLOVER1 5/16/2010 8:51AM

    You are simply the BEST advocate for SparkPeople that I have ever had the pleasure of knowing...keep on Spreadin' the Spark!!

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MIZZSB 5/16/2010 4:31AM

    awesome Don... spread the spark!!
And amazing that the doc thought it was by surgery, i can imagine the look on his face hihihi!

How are your thights feeling this morning?

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SUZIAND 5/16/2010 2:56AM

    WooHoo Don!!! Excellent day all the way around! Very, very happy to hear that you are back and going full speed!

I hope you realize how much you are affecting soooo many people's lives... through your own testimony, your encouragement to your spark family, and to helping people discover Spark.

Suz : )

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COLOURFULME 5/16/2010 2:02AM

    Great to read that you are back in business!!!

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SATYAGRAHA 5/15/2010 11:16PM

    Sounds like you had a Sparking Day!

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VALERIEMAHA 5/15/2010 11:13PM

    GREAT on all counts! You are SUCH a terrific ambassador for SparkPeople...you should be on the payroll I swear! LOL

Rock on Don!

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IRISH_EYES_66 5/15/2010 11:07PM

    Sounds like you (and Spark People) had a great day. I too do my best to spread the word about Spark but it sounds like you are way more successful at it than I am. For me the greatest part is that all of this is 100% free!! I am happy to hear you had a great day with your race. Embrace your muscle aches as a badge of honor!!


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FRECKS96 5/15/2010 10:56PM

    Awesome! I'm so glad that today was such a success for you-in so many ways! Even though I didn't spread the Spark, I really enjoyed the run and it was a pleasure to have some time to chat this morning. Make sure you get those stretches done so you don't get sidelined again! It's great to have you back!

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Friday, May 14, 2010

Well, I've been sitting on the sidelines long enough!

Missed a GORGEOUS day of biking due to a mis-informed weather map which showed a bunch of rain off to our west which I thought would douse me...instead we have a BEAUTIFUL day...say 85 degrees on a bank thermometer...! I just LOVED the warmth! Kept being so surprised over the numbers of people I came across who were like "whew! It's so HOT!" ...Me? Just basking away...! I remember the bad-old-days when all those pounds would have me sweating at the drop of a hat! Which makes me savor all the more being able to enjoy the warmth and the heat.

So! Had another round of physical therapy today...tried to weasel out of going back, but they cautioned against it because I haven't been up to speed with my physical activities just yet.

Well! The gauntlet is DOWN! Time to get GOING again! I have NO pain anymore...it's been a few days since finishing the steroid. I'm ready to pump it UP! The difference? Going to be WAY more diligent in my stretches. Now that I have a repertoire of several different stretches instead of my cursory token two types of stretches in the past, I'm going to get going again, add the stretches and see how it goes. I also have two PT sessions scheduled for next week as back up. If I get through the week without trouble, I think it will be time to wrap up the PT. Those co-pays add up! And if I've got the right moves, I can't see the point in keeping on with it.

Going to kick it off tomorrow by riding my bike down to the park where the Annual Walk/Fun Run Against Obesity will be held. This is sponsored by our local bariatric surgery group.


I'm arming myself with my mighty red SparkPeople shirt and a fist full of SparkPeople flyers and going to join in with the 3 mile walk and plan to tell my story and talk up SparkPeople with as many folks as I can! Woo hoo!

With a little luck I might be able to either help a few folks to prepare to make their weight loss surgery a success OR to SPARK their lives in such a way that they can sidestep surgery altogether!

I am SO looking forward to getting out on my bike and connecting with others on the walk! Doesn't look like rain for the foreseeable future which also means MORE BIKING & COMMUTING on my bike too!

Hope everybody's Making your May a SPARKING good time! :-)


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRAINOF4 5/15/2010 9:47PM

    I hope you don't overdo it today - but you know your limits As long As you LISTEN to them!!

Wish I could say that losing weight would cool me off - alas, even when I was underweight I was a sweaty, hot misery! emoticon Just my nature .. still complain that with that sort of metabolism why am I so fat!? LOL ... no I KNOW why!

Hope your day was just WONDERFUL! Way to go spreading that SPARK! emoticon

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ETAGGEL 5/15/2010 3:10PM

    Enjoy yourself Don, but take care you don't do too much at once!

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LADYGWEN25 5/15/2010 10:40AM

    have a great time at the run! glad to hear you're back in the swing of things :)

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FERRETLOVER1 5/15/2010 8:03AM

    Have a wonderful time at your walk/fun run! Don't overdo it, though.

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SMILINGBREYES 5/15/2010 6:53AM

    Glad to hear you're able to get back to the biking commuting! Yep stretches, stretches, stretches is the way to go and praying that with the new ones you're able to stay the course and not have to go back to PT again! Praying for you Don and hoping quite a few is Sparked on from your story!

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COLOURFULME 5/15/2010 2:58AM

    That's why I belong to my own club AWG! It is an acronym that has many explanations. It started as All Weather Girl but soon I was joking about it and turned it into All Weather Goddess!! LOL But then thinking it could mean All Weather Guy, All Weather God, All Weather Group, All Weather Gang etc.......
So pleas join my club! LOL AWG, it means whatever suits you!!!!

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_MAOMAO_ 5/15/2010 2:13AM

  Haha! I left home yesterday w/ a low turtleneck, the single layer mock variety. It was over 70. I took off the t-neck and re-donned the light cotton shirt I'd had over the black turtleneck.

Congrats on being done w/ therapy!

I'll be at church in the morning, saying an extra prayer for that walk, perhaps you can help someone save their life - Spark on!


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DAISES2 5/15/2010 1:09AM

    is'nt it a drag when the forecast is wrong,it makes a lot of people change their plans ugh.glad your getting back to it,enjoy the event.

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PUDDLE_JUMPER 5/15/2010 12:07AM

    Take care of yourself Don, Way to Spark it UP!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FRECKS96 5/14/2010 11:05PM

    Glad to hear you're back at it. Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow.

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VALERIEMAHA 5/14/2010 10:59PM

    I'm SO HAPPY that you're "back in the saddle again!"

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VARMINT3 5/14/2010 10:19PM

    Bummer about missing out on biking - it was a lovely day to ride, whether your choice is bike or horse emoticon

Have fun at the walk tomorrow!

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MORGANLAFEE 5/14/2010 10:13PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FreeCycle: Downsizing & Paying It Forward!

Monday, May 10, 2010

I just LOVE Freecycle! www.freecycle.org/

Rather than just plopping and dropping off bags of "stuff" anonymously, it is so cool to touch base with folks during the process of posting and arranging for passing things along. In doing some spring cleaning I came across some 2X / size 18 shirts that I should have gotten rid of long ago. I discovered another case manager who was looking for clothes for her client just as I had been looking for a TV for one of my clients in the recent past and managed to get one through Freecycle. A few weeks ago I unloaded HUNDREDS of music cassettes as I no longer own a cassette player...brought lots of smiles to some fellow...doubt his WIFE will smile when he comes home with all of THAT...lol! The personal touch...paying it forward...it's all GOOD!

Made up my mind I couldn't just sit around cringing over the possible aches / pains I might suffer if I worked out so I hopped onto my 'mill tonight for an hour...felt GREAT! Enjoyed James Taylor's song "Never Die Young" ( www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4qjS5Q2Xqg ) which to my ears sounds like: "Live your life with as much youth and vigor for as long as you can!" Had another round of PT this a.m., added another stretch, got another piriformis (yes, my butt...lol!) massage. Finished off the steroids today. We'll see how things go. I'm quizzing my bike club members to see if anyone else has dealt with this.

Time for my bedtime stretches and a good night's sleep...!

Keep on SPARKIN' everyone!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DONNELDA22 5/13/2010 8:24PM

    I agree Freecycle is a great way to rid yourself of your excess "stuff".
Keep up the good work.

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USARUNNERGIRL 5/13/2010 3:12PM

    Wow that is such a cool thing. I usually donate to goodwill, but this is actually better because the people don't have to pay for the items. Woot.

I hope you are getting to feel better. Sounds like you are making a little progress.

Thank you for the goodie you gave me over the weekend. I really appreciated it.

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TRAINOF4 5/12/2010 11:34PM

    I LOVE freecycle! I got my 55 gal fish tank AND the handmade wood stand (with brass fittings, casters, and cutout in the back for access to the filters & air lines etc.) I love being able to get rid of things by passing them on to people who need them! It's a great idea isn't it!?

And giving away clothes that are too big!? Whew, that must feel even better! Way to go!

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SASSYCHRIS1952 5/12/2010 11:56AM

    Does it feel great to get rid of clothes that are now too big or what! During my moving process, I got rid of big-sized clothes too!

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GR8CATSBY 5/11/2010 10:44PM

    I have a bunch of LPs and a record player. I TRIED a year or so ago to put all this away in a closet but then decided "no, I'll start listening to my LPs again." Which I haven't. On my someday list is to convert these LPs (and my cassettes as well) into .mp3 files...

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MSAGER2 5/11/2010 10:48AM

    I love to bike too.. that is the one exercise I don't "hate" doing and I can stick with. Go you!

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COLOURFULME 5/11/2010 1:50AM

    Hoping that the medicine has relaxed the area and you indeed won't need them anymore. Keep us posted!! I know you will! :)

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L*I*T*A* 5/10/2010 10:54PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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THEUPS1 5/10/2010 10:37PM

    Yay for freecycle!! And YAY for giving away clothes that are too big now!!

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Laminate Skater Squats Boogie

Sunday, May 09, 2010

I've been appreciative of Mother Nature NOT teasing me with fine biking weather today...lol! Chilly 40's, snow on the car this a.m., can't remember the last time we had snow in May!

After our Mother's Day outing I got to taking care of some housework, including cleaning our laminate floors, which we had put in place last year. Although I LOVE the look of the laminate, I have yet to find a satisfactory way to clean them so that they have that impressive sheen they seemed to have in the store, despite following the directions. What I HAVE found that helps is to have nice white, absorbent socks on and to go over the floor with my feet to buff them to look better. Problem is, I usually don't have time to do this. But as I've been looking for alternatives to biking I thought 'what the heck?' Put on my mp3 player, boogied and buffed the floors with these skater squat type of movements:


Worked up a nice sweat to some of my oldies like David Byrne's Desconocido Soy (no, I have NO idea what the title or words to this song are all about...it's just a fun tune to MOVE to...lol!)
I can even enjoy some fun with the Jackson 5...yes, the disco era left it's stamp... www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjW1iq4IO2k

Later I put together my batch of hummus
( recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
) for the week...I take it into work with fresh veggies for lunch. It's become my healthier alternative to cheese. I like to have fun customizing it each time I make it.

Today? I had soaked some Roman beans overnight...I enjoy trying a different bean each time I make hummus, black beans, garbanzo, pinto, whathaveyou... here's an interesting reference for beans: www.foodsubs.com/Beans.html

I never buy canned beans...avoid the BPA, save money and soak those dry beans!

Swapped out the sour cream for nonfat plain yogurt.

Instead of adding onion and garlic to this fresh I sauteed them first... tones down their bite. Had an old shriveled up yellow bell pepper, what the heck, in it goes! And then for a different tweak I noticed I had one too many apples getting a bit long in the tooth...diced 'er up and threw it in the pan too!

While running it through the food processor I jazzed it up with some crushed red pepper and a HEAVY dose of black pepper along with the cumin. I'm pretty liberal with the lemon juice too.

For pretty low cost I've got a stash of hummus that'll see me through the week!

Must run now, another round of stretches await as does physical therapy tomorrow morning @ 7:30! Hoping to consider resuming some of my former activities soon...will test the waters with shorter distances first.

Next weekend is our local Obesity Walk, which I'm hoping to join in with (c'mon all you locals...!) some others from our Binghamton Area Losers. They have a 1 mile & 3 mile walk as well as a 5k run.

Make it a SPARKIN' Week everyone! :-)


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SATYAGRAHA 5/12/2010 9:09AM

    Look at you go buffin' those floors and making your hummus! Maybe you could do both at the same time! At least that's the image I have in my head right now. emoticon Running around the kitchen, buffing the floors, and throwing stuff in the food processor all while jamming to some disco. emoticon

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MSAGER2 5/10/2010 4:51PM

    So how long do I soak beans and then how long do I cook them? I love to add them to my dishes, but I will admit I usually use canned.

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L*I*T*A* 5/10/2010 11:41AM

    what a great solution...........
way to go!!!
have a great week....
blessings and hugs....lita

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ZELLAZM 5/10/2010 6:50AM

    I'm in big batch mode myself today...you may have inspired me to make a batch of hummus, too. Chili is on now...back to the kitchen to stir and check.

Hope you continue to heal up well. Great example of making lemonade out of the sciatica lemons!

Blessings in the new week,

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DONNELDA22 5/10/2010 6:15AM

    Hi Don: Thanks for all the great ideas to make a variety of different hummas. Never thought of using different beans. Great idea.
Hope you are back in action soon. emoticon

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MIZZSB 5/10/2010 4:07AM

    good for you Don!
We have laminate as well and it doesnt shine as the store shows either..

how is the pain?

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COLOURFULME 5/10/2010 1:30AM

    Good solution for exercise!!
Love it!!

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SUZIAND 5/9/2010 10:43PM

    hehehe...I'm imagining you buffing the floors with your socks...jamming to disco! That's awesome! Maybe I should start cleaning my hardwood floor that way!

Man I wish I lived in your area... I would LOVE to do all these walks with ya! And I wish I liked hummus and/or beans in any shape or form! lol !!

Have a wonderful week, Don! I hope your PT goes well!!!


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The Miracle of Modern Medicine...!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

It's been a nice bounce back with the steroid (Medrol) I've been taking. I'm not making the assumption that I'm CURED by no means, but the pain relief has been striking. The first day of having this sciatica I could not even walk upstairs to our 2nd floor. By the end of the next day I had gone up & down the stairs without a problem several times. Today I mowed our lawn with our reel (non-powered) mower. Feeling some twinges tonight as I've probably pushed myself a bit too far. I'll be quizzing the physical therapist BIGTIME tomorrow as I'd like to know what activities I can pursue, what to avoid. I'm fearing the bike may be problematic given the sciatic nerve that seems most affected runs from my *buttock* (hello sit-bone!) down my leg.

At least I was able to attain some speedy relief!

Now if only Mother Nature wouldn't tease me with some mighty fine biking weather...! :-)


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

COLOURFULME 5/9/2010 5:38AM

    Hope you ae feeling much better after a few day! I know it is terrible. It can take up to months before it heals. Hope it will be much sooner for you!!! Take care as I have written before!!! emoticon

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ZELLAZM 5/8/2010 11:44AM

    Don! Sorry to hear about the sciatica but glad to hear you're healing well. (Just now checking blogs that have back-logged since Tuesday!) Have a happy, healthy weekend in spite of this setback - I know it won't slow you down for long!


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JCORYCMA 5/8/2010 12:51AM

    Having had sciatic pain and finally herniated disk surgery I can sympathize! A pack of frozen peas on the back sure helped as the cold worked wonders on the inflammation. Take it easy! I'm sorry I missed your earlier posts. For some reason, I don't always get e-mailed notifications of the blogs I subscribe to!
Keep us posted on your recovery.

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LUREAH21 5/7/2010 2:59PM

    Hope you can get back on the bike again sometime soon!

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LADYGWEN25 5/7/2010 12:49PM

    glad you're feeling better too Don... I have sciatica as well...lying down verses sitting helps ALOT... so when i'm watching TV.. i no longer sit in the recliner but stretch out on the couch....i know there are stretches that help relieve it... alot are yoga related.. and since i've started doing yoga daily...nary a twinge.. But make sure you heal first...Glad you're on the mend. :)

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L*I*T*A* 5/7/2010 12:08PM

    glad things are looking up and you have an asnwer to get better soon..........
blessings and hugs...........lita

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FRECKS96 5/7/2010 9:51AM

    Glad you're feeling better and I hope it continues!

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    So glad that the meds are helping. It is good that they are helping and not doing nadda. YEAH. Yup I probably would hold off on the biking bit until you get the green light. I know as "painful" as it is to be sitting idle while nature is saying come bike out here with me, it is far better to wait a short time than to exacerbate the problem to bigger proportions.

Take care and hope you can go biking sooner than later.

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SATYAGRAHA 5/7/2010 8:35AM

    Glad to hear you're feeling better, but I definitely thing quizzing the PT is a must. You don't want to push yourself too hard!

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HOPE2BE 5/7/2010 8:02AM

    I've never found relief from sciatic pain unless I go to the chiropractor. I'm glad you found relief. The medicine is nice to get rid of the pain but I would still ask the Dr. what you can or can't do.

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FERRETLOVER1 5/7/2010 7:45AM

    Thank goodness for medicine! Now just take it easy, okay? Be sure you are okay before you try to ride that bike again!

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AMABILE75 5/7/2010 7:36AM

    I'm so glad you were able to get some relief from the pain. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that you can get back to that bike soon. :)


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CARRIE1948 5/7/2010 7:25AM

    Don't you just love medral? It's mu drug of choice.

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MIZZSB 5/7/2010 4:21AM

    Im glad to hear that your pain is getting less...

take your rest!!

ps. i saw you on the video thats on sparkguy's blog last september ...;)

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DRASADAF 5/7/2010 2:51AM

    wow,thats great...have a great day

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TRAINOF4 5/7/2010 1:16AM

    Blech - sciatica. Can relate. Hope you can get the problem under control quickly & off the meds - they aren't any fun for the long term (can you say "FEED ME"?)

Mine makes my foot itch. Totally annoying. Hope the physical therapist can provide you with good stretches & exercises to help control the problem.

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VALERIEMAHA 5/6/2010 11:50PM

    Hmmmm...I never let the sciatica stop me *much*...slow down a bit for a few days (never took any meds regardless of the pain levels) and I have always found it to be fast-healing, assuming I allowed it to heal.

I always found yoga asana VERY helpful, e.g.: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VMb

Speedy recovery, dear Don!

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