Sunday, December 09, 2012
There are things we just don't like to admit to ourselves.
Not necessarily me:
I'm too fat.
I hate my job.
My child is a criminal.
We all have our don't-want-to-admit-its. Whatever it is, who ever we are, we just don't want to admit it.
I started looking at trikes seriously. Not boardwalk Schwinn trikes like they ride over at Charlestown Senior Home. I am looking at sleek road trikes. Sport trikes.
And She(WMBO) asked me why I was doing that. "I thought you wanted a folding bike you could take with you when you're running out-of-town races. And I find that odd, too, since you haven't ridden either of your bikes much this year."
"Well, there is something to that. In the last year I have had two serious falls from a bicycle. One I got a black eye, busted glasses, and a really bad torn rotator cuff. Still recovering from the rotator cuff fully a year later even after surgery.
"In the other, I got a concussion. It was a mild concussion, but it still bothers me.
"I have been up on a bike maybe six times in the last year. And while I am not actually scared to ride, I just feel a little nervous about it.
"Or maybe not.
"I am 59 years old. I am in superior shape. No qualifier like 'for a man my age.' I am in superior shape. But I have to admit, my balance may be suspect. How else to explain two falls resulting in serious injuries in the past year?
"And I am not getting any younger. My balance is not going to be getting better.
"The trikes I am looking at are still sports cycles. I can still have fun on them. I can still ride fast. I can still get a workout. I will just be less likely to fall over.
"There I admitted it. I am getting old, dammit."
After I said all that, I felt like crying. I am not old, but I am taking cautions like I am old. I stormed out of the room. She followed me.
"Tim, thank you. I worry sick about you every time you ride off. They are expensive cycles, but if you insist on riding, they're cheap insurance. And if getting old means to you changing the way you're being active, that's way better than getting old and planting your butt in front of the TV."
Well, there is that. But I still don't like making concessions for getting old --- older anyway.
So. Anyone want to buy a 2005 Trek 5200 with a 52 cm frame in excellent condition?
Sunday, December 09, 2012
... o' mice an' men gang aft agley.”
― Robert Burns
Oh those crazy Scots. "gang aft agley?" What does that mean?
I didn't get in my long run yesterday. It was raining and cold most of the day and I opted out with a promise to me to do it today. Then I woke with a slammin' headache. So that 6:00 date with the nice little piece of asphalt wasn't happening.
Two cups of coffee and about a gallon of water later and some more sleep, it was 8:30 and I was too late to even walk to Weight Watchers. They moved the clubhouse and now its a mile and a half away ... a good walk, but I have to cross US 40. 30 minutes is not enough time.
With the day half shot, I decided to put it completely out of its misery and shoot it again by going to the grocery store ... on a Saturday. My headache was gone.
I still got about an hour run in as the December sun was making the shadows long at 3:30 and the chill was coming on the breeze.
Friday, December 07, 2012
Yesterday's scare behind us. Life got back to normal today.
After my AM dentist appointment, I decided to drive about 25 miles to Mt Airy MD to look at bicycles. I was thinking two alternate directions.
1) Get a folding bike that would fit into a suitcase so i could take it with me traveling. Brompton (UK) has one but for about $1400. Some others run as low as $400, but don;t fold as small, are heavier, take time to fold. Brompton is the best, but you pay for it.
2) Get a recumbent trike. This is a pricey proposition. And it makes me feel old to have to admit that I may no longer have the stability to ride an upright two-wheeler.
Mt Airy Bikes has used bikes and will take trade-ins. I have a very nice Trek road bike that I like a lot. But I haven't been on a bike but maybe a half dozen times since my concussion in April. It may be time for me to admit that I am ready to move to a stabler platform and trade the Trek in. It's such a sweet bike though.
When I got there, Larry from Mt Airy put me on a Terra Trike Rambler ($1600) and sent me around the parking lot.
That is not, I repeat NOT me. That is a Terra Trike Rambler. But that is **NOT** me.
This thing was smooth, agile, and really sweet. Then he suggested that I come up some day when it was a drier ('twas cold and damp today) and take one out for a real test. Ride it into town, go eat, shop a little, bring it back and ride a country course he has plotted out (lots of hill he promised) ... use the bike for a couple of real-life hours.
Only then would he talk to me about which used trike he might put me on and about trading in my Trek.
It's like buying a new car. But with an honest dealer.
Thursday, December 06, 2012
I was just finishing my breakfast and beginning my weekly serious housecleaning when the phone rang. It was She(WMBO):
"Meet me at St Agnes."
She was headed for the emergency room. She has been getting lots of migraines on her new blood pressure medication. "I got a migraine this morning and my arm went cold and numb. So I'm going to the emergency room."
I rushed around to grab my iPad because that's where my reading material is and I have experience with St Agnes ER. I would need a book for the lonely hours in uncomfortable chairs around people with colds. But instead they sent me to her "room" right away.
On the drive over, I was hurrying, but trying not to hurry. The hospital is only about three or four miles from the house. If I got a ticket it would take way more time than I'd save by speeding.
I also tried to apply logic and sense to stay calm and not get into a panic:
1) She was aware enough that she knew what she was doing and why. No confusion.
2) Her speech was not slurred on the phone
3) I used to get migraines called cluster headaches -- short (4 hour) very high intensity episodes. On more than one occasion, I had had facial numbness. So I reasoned that this could be like that.
In retrospect, I was foolish to ignore the numbness during a migraine. She was prudent to get to the emergency room.
When I got to her room, she was still in pain, and still feeling numbness. The doctor did the stroke screening as I remembered it and she seemed to have no symptoms other than the numb arm. He did a touch test asking if he touched her left, right, or both sides. I smiled because she often confuses left and right. How would we know if it was a symptom or simple Her being Her? I could see her actually think before each response.
"I don't think this is a stroke. But I'd like to get an MRI anyway." My blood ran cold for half a second until I realized he meant her, not me. She is tough enough to take being closed up into a coffin for 30 minute and being required to lie perfectly still. I'm a claustrophobic wimp.
By the time she got back, she was feeling better. They slipped her some anti-migraine drug into her IV before they headed back up and within 10 minutes she was asking me to turn on the lights and put up her bed. "Do you have Word with Friends on that?" she asked pointing at my iPad. No I don't. "What good are you? Give me my phone."
Oh she's fine. We sat for another two and a half hours waiting for someone to come back.
"I know how to get a doctor in here. Go to the cafeteria and get me lunch."
Fortunately they had a Subway because when I got back to the room, she was dressed, coat on waiting for me. Much easier to take fast food home.
"See? Works every time. They were waiting for a neurologist but the doctor decided from the MRI to send me home. Let's get outta here. I hate hospitals and I am starved."
Home we went. I finished cleaning while she napped; a migraine takes a lot out of you. When I would get them, after they were over I was always starving, very sleepy, and almost euphoric.
It is our Daughter in law's birthday and we had a dinner date with the kids. We made the date and except that she had no wine, it was a normal dinner out. She drove.
So the feared stroke was "nothing more than" a complex migraine.
Bad enough, but that was it.
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