Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Dubya's Package

So what bike related stuff are you going to spend the economic stimulus package money on? Me, not much. Sure, I've got a list a mile long, or more accurately, endless, of things I won't. But I don't really need them, or have to have them. I 'll probably get a new seat for the road bike, and put the Rival saddle on my MTB. I'd also like to upgrade the derailleurs on the MTB to XT, and the brakes to Avid 7. With my knee problems, I'm going to forgo the fixie conversion of the Batavus. I will probably give it to someone who wants a retro bike to tinker with. There's not enough time in the day to do all the projects I have started. I'll just have to retire. Not that there is any chance of that right now, what with our economy heading south in a big spiral swirly mess. A household has to have two incomes to have any quality of life these days. Sucks, at best in my estimation. But, the elections are coming soon, so maybe there is hope.

Monday, April 28, 2008

How High's The Water Mama ?

We headed down the camp ground Sunday to do a little clean-up and check things out after a long winter. Our camper fared well, and as a '07 model, it should have. No rodent or bug remnants or anything. Several folks have custom covers over theirs, and a lot of those got torn up in the winds and heavy, wet snow we had this winter. I like it down there in the summer, good people, kids have a lot of fun, and it makes a good base to ride from. Good, quiet roads, I can ride the state trail from home, and lots of nice MTB riding. Hopefully, the weather improves so it's worth spending some time there soon. The Moosehorn River is way up, so the trails are probably still pretty muddy. We shall wait and see.

On the diabetes front, my high, erratic numbers all of a sudden came back down. I'm sure this is due to my careful monitoring of food intake. I use to track food and exercise, but that is only good if you are honest with yourself. I found that I was eating more than I thought, so I really practise portion control, and it shows. My morning numbers are lower now than they ever have been. It dropped too low last night, but some Cherrios and milk took care of that, so this AM was a bit high, but still ok. My knee flared up again, so no riding, but a little walking yesterday for exercise. May 22nd is set for the scope job, so hopefully just a clean out will do the trick. I just hope they don't find anything major.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Back On The Road

I received a date to scope my knee yesterday and wouldn't you know, it started feeling better. The doc said I could ride, but don't push it. After work I headed up the shore for an easy spin to see how it would hold up. It held up fine, but didn't like any out of saddle work. Not painful, but weak. It looks like I at least got one good ride in before the bad weather returns, and so did a lot of other folks. I think I saw most every type of bike imaginable, road, moutain, a tandem, and a recumbent. But something I hadn't seen before around here was a tall bike. You just don't see those being ridden on the open road around here. The kid riding it wasn't wearing a helmet, I guess he was just too cool for that, riding several feet up in the air and all.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Diabetes Cure

A cure for diabetes is on the horizon. The report on 60 Minutes this past Sunday really is getting a lot of mileage for this possible cure - the Duodenal bypass. This procedure basically remove the upper part of the intestine at the stomach, much like bariatric bypass surgery, only it doesn't modify the stomach. There are promising clinical trials going on in Brazil right now which if successful could mean that cure is possible. @ 80% of those that have had bariatric surgery have had their diabetes go into complete remission, and the duodenal modification seems to be the key. It may take awhile to be approved, and how insurance coverage remains to be seen. But just think of the money to be save in the long run, due to lack of complications from the disease. I personally would do it, but would like to know the effects on athletic performance. If it restricts carb absorption, how would that effect performance during an endurance event ? The possible trade off sure seem to out-weigh the daily grind of testing, pills, and shots. Let's hope it truly is a cure.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Mayo Clinic

SWMBO and I took daughter #1 to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester for a routine check up this weekend. Went down Sunday afternoon, hung out in our motel for awhile, then went to Famous Dave's for dinner, which is connected to the motel. After dinner, pool and hot tub, and an early turn in.

I droppped them off at the clinic the next morning and went for a cruise around Rochester, as I've never really spent much time there. I've got to tell you, the town sure is bicycle friendly. Lot's of path all over the place, very clean, and a longer summer, and a some nice bike shops. I stopped in at the Bicycle Store and Erik's Bike and Board. Both are Specialized dealers, well stocked with both parts and accessories. Both carried a lot of clothes, both road and mtb, along with plenty of commuter stuff like racks and bags. Both were very clean and organized, with lots of display space, tons of bikes and cool staff. But, I was a good boy and bought only a pair of socks. There were several hats and shirts I wanted, but didn't really need, so I refrained.

The really downer part was not being able to ride due to the bum knee. It was 75 above with a light breeze and I couldn't enjoy it. The guys at Erik's offer to loan me a bike and take a cruise on a nearby bike path, but I couldn't take them up on it. Bummer, because I've wanted to try a Roubaix Expert for a while, and they had a 53 cm demo sitting right there!! Oh, the humanity!!!

The doc will call me tomorrow with the surgery schedule. Until then, I just have to wait.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

What A Pain

Had an MRI on the ailing knee, but haven't gotten the results back yet. So, no riding for me for a while. I tell ya', it's not getting any better. But the cortisone in the shoulder did help a bunch, I can move pretty much pain free. Not so with the knee. It pops when getting up out of my chair, which I do several times an hour, making work really suck. I'm getting crabby, I want to get this thing fixed so I can get on with riding, but it looks like the MRI results won't be ready until Tuesday. It's raining, so at least working today isn't to bad. We're heading for Rochester tomorrow for the daughter's appointment at the Mayo Clinic (routine checkup) on Monday morning. Oh well, I'll just have to play the waiting game for a while....

On a brighter note, I had the Body Mass Index test done on Thursday. 26.5, much lower than I expected. According to the nurse, it should have been 37 for an average guy my height and weight. So instead of trying to get down to 170, my new target is 195. I should be able to get there by summer's end. My blood sugar is still all over the place, especially after the cortisone shot. This effect is only supposed to last a few days. Let's hope so.

I joined the site in order to track food intake and exercise in a consistent manner. I sure does remind you how much just a little of this and a little of that add up to. It should help to maintain the discipline needed to lose more weight and control the blood sugar.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Shouldering The Burden

Sunday was beautiful. Spring is here. It's temps in the high 50's for a while. Great riding weather. But for me, no. You see, last Thursday, I rolled out of bed in the morning, and something in my left knee popped a couple of times. No big deal, happens once in a while, just a little twinge of pain, and then goes away. My left knee always seems a little weaker than my right, has for a few years, but not noticeable on the bike. It didn't go away, but has gotten progressively worse, to the point of pain all the time.

Yesterday, I met with an ortho surgeon about my shoulder, which at this point seemed a minor annoyance compared to this stupid knee. So, he had the knee x-rayed, poked around the shoulders, and showed my wife how to press on my knee to inflict maximum pain. Nice, but all in fun as she works in the operating room with him from time to time. When the x-rays came back, he said it looks like cartilage and ligament damage. A scope job is in order. This afternoon I get to have an MRI, then plot out the surgery.

Next up was a big needle injecting cortisone into my right shoulder. That's just a fun procedure, I recommend it if you want some cheap thrills. Not!! So, it looks like I won't be riding much for the next couple of week. Why don't you all ride a few extra miles and put it in my base mileage bank, so I won't have as much work to do when I'm back.

Friday, April 11, 2008

April Fools

April Fools - that's us - just look at this mess !! High winds, snow, very slippery streets, and we get this until Saturday morning. The power was out at @ 4:00 am, so when I got up and took SWMBO to work, it was getting ready by candle and flash light. I got home a few minutes ago, and the power was back on. No work today, we're closed. I can bach it, do some reading, maybe an hour on the trainer, watch some TV, generally fart around.

By mid-week, it looks like this will be gone, what with temps forecast in the 50's. It'll be nice to ride to work again, get back in that routine which pays such dividends for my blood sugar levels. I guess I'll just make the best of this bonus day off, because weather is weather, you can't do anything about it, so you may as well make the best of it.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Don't Belive Everything You Read

Had a nice visit with the diabetes nurse and dietitian yesterday regarding my unstable blood sugar. A few things we figured out were:

1. I'm a fat bastard. But a very fit fat bastard.

2. I eat too much protein.

3. I don't eat enough carbs.

4. I believe too much of what I read on the Internet.

5. With my current muscle mass, 170 lb weight goal may not be feasible.

6. I would make a great classics rider due to the fact you don't have to be a great climber, have a big engine, and I love Belgian chocolate. ( as you may have guessed, I made this one up )

So, what to do. I'm having a body mass index test done on Thursday. She said it's important to know because my a1c doesn't match my nearly match my weight, insulin, byetta, and drug intake. In other word, I may not be as fat as I, or the scale, seem to think I am. I told her to try hauling this carcass up the many steep hills around here, then make that statement.

Go back to doing what got you down to the 5.7 a1c is the new (old ) plan. Less protein, as the dietitian explained I eat more of it than an African plains lion. Probably 10 times more. My triglicerides and cholesteral show it, as both are up a bit, but still very good. No more 16 oz top sirlions for a while. This will help melt the spare tire. This would go along way in helping me climb the Co De Glenwood every day like I used to do.

More carbs. Seems to go against everything I read by all the ADA critics. Hmm... Having cut my carb intake to a very low level, my blood sugar has risen. Why? Because when your body is low on glucose, it signals the liver to release glycogen, then your blood sugar shoots up, sometimes out of control. That's why it's very important not to go to bed w/ low glucose readings, because during the night if your blood sugar drops too low, liver kicks in and you wake up w/ a high reading. Makes sense.

So last night, I had a pasty for dinner and 5 cups of air popped popcorn for a snack. I slept pretty good considering this stupid cold has returned, got up this morning to a reading of 124. Right where it should be.

Moral of the story - self doctoring can be a killer - so I'll work a lot more closely with my team.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Moving On Over

After finally getting tired of MSN spaces, I've taken the plunge and moved over here to Blogger. It's way easier to use, and seems a lot of people have moved over here, too. Most of the blogs I read are on blogger, so why not. Spaces was just not very reliable or user friendly for a guy like me who is not super computer savvy.

The weather here is just plain whacky. April thinks it's a winter month, not spring like it should be. A blizzard watch is in effect through Friday night. I won't be riding to work tomorrow, what with possible FEET of snow, wind in the 40 to 50 mph range, no way. A guy could die. I'm not that hard core. I ride in the cold, rain, snow, all around crappy weather just like any good hardman would, but I cut it short at blizzard.

But I bet some will still commute, like Doug over at MN Bicycle Commuter. Have Pugsley, will travel seems to be his motto. He seems to know how to deal with any weather and enjoy it.

I've got some other stuff in the works, so please come back soon. But the snow can stay away.