Sunday, March 14, 2010

RA Is Not An Easy Journey

It's not been an easy journey that I have been on for the last 7 years.  Since RA hijacked my somewhat normal life, things have never been the same, even though I try to carry on like nothing has changed.  I still work a full time, very physical, blue collar job, although I have noticed it has been harder on me last year. Some evenings after finishing my 12 hour shift, it is all I can do to walk.  Just 2 nights ago was a good example, I was hurting so badly that I was nearly sick to my stomach.  I didn't eat anything, took a shower and went to bed.  After 9 hours of sleep, got up feeling good enough to go back to work.  I have a 3 acre yard that I still take care of, but I have to be careful about heat and sun exposure, so what use to take me 4 hours to do, now takes me 5-7 hours stopping to cool down and drinking plenty of water.  I'm ok with this, sometimes breaking the mowing up into 2 days, but I now envy anyone with a city sized lot to take care of.  I used to do some work on our vehicles, but crawling around under a vehicle or over the grille or fender is pretty much out of the question now.  At least everything is where I can get to it on my motorcycles, I don't feel completely useless.  I spent 2 days working on my KTM installing a dual sport kit 2 weeks ago, and it was great.  Just me, my bike and my shop ... and a couple of questions I had.  I figured everything out, somedays it's better to be lucky than good!

Worst of all, I am finally owning up to the fact that I may no longer be able to ride single track trail.  This is one of my real loves in life but it is fading away from me.  I rode this past week with Race, riding one of my favorite trails and I hurt for 4 days afterward.  I am not giving up on riding the woods completely, but I am staying away from it for a while.  As hard as it has been to admit this to myself, at least I'm still able to ride dual sport rides.  It's not the same, but it's still not bad.  Randall, Race and I have a long ride planned for this coming Tuesday, if everything goes as planned (ie we don't get lost again), we should have a 180 - 200+ mile ride.  Along the way, there is an abandoned iron truss bridge on the back side of Blue Mountain Lake that we are going to stop and photograph for my Proud Iron blog.

Things could be worse though, I can still throw a leg over my bikes and ride.  If RA ever completely takes that away from me, it will have won.  Or has it ... if I ever become disabled and have to get me a Hoveround, I'll have something new to work on in my shop.  I already have a plan.  


Anonymous said...

One thing RA hasn't taken from you is your sense of humor, Terry. Love the modified scooter! If I ever need one, I'll let you know. I want mine in glitter purple with flames and a spoiler ... ;o)

RA may be slowing you down a little, but life does that too. Taking it on with a positive attitude and making the best of it is the secret to surviving it all, in my opinion. It's inspiring to me to learn about all you do in spite of severe RA -- working long, long shifts at a physically demanding job that requires you to be on your feet most of the time, and then on your off days, planning 200-mile rides that are partially off-road, with all the jarring and bumping that riding those conditions entail.

Makes me feel like a downright wimp. I think I'm going to have to take a long walk today. Weather is beautiful; the alternative plan is housework. I'm choosing some Vit. D and exercise. Thanks!

andrew said...

Don't ever give up Terry!

I got a big laugh with the scooter pic. I pray that it never paints a shadow in your doorway.

BTW...I slept 12 hours the other night. Sometimes RA just wipes you out.

Living It, Loving It said...

At least you have a Plan B. We all have those days and we are all getting older. You will have better days.

tharr said...

Wren, have never done a flame paint job, but I'm willing to try. And the spoiler would definitely make it corner better!

You're no wimp, but I'm glad you had some warm weather to get out and enjoy.

tharr said...

Andrew, I had fun modifying the scooter in Photoshop, imagine how much fun you could have in your shop actually building one for real.

The fatigue gets us all and some days you just have to sleep it off. A couple of weeks ago during a cold blast we had, I slept 13 hours. I think I overdid it though, I was groggy all day ... but my RA felt better.

tharr said...

Lana, plan B, hopefully, is a long ways away. Enjoy your 2 weeks off!

Anonymous said...

You go dude!

Leslie said...

I'm loving Wren's idea of purple and flames :) I hope it doesn't come to that though. Hope things ease up for you with the warmer weather and you can ride without so much pain :)

RA Guy said...

It's never an easier journey, but as long as I continue to hear how people like yourself cope with it, it just might become a little easier. Thanks for continually sharing your thoughts.