Thursday, October 27, 2011

Tile, KLR's And A Miserable Disease

"We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about." 
- Charles Kingsley

I think most of you know what I am enthusiastic about, motorcycles have helped me stay happy while living with a chronic disease over the last eight years.  Since my 400 mile ride, I have been burning up the internet researching the Kawasaki KLR650, Honda XR650L and the BMW F650GS.  While the newer KLR's are just dog ugly up front, I am convinced that this is what my next bike will be.  I am looking for a clean, low milage pre 08 model for the looks department.  The downfall is that full of gas, oil and water, it weighs in at 432 lbs!  Are you kidding me?  I hope it comes with a folding saw in the tool kit so if it falls on you, you can cut your leg off to get out from under it!  After hopping up and down on a 07 model this week, the weight doesn't seem like it will be an issue until the bike is laying on top of you.  The photo below is similar to how I eventually want my KLR set up for adventure rides.
I have been very busy over the last two weeks.  Between working quite a bit of OT and the floors, I haven't had much time.  Sunday we moved furniture and pulled up the carpet, pad and tack strip for the workers to start Monday morning.  We now have tile in the living room and think we will be much happier with it.  I'm not sure how my feet and cold tile will get along this winter, my feet hurt so much anyway and cold makes them ache.  I hate wearing house shoes inside, but I guess that is what I will have to get used to doing.
My RA has been semi behaved considering all I have put it through over the last 4 weeks.  From a 400 mile motorcycle adventure, to moving furniture and pulling up carpet, all while working at least 12 hours a week OT and getting inadequate sleep.  One night last week my feet were hurting badly after finishing a 16 hour shift.  I came home showered and crawled into bed.  Just the weight of the sheet laying on them hurt.  I try not to complain, but I truly hate living with this miserable disease.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

My New Normal

RA has changed my life, but it has not changed who I am inside. One of the negatives is the physical limitations that RA has bestowed upon me. While I occasionally look back on some of my "good times" that I have experienced, I am firmly grounded where I am today. I don't hold any anger at, or have any depression over living with RA. It took a while to get here, but I am enjoying life the best way I can now. Some days this means taking my bike out and hammering out a few miles of rough, nasty single track trail while other days it may just be settling back and catching up on some movies.  I no longer look at it as living an abnormal life, this is the new normal for me. 

My RA has been dog ugly after taking it for a 400 mile ride.  See if I try to take my RA on vacation again ... if it were my child I would give it a good spanking. I have been limping, groaning and eating Tylenol Arthritis daily to get through my shift at work.  I have also been spending some time in the hot tub.  It has finally started easing it's grip and is releasing me from this latest self induced flare episode.  

I am once again considering taking another step for my new normal lifestyle.  After our two day ride, I have been researching true dual sport bikes as a possible solution to alleviate some of the pain while riding. As normal, I am most likely over analyzing the project but, much like my RA, I would rather have too much information than not enough.

I believe that, for me, continuing to do what I love has allowed me to keep my sanity through the first eight years of my journey with RA. I have been on a motorcycle since I was ten years old. My parents thought that they would buy me a motorcycle, I would ride it for one summer, be done with it and sell it. That was 42 years and 28 motorcycles ago. Make no mistake, it still hurts every time I throw a leg over a bike, but the personal satisfaction that I get from both riding and knowing that I am kicking RA's butt one day at a time is worth every ounce of pain.

This is a clip from our adventure ride two weeks ago.  The audio didn't come through so don't try to turn your speaker up to get sound.