Saturday, August 25, 2012

I've Had Enough (Work)

I have noticed over the past year that on rides that my hands, especially my right hand, starts hurting somewhere around 60-75 miles.  I have been considering purchasing some Flexx bars which are supposed to help absorb shock and vibration.  The single reason I have yet to purchase them is they cost $350.  After reading several posts from adventure/dual sport riders about the weighted bar ends absorbing vibration, I put a set on the stock bars of the KLR.  I immediately noticed a reduction in vibration of the bars.  I took the bike out for a trial 100 mile test ride and was somewhat dismayed at the results.  Even though there is only a slight vibration at certain rpm's now, my hands started hurting at roughly the same mileage.  Either it did not reduce the vibration as much as I thought it did or it's just defective hands.
At the rheunatologist last week, doc shot x-rays, did blood work and examined in particular my hands, knees, ankles and hips.  Good news, x-rays look good, I do have one hole eaten through one of my toes from four years ago but no further bone destruction.  My blood work is normal and after the examination he said "I wish all of my patients were getting along as good as you are".  I know I am fortunate to do what I can still do, but all I have to gauge against is healthy people that I work with.  Measuring myself against them, I struggle (and hurt) to do normal things every day.  I try not to complain, don't want anyone's sympathy... just want to feel good enough to do what I want to.  Is that too much to ask?
Speaking of work, the printing press that I work on is going back to continuous operations September 3.  This means that I will go back to working 12 hour days - 3 days one week then 4 days the next week.  Or, a more positive approach is that I will be off half of the time now.  I have worked the last 2 Saturdays, working Saturday and Sunday this week and working next Saturday ... after next Saturday that will be 25 out of the last 27 days worked.  Cooler temperatures, some days off, a couple of my best friends and one of my motorcycles ... I'm ready!

7 comments:

mary said...

Amen to just wanting to feel good enough to do the things you want to do. I have never understood why, if all of the tests look good, I still have the level of pain I have. I read the same question over and over again in blogs.
Your upcoming work schedule looks brutal. Take care of yourself.

Squirrel said...

great news about the x-rays! at least with healthy bones underneath we can keep the faith that someday soon a new medication will stop the outward symptoms. still, frustrating about your hands and that the doctor didn't take that onboard by the sound of it. i hope you can enjoy some good rides soon!

Anonymous said...

I was having similar problems with my hands and riding. After about an hour my throttle hand would go numb. Not a good thing. I tried to get heated grips for my bike because I read some reviews that said they helped with carpal tunnel (which I thought I had but not sure - may just be RA). Couldn't find any for my bike. What I did find was some gloves that have cushioning on them to absorb vibrations but I think the thing that helped me was that the cushioning made the grip fatter. The gloves are called Grips Well and cost about $55.00. I think their website is gripswell.com. Sometimes the cushioning can make my fingers hurt but my hand doesn't go numb anymore. Not sure if will solve your problem. If you do decide to try them make sure you measure your hand and order based on that. I had to order a much bigger size than I thought.

I hope we both can get some good rides in before winter.

Take care.

Terry said...

Anon, I would like to talk to you more about riding with RA (there aren't many of us), if you come back leave an email or a link. I am going to put some heated grips on the KLR this fall. Here is the kit I am going to order (would work with any bike with a battery or stator: http://www.happy-trail.com/Symtec-Heated-Grips.aspx

I have a pair of MSR Cold Pro gloves but am interested in the Grips Well gloves. Which pair (model) of them did you get? Hope you get out this fall, I have several longer rides in the works, Hew Mexico/CO, Mississippi TAT loop, to name a couple.

Terry said...

Mary, doc said that just because the tests come back as ok, that in no way is indicative of no pain. He is most concerned about my right hand. I am so ready for the new schedule and some time off. Have you had your knee surgery yet?

Squirrel, thanks. I love the photos you shot of the old factory. I would love to kick around there for a few hours ... love shooting that kind of history.

Anonymous said...

I got the GS33 model of the grips well gloves for hot weather riding. Not sure what to do for the cold weather riding. I have a set of hand deflectors and warmer gloves similar to what you have. Hard to think about that when it's still in the 90s here. My email is: wrightke@charter.net

mary said...

No surgery yet, maybe not at all. The problem is, of course, from my RA and one doctor wants to do the surgery and one says it will just come right back so I have to live with it. I am going to an ortho my rheumatologist recommends to make a final decision. Really kind of messed up my summer but what can you do. Have done a little riding but it’s not as much fun with the amount of pain that results from it. I know you know what I mean. It is a balancing act enjoyment verses pain.
I’m glad you have plans for the fall. It’s always good to have something to look forward to. I hope your weather turn soon and you can get all of the planned rides in before it turns cold.