Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Ready For Fall

In my ongoing struggle to kick RA's ass, I have many ups and downs.  It's not easy for me to work unlimited OT at work, to workout or ride, but it is important for me to push myself so I don't feel more even more closed in by the disease.  Mental perception is huge in dealing with this disease.  In May of this year I took the KTM to the woods to ride some single track trail.  I was feeling unusually good and I really miss riding the tight, technical, nasty stuff.  I started off easy and felt good so I kept twisting the throttle  more and more and soon was reliving the old days.   In my head, I felt as fast as I ever was while racing ... in reality you could have used a sun dial and a calendar to time me... but I was having the time of my life for a few minutes that day.  These moments are important for our survival and to help keep us grounded for our bad days.  I have my days where I hurt so bad that I will just kick back and watch a movie or some low key activity such as watching the back of my eyelids ... after living with this for 9 years, I have learned to pick and choose my battles for pushing myself. 
I always take my MTX on Sunday and most of the time just kick back enjoying the day with family.  This past Sunday I was forced to work and immediately remembered how big of a toll the chemo puts on us.  Instead of laying around on the couch or going out to eat, I was climbing stairs on the press, moving print decks (1 ton each) and down on my hands and knees splicing paper.  It was the roughest day I had been through at work in a while and, right or wrong, I am blaming the chemo.  Monday was much easier on me at work.
I am currently six days away from having some days off and feel like a kid waiting on the last day of school.  I have several rides I want to do and by having 3 or 4 days off every week (with the new schedule), starting next week, means I can do them without burning vacation days.  I missed the Colorado trip this year (thanks RA) but Randall and I are going to ride the Mississippi Hill Country loop of the Trans-America Trail this fall and possibly running out to northern New Mexico to ride a couple of days.  I also have 3 bridge rides planned, one of them being at least a two or three day ride.  I should have some good photos soon to post here. 
Hope everyone is doing well and ready to get out and enjoy fall, my favorite season.


Marianna Paulson said...

Hi Terry,
"These moments are important for our survival and to help keep us grounded for our bad days." This comment is so important to anyone who lives with a chronic, debilitating disease.

Our thoughts and emotions affect our physiology, whether it be emotionally, mentally and/or physically.

Learning to acknowledge our down days, but not dwell on them is crucial for health and well-being.

Here's to many more trips on your bicycle. (I've lived with RA for 35 years and for most of those years I was able to cycle, windsurf and ski.)

Here's a Canadian cycling trip to put on your life list: http://www.kettlevalleyrailway.ca/

Terry said...

Hello Marianna, thanks for visiting. You are so right, my riding keeps my mind off of the pain and gives me something to look forward to. Its interesting that you call them "down days" ... when I am having a flare, I just look at it as down time to recharge myself. I talked with a couple of guys last night and we are heading to New Mexico in either 3 or 5 weeks to ride for 3 days. Can't wait.
A couple of guys we know rode the KVR this year. Amazing photos and should I catch a good time with my RA, I would love to come up there and ride all (or part of it). My favorite photo was of the curved trestle you ride from one mountain top to the next.

Lana said...

I am not ready for the cooler weather because I am worried that my symptoms will get worse. I wouldn’t mind working 3 days instead of five even though they are 12 hours per day. However, I would not be able to because my schedule revolves around my kids. Nine years is a long time – I still consider myself a newbie four years after diagnosis even though it has been seven years since my symptoms started. I take my MTX on Saturday so I am not affected by the side effects during the work week. Take fun on your next adventure and take plenty of pictures.

Candied Frogs said...

Good for you getting out there T. You're an inspiration to those of us with a few aches and pains who have no right to complain at all! I'm looking forward to your planned shots of bridges and some possible New Mexico coverage. :)

Terry said...

Lana, we cooled down as the remnants from Isaac rolled over us. We were temporarily down in the upper 70's but return to 100 degree days Sunday. I am ready for both a cool down and some days off. It has been a good 12 years since I was feeling symptoms, I often wonder if I would be doing better if properly diagnosed right then.

Hey Andy, Thanks ... you're photos make me jealous of the riding areas you have up there. New Mexico is happening in 3 weeks looks like. I have maps and a state atlas coming as well as some new suspension parts. Keep riding!