Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Chronic Ramblings

When I first started this blog, my main motivation was that maybe I could help inspire one or two people to pursue what they love doing in spite of living with RA.  However it is I who have been inspired by so many emails and messages from both followers and drive by readers. 
It is not easy accepting that you have a chronic disease, especially if it means having to give up something you love doing. We all have different degrees of damage which may allow or prevent us from doing what someone else does.  I have never felt cheated by not being able to do what someone else with RA can do.  I accept my limitations as the new me.  There are many distractions from the pain but the bottom line is the more your brain is sucked into an activity, the less pain you are going to notice.   I have given up several things but refuse to give in on my motorcycles.  It also seems that there are many doctors out there who know how to treat the disease, but few know how to treat the patient.  I am fortunate that I found a good rheumatologist ( my first one was not so good) who I am still with today.  
I have felt good for the past 12 days but over did it yesterday by doing all of the yard work.  This morning I pushed myself to go on a short 80 mile ride and am so glad I did.  I found some more of the old Midland Valley Railroad and actually rode a little bit of the old train bed.  I also found 2 old bridge crossings from the railroad.  As a bonus I didn't see a single snake on todays ride.  I was certainly watching for them as I went down under one of the bridges, with tall grass and water, it looked like a snake haven.   
 I rode part of the old Midland Valley Railroad bed today
  Abandoned bridge from the MVR


mary said...

Looks like a great ride and a really nice day for it. Finally some cooler weather. I am amazed that you can ride but understand your passion and the need not to give up. If we have to give up everything we love then all we have to think about is the pain. That's no way to live.
I just got back from Vermont and a 50 mile bike ride. I'm paying a bit for it now but boy I had fun.

Terry said...

Mary, it was a gorgeous day in the upper 80's here. You are one of the ones I was speaking of in this post. I would love to be able to ride 50 miles on my bicycle again. The pain isn't so bad when you had fun bringing it on. Keep on riding!

Lana said...

Like you, I have been more inspired by the messages I received. We are not alone in this journey and because we have had the courage to write about it, we are found out how true that it is. I had given up a lot when RA came into my life but I have also gotten so much back. I am glad to hear that you are doing well. My RA pain has returned with the cooling weather and what I would give to start driving somewhere warmer. I am very happy that you are able to continue riding. You are an inspiration to many, my friend. Hopefully, the upcoming winter months are gentle on you.

mary said...

That's a very nice thing for you to say Terry. I found your blog when I was having a particularly bad time with my RA. It seemed to be affecting my muscles and I was desperate to find other people who still pursued their passion. Your blog has done a lot for me over the last few years. I can't thank you enough for that.

Wren said...

What a great ride you had! And it's cool that you found more of the railroad bed and the bridges! Love your photos.

You're so right about activities making it easier not to notice pain. I've found (for years, now)that if I get into a good book, or really get the writing bug myself, I'm able to distract myself from rheuma pain, too. I think it's amazing how well our brains can do that.

Here's hoping that your pain stays manageable and that you get to go on another ride soon.

Terry said...

Lana, it has been good for me connecting with others who live with what I have. RA does take a lot from us but we can never give up. I have been feeling and doing much better since it has cooled down some, of course I believe we are talking about 2 different temperature ranges between here and where you are. On Tuesdays ride, the temp was 90 ... but it is certainly cooler than a few weeks ago when we were in the upper 100's. I am dreading this winter, with the extreme temps this summer, I'm afraid we may have an extreme winter to match it.

Mary, thank you for the kind words. You are one of the ones that has to be at the top of RA's hate list. You refuse to give in and I admire you for it. Most people don't understand what it takes for us to continue to do physical activities. It takes an insider to appreciate that.

Wren, I enjoy learning about local history and have been having researching the old Midland Valley RR for a while. I actually ran across the first piece of old RR bed last winter and putting 2 and 2 together discovered that was indeed what I had found. Since then I have found about 15-20 miles of old RR bed, along with 4 bridges, still built up like it was left when they pulled the tracks up. It really is amazing what our minds can do and when put to good use, they are a very powerful tool in our everyday fight.

Kim said...

Mary - Wow - A 50 mile bicycle ride. That's impressive. I bet Vermont is beautiful this time of year.

Terry - I'm jealous of your weather. I'm trying to get in some motorcycle riding before the winter. Today I rode to work and it was 36 deg (thinking about heated grips again). I'm in Wisconsin. Will be worth it for the ride home at 70 deg.

I agree when I'm tired and hurting after riding or any other activity I like to do - it's way easier to take.

Always love the pics.

Happy riding or whatever your passion is.

Terry said...

Kim, I am in total agreement over Mary's ride ... and a little jealous. Mary's definitely a tough one!
The weather is a little warm during the day but drops down in the 60's at night now. I am leaning heavily toward heated grips for the KLR this winter. Haha, if my old self could meet my new self (considering heated grips), old self would could my ass!! 70 is perfect riding weather but 36 is too cold for my hands (serious damage in them from RA) so I would have to put you in the class with Mary ... far tougher than I am.
Working and riding are about all I do anymore, with a side order of yard work thrown in when I have to. Take care of yourself and I hope you can get some good fall rides in before it gets too cold.

Anonymous said...

I got up rough with swollen hips, but got the coffee going, forced the light workout and drove to the woods with a friend. The fall colors in central New York are in full splendor. We walked past the soy beans and I climbed into a tree to set up a stand for next weeks opening of the bow season. While I feel compromised and cannot use the traditional equipment due to lack of strength, I can make use of modern technology and hunt with a compound bow. Just like you having to go to the more comfortable bike I have to go with the easy machine. The important thing is that I can still not only enjoy the fall woods, but am still able to climb up and strap in for a 3 or 4 hour sit. Much like with many of your readers I can take my mind off of my condition and relax while sitting 15 to 20 feet off the forest floor watching nature get ready for winter. The wind blowing leaves off the trees and the scents of fall bring me back each year like a drug. Sorry to ramble, but just wanted you to know that it gives me strength to read these personal accounts of people who manage to see the bright side of life in spite the Rhuma issues.

Hang in there bud


Terry said...

Phil, what a description ... reading this, I was right there with you. It sounds like a perfect day. Never apologize for having a good day and wanting to talk about it, we all need to hear about good days. Good luck hunting this fall.