Saturday, May 26, 2012

My Therapy


I went to my rheumatologist (why does my computer always insist that I am misspelling rheumatologist?) this past Thursday and had several topics to discuss with him.  He is concerned about my hips and right hand mostly.  Instead of switching meds (I was dreading that) or upping the dose of my current meds, he believes that I am just in a bad spot and wants me to take two ibuprofen or aleve twice daily then wants to see me in two months instead of the normal four months.  After checking the results of last weeks blood work and checking my joints and flexibility, he doesn't believe that I am slipping backwards, he thinks I will bounce back soon to my semi-normal life.   I fully trust my doctor, he has seen me through several rough times previously.  I also like the fact that he is not quick to just chock my current condition to meds and recommend a change in drugs and push me out the door.  We have been down this road before and he will exhaust several options before falling back to change drugs.  What is normally a fairly quick 20-30 minute office visit was an hour long this time.  He also wrote a prescription for an adjustable bed, we will see how my insurance company (United Healthcare) responds to that.
I spent part of this morning with my daughter, who has her own photography business, and got to play with her new $5500 digital SLR.  We drove out to the Fort Smith National Cemetery and took some pictures.  It is humbling, walking around and looking at the head stones, each one decorated with an American flag for this weekend, listening to the large flags rustle in the breeze.  You cannot walk through this cemetery and not realize the sacrifice that these soldiers made for us. 
While on vacation last week, I was not able to go do the ride that we had planned to, but I did manage to ride 508 miles.  I also got to spend one day riding with long time best friend and ex racing buddy Mike.  We rode out to one of a few fire towers left in our area, then I proceeded to drag his happy butt all over the place.  Mike is still healthy and very capable of riding hard core trails so I didn't know how he would like what I have been reduced to riding now.  He said he is ready to come back for more.  I have a couple of items coming for my KLR and that should just about wrap up my bike build.  One thing I still want to add is heated grips due to the damage from RA in my hands.  Cold hurts them and I have had to pass on riding days due to my hands before.  I would never have believed I would have a bike with heated grips just a couple of years ago.  Anything to keep me riding ... it's a big part of my therapy for RA!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

No Encouragement Please


I am on vacation this week and so far my RA is sorta behaving.  I have seen the Avengers in 3D twice (great movie-couldn't tell you the last movie that I wanted to watch again), rode two days and spent the day today visiting with my parents.  I have been struggling with my right hand and hips still, not enough to deter me from riding though, and Donna and I just went to look at an icomfort adjustable bed.  The one I liked was with the firm memory foam mattress and it felt so good!  As I adjusted the bed frame, I could literally feel the pressure being relieved from my hips.  I was ready to buy one until I found out that we were looking at $6500.  Guess I will just have to keep hurting and sleep in the recliner some nights.  
I am going back to my rheumatologist next Thursday and have a list made out of things to talk to him about.  If I don't make out a list, I will forget what I want or need to ask him.  I have been using the hot tub regularly since we got it repaired.  It is temporary relief, but it does help me.
Put in 190 mile ride with Darel and Randall Tuesday.  We stopped at the Elk refuge in Boxley but did not see any roaming around in the heat of the day.  I was hoping to see a couple of the 800 lb elk.  We also rode through Kingston which has possibly the smallest town square I have ever seen, but it is a cool little town. The bank still uses the old time teller cages.  I expected to be hurting considerably worse than I am today so I consider this a small victory.  I have rides planned for Thursday, Friday and Saturday also.
I have been considering selling the KTM ... well this weekend I started thinking about BMW's again and when I told my wife about still having a BMW fetish, she said those 3 words I was dreading hearing.  Go get it.  I really don't need any encouragement to go spend $12,000 on a motorcycle.  I would love to have the F800GS, but after cooler thinking and making some adjustments on my 650, I am quite happy with it again.  I opened the air box up to let it breathe more and it felt like it gained 5 hp.  Now when you nail the throttle, it is a bit scary ... I love that feeling. 
Here are some photos from the ride yesterday.  

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Semi Normal Again


Well, I am back to my semi normal life.  No one living with a chronic disease will ever have a normal life again.  It is time for me to finally admit it ... I have struggled with this and kept thinking (wishing) that it was just circumstances at that particular moment.  Nope, it's not and it's time to face up to the fact that I am going downhill.  I am going back to my rheumatologist in 2 weeks so this is first thing on my list to talk with him about.  My hips are bothering me a lot and my right hand has been hurting with different degrees of swelling.  I don't know if this means an increase in my meds, switching meds or if it is just something I will have to live with.  
I rode last weekend and at the 100 mile mark my right hand was starting to hurt (not normal hurt - bad hurt).  I finished with 150 miles and my hand and hips hurt me for the next 2 days.  This has altered my vacation plans yet again.  I had originally planned to go to Colorado and ride part of the Trans America Trail but the long truck ride out to Colorado rendered me useless the first day on our last trip out there.  We decided instead that we would ride the Mississipppi Hill Country loop (2 day 510 miles) of the Trans America Trail instead.  Not only am I having problems, Randall's doctor switched his meds and he is having migraines more frequently as well.  We are still wanting to do the ride, just when we are both doing better.  We decided against this plan yesterday since both of us are having problems now but we don't know where we are going to ride now.  
I am also trying to come to terms with selling the KTM.  I can no longer ride it comfortably but I don't know if I can sell, hands down, the best motorcycle I have ever owned.  I know that I should, but I have put so much time into the bike build to make it what it is plus the horsepower and handling are unmatched by anything.  Mike is coming down to ride it while I am on vacation.  If he is still interested, we will go from there.