Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Short Bus

I have my moments - okay sometimes days.  Some can be blamed on the RA/meds that leave you in a medicated fog, some can be blamed on the three concussions I have had and I suppose some can just flat out be blamed on bad genes (no, I didn't ride the short bus).   I have felt better over the last two weeks than most of the year and it finally hit me like a ton of bricks ... I have been in a serious flare up since April.  I was quick to blame the Humira, thinking it had quit working, and hadn't even considered that I was in an extended flare up.  Then again the longest flare I have ever had lasted only three weeks.  There you have it, I'm not afraid to admit that I'm a mental midget.  I still hurt everyday but overall I feel great right now.  Healthy people won't understand that last statement.

RA Adventure Rider was selected by Healthline as one of the top 20 blogs on RA for 2013. You can see all 20 of the blogs here. I'm humbled to be included with the likes of real writers and health advocates. I would like to thank all of my readers, followers and Healthline.

If you don't already know her, I would like to introduce you to Angela Durazo.  She is is former professional model who currently runs a small media and public relations consulting company, a triathelete, oh I almost forgot ... she also has RA.  An amazing young woman who will be on the September cover/cover story for 'Arthritis Today Magazine', and will be doing a guest post here in the next month. Angela was on biologics, steroids, anti-inflammatories & muscle relaxers but after having bad side effects, she got off everything and now manages her RA with a controlled anti-inflammatory diet. You can read her blog here and I will forward any questions you have for her so she can address them in her upcoming post.
I met Greg for a heavily overcast mid-morning ride.  We stopped by his new house when he discovered his BMW needed oil.  After the quick detour we were off like a heard of turtles, really large turtles with fast bikes!  We have had so much rain and flooding lately, we headed to the Ozark National Forest to check it out.  Our first stop was at Natural Dam, an all-natural rock dam that's nearly 200 feet wide.  We were shocked at what we saw ... nothing out of the ordinary.  While there we talked with a man and his son that had rode their Harleys over from west of Okmulgee.  I always enjoy visiting with people out on rides, especially other riders.  Next we rode over to Devils Den State Park and again the same story.  No water there either, we had even talked about if the water was up over the low water bridges we would just turn around, but there was no chance of getting a bike washed away today!    We rode old scenic highway 71 back up and over Boston Mountain and cut across Frog Bayou and again, same story.  Turns out the heavy rains and flooding we have experienced have been spotty just like the summer showers are.  Still, a great way to spend a day.  The clouds gave way to sun and with a heat index of 103, I nearly over did it again.  I did something I don't normally do, I pulled my jacket off and rode in a short sleeved t-shirt.  I believe in AGATT but it was so hot I made an exception this one time.  Despite the air rushing over me at 60-75 mph, my t-shirt was wringing wet by the time I pulled in the garage and I payed for my fun later that night but all is well now.  At least the ER was not involved in this over heating episode.
View of the Arkansas River from Gregs back yard.
Caught my bike out sunning ... like its not dark enough already.
Half of Natural Dam
 You know me, I love iron truss bridges!
 Super fast dirt road that comes out at Devils Den.
 Shade tunnel
 I thought bats took shelter in caves ... I learned something new.
 A view under the overpass that few ever see
on the road/trail less traveled.
As a matter of fact Greg does own the whole road... until a car comes!

Remember to get your questions to me for Angela.


mary said...

A Tri, I would not even think about it. I have been swimming since my ra has been acting up and did consider (for like 2 seconds) a bike/swim but......no. Still holding out for my fu ra ride in the end of Sept. Last weekend I rode a 30 miler and a 28 milers and my pain was a little more manageable so I am somewhat hopeful. Still having good days/bad days but I am hoping that signals an improvement on the horizon.
So glad to hear your flare is over. Just before fall, lucky fellow. Best time to ride a bike so I would guess that's true of a cycle also. I hope your improved pain and fatigue level continues.

Terry said...

I know Mary! Simply amazing to even think of trying one with RA, let alone being competitive. I need to get back into the gym to hit the pool and weights now that I am feeling better. Hang in there ... never give up. I predict you'll be doing at least one fall fu ra ride!
I honestly feel the best I have felt in a long time. Just praying that it holds out, at least through fall so I can do some real rides this year.

Anonymous said...

Good to hear it was a flare up and you're doing better now. Bad knowing you just lived a 4 month long flare! Congrats on the award. Angela is inspiring. I have 2 questions for her : Does it mentally hinder you just before a race (ie If I start hurting, I can just quit type thing) You are new to RA so do you think after the disease progresses, say 10 years, you will still be able to swim, bike or run?

Nice photos, I have never seen a bat shelter either. Really like the last one crossing the low water bridge and under the RR tracks.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I've never heard of anyone with RA even thinking of a triathlon! I wish her well. Love the dirt road pics, what is AGATT?

Terry said...

Anon1, thank you, I'm feeling so much better now. I have even started working out again. So nice to feel like doing things for a change. Good questions, I will pass them on to Angela.

Anon2, I know, simply amazing! We have miles upon miles of dirt roads in our area. AGATT is an acronym for All Gear All The Time.