It's a new year and time once again to give a new look to this blog. New graphics and colors. Same bike writer!

This blog is created not only to track my own progress on my biking journey but it is intended to also assist others who have either osteo or rheumatoid arthritis or both like I do. I hope as you read about the progress I have made that it gives you inspiration and hope that you can overcome the dibilitating effects of these conditions.

If your doctor agrees that you should be capable of expanding your limits read on and don't be afraid, just listen to your body and give it challenges. Biking is a great non-impact form of exercise and greatly enhances flexibility and range of motion.

It's not a substitute for Doctor visits, taking your meds or otherwise getting off your health plan but it auguments what your Doctor does for you and can give you a better quality of life. Go for it!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Life Is Full Of Surprises

Dear Readers,

I've been absent for some time and apologize for the lack of posts.  In early September I finally made the plunge to go with having my second knee replacement on my other leg.  It was a tough decision to cut the season short but I'd been suffering far too much.  The surgery was scheduled for Monday September 17th and the Friday before I visited with the cardiologist to get cleared for surgery due to a heart mummur I have.  Much to my surprise he would not clear me for knee surgery and said instead I needed to have a heart valve replacement first.

Shock.  Awe.  What?

This was an about face I was not expecting and was in no way whatsoever was I geared up to have open heart surgery.  Life can be funny that way at times, the best laid plans...

Fast forward, new surgery date for new surgery type.  October 5th.  The week before this I had a heart catheratization to check for any other impending problems to be addressed at the time of surgery.  I must lead a charmed life and have no arterial blockages at all to deal with.  Actually it is somewhat ironic that my diet is not what you would think of as a "health conscience" diet, or so my older sister always counsels.  One of my other hobbies is cooking and I use butter and cream and other traditional cuisine methods of French cooking.  Must be the wine that thins the blood out too and keeps the arteries clean?  Whatever it is, I am blessed.

I used my time until heart surgery to work my heart on my bike and tried to pack in as many 5-8 mile rides as I could.  I had lost the stamina for distance that I had last year, what with a couple of accidents off the bike for a time and having campaigning take up all my riding time this summer. Whereas last year I logged over 1,200 miles, this season I was doing good to break 500.  Michigan fall was pretty cooperative and I managed to get in several rides including a ride the day before my surgery.  I soaked up as much vivid sceanery, sights, sounds and smells of fall to carry me through days in the hospital and unpleasant moments.

Surgery was very successful and pretty uneventful.  I am not the most patient patient.  Recovery and down time is difficult to cope with, rather than fight and complain over the recovery journey or process I've decided to blog this journey to back to health.  I hope that in the coming days and month that I will be able to give someone who is also facing the same issue of heart surgery recovery a chance to have hope about the recovery process, what to expect or at least some form of commiseration.

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