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  1. #1
    I am the Snail~! Peter_C's Avatar
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    The Saga of a 378LB Clyde, Knee Surgery, and More!

    My name is Peter and it’s been 30 years since I have ridden a Bicycle.

    Most would say that I started this journey the 19th of September 2009 at the weight of 378lbs when I created my first post on the “Clydesdales/Athenas” section of the BikeForums.

    Allow me to back up a bit? I had the first of seven knee surgeries in 1979 (the last time I got on my Schwinn Le Tour 10 SP). It was then at age 17, 6’0” and 198lbs that I was riding around 150-200 miles weekly, did not own a car, had done 200 mile weekends, and was really getting into Touring. My Life changed with that first surgery.

    Fast forward to September 2009 – Am 47yrs old, hit an all time high of 402lbs (back down to high 370s), and had seven knee surgeries to date. Let’s not forget that “osteoarthritis” (AKA “OA”) has also joined the game. Have Sleep Apnea, and am on a BI-PAP, see my heart DR every 2-3 months (with a heart DR you measure how good you are doing by how far apart your APPTs are) just had another “heart event” (that’s where you go to the hospital, but it’s not a heart attack, but it sure ain’t heartburn neither!) Am in Pain MGNT, taking 180mg morphine daily and my exercise level consists of the walking I do inside my house, at work (am a office worker), and playing with my four dogs. So call it basically not much.

    During all of this, total knee replacement has been talked about, but they want me under 200lbs, and over 55yrs old. The surgeon that did surgery #7 is willing to do the replacement when ever I decide I am done with the pain or the pills – but, don’t forget, anywhere from 6-16 weeks off work (DR states). I suddenly learn that many TKR people focus on cycling during their rehab! And, upon asking questions, I am told that my DR requires 10 minutes on a stationary bike before I can leave the hospital! <GASP>!!!

    Never mind for the moment how scary that sounds, I am thinking about a bicycle, AGAIN!!!

    So, the bug is in my head, and I start reading, here, a few other places, even on Amazon (yup, they have forums too) – during this time the heart DR does a ‘Heart Cath’ on me, and while I didn’t exactly flunk it, I did get the green light for exercise, there is too much fluid around my heart caused by lack of exercise so he demands the TKR (Total Knee Replacement) be done as soon as it can be scheduled.

    Fast forward to tonight.

    I’ve decided to start a Journal of sorts here. I’ve made a number of posts between 09-19-09 and now 10-10-09 that basically will explain everything from mid September till now. I have listed them in order of when they were first posted below. Feel free to read them if you like, or not.

    Am I dreaming, or, is this possible?

    Any thoughts on the Electra "Townie"? Should I buy one?

    Pedal-Forward Buying Choices, the Decision!

    The Deed is done; My New Bicycle is Being Built Now!!

    I've got the Bike, am losing weight, but now what?

    I am doing this for a few reasons. I like to write, and it helps me to put the stuff in my head into perspective. Plus, possibly there are others that might possibly gain some insight from all of this, and/or from any replies that might be posted. Replies are welcome, or not. But I think that 30 years off a bike, being so over-weight, the heart issues, the smoking, and the soon to happen knee replacement, may lead to some interesting reading. Perhaps, or perhaps not.

    A rather long first post, but I wished to explain what this is about, for those of you reading this for the first time. Email is welcome, but I suggest a PM to me first to add your email to my $PAM blocker, or I may miss you.

    To the Moderators (Tom) – Please feel free to lock my other Threads if you wish?
    Peter_C
    http://s1103.photobucket.com/albums/g475/Peter_CC/ <-- My Photos

  2. #2
    I am the Snail~! Peter_C's Avatar
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    Tonight (after work) would be the third ride in a row for me. Since I slightly over-did it yesterday (sore legs, etc this AM) should I skip a day, or ride anyway, but take it a bit easier? The knee is not yet an issue. Thoughts please?
    Peter_C
    http://s1103.photobucket.com/albums/g475/Peter_CC/ <-- My Photos

  3. #3
    getting bent Engyo's Avatar
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    I would probably consider a light ride, just to keep the muscles loose and the fluids moving in the body. Nothing to stress the system, but any exercise is better than none.
    Namaste, Engyo
    2008 Rans V3 - steel steed
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  4. #4
    Tilting with windmills txvintage's Avatar
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    My recommendation is to ride every day that you can while you are starting out. Your distance/intensity are not likely to be factor, but the pain management issue can be.

    Riding every day will help ingrain it as a normal part of your life and more importantly give you better muscle strength which will get your recovery from the TKR further down the road before you go in.

  5. #5
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter_C View Post
    Tonight (after work) would be the third ride in a row for me. Since I slightly over-did it yesterday (sore legs, etc this AM) should I skip a day, or ride anyway, but take it a bit easier? The knee is not yet an issue. Thoughts please?
    Just ride. A little soreness is a good thing.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Peter, I'm with the others, a little exercise is better than none, and even if you don't exert yourself at least you got out and enjoyed a casual ride. Give it time you will be doing 20 milers without thinking about it.

  7. #7
    NYC nycphotography's Avatar
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    In your case, performance (ie how fast can I go) is secondary... exercise and general health are primary.

    Therefore, don't ride so hard that the soreness keeps you off the next day.

    And the next day, don't let the soreness keep you off, rather reduce your exertion level and ride regardless.

    Soon, as your fitness improves, you will want to ride harder and faster, both because you can, but also because the faster you go, the more calories you burn per mile. But don't ever let that overshadow the plain enjoyment of being outside, being mobile, being active... just riding.
    5 out of 5 people think the other 4 are idiots. - me
    The only thing more incorrect than politically incorrect is politically correct. - me
    If 3 were 5, you'd be a 10. - me (or: If 3 were 5, you'd be in mensa.)
    Sarcasm truly is wasted on the simple. - me
    How small does your __ have to be to drive like that? - me
    It's not how fast you get old... it's how fast you get irrelevant.. - me
    The plural of anecdote is not data. - grolby

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Dude, keep up the great work.. It's stories like this that keep me coming back here..
    01 Specialized Rockhopper A1
    07 Felt Z80

    45 pounds and counting :)

  9. #9
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    Just ride a little, get your butt and body used to it again. If the knee starts to hurt back off. ECB1

  10. #10
    I am the Snail~! Peter_C's Avatar
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    Well, I rather wimped out tonight. I *did* get on my Bike tonight, but only did bout a 1/4 mile.

    Lots of excuses, but, that IS my world - and it ain't perfect, or even close... I normally get off at 5PM, and home by 5:30PM so after greeting the kids (my four dogs) and taking my evening pills (all 7) I am free by 6PM - tonight, got home at 6:45, windy, 46 degrees and going towards dusk (no lighting on the bike yet) so tonight it felt like a chore, it was cold, so I said screw it and came home.

    On the plus side, only two cans of soda today, and the rest of my *fluid* (remember, I am limited to how much fliud I am allowed per day til surgery) was water.

    On the down side, the heart DR's office called today - they didn't like my blood last week - go figure - two new pills, 1000mg vitamin C daily, and 500mg of vitamin D twice weekly - wow

    I asked if I should go buy some Flintstones chew-ables...dead silence on the phone...no humor at all.

    Down to one pack of smokes - will see if I buy more, or not...not quite sure if it's time to go cold yet, but the per day has dropped a large amount - so progress is coming, but slowly here. But, for those that read the first "short term goals" you will note it was not even listed prior to surgery.

    It's been said I can rationalize it any way I want. That is very true! We all 'rationalize' stuff, talk ourselves both into and out of stuff. I talked myself into buying the Bicycle (and the Boss, my wife). - It's not always a bad thing you know... Anyhow, welcome to my life, and how I think - good or bad. Vitamins...
    Peter_C
    http://s1103.photobucket.com/albums/g475/Peter_CC/ <-- My Photos

  11. #11
    foolishly delirious RatedZeroHero's Avatar
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    chewable Flintstones...

    do they cut it nutritionally?

    I used Equate (Wally World brand) they are pretty poor... I have to take 5 to meet my daily needs...
    2012 Surly Karate Monkey (morphed from the Sawyer)
    2011 Trek Sawyer (retired, sorta)
    1988 Scwhinn Premis

  12. #12
    I am the Snail~! Peter_C's Avatar
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    The SAGA continues...
    Light Snow right now as I type this - I guess summer is over?

    I bet I will be quit by Monday,(if not sooner) with no relapse! Anyone wish to make a 'small wager' of some kind?

    I spend at least 5 minutes each morning staring at my bike like a little kid before I go to work. A chair in the garage I used to use to sit on when smoking in the winter, I now use to sit on while day-dreaming bout riding before work.

    7 MORE days til I can get a surgery date set...
    Peter_C
    http://s1103.photobucket.com/albums/g475/Peter_CC/ <-- My Photos

  13. #13
    I am the Snail~! Peter_C's Avatar
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    I q u i t

    Today is my 'quit' day. It has been 19hrs since my last puff.

    Anyhow - for those that cared about it. thought I would let you know!

    Too cold to ride, and my knee is growling anyhow! What a lousy weekend.

    I hope all of you had a better week-end that I! 5 days and counting. It seems way slow and nothing is really taking my focus right now.

    I remember the DR stating that he liks to do his TKRs on TUE, so am hoping when I see him this Friday, he will say something like... "I have an opening next Tuesday, should I put you on the schedule?" - I am praying for that to happen.
    Peter_C
    http://s1103.photobucket.com/albums/g475/Peter_CC/ <-- My Photos

  14. #14
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter_C View Post
    Today is my 'quit' day. It has been 19hrs since my last puff.

    Anyhow - for those that cared about it. thought I would let you know!

    Too cold to ride, and my knee is growling anyhow! What a lousy weekend.

    I hope all of you had a better week-end that I! 5 days and counting. It seems way slow and nothing is really taking my focus right now.

    I remember the DR stating that he liks to do his TKRs on TUE, so am hoping when I see him this Friday, he will say something like... "I have an opening next Tuesday, should I put you on the schedule?" - I am praying for that to happen.
    I care. Hang tough, Peter C.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
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    Peter--hang in there! I thought I was done riding for the year (North Dakota) and low and behold, today was in the 70's. There is hope for more riding for you if you don't have the knee replacement this fall.
    Chris

  16. #16
    Senior Member
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    Stick to it man, the best is yet to come. Not smoking is the best thing that ever happened to me, a little tip thou for what it's worth, get rid of your smoking chair. I stopped cold turkey but had to get rid of my puffing chair, smoking jacket, lighters and ashtray, no reminders. I'd wager a year from now while you are tooling along on a fancy roadbike, smiling ear to ear you'll wonder what the old you is doing.
    Best thing about cycling is when I'm at work I'm thinking of cycling, when I'm cycling I'm thinking about cycling.

  17. #17
    Senior Member BigPolishJimmy's Avatar
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    Alright Peter, the weather has been lousy. You and I both need to get trainers so we can ride inside while watching dvd's. I'll get one if you get one... deal?

  18. #18
    Tilting with windmills txvintage's Avatar
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    Stick with it Peter. It's interesting, to me anyway, to see someone chronicle more of the day to day mental gymanstics that go with this process. Kind of helps me recognize some of my own thought processes for what they are.

    Good luck on Friday and getting your date set. By Friday I should be 100% crutch free. Here's hoping both our Fridays are good ones.

  19. #19
    Senior Member redvespablur's Avatar
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    I quit 7.5 years ago and just ran my first marathon a few weeks ago. The trick to quitting smoking - for me- was to not cheat - never smoked again - used the patch for 2 weeks or so. So remember now you do not smoke - deal with the nicotine problem - but do not smoke.

    Good Luck - you will inspire people

  20. #20
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    I have quit 7 Months ago . lost 35lbs from 280lbs -245 lbs cycle 40 miles a week one 20 mile ride on the weekends and two 10 mile rides during the week. Not alot next to some but alot better than none.
    You are doing good .Peter take one step at a time when riding know your limits. a good site that helped me stop smoking was whyquit.com
    Good Luck !

  21. #21
    Senior Member jeneralist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter_C View Post
    Today is my 'quit' day. It has been 19hrs since my last puff.
    Peter: Congratulations!
    - Jeneralist

    See video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gv4CrEEg_N4 to see me in the Outrageous Outfit Challenge for the MS Society; or go straight to http://goo.gl/bALZDg to donate

  22. #22
    I am the Snail~! Peter_C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigPolishJimmy View Post
    Alright Peter, the weather has been lousy. You and I both need to get trainers so we can ride inside while watching dvd's. I'll get one if you get one... deal?
    You've got a great idea! But my funds are too low at this time, plus the Boss most likely would look at me funny if I even asked her.

    Now, after the surgery, I bet the story will be different. This was one long day! Tick, tock...
    Peter_C
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  23. #23
    I am the Snail~! Peter_C's Avatar
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    Re-reading the posts of this thread recently does not make for very interesting reading. Sadly, it IS mirroring my life pretty well at the moment.

    Yes, I have my Bicycle, but no, I have not ridden it in the last few days... weather, my knee, all my regular excuses for not doing something. But, in truth, that isn't fair as there are many other things that I wish to do, but have been unable to find time for.

    At work, I got chewed on for coming home sick on Friday (some kind of 24hr bug that had me puking for like 36hrs..) - puking at work (in a truckstop no less)-not making it to the bathroom - you'd throw in the towel too, right? So, I left work like 2hrs early - took work home, and between puking bouts I was on the phone and puter doing my work - but that just isn't enough.

    Both Saturday and Sunday I needed to track ten 'HOT' loads during all of this, finally caved in and call my primary DR (on call) and got a script of anti-puking pills.

    By the way? Anyone notice at what time I am writing this post? One of the side-affects of all my meds, sometimes I just wake up, only to get sleepy about the time I must get up to go to work - LOL...

    So, back to the original point of this post. Some days life just isn't that full of bells and whistles. Plus, for me, I feel like I am marking time til Friday, and it's driving me buggy as well.

    Am still losing weight.
    Am still cutting back on the Pepsi (usually bout 1-2 cans per day ATM)
    Smoking is dead.
    Peter_C
    http://s1103.photobucket.com/albums/g475/Peter_CC/ <-- My Photos

  24. #24
    billyymc
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    Progress is not a straight line Peter. If you're not riding due to weather or other things, dont' let that get you down -- try to find some other kind of activity to fill the void and make sure you're moving your body a bit every day.

  25. #25
    Senior Member BigPolishJimmy's Avatar
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    I've only been riding about once a week due to the weather and other obligations like work and etc. I could get down on myself about it, but I'm over that. That once a week is a ton more than the none-times a week I used to ride. Hang in there, there's gonna be good days and bad.

    Now then, about the boss. Every time I think my boss is going to get upset about my diversions into my hobby, I'm pleasantly surprised to find she approves and is happy I'm doing something to make myself more healthy. So when I actually do spend the $$ on a trainer, it will be just fine ...AS LONG AS I USE IT!!!!! I'm willing to bet cash money the same would apply to you.

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