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  1. #1
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    Why you should go ride right now...

    No sympathy necessary here--this is just in the nature of a reminder:
    For the last couple of years, I've been bothered with occasional double vision. It was slight and intermittent, would go away entirely for three or four months, then return. CT scan ruled out the things you worry most about, brain tumor and the like, but nobody could pin down what it was.
    It came back this summer when the weather warmed up, which cued a memory in my neurologist, and we finally ordered the right blood tests. Turns out I have myasthenia gravis, a rare (@35,000 cases in the country) neurological condition with a range of symptoms, of which mine are mild.
    It will scare you to death if you Google it, but most patients with my history do pretty well--the phrase "normal life and nearly normal lifespan" comes up a lot in the literature. Some cases progress to generalized weakness, but I've shown no signs of that after almost two years (from the initial symptoms--diagnosis was a few months ago).
    I retired in November (before I knew what was wrong) and planned to train for several months to ride the Pacific Coast in September. I'm still plenty strong enough to ride and, with training, to make the trip--but the double vision and ptosis (drooping eyelids) make it impossible to ride for more than a few minutes unless I hold one eye open with a finger, which is tedious (there are some options, which we're beginning to explore).
    As I said, no sympathy is required: This is far from the worst thing that can happen, and I'm dealing with it. But if you've been planning a big trip, my advice is, Don't put it off. You never know.

  2. #2
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    I have given similar advice to dozens of people who work for me. People postponing dream vacations, visits to their parents, activities with their children, and even retirement. I have seen too many people wait too long.

    Best of wishes to you Velo Dog. I hope it goes into remission again and gives you another opportunity to make your trip.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

    There are two types of road bikers: bikers who are faster than me, and me. Bruce Cameron - Denver Post

  3. #3
    Senior Member RedC's Avatar
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    +1
    We all need to just keep pedaling and live til we die.
    Red, like the color my hair used to be.

    Lemond Buenos Aires(Broke) Madone 5.9 for sale,Navigator 2, S-Works Roubaix

  4. #4
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    I've seen and read about folks that waited "for when I retire" to do things. Then almost invariably something happens and they never do get to do what they dreamed.

    It's a fine line to enjoy today while banking on tomorrow. But no one should deny themselves everything now to do everything later because later may not be what you planned. Do now what you can afford to do.... And thanks to Velo Dog for the rather poignant reminder of this.
    Model airplanes are cool too!.....

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the reminder, Velo Dog. I like your attitude.

  6. #6
    Gilpin County Wheelman SKYLAB's Avatar
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    "Then almost invariably something happens and they never do get to do what they dreamed."
    Invariably? I hope not. Certainly it happens and as was pointed out there is a fine line between living in the now and planning for the future.
    I happen to fall into the "planning for the future" group myself right now. I am 55 and my wife is 59; we have only recently seen where we could retire semi-comfortably in a little over 3 years. However, that means making very large principal payments every month on our mortgage. Am I denying myself some things? Yes, I guess so. Although I laid out several thousand dollars for a new bike in May, I have skipped some vacations. Still, when you live in an area that thousands of people come to for their vacations (summer and winter) the rewards of staying home are enough. And yes we have plans for "when we retire." Big plans. things which we could afford now but which would push our retirement back a couple of years.
    Staying healthy is a cr*p shoot. I take reasonable care of myself as does my wife. I could get hit by a truck on my ride in 2 hours.
    One thing I have noticed about myself as I've gotten into my 50's and which intensified when I was able to actually begin seeing retirement in the near future is that exercise has become that much more important to me. ITs always been a high priority and I've always found joy in athletics, but there is an additioanl urgency to it that was not there previously.
    I do not want to be one of those folks who finally gets to retirement only to have it last about 18 months (the average # of pension checks drawn by retired IBMers) or to be too broken down to do the things I want to do.
    My best wishes to the OP.
    Everything I had previously heard about mg made it sound devastating. Its heart warming to hear that it can be controlled and is not necessarily always as severe as I've heard. There must be some way to keep those eyelids open!! Plastic surgery? or some sort of implanted device?
    And you know that notion just crossed my mind.

  7. #7
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about it but you seem to have a great attitude about it.

    You are absolutely right that you have to do those things that you really want right now.

    As example, Arkansas is in shock after a prominent auto dealer was shot to death last week when he happened to visit the Democratic party headquarters at the wrong time. He didn't even qualify for the 50+ forum yet. You just never know.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  8. #8
    Gilpin County Wheelman SKYLAB's Avatar
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    This is interesting....I re-visited this post just now and the advertisement on the right is for "retaing myastheina gravis now". There must be a software bot that reads these posts and mods the advertising to fit???
    In this case, thats actually sort of cool, but it bothers me how much we are marketed to and manipulated into being consumers.
    And you know that notion just crossed my mind.

  9. #9
    Senior Member lighthorse's Avatar
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    I imagine that most on this forum have already made the retirement decision in their life. When I was 50 I decided that there were things that I wanted to do in my life that did not include a working schedule. After years away from home, always on the go and being totally focused on my work, I retired and focused on doing things that I had always wanted to do. Retiring early means making some compromises unless you have won the lottery at some point, but 14 years later I have never had any regrets. I think Velo's point in his post was a good one. Don't put off those things you want to do in life.
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  10. #10
    Hills! speedlever's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SKYLAB View Post
    This is interesting....I re-visited this post just now and the advertisement on the right is for "retaing myastheina gravis now". There must be a software bot that reads these posts and mods the advertising to fit???
    In this case, thats actually sort of cool, but it bothers me how much we are marketed to and manipulated into being consumers.
    Out of curiosity, what browser are you using? I run Firefox 3.x and never see any of those ads you mention.

  11. #11
    Senior Member DnvrFox's Avatar
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    So, I went for a ride TODAY!

    And, the wife and I are doing what we can at 68 and 70. But, she is getting more and more health conditions of various types. It is limiting us to a bit. OTOH, we have some neighbors down the street - she is in her 80's, has mostly replacement parts, just cracked her hip, and they travel everywhere.

    Our life situation with Andy, profoundly disabled, sort of set us back about 20 years

  12. #12
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lighthorse View Post
    I imagine that most on this forum have already made the retirement decision in their life. When I was 50 I decided that there were things that I wanted to do in my life that did not include a working schedule.
    I guess I made the opposite decision on retirement. At age 52, at the tail-end of marriage, I decided that my first priority was to get out of debt and achieve the heights of prosperity that I had achieved before marriage.

    Retirement at all is far in the future if ever. But now that I am free, without spouse or children, I'm working on getting paid to do those things I want to do.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  13. #13
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velo Dog View Post
    ... I'm still plenty strong enough to ride and, with training, to make the trip--but the double vision and ptosis (drooping eyelids) make it impossible to ride for more than a few minutes unless I hold one eye open with a finger, which is tedious (there are some options, which we're beginning to explore).
    As I said, no sympathy is required: This is far from the worst thing that can happen, and I'm dealing with it. ...
    Would stoking a tandem be an acceptable option? I have met a few visually handicapped stokers, one totally blind, who were able to maintain high levels of physical fitness.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
    Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
    Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
    Bianchi: 1981 Campione d'Italia, S/N 1.M9914
    Schwinn: 1988 Project KOM-10, S/N F804069

  14. #14
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Another story that bears witness that we should get out and do what we can, while we can. The author of the book, "100 Things to Do Before You Die" just died of an accidental fall. He was just 47 years old.

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/SHOWBIZ/book....ap/index.html

    "This life is a short journey," the book says. "How can you make sure you fill it with the most fun and that you visit all the coolest places on earth before you pack those bags for the very last time?"
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

    There are two types of road bikers: bikers who are faster than me, and me. Bruce Cameron - Denver Post

  15. #15
    Off your Donkey, lets go Burr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John E View Post
    Would stoking a tandem be an acceptable option? I have met a few visually handicapped stokers, one totally blind, who were able to maintain high levels of physical fitness.
    Damn good idea.
    Burr,
    I Push Iron & Turn Cranks!
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    I Stay Busy, I have GOPD

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