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  1. #1
    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Ailments/conditions conquered/conquering/living with - advice to others?

    We frequently get newer (and older) folks on the 50+ forum who are dealing with (or have dealt with) a variety of conditions/ailments, yet are still bicycling.

    Let's not dwell on the negative - the amazing thing is that so many folks bike while living with/conquering or have conquered. So. let's hear it - what are you dealing with - or have dealt with - and any thoughts, suggestions or ideas you might give to someone else about how to keep going under sometimes very difficult circumstances.
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 06-29-11 at 06:18 PM.
    Gone - email me at dnvrfox@aol.com for new group of old 50+ folks

  2. #2
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    I'm 56. I dealt with prostrate issues from around 2000 to 2003, not sure why it got better, thought it was the mega bike mileage over a 10 year period when I was racing. I ended up on a recumbent for 3 years or so, then discovered Brooks saddles, then found some cheap Sellas that worked. In the interim, I had gained weight, so am fighting that. I have a torn bicep tendon and clavicle impingement in the R shoulder that keeps me from swimming (I'm a better swimmer then cyclist). I had a bad ankle sprain last May as well as a fracture of the 3rd metatarsal on the L foot as of 3 weeks ago.

    In other words, I've always been prone to injury and my work (stagehand) is physical and I get hurt a lot.

    I fight through it, cause I'm a cyclist. I deal with the time off required to heal, while looking forward to resuming my activities. I recognize that I can no longer backpack and hike much, which I did a lot of into my 30's, due to a disc causing nerve issues in my feet, as well as multiple ankle sprains over the decades that left my ankles on bad shape. Oh and I have a rash on my butt, a version of athletes foot that I've been fighting since last Sept and that at times made riding uncomfortable till I found a treatment that keeps it in check and allows 2 hr rides and maybe this summer will allow a break-thru to longer 50-70 milers and hopefully the centuries I used to love.

    I fight thru it, as I have a love for cycling that I discovered it 23 seasons ago. I will not give up this activity and still plan on grand adventures - Italy, the Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Canal trail, The Bon Ton Roulet some year. I use these as goals to train and ride and keep active. I have riding buddies that share my goals and we help each other thru the injuries - that's very important, to have friends that share your interests and goals.

    If I have to I will resort, at age 85, to riding my touring bike, which by then will be the only bike I own, and do short loops around town, or wherever the wife will let me, knowing that I forget things and get lost.

    I will fight thru it and enjoy riding my bike as it's a freedom like no other.

    EDIT: I wrote this last night and thought about it today and realized that I only suffer injuries, with no major ailments or the dreaded Big C, so am incredibly lucky, while being incredibly injury prone. As a BTW, I went over the h-bar this morning on a solo road ride, while staring up at a light, behind some cars, my F wheel goes into a crack and over I go. My helmet did the Bell Ringer off the pavement and now I know what that means (cracked the helmet as well). Some road rash, a sore neck, otherwise OK. Thus in many way's my injuries as well as the mental attitude to get thru them, pale when dealing with a cancer diagnosis, or heart issues, lung, kidney, you name it. I may well have that in the future and possibly I'll have the mental toughness to deal with it like all the other crap that happens to me. Knock, knock.

    SB
    Last edited by Steve B.; 06-30-11 at 07:43 PM.

  3. #3
    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Great post. Thanks for being brave and sharing with us.
    Gone - email me at dnvrfox@aol.com for new group of old 50+ folks

  4. #4
    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    OK - I started this, it is only fair that I share. Approaching 72yo -

    About 9 years ago - Trigeminal Neuralgia, known also as Tic Doloreaux. Considered the most painful disease known to mankind. Sharp electric-like shocks to the face. This is a short-circuit of the trigeminal facial nerve. Also known as the "suicide disease" and "the beast." In about 2003, I had near-brain surgery, placing a teflon pad between the nerves and the blood vessels causing the short circuit. This provided immediate relief but it still shows up occasionally - as during the past two weeks, causing me the inability to chew or touch my face without extreme pain. This episode subsided today. There are some drugs that help, but they also have side effects, such as 5 kidney stones in one year and elevated blood pressure.

    7 years ago, atrial fibrillation - causing the heart to beat at unheard of speed and rhythms. Some folks it does not affect much. For me, it was devastating - no energy, the drugs were awful, terrible side effects. 6 years ago, I had an ablation, which cured it immediately. No drugs any more. Normal behavior and energy.

    Last year, terrible pain from my back. Had a fusion L/4; L/5. Solved my problem, and I am in full operation today.

    What have I learned.

    Research, research, research. Find out all you can. There is a HUGE difference in surgeons and expertise. GO WITH THE BEST AVAILABLE. Find the best available. I traveled to California for my ablation to be with the best ablation surgeon in the world. I found two extremely excellent surgeons here in Denver for the TN and the back, interviewing 3 highly recommended surgeons before choosing the one to treat my back. My wife, an RN who has operating room experience, knows about differences in surgeons. I have friends who have been injured for life by incompetence.
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 06-30-11 at 11:14 AM.
    Gone - email me at dnvrfox@aol.com for new group of old 50+ folks

  5. #5
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Nothing much. A couple of herniated lumbar discs slowed me down about 10 years ago but PT, better posture, more riding and less weight got me over that hump. Then there was that little bout with throat cancer about three years ago. Aggressive chemo and radiation treatments killed the cancer (and nearly me ) but I was riding centuries again about a year and a half later. Then there was that car that ran over me and broke my bike and my leg last summer. But I grew back, got a new bike and have done a couple of centuries and several metrics so far this year.

    Like I said, nothing much.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  6. #6
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Prostate Cancer and Bypass but they were years ago and well into the past. Survived them and got back riding so nothing lost.

    But the thing that got me was the mental agony of that "C" word. Didn't hit me for a long while as I was more concerned about getting fit again and making certain that I was fit---But gradually lack of enthusiasm hit me and it was purely a mental thing. I had just got over a serious condition- Why should I put the milage in?- What if I do walk up the steep hill?- Why should I be the one up the front chasing the fit guys? And I nearly gave up Mountain biking to take the easier rides with the roadies. Don't think i would have given up cycling but I just did not have the enthusiasm to push myself that little bit harder to make the rides enjoyable.

    I set a target- a hard target,. We have an offroad ride that I had attempted 8 times before and it was right on the limit of what I used to be able to do. Kill or Cure time and I decided to do it the following year. 7 months to train for it and it was 4 or 5 nights a week riding or down the gym- and I got myself in the best shape I had been in for years. Did the ride-just about but just to prove it was not a Fluke- did it for the next 3 years aswell. 2006 and I called it a day on that Hard mountain biking.

    Still do a bit of mountain biking- but in 2006 I also got my first road bike. Yeah-- I looked for an easier time. It is easier on the road-- but you can also find some hard rides to do if you want to---But for them you have to train -just like mountain biking except you don't have to spend as much time in the gym- and you don't get quite as muddy.

    Physical and medical problems can hit you hard. Just watch out for the mental side that can hit you while you are recovering. That can hurt just as much.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  7. #7
    Senior Member John_V's Avatar
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    I'll be 65 this October and here is my story. In Oct, 2005, I took an insurance company physical because I was getting quite a large policy and passed with flying colors. In Sept, 2006 I went to my primary physician for my annual physical. I was not riding at this time, retired and hadn't done any exercise since I had to quite marshal arts in my 40's due to a bad back injury. I was always feeling tired but attributed that to my couch potato lifestyle. I took my physical and blood test and at the time of the physical, the doctor gave me a clean bill of health. No cardiac or pulmonary problems, no high blood pressure, just a extra tire that I was carrying around my waist that he wanted me to lose through some exercise. The next day, he calls me back with the results of my blood work, which he never does, and gives me the news that my white blood cells are through the roof, over 200,000 per micro liter (should be no more than 11,000 per micro liter).

    That was the good news! After I saw a hematologist in October, I was given the diagnosis of having Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML). I was put on a medication called Gleevec, that costs around $85.00 per pill (I was taking 4 at first), and within three weeks my white cell count and dropped 85%. So, I was elated and then came the call from the hematologist wanting me to go and see a urologist. It seems that they did a PSA test and compared it to the PSA test from my primary physician. In October it was 2.2 in December it was 4.1. I make an appointment for the urologist in February and he does another PSA test and it's 6.5. Yep! The big C! All three of my doctors agreed that the PSA Velocity was quick because of the CML and no immune system. I would have got the prostate cancer eventually, but this was sooner than I had hoped.

    After 5 weeks of 5 day a week radiation, brachytherapy (seed implants) and hormone shots every three months in the belly and hormone pills every day for three years, the prostate cancer is now gone. I had no choice but to take the radiation/hormone treatment because I couldn't get off of my Gleevec for the duration of the prostate surgery and recovery time.

    On my 63rd birthday (yes, I was retired and did a stupid thing and went back to work), I come home and my wife says, "Get in the truck, we are going to pick up your birthday present." I'm thinking a big bar-b-q grill or something to do with food, and she directs me to a bicycle shop a few miles from the house. So that is how it got started, with a 2009 Giant Sedona ST.

    My first day on the bike, I tried to do a mile and didn't quite make it. Got off the bike and my legs felt like jello. We had a bit of a cold winter so I didn't ride very much until the beginning of April of last year. By the end of April, it was too late .... I was addicted! I started doing club rides of 12 and 18 miles on Saturday mornings and going to a park about 4 miles from my house and doing 20+ miles. The park has a paved, 7 mile bike path with 3 extra miles of service road.

    In July of last year, I gave my Sedona to my brother and bought the Cypress mainly for the club rides as the Sedona was a bit heavy when going over all the bridges that we travel. I was putting 10-15 miles a day on the hybrid riding in our neighborhood and at the park. Just for S & G's I started looking at road bikes, although I knew that I was not going to get one because I was too old to ride a road bike. Right! I got myself a road bike for my birthday and the rest is history. Since November, I have been riding 15-20 miles a day (due to work), 20-40 miles on the weekends and several 40+ mile rides, using both bikes. Since July of last year, I have ridden over 4,500 miles between both bikes. I did an MS 150 last month with a back-to-back 50 mile ride and felt better than I do when I do shorter rides. I wanted to do the century, but my doctor said not to push it. I've lost over 20 lbs of spare tire (down to 157 lbs) and I never feel tired unless I don't get much sleep at night. I have three metric century rides planned in the next few months and a 3 day, 210 mile Cross-Florida ride in November.

    That's my story and I hope that I didn't bore you.
    Last edited by John_V; 06-30-11 at 12:24 PM.
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  8. #8
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    I had bladder cancer about 3 years ago, seems to be okay keeping going back for the checkups. 20 April this year had a torn and detatched retina. Just got the okay to ride again last week, told to take it easy.
    So after a couple of months of not riding I am breaking my butt in again. : )

    Paul.

  9. #9
    Senior Member jdon's Avatar
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    Raised two daughters.
    Quote Originally Posted by maddmaxx View Post
    How are you ever going to live in the real world if you can't get along with people who don't believe what your do?

  10. #10
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    In order of severity: cancer, depression, heart, depression, arthritis, more depression. I have always used athletics to try and pull me out of what ever (cycling, rowing, fly fishing, hiking, & kyaking). Only the cycling & fishing are still possible, but the best cure I have had was actually a gift - grandchildren. I'm 65 and they are under 6 so the chances of my seeing them graduate college aren't great so I'm putting everything into them now. Took care of the depression; the rest of it doesn't really matter any more.

  11. #11
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    Aspergillosis, more plainly known as a mold invasion. Mold gets into your lungs and spreads into the bloodstream. Dark, warm and wet, just the conditions mold likes. Picked it up from a steam bath place a friend and I went to on Friday nights, to relax and wash away the workweek. This was a real bear to deal with, and midway through the treatment, kidney cancer showed up. No doubt a result of the mold problems overwhelming my immune system. So, a partial kidney removal was needed. It's mostly behind me, except my immune system is so sensitive to fungus and mold that I can't eat any foods which contain them or byproducts of them. This means a lot of foods are on the no-no list. This I can deal with, only because I must.

    Advice; STAY FAR, FAR AWAY from steam baths. bk

  12. #12
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    A year and a half ago I had my left ankle fused due to severe arthritis which was the result of a college sports injury. I was at a place where the simple things in life were difficult. I could not take a 1 mile walk with my wife or mow the lawn without much pain and lingering affects. I'm very happy in the results and now can climb ladders, push wheel borrows and do other chores around the house. I found cycling 15 years ago due to not being able to run or play action sports. Here is an x ray of my cobbled together ankle.
    oldschool areodynamic brick

  13. #13
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    I'm 60, and feel pretty good. I can ride. My urine stream has slowed down a bit since my youth, but stream it still does. My back has been hurting since I was 18 when I lifted several 50 pound bags of sand out of the trunk of a '66 Chevy Caprice, and could barely walk the next day. My wrists hurt because I hit the right fender of a left turning lady with my fists while riding a motorcycle in '77. My right shoulder hurts because I had hurt it doing some drunken wierdness back in the early '80s. I had arthroscopic surgery on my right knee 10 years ago for a torn meniscus, so it gets sore if my bike seating position is not set up right. I tend to be negative and depressed, but stopped taking SSRI antidepressants because they didn't help that much, and they made me sweat like cold beer on a hot day most of the time. So, I guess I am lucky compared to some. I am grateful for what I have, and especially grateful for what I don't have.

  14. #14
    Senior Member bruce19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdon View Post
    Raised two daughters.
    Good God man, you are a saint!

  15. #15
    Senior Member John_V's Avatar
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    Allegheny Jet,

    Your xray look like my wife's left hip in miniature. She had a total hip reconstruction about 15-20 years ago and has more hardware than Home Depot.
    HCFR Cycling Team
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  16. #16
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John_V View Post
    Allegheny Jet,

    Your xray look like my wife's left hip in miniature. She had a total hip reconstruction about 15-20 years ago and has more hardware than Home Depot.
    Do they still do that? I think now, they just do a hip replacement....

  17. #17
    Senior Member John_V's Avatar
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    Do they still do that? I think now, they just do a hip replacement....
    The arthritis in the joint was so bad that it dissolved part of the socket away to where they had to cut the iliac (hip bone) into a wedge and turn it around so she would have a socket to attach the femur to. The procedure was said to last longer than a normal hip replacement, but the arthritis came back faster than they hoped and she ended up getting a hip replacement.
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  18. #18
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    Good Thread and Excellent Posts. It is encouraging to a person who fell on the ice and in less than a second went from "disgustingly healthy" to three bad vertebra in the lower lumbar, pain, spasms, crutches and a date in 2 weeks with a spinal surgeon for a consult. The locals are pretty gloomy about the future but the expert will tell the tale.

    My doc has always said my active lifestyle was my biggest health risk. But I didn't think he included taking out the trash on the list.
    It is better to smell the flowers than taste the roots.

  19. #19
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    Gee, is this group so healthy that these are the only problems people have? I look to y'all for encouragement and information. For example thanks to his willingness to share I'm seeing the same doc Denver did. There are other examples of things I've gtten off the Forum that made me happy the person shared.
    Last edited by HawkOwl; 07-02-11 at 04:22 PM.
    It is better to smell the flowers than taste the roots.

  20. #20
    Senior Member jdon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
    Good God man, you are a saint!
    You have no idea!
    Quote Originally Posted by maddmaxx View Post
    How are you ever going to live in the real world if you can't get along with people who don't believe what your do?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    So. let's hear it - what are you dealing with - or have dealt with - and any thoughts, suggestions or ideas you might give to someone else about how to keep going under sometimes very difficult circumstances.
    I'm married. My advice for dealing with this was garnered from the road forum: put your head down and HTFU.

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