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Old 05-11-12, 07:15 AM   #1
JimF22003
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Off the Bike and it's Killing Me

Forgive the personal details: Short version is I got sick.

About three weeks ago I ended up in the hospital with an intestinal blockage, and have been in and out of the hospital several times since. I've got a 12" incision on my abdomen and a feeding tube hanging out of me that they won't discuss removing for another month.

So basically I've been off the bike. Actually I've been off my feet altogether. I am just dying of envy watching folks out on their bikes, and thinking about how much riding I'm missing.

Because of the warm weather this winter, I was way ahead of my usual yearly pace both in miles and in conditioning. Now I feel like I'll be starting over from scratch some time in the middle of June.

Only upside is that because I haven't been able to eat, I've lost a bit of weight. Maybe that will compensate a bit when I actually get riding again. I'm down to within 10 pounds of my lowest weight ever. I'll be interested to see if that improves my hill-climbing when the time comes that I can actually get back and climb a hill...

The first of the year's organized rides I was signed up for is tomorrow (the Capital 2 Capital ride from Richmond, VA to Williamsburg and back.) The next one was to be Mountains of Misery in Blacksburg, VA at the end of the month. I won't even have all the tubes out of me by then, let alone be in shape to do a 104 mile ride with 10K feet of climbing. I will probably be ready for Bike Virginia at the end of June, but probably just some of the shorter routes.

So, sorry for the whine, but I just wanted to remind you not to take riding for granted. I forgot how big a part of my life it is, and it's a real loss when it's taken away, even temporarily.
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Old 05-11-12, 07:22 AM   #2
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You will be back to riding soon.
Just don't start too early until you are fully healed.
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Old 05-11-12, 08:26 AM   #3
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If it is any consolation due to spine trauma the last time I rode was the Silent Ride a year ago. Look at the break as an opportunity to explore other things, to broaden the life path, to keep this from being a vacuum. At some point you will be healthy enough to safely ride again.
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Old 05-11-12, 10:40 AM   #4
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Hope you have a great recovery. Thanks for the reminder! I absolutely don't take riding for granted anymore. Seems like, ever since my mid 40s, it's been ever-so apparent how tomorrow is not promised, life is short, and my mortality is real. But, not even to go that far, so many things can happen to you, far from death, that could terminate riding the bike, or riding the bike with any vigor I am very thankful for relative good health, that I can still ride briskly, and that I make it back home in 1 piece after each ride. The thing about being in the 50+ crew: It's the age when anything can happen to you
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Old 05-11-12, 01:00 PM   #5
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I hope that you get well soon. I think many of us have been in the same position at one time or another. I have a hard time if I travel and don't have a bike to ride. Last December, I was out the entire month without riding due to a back injury sustained in a bike crash. Don't rush things and let everything heal. It only seems like a long time but you'll be back in the saddle before you know it.
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Old 05-11-12, 01:05 PM   #6
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definitely heed the advice on returning slowly. you're weaker than you think during the recovery period and a little effort can knock you on your ass faster than you'd think.

good luck with everything!
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Old 05-11-12, 01:14 PM   #7
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You may be unable to ride but don't forget to Exercise and keep whatever muscles you can in trim. Abdomen surgery will curtail any bending or lifting but how about a dirty word now called Iso Metric exercise. Flexing the muscles you can flex to keep them in tone- I had to do it 45 years ago in the Marines and it is not easy and can be quite tiring.

Recover soon and the best exercise for getting the Stomach muscles back is Raking the lawn. That pulling and pushing works wonders. The other one that is apparantly just as good is Hoovering the lounge carpet but Cannot vouch for that version. Sounds like hard work to me.
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Old 05-11-12, 05:25 PM   #8
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Jim,

Sorry to hear of your recent health setbacks. Here's wishing you a speedy recovery. You can take some comfort in the fact that your overall high level of fitness from cycling probably means you will recover faster than the average person.
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Old 05-12-12, 03:29 AM   #9
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Thanks all. This will be my first weekend out of the hospital in 3 weeks. Luckily we have lots of history to see in this area. I think I'll head down to Fredericksburg or Chancellorsville and walk the battlefield park trails. I need to do more walking anyway (for weight-bearing exercise) so this should be a good way for me to get out of the house, get a little exercise, but not overextend myself.
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Old 05-12-12, 08:05 AM   #10
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Jim, sorry to hear about your troubles. Take it slow on the rebound and you'll be back to speed later this year. Hopefully we'll get to see you on a ride soon enough.
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Old 05-12-12, 08:14 AM   #11
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Well, the good news is that you have proven one can lose weight without exercising!

My sincerest best wishes. You will still have that muscle memory and it will not take long to get riding again, once the doc says OK, which I hope is soon.
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Old 05-12-12, 11:15 AM   #12
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I can relate to where you're at. I am in the same situation. I was ahead on my mileage and had to have double hernia operation last month. I had 6 months off the bike last year because I had to go through a treatment. Life sucks sometimes. I won't be able to get bake on the bike for another 3-4 weeks.

Hang in and it'll hopefully be over before you know it. That's what I'm hoping for.
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Old 05-12-12, 11:30 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimF22003 View Post

Only upside is that because I haven't been able to eat, I've lost a bit of weight. Maybe that will compensate a bit when I actually get riding again. I'm down to within 10 pounds of my lowest weight ever.
Wow. If I managed that I'd be down to just under 20 pounds.

Seriously, good luck with the recovery. The good news is that it comes back faster than one might imagine. You'll be flying again in just a few weeks.
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Old 05-12-12, 01:29 PM   #14
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Best of luck to you. I had a heart attack first weekend of March. I was just getting back on the bike since over 30 years. I pushed too hard in April and went back in the hospital for 2 days. Still a little weak. Don't rush it for God's sake. Don't be stupid like me. And enjoy Chancellorsville. I wish I lived close enough to see those battlefields. Closest to me is Gettysburg. I hope you are up and around soon.

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Old 05-14-12, 07:05 AM   #15
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Not a whine, been there and will be back there, too. I am with you right now. PICC line in my arm and I had the TPN in 2010 for 6 months. P.M. me if you want to commiserate or swap lines about the IB and abdominal surgeries ( I have had 13 ab cuts since 2000.) Hope all goes well for you and that you get back all healed up and riding again, soon.

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Old 05-15-12, 04:37 AM   #16
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Thanks Bill. Don't tell the Dr, but I actually did get out on the bike a couple of times this weekend. The G-tube is still hanging out, but I just taped it to my bib straps I did about 20 miles doing laps on a dead flat course (Hains Pt. here in DC.) On Sunday I did about 30 miles on another bike trail. I was unbelievably weak. I could barely get up when I went to stand on the pedals once or twice. I know I'm being bad, but I couldn't help myself. I'll try to get out a few times a week until the G-tube comes out at the end of the month, just to keep in maintenance mode.
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Old 05-15-12, 06:04 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by JimF22003 View Post
Thanks Bill. Don't tell the Dr, but I actually did get out on the bike a couple of times this weekend. The G-tube is still hanging out, but I just taped it to my bib straps I did about 20 miles doing laps on a dead flat course (Hains Pt. here in DC.) On Sunday I did about 30 miles on another bike trail. I was unbelievably weak. I could barely get up when I went to stand on the pedals once or twice. I know I'm being bad, but I couldn't help myself. I'll try to get out a few times a week until the G-tube comes out at the end of the month, just to keep in maintenance mode.
My guess is, if you don't overdo it, that those rides will put you ahead in healing - which has both physical and psychological elements to it. Your increase in spirits will pay off. I applaud you.
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Old 05-15-12, 06:09 AM   #18
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Good for you Jim, I won't tell him if you don't! If I could figure out a way to get a jersey on over the PICC line in the left arm I would go for a ride in a NY minute. Monday should be the last infusion, at least it will be if I have any say and I probably will after the ID doctor's appointment this Thursday.

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Old 05-15-12, 07:05 AM   #19
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I hope that you get well soon. I think many of us have been in the same position at one time or another. I have a hard time if I travel and don't have a bike to ride. Last December, I was out the entire month without riding due to a back injury sustained in a bike crash. Don't rush things and let everything heal. It only seems like a long time but you'll be back in the saddle before you know it.
I'm having to take my own advice now. Shoulder injury Saturday is going to keep me off my bike for a week or two. Here it is Tuesday and I'm already in withdrawals.
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Old 05-15-12, 08:02 AM   #20
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Hang in there, man. Setbacks and recovery are just a part of life. Life is good.
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