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Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

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Old 05-18-13, 03:57 PM   #1
Oldoarsman
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What is it about turning 50?

Just a short age/health-related rant here...

Since turning fifty a little under four years ago, I've been diagnosed hypothyroid, am being treated for cholesterol, and have had successful surgery on my left knee (meniscus), left foot (hammertoe) and right shoulder (rotator cuff tear). I am now taking Vyvanse to help me focus better during my demanding work days. Just last week, I had soft tissue releases in four toes, hammertoe correction procedures on two others and a general arthritic clean up...bone shaving and tendon clean up in both feet. It will be a while before I can saddle up and clip in again.

My question is, is it unusual to start having all these items identified or diagnosed starting at 50?

For those of you with more experience, when can I expect my warranty to be officially renewed or is this the new normal of 50+?

I've really been enjoying riding and working out again over the past five+ years, but i am just a little surprised by all the attention I am receiving from the doctors these days....my cardio is great and my workouts are all low impact...it just seems as though the rest of my 6'5" frame is in need of an overhaul.

What has been your experience?

Last edited by Oldoarsman; 05-18-13 at 04:41 PM.
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Old 05-18-13, 04:29 PM   #2
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At 50, it is no longer the mileage....it is the model year!!
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Old 05-18-13, 04:48 PM   #3
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I began at 44 Y.O. 16 major surgeries between 2000 and 2012, developed Chronic Kidney Failure, stage 3B, contracted MRSA in 2006, I'll leave it at those few things. What would you like to discuss in the age 50 medical problems area? I'd actually rather have my problems than foot problems like you have, that sounds painful and frustrating, I'm sure you knew that already. Best wishes in your recovery, just let things get better and ride as you are able, it has made a tremendous difference in my life and fitness.

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Old 05-18-13, 04:58 PM   #4
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I threw my back out this morning, and as I'm flat on my back right now it will give me ample time to formulate a response.
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Old 05-18-13, 05:07 PM   #5
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If you've been healthy until now it might just be a cycle you are going through and things will calm down after awhile. Certainly frustrating and frustrating while you are going through it.
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Old 05-18-13, 05:43 PM   #6
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Must be I'm the exception that proves the rule.

I had a whole litany of issues starting in my earlier life. I even had a rheumatologist in my mid-20s. Told me I could be in a wheelchair by 40, or not at all, depending on how things worked out.

Taking up cycling at 49 was a last-ditch effort. By 50 nearly all my troubles had disappeared and by 51 I felt better than I ever had in my life.

This is the year I'm supposed to have my heart attack. All the males on both sides of the family have had their first MI by age 55, with my dad and his dad saving it for the double-nickel. I turn 56 next month. If I make it, I'll be the first in three generations on one side, two generations on the other.

Meanwhile, I'm the oldest son and both of my younger brothers have had several knee surgeries. My dad has two titanium ones--still can't walk. Mine are fine.

The only remaining trouble is, well, you don't want to be waiting behind me to pee. Please, you go first. I can wait.

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Old 05-18-13, 05:58 PM   #7
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It is the luck of the draw, some people develop a lot of problems early in life, some later. I would be surprised if most of your problems (rotator cuff tear and hypothyroidism possibly being the exceptions) really just developed. Hope you are able to overcome yours, and keep on riding once you recover from your surgeries!
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Old 05-18-13, 07:03 PM   #8
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55 yo and only been in the hospital for quicky treatments such as a broken arm bone (back in my teenage years) and a few times to get wounds stitched up. Knock on wood.
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Old 05-18-13, 07:31 PM   #9
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When you get to 50+ and you go to the doctor, he has a new attitude. He has in his mind a whole list of things that are statistically prevalent in over 50 people but there are no statistics for the subdivision of healthy vs overweight couch potatoes. So, the doctor simply looks and finds things wrong with you that he expects, and starts to medicate you. If you're over 50 and don't fit the norm, you owe it to yourself to carefully re-consider any diagnoses.
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Old 05-18-13, 07:36 PM   #10
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Must be I'm the exception that proves the rule.

I had a whole litany of issues starting in my earlier life. I even had a rheumatologist in my mid-20s. Told me I could be in a wheelchair by 40, or not at all, depending on how things worked out.

Taking up cycling at 49 was a last-ditch effort. By 50 nearly all my troubles had disappeared and by 51 I felt better than I ever had in my life.

This is the year I'm supposed to have my heart attack. All the males on both sides of the family have had their first MI by age 55, with my dad and his dad saving it for the double-nickel. I turn 56 next month. If I make it, I'll be the first in three generations on one side, two generations on the other.

Meanwhile, I'm the oldest son and both of my younger brothers have had several knee surgeries. My dad has two titanium ones--still can't walk. Mine are fine.

The only remaining trouble is, well, you don't want to be waiting behind me to pee. Please, you go first. I can wait.
I also had most of my physical issues very early on. My back was a source of constant pain from age twelve to age twenty-one. My knees started to develop arthritis in my teens. I can throw left handed because I had to learn to do so after destroying my right elbow by age twenty. All better now.

Well, except for that bladder emptying thing. Oh, and the change in my eyesight. That's an annoying, if expected, new addition. I guess I'll just have to get used to it.
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Old 05-18-13, 07:55 PM   #11
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47 years old. 3 MI's and quad bypass first of the year. Hang tough you can do it. Don't include 'can't' in your vocabulary.
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Old 05-18-13, 08:00 PM   #12
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I can't remember that far back, but I didn't have health insurance so I couldn't have had anything wrong with me.
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Old 05-18-13, 08:13 PM   #13
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Turned 50 in March.

At 47 I was on two cholesterol meds, a blood pressure med (unmedicated resting BP and HR was 150/100 and 100 bpm), suffering from severe gout attacks in my ankles, having gallbladder attacks every couple months, had my first kidney stone, borderline pre-diabetic, closet full of 36" pants with a couple of 38".

Now I'm 25 lb lighter (190 lb, 5'11") not on any cholesterol or BP meds (BP and resting HR 125/80 and 45), still on gout meds but haven't had an attack in almost two years and ankles have regained range of motion, no more gallbladder or kidney stone attacks, blood labs normal. Closet is 32"s with a couple of 34"s. After last summer's riding I was 10 lighter yet and BP was lower, so I am trying to get back down to 180 lb. At that weight, I'm even a candidate for the "fuller" sort of 30"s.

So my 50's are starting off healthier than my 40's were. Which is cool.

Still, I'm aware that my next checkup will involve some probing procedures, I'll have to make a decision on PSA testing, and I'm noticing that if I stop working out, the muscle mass in my arms and chest shrinks pretty rapidly. I am losing flexibility, so yoga classes are on the to-do list. My hair on top is just holding its own (with help from daily finasteride and minoxidil), and nowadays I pay the hair lady for a "gray blend" when she cuts it (okay, I'm not averse to artificial aids). I still have a pre-disposition to high BP which I'll have to watch all my life. And I give a depressing degree of attention to what I eat, and not in a Top Chef sort of way.

I think by this time, the weak points in our bodies are making themselves clearly known. The big guys who played football in H.S. are needing new knees. The gourmands are contemplating life with diabetes. The high strung workaholics are headed for their first strokes and "major adverse cardiac events".

Medicine is at a state where, even if we do come down with all those problems, we can go on living. The question is, what is your quality of life? My father, in his mid-70s, is 60 lb overweight, has had one MACE, moves slowly and with effort. I'm glad he's still here, but when I get there, I am hoping to be in slightly better condition.

So, you know your weak points. Figure out how to work on them. Generically, significant weight loss and committed exercise will do a lot for all of us. We all know that, that's why we are cyclists, for the most part. Sometimes we need to do more.
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Old 05-18-13, 10:16 PM   #14
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Nothing special about turning fifty. It was just another day. Having a heart attack three days short of turning fifty three, now that's a life changer. Still, five years later, I haven't gotten off the bike.
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Old 05-18-13, 10:33 PM   #15
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Say, I started 50 with throat cancer. Like you that is when it started. 9 years later still truckin. In fact, I got more active biking after 50, commuting and all, so don't feel too bad! It could be worse — you could be dead. LOL
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Old 05-18-13, 11:05 PM   #16
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I also had most of my physical issues very early on. My back was a source of constant pain from age twelve to age twenty-one. My knees started to develop arthritis in my teens. I can throw left handed because I had to learn to do so after destroying my right elbow by age twenty. All better now.

Well, except for that bladder emptying thing. Oh, and the change in my eyesight. That's an annoying, if expected, new addition. I guess I'll just have to get used to it.
Me three. I had a lot of strange health issues in my 20s. Weird stuff. Pneumonia, shingles, food poisoning ... I was starting to wonder if I'd make it to my 30s. I've had my share of surgeries ... meniscal and achilles tendon tears ... and a cancer scare (that gets your attention!).

What's wrong? Our warranties ran out!
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Old 05-18-13, 11:57 PM   #17
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I threw my back out this morning, and as I'm flat on my back right now it will give me ample time to formulate a response.
Sorry to hear that. But that will make it easier for me to get in more miles than you next week.
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Old 05-19-13, 12:24 AM   #18
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Yep - Around 50 and the problems hit. Bypass and Prostate surgery both it within a couple of years when I was 52 and 54. Since then nothing but I retired at 65 last year and went to the docs for a minor problem. Never realised how much was wrong with the. Pre-Diabetic- whatever that is- Vitamin "D" deficient- High blood pressure and the usual of high cholesterol again. Then there are the aches and pains- lack of energy- lack of strength for the heavy tasks- that "apparently" are due to age.

Don't get old--Do like my wife has and stay at 49 for as long as you can.
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Old 05-19-13, 06:47 AM   #19
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Thanks for the responses, guys....I realize that it could be a lot worse, and I am optimistic for a quick return to riding and lifting. I had hoped to complete my first century this summer, but the surgery date had to be moved up...so now I'll look to the fall...weather is more comfortable in central Virginia at that time of year anyway!...and having a goal like that should keep me motivated during recovery.

With the past few year's procedures behind me, I feel as though I have a better understanding of my body and how to take better care of it going forward. My lovely, perennially young (29 and holding for the last 23 years) and optimistic wife (and also a former oarswoman) agrees....heart health and endurance muscles will carry us better into the future than heavy lifting and wind sprints. My primary goals are to continue to increase my cardio capacity, stay active, return to riding and my gym workouts, and most important of all...maintain and build on the strength I need to take care of our soon to be nineteen year old son with CP.

At the moment, we have help in carrying him between his bed and wheelchair and in helping with his daily needs. Part of my frustration with being laid up is my lack of ability to help until I can actually pick Jonathan up again to be able to take care of him.....for the moment, I can still help with his feeding pump and medications...just not the heavier lifting portion.

Also, it's a great time of the year to kick back and watch the Giro and the Tour of California (109 degrees...how do they do it?)!

Thank you for your words of wisdom and support....onward and upward!
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Old 05-19-13, 09:40 AM   #20
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snip...and most important of all...maintain and build on the strength I need to take care of our soon to be nineteen year old son with CP.

At the moment, we have help in carrying him between his bed and wheelchair and in helping with his daily needs. Part of my frustration with being laid up is my lack of ability to help until I can actually pick Jonathan up again to be able to take care of him.....for the moment, I can still help with his feeding pump and medications...just not the heavier lifting portion....snip
You and your lovely wife and your son all are people we need to look up to, with everything you have to handle every day I retract my statements, I don't have anything to complain about compared to you and yours. Prayers for strength and for better health and times for all of you.

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Old 05-19-13, 10:24 AM   #21
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Plus, at fifty you know there are more years behind you then ahead.
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Old 05-19-13, 10:47 AM   #22
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the Tour of California (109 degrees...how do they do it?)!
It's a dry heat...
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Old 05-19-13, 11:04 AM   #23
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a very dull survival of a rather gaudy life.


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Old 05-19-13, 03:41 PM   #24
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I think I prefer to think of my (56 Y.O.) rides as Jens Voight's rides (41 Y.O.) plus 15 years of aging, like a nice aged Scotch. I loved watching him win the stage the other day in the ATOC, he is just incredible.

Bill
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Old 05-19-13, 04:17 PM   #25
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Aging, Its real simple, from the beginning our cells reproduce and we grow into adulthood. Our cells continually remake themselves, copy after copy after copy.... Ever make a copy of a cassette tape and then another copy of the first copy then a copy of that copy ?
The sound degradation is obvious....... that about covers it.

As for the ailments that you get that another does not at 50 or what ever, well our genes are passed down to us so we have no say in that area.
Unless we made bad choices in diet and activities along the way.....

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Lines form from the ups and downs
I'm in the middle without any plans,,,,, Alice Cooper, Eighteen..
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