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Tough year starting to get me down

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Tough year starting to get me down

Old 10-10-21, 08:53 AM
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Tough year starting to get me down

Haven't been on BF too much recently, but I remembered this sub-forum and thought I'd share my tale as another oldie cyclist trying to keep cycling.

Until last year I have always been fit and had not had any serious illnesses to worry about, but this year, my 74th, has been a real downer healthwise, with a prostate cancer diagnosis in January, and a high blood pressure diagnosis in March, now under control. Two months ago, after some chest pains, the doctors found I have a double blockage of electrical signals to my heart. A week ago, after passing out and knocking myself unconscious I was taken to hospital and have now been fitted with a pacemaker because of the heart condition. For the first time in my life I am on a regular prescription for drugs, for the BP.

I felt OK after the cancer diagnosis as it is fairly low grade, being monitored regularly, and not uncommon for a man of my age but the others have really made me feel my age.

I have continued cycling through all this and fully intend to, once I have got over the rest period for the op.
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Old 10-10-21, 09:56 AM
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Well, on the good side, we're well above that 3 score and 10 thing. On the other hand, now it's one thing after another. My "things" aren't as serious as yours, but it does get hard to keep one's chin up when one keeps getting batted down. What's the motto? Keep trying after all these years? So far, there doesn't seem to be a choice. It's either that or become what we've been trying hard not to become - old. But you know, we're trying to swim up a waterfall.
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Old 10-10-21, 12:33 PM
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I'm hoping to follow the saying "when you're up to your neck in sh*t, keep your chin up"
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Old 10-11-21, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Gerryattrick View Post
I'm hoping to follow the saying "when you're up to your neck in sh*t, keep your chin up"
Hoping for better days ahead for you BUTT be ready for crap!!!

My PCa (Prostate Cancer) is high-test Gleason10 since 2015. On a cruise right now with another scan 2 hours less than exactly 1 week from Right Now as I post expecting results to show cancer is back again and maybe in the bones or ???? Gotta make it when you can so I've been Partying Like It's 1999. Bloody Mary super spicy, meat that's a no-no, sugary desserts a BIG NO-NO, wine - empteed a whole bottle of red at dinner last night and heading for dinner in 45 minutes with ANOTHER BOTTLE waiting for me. Haven't been able to do a comfortable-good ride since 1 week before my 71st birthday in July. Crashed and minor rotator cuff tear that still pains up shortly after getting on the bike.

We do what we can to keep on keeping on.

Good luck and HEAL!!!!
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Old 10-11-21, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Gerryattrick View Post
Until last year I have always been fit and had not had any serious illnesses to worry about, but this year, my 74th, has been a real downer healthwise, with a prostate cancer diagnosis in January, and a high blood pressure diagnosis in March, now under control. Two months ago, after some chest pains, the doctors found I have a double blockage of electrical signals to my heart. A week ago, after passing out and knocking myself unconscious I was taken to hospital and have now been fitted with a pacemaker because of the heart condition. For the first time in my life I am on a regular prescription for drugs, for the BP.

I felt OK after the cancer diagnosis as it is fairly low grade, being monitored regularly, and not uncommon for a man of my age but the others have really made me feel my age.

I have continued cycling through all this and fully intend to, once I have got over the rest period for the op.
I'm 25 years younger than you, and also never had an illness to worry about, but 2 years ago I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer which at the time had already metastasized to my lymph and spine, and with tumors so large that they collapsed the upper lobe of my left lung for 2 weeks, and got me a stint in the ICU for the first of those two weeks, wondering if I'd ever make it out alive. Then 6 months ago it spread to my brain, with eleven 1-2mm tumors already treated up there with localized radiation. Even with these major setbacks from treatments, meds, and recovery time (rinse/repeat), and the loss of fitness that comes with those setbacks, since my initial diagnosis I've recovered and trained enough to climb Mt Evans in Colorado twice (the highest paved road in North America, and 3rd highest in the world), have done 2-3 imperial centuries, and have ridden about 6,000 miles total since initial diagnosis. I now have the cancer in a management condition taking a single pill every day for the rest of my life. Modern medicine is a wonderful thing!! I just try to keep my spirits up and keep doing as much riding as I can, while I can. The fact you're still riding at 74 means you're way ahead of the curve, and an inspiration to many of us.

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Old 10-12-21, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Riveting View Post
I'm 25 years younger than you, and also never had an illness to worry about, but 2 years ago I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer which at the time had already metastasized to my lymph and spine, and with tumors so large that they collapsed the upper lobe of my left lung for 2 weeks, and got me a stint in the ICU for the first of those two weeks, wondering if I'd ever make it out alive. Then 6 months ago it spread to my brain, with eleven 1-2mm tumors already treated up there with localized radiation. Even with these major setbacks from treatments, meds, and recovery time (rinse/repeat), and the loss of fitness that comes with those setbacks, since my initial diagnosis I've recovered and trained enough to climb Mt Evans in Colorado twice (the highest paved road in North America, and 3rd highest in the world), have done 2-3 imperial centuries, and have ridden about 6,000 miles total since initial diagnosis. I now have the cancer in a management condition taking a single pill every day for the rest of my life. Modern medicine is a wonderful thing!! I just try to keep my spirits up and keep doing as much riding as I can, while I can. The fact you're still riding at 74 means you're way ahead of the curve, and an inspiration to many of us.
You are the inspiration! That is one amazing story!
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Old 10-12-21, 12:00 PM
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I've got a different set of circumstances, but my year has been rough too; emotionally and physically. I'm 62.

1. Broke my kneecap in January, surgery, crutches for two months, cane for another two months, no riding at all until June, still wobbly and weak and months away from wherever the new normal will be.
2. My dog died of cancer in May.
3. My cat died of cancer in October.
4. Just had my annual exam yesterday and found out I have osteoporosis (T= -2.6), and diabetes has its hooks in me (AHI = 5.7) waiting to attack.

Using the FRAX WHO Fracture Risk Assessment Tool, the 10 year probability of a major osteoporotic fracture (clinical spine, forearm, hip or shoulder fracture) is 14% and the 10 year probability of a hip fracture is 3.3% .


So anyway, not comparing notes, just commiserating from a similar scenario.
Bonus: I'm almost 2" shorter than I was a few years ago thanks to vertebrae fracture and bone loss.

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Old 10-12-21, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
Bonus: I'm almost 2" shorter than I was a few years ago thanks to vertebrae fracture and bone loss.
New Bike Day may be your silver lining. How many more inches before you'll need a smaller frame?
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Old 10-12-21, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Riveting View Post
New Bike Day may be your silver lining. How many more inches before you'll need a smaller frame?

Yeah, I've thought of that idea. I think the height reduction is mostly in the spine though, so maybe just a shorter stem unless I can find other justification.

Although if I break another bone, the new bike might be a Peloton with a big screen and sound system.
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Old 10-13-21, 09:29 AM
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Deep down I know I am quite lucky in that these setbacks are relatively minor compared to others, do not yet cause me problems, and can be lived with.

I plan to get back to where I was on the bike, around 3000 miles a year, and other activities, after following the Doc's recuperation advice, and stop feeling sorry for myself.

One thing that really depresses me though, is that by the time I get back on the bike it will be too cold for shorts and short sleeve jerseys, and I have another six months of cold/wet weather riding.
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Old 10-13-21, 11:34 AM
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Getting old sucks but it beats the alternative. Hang in there.

I started the year with a trip to the ER with BP at 240/210, badly sprained my ankle in the Smokies with long recovery, and 5 weeks ago had the worst crash of my life. Cracked my hip, broke 5 ribs, broke clavicle in a couple places, broke the humerus all the way out the skin, smashed my elbow into many pieces. Getting the motivation to get back on the bike is hard. Surgeon told me to expect a lot of pain for around 6 months. He had to do what is called an olecranon osteotomy to redo my elbow joint. Three plates, one lag screw, some wire, about 15 screws and one roll of duck tape
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Old 10-14-21, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
Getting old sucks but it beats the alternative. Hang in there.

I started the year with a trip to the ER with BP at 240/210, badly sprained my ankle in the Smokies with long recovery, and 5 weeks ago had the worst crash of my life. Cracked my hip, broke 5 ribs, broke clavicle in a couple places, broke the humerus all the way out the skin, smashed my elbow into many pieces. Getting the motivation to get back on the bike is hard. Surgeon told me to expect a lot of pain for around 6 months. He had to do what is called an olecranon osteotomy to redo my elbow joint. Three plates, one lag screw, some wire, about 15 screws and one roll of duck tape
Oh man, I'm so sorry! A riding buddy broke a pedal axle riding hard OOS, broke femur and pelvis so bad he got what looks like a bit a titanium bike chain to hold it together. He recovered and went on to finish covering his wall with k-hound medals. Not young, either.
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Old 11-17-21, 07:43 PM
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Ghost..
We now know you will soon be well. How do we know this? Because Duct Tape can Fix Anything. Hang tuff.

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Old 11-18-21, 05:13 AM
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Originally Posted by fat biker View Post
Ghost..
We now know you will soon be well. How do we know this? Because Duct Tape can Fix Anything. Hang tuff.

fat biker
Thanks.

Docs said 12 months to recover at my age, 6 months if I was young. So, I set goal of 4 months. Saw the surgeon for my 2 month follow up the other day and he said "my progress was unbelievable, actually incredible". I still cannot sleep thru the night due to shoulder pain (they missed that my shoulder blade was also broken) but I am doing PT 3x per week, doing all my exercises, eating well, etc. And, I am back on the bike albeit very slow on short rides and it is painful. My pain management doctor told me that it is essential to accept the pain of the exercises, otherwise I won't get full function back and it will be a pain problem for the rest of my life. The range of motion of the messed up elbow has increased from 90 degrees of flex to 130 degrees. I am going to need the big lag bolt down my ulnar bone and the wire taken out. It drives me crazy. Moderate aerobic exercise every day and applying heat 3-4 times per day with (painful) stretching has done wonders.

Absolutely crappy year but I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and by Spring......hope to be having fun riding my bikes.
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Old 11-18-21, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Gerryattrick View Post
I'm hoping to follow the saying "when you're up to your neck in sh*t, keep your chin up"
At least you kept your great sense of humor through all that. Good to see you prairie dawg here so we know youíre still above the ground.

Did the Afib thing myself, electrocardiologist froze four places with cryoablation so itís all good now.

Donít be a stranger now that you remembered where to go!

Bill
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Old 11-19-21, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
...I still cannot sleep thru the night due to shoulder pain (they missed that my shoulder blade was also broken)...
Ugh, hate when docs miss stuff that should be obvious. Happened to me in 2018. A distracted driver hit me while I was riding my bike. Broke and dislocated my shoulder, and separated the shoulder blade muscle, with the scapula obviously winged outward -- very visible in photos. That was the most painful part of the injury and took the longest to heal. The break and separation healed fairly well within six months, but the separation was still causing pain more than a year later.

Then they found I had thyroid cancer the same year, which took priority. Surgery removed the cancerous lobe in late 2018, no metastasis or chemo needed. I still get checked once or twice a year, so far, so good. I was physically wiped out and exhausted for months until the thyroid supplement meds kicked in.

And an old neck injury from 2001 (t-boned by an SUV that ran a red light at 50 mph and demolished my compact car, breaking my neck and back in six placess) was re-injured in 2018. Now instead of just the original C1-C2 damage, my entire neck cervical vertebrae are damaged.

But three years later when my court case finally came up (all on Zoom due to the pandemic), there was no medical record of the scapula separation or damaged C4-C6. The docs just skipped right over it. And I had three different groups of ortho docs at three different clinics. All they did was refer to the previous doc's notes and didn't look for any complications.

The insurance settlement didn't even cover my full medical expenses. My attorney had to settle with various claims to reduce their demands. Perfectly legal in Texas due to "tort reform" that benefits only the insurance companies and insured drivers, at the expense of injuried parties. Due to minimum liability insurance amounts, there's no other recourse -- no liens or claims on the offending driver's other assets, homes, properties, etc. Absolutely infuriating.

Fortunately I'm eligible for 100% coverage for medical care by the VA, and they were doing a great job until the pandemic came along. Now VA care depends on the individual doctors and clinics. Some are still very responsive, while others have ignored my calls and emails for more than a year.

But I'm also eligible for VA covered care in civilian clinics, and as a fallback now have Medicare. I'm lucky compared to my younger cycling friends who work but can't afford health insurance that covers anything less than catastrophic illness/injury. So I've chipped in $20 or so to Go Fund Me and similar fundraisers for friends who've suffered injuries while cycling. There but for the grace of god, luck of the draw, etc., go we all.

2021 has been my worst year since 2018. By 2019 I was doing fine in 2019-2020, riding my bike up to 5,000-6,000 miles a year, even posting some of my fastest times on Strava segments.

But by January 2021 my old neck injuries were causing so much pain I switched from mostly cycling to mostly jogging and walking. I've ridden only 1,500 miles this year, but have run about 600 miles so far, and nearly that much walking.

Then I got clobbered with persistent upper respiratory inflammation in late September that still hasn't cleared up. My doc says it's probably a virus, but probably not COVID -- my three COVID tests in October were all negative. I'm vaxxed (two Moderna jabs in springtime), had my flu shot as usual. But the doc said there are other viruses floating around with symptoms matching mine -- persistent inflammation without infection, sinus/ear congestion with vertigo, body aches, etc. Sucks.

Some days are pretty okay. I jogged 5 miles last Friday and 7 miles Monday this week. But I've been practically tied to the bed since then. Brain fog so bad I didn't even realize today was Friday until a friend mentioned it. Time flies when you're having no fun.

Hoping for a better 2022 for us all.
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Old 11-20-21, 03:35 AM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Ugh, hate when docs miss stuff that should be obvious. Happened to me in 2018. A distracted driver hit me while I was riding my bike. Broke and dislocated my shoulder, and separated the shoulder blade muscle, with the scapula obviously winged outward -- very visible in photos. That was the most painful part of the injury and took the longest to heal. The break and separation healed fairly well within six months, but the separation was still causing pain more than a year later.

Then they found I had thyroid cancer the same year, which took priority. Surgery removed the cancerous lobe in late 2018, no metastasis or chemo needed. I still get checked once or twice a year, so far, so good. I was physically wiped out and exhausted for months until the thyroid supplement meds kicked in.

And an old neck injury from 2001 (t-boned by an SUV that ran a red light at 50 mph and demolished my compact car, breaking my neck and back in six placess) was re-injured in 2018. Now instead of just the original C1-C2 damage, my entire neck cervical vertebrae are damaged.

But three years later when my court case finally came up (all on Zoom due to the pandemic), there was no medical record of the scapula separation or damaged C4-C6. The docs just skipped right over it. And I had three different groups of ortho docs at three different clinics. All they did was refer to the previous doc's notes and didn't look for any complications.

The insurance settlement didn't even cover my full medical expenses. My attorney had to settle with various claims to reduce their demands. Perfectly legal in Texas due to "tort reform" that benefits only the insurance companies and insured drivers, at the expense of injuried parties. Due to minimum liability insurance amounts, there's no other recourse -- no liens or claims on the offending driver's other assets, homes, properties, etc. Absolutely infuriating.

Fortunately I'm eligible for 100% coverage for medical care by the VA, and they were doing a great job until the pandemic came along. Now VA care depends on the individual doctors and clinics. Some are still very responsive, while others have ignored my calls and emails for more than a year.

But I'm also eligible for VA covered care in civilian clinics, and as a fallback now have Medicare. I'm lucky compared to my younger cycling friends who work but can't afford health insurance that covers anything less than catastrophic illness/injury. So I've chipped in $20 or so to Go Fund Me and similar fundraisers for friends who've suffered injuries while cycling. There but for the grace of god, luck of the draw, etc., go we all.

2021 has been my worst year since 2018. By 2019 I was doing fine in 2019-2020, riding my bike up to 5,000-6,000 miles a year, even posting some of my fastest times on Strava segments.

But by January 2021 my old neck injuries were causing so much pain I switched from mostly cycling to mostly jogging and walking. I've ridden only 1,500 miles this year, but have run about 600 miles so far, and nearly that much walking.

Then I got clobbered with persistent upper respiratory inflammation in late September that still hasn't cleared up. My doc says it's probably a virus, but probably not COVID -- my three COVID tests in October were all negative. I'm vaxxed (two Moderna jabs in springtime), had my flu shot as usual. But the doc said there are other viruses floating around with symptoms matching mine -- persistent inflammation without infection, sinus/ear congestion with vertigo, body aches, etc. Sucks.

Some days are pretty okay. I jogged 5 miles last Friday and 7 miles Monday this week. But I've been practically tied to the bed since then. Brain fog so bad I didn't even realize today was Friday until a friend mentioned it. Time flies when you're having no fun.

Hoping for a better 2022 for us all.
Wishing you a better 2022. FWIW, I started seeing a new pain mgt doctor this year and with a combination of RF ablation and intralaminar injections, my cervical pain is more manageable. No longer get so extreme excruciating occipital neuralgia and now rarely need to use narcotics for pain relief. Might help you??

My ER and trauma center records list the wrong arm. Compound fracture to left humerus and left elbow. One the table, they were like are you sure it is your left arm and me, "look this is where the bone came out, I pulled it 90 degrees back to crawl off the road, yes, I am very sure" . I kept telling every Doctor that wandered in that my hip really hurt but they sent me home. I can't believe I did not fall in those first few weeks at home. There is no record of the broken trochanter bone, but the fractured scapula is noted in an MRI 5 weeks post surgery. I am typing at 4:25 am because I have been up for 2 hours in pain. I know it will get better. I saw another Ortho surgeon a couple days ago and he said the combination of scapula fracture and a badly smashed clavicle (two pieces and both disconnected) would take a long time to heal especially the scapula. Your experience also tells me to just chill and wait it out.

Again, hope your 2022 is a new and better year!!
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Old 11-20-21, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
Docs said 12 months to recover at my age, 6 months if I was young. So, I set goal of 4 months. Saw the surgeon for my 2 month follow up the other day and he said "my progress was unbelievable, actually incredible".
It pays to stay active and maintain some sort of fitness.

Congrats on your recovery.
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Old 11-22-21, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by qcpmsame View Post
At least you kept your great sense of humor through all that. Good to see you prairie dawg here so we know youíre still above the ground.

Did the Afib thing myself, electrocardiologist froze four places with cryoablation so itís all good now.

Donít be a stranger now that you remembered where to go!

Bill
At my age it's the remembering where to go is the problem, and once I get there remembering how to get home.

Still pedalling, still working on old bikes, the latest a 30 year old Pinarello.
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Old 11-22-21, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
Thanks.

Docs said 12 months to recover at my age, 6 months if I was young.
After my patella fracture surgery, the doc said "sometimes when people get old we have to replace the screws in there... but you're already old, so no worries about that."
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Old 11-22-21, 01:29 PM
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rumrunn6
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Originally Posted by Gerryattrick View Post
I have continued cycling through all this and fully intend to, once I have got over the rest period for the op.
right on man!
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