Sunday, October 11, 2009

Bike Shopping and Work

Well I went to several different bicycle shops over the weekend. One in Davis and one in Fair Oaks. Both were very friendly and had some really cool bikes, Scott, Pinarello, Felt, Specialized, Look, Colnago, Trek and more. The bike shop that is looking at my bike to see if it is salvageable has told me that it is totaled, so my insurance company is going to pay for it. It is covered under my renters insurance, not my car insurance. Kind of strange, but I'm not questioning it. I won't spend any money until I get a check in hand. I am kind of partial to the Wilier Izoard, but with the components I want it is too expensive. The Trek Madone 5.5 Project One bike is pretty nice and I can get the price down to something reasonable. I also need to get a replacement helmet, jersey and gloves as they were all destroyed in my accident. They had to cut my jersey off of me.

I am hoping that I will be able to start moving my arm more, I can't quite do too many motions that don't cause pain, but I think the bone is healing. At least my bones don't grind together any more. I will have a check up with x-rays taken this week to confirm.

Frustrating times at work, I spend a good portion of my time reviewing engineering analysis and there are certain steps that need to be performed in a certain order to build quality into the process, and the one thing that really upsets me is when people don't ask for intermediate reviews so that the final review is not a big deal. This is the exact situation that occurred this past week. Along with the additional problem that the peer checking hadn't been done, so not only had I not seen the analysis before, they were expecting me to do the job of the peer review and the senior review, which is not the proper way of doing quality control. There, just had to vent a bit. I have been working at home since the accident, but tomorrow I am going to go into work. I will have to drive the mini-van since isn't an manual like my car is. I tried to drive my car, but I don't have enough strength to shift very well, so it is better that I take the van.

Got some really nice emails from my mom and two aunts giving me some encouragement. It is really difficult to be off the bike for so long given how much I have gone through in the past year. Just over a year ago, October 9, 2008, my colon perforated. I have had diverticulitis since I was in my early 20's, but it has only flared up maybe once or twice a year. Well starting about a month before my perforation I was having constant flare ups and even the day before the perforation I had a CT scan with contrast and the doctor said it was looking better. The next morning at work I was just walking from my office to someones office, can't remember who, but all of a sudden I doubled over with pain.

Of course being a guy I just drove myself home and kept telling everyone that I must just be constipated or something. Well, by 6 PM I had a fever of around 103 degrees and was feeling awful. My doctor just happened to call and check on me and told me to have my wife get me to the emergency room. I got there none too soon, as I would find out later that I was very close to dying. They took me to emergency surgery and I woke up the next day with a colostomy bag. Talk about a shock, I lost 9 inches of my colon and now I had a shit bag. Following surgery I had two pulmonary embolisms within two weeks that resulted in the doctors putting me on coumidin, a blood thinner. So, instead of having my colostomy reversed in 3 months it put it out to six months. A good result of the surgery is that as a result I lost about 40 or so pounds and I really needed it.

Since I hadn't ridden in years, I was very overweight, in fact morbidly obese. I was approximately 285 pounds before my surgery. Between my surgery and the restrictive diet that resulted I lost the 40 pounds prior to my second surgery. I had my second surgery, to remove another 4 inches of colon and get rid of the colostomy, on April 13th this year. When the operated this time they also took out my appendix and "fixed" several adhesions and hernias. Thus I felt like someone had taken a cricket bat and beat me. Well as soon as I could I started working out by walking, building slowly I was up to 6 miles a day of walking by mid-May. That is when I started riding my mountain bike every day. I started with around 10 miles a day and pretty quickly got up to commuting to work every day. Once I got down to 220 pounds I changed to my road bike. I was commuting every day to work and was up to 50 miles per day on the weekend. After signing up for the Gran Fondo, I started to increase my miles and was riding up in the Sierra foothills to get some climbing in. As I previously wrote, I was hit by the car one week before the Fondo and two weeks shy of my one year anniversary of perforating my colon. I am down to approximately 200 pounds, but I am still shooting for 150 pounds. Well I am sure that if you read all of this you must have nothing better to do, but I do appreciate you reading my story. Hope everyone has a great week.

Cheers! ;-)

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