Wednesday, June 20, 2007


After too many doctor visits, about 15 blood tests, peeing in countless cups, an MRI, an X-ray and a few other things I've had poked and prodded that I won't mention here...I still have no answers about what was causing my mysterious symptoms. The constant "stitch" in my side has all but vanished along with the weakness, nausea, dizziness and blah feeling after only a few weeks of taking Protonix. Maybe we've fixed it! I still have some more tests to do with the endocrinologist, but I think the worst is behind me.

So, I was able to get back on the bike for the first time in a while last night. Pookie, Ron and I rolled around slowly through some trails at Patrick Henry High School and through some alleys. It felt good to be back in the saddle. I felt slow and my fitness isn't there, but good. I'm not going to push it. Slow and steady will be the order of business for a few weeks. I think the singlespeed is at least 3 weeks from seeing any action.

Here are some interesting pictures from our ride.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Mosey on over, partner.

Blogs aren't just for cycling anymore!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Make it go faster!

I'm tired of waiting. Really tired...and more than a bit frustrated. My next doctor's appointment is Monday the 18th, but it seems like 9 years from now. I haven't done anything for almost a month and I'm going crazy not exercising. I want my life as an athlete back!! But, until I can speak with someone (who will actually listen) about the possible reasons for my frequent dehydration, I'm not taking any chances.

OK, Pookie and I have taken the little spoiled dog for a walk almost everyday, but that hardly qualifies as exercise. I'm tired of the couch and tired of watching TV. I don't know how most people can sit and watch this junk every evening and not go insane...especially with the lack of quality programming on the tube!

BTW, all of your prayers are very much appreciated!!! Thank you!!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Wiped out

This past Saturday started with a trip to Carvins Cove to install more trail signs. By about 1pm I had to leave because I felt like crap. Really bad fatigue and a severely sour stomach. I spent the rest of the weekend until 7am Monday morning on the couch. I may have had a touch of a nasty stomach flu that's been making its way through my office, but I still think it has more to do with whatever this other mystery ailment is that I'm battling.

One week until the appointment with the endocrinologist.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Friday is good

I feel pretty good today. I'm not going to push it until I have some more time with the doctors to figure out why I get dehydrated so easily. (Along with the other goofy symptoms)

Because of this whole ordeal, I am thinking of simplifying my life by going back to just two bikes - my Rig and one of these:

This is the Poprad. I can use it for long winter miles, commuting and in place of a road bike in the summer (since I never go on group road rides anymore). My Rig would become my only mountain bike.

Simple. I like that.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

A better day

Three steps in the right direction today;

1. The MRI results came back looking OK. I don't have any giant lumps or unusual formations in my abdomen. I still have a pain in my side, but the MRI looks clean.

2. Saw a heart specialist that said (for the second time in six months) my problems are not being caused by my heart. I visited Dr. Procopchek at Lewis Gail clinic who was by far the most helpful of any physician I have seen since this frustrating ordeal started years ago. This visit was the third time I have been referred to him. I think that when most doctors who work in general practice or emergency hear the word dizziness they immediately think "heart" without listening to the other symptoms the patient has. I told the Dr who sent me that I know it's not my heart and that I've been down this path two times before, yet she sent me anyway. Regardless, it's reassuring when the heart doc says "there's nothing wrong with your heart". I thought since "Dr. Pro" was a specialist that he wouldn't want to hear about the troubles I was having since it's nothing to do with my cardiac health. I was wrong. He spent about 30 minutes asking me questions about my symptoms and was very, very helpful. He suggested that I see an endocrinologist and was pleased to hear that I already have an appointment with one.

3. I was able to secure an appointmentwith Dr. Priddy at Salem PCA. Dr. Procopchek was the fourth person who has said that Dr. Priddy is the most thorough and top-notch doctor in the valley - good to know. He said that he will get to the bottom of my problems. I only wish I could see him before my June 20th appointment date!

Still searching...

Wednesday was not a good day. I awoke to the alarm at 6am and got up to take my thyroid pill. I felt a lot more tired than normal and went back to bed with the snooze set to bother me every 10 minutes. After three touches of the snooze bar I got up to shave and shower like usual. About half way through shaving I had to sit down on the bathroom floor because I was so tired and nauseated. After a few minutes I finished up with the razor and jumped in the shower.

The shower did not go any better. I was able to stand for about three minutes, but I really thought I was going to go down in a heap. I was able to get dried off and back into the bedroom before collapsing onto the bed.

I also noticed the last few days that the annoying, gnawing pain in my left side (just below my rib cage) has continued to worsen. The pain has been there on-and-off as long as I can remember. It's usually been nothing more than a "stitch".

After a half hour or so I felt well enough to go to work, but by late morning was back in the Urgent Care Center at PCA in Salem. I wasn't very nice. When you feel as bad as I do and your told that it will be several weeks (at the earliest) that a Dr can see you, you become a bit cranky. It's not my fault that my regular Dr moved out of state!

So, some more blood was drawn, a pee sample taken and an MRI ordered.

At 3:45pm I was inside the open MRI machine at Advanced Imaging on Franklin Road here in Roanoke. These folks were awesome. They made me feel comfortable the entire visit. I don't have any results yet and I'm starting to get a little upset with PCA in Salem. The MRI tech said that they would have the results back in PCA's hands in 30 minutes.

I still have not received the call from PCA with the results. Pathetic.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

A little pill and a bunch of holes

I awoke Saturday morning praying that I wouldn't feel anything like I did the day before. I had a ray of hope that the script for Levothyroxin the doc had written for me would make some sort of difference. It's a tiny pill that is basically synthetic thyroid hormone. As I understand it, if your thyroid gland doesn't produce thyroid hormone like it should, your entire system can get all off kilter. Hmmm, sounds like my life the past three years.

At 6am I popped a pill and went back to bed for an hour (you have to take these on an empty stomach, so I couldn't have breakfast or anything). The alarm summoned me again at 7am and I started my day feeling much better than I have in weeks. Today is Sunday and only the second day of taking the little magic pills, but I am noticing a difference and I like what's happening.

So, after some grub I packed a few tools and headed to Carvins Cove to install some trail signs we've been working on for a while. Brain and I stopped by the Roanoke County Parks & Rec building to pick up the Ditch Witch SK500 trail machine and the fancy auger attachment.

We met up with Paul, Adam and his wife Kim and the Grandfather, who's truck was full of trail signs and posts and all ready for installation!

We drove the caravan of vehicles as far as we could into the Cove before unloading the DW and augering out the first of many holes. After some experimenting with different augering methods, and a quick 45 degree chainsaw cut to the top of the post (so water runs off) we placed the first sign of the day in the ground at the intersection of Happy Valley, Schoolhouse and Little Bell. Looks good, doesn't it?

As the day progressed, my little magic pill I had taken continued to work just fine. I felt great all day and more "normal" than in a long, long time. I pray it continues. We worked until about 4:30pm and knocked out most of the signs on the "lower" trails. We hope to head back out there to complete the job next Saturday.

Friday, June 01, 2007


Well, I felt so crappy this morning that I headed in to see the doctor again. I have been doing a ton of research on thyroid disorders and had explained that my symptoms seem to be identical to what is listed at many sites online. He agreed and has referred me to an endocrinologist and also has given me a prescription for a synthetic thyroid hormone, which we suspect my body is not producing enough of. Trouble is, the endocrinologist can not see me until June 18th. I hope the meds the doc gave me do something so I can get back to a least riding a little bit.

I'm going to go to the Cove in the morning to work on putting in some trail signs, so we'll see how that goes...

This is enough

Wednesday and Thursday were good days. I felt close to my normal self. Today sucks. I feel like I'm dehydrated again, but I can't be - I haven't done anything in almost two weeks! I'm shaky, ache all over, tired and very irritable. This is getting very old.