Showing posts from February, 2012

If I Have to Have a Stepdaughter...

My mom is in her 84th year. I remember thinking this time last year that there's no way she would still be with us in a year from now or even six months for that matter. I'm guessing that most of my siblings felt the same given the weakness of her heart but she's still embracing life. She had an appointment last Thursday to meet with a woman to go over her living-will and finalize some other end of life details. Her green Ford Escort still doing the job of 'escorting' her around. It's not an easy subject to bring up but I was curious about her thoughts of dying. I had the sense that she was comfortable talking about it and so we did recently. She said it's not something she dwells on but given the appointment she just had regarding her living-will, she's been thinking about it more than usual. She went on to say that she's not at all afraid to leave this life and I could tell from the way she said it that she wasn't trying to convince herself

That Won't Be Necessary

Picking up where I left off yesterday... When I was first admitted to the hospital a few weeks ago and updated my Facebook status about my condition, a co-worker, Leslee, suggested that I make sure they check for Factor V Leiden. I work with some smart people. It turns out she was right! From what I understand, Factor V is just one of the many blood clotting mechanisms that kick in when necessary. In my case, my Factor V is a mutant strain that doesn't shut down when it's no longer needed. It becomes hypercoagulable, meaning it continues to cause clotting beyond the point where it should, and unfortunately for me, it resulted in a DVT or Deep Vein Thrombosis. This video gives a detailed look at what actually happened within me. We're quite sure it was one of the falls I took on my Mukluk that caused the initial injury that resulted in the clotting. This Wikipedia link gives a good summary about Factor V Leiden. I left the retirement briefing at work fully expect

A Phone Call from Quello and some Serious Considerations

There was a message waiting for me on our home phone Tuesday afternoon when I came home from work requesting that I call my doctor to find out the results of some blood work that was done on me while I was in the hospital. All the nurse could tell me was that I was a carrier for a condition called Factor V Leiden but that I'd need to meet with my doctor to learn more. I was familiar with Factor V because a friend at work is also a carrier and she suggested early on that I may be as well. I don't want to sound dramatic but my whole world stopped for a time as my mind immediately began to explore worst-case scenarios and what it would mean to me. The most pressing question I had was would I be able to come off Coumadin in one year as we'd planned so I could resume my riding or would I be left on it permanently and somehow have to forget about ever riding the roads again? I called right away and made an appointment for the next day. Air traffic controllers have a mandator

A Workaround

It's no secret that I've got an addiction to working out. If I don't get my fix I become preoccupied with satisfying it and the longer I live outside of my routine, the edgier I can become. For the most part, it's a positive addiction but occasionally I can take it to the extreme as I set goals that push me further than I should maybe go. But I find a lot of satisfaction in my accomplishments, especially on my bike—it's what I love. That's why it was such a blow to me when my doctor told me that I couldn't ride for one full year while on Coumadin for my bilateral pulmonary embolism. It's not lost on me that it's for my own good; I get that.  But orders to stay off my rollers too? Hmm. I could sense the walls closing in as withdrawal began in earnest. CompuTrainer ( defunct as of 2/2017) has been around since 1986. I'd heard of it/them but I never felt the desire to learn more about the product, much less buy one, until recently when some guy

Thoughts of Reviving an Old Love

As much as I enjoy biking, there's something that I used to enjoy even more: running. It was late summer 1983 and I'd recently been exiled to Huron , South Dakota working for the FAA at the Flight Service Station there. I remember being in my car one afternoon on the north end of the city and noticing a runner appearing to move effortlessly alongside me as I slowed for a stop sign. There was something about that image that both intrigued me and stayed with me. In the summer of 1984, the seeds planted in my subconscious from seeing that runner one year earlier began to take root. I'd sometimes go for walks at night to sort through whatever thoughts may have been troubling me. They were typically thoughts of how I'd ended up in Huron. On one of those walks, I decided to throw in some running. I'd run for a block then walk for a block and repeat that several times. It didn't take long before I'd built up enough fitness to run most of the two-mile route. Th