Transplant Athlete
Monday, July 04, 2005
  Out of Africa

I found out in Cortez, Colorado that Martin had brought an upper respiratory infection back from Africa and his chest was bothering him. Hello. Immuno-Supressed rider here. After a really long pull, and finding out he showed up to the start line sick, I was pretty pissed. The story was that he may have gotten a cold from Bill, but at least I know where my cold came from. To make matters worse, the crew wasn't really washing out the waterbottles.

When we started, the crew filled up all the bottles, some with Hammer HEED, some with Perpetuem, and I think there were a couple with water or gatorade. It was kind of pot luck grabbing a bottle out of the cooler. To get a specific drink, usually the crew spritzed out some into their mouths to determine what was in the bottle. Later, the bottles were labeled with the contents. Then they were marked by rider. The drinks were mixed a bit sweet for my tastes, so I ended up just drinking water. I tried to hold on to the same bottle; since they weren't washed very well, very often my water tasted like Starburst candy.

A big thanks to Clint Phillips (Martin's Brother) for bringing Sun and Nikki. They are excellent massage therapists and had me feeling like a million bucks at the start line and have kept me rolling ever since. Sun also explained why I was feeling pain in my leg on my Softride. I was rubbing the Sciatic nerve the wrong way, probably because of the Carbon Fiber seat. Masssage and stretching seemed to help the problem, but I might switch back to the gel saddle on the softride and try the Carbon fiber saddle on the Litespeed. I'm sure this slowed me down during the 24 Hour Sebring time trial, within 10 miles of the start, my leg was hurting.

My wife sent a packet of envelopes for me to open each day of RAAM. The first had some drawings she must have made with my daughter and this is what she wrote “Congratulations on making one of your dreams come true. Not many people are so lucky, so enjoy every moment of it. Love Adrienne, Lorelai Q, and Roland.” The second had this written ”THE ITALIANS ARE COMING…Oh and Eddie is a real son of a bitch” For those who don’t know, the first quote is from Breaking Away with Dennis Quaid and the second quote is from American Flyers with Kevin Costner. The third had this to say ”Have you made anyone cry today?” this is a line from a Julia Stiles movie, Ten Things I Hate About You. This last quote seemed somewhat prescient (i'll explain in the next post), but I think she meant it more along the lines of the game Lance Armstrong plays with his son Luke:

Lance: "What does daddy do?"
Luke: "Make them suffer."

Here are three more crewmembers who made a difference.
Derek teaches college students in Colorado and kept my bike and spirits well adjusted
Derek teaches college students in Colorado. He kept my bike rolling along and together with Scott gave me advice that got me through some of the roughest parts of RAAM.
Jacques got my bikes ready to go and worked tirelessly to keep us riding
Jacques kept my bikes rolling along, I was the most trouble for him, I was the only rider on Campy and I only brought tubular wheels with me. "Where's my crack pipe?"

Scott had great advice that kept me from getting discouraged
Scott and Derek kept me sane with their advice during RAAM. They and the other crew members often worked to the point of exhaustion to keep us rolling along.


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I've gone through kidney failure twice. The first time in 2000, my mother donated a kidney; and again in 2008, I'm on dialysis waiting for a breakthrough in immuno-suppression medicines before seeking a new kidney.

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Warning Signs for Kidney Disease:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • Burning or Difficulty when Urinating
  • Frequent Urination at Night
  • Blood in your urine
  • Cola or tea colored urine
  • Swellig of the eyes, ankles, or feet
  • Lower back pain unrelated to physical activity

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