Transplant Athlete
Sunday, April 30, 2006
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A little over a week ago(a tuesday) I was sprinting across an intersection with the kids behind me in a trailer and my back spasmed. When the pain didn't ease up, I went to see a doctor at my PCP's office(on thursday). I was prescribed a Muscle Relaxant and told to Ice my back after exercise and to heat and stretch my back before exercise. The muscle relaxant gave me most of my range of motion back, but I was in a lot of pain. On Saturday, I rode in the Katie Ride, a 63 mile charity ride in Florida. The group I was in averaged 21 mph.

Then on Sunday, I rode an easy century with the DC Randonneurs. It was easy until the last 30 or 40 miles when the THREE TANDEMS got a little frisky. I think it started when Steve and Lin went up to relieve Chuck and Crista who had been on the front for awhile. A little ways down the road, Ed and Mary came screaming by and we all followed. We rode 6 or 7 miles to the last rest stop between 25 and 30 mph.

Anyway...I couldn't really get out of the saddle to climb, because my back was in pain. While I could keep up, I was really trying to keep my back as stationary as possible and tried not to push too hard on the pedals. By Wednesday, I was in extreme pain anytime I moved. Getting up from the table, Ouch. Picking the kids up. Ouch. Stretching. Ouch. I made an appointment to see a chiropractor later in the day. He did a bit of Electrical stimulation, adjusted my back, did some deep tissue massage, and stretched out my Pirformis and my hamstrings. By then end of the treatment, I was able to stretch without pain and I could tell that I would be able to train again. I did the Thursday ride with the RBC which went very well. I went back for another treatment Friday.

I rode to the start of "General Reno's Revenge" on Saturday. The ride description says 10,000 feet of climbing and this would be a key test for my back. Which I'm happy to say it passed with flying colors. I saw Keith Krombel when I first pulled into the Parking lot at Point of Rocks Maryland. I spent about 20 minutes trying to get my cycling computer to work, but in the end, I just pulled the pickup away from the spokes. It was a beautiful day and I eventually caught up to Chris Mento, Carol, Jeff, and Rudy Hewitt at the lunch stop. We got about a mile from the lunch stop when I slid in behind Chris and immediately noticed that his wheel was all wonky. He had broken a spoke. God Bless Rudy, he had a spare spoke, cassette lockring tool, and a wrench for the lockring tool. It took them awhile, but they got the wheel trued back up and we were on our way. I wonder what else Rudy has in that pack of his...

I had one Lance Armstrong moment. I was a bit slow on the ascents, so I would book down the descents to catch back up to the group. On one steep descent, I saw Carol slow way down for a 90 degree left hand turn. I jammed on the brakes hard, but I was going in to fast and would have slammed right into her. So, I kept on the brakes and went straight. Luckily there was a stretch of 10 or 20 feet of grassy area just past the turn. I was able to turn around and get back on the road without having to get off the bike.

Total mileage for the day: 132. Total time on the road: 13.5 hours. Approximately 3 hours off the bike.


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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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