Transplant Athlete
Saturday, January 31, 2009
  Sprinting With Eddie

I was thinking of going outside to ride with the Reston Bike Club today, but then I thought I should take my new mountain bike for a spin. Then I checked the weather report...23 degrees. Yipes, better do some sprints with Eddie instead.

I got on the trainer and rode for 30 minutes with a near vomit inducing sprint in the middle. I took a short break to check my blood pressure, then got back on for another 30 minutes.


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Thursday, January 29, 2009

It just occurred to me to check the DCRAND website to find the brevet dates...They all start on Saturdays. I guess I knew that would be happening, but I didn't really think about it. I'm not going to be able to ride in any brevets unless I change my dialysis schedule, but I could volunteer for them.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009
  What Inspires You

I've been thinking a lot about that question lately...

What inspires me? What makes me get out of bed in the morning? Today, I was thumbing through Bicycling magazine and saw an article about Shad Ireland and his 4,000 mile trek across the country by bike starting in May. I've got a couple events on my calendar for the year, but nothing as big as RAAM. Being a slave to a dialysis machine, I'll have difficulty doing anything longer than 24 hours, even supporting a rider. That is until I get a home hemo unit...

I was thinking of doing a PACTour this year, something to give me a goal to work toward. We'll see.


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  Letter To Shad Ireland

Hi Shad,

We have a lot in common. I'm about a year older than you, I was also diagnosed with MPGN in 1986. My kidneys failed and I received a transplant from my mother in 2000 at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Virginia. I made my first trip across the country by bicycle in 2001, it was a tour and we averaged 130 miles a day for 26 days and crossed from Everett, WA to Williamsburg, VA. I was 40 lbs heavier from the prednisone, but I loved every minute of it.

I then raced on a 4 person team in the Race Across America(RAAM) in 2005 and we crossed from San Diego, CA to Atlantic City, NJ in 7 days 14 hours and 39 minutes. I tried racing solo in the 2006 RAAM, I crashed north of Flagstaff and broke some ribs and had to leave the race. I also tried the solo RAAM again in 2007 but I was pulled from the race in Kansas for missing a mandatory time cut-off. My kidney function started dropping in late 2007 so I was unable to train for the 2008 race. However, I was able to support a rider during the event.

My transplant finally failed in August of 2008 and I have been on dialysis ever since (Davita In Center Hemo). I've been a member of my local National Kidney Foundation Speaker's Bureau and have given talks on kidney health in the DC metro area; however, I am not currently active. I publish a blog, "The Transplant Athlete" which I don't have the heart to change to "The Dialysis Athlete".

If you are in the Northern Virginia area, give me a call (xxx-xxx-xxxx) and we can go for a ride. If you need help with logistics or support, let me know, I'll be glad to help.


Lou Lamoureux

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  Caveat Emptor

Doubt Kills Dreams asked "Why buy new, when I could pick up something for 1/3 the cost on craigslist?"

That's a very good question. Here are some of my reasons:

  • By buying new, I can be sure that the bike isn't stolen. From what I've heard in the paceline, many of the bikes stolen in my area end up on craigslist.
  • I can be sure the bike is in mint condition; no cracks in the frame hidden by fresh paint, no worn down rims or brakes that don't work. It's a safety issue for me. If I was short on cash, I probably wouldn't be so picky, but I've got three kids and the money to spare. Bikes don't have (reliable accurate) odometers, so it can be impossible to tell how much wear and tear the bike really has on it.
  • I had $78 in Performance bucks and a Gift card.
  • They offered it at a great price.
  • I was supporting my local bike shop and the economy.

I don't mind buying new when I know I'm going to wear it out. I bought my Cavalier new and put 200,000 miles on it. We considered buying used when we replaced the Cavalier; but, having a warranty, and knowing the maintenance history of a vehicle is well worth the extra money if you're going to put 200,000 miles on it while carrying your kids.

of course, there are a few things I'll never buy used.

  1. Toilet paper
  2. Medicine
  3. Climbing gear

As a side note, a guy I used to work with bought a VCR out on the street one day. They were selling them out the back of a truck in Newark, NJ. That wasn't unusual because it was after all Newark and trucks end up going missing all the time, my friend just assumed it was stolen merchandise. The boxes in the truck looked like new and were all shrinkwrapped. He waited until he got back to the office to open it up and the box contained one brand new ROCK.

ahh, I miss working in Newark...the danger, the excitement...


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You Might Be A Redneck If...
What Would Brian Boitano Do?
My Favorite

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009
  Don't Laugh At My Mongoose

I bought my first mountain bike yesterday. I know real mountain bikers will laugh at my Mongoose, But I just wanted an entry level bike and I didn't want to spend a fortune on it. I spent a couple hundred bucks on my first road bike and when I got serious I spent a lot more on my next bike, I suspect the same thing will happen this time around. I took it for a test ride at Performance in Reston, I didn't even get the chance to ask how low he could go when he scurried off to ask his manager how low he could go. The bike lists for $899 and he asked for $600. I had $38 in Performance points and a $40 gift certificate dropping the price further. Still on my wishlist? Tandem - so I can ride with Q or RJ. Singlespeed - to see what all the fuss is about.

Speaking of Q, her boyfriend took her for a Mani-Pedi yesterday morning. I had thought she was a tomboy; but I learned she was a girl when I asked her if she wanted to go ice skating. Her response, "Dad, I just had my nails done..."

ABL eventually convinced her she wouldn't damage her nails ice skating, so we got to go. I skate well enough, but I've only ever had figure skates. The Ashburn Ice House rents Hockey skates, so I tried out a pair. MUCH FASTER! The absence of a toe pick took some getting used to though. I fell a couple of times - Hard. My knees still hurt today. The worst crash was to avoid a little girl who was skating backwards and not looking where she was going. Q fell a lot and so we called it quits early.


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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

...the great fire of 1979 that supposively started in your garage when that chipmunk ingested some fertilizer and then fell into a can of kerosene, instantly turning him into a flying little fluffy little molitoff cocktail that set ablaze leveling the whole neighborhood west of Newton's Hardware Store?
You started that fire?
No but that was pretty cool huh?

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Friday, January 16, 2009
  Back On The Bike

It's a good thing none of my bikes are made of steel. Instead of dusting off my trusty steed, I'd be scraping off my rusty steed.

I spent about an hour looking for my shorts (couldn't find them), shoes (eventually found them), pump, rear skewer (the trailer skewer is on and it wasn't designed to fit the trainer) all for 20 minutes of riding. It's been 4 or 5 months since I've ridden.

I needed to ride today. I've been gaining a lot of fluid between treatments and the nephrologist wants me to come in for an extra treatment to get rid of the extra fluid. The nephrologist says I'm drinking too much, I think I'm not urinating enough. My urine output has dropped precipitously. If it stays on this trajectory, I soon may not be making any urine at all.


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Tuesday, January 13, 2009
  Catheter Is History

I got the catheter out today. Yeah Me.

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Sunday, January 11, 2009
  Dialysis Newbie Newsletter

I was asked by the social worker at the Davita clinic if I would write a short note that could be included with Welcome Pack that Davita gives to all new patients. The link above takes you to some statistics regarding kidney disease from the NIH. According to the numbers(from 2005), there are 15.5 million Americans showing evidence of a chronic kidney disease. There are 485,000 people undergoing treatment for End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). The number of people on dialysis is 341,319. More importantly, 17.68% (85,790) of those people undergoing treatment for ESRD die.

I was in a surly mood last night and thought it should be something like this:

Welcome fellow dialysis patient. You're probably confused, I was. You're probably overwhelmed, I was. You're probably scared, I was. Only time and education will take away your fears. It'll take time to learn about your treatment. It'll take time to learn how your body reacts to treatment. Once you get settled in, run don't walk to your nearest NKF office and ask them what you can do to promote organ donation. Dialysis can sustain your life, but statistically speaking, your chances of dying are much higher on dialysis than they are with a transplant. If your doctor is telling you are not a candidate for a transplant, get a second opinion.

First of all, it's too long, they're looking for just 50 words. Second, I doubt they'd print it in it's entirety, they'd cut it down so that it would look like all the other platitudes they'll be printing. "You can do it" "You'll be ok" etc...


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Friday, January 09, 2009
  Forgotten Resolution

I forgot one of the things I wanted to do in 2009: 24 hour Mountain Bike Racing!


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Monday, January 05, 2009
  Nut Bombs

Since having kids, I've been embroiled in the peanut allergies debate. While discussing the subject with a friend at one of my daughter's gym classes, I was "educated" by some random woman who decided she needed to tell me how serious they are and what the proper precautions are for dealing with it (apparently you have to wash your hands, hand sanitizer doesn't get rid of peanut allergans).

My son's preschool is nut-free, my daughter's kindergarten isn't nut-free, but it has a nut-free table in the lunch room. The article link above is from Time Magazine and shows how crazy people get about nut allergies...Can you imagine evacuating a bus because of a stray peanut? These are not bombs people they are snack food. I overheard one mother telling another "We found out our kid had a peanut allergy in the womb." The other mother asked, "did you have him tested?" The response was, "why should we test him, we already know he's allergic?" I just about fell out of my chair, this poor kid will never get to taste peanut butter because his mom had gas while he was in her womb. With the fervor and insanity surrounding peanut free nuts(crazy people) there's much mis-information that gets passed from mother to mother.

If I've done the math right (and my sources are correct), you're more likely to die from(in no particular order):

  • Your clothes catching fire.
  • Car accident
  • Dying in your bathtub
  • falling from a ladder
  • Excessive cold
  • excessive heat
  • Drowning
  • Railway accident
  • Dying from gunshot wounds
  • dying from Diabetes

Odds of dying from a handgun assault 1 in 299, odds of dying from diabetes 1 in 4300, odds of dying from a vicious peanut attack...1 in 22,000. Let's have some proper education and responses proportional to the severity of the problem please.


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Thursday, January 01, 2009
  Happy New Year!

What are your resolutions for the new year?

    Mine, in no particular order:
  • Finish work on the house (includes stairs, office nook, solar thermal, chimney)
  • Repair, Ecomod, electrify Cavalier.
  • Ecomod Escape and Mazda (mostly underbelly pans on both)
  • Teach Q to read & Get RJ ready for Kindergarten
  • Compete in the National 24 Hour Challenge and beat my previous distance.
  • Gain weight

I think that covers the main ones.

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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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