Sunday, June 12, 2005

Real lreal ife

Life has a way of getting in the way of the cycling life we live in our BLOGs. Work, kids, spouses, etc. But sometimes real real life comes knocking too. Puts a lot of the little things that dominate my daily thinking into perspective, yet also has highlighted how mtn bike racing is saving my life.

My Dad has had a really bad back forever. He decides to pursue reconstructive back sugery, so I was planning on coming out to CA today to help out my mom. It's amazing the amount of pain he has endured on a daily basis. The doctors can't believe he is able to walk given how extensive his damage is. It's amazing the things that people endure on a regular basis, yet in my cycling life I think I'm hot shit for riding till I cramp or at least try to cramp.

I want to be out there to give support yet at the same time in the back of my mind I'm trying to figure out how I'll be able to get some training in to keep the legs from rigor mortising away. Sad, but tell me you wouldn't be thinking the same thing?

They start the surgery yesterday, then halfway through they stop it because of an anomoly in the EKG. So they run some enzyme tests to see what happened and all come up negative. Then they run them again a little while later and it shows some damage to the heart. Not an actual heart attack, but still damage. So they decide to do a full angiogram with the dye and all to see the extent of what happened in order to finish the back surgery.

3 discs shot to hell, and they only finished with one, and the back is not stabilized now and they have to finish or risk serious injury to the spinal cord.

Good news /bad news. Angiogram shows no discernable damage to the heart to correlate to the EKG anomoly they saw during the surgery, Bad news is that his coronary arteries are showing 99.9 blockage. Within an hour of the results of the angiogram they got him signed up or a Coronary bypass surgery, it is that bad. They kind of thing where he'd be dead in 6 mos if they hadn't have found it. But with just coming off the halfway back surgery and his other medical issues his risk factors for this surgery go up.

So last night late they do the bypass surgery. Can't freaking believe my brother and mom didn't call at all. So all night I'm up worrying what is going on and without any news think only the worst. They were thinking that if it was bad news that they'd call me, and that they didn't want to bother me during the night. I was already on the earliest flight out today anyway. Finally reach my brother and they ended up doing a full quadruple bypass on him. And he is recovering ok, but the next 48 hrs are the most important.

Sort of hits home how trivial disc brakes and fork tuning and hill repeats are. Yet at the same time, also hits home how my cycling lifestyle is helping to keep my healthy and will hopefully keep me alive and well so my kids and wife don't have to deal with my bypass surgery.

Mom's side of the family, 2 heart attacks before 50, another death from heart attack. Dad's side, total heart blockage yet without any telltale factors, smoking, overweight, etc. Can you say genetics. The lack of cycling genetics that I have are more than covered with bad heart genetics.

I was a overweight before I started riding. Ate like crap. If it wasn't for my wife I'd still eat like crap. If it wasn't for racing and the desire to get better at it, I wouldn't be doing a whole lot for fitness. I know because when I stopped racing when the kids were young I didn't do a whole lot. It was too easy to just not ride that day when other things come up. My wife is much better able to ride/excercise well with no competition to drive it, but for me I need that to help motivate me.

My brother and sister don't excercise like I do. The writing is on the wall and it isn't good.

Even with the cycling I need to get my diet under control. I'm waiting on the NSF study about the link between heart disease and Reese's before I totally give them up, but burgers and fries need to go. That is going to be hard.

He's still got the second half of the back surgery to go through so still one more bridge to cross.



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