Sunday, January 10, 2010

Whole Lot of Shakin' Going On!

I had planned to FINALLY start updating this scree and let you know more about the surgery I underwent last August, but then something a little more important came up...

Yesterday at 4:27 pm, a magnitude 6.5 earthquake hit Humboldt County. Although not as large as the Loma Prieta quake that I experienced in '89, this was still a good sized shaker. It started rather innocuously, so I just sat there. Then there was a loud "boom" and the place started shaking back and forth with quite a bit of force. The power went out and I watched the rhody bushes out back shaking as if in a strong wind. I could hear things falling in the office (nothing broken though). I got to the nearest interior wall and waited for the shaking to stop. It seemed to shake for about 20 seconds. Afterwards, I went through a mental checklist of things (water, checking for gas leaks, powering up the battery radio, etc.). I waited to hear the sirens of a tsunami alert, but the radio said there was no threat.

I drove down to the coffee roaster to see if there was any damage there, but the flashlight I had was pretty dismal (note to self - get better flashlight for roastery). Again, checked for gas leaks and other than a few things that fell off the wall and no power, everything appeared fine. I went back today after power was restored and everything is okay.

Charlie is out of town on business, but we've talked a few times since the quake. It appears that Eureka came off worst in this. Lots of broken windows, a few buildings knocked off their foundations, chimneys toppled, etc. There are lots of pictures on the web and a couple of videos. My favorite is the PlazaCam looking towards Tavern Row. You can check it out here.
And here's a video from inside the Arcata Co-op.

I will write about my recovery from surgery soon. And this time, I mean it!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Time to get back to it

It's been a while since I've written anything here and there is much to talk about. I am putting my brain back into writing mode and will update this blog (maybe even with pictures) later this weekend. Promise!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

T Minus 18 Days

As the title says, only 18 days till I get my spinal column drilled into. I am really looking forward to some pain relief and having the ability to walk more than 50 feet without my legs going numb.

Charlie's work travel schedule is positively insane these days. Today she's on a flight to NYC. From there it's Arkansas, home for 2 days then back on a plane to Chicago and Milwaukee. Of course being out of the office means longer days at the office playing catch up, so our time together right now is pretty limited. I miss her...

One trip that she's looking forward to is to Vicenza, Italy for a trade show in September. We had hopes that I could take a few days off to travel with her, but the recovery from surgery will not allow it. I am heavily bummed since Vicenza is the home of Campagnolo and I would love to pay homage to one of the legendary brands in all of cycling. Maybe next year, I guess.

In the meantime, I have been working on a number of projects all leading to Interbike next month (!). Stay tuned for more news as it develops...

Ta ta for now.

Friday, July 17, 2009

And We're Back On!

Al-righty then! So now we have a NEW scheduled appointment for my back surgery on August 19, a week earlier than the old appointment. So I only have about 4 more weeks to prepare - unless they change things yet again, of course...

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Not So Fast...

An interesting week.

Charlie got a call from the doctor's office - the appointment for August 26 wasn't going to work for the doctor, so we'll have to reschedule. So now it could be as soon as July 29 or as late as August 19; we just don't know. It makes it just a little difficult to plan things that way.

As I said in my last post, Charlie and I are taking this chance to focus on losing some weight and getting into better shape overall. After my ride today (30 rolling miles @ about 17mph), my weight was 218.5, down about 5 pounds from last week. I am sure that some of that was sweat weight, so I won't be surprised to see it come back up when I weigh in tomorrow morning. But I am feeling better and can feel the weight difference. So, I need to keep riding more, drink less alcohol, and try to get some better sleep patterns going. The last appears to be the hardest to achieve, as I am not a fan of drugs (I only take ibuprofin for my back pain). Maybe the fitness will help the sleep - I can only hope...

Monday, July 6, 2009

52 Days

Well, it looks like we finally have a surgery date -August 26. That means I have 52 days to get myself in the best shape possible, to make recovery as quick and pain-free as possible.

This weekend was the 4th of July Jubilee on the Arcata Plaza. As a Chamber of Commerce Board Member, I was expected to be there, and so I was. But I was in so much pain that I was pretty much useless to do anything. There's something embarrassing about standing around being in a conversation and, right in the middle, say that you have to sit down (before you fall down). The pain and numbness are really starting to get to me. I blew off two parties to which I was invited this weekend, simply because I knew that I wasn't going to be very sociable. Sometimes I wish I had some serious pain meds, instead of my friend, Vitamin I...

I've been riding but not nearly hard enough. So, yesterday I decided to push myself a little on the loop out to Blue Lake. I did the 14 city/hilly miles out in just under 45 minutes, which wasn't too bad. The headwind on the ride back slowed me down but I averaged almost 17mph for the ride. I am working on getting into a daily ride routine, riding to work and either riding the trainer upstairs or going for a longer ride after I get home. Add in some weight work and I think I'll be in good stead come August 26th.

This morning, I weighed 223.1 pounds. I want to get that down to 215 before I go in to the hospital. I think it's doable...

Oh yes, the doctor who will work on me is NOT the doctor I have been working with over the past 1 1/2 years; it's the Doctor from whom we got the second second opinion. My doctor doesn't feel an operation is called for (even after 2 second opinions), but won't say why - unless we drive down to see him in person. No telephone consults for this guy! Somehow, I just don't think it's worth driving 600 miles roundtrip, both of us taking a day off work (while losing a weekend) and spending a night in SF for a five minute explanation of why he doesn't want to work with me. I'll wait for a phone call instead...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Uh oh...

Yesterday, Charlie found that the test results were finally sent over to my doctor's office, so she called to set up a conference call with the doctor and me, so we could talk about surgery. Well, the call did NOT go as planned...

The receptionist was not our usual and was, from Charlie's perspective, abrupt and somewhat rude. And for some reason, the doctor, relaying through the receptionist, is not interested in taking the surgical route! I really do not understand; why, if he didn't want to do surgery, did he have me get two "second opinions?" Even worse, he gave no explanation for his decision.

At this point I no longer trust this doctor, and Charlie is in conversation with the doctor we saw 2 weeks ago about having him open me up. In my opinion, if the doctor doesn't want to work on me, I certainly don't want him cutting in to my spine!

So, for now, it's back - yet again - to Square One. I had prepared myself for the operation, and now we don't know when or where or even if I'll be getting my back fixed.

Frustration is nowhere near strong enough to describe my feelings right now. Stay tuned...