Terii’s Cycling Babble

On Again, Off Again
November 22, 2017, 1:26 pm
Filed under: Day Rides, Misc

The title pretty much sums up the way things have been for me. I get to feeling just well enough to push out for a ride and issues either get worse once more or friends join them.

My arm is still pretty annoying though better than it was. Today, I seem able to use it as normal without even noticing except for the occasional little twinge every now and again. Yesterday I was about ready to strap it to my side and pretend I didn’t even have a right arm.

Monday was down right bizarre though it appears it was just the climax of what I had no clue was happening. It seemed to coincide perfectly when the abrupt approach of something like winter weather. The temp dropped to sub-freezing for quite a few days and I just couldn’t seem to get warm. Since the stroke, I’ve felt the cold more, so didn’t associate it with anything other than simply being cold. I did notice that my feet seemed swollen. Shoes that typically fit fine were suddenly quite tight.

Turns out those days of shivering and pinching shoes were probably joined with a low grade fever. Without my other usual symptoms of a fever, I didn’t notice or even think to check my temp. Then this last Monday (November 20th), something just hit me like a freight train. I felt so dizzy that everything spun and I felt like I was looking down a long tunnel. So nauseous even the thought of water made me retch. I checked my blood pressure and it was very low. The cold bit in hard. About noon, I finally got the bright idea to check for a fever.

Yep. Had one. It kept going up even after I took something for it. By 2 pm it was over 101 F. By 4 pm, I was starting to consider the hospital as it was edging up over 103 F. I called a medical advice hotline and talked to a nurse. She didn’t seem particularly worried at that moment, but gave me a recipe for salted sugar water to help with dehydration and low blood sugar and told me if it reached 103.5 to get to the hospital.

I’m glad I waited. The next dose of OTC meds I took seemed to turn the trick and it started going back down. By 8 pm, I was feeling well enough to eat toast and no longer felt the cold like I’d been. Next morning, my tummy still felt a bit delicate, but other wise I felt pretty good. Strength was back, my shoes fit like normal. Most telling perhaps was I didn’t feel the cold nearly as much as I’d been doing the past few days. I’d even slept with the balcony door wide open to the snowy evening with nary a shiver one when I’d been chattering my teeth even with the apartment warm and buttoned up. Just weird.

And yep! Snow! We’ve actually it for 3 or 4 days as I write this. I think it came down on Sunday. Or was it Saturday? Sunday night. I remember now because I was all excited at the idea of going for the first snowy ride of this winter. Not a lot of snow, but still enough to make the scenery different. Of course, the fever hitting me even before Jens left for work changed that idea.

It’s been the longest a snow fall has stuck around in ages. I don’t think snow stayed more than 1 or 2 days all last winter. Maybe even the winter before that. This one is working on day 5 though it’s supposed to rain this evening. *sulk*

I have gotten to ride a couple times since my last post, though no snow. Back when it was a bit warmer. We’ve had a few pretty sunny days at least, I even rode during one of them. The low sun all through the day makes for pretty light when there aren’t any clouds. When there are clouds, it’s kinda dreary and dim though.

What else? Oh! Loke’s eye is looking even better still. The lump is less than half as big as it’s been in the years since it swelled up. No indication of infection either. There was much cause for rejoicing. Even Jens has said it was a good thing we decided to hold off on the surgery when it was considered the first time a few months back.

So, that’s all for now. More updates as they seem necessary.

Dragging Through The Last Of 2017
November 9, 2017, 11:16 am
Filed under: Day Rides, Misc

Sometimes, my years have ‘themes’. Year of wind. Year without a winter. Year of trike problems. Year of broiling hot summer. Thankfully the summer one has been pretty rare the last few years. This year has been ‘The Year of Pain’. Hip and feet almost crippling me in January. Then it was the Lyme disease symptoms for a few months more. Then just struggling with the extra weight and attempting to regain my fitness before my arm decided to become practically useless during which my back joined the fun.

Fortunately, the back was quickly taken care of, but the arm. Now, my left arm is starting to have some issues to.

The arm has actually kept me from cycling for weeks now. The weather took a cold plunge and struggling with layers while my dominant arm can barely manage to lift the tiny TV remote makes dressing for it a herculean task. So… I’ve not ridden much this month.

I did get out for one ride last week. Just a short 3.55 mile jaunt as the temperature did a brief bounce back into the ‘cold Swedish summer’ range. I didn’t feel nearly as breathless and weak as I expected. That might have been due to Loke though. He was surprisingly hyper and even pulled into a run so my effort requirements were a bit lower than usual.

It’s gotten cold again though. Ice and frost. Even a few spates of snow that left less than a 1/16th of an inch, but still, we had flakes swirling through the air! So, back to sighing wistfully at the thought of riding and snarling at my arm.

Oh, and update for Loke’s eye. We had our appointment with the eye specialist on Tuesday (Nov 7th).

I headed out very early given my last experience with taking a morning appointment at Ultuna. Took over an hour and I arrived about 5 minutes late. I did not want a repeat of that. Of course, that mean the 15 minute drive took 20 minutes so I had almost an hour to kill. I took Loke for a 40 minute walk along the river, which he seemed to enjoy.

The waiting room was quite busy. Loke did get to kinda meet a 12 week old chocolate lab puppy. Such a cutie! Poor thing though. Just 12 weeks old and he’d already had hip surgery in his young life. It had been some weeks ago. The only sign of it was a patch of short clipped fur over his left hip. Another couple weeks and it won’t be noticeable.

Very nice woman who had an ‘intern’ vet who was sitting in to get experience in eye-specialization. Loke was his usual, unhappy, but cooperative self. The vet assured me that the lump wasn’t anything ‘dangerous’ from a potential cancer source at least. There were 3 options to deal with it with increasing levels of ‘invasive-ness’.

– Lance it and try to squeeze the congealed lipids out of it like a pimple or abscess.

2 – Schedule a simple surgery to cut the skin open and scoop out as much as possible.

Both of those would leave something behind, which could mean coming back at some point depending on how fast it returned if it did and how long Loke lives.

3 – Cut it all away and hope to be able to rebuild a workable lower eyelid.

That 3rd one has the greatest risk of post surgery problems of course. So, hoping to avoid that one, we decided to go with option 1 for starters. Topical anesthesia, hold Loke’s head, and done with it. There was only a bit of blood and even right away the lump looked a little smaller. She wanted to give him topical and oral antibiotics, but given that Loke already has highly resistant strains of some bacteria, I convinced her to just stick with topical which worked to clear the infection up a couple months ago.

The size has reduced a little more. She warned me that the space left after she got some of the gunk out would fill with blood and that might take a while to be reabsorbed by the body. So, we’ll see. If it gets the size down and takes more than say, 6 months to swell back up (if at all), then I consider it a win and we can repeat again to spare Loke going under for full on surgery. If it does come to that, I think we’ll still go with option 2 first. He’s 12, going on 13. I’d hate to put him through more than is needed if we can manage it in a less invasive fashion. I would feel truly horrible if his last years were spent having to put up with a messed up eyelid that made him uncomfortable for winter of his life.

Recovery has been a snap. He doesn’t seem to have noticed anything. Unless it some relief of the pressure of the skin there. No rubbing or bothering the eye at all. Such a relief!

Oh! And as we were waiting for our number to come up so I could pay, I got to peek at some tiny 18 hour old kittens. They were so tiny and precious!