Saturday, May 18, 2013

Saturday Stroll and Some Decision Making

I missed the Perkis People meeting today. The alarm went off at 5 am for Dave and again at 6:45 for me. However, after I turned it off the second time I don't remember a thing until I saw it was 8:05. The group was meeting at Oaks at 8:00. I wasn't going to make it.

No worries. I got up, had breakfast and went out for my own solo miles around Media. This time I headed west-ish (that's assuming that 252 really is a north-south road which it very likely is not) toward Rose Valley. Here is the map. I wore the garmin for the distance and for the heart rate monitor. I haven't worn the monitor in a while and it was annoying at first. (more on that later)

Today it's cloudy. We are expecting rain and possible thunderstorms tomorrow and it shows. The air was cool (about 65 ish when I started out) and it was a tad** humid but nothing like it will be in a few weeks or so. I was not uncomfortable by any means. It's been a long time since I wandered like this around the area and I forgot how much I enjoy it. I stopped to take photos and read historic markers and notice the many unique houses that are part of this area.

** That was just for you Carolyn. :) Oh and that's LA Carolyn G not PA Carolyn G. ;)

Which leads me to part two of this post - Decision making.

This is not a spontaneous decision. It's kind of been bouncing around the back burner of my brain for about a week. Today's walk made me realize it was the right decision for a lot of reasons.

I'm taking the Century Ride off my calendar.

Here's just some of the many thoughts that go into it.

I've never ridden more than 20 miles at a time. I was only giving myself 16 weeks (June 9 - September 29) to get ready for 100. This did not bother me at all when I first decided to do it. At that time, I expected to be in marathon shape two weeks prior to the the start of Century Ride training. Different sport, yes, but my endurance both heart (ironic no?) and legs would have been in a good place to start the CR training. And it was a good plan as far as it went. Right up to my 20 mile run on April 13th everything was awesome. Every week was great. I was really going into this marathon strong.

However, even if I get answers and clearance from the doc this week (unlikely and more on that later) I will still have missed one month of running or cycling. My confidence in the short training schedule isn't there anymore.

So combine all that with how great it feels to return to "wander-walking" last weekend and today and it's easy to take the bike ride off the table. Since 2007 when I trained for the MS Walk (2 days 30 miles) I've been working toward some event (sometimes multiple events) pretty much all the time. Maybe it's time to take a step back from that. I love to walk/hike. Without an event to 'get ready' for I can do more of that without worrying about pace or clocks. I really like that idea. Excercise for fun :)

I have to admit that I'm only about 99% on board with this. The 1% that isn't is the stupid voices in my head that tell me I'm quitting. I'm not listening though. Those are the voices that controlled me for far too many years. They don't really tell me the truth they (the voices) always worried about what other people would think. I'm proud that they are confined to only 1% of my brain now. I'll probably never get rid of them completely but I finally learned that I don't have to listen.

This could be really good for me. On my bucket list is a mutli day walking event. Maybe I can work toward that now. Of course if the doc finds something and tells me I shouldn't walk either.... well somebody please just shoot me.

Which brings me to part III of this already long post but some of you have been asking. Health update

The docs (GP and Cardiologist) played ping pong with me as the ball this past week. I tried to make appointments and each insisted I needed to go to the other. The cardiologist's staff are bonkers though because - DUH - the tests were on my heart. Yet the admins there swear that because the GP ordered the tests I need to go there first.

Michelle a nurse at the GP's office is the only one willing to talk to me and try to help me figure out where to go from here. I asked her early on to help me try to maximize my time at the (any) doctor office. I don't want to go in for a visit only to be told that the results were inconclusive and  I need more tests. Since my insurance requires approval/referrals for any testing I can't get the testing done on the same day as the DR visit unless we plan for that.

Well when I last spoke to her on Wednesday (I was out of town on Thursday and Friday was too busy at work that by the time I called she was gone for the day) she reported that the holter monitor test was in my file but it was in cardiologist speak and she was trying to get someone from that office to at least tell her if there was an issue revealed or not. Oh and it turns out a different cardiologist than the one who did the echocardiogram read the holter monitor results. All because Cardio doc #1's office had just been acquired by another company and the system wasn't up and running yet so they sent me to the hospital out patient lab for the monitor. And that meant a different doc read the results. Good grief!

As if that (too many cooks, I mean docs)  wasn't good reason enough to be glad I'm insisting on answers before I go in, I also found out that the echo results weren't in the file at all. Michelle was going to track those down. Since she didn't call ME on Friday (she's been pretty good about follow up) I'm assuming she doesn't have an answer or has too many other patients to deal with right now. Being a patient requires a lot of patience these days.

So when and if I get a hold of her next week, I need to know that all the results are in one place and whether or not I need to come in yet. I'm getting to the point though where I want to make an appointment and plant myself in somebody's office until they give me something. Another thought (tongue in cheek, I swear) is to go out running, pass out and let the ER take care of me. When I told Dave that he said he could just see me on the gurney saying "Ha, I showed YOU!. I promise though I'm not that dumb. ..... Ok at least about this :)

How did I feel today? I wore the heart monitor thinking that maybe I could see a correlation between heart rate and irregular activity. But they started almost half a block into the walk and continued pretty much continuously the whole time. They waffle now between flutters and harder sustained pressure - maybe a few seconds. Not really hard pressure. More like what I imagine it feels like to push a whole mouse through a boa constrictor but just for short stints.

I am aware that maybe walking isn't a good idea either but a) I feel much less vulnerable walking than running or biking; b) I need to do something for the nerves and this works and c) the "incidents" happen even when I'm sitting still.

I did try to run a few steps today- about 10 yards maybe. The rate of irregularity increased and I felt a tiny bit light headed so I stopped. The good news is that I made it up the hill on Ridley Creek Road/Orange Street from Knowlton Road to the train station (mile 4 to 5 on the map) without having to stop and rest (as I did on a similar hill last weekend).

Stay tuned, keep smiling and keep moving.


  1. Hope you get some answers soon!

  2. Well all this sounds a tad familiar! (I bet PA CG would make ta-ud just one syllable! LOL). It sure sounds like the mitral valve leak that Rick had and he had to have an angiogram to determine if surgery was warranted or if medication could do the trick. Let's root for medication--but Rick is doing fine and they are telling him he is going to be better than new! In fact he is outside barbecuing as I type! (I have doubled my daily vitamins so I will be able to keep up).
    In any case I am glad you are considering options other than running and strenuous (long) biking until you get answers.

    It's a shame that you are going to have to pitch a hissy fit (do y'all have hissy fits in PA?) in order to get answers though. Same thing happened to Rick. The Primary Care Physician, the cardiologist and the surgeon seemed to use Pony Express and smoke signals in order to get messages to each other!
    I might be crazy but the 911 ambulance call sounds plausible (not really--but it does spark the imagination!)

    In any case I am glad you have such a positive attitude. You are so flexible in working out Plan B's. A fine example for everyone!

    Not worried about you! You are a trooper! And you are already in such good condition! All you need is a little tweaking! You got this!! (Whatever "this" turns out to be!)

  3. How aggravating!!
    And it's not quitting to make a good decision based on thought and reason...