Wednesday, July 25, 2007

New ink poll

Since about 14 people read this I will need a quorum to abide by your choice. Yes Carolyn, you may vote. Hell, Ames you can even vote if you stumble on this.
Here are two links for my new tat. It will be a blend/cover of the Pi sign on my right shoulder. I will not cover/ruin the present tat as it still holds significant meaning. It however will no longer be foremost.
Please vote. Please tell a friend and steer them to the blog so they can vote. You are voting on design, not background color. Is it Rigel or Cipo's chick?

Tile & wine pic. No blue background.

Right arm design

Mt Snow

After two weeks of no stomach issues, and a good taper, it all went to shit. Literally. I have been dealing with boo boo belly since January. The Protonix was great for two weeks then Blammo. The sure sign to trouble is how many times I can dispens egas from my netherregions after eating. Zero is healthy, that is what it was the past two weeks. Thirty friggin eight after a meal is unhealthy, pre-Protonix. Well Friday at Mt Snow was much closer to thirty-eight than zero. That was followed by enough trips to the bathroom Saturday (8) to read the Southern VT mag three times front to back before my race. I even threw in a sprint to the porta's while on the start line Todd Cassan must have been all kinds of perplexed.
To add insult to injury, my flawless performing bike threw the chain spokeside, not once but twice. Five full minutes to work it out. Seventh to butt-naked last then back to twelth. C'est la vie. I raced hard. Shorttrack was much of the same, minus the chain issues. Great start, then gapped. Twenty second solo bridge, then kablooey when the poo went down with three to go. At least I raced. Huge props to those who cheered. Zach, Ry, Wes, Meg and her friends. That was great.
My teammates totally kicked ass. Mike Yozell who is one of the best runners and bike handlers in 'cross schooled the MTB crew on a single. Natty friggin' champ. Yes, that made me happy. Mike deserved it.
Weston V the 14th was a total, I should be a pro rockstar. Second in the XC & a Natty friggin' champ in the STXC. Man was that fun watching that race unfold and give Wes info. AWESOME!
So that was Mt Snow. I dared mighty things and did not live in the twilight that knows not victory or defeat.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Two down one to go

As my loyal two dozen readers, that may be stretching it, know. I made the switch to MTB racing this year. I needed a break from the road. I enjoy the road, my team and teammates, however it was time for a change. Back in February/March, Ray Adams was kind enough to take me on the Uberteam. Once he witnessed my mad skillz, how could he resist. As the saying goes, "it is just like riding a bike." The thing is, most people would not want to walk on the trails that I/we ride/race on.
Back to point. I stated two goals to Ray, if he would bring me on the team. I will win the series overall. I will win half of the races in the series. This may sound a little arrogant to some, but I had faith in my cycling fitness. I also knew my skill level will only keep increasing. I also kept one goal in my back pocket, per se. I want to be on the podium at Nationals. The stretch goal to that is the top step. Well I have achieved my first two goals, and then some. I have won all six XC events by pretty solid margins. I have also clinched the series. Now it is time for some personal redemption. I leave for Mt. Snow later today. I am fit. I can ride technical stuff as well as any 40+ rider out there. I am a fair 40+ climber. Saturday we will see how it goes. Before I roll to the race I will again read my lucky Chinese fortune cookie saying from Cross Nats (10th, out of 140ish). It is as follows: Imagine what great things you could achieve if you knew you could not fail.
I aim to make this simple. You either do or you do not. You either will or you will tonight. Trying is for the weak and insecure.
I DO plan on being on the podium. I WILL race my bike accordingly.
Well there it is, two down and one to go.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Belly redux

All is finally quiet on the belly front, literally. Those of the faint of heart non-bathroom rumor should skip the next sentence. The crescendo, literally, hit on July 4th. My arse had as many big bangs as the local fireworks. I counted, yes I counted, 38 blasts from my nether region in a space of four hours. The next day I started some medicine, Protonix, that inhibits gastric acid secretion. Since the first day on the med I have had NO stomach distention, bloating and gas issues. Hoo freakin' ray! My somewhat uninformed medical theorem on this is that my stomach is so laden with H Pylori, which was confirmed via biopsy, that it was working overtime to kill that bacteria. The downside is that H Pylori is the only bacteria that is unaffected by acid production. H Pylori bacteria thrive in that atmosphere and it literally digs deeper into the stomach lining. So as the H Pylori gets worse, the stomach produces more acid, then all that acid reacts very negatively with any foreign substance in the belly, aka food. Problem solved.
I will start a double course of antibiotics after MTB Nats to eradicate the H Pylori. Hopefully, all will be well by the beginning of August.
So for my faithful readers, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I can finally eat pain free, imagine that.
Hopefully this turn of events will also bring some blood counts back into line. I have some high monocyte numbers, and have had them for six years. It will be neat to see if that is related to a chronic bacterial infection. That is one of the major reasons for high monocyte levels. If they are still high in September at my physical, then I will adress that issue as well as my very low Parathyroid levels. Damn, it is hard trying to get healthy.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Testing 1,2

So yesterday was supposed to be the big day to figure what is wrong with my boo boo belly. I have had some pretty gnarly GI issues for six months now. The theories have ranged from parasite, virus, gluten allergy, stress from divorce, GERD and a few more I probably am forgetting.
Two weeks ago I got the blood test showing I was positive for H Pylori. I also had high Calcium and monocyte levels. MONOCYTES and MONOCYTE COUNT - Elevated levels are seen in tissue breakdown or chronic infections, carcinomas, leukemia (monocytic) or lymphomas. In combo H Pylori & Calcium are sometimes predictors other fun stuff.
So I had the endoscopy & biopsy yesterday, which confirmed two things. I have a small slipped Hiatal hernia. This is not so bad, and does not need surgery. Basically a small part of the stomach slips through the hiatus in the diaphragm. I also have a one cm erosion on my esophagus. This is known as Barrett's esophagus. Barrett's esophagus, untreated, greatly increases the risk of esophagial cancer. So now I am taking Protonix to cut down my stomach acid, and will need to make some lifestyle/dietary changes very soon. Hold on kids, this is where it gets bumpy. The big three are no-no's. Caffeine, chocolate and alcohol. I can hear the collective gasp from everyone, even before they read this.
The gastro also requested a Parathyroid test to see if one of the glands has a tumor. That would explain the elevated Calcium levels, as well as my inability to concentrate, constant tiredness, and some of my depression. Hopefully by next Monday I will have ALL of the information at my disposal and go from there. At this point I am really hoping for the PTH levels to show that one has a tumor (benign) and it can be removed. Then all I need to do is make some changes, albeit quite large for me. We shall see. Time to finish my coffee, no sense in rushing into the changes, and go for a nice long leisurely ride.
Happy Independence Day.

How to squeeze one ton of...

fun, into 48 hours? Attend the MTB race & festival weekend. There were so many highlights to the weekend that I can not hit them all. Some for me were the following.
Camping out for the first time in fifteen years, night racing for the first time since 1996, comraderie of friends, teammates and competitors, XC course, fifth straight XC win, clinching the MASS series, hanging out with no worries or committments, Frank Brigandi on guitar, Andy & Mike on Mother Goose rhymes, marshmallow guns, that damn billfrog, great breakfast with Ry's Aunt & Uncle, STXC ( I wish I could corner an MTB like the big 'uns), Memphis Blues BBQ in the VIP, zip line, potato gun, punk 'n rip, huffy toss part deux.
What an incredible weekend.
Thanks to Mike, the Oesterlings, the Kuhn's and all my friends who made it so enjoyable.