Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Sleep, Bike, Eat, Work

Not necessarily in that order.... Since finishing my Masters, I have found things a bit liberating so to speak. I can actually concentrate on riding my bike. For some that will sound weird, just go and ride. However, with responsibilities it doesn't always go that way. I was amazed at how school was such a limiting factor.

About a month ago I switched to my previous Endocrinologist, Dr. Barnett in Chandler. I was seeing him when I had no insurance and paying fees out of pocket. I didn't mind because we had intelligent conversations about my care, and would work as a team to try things in order to improve. When I was working as a teacher I finally got insurance. In 2013, it was time for me to do a five year scan to see the status of my cancer. The problem was Dr. Barnett was not the right doctor for these scans and evaluations.

I had to switch doctors. So I switched, and for simplicity stayed with her after the scans. I was happy that I was clear, and thought that my meds were ok, but nothing great. It did get to the point that I was being treated solely based upon my blood work, and I hate that. It takes little into account in how I feel, my exercise performance and a list of reasons beyond that.

I switched back to Dr. Barnett. I was feeling so bad in February I simply stopped taking what was my previous doses, and started putting on weight like crazy. Mind you I wasn't feeling any better. On my first visit we decided to try something different, that we had not tried before, and that my previous Endo would never consider. We designed a dosage of Naturethroid and synthetic Synthroid. Standard Endo's normally prescribe just Synthroid to someone like me. They feel if the body is working correctly, that it will strip the T4 Synthroid down to T3, T2 and T1. Mine will to some effect, perhaps not super efficiently though.

Naturethroid is a natural desiccated thyroid, meaning that it has naturally occurring levels of T4, T3, T2 and T1. This is the best I have felt in a very long time, years in fact. My testosterone seems to be working better (a factor of the T1 availability). Through this week I have been trying to ride and lose weight. I am actually able to lose weight without a supreme struggle. Now this is not to say that I have a normal life and diet, far from that, but I have finally found something working for the time being.

A few weeks ago I was at 230 pounds, and felt that I couldn't do much about it. Short of fully starving, not much was slowing down my weight gain. This week I have been progressing down, and probably will be around 220, maybe lower on Sunday. I was about to hit 222 today in fact. This week has finally showed me that I was never in a reasonable balance with my meds for way over 5 years, I was fooling myself when I felt ok.

I was listening to the Dr. Drew Podcast that had Bald Bryan (Bryan Bishop) as a guest. Bryan works on the different podcasts and radio shows of Adam Carolla. He recently went through a type of brain cancer, and has written a book that I want to buy and read. While we have different cancers, he advocated one great thing: you have to seek out the best care for yourself. He had to switch doctors, and it wasn't a case of being told what he wanted to hear, but to find someone to work as a team with. In his case, he was able to find one of the best doctors in the world in Los Angeles to help him. I agree with Bryan, you have to do what is right for you, find the best, find someone that works with you. It is your life, and you have to Come Back from Cancer on your terms.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Getting back into the swing of things

Last week I rode three times for 91 miles. Not much, but it was a start. I rode a few times in the morning, and did the Saturday ride. I know I need more riding for sure. My goal this week is to ride every day. I rode Monday so far, a few miles in the evening. When I woke up this morning, the wind was gusting pretty badly, and I didn't think I would get much out of riding. I should have went anyways. I guess I am spoiled in AZ with light winds and decent weather year round. If I was in Kansas, there is nothing but wind. I hope to ride twice on Tuesday. About an hour or so in the morning and then an hour in the evening at the Underground Crit. But I realized something today. I am not training right now. I am not in good enough shape, nor do I have my weight down to actually train. With that, I need to enjoy riding and not put pressure on myself. I need to get my 200 miles per week in, watch my weight drop, and have fun. I am not going to get anything out of doing intervals, or something special. I need to save that for a few months from now when 50 mile rides are easy. Then I can actually start being productive on the bike. I wonder if I can get this thin again? 145 pounds?

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

My body is confused

I am a frequent reader of Steve Tilford's blog. I know I am out of shape, but I feel envious, especially today, when he laments about feeling off and then riding himself into feeling good. I had the opposite happen this morning, and now here at work, I feel worse. I started off pretty well. It was cool out this morning, if just below 60 is cool. It is for Phoenix. I was warming up reasonably well, and holding a decent cadence in the small ring, even uphill. Got out to the first hill on my weekday route that gets me around 25 miles total, and then things went downhill from there. I know I am struggling from lack of fitness and being grossly overweight. My body is confused. It seems to love being out and riding, but is tearing itself up in the process. So now I sit here writing, about 4 hours post ride, and I am a bit tired, and some muscle aches. I also wish that I rode myself into feeling better, but with the wind, and not enough endurance, that is not going to happen. Oh well, I now able to focus solely on riding, and getting back into shape. I have a very long road ahead of me. No big deal, one focus and all that.