Sorry for the lack of posting lately, but there just hasn't been much to report and I'm doing my best to NOT spend all my time posting about my frustrations with trying to deal with the healthcare system- it just gets tedious.
The past few days have been like the days before them- sitting around doing very little other than trying to do a bit of work and answering the hundreds of still unanswered emails I have. If you've been trying to email me and have not gotten a timely response- you're in good company. I'm chipping away at them as quickly as I can with the somewhat diminished (but improving) energy levels I have. I also have a new catalog to finish writing... again. The Spring catalog is barely even dry off the printing presses it seems and Fall is now in full development. It's killing me to not be in the office too because the new sample bikes for the catalog are being built. I've gotten a few spy photos from embeds in the building and I can tell you that the new bikes look so amazing. I know I've said it before, but I LOVE MY JOB. How on earth can you be a bike nerd and not love this kind of job?
This week I am fighting to see my doctors so I can get the go ahead to resume my life; hoping to get the pin out of my thumb and get the ok to remove the cervical collar. Once the collar is off, I'll be able to drive again and get that much closer to "normal" life again. The thumb feels like it is healing and my movement of it seems good- it bends at the first knuckle as it should and just feels a little stiff and sore (like much of my body). The knee and elbow have me a bit more concerned, as range of motion has not really returned to either. The knee is progressing, but like all dumb jocks, I want it to be faster... d'uh. The day the blood clots were found, the x-rays on the knee looked very good. So it is likely a matter of soft tissue healing. At this point, I still can not fully straighten my right arm as well. In the hospital, the first stay, the x-rays and scans showed no fractures to the elbow... so it is more soft tissue stuff again. With both the knee and elbow, I'm trying to listen to the instructions of the physical therapist- Sandy- who comes to visit me at home. She's been great and I really have to thank her for her efforts working with me... even when it hurts. I've also had two different homecare nurses visiting for blood draws and check ups and both have been great.
The best news recently has been the stopping of the twice-daily shots to my stomach of the heavy duty anticoagulant. I am SO happy to be done with the needles, but now have a nice little solar system of needle marks and bruises on my abdomen- thanks to the thinners and anticoagulants, I bruise very easily. I'm still taking the Coumadin (blood thinner) for another 5 months and we're still trying to determine my personalized drug level, as each person needs to have a very specifically tailored drug dose. I started with a tiny 4mg dose and am now up to 10mg, with 15mg doses on Monday and Wednesday. Coumadin's effectiveness is compromised by heavy amounts of Vitamin K- which is found in dark green vegetables... like spinach. I LOVE SPINACH! I usually eat lots of spinach salads and now I have to really watch the amount of spinach I eat. Ugh.
One of the big fears/ concerns for me now is air travel, which is typically a huge part of my job- between traveling frequently to Taiwan and all the other trips to places like Japan, etc... it's a big part of what I do. Now that I'm in the Clot Club, I have to be very careful; long international flights (especially) drive up the risk of clotting, due to the long stretches of time with reduced blood flow. I might have to start wearing compression socks and frequently get up and walk around the plane. That bums me out... big time. I was scheduled to be in Montreal in August for the Canadian version of Interbike- BTAC. Now, I might not get doctor's approval to go and I'm really upset about that. I missed the show last year and I really enjoy visiting my cycling brothers and sisters in Canada. Montreal, as I've said, is one of my favorite cities to visit and ride in. So, needles to say, I'm hoping for some good news soon on the blood clots and what the doctors think I can get away with. I'm also hoping I can get the approval to shave my face again too... the "beard" is driving me nuts! With the neck collar on, it's an itchy nightmare!
As you can see from all the above, not much has been going on that I haven't already mentioned before. Hence the lack of posting. However, I will be getting Masidaughter this week! THAT is the very best news I have. Not being able to have a regular schedule with her has been very difficult for me. My fear and paranoia of "what if" has kept me from feeling safe trying to care for her, but I am feeling much more mobile now and it is quite simply time for me to regain a normal existence and get back to being Daddy- I miss that even more than I miss riding.
On a bike-related note, sitting in the office is a brand new frame for me to test. It's made of the same Scandium tubeset I am already riding being developed by a vendor of ours, but this one is completely made of the tubing with no carbon stays... just pure, sweet Scandium alloy. It's made with the same geometry as our Gran Criterium bike (which is my all-time favorite geometry) and is painted in the same Pea Soup Green as our SoulVille/SS... it's gorgeous! I can not wait to be able to bolt some parts to it and ride it. The tubing has so many sexy shapes to it- I'll post pictures as soon as I can. I am very optimistic about this tubing because the frame I've been riding (with the carbon stays) has been an incredible bike. I am hoping that the full Scandium frame will produce an even better ride with the added stiffness of the Scandium stays. If it rides as well as I think it will, it might replace the current 7005SLX aluminum/ carbon Gran Criterium frame. This would mean a little bit of an increase in price for the bike- not huge- but would make the ride that much sweeter. Don't get me wrong at all- the current version of the frame rides incredibly well, but the Scandium is just a bit nicer riding and lighter. I promise I'll give a full report once I'm able to put some parts on the frame and throw a leg over the top tube... even if its just to ride my trainer in the driveway as I rehab. Damn I can't wait to ride!
One quick sidenote; all of the Masiguy Podcast episodes are now FINALLY available for download on iTunes. Thanks to David Bernstein, my fellow Spokesmen and the man behind the Fredcast, I am now finally on iTunes. I'm sorry it has taken me so long to get it figured out- what can I say, I'm a bike guy... not a tech guy. So if you've been wanting to have me ramble in your ears as you ride or pick up dog poop in your backyard... now you can.
Sorry for the lack of posting, but hopefully you're now up to speed. Many thanks, again, to all who have been emailing and leaving comments of support and encouragement. Your support has been incredible and means more to me than mere words can ever express. I am still constantly shocked by all the support and well-wishes; I sincerely don't know what I ever did to deserve you all. I hope you're all enjoying your weekend and that if you're riding, you're wearing your helmet... please.