Monday, May 30, 2011

What surgery?

The two bandages remind me of the knee surgery I had 10 days ago. My recovery has been going great. Yesterday I rode my bike for 40 miles....I mean minutes. It was a nice easy ride and I was happy to be on the bike outside. My physical therapist is happy with how things are going. Later this week we will see when I might be able to get back to running.

Below are two pictures the doctor took during the surgery. This is the actual tear. The little fibers were trimmed from the meniscus. Pretty cool stuff.

I also have to wish everyone a happy Memorial Day. As the sun rises this morning it looks like it will be a glorious day to remember the few that have given so much for the many....a country.

In my family my Uncle Dave served during the Korean War. Friends have served or are currently serving our country now. Thank you everyone for serving.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Post Op Weekend

My recovery weekend went pretty well. I stopped using the crutches Saturday morning. They were just getting in the way and I was stable enough to place my weight on my right knee. Aimee was working in the garden and I was helping with some small things.

Everyone in a while I would sit down and rest so I didn't over do anything. Aimee was awesome all weekend and took care of cutting the grass. It's nice to not worry about it especially since the grass has been growing so fast.

Dr. Stearns called and said the procedure went well and I could remove my bandages on Sunday. I couldn't wait to get them off. There was so much gauze under the ace bandage I couldn't bend my leg very far, and my mobility was actually very good.

Sunday the knee continued to feel pretty damn good. The weather was still good and we did some more work in the garden. I'll have to post some pictures from our work.

Today was vacation day so I could rest some more. And I did. I took a late morning nap and just tinkered around the house. My dad and uncle came over for dinner to help finish out the evening.

Physical therapy starts tomorrow morning.

Game On.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Just Another Day

So Friday started like any other day except Aimee and I were on vacation. My vacation was scheduled since the beginning of the year because I was going to go watch the American Triple T and then race the Little Smokies Half Distance Tri. But something else came up for Friday May 20th....knee surgery.

My procedure wasn't until 12:30 in the afternoon which meant we needed to be at the hospital around 11AM. After we showered Aimee went to the dealer with her car for service and I was left to keep busy around the house. I went out into the garden and did some planting. I also prepped the area where would plant our veggies.

The worst part of the morning was not eating or drinking. I was so thirsty but couldn't do anything about it.

So Aimee got home and had a bite to eat before we left for the hospital. We were shown to my room and met my nurses Casandra and Mary Anne. I changed into the lovely gown they provide and they took my vitals. Casandra asked if my heart rate was always low. The display showed 46 as a resting heart rate and I told her that is normal. If I had been training it probably would have been lower.

I didn't have to wait very long before Ernie came in to wheel me down to pre-op. I was getting real good at telling everyone my name and birthday. They are always checking to make sure they have the right person.

Ernie pointed out the waiting room to Aimee and we kissed good-bye. In the pre-op room I met Amy who inserted my IV and checked my vitals again. Needles never bother me so the IV was easy to get started. The feeling of the solution entering my arm was cool. I mean very COOL. She warned me that I would feel a cold rush up my arm and I sure did. My entire right arm from hand to shoulder was suddenly cool from the inside.

As Amy walked away she said she would be back to shave my knee. I told her not to bother. I had done a fresh shave on Wednesday in preparation of the surgery. As she was transferring my vitals to the computer she asked if my heart rate is always this low. I looked up at my monitor and saw 46 BPM again. I told her I'm good and that it was the same number as upstairs. Being fit has it's benefits. I was also able to answer 99% of their health questions "NO" .

Next up was the anesthesiologist. He stopped by to ask questions, again, see how I was doing and explain what was going to be happening. I didn't mind answering all of the repetitive questions. Everyone is simply doing their jobs to make sure everything goes well.

As I was waiting for Dr. Stearns to arrive I took a short nap. No sedatives yet....just took a little nap. He showed up and checked on me and Enrique, another patient also getting his knee done. He check to see how I was doing and put his initials near my right knee. At least I knew he would be working on the correct knee. Enrique was having his left knee done and I'm sure Dr. Stearns didn't want to mix us up. I asked if he was going to take some pictures because I wanted some to take home. I forgot to ask him what "type" of tear was in my knee. I might have forgotten anyways. I'll ask him at my follow-up visit.

I was finally given my sedative and antibiotic through my IV. The nurses started wheeling me to the operating room. As they wheeled me in I saw the TV monitor for the scope and the big overhead lights...then I was out.........

When I woke up the clock said 2:15. They would continue to monitor me until I was ready to head back up to the post-op room where I would get dressed. Aimee told me that the Dr. had talked with her after the surgery and everything went great. He drew her a picture of what the tear looked like and handed her some pictures from inside my knee.

We went back up to the room and Casandra got us both something to drink. She took out my IV and said I could get dressed when I felt up to it. I was feeling pretty good. I didn't feel hungry but was very thirsty. We got all of my release orders and prescriptions, then Casandra wheeled me down to the lobby.

I hopped into the car and we headed home. It was now 3:30 in the afternoon.

As soon as we got home Aimee made sure I was comfortable in my chair and started making dinner. By 5 we had happy belly's and started to watch the Tour of California. I checked the internet and watched the time trial while Aimee napped with Ruby. I had a nice nap in the afternoon so it was Aimee's turn to nap from a tiring day. I swear that waiting is just as tiring as doing something.

Since the day was still pretty nice we sat outside to enjoy the quiet neighborhood. I took a picture of my knee to post on Facebook when I saw a post from Mike C. He was starting a fire on his back porch and was inviting people over. I looked at Aimee and said let's go. Mike only lives about 2 miles away so it's not a big drive. We surprised them as we rounded the corner of the house and had a nice evening with them. Aimee had some wine and I had two recovery beers.

Overall it was a successful day for surgery. Now I have the rest of the weekend to relax.

Game is already starting to get back On.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Torn - 2.0

I was looking at my list of posts and things didn't look quite right. My last post was in draft mode and there was no text, or images. Then I remembered that there were some problems with Blogger last week. Apparently my post about my torn meniscus was wiped out.

I'm pretty bummed about it because I thought it was a good post.

So to recap I am having my medial meniscus repaired....TOMORROW. Yeah, surgery is scheduled for 12:30PM. The surgeon says it will only take 20 minutes. I should be on crutches for a couple of days they walking and doing physical therapy.

Most people I have talked with say the surgery and recovery are pretty easy. I just need to keep myself under control and not try to come back too fast or too hard. I would really like to get some late season tri's in but I also don't want to do more damage and make my recovery even longer.

I had pre-admission testing today and am ready for the surgery. The hardest part my be staying away from food. I can't eat after midnight tonight.

On the plus side the nurse said my knee will only be wrapped in an ace bandage. So nothing big and bulky to worry about post surgery.

I'll let you know how things go post-op.

Game On as I get on the road to recovery.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Ohio University - Athletes in Action - Triathlon - Race Report

So many things to talk about but first things first.

Did you wish you mom a happy Mother's Day? I did and we had a nice time together with both sides of the family today.

As you can tell from the title, Aimee and I raced at the Ohio University - Athletes in Action - Triathlon. When this race was announced it was a no brainer to sign up. Aimee is an alumni of OU and we love going down to Athens any chance we get.

The inaugural event consisted of a 500m indoor swim, 25k bike and 5k run. This would also be our first multi-sport events of the year. Our training hadn't been the greatest but the race would allow us to blow out the rust.

Being a Saturday race we drove the three hours to Athens on Friday. We grabbed out packets and had dinner at the pasta buffet. After dinner we drove the bike course. We weren't paying very close attention to the road markings and drove several miles (more like 5 or 6) beyond the turn-around. Once we got back on track we headed back to Athens.

The bike consisted of either going up or going down. Athens is a hilly area and this course would keep us honest about our fitness. Nothing very technical since the majority of the turns were sweeping and could be taken in the aero-bars.

We checked into our hotel and settled in for the night.

Race morning we were up at 5AM to eat some food and make our way over to the race. We would be meeting Big Daddy Diesel for this race (yes he is real). We got our chips and body markings before setting up our transition spots. The hardest decision for this race was going to be what to wear. The morning temperature was 45 degrees with some fog. For the bike I opted for a regular bike jersey, wind vest, arm warmers, my long compression socks, skull cap and light gloves. One big difference with today's race would be the events I was doing.

Because of my knee issues I changed to the aquabike division. So it would only be the swim and bike. It's a whole different mind set in aqua bike. I could go balls out on the bike and not worry about blowing up on the run.

After setting up transition Aimee and I went to the pool to finish getting ready. We met the couple who parked next to us and chatted until the race started. Chuck and Brenda drove in from Huntington, WV for the race. They are the same age as us so it was nice chatting with another couple who race together. We had a great time talking with them. I warmed up in the 50m pool to get used to the long lane length.

As I chatted with Aimee, Brenda and Chuck some more BDD finally arrived.

After the announcements and national anthem, I lined up for the start. Being a time trial start we were asked to give an estimate of our swim time when we registered. My projected time placed me 25th in line. I was hoping I wouldn't get passed by too many people.

Every ten seconds someone would jump in the pool and start swimming. Once it was my turn I jumped in and started chasing the person in front of me. Two parts of the swim are unique. At the end of each lane you had to go under the lane lines and swim back in another lane. There was also some congestion at the walls as I caught the person(s) in front of me. I think I passed 2 - 3 people and was passed by only one. My swim time for 500m was 9:21, but that included the run to transition.

It took me a while to get dressed for the bike. The worst part was putting on my jersey. On a wet body things stick and won't cooperate. I finally got dressed and grabbed my bike for the run out of transition. The first 1.5 miles of the bike were on the Hocking Bikeway. We were told that due to "traffic" it would be a no passing zone. As I started on the bikeway I could see two people in front of me. I thought I could catch them but wasn't sure. I came up behind the first cyclist and I believe it was Julie Krause from Team ER. I came up on her shoulder and asked if I could pass. We were the only two people around so I knew there was no "danger" by making the pass. With a smile she said it was fine and I thanked her. If you are going to break the "rules" you may as well be pleasant about it.

I started catching the second person near the end of the bike path but I waited to pass until we were back on the road. Once I made the pass I needed to focus and put in a big effort for this bike. In 15 miles I would be back in T2 and done with my race.

Overall I felt pretty good. On the uphills I alternated between standing and sitting. If the hill was short enough I would keep my gearing and power over the crest by standing up. I didn't want to waste any time shifting since I would need the gearing to keep my speed up.

I slowly started catching some people in front of me. On one downhill I noticed an OU triathlete in front of me. He was coasting down the hill. As I passed him I encouraged him and offered some simple advice. Keep pedaling...even on the downhills. I know some people see it as a time to rest and recover. But this is a great time to take advantage of gravity and increase your speed without blowing up. I pedal until I spin out my gears completely.

During the return trip I passed several more people and buried my head and legs into the effort. As I headed into transition I unclipped my shoes and prepared to dismount. Because of a left hand turn to the dismount line I swung my left leg to the right side of my bike. I didn't want to have my weight on the inside pedal as I dismounted since that could result in my wheels washing out from under me.

I crossed the timing mat and my race was done. I started walking towards my transition spot when I spotted Rich Fowler, he's the announcer for HFP Racing. He asked me if I had lost my transition spot. I responded no since I was done with the aquabike. As I racked my bike he made the spectators aware of the little known category of Aquabike and said that Snakebite Racing was in the house.

So I was done. First multi-sport race of the year complete. I changed and got my camera. Watched people come in on the bike and cross the finish line.

We had to wait until everyone was done before awards were presented. Aimee took 3rd in her age group. I took first in the aquabike with BDD right behind me.

We wanted to spend the entire day at OU with some bar hopping that night but Mother's Day activities pulled us back home. We finished our day tracking friends at Ironman St. George.

Just another weekend of getting our Game On.

Great Race Nutrition helped keep me hydrated during the race.

Aimee finishing the bike.

Aimee starting her run.

While Aimee was running I waited for BDD to finish his aquabike. I almost missed getting a picture at the dismount line because I had a hard time recognizing him.

Aimee "flying" across the finish line.

Aimee with her "3rd in age group" mug

Aimee and I enjoyed the evening together watching the live feed from Ironman St. George (another post) and drinking some hot beverage from our race awards.