Will I be up to riding about 3,500 miles four months from now? I think I will be. At the immediate moment I am recovering from a back strain from carrying heavy suitcases up several flights of stairs at the beach. Rest, massage, steam baths and time normally handles this problem.
My grandson, Riley, says I am older than old dirt. He is right. At least I am a year past my life expectancy and age does bring infirmatives. I am blessed to have an excellent physician, Mathew Finnern, MD, who has recently increased my check ups from twice a year to every three months. Being my long term care giver he understands my adventurous life style and encouraged me to do the bike ride saying he wished he could go along. I have the following health issues.
BACK - I ruptured a disc in my lower back four years ago training to do a cross country ride on a road bike. A year of intense therapy mostly restored me to normal. I cannot, at least should not, lift heavy objects. I should restrict twisting or bending forward. I also faithfully do back related stretches daily. I don't think this will be a problem.
TORN RIGHT SHOULDER ROTOR CUP - This injury can be surgically corrected but it would then require about 6 months of very painful therapy. I have full motion of the shoulder but it can be painful if I do heavy work above my head. The doctor does not think this will be a problem if I can live with the restriction and the discomfort at times. At my age I just do not want to take six months out of my life doing therapy again.
ADOMINAL HERNIA - This 6 inch hernia has been unchanged for years. The doctor says that the repair of this paticular hernia is seldom successful. If I remember that I have it and act accordingly I should be alright.
TYPE II DIABETES - I monitor and control this condition by watching what I eat, controlling my weight and taking two pills a day. I've found that when I am doing something under stress for a long period of time, like sailing, my blood sugar tends to be on the low side almost regardless of what I eat. This should not be a problem.
LEFT KNEE - This could be a problem. When I was 70 I won the "First-in-Class Trophy" in a 5K run. Uh, there wasn't too many in the "Over 65 Class". HA. The next spring when I started getting in shape to run again my left knee made me stop running. I can walk forever but after a few days of running my left knee hurts. In that I can walk, I am hoping that the absence of shock pounding the road, riding versus running, will let this condition be tolerated. Time only will tell.
ARTHRITIS- What a painful condition. In the last year I've had a problem making a tight fist. I have worked hard on this particular problem and can close my hands much better than before. Of course this is normal with old age. The doctor started me on 800MG of Ibuprofin 3 times a day when I hiked the Appalachian Trail at age 65. That really helps and I can certainly tell when I miss a dose.
All the other "yard sticks" of health are monitored and come back pretty good. I take medicine to control blood pressure and cholestrol. I will monitor my heart as I ride. I struggle with weight but the riding will help that.
A friend commenting on his tendency to bruise following a heart transplant made a comment that I use to keep my head straight regarding health problems. Jim said of his bruises, "you have to be alive to see them". That thought puts things into proper perspective, huh?