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Monday, November 21, 2016

Two weeks ago today, I got home from the gym feeling a bit odd. Chest was tight, and felt unusual. On the next day, I went out to run, and within 200 yards, my pulse on my garmin was around 134, and within ten minutes, over 150. Now normally on a run it takes me about twenty minutes to get my heart rate above 120, and I have to push really hard to crest 150. So I knew something was odd and I quit after about twenty minutes. I hit the gym a couple more times, and tried to run, but nothing was working quite right. On my birthday last Monday, I had an appointment to give blood and see the skin doctor, After I gave blood, I asked to see my doctor for a minute, and he saw me and I explained my problem, and he did an EKG. He scheduled me for later in the day for a visit to the cardiologist. When I got there, he gave me an echo cardiogram and said I was in persistent A-fib. Persistent means for longer than 48 hours. My upper chambers were beating three times as fast as my lower chambers. He put me on blood thinners to try and prevent a stroke, and scheduled an appointment for Nov 28th for another EKG, and if I am still in A-fib, will follow up with an electo cardiac diversion where they stop your heart for three seconds and then restart it to try and get your sinus rhythm back. This generally works almost all the time....the problem is that it doesn't necessarily last very long. There is an 80% chance that you will return to A-fib within an hour to a year. If that probability occurs, the next step, which is about 85% successful is ablation, where they put a catheter inside your heart and burn the nerves and tissue that are trying to take over your heart's normal rhythm like Peyton Manning yelling "Omaha Omaha". If I need that procedure, there are two places in the world that do the most.....Penn hospital and Cleveland clinic. I will head to Philly and Billy and Kwonnie for the procedure. I have two issues that make it doubtful that the A-fib will remit for long after left atrium is 6.2 centimeters, and when it grows over 5, A-fib usually arrives. Second, the right side of my heart is small either from congenital reasons or having rheumatic fever as a child. In the mean time, taking short walks, eating my blood thinners, and just taking it generally easy until I get shocked to life. Will be on blood thinners for a month after the procedure, whatever the outcome. If the A-fib returns, want to get to ablation as soon as possible, as the longer you screw with this, the more your heart tries to model in such a way that these signals are perceived as normal.....want the Peyton of my heart to also retire!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Testosterone Blues!

When I was a child, I did not naturally go thru puberty. I was delayed, and the family doctor gave me androgen shots over 6 months to get me kick started. Add that to the fact I was younger than my school mates thanks to Rita pulling me from kindergarten and plugging me into first grade early, does explain some of my dislike for high school. But I digress...
I was always tall and thin as an adult, and picked out an avocation that matched my genetics.....distance running. When I got into my late 50's, I felt fatigued often and my running and general activities started to just seem tougher to do. My doctor over a few years tested everything from vitamin D, thyroid, B12, etc without much success. Finally, at age 59, he tested my testosterone level and told me that I had the testosterone level of a 7 year old girl. At that time, the only testosterone replacement therapy that was approved thru my insurance was testosterone cypionate 200mg vial every two weeks via injection. So Deb and I learned how to inject, and usually she would inject me in the butt, or if she wasn't around, I would just inject into my quad. Not a biggie, and certainly not much of a hassle. For the first 6 months that I was on it, everything from my mood to my physical performance improved, and that has remained fairly steady to date.
When I was selecting my prescription coverage thru one exchange, there were three that covered testosterone injectable solutions, and the cheapest and largest was silver scripts. So that is what I chose. On Wednesday November 2nd, I went into Las Cruces to see my regular doctor who had moved last summer from Deming to a practice there.  While driving in, I got a call from his office that he had called in sick and that I would be seeing his partner. So I saw his partner and provided him with the 5 medications I take, and he called them into Walgreens for me. When I went to get them, the testosterone was not included. I called the insurance company and they said that this particular prescription needed "prior authorization", which is a fancy was of saying we don't want to cover this unless you  are willing to jump thru a shitload of hoops. I had Wallgreens fax the doctor's office three times before his staff said they finally had it, and then they gave it to the doctor. When he contacted silver scripts, they said they needed blood work to prove that my free testosterone level is below 300 before they would approve it. So now on monday, my birthday, I will be going in early to give blood  before Deb and I see our skin doctor to get checked for skin cancers. Then we will shop and have dinner at a Thia/Vietnamese restaurant. Now, if silver scripts screws with me too much, I checked and I can change script coverage at any time. But, hassles will ensue. My last shot was on Wednesday October 19th. I felt fairly normal thru last weekend, and then on Tuesday, my body started to go thru some crazy shit. It started with palpitations, incredible fatigue, headaches, and just a foggy feeling. Trying to run is easiest pace, my heart rate is about 25 beats per minute higher, and I have not tried to run more than 30 minutes. My heart rate remains high for about two hours post run. Gym is a joke. So I did some researching, and like many other medications, you are never supposed to stop testosterone cold turkey, and if you are stopping, there is a medication you are supposed to take to try and get your gonads firing again. Mine were not working much 5 years ago, and may be dead by now. who knows. So, I am trapped by my insurance problems, and may have to see an endocrinologist and get new insurance before I get this resolved. I was so happy when I was going on Medicare cause I thought I could start to get my spine issues checked and maybe resolved, but instead I have taken two steps backwards, and have to get this resolved before I can move forward. On a brighter note, I was able to do the "poop in a box" test for colon cancer, and those results should be to the doctor within the month......

Monday, November 7, 2016

200 Lbs. For Four Reps!

My favorite machine at the up 200 lbs for 4 reps today. also went heavy on everything else I did, including doing 30 reps on the roman chair back extension exercise holding a ten pound plate. Slow and steady.....
Ran 9K on Tuesday including a twenty minute tempo interval at 10K race pace. Thursday I did 8K including 5 three minute intervals with only one minute recoveries, with each interval faster than the previous, with the last two at 5K race pace. Saturday ran 12K easy, and Sunday an 8K recovery run for a 37 kilometer week.
Had my first doc appointment under doc called in sick, and I got his partner that I am not initially impressed with. Also the support staff has lost two faxes sent on Thursday and Friday, so I am still without two prescriptions. Did get my "poop in a box" kit delivered by UPS today, so will eat big today and give them a nice sample tomorrow to test for cancer and pre cancer.. Otherwise, just keepin' on keepin' on.....

Monday, October 31, 2016

Medicare For The Old Codger!

Ever the optimist!
In just nine hours, I am finally on Medicare. Couldn't be happier! Lots of things to get checked out...spine first, colon, skin cancer, etc. See my regular doc on Wednesday, and my skin doc on my birthday. Besides scripts, will request an order for an MRI. Don't know for sure that I will necessarily do anything about it if there are identifiable problems, unless there are arthroscopic fusions at this time! Running reasonably well, so long as I keep it limited in mileage and focus on at least two days a week of intensity, and weights are going just dandy. Got 190 up 5 times on the bench today. So, just keep on keeping on!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

A Week Of "E" And Me!

Had one of my two best buds (yah, you be the other one BB) here for a week. This was our last and best dinner before he headed back to Charlotte. We were at Forghedaboudit Pizza in Deming sucking Santa Fe brown draft ales, eating  pasta and wings, and watching the injuns win game one of the series. Enjoyed his company running, at the  gym, and just hanging out.....
Had a most excellent run this evening. Ran 9K with intervals of 1-2-3-4-3-2-1 minutes with a one minute recovery after the first, and two minute recovery intervals for  the rest. The paces averaged 5:25 per kilometer which was my 5K race pace the last time I ran one. Left the house at 5:45 and the weather was perfect. We are finally due to be in the mid 70's by mid week, so hopefully we will get the usual spectacular weather in November that we usually get in October. Still worried that the world weather is changing so fast, that we may just go from spring to summer and back again without getting any fall or winter! Deb should get out of the hospital tomorrow, and I hope her kidney infection and other issues are solved for a while. Do want to get her to Padre Island in the spring. My neighbor Joe finished painting his house today and as always, he does a perfectionist type job. Once we get our final settlement monies from Deb's accident, need to get a minor bumper repair done on the car and get on the roof and do another solar coat. 5 Years somehow blew by damn fast......

Saturday, October 8, 2016

GOP.....Grab Our Pussies!

What can I say......a bunch of GOP politicians and surrogates don't even have the courage to stop supporting a man who promotes using power and celebrity to sexually assault women. As Bill Maher said yesterday, at least Bill Cosby was descent enough to drug them first! Maybe he actually could shoot someone in downtown New York City and the troglodytes  would STILL vote for him!
Ran well on Tuesday......10K with a 20 minute tempo interval a few seconds a kilometer shy of 10K race pace. Thursday I dragged like a dog thru 8K. First tried a ten minute interval of alternating a minute fast with a minute recovery. Sucked. Was planning to do harder intervals, but then just did eleven minutes of two fast one easy, and just dragged thru it. Neither a good or pleasant effort. Today it was cool and overcast, and I felt better. Did 5 bye 3 minute intervals descending from 10K to 5K pace with two minute recovery intervals. Totaled 9K. Tomorrow I plan just an easy recovery day. Not gonna be a great week, but functional. My boy "E" will be here late next week and I can see if he wants to race the following weekend or not.....

Sunday, October 2, 2016

You Are A Fat Ugly Pig......I Said That To Help You!

The small handed (penis!), Yuge ego'd sociopath, is just out there trying to improve those women that he is associated with! He's just trying to coach them up! And of course, he himself is just a beauty to behold!
Had an o.k. week running. Ran 9K on Tuesday with three 7 minute cruise intervals with two minute recoveries. Thursday was a longer run based solely on heart rate....keeping it below 130. Had the garmin set on heart rate and wasn't paying attention to distance and ended up covering 12K. The buzz on the right side was bad on Friday and Saturday. Saturday I did 8K with an 8 and 7 minute cruise interval with a two minute recovery. Tonight I just did 8K easy for a total of 37K for the week. Weights on the other three days as usual. Didn't get in any short intervals as my back was irritated all week. The race I planned for next week has been cancelled, so now I am looking for a possible 10K race during Ernie's coming visit..