28 February, 2009

Here's hoping........

Well the news from the doctor wasn't good- but it wasn't bad either (at least not yet). My BP is still elevated and my pulse is still eratic but it wasn't any worse than last week. All of the blood tests came out fine and the x-rays were inconclusive- a slightly enlarged heart (very minimal) but easily attributed to the extra work the organ has done with the high BP- according to the doc. The readings from the BP cuff that I wore last week have not been downloaded as there is an interface issue with the device and it has been sent to Sydney (that's Sydney, Australia- Bluenoser, not Sydney, Cape Breton- although I'm beginning to wonder) to retrieve the data.

I decided to wear my HRM during the week as a matter of curiosity. Well!! That was an exercise in frustration and confusion. My pulse would be sitting on 75bpm (which is still quite high) and the just jump to 105 for no reason. I even left the office environment and worked from home and the same thing happened several times during the day.

I am feeling better today than I have for some time but I will have to wait and see what happens this coming week. A trip to the cardiologist may be in order along with tests for adrenal gland activity and renal artery blockage- it all sounds like so much "fun"..........NOT.

Tomorrow is the first race on the local scene for the year and I'm not riding- but Dee is; her first comp is going to be a 10k TT. "Go for it!!", I say.

Cheers- ride safe

21 February, 2009

Must be Something in the Air...

Well it hasn't been a very good week on the bike. I have been feeling a bit out of sorts for a couple of weeks and made an appointment to see my doctor on Monday. By the time I got to his office, my blood pressure was almost 170/88 and my pulse was 91. Dr C had a look of incredulity as he looked at the BP reading- seems to me the last time it was about 128/72 or thereabouts. It had been more than an hour since I had left work so shouldn't have been suffering too much stress.

We talked about the situation, was I still cycling the same amount and with the same intensity? "Yes" and "yes- except I was having difficulty garnering enthusiasm for my morning rides." And that continued as I didn't ride Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday of this week.

Took another BP- the systolic had dropped to 165 but the diastolic had climbed to 91 and my heart was still racing at around 90. The Doc ordered a series of blood tests and x-rays so I spent most of Tuesday either being stabbed with needles or being bombarded by x-rays while posing in a contorted position that felt more like something that may have been used on the house guests at Abu Ghraib. 

I also got to wear an automatic blood pressure cuff for 24 hours. Every half hour during the day and every hour at night, the little pump fills the cuff with air and records the info for later download/analysis- or so the theory goes. This one had a bit of an issue in that the internal  clock appeared to have been set incorrectly and so the cycle was reversed. Every half hour all night, the pump would kick in and inflate the cuff to the point where I thought I had a tourniquet on my arm. Then it would ease off and deflate leaving me (and Dee) to try and get back to sleep before the next instance came around.

I don't think we were asleep for many from about 2:00am onward.

On a positive note, the Doc did say I could keep cycling, but there is to be no sprinting or hillwork allowed- just an easy pace. The hillwork I don't mind giving away, but it was really, really, reeeeaaaalllly hard watching most of our Saturday morning ride take off on our weekly little sprint to the Casino as I calmly kept to my 28km/hr.

My results are expected this week. 

Cheers- ride safe

12 February, 2009

Day- oh, day-ay-ay oh!

"Hey Mister Tally man, tally me bananas!"

Well the rain finally cleared overnight and I was able to get in another ride this morning-albeit with a flat to start out. Great thing having a spare wheelset- just slap on the appropriate wheel and head out the gate. I was a few minutes late getting to our meeting spot but made up the split pretty quickly. And I have to say I was pretty happy with the ride given that it's been the better part of a fortnight since I've been on the roadie.

"So!" I hear you ask, "What has this post got to do with bananas?" Well I had to harvest two stalks of bananas today after work. I have been keeping an eye on them for the last couple of weeks- with all of the rain, they have been filling out well but just didn't look quite ready. Yesterday it was raining too hard (65 or 70mm in 45 minutes) to venture into the backyard to check their status so it waited until today.

And there were the telltale signs that the fruit was ready-a slight yellow blush on a couple of bananas and a couple of others with the ends chewed off. The fruit bats (flying foxes) can always sniff out a ripening banana long before I can. The stalks are now hanging under the house-ripening naturally and away from the bats. Should be no potassium shortages in Dee's or my diets for the next couple of weeks.

ride safe


08 February, 2009

Sobering thoughts

It's early Sunday morning as I type and the news from either end of the country is less than comforting. In Victoria, bushfires are raging and at least 14 people have been confirmed dead. There are fears the number may climb as high as 40. With strong winds and temperatures over 45C, there's not a lot the fire service can do. 

Here in North Queensland, the monsoonal rains and floods also continue with falls of over 100mm recorded in many locations since yesterday. The town of Ingham, which has been enduring severe flooding for the past week, may get a bit of a reprieve today as the monsoonal trough moves south and carries the worst of the rain with it. We are located about 110km south of Ingham and will likely receive some further heavy falls.

As an added bonus, today and Monday we will have our highest tides of the year with the prediction of an additional .5 of a metre in height. With all of the flooding that's taking place, this could seriously impact a lot of people all along the coast here in the North. And it's not just people and property being impacted- infrastructure has been washed away or seriously weakened and local fauna and livestock are in danger as well.

Dee and I are going to jump on the MTB's and head down to the river for a look in just a bit. I'll try and get some pics.

Dee has put up some pics on her blog.

Cheers- ride safe

03 February, 2009

Ok- who stole the bilge pump?

Crikey!! (as Steve Irwin would have said) enough with the rain already. I know we live in the tropics and there are associated risks with it but "Holy cow!" I'm getting really tired of the rain this week(Last week, week before, etc). It just doesn't want to stop.

We just took a walk down along the river to the weir to watch the river flowing as a result of the torrential rains we've had. The water is coming over at about 1.5 meters high- "Wall-to-wall and tree-top tall" as we used to say once upon a time.  But that pales in comparison to the Burdekin River to our west near Charters Towers. As I write, the river is currently flowing at 6.75 metres above the bridge- a total river height of 20.25 metres.

And as one would expect, this has had a definite detrimental effect on our cycling regime. Short of wearing scuba gear and putting solid tyres on to deal with the potholes, the options for cycling at the moment are pretty much restricted to "the trainer." The numbers for the week are pretty easy to remember- all zeroes.

"This too will pass" and we'll be back on the roads before you know it. Oh yeah- I have to catch a plane at 6:30 tomorrow morning and the Bureau of Meteorology is warning of the possibility of another cyclone at the end of the week. Looks like zeroes for a solid week.

Cheers- ride safe (and dry)

01 February, 2009

Batten down the hatches

I got up at 4:30 this morning- hoping that when I looked at the radar, the heavy downpour we were having was going to be short-lived and I could head out for a spin. The weather news is "not hopeful"- a cyclone has formed to the northeast of us and is expected to cross the coast about 120 km north of here tomorrow morning. Winds are forecast to increase this afternoon (they've already been gusting to 45) and possibly reach 100 km/hr and there will most likely be flooding rains for those of us on the south side of the system.

Given the amount of rain we have already had this wet season, the ground is fairly well saturated and when the winds do start to pick up, we can expect to see a number of trees fall. There is also a lot of road damage (washouts and potholes) around the city which we probably won't see fixed up for some time. It's a good thing we don't have frost and snow like we did in Canada- I don't know how the roads would ever survive. 

It's starting to get light out and the rain has eased a bit so I better grab some brekkie and a coffee and get ready to a check around the yard for any potential missiles.

The Numbers:
The Week:186.1

Cheers- ride safe