Friday, September 26, 2008

Running For President!

I just got this in the email. I can't believe it!

Pre-Surgery Meeting

The Waite
As advanced as the medical profession is, I don't believe they have the one basic tenant of all business down pat. Scheduling. I was actually seen and worked on by someone for 45 minutes to and 1 hour. But I spent 4 hours at the hospital. Aside from that, the care is great.

First Meeting
Well we met with the doctor and asked all the questions. I seems that when they doctors first saw the problem, they thought it might heal itself. After the last CT Scan and they saw the holes and the blood moving the wrong way it became clear it was only going to get worse. The reason for surgery now is to avoid and major arterial wall damage that would require a more extensive surgery. What is planned is quite basic.

The Surgery
First they will give me anesthesia, then the doctor will cut a 4 inch slice into my groin (see the illustration.) Inset the sting and sew me back up. The stint will block the blood flow into the wall of the artery and it will then heel up.

I can take it easy and do just about everything after surgery. 2 weeks later I can start PT and walking again. 4 weeks and I can start running and pool work. 6 weeks and I should be just fine.

The Bad News
I can't believe this, even with my medication my blood pressure was 155/93 and I weighed 208 lbs. That is 2 shy of the most I have even weighed!

So Cute!
My second daughter ask my wife if she could stay home and spend the day with me, just in case I don't make it. I thought it was cute, my wife didn't.

Wednesday October 1, 2008; early in the morning will be surgery. My next blog will be October 2nd, after I get home (unless I don't make it.)

P. S. - I have an account at for live video broadcasting. When I am rebroadcasting again, I will let you know what date and time. To see my broadcasts go to

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Physical Therapy and My Knee

No Walking I have been pretty worried about me knee. I took it easy Monday and I only had a problem once. I decided to take it easy and rest my legs, just in case I am overworking a muscle.

Good Morning! I still feel terrible when I first get out of bed and try and walk. My feet are swollen and stiff, and my ankles just ache. It takes some time to get going before I feel semi-normal and can really get moving around.

Checked Out The Knee Well, as soon as I got to PT I had Anthony check out my knee. It was not as bad as I thought, but my knee is loose. He told me that if it keeps giving me problems to have the orthopedic Doctor check it out.

The Pool I think they are playing musical chairs with pool therapy. I had a different pool therapist again. But no problems with my knee in the pool. If I can get them to video tape my in the pool I will let you know.

Next... I have surgery coming up and I will be meeting with the doctors Thursday. We will have to see what we are in for.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

My Right Knee

Saturday Night Luau At church we had a Hawaiian activity. A REAL LUAU! It was great. During the day I started to feel like a pull on the outer right side of my knee. Mostly when I turned corners and my leg would naturally twist. I didn't think much of it. But then today it started to get worse. This evening I had meetings at church and it got even worse! Now the feeling is painful and there is a tearing stretching feeling. THEN at home I felt my knee slip. Later I stepped on a shoe and I felt the pull and tearing in my knee and I fell down. I can't imagine that I have torn something, because after I turn or what ever, the pain is gone. There is no swelling, no pain when I touch or rub it. Only when my knee twists or turns. I am so going to have the PT look at this and I may not be running Tuesday after all.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Walking, Health, and Physical Therapy Update

Weekly Walking Mileage Well this week I did 7 miles, plus a lot of other walking. Just around the house, at a church activity and such. By Saturday I was feeling pretty tired so I did not go out and log miles on Saturday. I figured I needed a rest.

Physical Therapy I am working with a new physical therapist in the pool. Hello to Tiffany. We did a lot of exercises and new jumping exercises I hadn't done before. I am really excited and looking forward to pool workouts. Mostly because I feel like I am actually running and walking as apposed to on land where all I can do is walk.

Rest - Just Taking A Break I really need to take it easy. I have been feeling sore all week. I started to feel pin prick pain in the arch of my left foot. The pin rick sensation is caused by the stretching and micro tearing of the fascia (tendons) in the bottom of my foot. If I over do my walking, the problem can get worse than it already is and I could be laid up even longer. Taking a break will give my muscles a chance to heal and recover. Then I will be refreshed and ready to go by the beginning of next week. When I say rest, I don't mean sit or lay around and do nothing. I still walk around the house, take my medication, keep my feet up, use ice. I just don't go out and see how hard I can walk for 2 miles. It is called active rest, even though I don't feel very active in the first place.

Running at PT I am supposed to be prepared to run on a treadmill (not in a pool) Tuesday. My first attempt at actual running! Yeah! Probably will be for a minute or so, but I am looking forward to it and I will let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Start of A New Week

First - A Shout Out!
I would like to give a shout out to my Physical Therapist Anthony! So when I start doing Triathlons and running marathons, you can blame him.
Okay, I was talking to my wife about Surgery. For a number of reasons, Surgery would be best soon. And it is easier to schedule now and cancel later than to schedule later. So right now surgery is is scheduled for OCTOBER 1ST.
Walking So Far
This week, I have only done 1.5 miles and that was yesterday (Monday). I still am try to keep up a brisk pace. I was going to try and walk today but, PT was enough for the day, then It rained, and my sister-in-law and family came in. They are a lot more fun then walking. Besides I had to get the house clean.
Physical Therapy
We started out with a warm up on the stationary bike. Then we moved on to the stretches. Today we did something new. We used a trampoline! I did some running in place, jumping forward and back, left and right, then hopping on each foot. It was a lot harder to keep my balance than expected, and it was a good workout. I am still having trouble with my right index finger. It is better than it was, but I am afraid I might be in a permanent point.
So I Am Having Surgery?
This is the deal. I have it scheduled for October 1st. I have an appointment with the Doctors, September 25th. I have one last question for them and this is it: "You had me NPO (no eating) in the ICU at Chapel Hill for 3 days. You looked at a ton of Cat Scans and x-rays. You decided NOT to do surgery then and that we would wait. NOW you want to do surgery. What has changed to make you want to do Surgery now?" Then answer will hopefully be enlightening.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A Lot Of Miles and New PT Treatment

A Word About Walking
When walking there are two general ways of classifying your pace. There is walking and then there is aerobic walking. Walking is what I do with my kids on Sunday when we go to Grandmas house. Aerobic walking is walking at a pretty brisk pace for at least 10 minutes. If you walk briskly for less than that, you really never get your body into the aerobic mode. Aerobics is the way your body fuels its muscles and not whether or not your winded. I am trying to get in a minimum of 3,000 aerobic steps or 20 minutes of Aerobic walking. That is about 1.5 miles of walking briskly. I want to get 10,000 steps a day. We will get to that in the near future.
The Walking Miles For The Week
I walked 7.7 miles at an aerobic pace. The problem still is that after I am done walking I need to take a nap. That medication is killing me. I see the Doctor next Thursday.
Walking In The Pool
I had Physical Therapy on Tuesday and Wednesday. These two days I did pool work. There is a pool with a treadmill in the floor and I did some walking and running in the pool. What the pool does is reduces the impact of the walking and running, but provided resistance by moving through the water. I still can't run on land. It was a good work out and I felt muscle work out through out my legs. I was very tired when I was done, but it felt great to actually run again.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Aneurysm

Questions From My Friends
Okay, people have been asking about my aneurysm. Technically, in my case, it is called a dissection. The aorta has several layers of walls to protect it from damage and to contain the blood when blood pressure levels change. There are two holes in the inner wall of my aorta. Blood is running into one hole and has formed a channel inside the wall of the aorta, then running out the other.
My dissection measures about 3.75 cm. The danger zone is anything over 5 cm. After it reaches 5 cm, the aorta has a high probability of blowing within 6 months.
Now Or Later?
When first discovered during my accident, the doctors decided to wait and watch. Now after a few months they want to operate. They tell me I could wait, keep monitoring it as I have been, but the doctors want to take care of it now. What was the change? I am not completely sure. It has been determined that the blood is flowing into the bottom of the wall and flowing in backwards up the aorta then out the second whole. At the time the doctors told me they wanted to operate, we decided to ask around, think about the situation, and then make a decision. I have not made one yet.
To Run or Not To Run, That Is The Question
Well, I am on heart medication to keep my blood pressure down. Not that it was high, the doctors just want it low. The problem is the medication makes me super tired and I sleep all the time. So, even though I am walking, I don't get enough exercises so I am gaining mega weight. With additional weight, my blood pressure is getting higher. It all seems quite counter productive. I also want to get back to running, but my right ankle is just not there yet. I still need more mobility before I will be able to run on it. The doctor says running will be no problem. Though your heart rate increases a lot during exercise, your blood pressure has a very small increase as long as you are not over exerting yourself. So first chance I get, I will run!
Question Of The Day
Do I operate now or Later? Stay tuned and find out what I decide!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Weekly Milage Count

This Week's Walking Miles So here it is. I walked 7.5 miles this week. That is roughly 16,800 steps. That only includes walking for exercise and not the normally moving around the house. Next Week Total miles for next week (staying with the 20% rule) is 9 miles. Also I am going to start other exercises to get into a better state of fitness. Any Problems? My left ankle has been really sore today. I have met my mileage (thanks to shopping at Walmart last night) so I am going to take it easy today. Did You Drowned? Nope. We survived Tropical Storm Hanna. Lot of rain and water, but that is it. I pretty much slept through it.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Walking For Fitness

A Lot Of Miles Well, I walked 6.5 miles this last week. It was a lot more than I had planned. The Rule Of Thumb Remember that rule I mentioned before about not exceeding 20% of miles in one week. Well, I broke that rule. Now I am really tired. I am lucky I didn't hurt myself.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

More Physical Therapy

Another Appointment This time I didn't do the standard get on the bike for a couple of minutes for a warm up. We did it at the end. Did my stretches again. But this time my therapist did a lot more work on my ankle. there was a really stiff band right down the middle of the back of my leg. He also did a lot more work on that knuckle of my index finger. The Alphabet While the therapist was working on my joints, I was supposed to draw the letters of the alphabet with my feet. Boy, that was more painful than him working on me. I am sure I was grimacing, but it was not because he was hurting me, it was the alphabet. The Bike At the end of Physical Therapy I road a bike for 7 minutes. It was set so that I could see how much power I was exerting on a scale of 1 to 10. The target was 4. So I kept it at 4 until I had 1 minute left, then I jumped to 5. With 30 seconds left, I jumped to 6. With 10 seconds left, I jumped to 8. oh my legs felt like jello when I was done. Ice Good thing they ice down my joints before I leave or I would really be in pain.

Monday, September 1, 2008

The Beard

I thought You Had a Beard!
Everyone has been asking me about my beard. Since all of my pictures are of me and my beard many people thought that I still had it. But I don't.
You Shaved?
Probably about a month after I got out of the hospital, I decided I need to get rid of the beard. So, Stephanie shaved me and my Dad video taped it. The video will be on pretty soon. I will let you know when the video is posted. Until then, here is the latest picture.