Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Biking withdrawal, health, and music
I can't even bring my bike inside and put it on the trainer because our basement is a disaster, packed with boxes, while we await the foundation repair guys to fix the leak in our basement.
My "good" shoulder is doing bad. I'm still convinced it's bursitis, but haven't had it checked by my doctor yet. Changing my pillow and doing some of the physio exercises that I used to do for my injured shoulder seems to help a little. I guess if there's a good time for it to be bad, now is the time and I can hope that it improves before next spring.
About two years ago, I got Rocksmith to try and help me learn to play guitar. While it was fun, the cumbersome game interface became too much of a hassle to keep it fun. I played it on and off since, but probably didn't touch it in the last year.
Recently, Rocksmith 2014 was released. I picked it up and have been playing it pretty much on a daily basis since. The interface and usability has greatly improved.
Ubisoft has something they call a 60-day challenge. Play the game 1 hour per day for 60 days. In typical Ubisoft fashion, their tracking web site still isn't ready to actually track your progress properly. It's "coming soon".
We'll see how long I stick with this one. :)
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
The good: My "bad" (left) shoulder is doing fantastic. Much better than I expected. Weather permitting, I bike to work on a regular basis. Unfortunately, due to the weather, that hasn't been as often as I would like. I have a goal of riding 90kms in one outing before the end of the summer. I managed to do 68.8kms once without even trying so I think I should be fine. I've already reached 40% of my 2000km overall summer goal.
The bad: My good (right) shoulder is bothering me. I think I have a pinched nerve in there somewhere. I didn't do anything to injure it, as I did with my left shoulder, but it really hurts if I move it in certain ways. Thankfully, cycling isn't affecting it. Sleeping on it seems to have the most adverse affect on it. It's been like this for a couple of months, but I've decided to give it more time before becoming too concerned with it. Besides, I'm almost due for my annual physical so I'll bring it up then, but I suspect my doctor won't be too concerned about it and may just refer me to physio or something.
The weather for the rest of the summer is supposed to be much better than it has been for June, so I'm hoping to get in a lot more cycling. Despite my goal for 2000kms, I think I might push for 3000kms. :)
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
An so it begins...
My shoulder and neck feel pretty good (knock on wood). There have been a few times that I felt my bicep tingle, as a result of my neck, but pulling my shoulders back seems to alleviate that.
The morning rides to work are still a little on the chilly side at 10c.
I'm finding it a little difficult to motivate myself to ride. In past years, I wouldn't hesitate to go, but now I have to guilt myself into doing it. :) I haven't done any Nike+ workouts in weeks, so this is my one and only major physical activity.
Saturday, April 13, 2013
There's still a little bit of snow on the ground due to a surprise snow storm over the last two days, but I think next weekend will be the first time out for this year. I hope so anyway.
My shoulder has been feeling pretty good, overall. I've had a few days where it didn't feel quite right, but I can associate those days with not doing any workouts in the days prior.
Whenever I go for a couple of days without any workouts, I can feel my arm and my shoulder begin to stiffen up, and then I also feel it in my neck.
Ever since I pull my calf muscle, my workouts have been very sporadic. I'm sure there's some laziness thrown in there, but mostly it's because of a fear that it's going to happen again. A few times last week, I felt the calf muscle tighten up just from walking up stairs. It's been ok for the last week though.
I have to make more of an effort to do something. Anything, to keep them loosened up, or I'm going to be in the same situation as last year.
For such a lazy bastard that I can be, I sure love cycling. Without it... I don't know what I'd do. I don't think of it as exercise as some people might. A motorcyclist could probably relate to the same feeling that it gives me. Except this is under my own power.
A 360 degree sight and sound freedom experience.
Saturday, February 23, 2013
Beer fueled ramblings
My wife and I (and daughter and niece) took a trip down to WinterBrewed last Saturday to sample some fine craft brews. Just to clarify, my our daughter and niece didn't do any sampling, they were there for the food. :) Our timing must have been good because we didn't have to wait long for anything, unlike those who arrived later in the afternoon and had to endure 30 minute lineups just to purchase tokens to sample the brews. This was the first time they held one in the winter, and the first time on Sparks Street. Hopefully they work out the glitches for next year.
Since my wife was DD, I did most of the sampling. :) My favourite was the St. Ambroise maple. I would have liked to sample more, but we ran out of tokens and it was rather chilly. I'm sure the next National Capital Craft Brew week this spring will be much more comfortable.
Shoulder, fitness, etc.
My shoulder felt pretty damn good since the last physio appointment. I had another appointment this past Friday as well. I mentioned to my physiotherapist that I had been doing a lot of workouts, focusing more on upper body. She said the increased blood flow to my shoulder is likely why it's been feeling good. I'm really looking forward to spring when I can try cycling again.
My weight loss isn't going so well, but at the same time it's not bad either. Although I really haven't lost much, I haven't gained either. (I blame the beer and weekly pizza, but I'm not about to give up either) When I can, on the weekends, I've increased my workouts. I've combined the Nike+ workouts with the 'ol Your Shape Fitness Evolved workouts, and a little Kinect Sports Season 2 thrown in at the end for fun. That ended up being 2 hours worth of exercise today. :)
My wife and I went to the Bon Jovi concert this past Wednesday. We sat in the 300 level, and they only cost me about $40 per ticket (after surcharges and tax) I have to say that they were the best cheap seats I've ever had for a concert.
Saturday, February 9, 2013
Health, weight, shoulder, etc
I know why.
I like beer.
My beer sampling weekends are definitely not helping me reach my goal. I don't think I want to stop beer sampling, so the only other options are to either stop eating altogether, or ramp up the work outs.
I think the answer is obvious.
I increased my Nike workouts to 4 times per week this week, and will continue with that plan. After I completed my work out today I felt pretty good so I threw in the old Your Shape Fitness Evolved disc and went through a couple of rounds of cardio boxing, that I used to do with this game.
I really enjoyed it. It's not super heavy on the full body cardio, which makes it fairly easy to keep up with. I decided that I'm going to continue to do it on the days that I'm not doing the Nike workout.
So my schedule is now as follows:
- Sun - Nike Kinect
- Mon - YSFE Cardio Boxing
- Tue - Nike Kinect
- Wed - YSFE Cardio Boxing
- Thu - Nike Kinect
- Fri - YSFE Cardio Boxing
- Sat - Nike Kinect & optional YSFE Cardio Boxing
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Shoulder issues continue
I may have over-worked my left shoulder on Sunday. I think it was due to a combination of an unscheduled workout that I decided to do, and then installing shelves on our living room wall.
The burning sensation in my shoulder and bicep drove me crazy while I tried to sleep Sunday night, and most of the day on Monday. Monday was also my scheduled workout day. I was hesitant to do it, figuring I'd give my arm a rest, but in the end decided to go ahead and skip anything that seemed like it might be rough on my arm. Luckily for me that only meant skipping one set of knee push-ups. The rest of the workout went fairly well.
I slept a little better last night, but still not as good as I would have liked. I was sure that today I'd have a better day, but I think it was worse. On a few occasions today I had to get up and walk around. Sitting just seemed to make my arm worse. Strangely enough, this evening as I type this it's not too bad at all.
I may have figured out part of the cause at work. Although my chair is one of those ergonomic styles, I think the arm rests were a little too low, so my arm was doing more hanging than resting. The big test will be tomorrow. I can't put up with more discomfort.
On the plus side, it looks like the Nike Kinect Training game is syncing better with the Nike web site. My score is still a little off, but it's not giving a disconnect error anymore. Xbox support had also posted a msg in their forum that they were aware of issues and they took it down temporarily to fix it. That was before I tried it, so hopefully there's still some fixing to do so my scores are in sync properly.
Sunday, January 13, 2013
Slackin' and updatin'
Yup, it's been a while. Way too long. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, and all that crap. :)
So, to update... my iPhone was replaced and is fully functional. (knock on wood that it stays that way) Restoring the data from the backup was relatively painless, although I have to admit that I held my breath a few times as the phone updated.
Once I was back online, I got some strange error that seemed to be related to the Telus network, for which nobody had a solution for. It cleared itself up after a couple of days. I suspect it had to do with transferring the SIM card and auto-registering the replacement phone with Telus. I have no clue, but since it doesn't happen anymore I don't really care.
My shoulder and neck issues still exist. Some days are good, some not so good. I've been to physio twice since the last update. I always feels great when leaving there. I really have to get an appointment with my family doctor so he can give me a referral for massage therapy, which my physiotherapist recommended for my shoulder.
Again on the health front, I think I have Olecranon bursitis (aka water on the elbow) My elbow doesn't look different, but man does it hurt when I lean on it a certain way. It started off as a small area of pain that was difficult to find and increased to a larger area capable of causing a nasty burning pain when leaned on. And there's really nothing I can do for it, other than try to avoid leaning on it.
In other news, I have decided to get off my ass again and resume workouts. My weight hasn't been very stable lately as a result of too much holiday indulgances and my recent hobby of trying new beers. In fact, it's on the increase and since I don't want to stop enjoying my new hobby, I have to start paying the "beer tax".
I first went back to the Your Shape Fitness Evolved game. While it worked for me the last time, it's now way out of date. I considered getting their 2012 version but the bugginess and lack of support from Ubisoft for well-known issues left a bad taste in my mouth. After reading their forums, it would appear that some of those issues still exist with the new version. I also found out that they're not making a 2013 version for the Xbox, only for the Wii U.
So, I decided to give the Nike+ Kinect Training game a go. I've only completed the fitness evaluation and one workout session so far, but it's pretty intense and I'm still aching after yesterday. My workout days (for now) are Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday.
On a different note, I'm thinking about maybe ditching the blog on Posterous and only having it on Blogger.com. I currently write it out and publish it on Posterous, and then autopost it to Blogger, but I think most of the traffic is heading to the Blogger location. In fact, it's rare that I get any comments here, but I get them on Blogger. If I can figure out how to get the domain to redirect, any changes should be transparent to anyone who happens to read this.
Saturday, November 24, 2012
MRI results - the good, the bad, but no ugly
The good is that the muscle is not a complete tear. That actually surprised me. I fully expected the doctor to say it had completely torn, as he suspected. In some strange way, I'm a little disappointed. That sounds odd, I know, but at least it would fully explain why it felt like it had completely separated.
So what exactly is wrong with my shoulder? The summary paragraph says:
"Longitudinal delamination/tears of the supraspinatus and infraspinatus tendons are likely to be concealed at arthroscopy although is not possible to exclude pinpoint communication of the supraspinatus tear to the bursal surface."The doctor explained that this means the muscle and/or previous tear is rubbing and causing small wear tears on that muscle. It's being compressed in the joint.
The solution? There really is none, other than to continue physio to improve the strength. If there's no improvement, surgery could be an option but it's unlikely.
I made an appointment with my physiotherapist to show her the results so we could plan our next course of action. She said that this condition usually occurs with males 45 yrs and older. In my case, the original injury is just adding to it, along with my poor posture.
The course of action? Keep doing what I'm doing with regards to the exercises and focus more on better posture (says me, as I slouch in my chair typing this...) She also suggested that I may want to consider massage therapy for my neck, but I'll need to get a referral from my doctor for that if I want it to be covered by my health insurance.
The bad is that my cycling will likely aggravate it. :( The only thing I can do to minimize the discomfort is to adjust my seat and/or handlebars so that I'm not bent over the handlebars as much, and perhaps take more frequent breaks while I'm out cycling.
I'm not happy about it. A few people have suggested a recumbent bicycle. While it would help with my shoulder and pinched neck nerve issues, I'm not to keen on the thought. I ride in a lot of places where a recumbent bike would simply not work. I read a little about them and if I were to consider one, it would definitely be the tricycle style.
I have the winter to work on improving my shoulder and neck and I guess I'll see what happens in the spring when I resume cycling.
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
MRI results are in... soon
I got a call this afternoon from the Carleton University Sports Medicine Clinic, to book an appointment to discuss the results of my MRI. The date is next Tuesday at 9:30am.
I'm really glad that I don't have to wait a long time. I knew they'd get the results in 7-10 days, but based on how long I had to wait to see them in the first place, I expected to wait about a month to find out what the scoop is.
The waiting is almost over.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
I can't recall where I went for my last MRI 4 years ago, but at CHEO they let me choose between listening to my choice of radio stations, or watching a movie with headphones and goggles while in the MRI machine. Seeing as how it was only going to last 20 minutes, I chose to listen to the radio. Unfortunately, many of the sounds the machine makes were still quite audible in the headphones.
I was much more comfortable this time than I was the last. My shoulder didn't ache at all, despite being squished into a shoulder cup and the machine itself.
After it was done they said that they got some excellent images of my shoulder since I was able to remain perfectly still.
Now I have to wait a week for the results to be sent to the doctor and then for an appointment to get the results from him.
My physiotherapy sessions are also on hold until the results are available. My last appointment was last Wednesday. Once I get a copy of the results I can book another appointment so my physiotherapist can determine what, if any, other exercises she can have me do. I can still do all of the home exercises, although I'm getting really bad for not doing them.
My neck (pinched nerve) issues are still present, but not as bad as they were when this all started. I still get some tingling in my arm, usually when I forget to keep good posture, which occurs more than I'd like to admit.
As much as I hate to say it, I think cycling is over for this year. I have to bring my bike inside soon so it's available for mounting onto the trainer, should I decide to try that again.
Saturday, September 29, 2012
I'm baaaaack... back in the saddle agaaaain...
Today I went cycling for the first time in 67 days. I was a little unsure about it, but overall it went much better than I expected it would. I rode for about 45 mins in total, travelling a distance of around 16kms.
I did have a little tingling in my arm and hand occasioanally, but it wasn't continuous nor was it unbearable.
It felt awesome. Man, did I ever miss it. I will no doubt go back out again sometime soon. I'm not sure if I'm ready to resume riding to work or not.
Physio is still going well, but I'm now on a 2-week schedule. My next appointment is on Wednesday. My phsyiotherapist is awesome and I can't wait to go back.
I finally got a call on Friday to book my MRI appointment. I'll be having it done at CHEO (Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario), of all places, on October 21st at 2:30pm. Seems kinda weird having it done at children's hospital, but if that's the only MRI machine available that's where it gets done. Of course, it could still be cancelled if someone needs it more urgently. I'm anxious to find out what's going on in my shoulder.
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Physio — Part IV
Had a really good physiotherapy session yesterday morning, and a pretty good day over all; a big difference in comparison to the day before.
I've got a couple of stretching routines added to my exercises. Maybe they helped? Or maybe I'm just being more aware of my posture sitting at my desk. Regardless, I felt pretty good and I had a good sleep last night, without waking up every hour or two. It'll be a week until my next appointment, so it'll be interesting to see how just doing my exercises will work out.
I'm still fighting the urge to try cycling.
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Physio Part III
My first day back at work after 3 weeks of vacation and it started with a double-appointment of physiotherapy. Got more deep massage to work out the tight muscles and knots in my left shoulder and neck, more of my usual physio exercises — plus two new ones — and ended with the electro-therapy.
My physiotherapist said that the muscles in my shoulder and neck are definitely looser than they've been. I can also feel my left arm regaining some strength. I'm still getting the occasional tingling in my left arm, which she says is due to posture.
Trying to remember to sit up straight at work was a bitch. I kept catching myself slouching. This is probably the biggest challenge.
The two new excercises are tough. I don't know what they're called, but one involves standing on one end of the exercise band, and then pulling up on the other end to the side with a straight arm, and the other is almost the same except pulling up 45 degrees from the side and front with thumb facing down. That's apparently where your arm is the weakest. I can really feel these ones.
I'm feeling pretty sore right now from when she worked out the tight muscles in my neck and shoulder. My next appointment is on Wednesday morning so I'm hoping they're not still achy then.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
I had my second physiotherapy appointment this morning. It was a double appointment. That's what my physiotherapist wanted because we need to work on my neck and my arm.
It was a little on the painful side at times because the muscles on the left side of my neck and the bad shoulder are pretty tight and she pressed pretty hard with her fingers to work them loose. I asked her if they were tight beause of the pinched nerve, and she said she suspects it's because the shoulder injury is causing me to shrug as I raise my arm to compensate for the weakness.
I could really feel them loosen up. She'd press hard, it would hurt a little and then they'd slowly give way. It was kinda cool, in a weird way I guess.
After about half an hour of that, I did my physio exercises and then got hooked up to the electrotherapy machine for 15 minutes.
I left with an arm and shoulder that fell pretty damn good. My arm is still very weak, but I think I'm seeing some improvement. Slowly, but surely. The physio exercises feel like the're getting a little easier. What's depressing is when I do them with my good arm for comparison and see how easy they should be, and how much trouble I have doing them with my bad arm. It just reminds me of how far I have still to go.
I've pretty much accepted the fact that any more cycling this summer is not going to happen, unless it's on the trainer in the basement where I don't need to lean forward on handlebars. I'm pretty bummed out about that.
My next appointment -- another double -- is on Monday, and the one after is on Wednesday. I'll be back at work that week, so I tried to get them as early in the day as possible.
Monday, August 20, 2012
My therapist wants to work on not just my shoulder, but the pinched nerve in my neck as well. I didn't expect that, but I'm really pleased about it. After the assessment, she said that it's likely due to poor posture at work, sitting in front of a computer, not from cycling. If we don't see an improvement with my pinched nerve, then she'll send me back to Sports Clinic Doctor for a follow-up so he can include my neck in the MRI that I'll eventually be getting.
Today also included some exercises and electrotherapy on my shoulder. That was kinda weird but my shoulder felt pretty good after.
I was sent home with some exercises to do twice a day and a tension band to use for the exercises. I also booked my next appointment for Wednesday morning.
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Good news & bad news?
Our family vacation in PEI went well. Some of the driving really bothered my arm though. Certain positions occasionally cause nasty discomfort. It's weird because the same positions at other times are perfectly fine.
I think the pinched nerve in my neck is getting better, slowly. It still cause a weird sensation in my arm when I tilt my head back.
I went to my appointment at the Carleton University Sports Clinic this morning. I explained everything to the doc and gave him a copy of my MRI results from 4 years ago. As soon as I mentioned weakness in my arm, he had me do some strength tests. He seemed pretty certain that the muscle I had torn 4 years ago is now completely separated. I asked him about what my famiily doc said about being in pain if it was torn more and he said that's not always the case. But the fact that my arm is weak moving in certain ways and not in others is a good indicationt that the rotator cuff is torn, and may require surgery. O_o I also asked about my neck and the occasional arm numbness. He said that's a separate issue, so there are two things going on. He didn't seem that concerned about the pinched nerve.
But, we won't know if it's torn until I get an MRI. He filled out the paper work and I guess I'll be awaiting a call to book that appointment.
First things first; an X-ray and physiotherapy.
Even if it is completely torn, he said that 70% of the time, strength can be regained with physiotherapy and the muscle may not need to be repaired. The other 30% requires surgery. I'm not looking forward to that option.
I could go anywhere for the physiotherapy, but I decided to stick with Carleton University since shoulders are one of their specialties. I walked over to the Sports Therapy Centre and booked my physiotherapy appointment for Monday morning, which also happens to be the same day that I have a follow-up appointment to see my family doctor, and also fill him in on what I've done I suppose.
I then went for the X-ray at the Merivale Imaging centre. The Doctor said he can get the results on the computer from them. I'm not sure why my family doc didn't send me for the X-ray at the same time as prescribing the Celebrex. It would have made more sense than waiting.
I guess the good news is that I'm closer to finding out what's wrong. The bad news is that it may not be that good. :(
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
I had a good day yesterday.
First of all, my day was relatively comfortable, all things considered. One of the better days I've had in a long time.
My family doctor appointment also went really well. He's still convinced it's a pinched nerve though. That's a good thing, I suppose. More on that in a bit.
He prescribed 3 weeks worth of Celebrex with the hope that it will help. I have a follow-up appointment on the 20th, where he will decide whether or not to send me for an X-ray. If the Celebrex doesn't help and the X-ray indicates anything questionable, then we will look at getting an MRI and possibly some "nerve studies".
On Sunday night I did a little internet research. Yeh, I know... they say that the surest way to convince yourself that you're dying is to search the internet for your syptoms. ;-)
One thing that I've known for a while is that a possible side effect of taking Crestor for my cholesterol is a muscle degeneration condition which can lead to kidney problems. That crossed my mind. My doc put that thought to rest. He said I have other issues with my arm and shoulder, and that the condition doesn't usually focus on a single muscle. My other thought was that the muscle tore more than it did 4 years ago. Again, unlikely, because I have full range of motion without any obvious discomfort while moving my arm.
So a pinched nerve is the best diagnosis for the time being.
Something else I discovered while doing my evening "research" was that taking multi-vitamin supplements can apparently cause muscle aches and pains, and dizziness.
Although the arm and shoulder issues began in May, it was only recently that it got worse. It was mid-June that I started taking a multi-vitamin supplement. Whether this is a coindence or not, I stopped taking it on Sunday and since then my arm has been doing better. Also, last week and the week before I had been experiencing occasional dizziness when standing up too quickly. Kinda like a head rush. That has also stopped. Needless to say, it's unlikely that I'll resume taking the multi-vitamin.
I so miss cycling. I've already put a few pounds back on since I stopped. It's difficult to keep that in check without being able to work out on my bike. :-\
Sunday, July 29, 2012
It's been 5 days since I last rode my bike. This is driving me crazy.
My shoulder and arm have had good and bad days. I'm not sure what it is I do — if anythiing — that causes the bad days, but they are unbelievably uncomfortable.
Sleeping can be difficult as well. If I can find just the right position, I'm out like a light, but I've had a few nights where I constantly wake up because of the "vice".
My appointment at the Carleton University Sports Medicine Clinic is on August 16th. I also have an appointment with my own doctor this Tuesday.
Man do I miss biking.
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Today is the first day that I've been relatively pain-free. So far.
The pain came and went yesterday, but stuck around for most of the day, despite taking anti-inflammatory meds.
It's actually more discomfort than pain. It hurts, yeh, but the feeling is like my bicep is stuck in a vice and there's a blunt object jammed in my shoulder. And they're on fire.
I tried an ice pack for a few hours last night. Not very comfortble, but I think it made a difference later on when I went to bed. I had a little trouble finding a comfortable sleeping position, but I managed to get to sleep eventually. I'll use the ice pack again tonight.
I woke up this morning with a bit of pain, particularly when I got out of bed causing my dangling arm pulled down on my shoulder, but I popped a few Advils and made it through to now. I have had a few instance of "bicep in a vice" but they went away fairly quickly after flexing my arm a few times.
I'm going to call the Carleton University Sports Medicine Clinic later this afternoon to see if I get an appointment.