In April, LeAnn and I managed to ride a metric century (100km or 62 miles). Just after the first rest stop - about 20 miles in - LeAnn looked over at me and said "I haven't got another 20 in me". We talked as we rode, and she decided she would ride back to the train, and meet me at the end in Ogden.

She turned back, and I looked ahead and saw a group of riders, so I poured it on to catch them and ride with the pack. It took me a little over 10 miles to reel them in, and then shortly after I dropped them because they were going too slow for me.

I got to the next rest stop, refilled my bottles, ate a banana and was back on the road. I rode alone, occasionally being passed and occasionally passing and doing pretty well for riding by myself. When I was about 10 miles from the end, I started to cramp in my right quad. I slowed my roll, and tried to work it out. with about 5 or 6 miles to go, the cramp got so bad I had to stop. I got off my ride, and started working out the cramps - now in both quads and both calves.

After a few minutes, I was back on the bike and pushing toward the end. With about 3 miles to go, I picked up a screw in my rear tire. I heard it clicking on the ground, and quickly stopped. Luckily for me, it hadn't punctured all the way into my tube, so I was able to remove it and roll on.

I rode the last miles in, fighting cramps all the way, but I finished!

Then I looked for LeAnn, and couldn't find her! At that point, I realized I had her phone in my bags. I couldn't even call her! Wondering what happened, I pulled out my phone to call her brother Jeff, who was also on this ride, and saw I had a text message from a guy LeAnn and I had ridden together with in the first 20 miles. It said "... your wife is at the second rest stop and you have her phone".

At the second rest stop? How? She turned back. Didn't she?

About 10 - 15 minutes later, here comes LeAnn, rolling in under her own power across the finish line. I came to find out that when she was only a couple of blocks into her return to the train, she realized that I had her wallet and phone, so she turned around again and tried to catch me... and never saw me again until the finish. She came across the guy we had ridden with, and she told him what had happened. This wonderful man offered to ride with LeAnn for the rest of the ride so they could help each other out, and helped her finish on her own.

Fun, huh?

So now, we're getting ready for the Salt Lake Century - 100 miles from Salt Lake to Antelope Island and back. It's Friday, May 17th, and we need to check in and get our race packets. LeAnn and I were going to meet at the Galivan Center and check in together. As I left work, I saw the train was coming into the station - about 5 minutes early. I took off at a dead sprint to catch the train, and I felt a tearing sensation in my lower abdomen where I'd had a hernia repaired in 1991.

I made the train, and got to the Galivan Center... no LeAnn. I called her work phone... no answer. I called her cell... the same. I waited about 10 minutes and repeated the calls... no answer. Finally I left a message that I would go to packet pick-up and wait in line. I got us both checked in, and finally LeAnn returned my call. She had forgotten and lost track of time.

When she finally got there, we went to dinner, but I was having increasing pain in my abdomen. I finally agreed that I needed to be seen, and we went to LDS hospital. 5 hours and one CT scan later, I was referred to a surgeon to repair my newly ripped hernia.

Dr. Jackson checked me out Wednesday, and I'm up for surgery next Thursday, May 30th.

Oh, what fun. I missed a ride I had paid for, and now I get surgery. I just love my life sometimes.

When I last wrote, I had just been robbed, and I was in the beginnings of treatment for my back pain.

It's many months later, and here's the update:

After all was totaled up, I lost over $3,500 in the robbery, and most of it has not been replaced. The insurance paid up, but there was a $1000 deductable, so I lost out on that part as well.

Dr. Zaman saw me a few times and then told me "I'm sorry, but there's nothing I can do for your. You will have to find someone else to help you". I couldn't believe what I was hearing! What a jerk! Well, I went and found another pain specialist, and had 2 more sets of spinal injections - which didn't help - and then 2 sets of 4 injections in my neck to test if the nerve block would help. It didn't really do much, but Dr. Kahn thought RFA (Radio Frequency Ablation) would give me some relief in my neck.  I had the left side of my neck done in Nov 2012, and within a couple of days it felt like someone was dragging a cheese grater across the occipital region of the left side of the back of my head all the way up to the crown. Along with the constant pain, I started having "spikes" of pain in the left occipital area that would bring me to my knees.

I then had the RFA on the right side of the neck about a month later, and it lasted a whole 3 days! (It's supposed to give me 6-18 months of relief.) At least I didn't get the whole occipital spike thing on the right side as well!

Treatment went on for a couple of months, without much help, and then I'm told that Dr. Kahn had left the practice, and my care was being turned over to the physician's assistant that worked with Dr. Davis - Dr. Kahn's partner. No problem, a PA has a lot of schooling, and is plenty qualified to give good care. However, Kyle didn't seem to care too much. I would complain about the occipital pain and spikes, and he would do nothing. I would complain again at my next monthly visit, and nothing. Finally after four months of complaining, he tried a nerve block in the scalp itself, which helped for about 24 hours and then petered out.

I tried yet again to get some relief, and to get Kyle to address the fact that in the last 9 months I haven't slept more than 4 hours a night because of pain... nothing.

I finally threatened to leave the care of their team and he stepped up and is trying me on a new medicine regimin.

He gave me another nerve block - 5cc's of fluid in the scalp, which burns like hellfire! This one helped quite a bit though. He also changed my neuralgia med to Lyrica, which seems to be helping with the occipital pain, but it costs me $149 per month - AFTER my insurance! I'm not sure what is worse, the pain in my head, or the pain in my wallet!

To top everything else off, my back has gotten so bad that I had to step down as a nurse and take a clerical job in the hospital. I like the work, but it sucks to give up a career that I had put over 20 years into.

On the plus side, my daughter Chrissy and her husband got sealed in the Salt Lake Temple along with their three kids!  A shining beacon of light in an otherwise painful existence.