A year ago, my back injuries and chronic pain got so bad I had to retire from nursing as my career. After spending more than 20 years helping people, I was through, and I didn't know what to do! My old boss went to bat for me with the hospital, and the HR people called me with an offer: "You can go to the Home Telehealth team and work as their PSA (program support assistant), or we will have to terminate your employment as we have no other positions to offer you." Of course, I took the offer. So on top of the stress and depression related to the chronic pain, I had the depression of losing my career, and the stress of going into a new job I was not trained for.

I took the cosmic dice and rolled... and for once, I didn't crap out! My new boss was a wonderful person who hired me knowing I was going to have a higher-than-average use of sick time and doctors visits, and she was completely supportive. Luckily for me, I'm a very computer-literate person, so training as a PSA was a piece of cake, and I have found I actually enjoy the job (most of the time).

So with the back in bad shape, I kept training, and completed the "Front Runner Metric Century" with my wife - a 100Km organized ride. Then in May, came the "Salt Lake Century"... and the day before - I was injured. I was running to catch my train, when I felt something pull and tear in an old surgical site in my groin. I had torn my old hernia repair. Yeah, I didn't end up riding the SLCentury, and I ended up having surgery to re-repair the hernia - which led to several weeks off of the bike.

Finally I started feeling a bit better and started riding a little again as LeAnn and I had another big ride coming up - the "Tour de Donut" in early July. We were riding a tandem bicycle (bicycle built for two) in the tandem division.

We made it to race day (with far less training than I'd hoped), and we were off! We ended up coming in second in our division! Yeah!

Then, about a week later, I had pain in my left Achilles tendon and in the inner area of the ankle. After some therapy and multiple visits with the podiatrist, it was official... I was set for my second major surgery this year! Stinking 2013!

The surgeon went in and cut the ligament that goes from the medial malleolus (ankle bone on the inside of the ankle) to the heel which was constricting blood flow to the nerves in the bottom of my foot and toes, as well as causing pain in the ankle.

The surgery was a success, but through the time to heal and therapy, I was off of my bike from late July until one week ago - mid Feb 2014. Almost 7 months!

Being back on my bike, and working my way back up to being active has really helped my mood, and I'm back on track in trying to lose weight and be healthy.

-PB


 


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