Tuesday, July 28, 2015

EKG Test

So yesterday I got a quick health screen and one of the things was an EKG. The EKG says I recently had a heart attack. What? I never knew anything about having a heart attack. Is that even possible? Apparently it is possible and is called a silent heart attack. The clinic advised me to go straight to the ER and get follow up testing. I declined their advice.

How could I possibly have had a silent heart attack while riding my bike so often and getting so much cardio while riding long distances and pumping up all those hills and mountains? I also already eat a heart healthy diet that is as healthy as I can. No soft drinks ever, only a few beers once in a while, mostly veggies with some meat and fish, low fat diet, low salt and sugar diet and on and on and I lead a low stress lifestyle and my blood pressure is in the low normal range. It seems crazy to me.

I asked what treatment is given if I go get further tests and the dr basically just reiterated teaching me how to live my current lifestyle. So I did not see any point in follow up tests. So now if you hear that I had a massive cardiac failure or something similar you will know I was warned. I just hope the warning does not cause excess worrying that contributes to that future event. I am still pondering this test result and if I come up with anything worthwhile I will post it otherwise I plan to dump this info out of my mind and get on with my life, worryfree, same as before.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Early End to my Ride

I gave up on my bike ride along the West coast of Australia. There were a number of reasons for ending my ride. My sore back was making it difficult to enjoy riding. My 94 year old mother fell and broke her hip. My funds were running low. All three reasons contributed to my decision to fly back to the states early. When I hurt my back near Melbourne I did a pretty good job of injuring myself. I am sure the audible pop I heard when I twisted while lifting the heavy table was a disc getting injured. I recovered enough to get around somewhat but when I rode my bike every bump I hit sent electrical jolts up my spine and hurt too much to enjoy riding. That alone was enough to end my ride. My mom needed surgery to repair her broken hip after a fall and at her age health problems can go south quickly and I was three days of traveling away from where she was. Three days is a long time, too long in an emergency. I cut that to several hours just by returning to California. My money was running short because I had to spend too much money on accommodations after I hurt my back. When I was riding daily I typically camped out which was way cheaper than hostels and hotels which is where I ended up spending a few weeks. When I ride I spend about $30-35 a day with most of that going to food. The hotels were costing $65-85 and hostels cost $30-35 a day just for the bed and then I need to add food and some entertainment on top of that. In the end I still had enough cash to finish the ride if I could have been riding but not enough to just sit around in hotels and hostels.

I still enjoyed my trip to Australia despite not being able to ride as much as I had planned to ride. I will get healthy and build up my bank account and then hit the road again. I am not sure right now when or where I will do that. I have an opportunity to go back to New Zealand for a few months and I will more than likely do that. After NZ I may return to Australia to finish my ride on the West coast. I also want to ride in Southeast Asia from Thailand through Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and up through China. Not sure which route I will end up riding but when I do I will continue this blog. Until that time I will update every once in a while with the direction my plans are heading or any other interesting items that come along. So thanks for reading my blog and I hope you enjoyed some of it.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Hanging out in Fremantle

I have been in Fremantle now for over a week. My back was too sore to ride a loaded up bike or to travel so I have been doing my best to get healthy again. I am eating well, drinking lots of fluids, resting and getting light rides in when the weather has allowed it. I am enjoying Fremantle. I am improving but slowly. I am pretty sure my bike ride is over for now. I will not be riding the west coast as I had planned. Such is life.

The beaches here are nice white sand with beautiful multi hued blue water. There is a bike path that follows the beach and I have been riding it most days when it is not raining out. I have met a few other bikers on my rides and they have all been very friendly. The town here has a lot of people that commute to work on their bikes and there are bike lanes in most places. Although Fremantle is a large suburb of Perth it has a small town feel and I like that. They had a winter ice festival last weekend with an ice skating rink, snow machine and food venders that drew a lot of tourists into town. There are a few nice pubs and a few brew pubs also. I have tried a few but I do not really want to drink much until my back is healed. My money is also running short and with craft beers running about $11.00 a pint it gets expensive to hang in the pubs. Last night I went out to the National Hotel and watched a big rugby match called the State Of Origin Series. The game was a one sided blowout so not very exciting but I had a good time with a bunch of young English guys that I went there with from the hostel. They were all complaining about hangovers today but I felt fine.

Tomorrow I made some plans to go out sightseeing with another guy from the hostel. I have no idea where he wants to go or what he wants to do but I will go along with whatever he decides since that is better than me sitting here reading crime and mystery novels all day and night. I will post if there is anything we do worthwhile. Here are some pics of the local beaches. I tend to be out there early in the morning and the temps are around 13C or in the mid 40s F so there are not many people on the beaches.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Perth to Fremantle Prison YHA

I packed up this morning and with high pain and low mobility I headed out on my bike to Fremantle which is the mouth of the Swan River at the Indian Ocean. The total distance from YHA Perth to YHA Fremantle is only 23 Kilometers but in my sorry ass condition it seemed like way too far. I felt every bump reverberate up and down my spine like bolts of lightning. It was not fun.

I am now sitting at a coffee chop overlooking the ocean in Fremantle. It is a beautiful setting for me to reup my meds and savor a cup of coffee for a while. I am not sure what is next for me. I will not be able to ride any distance in this condition so I am going to book a week at the hostel here and then reevaluate my situation. I am a bit disappointed in my tired old body. Everything was going well until my stupid lift and twist with the picnic table three weeks ago.

I will sit here for an hour or so enjoying what I am able to and then meander the rest of the way over to the YHA Prison Hostel on the other side of the river.

Made it to the YHA prison hostel and I like the place. Built right in an old maximum security prison with all new modern facilities in the baths and kitchen plus it is extremely quiet. The Perth YHA was very very loud with trains, helicopters and loud street people making lots of noise all night long. Here it is silent. Good spot to catch up on some reading. I need to heal so a lot of relaxing mixed with some stretching and light exercise should do me some good. I will try to eat cheaply and healthy with lots of fruits and veggies. I do hope I get better. Even if I only get to do a little riding out on this coast I will be happy. a few pics from today

Monday, June 29, 2015

Day off in Perth

I have been in Perth now for three days. I put my bike back together after finding out that once again some of the parts were missing in the box. It took me a few hours to locate some replacement parts but the bike is running fine once again. My body however, is not running so well. My back is still killing me. I took my unloaded bike out for a short ride and every single little bump hurt me like hell. Sore backs are not fun. I will not be able to ride in the near future. I am afraid my ride might be over already. I was really looking forward to riding here on the Western coast of Australia but it is looking more and more like I will not be able to. Let me say it one more time, Never, Never! Lift and Twist!!!

Today I went around town with Paul, a friend I met on the train ride. We wandered around town after getting some coffee and then tried to take a river cruise but we missed the boat. We decided to ride the free bus around town to get our bearings and on the way decided to visit the park. Good choice, I enjoyed wandering around the park.

I was able to walk further today than I have been able to walk for the last 21 years. I attribute that to the health benefits of riding my bike so much along with the codeine enhanced ibubrofen I took beforehand. It surprised me a little that I did not have any seizures or anything while we walked through the park. I will of course have high pain later tonight from it but that is a nightly issue regardless. What is the difference between high chronic pain and higher chronic pain??? it still is over the top pain so no worries mate.

Tomorrow I am planning on moving to Freemantle prison YHA. It is 25 kilometers away. I am going to try to ride my bike to it. If I can't make it then I am not sure what will happen. I would rather be there close to the beach than here in Perth. I like going to the beach and in the past the beach has helped me heal so maybe it will work again. If I am not better in another week I will have to alter my plans or I may just try to go back to California. Wish me luck healing. a few pics from the walk in the park today