Thursday, March 31, 2011

Doctor, Doctor!

So I met with the new Endo, Dr. B. to talk about my lab results.  They tested absolutely everything they possibly could by bloodwork.  My organs are all working great and I'm STILL no longer Diabetic.
Adrenals, liver, kidneys, cortisol levels, femme hormone levels. All good.

So my three issues are still my only three issues:  Hypothyroid, Hyperprolactinemia and Anemia.

I had the iron infusion about 3 weeks ago now.  It takes about 4-6 weeks for your liver and spleen to process it and for the bone marrow to start picking it up and transporting it.  There's some soreness associated with that bone marrow transport process, but that just means everything is working.  I think I experienced the soreness over the past weekend.  My hope is I will be feeling improved by the Texas 70.3, and I think I will.  Judging by my heartrate on last weekend's long ride (which was much lower than normal for the effort), the Iron infusion must be helping with the transport of oxygen through my body.  That's a good thing.

As for my thyroid, even on my Levoxyl, Dr. B. said I was in the low-end of normal for my Thyroid function. So I'm off both Levoxyl and Cytomel and she put me on Armour Thyroid. I has natural hormone in it, both T3 andT4 so I don't have to take 2 pills.  It's derived from Dessicated pig hormone, so I keep telling everyone to let me know if I start unknowingly and uncontrollably oinking like a Pig.  :)  Gotta laugh at it, you know?  I'm just on Day 3, so it's too soon to tell anything different, but I can say that my palpatations have completely subsided.  There was no middleground on the Levoxyl for me.  .88 is too little and .100 was too much -- as soon as I'd do .100 7 days a week the palpatations would return.  Again this will be a process, but I'm so glad to be trying something new and not the same thing every 6 weeks!

I continue on the Dostinex because it's doing the job of suppressing Prolactin production.  No more feeling like I'm about to let-down! 

My B-12 is back up, so the shots worked well... so well I need to stop taking them! 

I feel good about this doctor, but time will tell.  

Thursday, March 24, 2011

NextGen -- Kiddo Triathletes!

That's my Cass!  Catchin' Air!
Okay, so my club started this NextGen group.  It's formed of youth and junior aged triathletes... or those who, God help them, want to be triathletes like their Moms, Dads, or God help them, both parents.

Cassie had been dying to do this when she first heard us talking about it.  She's just 6... but you triathletes know that means her race age is 7, so she qualifies.  I was going to make her wait one more year, because up until this training started, you couldn't even say, "Race you upstairs!" because she'd just freeze or get upset with the pressure.  Secretly kind of funny (take my Mom-card, but it was) LOL.

In any case, her excitement was overwhelming and her desire prevailed.  I  gave in and let her do it.  I made sure she was clear that it would be "Racing" and that a few kids might be faster or slower, but that it was most important to try your best, keep a good attitude and have fun.  She said, "Mommy, you never win or finish first... you always have fun."  True.

Except at Redman where I was the only Masters Athena entry  :) 

Anyway, Cass just started stroke swimming, seriously,  about 3 months ago.  Before that, last Summer, she spent as a Tadpole, Polly-wog, or something similar at the YMCA through last Summer, which basically just teaches them to be comfortable in the water and how to float.  She was taking some lessons from a friend of mine for about 8 weeks, and did a little stroke work, but I never expected she'd be able to do what she is doing! 

I'll just preface the following with Kids amaze me.  At the same time, my Daughter scares me so much because she's so determined.  Cassie just started to be able to swim 25 FEET, not yards or meters... 25 FEET without assistance.  While I watching her trying to go 25 meters, I was trying very hard not to be a "Deck Mom" at the first session.  I so was worried about her safely making it 25 meters, just one length of the pool.  I was cringing, biting my nails, trying to calculate in my head how long it would take me to grab and noodle and dive in to save her if she started struggling too much.  Ugh... it killed me... but the best part... the best part was seeing her succeed.  That first day she actually swim 6 lengths, 150m!

The biking part of the training is done on Spin Bikes.  For the few who are too small, my Daughter and a few others included, we found adapters for a particular trainer that lets them use their 20" bikes. So.  Stinkin'. Cute!  They Spin in the same room we Mad Spin in over the winter.  The facility also has a great little track out back so they can practice all disciplines in one spot.

All the kiddos get "homework."  Each week they need to do 30 minutes of something 3 times a week.  This easily lets them continue other sports activities they might be involved in. A local chiro came in last week and gave them a few things to help with strength, like squats, pull-ups and push-ups.  Heck!  The kids even enjoy doing that!!

She is just loving it and each week can't wait for the next session.  Last week I watched her Swim/Run/Swim/Run and then Swim and Run again.  It was the same workout (shorter distance) that I had to do in TriSwim class that week.  She thought it was so cool that she got to do the same thing I did.  I think all the kids get a charge out of being able to do what they see their parents doing.

Here's a few pictures...

Coaches talking to the kiddos

The lil' triathlete in the lead is my killer, kicking, kiddo!

That's Cass on the trainer with the blue shirt on!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Blink and a Month is Gone!

Time sure does fly... having fun or not.

So there's a bunch of stuff going on.  Lots of training... Training for the whole family!

On the family front we didn't do a whole lot on Spring Break because Mommy and Daddy AND Cassie were all training.  We did escape Houston on Friday and took a trip to Seaworld San Antonio to do something special.  We couldn't have Cass going back to school without something to write about when they do the obligatory "What I Did Over Spring Break" composition.  The trip was fast and furious, but we still had some special moments.  So now, in addition to wanting to be a swim coach, she now wants to work at Seaworld and swim with and train the dolphins and whales. Good dreams.

So our tri club started a youth program and Cassie is participating!  She amazes me every practice.  I knew she was doing well with her swimming, but only to the extent that she could swim a 25 foot length unassisted.  She's now swimming 300-500 every tri training session with her NextGen group.  She does have to rest from time-to-time, but she hangs tough.  Plus they bike and run also in the same session and she's loving every minute of it.  I'll have to post some pictures.

As for my knee it's doing well.  I'm glad I didn't do the Mardi Gras half.  That might have been the end for my knee.  Still a little worried about my run for Ironman Lonestar 70.3, but I'm thinking it can't possibly be worse than my run for Redman.  My Swim and bike are really coming along well, I think, with some extra swimming and biking sessions coach added.  I'm feeling pretty good about the race.

On the medical front, I've pretty much wrote off my Endo.  With much respect to him, because he found the problem when others didnt, Doc Brown is just overwhelmed right now and has no time for patients who need to discuss alternatives.  I waited 2 hours to see him on my last visit to talk to him for 4.5 minutes.  He was clearly rushed and had no time to entertain my conversation of alternative treatment protocols.  I just said thanks and left.

I visited with Doc W. and he wants me to get a second opinion, so I met with Dr. B.  We hit it off right away and she knows where I'm coming from.  The great thing is she is completely open to all kinds of treatment and does Armour Thyroid.  She's also on my benefits, so that's a lot of good news.  I had all sorts of bloodwork done and I go back to see her the end of the month for an assessment and treatment plan.  I'm excited.

Meanwhile, back at the Medical ranch, my Iron is refusing to come up. Where a healthy person's stores I was going to try again by double supplementing, but the more I thought about it, and the fact that the additional supplements didn't really do much before, I changed my mind and went for the infusion.  The process was pretty easy and really more depressing than anything else. Depressing because you're being treated in a room with a bunch of older folks and Cancer survivors.  Made me grateful for all that I can do.  I haven't felt any immediate improvement, but it takes 4-6 weeks for the bone marrow to efficiently transport it through your body.  4 weeks will be upon me just in time for Lonestar!  Every little bit that will help me feel better and more healthy, is a good thing!

Darren's swimming is coming along and I'm proud of him for sticking it out.  Training is so funny with how it can make you feel some days.  There's just going to be days where you feel like quitting and they might butt-up against a day where you feel like a complete rock star, but all of the roller coaster is necessary.  For me, training isn't complete with at least 1 freakout about a month before the race.  I think I had mine a couple weeks ago on my long bike, but you never know.

My next event is my Olympic relay for the Memorial Hermann Kemah Triathlon.  I'm doing the Swim.  The boat takes you out to the bay and drops you off and you have to swim back.  It was pretty rough last year and even some of the most experienced swimmers came out of the water puking multiple times.  Yeah!  Give me some of that!!!  It scares me, but that's why I'm doing it!

The following weekend is Ironman Lonestar 70.3  Just 19 days away!!!

What else?  OH! My Bike!  Hubs has been helping me pimp my ride.  The one and really only thing I hated about my bike was the light blue accents.  I could get past it because the bike is a good fit for me.  It's not always about the color (yes, I've practiced saying that to myself).  To my surprise, one of my service guys at Bike Barn does custom paint, so I found a hook up.  Stay tuned for before and after pics!  The paints done.  Just waiting for my custom wheels to be finished!  4 words.... Pink Chris King Hubs.  :)

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Complete Blogger-slacker

Yeah, I'm slackin' lately with the whole blogging thing. Sometimes entries seem repetitive.

Here's what's going on lately....

Between Darren's schedule and my schedule, my training became a little erratic.  So I was rearranging my schedule and had lots of double-days... and even a couple triple days.  Add to that a 7 day stretch of inconsistent training and it gave everything on my body a chance to tighten up... 

...that was back on February 21st. 

Now it's March 8th. See?  Complete slacker.  At least where blogging is conerned.

So what's happened since then?  Well, there was no Mardi Gras Half Marathon for me.  I was somewhat bummed I had to bail on it AND waste a free entry. :(  My knee just wasn't recovering fast enough and it wasn't worth compromising the remainder of my 70.3 training, given that my race is early-April.

So, really I've been busy with everything else... work, home, tri club, training... not necessarily in that order, but it's all getting done.

My knee is getting better now and seems the tendinitis is going away.  We also determined I may have pulled the long adductor muscle where it connects to the knee -- that took a while to get better, but Doc Thea has me fixed up.

I've been more careful and consistent with training and have quit rearranging my schedule so it doesn't snowball by the end of the week.  That was killing my body, leaving me open for just this kind of inury.

So, about my body...  Went back to my PCP.  He won't support NHT.  He wants me to get a second Endo's opinion about what's going on with my insides. My Iron is still dropping, so it is will require an Oncologist/Hemotologist consult and treatment.  I was going to try to double-up on vitatmins which I already take pretty religiously, but I need results faster and we're not even sure that doubling up will work.  We have some ideas as to how the Iron is leaving body, but that's TMI and a visit to the OB/Gyn to be certain. 

So now I'm starting round 2 of meeting and greeting new doctors.  I really, really hate this part!

My B-12 levels are a little low, in spite of taking a sublingual, but I was feeling better on the shots.  We're resuming them for the time being.  I'm glad. :)

It's just about a month away from Lonestar 70.3. I'm nervous about my running.  Nervous about my biking.  Not nervous about my swimming.  LOL 

Headed out the Galveston last weekend and it was both awesome and horrible.  I felt like a super-star on the way out. 28 miles at 10+ mph.  I knew coming back would be bad when my average speed for the 28 miles was over 20mph.   What I didn't expect was it felt like somebody flipped a switch!  My goodness the winds were terrible, and coming from the complete wrong direction.

I had a two "moments" on the way back but I worked through them.  Seems I always have a horrible workout a month or so out from my race.  The last one, training for Redman, me and my training buddy affectionately call "The Nursing Home" ride.   This is the one where I quit, sat on the sidewalk and cried.  Asked myself why I thought I had any right doing a 70.3 when I'm not really as accomplished as I'd like to be?  "Stupid Triathlon. I hate it."

Yeah, right... heard that before.

It's all part of the training and I know that.  Days like Sunday are not only necessary, but if you don't get to experience that kind of pain at some level I think you're getting cheated.  It's mental... so much of it is mental.  Toughing out in the worst of conditions could be the best thing on a training day.

At one point I stopped for some nutrition.   Had to get my a$$ off the bike.  Everything bothered me.  I was so annoyed.  Two riders I had seen outbound, after my turnaround, had caught up to me.  The guy passed me and asked if I was okay.  I said "yeah."  The girl stopped.  She was your typical age-grouping Ironman athlete. You could just tell... all m-dot race apparel, hot bike, you know...

She said, "Do you live around here?"  I told her, "Yeah, not far." 

She said, "Can I ask you something?"  "What's up with this F###ing wind?!?"

She was having a hard time too.  For some reason it made me feel so much better to know everyone was struggling.  After my two buddies took off riding away from me I felt extra slow. 

She said, "My coach tells me just one thing on days like this and it will either make you giggle or make you mad, but you'll get back on the bike and finish to prove a point to yourself." 


Now I knew I heard it before, but didn't know what it meant. 

"Harden the F##k up."

Kind of like "Suck it up, Cupcake."  Which I prefer.

I know I'm tough.  I know I'm stubborn.  I'm not a quitter. 

She went on to tell me she was from out of town, and that she and her partner came in for a training ride.  They had tried riding the day before and it was even worse.

After our chit-chat she and her partner rode off into the distance.  I stopped to potty and was 12 miles from the finish.  Once I hit Jamaica Beach, there was some structure to block wind, so that was slightly better, but still tough.

When I headed down 81st street I saw the two triathletes again.  The woman was cheering me on... it was sweet.

The ups and downs of training... can't have one without the other.

In other news I'm getting my bike "pinked" out.  Everywhere there's blue, will now be magenta.  I'm excited!  Plus, I finally got my Ironman Racer wetsuit that I won for completing a challenge on Daily Mile!  Unfortunately the wetsuit doesn't fit, but hopefully I'll be able to get at least a few bucks for it.  Maybe put it towards a fund for race wheels. :)