Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Training - Yet Another Physical

Today is part one of a preventative checkup intended to detect colon cancer in its early, treatable stages. Yep, I'm having a colonoscopy tomorrow. With a bunch of other things happening right now, all of them somewhat significant, it's just a bonus that I'm on an all liquid diet leading up to the yucky phase of the procedure. Boost, Jell-O, Gatorade, and water. Oh, and laxatives and stuff, starting about right... now.

Tomorrow will be the worst part, but then, ironically, it's the best part. Waking up after the procedure is really nice. Relaxing, drowsy, lay down, and suddenly I'm asleep. A good friend of mine pointed out it was the most relaxing thing, he felt really refreshed afterwards, and I'm inclined to agree with him. Luckily I'm still a full time cyclist so I have a bunch of time free for all this - no asking for days off, no personal days, none of that. Just a "I'm not around for Wednesday" note to my friends and I'm set.

I had yet another physical this morning, in a related appointment. I had a mini physical first, so I could do the colonoscopy, but then when they saw my EKG they sort of wanted to do a full physical. It seems that everyone agrees that I'm over 180 lbs (clothed), and in one of those Candid Camera potential moments when I was left alone in the patient room, I weighed myself again.

No I didn't try to defibulate myself. Or take my blood pressure.

But I did weigh 180.5 lbs, and this time with only a gown on. Daggumit.

Speaking of which, I still want to get a stethescope. And a blood pressure cuff. Because one of my old jobs involved taking people's blood pressure, and it's cool to practice it. Plus I want to hear what the doctor hears when in their stethescopes when they say "Breathe normally" and "Breathe hard" while they listen to your torso.

The good news is that I'm taller than I thought. The physician assistant grew me to 5' 7.5", about 3/4 of an inch taller than what I thought would be my height. I guess my BMI will drop from obese to... well, sort of obese.

As I remind myself, I'm not that overweight. I'm dense. I carry my weight reasonably well, at least for a guy who, when I look at pictures, resembles a Judo bodyguard more than a cyclist.

My heart rate seems high - usually in these things it's in the 60s (which is 15-20 beats higher than it is when I'm laying down and relaxed) but it seems to be a 75-80 bpm thing now. And my blood pressure seems higher than normal too.

Maybe, just maybe, I'm actually (gasp) getting older. If the 180 lbs wasn't a hint (I was almost eighty pounds lighter in college!), I don't know what would be, but the higher than normal numbers are a bit disconcerting.

I get to do another hematocrit test... err, I mean blood test. I'll be curious to see if it's about the same as the 49.7% as before. I have two races coming up and I don't want to raise my hand and say "I have to take a break".

I think tomorrow I get to have an EKG, more blood numbers (no hematocrit though, just pulse and pressure). I hope my numbers drop a bit because having an 80 pulse is a bit embarrassing, at least when you consider how much time I've spent pedaling around. At the last one I had it dropped into the mid 30s at which point the nurse turned to me and asked if I ran "or something".


Makes me think of that ad with a famous 7 time winner of the Tour. Wow, 7 is a lot when I type it out, just incredible. Anyway, to back on track, to paraphrase his ad...

"You know what I do? You know what I'm on?"

(Best if you say the above with a Mafioso type accent - think DeNiro with his sneer.)

"I'm on my bike, maybe 6 or 7 hours a week."


It doesn't sound as impressive when I say it. "I'm on my bike, 6 hours a day" sounds a lot better, but since I don't do that, I can't say it. But yeah, cycling is what I do, that's my passion, and it's never been more clear to me than recently.

Ah the power just went out. Luckily for me I have a laptop and a broad band wireless card. But I can't find the links I wanted to stick in the post. And I don't want to kill the battery, so I'll call it a day.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good luck with your procedure. I had one a few years back, and the hard-hitting dose of Valium they give you right before they start is truly awesome. I have had a similar experience with the low-pulse thing. The nurse was sure she measured it wrong, so she took it two more times before asking if I run "or something." Yup--or something. And we weigh the same!