Sunday, November 23, 2008

What a week

This was a week filled with many different thoughts and emotions, fear, sadness, relief(sort of), ambivalence, uncertainty...

First off on the medical front.

Results of the CT scan came back good. The nodules that had been detected on the earlier chest x-ray have been there for years and are not growing.

Blood work and chest/CT scans show no indication that the sarcoidosis has come out of remission.

I had a thallium treadmill test on Wednesday. This is a treadmill test where you are injected with a small dose of nuclear medicine which helps monitor the blood flow to the muscles of the heart and would help pinpoint any abnormalities or possible indicate a form of coronary disease.

Naturally when I was on the treadmill my heart did not skyrocket. The test normally takes 10 minutes to reach the target heart rate and I went well past the 10 minute mark before I reached the target heart rate of 152 bpm. My EKG was completely normal and I tested at the high end of the fitness level for people that are 30-39 years old. They also told me that my heart rate of recovery was very good. Most people recover about 10-20 bpm and my heart rate had dropped to 100 in 60 seconds. Now this is all very good news as it ruled out any form of coronary heart trouble.

Unanswered still is what is causing all of the aching legs, rapid heart rate, cramping, feelings of malaise. Not sure at this point what the next steps the doctor will take or if there will be further testing he might pursue.

One of my worst fears came to pass earlier this week at work. There had been a flurry of "fire drills" going on at work, numerous cryptic requests from upper management for information.

Thursday morning, the first wave of layoffs in my company began. There were five people in my suite who received the bad news that their jobs had been eliminated. 60 positions in Denver had been eliminated and 200 across the company. There seems to be no end to the bad news. Layoffs are part of the daily news, but it never seems real. Thursday it became real. I lost a colleague that I had worked with for 17 years. We had played golf together over the years. He was a trusted friend. The first day I started my job as a programmer in 1991 this person went out of his way to welcome me and offer his support. When I considered taking another job years ago, he was a trusted advisor in a decision I agonized over.

While I survived the first round of layoffs, I am sure there will be more to come. Our stock was trading around 30.00 in August and last week closed around 11.00.

It will feel strange at work for some time if it ever feels normal again.

I will miss my friend and many other colleagues that I didn't get a chance to say goodbye to.

What will this week bring?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Krazy Baby runners at the TTTS 5K

Laura and I ran in a 5K last Sunday, to benefit TTTS(Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome).

There was an option to enter as a non twin team so I registered us in the non twin division.

This is a really fun race, lots of families and it benefits a great cause. There were over 100 young girls there who belonged to Girls on the Run.

I think I saw Laura for all of the first 25 yards of the run and she disappeared from sight. We basically go to the race together. Laura waits for me at the finish line and then we drive home together. Every opportunity to do this with her is a treasured memory.

Anyway I named our team Krazy Baby runners in honor of my great nephew Keegan. I guess what made the team name even crazier is we ran without Keegan. Krazy baby runners without their crazy baby.

The part that was interesting as running as a team was that together we were much stronger than apart.

Laura was 6th out of 47 people in her age group.

I was 13 out of 44 in my age group.

As a team we finished 3rd!

I think that is true in so many things. We are always strengthened when we stand together, supporting one another.

Challenges are far easier together.

I thought that was pretty neat and it always helps to pick a faster partner when racing :)

Saturday, November 8, 2008


Aftermath: The outcome of an event especially as relative to an individual.

It has been almost three weeks since running the Denver marathon.

I have no regrets about the physical aspect as it relates to the outcome. I don't think I could have done any better than I did on that day. Sue had asked me in days leading up to the marathon, how would I define "winning" for this marathon?

George Sheehan who wrote a column for Runners World had a couple of definitions he used to describe winning.

"Finishing is Winning" and "Winning is doing the best you can with what you have".

I finished and think I did the best I could with what I had on that day.

John Bingham's signature quote states, "The Miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start".

The courage to start begins weeks and months before race day. Although as these physical problems continue I almost feel like it was a minor miracle that I was able to finish.

I finally gave in last week and actually went to see my doctor and start that process of discovery. Something is not right. Even when just doing easy running for just 30 minutes or so, I am just exhausted. My heart rate is alarmingly high.

It could be that my sarcoidosis has come out of remission. The aching in my legs and the chronic fatigue feel much like it did when I was first diagnosed eighteen years ago. This could go a long way in explaining why I have no stamina, and all of the mysterious body aches.

Sarcoidosis is an auto immune disorder. For those of you that watch the TV show House, the doctors like to float the name out there quite frequently until Dr. House rolls up his sleeves and saves the day. I find that comical that it is mentioned so regularly on that show. There is no good treatment for it and in some ways the only treatment(steroids) can be worse than the disease itself.

So now the process starts, blood work, ACE test(Active converting enzyme). If the levels come back high that is a good indication that the Sarcoid is active.

My doctor called me on Friday afternoon to schedule a high resolution CT scan.

The disease eventually resolves itself with or without treatment and goes away as mysteriously as it announces that it has decided to stay as a unwanted, rude guest.

At least if the Sarcoidosis has come out of remission, I know what I have to deal with.

I can deal with that aftermath.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Meeting a friend for the first time

I am so far behind in my blogging.

I finally got a chance to meet Dane Rauschenberg when he was here in Colorado in September for the Boulder Marathon.

Dane and I have become cyber space friends. We had been corresponding over the internet for almost 2 years before the opportunity came that we could finally meet.

I was hoping he would be a guest speaker at the Denver marathon, but it didn't work out so off to Boulder I went. I wasn't going to pass up this opportunity to finally meet face to face.

I took up a garbage bag full of old running shoes. Dane was collecting old shoes to donate to a charity so not only did I finally get to meet Dane, I got rid of some of the clutter in my house.
I am hoping that Dane will be able to meet Kelly's sister, Marcy at the Seattle marathon in 3 weeks. Marcy is running her first 1/2 marathon!
We had a nice chat, talked a bit about running. Talked about Kelly. Dane commented to me that Kelly was a fighter.
Dane had been kind enough to send Kelly a picture of himself running for her birthday last January. It said, "You keep fighting, I'll keep running".

She did and so has Dane.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Random thoughts

Strange weather. I have lived in Colorado my entire life. I can't ever remember a year where we haven't had any snow, not even a trace in September and October.

Halloween was nice for the trick or treater's. There were so many times when Laura and Adam were growing up where they had to wear coats of their costumes.

Laura was a guitar hero this year. I can't remember the last time I took a picture of her in a Halloween costume.

I saw a stretch limousine as I was out running last night. Was this for the little trick or treater's or the grown up revelers? I never saw anyone get in our out. I passed it several times as I ran back and forth through the neighborhood.

I went to early voting on Thursday and it still took 90 minutes. Great to see so much interest this year.

I have never ever received so much junk mail as I have in the last two weeks.

Adam and Laura will be voting in their first presidential election on Tuesday.

My first presidential election there was no CNN, MSNBC, Fox news. Got the results from the main networks.

I went to a Halloween potluck at the LLS office yesterday. The TNT staff decorated their area as black widows. Spiders everywhere, fog for special effects.

The Light the night staff had a Pirate and Ninja theme. Pirates never talk to Ninjas. Evidently that is a rule. I am not sure how the banana fits into the overall theme.

I was one of the judges for best decorations, best costumes.

High spirited trash talking between the groups. The poor little TNT bear was being pushed off a plank by the pirates. The Light the night staff told me not to take it personally and let it influence my vote.

Nice to see the staff in such high spirits, having fun with each other.

Adam started a new job today working for Game stop. He gets a discount at Barnes and Noble. His mother is quite excited about that.
We have taken a new(old) dog into our house. We now have 3 dogs and a cat.

Laura is apartment hunting with a high school friend. We hope Laura can take the cat with her when she finds a place.

I got my official Slattery's running club shirt this morning. Free wicking running shirt when you complete 7 runs. The run was moved from Monday night to Saturday morning at 10:30. 6 people were at the run this morning. Weird time for a run.

Daylight savings ends today. Sue's favorite day of the whole year.

I hate this time of year. It gets dark so early.

I have only ran one time the entire year inside on a treadmill and that was for a charitable cause last January.

Some of my favorite road races are coming up, Turkey Trot, Jingle Bell run for Arthritis, Steve's Rudolph Ramble, Resolution run.

I have only raced 7 times all year. I usually race over 20 times.

I filled up my car today for 33.00. 4 months ago that was 55.00.

I remember once having my Aunt stop for gas where an attendant put the gas in the car, checked under the hood and cleaned the windows. Aunt June put .50 in and got 2 gallons.
My grandparents bought their house in Fairmont Minnesota for 1,000.00

I wish I could talk to my Grandmother about what is happening on Wall Street. She lived through the first great depression.

She would be so interested in the election this year.

My grandmother almost died when she was 49. She lived to 108. She said eating Bran and drinking 8 glasses of water a day is the secret to longevity.

Keegan is a crazy baby. Rocky loves Keegan.

I voted along party lines and cast my ballot for the TNT girls. Shhh.