Hamster wheeling

Although some of this is planned, I have been on the medical hamster wheel now for a month. Dermatologist, pharmacy, endocrinologist with blood work, ophthalmologist, pharmacy, dentist, dermatologist again, CT scan, and more blood work. Most of this is routine or follow up to last winter’s medical madness. So far there is good news and bad news.

On the good news front, most of the blood tests done by my endocrinologist came back negative (i.e., normal). One came back positive so I repeated that test yesterday at a lab in a grocery store. (Right next to the dairy case. Seriously.)

My CT scan confirmed that the thingie on my adrenal gland is not growing, as my endocrinologist expected. However, the scan discovered some odd fatty mass in my gut (a wayward apple fritter?) and now I have to go back to my internist to follow up. This isn’t all that bad. I get the chance to explain to him how my left knee, elbow, lower back, and arm are all FUBAR.

To combat my left fubaritis, I have begun doing a shit ton of yoga and physical therapy, I did 45 minutes today. I do every exercise that I know of and am capable of. I can only do beginner’s yoga poses. And if it involves pulling my foot up to my buttocks, fugetaboutit. My body refuses to cooperate. Also, balance-oriented asanas are not exactly my forte. (Timber!) Any time I see an exercise that looks useful, I add it to the routine. I’m up to 22 poses and stretches. When I am done each pose  three times, I go back through them all, one after another, without stopping.

Boring AF!!! I cannot comprehend that people pay to go to classes to do this.

My back feels a little better, and my thighs are no longer filled with concrete. My left side issues not so much. I’ll keep at it.

In other news, Kryptonite is not replacing my broken lock. They say I should be squirting light-weight oil into the mechanism. I’ll give it a try. I’m not crazy about getting oil on the key though.

This coming week looks pretty eclectic: bike advocacy, doctor, reflexology, concert (maybe), coffee club, and bike races in a garage.

Biking with Judd and George

The Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail is a volunteer organization recently started to help the National Park Service with the trail. (The NPS has very little money so it needs all the help it can get.) Today, Judd, one if the group’s founders, led a bike ride from DC to Old Town Alexandria. It being Presidents Day, Judd guided the group to points of interest having to do with George Washington.

I started the day with a CT scan. It took much longer than planned so I didn’t have time to ride 14 miles to the starting point of the ride. With some logistical help from my friend Erin, I rode 12 miles to the 14th Street Bridge and waited for the riders to come across the Potomac from their first stop at the Washington Monument.

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Judd making the turn onto the MVT

There were over 20 of them. They came down the ramp for the bridge and headed south along the MVT. After National Airport they headed west on the Four Mile Run and Washington and Old Dominion Trails. About six miles later they stopped at a marker indicating the northern most point of George Washington’s land. Judd explained how Washington personally took a block of granite and, with his bare hands, tore away chunks of rock to create the marker.

I made that up.

Did you know that George was a dog person? He had a dog named Sweet Lips.

I did not make that up, but its the kind of bizarre info that Judd had discovered in his research.

We backtracked along Four Mile Run, an old trail that meandered along the creek of the same name. I hadn’t ridden this section of trail in over 20 years. It was in surprisingly good condition.

Our route took us to the riverfront near Old Town Alexandria. I missed the turn and tool a few riders about a half mile out of their way. We made it back in time to see the very end of Judd’s remarks.

Judd led us to Christ Church, after some detours caused by the Presidents Day parade in Old Town. Christ Church dates to the 18th century. We went inside and were treated to a presentation by Dell, a church docent. Some of us actually sat in George Washington’s pew (actually, it is a box with a pew facing forward and back). Robert E. Lee also had a pew there. The place just oozed colonial cool. Amazingly none of our group were kicked out for being heathens.

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Heathens in Christ Church

From the church we rode west about a mile to the George Washington Masonic Temple on Shooters Hill. The highlight of the visit was going to the top and walking around the outside. The views were terrific. So was the gale coming from the west.

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Stain glass in the Masonic Memorial

After our tour, we all headed to Whole Foods for beer and food. It’s a good thing because I was starving.

Judd explained how George Washington shopped in this very store.

I made that up.

When I left, I found that my Krytonite U lock refused to open.

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Little Nellie was held hostage

After scores of tries, I gave up and called Mrs. Rootchopper. She brought my spare key to the lock but it didn’t work. So we drove to a hardware store and bought some WD40. I squirted it in the lock. Waited five seconds, inserted the key and rejoiced as I freed Little Nellie! Yay.

By this point the sun was setting and the beer was beering my brain, so I folded up the bike and popped it into the trunk of the car.

We drove home. Our home is on property that was once part of George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate.

I did not make that up.