Monday, June 25, 2018

Self-diagnosis: Popliteus Injury

While the surgery site seems to be doing well - almost pain free most of the time, the back of my knee continues to be a problem. As a matter of fact, this pain was the first issue back in February and why I first took time off. The day before I ran again following the first break was when the meniscus started to hurt. That became the worse of the two problems. I figured that all the rest would let that one settle down and by the time I was ready to run again after the 'scope it would be all better, too.

Yeah, didn't happen that way. It's usually OK in the morning getting out of bed, but I don't have full flexion on it without pain and resistance. Putting on socks and shoes, washing my feet - those activities are hard. I'm supposed to be stretching my hamstring more and strengthening my quads/hamstrings, according to this website. This is a little weird because I'm not the typical runner in this area. I've always been pretty flexible back there. I can easily reach the ground with a standing stretch, knees locked. Let me remind you that this is the left side, not the right that gave me the freak hammy issue in December.

I've giving it another two weeks and then calling the doc again.

Took the new lawnmower for its maiden voyage on Wednesday last week. What a difference. The only tricky part was finding the right setting for the variable speed control. I had to nearly jog to keep up with the machine unless I dialed it back from full. I'm in grass-cutting heaven. I almost wish it was spring so I'd have to mow more than once a week.

Painted one of the bedrooms last week. Finished up the trim, installed new electrical receptacles and light switch on Saturday. The window sill and trim had a little damage that needed repair before painting those. This week.

Friday morning, Mac called me on her way home from work, with a loud flapping noise I could hear in the background. She had a tire blow out as she started across the Lake Washington Bridge. It's almost a mile and a half across. I've run there, since it's part of the Seattle Marathon route. There's no shoulder. No place to pull off safely and change a tire or even wait for a tow truck, so she kept going all the way across. By the time she could get out of the traffic lane, her tire was in pretty sad shape.
The rim wasn't totally trashed because it was steel and not aluminum, so the guys at Les Schwab were able to straighten it out, saving her $500 or so for new wheels. Just glad she was safe.

In a bizarrely related story, on Saturday, Mrs. Dave and I were out at Kensington Metropark, scouting it as a location for the Dave Schultz Family Reunion in August. We'd just parked near one of the beaches and talking to Mac about her tire repair, when I noticed a HUGE crack in one of the CR-V's tires. Like about 6 inches long and who knows how deep, along the side wall and onto the tread. Not good. We drove from the park to a couple of tire places to see what they'd have to say. It's going to be close to $200, unless we need to replace two. Since these are original with only 40,000 miles on them, I decided to check the warranty and it may be covered as a defect. We don't recall a road hazard event and there seems to be no sign of any other damage close by like there might be from something hitting the tire. Check that out after work this afternoon.

What an interesting year 2018 is turning out to be.

Next weekend we're taking a little break and traveling to Toronto. No big plans. We'll catch the Blue Jays hosting the Tigers, ride up the CN Tower, see a museum or two, but really we just want to get away for a few days.

Hopefully nearing the end of my time off the roads.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Under the Knife.

Getting a knee operation isn't a big deal anymore. The worst part of this was getting approval for the MRI. We've been through that story already.

I was the doc's second surgery scheduled last Wednesday. Mrs. Dave brought me in at 7:30. Paperwork, blah blah blah. In 2018, why do I still have to fill out the same information on twelve different forms? On paper! Whatever happened to carbon copies? Where's the computer/database/cloud efficiency?
Anyway.

Can someone tell me why I need to be buck naked for them to make two half-inch incisions in my left knee? Or why they need to shave my leg from ankle to upper thigh?

The last thing I remember was making fun of the anesthesiologist for failing to get the IV in my left hand. The nurse took over and then I was ready. The next thing I knew, Mrs. Dave was with me in recovery and I was getting dressed to go home.

Small amount of fraying in the joint, zero arthritis, and a small tear in the medial meniscus (didn't show up on the MRI).

They gave me a bottle of NORCO (Hydrocodone/paracetamol), but I never used any of it. The worst post-op pain I had was in my throat from the tube they stuck down it in case I had trouble with the anesthetic (which I didn't), and Tylenol took enough of the edge off that to let me sleep. On Thursday I worked from home and Friday was back at the office. The hardest part of that was walking from the parking lot to my desk (two round trips since there was a lunch off site for a colleague who's leaving). I was ready to sit around the house after that.

Minimal swelling around the knee, and the two incision sites are healing up nicely. Until yesterday I had this weird squishy noise when I bent or extended Louie fully. You could hear it across the room. Squish, squish, gurgle gurgle. It takes weight just fine. There's a little pain/stiffness at the back after sitting with the knee bent for more than a few minutes. I'll ask about that on Thursday at my follow-up appointment. That's also when I should get a date for my first tentative steps at walking/jogging. Maybe this weekend, maybe the weekend after.

Of course, we're already talking about the next marathon. I don't see anything sooner than December, and until I actually get back on the roads I'm trying not to think about 2018 at all. Trying hard.
One of the stitches came out yesterday morning. One of the knots was undone after my shower. I grabbed the end and the whole thread just pulled out. There was always going to be a little scar there, so nbd.

So, my assessment of arthroscopic knee surgery - so far - is, "ho hum."

Monday, June 4, 2018

Goodbye, Mom.

No running here. I'm going to celebrate National Running Day on Wednesday by getting my knee scoped. Last Tuesday I reviewed the MRI with the doc. He showed me the areas where there was significant "fraying" around the meniscus. Said it was an easy job for him to go clean it out. It's an outpatient procedure, and if I'm careful with the recovery, I should be back to running in 4-6 weeks. This is good news, but it does mean that 2018 will be marathon-less for me. That's disappointing, but best not to push things right away, and to fit one in before January I'd have to push pretty hard.

Nope.

The last time all of my brothers, our sister and I were gathered in one place was 1984, when our younger brother was killed in a snowmobile accident. I'm the geographic outlier, so I guess it's mostly my fault. Although the two oldest don't get along. It happens.

This past week we joined for another sad occasion, the passing of our mother. She was 82 years old. Back in 1953 she was swept off her feet by a young Air Force mechanic and together they started a journey that carried them away to nearly every state in the US, eventually bringing along seven sons and two daughters (one of each taken away too soon). It wasn't an easy life thanks to boys being boys, and having battles of her own with depression and anxiety to deal with.

But she was old school. Always there. Always loving. Always cooking, cleaning, supporting, teaching. Mostly unrecognized by her self-absorbed children. She never complained. Her approach to life was to do your best, regardless of who did or didn't notice.

The last 20+ years of her life she had severe rheumatoid arthritis. The pain in her hips made it painful to walk. The pain in her hands made it painful to play her beloved piano. She still served three separate 18 month church missions (Louisiana, Kenya, Martin's Cove, WY) with Dad, despite the pain.

We laid her to rest beside her son Jim at the north end of the Teton Valley in Idaho. They'll have a great view.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

I remember when I used the weekends for running long.

I loved those days.

Received an email this morning that the MRI on Louis the Left Knee was (FINALLY!) approved by Blue Cross. Ortho doc was able to squeeze me in early last Friday. He never even bothered to look at Louis. Why? Instead, we smirked to each other for five minutes about health insurance cost saving measures and peer reviews. He said one time he (remember - orthopedic surgeon) had to go through a dermatologist, a pediatrician, and an internist to get one of his procedures approved.

The good news is I'm scheduled for early in the AM tomorrow before work. Hopefully, we'll have some answers about what's making Louis so cranky and what can be done to fix him. This life without running is just crazy. I don't know how people do this day after day, year after year. I believe I've found the answer to what's wrong with this country.

So, the weekend. I know it's Thursday afternoon already, but I promise this is a story that couldn't really be told until now. There was just too much catching up to do. A few of my FB/IG friends know the big picture, but the details are more fun, as well as hard to share quickly on social media. The Loop is so much more personal and permanent.

First, let's go back to January, when I had my last annual physical. Some people hate doctors, but I'm OK. They're important. Humans get sick, even me. We do things to our bodies - both accidentally and on purpose - that require repairs. I saw Rambo fix a gash in his shoulder in the woods with no anesthetic, and while I'm not squeamish about blood or anything, I'm not up to that. Sometimes, you need a doctor. Anyway, my PCP happens to be a runner (as I'm sure I've mentioned before) and we talk about marathons and Boston and stuff when I drop in every year.

Education time: One of my regular tests, since I'm an old guy now, is a PSA level. It measures the amount of a certain hormone that's secreted by the prostate. They've discovered a correlation between men who have prostate cancer and higher levels of PSA. 80% of men with cancer have PSA between 4-10. Not that having a high PSA means there's cancer, but it makes it worth a look. Also, PSA levels normal rise as men age, so while I'm climbing toward the big 6 - 0, it's no surprise really that mine's been creeping up through the 1's and 2's. Except last year I cracked 3, up almost a full point from 2016. This is not a good thing. In January, I was at 3.99, right at the door of the dreaded 4.0. Runner doc says, "Hm. Maybe we should keep a closer eye on this from now on." And he ordered another test for April.

I stewed for a couple of days, but then as I researched I discovered that this was more an indication of risk than an actual signal of cancer's presence. So I went about my business and worried more about my blood sugar, which was also higher than either of us wanted. I cut out sugared sodas, cakes, pies (think of it - no pie! the horror!), candy bars. I dropped a couple of pounds. Since I wasn't running, that was my only option (so I figured) to rid my body of the extra sugar.

April arrived and I made a little trip to the local urgent care for a quick blood draw and waited a couple of days for the good news.

But there wasn't any. A1c, after all that sacrifice from January, was more or less the same as before. Not high enough to call myself diabetic, but very near the edge. My PSA had gone up again, this time to 4.58, more than half a point in three short months. A PSA of 4+ usually results in a referral to a urologist. Mine had retired a few years ago, so I called his partner and made an appointment.
That Friday afternoon I left work a little early and had a nice chat with him (also a runner, as it turns out). Then he pulled out a sheet with all my PSA results from the last 6-7 years. He didn't like the way my numbers had gone up so quickly in the last two years. Best to have a look, he said. It'll be fine, he said. It's done under local anesthesia. You'll feel some tugs as the instrument takes each samples, but that's it. Easy, he said. There's a small chance of infection, so you get two kinds of antibiotics before the procedure. Then you clean up and go home or work or wherever. I didn't even need Mrs. Dave along to drive. After a colonoscopy (which I also get now every 5 years) that's mandatory. This is no big deal, he said, and scheduled me for a trans-rectal prostate biopsy (dare you to google that) for the next Friday morning.

So, a week later, I was back in the office with my pants hanging on a hook, facing the wall while the ultrasound tech probed around to get a good picture and accurate measurements of this gland that gets so much attention lately (and rightly so - this is a serious deal - prostate cancer kills a lot of guys - if you're over 45, make sure you get checked every year). Then Dr. K came in and gave me one more bit of info. The sampling tool/instrument/extractor/whatever was spring loaded and would sound like a big staple gun. Not the little one that used to sit on your teacher's desk or in the office back in the day, but the kind they use in upholstery shops and in housing construction. BOING! BOING! He'd count down from three and then take the sample. TWELVE TIMES. Twelve samples from various locations in the prostate. This was, of course, after he'd given me two blasts of lidocaine directly into it. You know about lidocaine - that's the stuff your dentist uses to numb your mouth before drilling into your jaw. The stuff that comes out of the largest needle that's possible to use on a human body without leaving gaping holes. And there's only one access point for numbing the prostate. OMG.
"This may be a little uncomfortable," he said. You think?

Anyway, I'll skip the visuals, but let me just say that as hellish as were the shots, the actual biopsy procedure was pure, unadulterated, torture. I felt every single piece that was gouged out of my poor little gland, all the way through my entire body. All I could do was focus on the numbers and pray that I'd heard the number 12 correctly, and that he was speaking precisely (12 was 12, not "about 12" which could have been 13 or 14 or 15 or until he felt good about it), AND that I didn't lose count. OH! EM! FREAKING! GEE!

Whew. Glad that's over. Then I drove to work and finished out the day. That's the part that was just uncomfortable. Having certain part of your anatomy infringed upon by a large metal tool at the very least leaves some damage that takes time to heal. But by the evening, that was all better and I looked forward to having a quiet weekend with Mrs. Dave, getting up early (because old people), watching the royal wedding (anything apolitical now is an attractive alternative, amiright?), running a few errands, cutting the grass, watching the Tigers, maybe going to a movie.

Saturday I was up about 7:00, read a little. I haven't been eating breakfast as part of my diet - remember? I decided after a few weeks (this will come up again later, btw) that I might as well lose a few more pounds, so when I did finally get to run again, I'd already be a a decent training weight. Most days I'd skip lunch, too, but whatever, that's a minor point right now. Stay focused.
Since it was going to be 75+ that day, I dressed in a t-shirt (2009 Indianapolis Marathon) and shorts. Normal. Except by 8:30, when Mrs. Dave came downstairs, I decided it was too cold for shorts, however warm it was going to be later. I could always change if it was hot when I mowed the lawn, right? So I went back upstairs and put on some jeans. By the time I got back down, I thought, "It's so chilly in here. Maybe I'll put on a fleece pullover until it warms up." Fleece on. That's was comfortable for about five minutes. I grabbed my trusty Mr. Rogers sweater from the closet and put that on, too.

That's when I started shivering. I sat on the sofa, shaking. Mrs. Dave put the tower heater she uses year round because she's always cold in the house (no idea how - thermostat's at 70o all the time) in front of me and turned it on full blast. I wrapped my arms around it and still shivered. I couldn't stop, and I couldn't get warm. Of course as soon as she gave me the heater, she went upstairs for the thermometer. We have two and this was the old mercury-filled guy. It looked like I was at 101.0, but it was hard to tell for sure it's so old, and Mrs. Dave decided she didn't trust it anyway, but went back for the new digital one. 101.7.

The instructions in the post-procedure paperwork were to go immediately to the ER if my temp rose above 101. That was good enough for me, but not for the nurse. She said to call the doctor. Weekend. One of his partners was on call. I thought I should start driving (hospital is a good half hour from the house) and he could call on our way. Nope. Nurse said to wait. It took an hour and another call to the answering service to reach him. By then I'd topped 102, and was wrapped in a blanket in addition to my other three layers and the space heater, and still shaking like an old wino who's gone too long without. When doc two finally called, he said with no hesitation, "Get thee to an emergency room, dude." And we were (finally) off.

 At this point, there was no question I was a sick man. Somehow, the prophylactic doses of antibiotics hadn't done their work and I fell into the 1% of patients who have problems with the biopsy procedure. Getting to the hospital was fine. The freeway at 11:00 on a Saturday morning in May wasn't too busy (glad I don't live in Atlanta) and the ER was fortunately almost deserted, except for the lady ahead of us at the check in desk, who'd decided that her knees hurt and what better use of an emergency room than looking at her arthritis? But she was out of the way soon and it was less than a minute after that we were going into a triage room where I got a hospital blanket. I should also mention here that I'd asked for something for my 500o fever from Mrs. Dave, who refused because it's important to be really sick if you're going to the ER. Makes them feel needed. Not like our new friend with the sore knees.

The hospital thermometer had me at 103.2. Good enough for treatment, thank you. I swallowed the pills they gave me without looking at them. They could have been arsenic for all I cared. Another blanket, please. It took about a half hour for me to stop shaking, and then the med student who was there tried to start an IV for some fluids. This is sort of like getting orthotics from a podiatrist or a monthly spinal adjustment from a chiropractor - it's just part of the program. Took him three tries and both arms. They all hurt. But, we have to get new doctors somewhere, so I painfully contributed to the future benefit of some patients somewhere in the country. You're welcome. Actually, doctors don't give shots or draw blood anyway, so I don't know what the point is, really, now that I think about it.
But, with the fever falling and the saline flowing in (and more antibiotic on board as well), I felt like I'd been through the ringer, and began dozing off. They took us out of the room to a separate waiting area while the lab worked on the samples they'd taken. While there, we watched the USA Diving championships and a Shark vacuum infomercial. Then there was a loud THUD! when a guy in the next row fell and hit his head. Someone was going to have a bunch of paperwork to do. They got him up and he seemed OK. At that point, I started to cool off again. They had a cabinet full of warm blankets and Mrs. Dave grabbed one for me. Then we got moved back to our other room for about one minute while they looked for a room for me upstairs. That's right, my weekend was officially over. I was going to spend it in the hospital with a big plastic tube in my arm.

The rest of that night, Sunday, and most of Monday I was in and out of it, every time the effects of the Tylenol (that's all they could use because I was a bleeding risk from the biopsy) wore off, my fever would spike again. I never got over 103 again, but had several 102+'s before they finally started to ease. Techs and nurses came in the first night every hour to check my temp and other vitals. Sunday and Monday night it was every two hours. BP was OK, and so was the temp when I was medicated, but my heart rate would drop below 100. As a runner I was embarrassed. And I had my 2015 St. Louis GO! Half Marathon shirt (a gift from thekidfromthelou, an old Loopster) on with my PJ's, so they all knew.

My hospital doc was great. She sat down and asked me about my eating habits. I mentioned how lousy they'd been because of this A1c thing and tying to stay slim for when I start running again. Apparently, that was a bad strategy on my part.  One meal a day is frowned on in the healthcare industry. Besides incurring her wrath, I'd also created extremely low levels of some key elements in my system. No clue if this had anything to do with getting the infection the antibiotics were supposed to stop. But since I was there and I wasn't right and I wasn't going anywhere with the ever-returning fever, she ordered some big doses of magnesium and phosphorous. They dripped into my IV all day Sunday and Monday.

Monday morning the urologist came in, sat down and said, "Great to see you again, but not in here." Funny guy. He also has no idea why I got sick. If any of you ever thought you wanted to be one of the 1%, let me tell you it's not all it's cracked up to be.

When I got home Tuesday afternoon about 5:00, the grass was about 3 feet high. I was going to mow that evening but a half hour after we walked in the door I was ready for bed again. It's half done after last night, which is another story having to do with small engine repair and a lawn mower cutting blade I don't want to go into.

Now, about that biopsy. Negative. This is good news, like negative splits. Eleven of the twelve samples had zero cancer. The twelfth had what's called PIN (three big Latin words I can't even), abnormal, but again, not cancer. So, I'm clean. I get another PSA test in November, but he doesn't see any issues from here.

Now, I'd like to run. Sometimes over the weekend I thought about just running a bunch so as much as possible would show up on the MRI, but then realized I might cause enough damage that it would be a harder repair and a longer layoff than it already is. Nope.

So, how was your weekend?

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

No title.

Three months of no running, unless I count the 4 miles I did at the PT's suggestion. That left me sore for almost a week and didn't do my knee any favors. Or the three days I ran one mile each that didn't make me sore but also didn't help my knee.

Still no word from the insurance company about approving the MRI. Blue Cross has been my employer's carrier since 1996, when the owner asked me to find the ten of us some health insurance. There have been assorted mistakes over the years, but nothing remotely as ridiculous as this. And I've had MRI's before with no issues. There should be a checkbox for "This guy's a runner and if we don't fix his knee soon there will be trouble."

In the meantime...
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Talking with DS2 a couple of weeks ago and he thought he'd like a visit. Mrs. Dave had some commitments last weekend, and volunteered me to go alone. So after my appointment with the urologist Friday afternoon, I cruised down I-75 for two days in Louisville. We looked at his car a little, did some shopping, went to Infinity War and caught the Bats hosting the Mudhens.

Speaking of the doctor, just like I expected, he doesn't like the sudden rise in my PSA numbers. They went up slowly over the last ten years, but the last two have jumped. This Friday he's going to biopsy it. Not happy, but I can't be upset, either because neither the PSA nor the biopsy have been shown very accurate at indicating cancer. Basically, I'm at an increased risk, but there's nothing that says it's anything more than weird test results. Insurance has no problem paying for this.

In a way I'd like to be able to blame my inability to train well since 2014 on something like a chronic illness. Maybe it could be fixed and I can run fast again.

Provided this knee can be repaired.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Memory Lane

First up: no running yet. I did a mile each for three days the week before last. Then I ended PT and called the doc about that MRI. Calling again today because they're supposed to be working on getting me in and it's been a week. Over the last few days it's gotten worse and worse. Wearing the compression sleeve today and that seems to help. Sure that means something, but I don't know what.

Looks like I'll be cancelling plans for a fall marathon as well.

Urology appointment is tomorrow. That will be the start of what is hopefully nothing interesting - just reaching the end of my insurance deductible for the year.

Two: Going to spend the weekend with Connor in Louisville. He didn't mention anything specific, but he did ask me to come. Some days are still hard for him.

If you're late to the party, when I started training for marathons I was coming off a nasty rupture of my right plantar fascia. At 50, I figured if that marathon I'd been dreaming of my entire life didn't happen soon, it never would. Surfing the old Runners World website one day I stumbled on this page called The Loop. Runners from across the country (and a few outside the US) would log on there and blog about their running. Seeking to document this plan of mine to do that "one" marathon, I signed up. One thing led to another (making a very long story very, very short) and there came an idea of a place called Loopville, when it was always 55 degrees and sunny, all your neighbors were runners, races were free and injuries were against the law. Eventually, our town was virtually created in a private Facebook group. We're still there.

Anyway.

Yesterday was the anniversary of the founding of Loopville. I put an event on the calendar and asked people to share their Loopster memories. It ended up being mostly pic uploads of various Loopfests and Loopmeets over the past seven years. So much good feeling, friendships and more.
So, for today, while I commiserate my current injury, I'll scroll through a few Loopster memories here.

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In the winter of 2009-2010, a Loopster named Pacheco came up with the term "Pikermi", arguing that the halfmarathon should have it's own name. Pikermi being a small town in Greece, roughly half way along the modern marathon route from Marathon to the Athens Olympic Stadium. Most Loopsters bought into it. At the time one of us owned a shop that did shirts, so he made some and we bought them.
We never did get the term to gain widespread acceptance, and there are only a few of us old timers who still use it every once in a while. Seems sort of a shame.

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Someone started a regular feature on the Loop we called "Friday at Work." Of course it's also a thing to do something creative with your old racing bibs. Since this is where I keep all of mine, it was easy to combine those two items into this. This must have been a casual Friday at work, as well, guessing from the shirt. Sadly, my newest desk has a very low wall and there's isn't enough room for all my bibs. I only have them back through the 2012 Salt Lake City Marathon. That's the red 898. Fun fact. A woman at that race had number 868, but she pinned it upside down, so all of her race pictures showed up under my name.


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In 2013, we had a family trip planned to UT in late March. I hadn't decided on a spring marathon that year, but wondered if I could find one to include. As long as we were passing through several states, why not stop in one of them and run a marathon? Eventually, I found this tiny marathon (30 runners) in the tiny town of Reeds Spring in southwest Missouri. Reeds Spring is not too far south of Springfield. It is, in fact, very close to a place called Nixa. Just outside Nixa is the home of my favorite Loopster of all time, musictofeet. We had dinner with her and her cool husband the night before the race, She paced me through the first half and the last three miles of the race, and let me use their shower after, then lunch (and the most amazing apple pie after). How could she not be my favorite?


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2014 was my year. The year of Marshall. The year of Hansons training. The year of my most serious attempt at this marathon thing. A summer of intense training, tons and tons of hard miles. It was also a good-sized Loopfest. The night before the group festivities, MinneDan and I started off the carbo-loading effort by grabbing a Little Caesar's and eating it in my room for dinner. We shared race strategy and my hopes for a fast run on Sunday.
The Loop world knows how that all turned out.

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What would Boston have been without Loopsters? I shudder to even think. I don't imagine there'd have been a Dave Boston without the Loop. The advice, encouragement, the near-mandatory positiveness of the community pushed, pulled (and sometimes dragged) me to that crazy day in Huntington, and as a result, Mrs. Dave and I found ourselves around a table full of Loopsters in Beantown, with the most amazing 26.2 miles awaiting me the next day.

I could do this all day week. Best get back to work, though.

These people who call themselves Loopsters (and I'm proud to be one myself) are the best. And if I never run another step, I'll never forget or regret one minute of my time on the Loop, and their friendship is the best reward of all.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Well, it's Monday.

I may as well check in. No progress to report on the knee. Louie's a jerk.

Last week I was due to re-take my blood work from January. There's a newer urgent care associated with my doc's hospital system just up the road, so that was nice. It's also sort of hidden by where they put it, making it not too busy most of the time. Like Wednesday afternoon when I went. The phlebotomist was ready for me before I finished filling out the paperwork. How often does that happen? She was really good, too. Didn't even feel the poke. One of the vials was messed up, so I had to sit with the needle in my arm while she had the receptionist (there was just the two of them there) get another from the cupboard. NBD. I walked out of the door five minutes after I walked in.

Things went downhill from there.

The last 5 years or so my cholesterol and blood sugar numbers have been either borderline bad or excellent, depending on where I was in training. Running lots of miles? I'm the healthiest 50-something on the planet. On a break due to injury or marathon recovery? Watch the diet, kiddo.

Recap: The hamstring took me off the roads in December. I went crazy with holiday eats. Testing in mid-January (with just a couple of weeks of a few miles a day) showed my cholesterol not where it ought to be. Blood sugar? 6.2 on the A1c test. Very nearly diabetic. Not only did I get the low sugar, low fat lecture, this time I got, "We better look at these again in a few months."

Then there's the PSA number (3.99). That's been sort of creeping up the last few years as well, and this time I was right at the edge between, "You're an old guy and old guys have higher PSA numbers," and, "A number like that is where we usually order a biopsy for prostate cancer." (anything over 4.0)

Gulp.

Anyway, I figured since I was starting to run again, despite the cold temps of January, that there'd be no problem. Just need to get a few miles behind me and things would drop back to where they belong. And I decided to go really nuts and cut out sugar. As much as I sweeted through December, I avoided the sweet stuff through February and March and April. My weight stayed steady at my non-training normal of 160-ish. I'd show that A1c who was boss.

Friday night I checked the patient portal for the good news.

Except it wasn't good news. Not good at all.

A1c - 6.1   What the bloody hell? I nearly killed myself for three months, refusing anything that didn't taste like cardboard. Donuts, cake, ice cream, Snickers, Crunch 'n' Munch - ALL my favorite things. And I got one lousy tenth of a point. Granted, there was no running assistance, thanks to Louie. But, still.

Downhill from there. PSA = 4.58.

Saturday I shampoo-ed the carpets in the house and changed the electricals in the dining room to match the new paint. I did not run.

I'm waiting on a call from the office, encouraging me to come in for a chat. In the meantime, Mrs. Dave is checking her sources for a good urologist.

So, I'm kind of pissed off about this. Who gave my body permission to get old? Wasn't me.

There are 32 marathons I still need to run and the clock is ticking.

Self-diagnosis: Popliteus Injury

While the surgery site seems to be doing well - almost pain free most of the time, the back of my knee continues to be a problem. As a matte...