Monday, July 27, 2009

Phantom Riders of the Peloton

Phantom riders of the Peloton—on my wheel and on my mind—they are Hypertension, Obesity, Heart Disease, Cholesterol, Diabetes, and Low Testosterone. So far I have averted this group—I like to think—because of cycling. You see Gentle Readers of This Blog, as of late my older and younger siblings have been dealing with these maladies as we all near the age of 50.

I ride about 130 miles a week by bike commuting to work. They are lucky if they walk half a mile going from the front door of the car and from the car to their desk at the office.

This Phantom Peloton is a fast group and gets faster as you age. I would like to drop them—one by one—as I make my way climbing the busy commute route I take to work. When they will attack or even if they can, is yet to be seen. I’m holding my own climbing the Ridge and keeping them back. People in cars are probably just getting there faster than me—Obesity and Diabetes are sitting in their back seats and they don’t even know it.

My younger brother has been in therapy to get his testosterone up to normal levels. It appears for a few years it was very low, and he was much more of an athlete than me—he was football player, weight lifter, golfer and then runner. Things just got harder and harder for him as he turned 45. Fatigue, loss of muscle mass, and weight gain. Now he’s better and happier since testosterone patches have got his levels back to normal.

Low Testosterone for men leads down the path to Diabetes. So if you’re my brother and you’re looking over your shoulder and Low Testosterone in on your wheel, you can bet Diabetes is right there with him on the attack.

He’s taking a satin drug to lower his Cholesterol which in turn has lowered his Blood Pressure. It’s a close race and a tough one but he has gained back ground.

My older sister on the other hand, has struggled with Diabetes for some time. A few months after her 50th Birthday, she thought she was having a heart attack and rushed to the hospital. Unfortunately, when the Diabetes caught up to her in her early 40’s, Obesity was in the slipstream of big D—and she got dropped big-time. You could say that she’s not so much dropped, but on the wheel of this Phantom Peloton and they are pulling her deep into poor health. Luckily this last weekend she did not have a heart attack, but she had some clogged arteries so the doctors say.

Everything about me the “numbers,” indicate is that I’m “border line.” Border line diabetic, border line obese, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc, etc—numbers I got from a recent health screening here a the Desert San. The type of screening where they take blood and check your levels, check your blood pressure (I have White Coat Syndrome so the readings are always off) and they do a body mass index reading.

The numbers say I’m a train wreck—

Little Egypt looked them over, and well, she said things weren’t too bad really, and that I shouldn’t be concerned quite yet—stop eating like a horse she says.

My Doctor is a cyclist himself—I’m thinking about writing him a letter and sending him a copy of my results—and I’ll tell him that I’m feeling quite fit. He might have a few things for me to think about, and he’ll probably want to me to come in for chat and check-up.

I took a week off the bike. I believe the hot weather burned me out—sorry about that! But I’m back in the saddle once more.




Big Oak said...

Bruce, I wish your family members the very best of health. Growing older means that we are naturally losing the youth in our bodies and the genes start taking over.

You are setting a great example to your family by biking to work. Be sure to go to the doctor yourself, even though you have white coat syndrome (I have that also, and I like my doctor).

Dan Trued said...

My mistake was going to the Doctor too. It gets worse as you get older, something to look forward to. But sometimes I think Doctors just want to scare you, but it is a good reality check. Like your wife said, it's all about eating. Unfortunately when you age, the body is programmed to eat less, and I have a hard time accepting this fact, but it is a fact. I can eat a whole carton of ice cream in one setting, I get ridiculous at times. But I guess I have to learn how to eat like a rabbit. Remember how that T-patch turned Floyd Landis into a superman. Have to be careful with those.

Salud (Health),