Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Picking your riding partners….the key to high self esteem….

196.0lbs
A couple of weeks back I rode with some of the guys I regularly ride with and was totally destroyed by the end of the day. Evidently, while I’ve been using the cold weather as an excuse to drink beer, shop for stretchy-pants, punch new holes in my belt and basically hibernate, they’ve actually been out riding. As a result, I spent the entire ride trying to keep up…..and it sucked…..

This of course shattered my confidence and self esteem. I’m supposed to be the one to wait on people, not the other way around. I’m supposed to be the guy circling back to check on the stragglers, I’m supposed to be the one cruising easily up the hill chatting and talking while my partners gasp and heave and suffer…..

So, being the ultra-competitive guy that I am, I did the only thing I could do to prevent this from happening again. I went home, deleted their email addresses from my riding list and began to scour my address book for new, less fit riding partners.

I know, I know. I can hear you saying “Gee Rich, why don’t you just get off your lazy a$$ and start training?” And you’re right. I could do that. And, while it would hurt and cause me no small amount of discomfort, I would eventually get back in shape and soon be keeping up with my buddies on the group rides…..
But I don’t have time for that. I need instant gratification so I did the next best thing….I invited my son in law out for a nice easy ride.

Granted he’s young and pretty fit, but with a new family, a full time stressful job as a police officer and a busy young person’s schedule, he hasn’t ridden since the last time I invited him out a couple of months ago….

And of course, our ride was anything but easy. I immediately got him redlined, and just so he couldn’t recover and get back into his groove, I kept the pace right up there where he was on the verge of hurling the entire ride. Sure, I’d slow down and look over my shoulder and ask ever so nicely how he was doing, but I never did slow down and I never really gave him a chance.

Needless to say, I feel much better about myself now……

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Working out….

195.4lbs
Well, Saturday morning I woke up early and decided I should go to the gym to work out. In the past (pre-cycling days) this was a normal occurrence. In addition to going to the gym 2-3 times during the week at lunch, I used to go every Saturday morning.
Early Saturdays were a nice time to go since it’s never that crowded, I could get a good workout in, stop by Starbucks for a coffee and still be home before Deb got up and moving.

The funny thing is that I never used to feel self conscious going to the gym. I was there so regularly I actually knew some of the people, I had my routine down and I knew how much weight to put on each of the stations to get a good workout while not dropping anything on my face…..

This time though, was different. I haven’t been to the gym in quite a while and although, they keep pulling my dues out of the checking account every month, I hadn’t felt compelled to actually show up in a long time. So long in fact, that I felt weird…..You know, like at a party where you don’t know anyone and you’re not sure you were even invited….

And of course it starts even before you leave the house. What do I need, do I have a towel, water, where the heck did I put my membership card the last time I used it?
And then, once you walk in and hand the kid (seriously, he couldn’t have been more than 12) your card, he scans it, sees just how long it’s been since you’ve been and makes an innocent comment like….“you know we have completely different cards now…you can get yours updated if you come back during the week

Anyway, I decided to start with the treadmill…..figuring that since I’ve been riding a lot this should be fairly painless……WRONG!

It wasn’t long before, convinced I’d done the equivalent of a marathon, that I started pushing buttons on the display to try to figure out how far I had gone…(btw, do you have any idea how hard it is to run on that little belt, gasp for oxygen, wipe the sweat that’s running into your eyes and push the button on the display at the same time – it’s hard trust me)
Well, it turns out that I had been running for almost 10 minutes and had gone almost 1 mile….are you freaking kidding me….only 1 mile???

So, after another 10 minutes of lumbering along, huffing like a freight train going over the continental divide and sweating enough to need my own cleanup crew, I made it 2 miles and thankfully pushed the button to stop that stupid belt before it flung me into the mirrors behind me. (exactly why are there mirrors behind the treadmill anyway, it’s not like I can look behind me to check my form….I can barely keep upright as it is)

From the treadmill, I moved over the weight room. Again, I used to be perfectly comfortable in here. Even with all the big muscle-headed guys grunting and yelling and lifting enough weight to bend the bar I was never really intimidated.


Today though, things were different.

How much weight should I start with, where should I start, should I use dumbbells or the barbells? Did that guy just snicker when I grabbed the smaller dumbbells? What if I drop it? What if I get it stuck on my chest and need help? What if my elbow goes out and it hits me in the face (hey, it could happen)…all of these things were going through my head as I began. Slowly though, things came back to me and although I wasn’t able to use nearly the same weight I had in the past, I was able to avoid the old lady’s rack with the cute little pink weights…..

About 30 minutes later, I was done. And by done I mean, I could no longer lift my arms, turn my head or even push the button on the water fountain to get a drink….so I decided to head home. (I actually thought of stopping at Starbucks, but the thought of climbing out of my truck and then having to reach up to put my money on the counter, not to mention carrying a venti coffee all the way back across the parking lot, dissuaded me from that idea, so home I went)

Well, here I am 2 days later and brushing my teeth and washing my hair still generate huge amounts of pain and the requisite whinning that goes with it. Putting in my contacts requires a sheer force of will since I haven’t been able to figure out how to lay my contact lenses on the counter and slam my head down hard enough to get them to bounce up into my eye…..(the pain from trying did take my mind off the fact that the entire rest of my body hurts)

They say this is supposed to be good for me…..I’m not sure I’m buying that…..

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

So, maybe I bit off a little more than I should have…..

194.4lbs
At least that was my thinking as we climbed the final hill before getting back to my truck on Saturday…..Li’l Evil is her name, wrecking tired riders is her game…..but I’m getting ahead of myself here.

Last week, my buddy Jer was planning the Saturday group ride. It was to be a nice early season 24 mile loop out of Orinda with about 1800 ft of climbing. Should be no problem I think to myself…I know I’ve only been on the mt bike lately, but it’s only 24 miles and I climb almost that much on the SS mt bike every Thursday.

Then in a fit of genius (code for idiocy) I decided I’d ride to Orinda from CV which would add about 20 miles and another 1400 or so ft of climbing. I’d then get a ride back to my truck from Jerry. This would take it from a nice easy ride to a moderately good ride. Well, evidently my genius (idiocy) knows no bounds because I let Trace know what I was thinking and he upped the ante even more by suggesting we ride out there and back.

So, now we’ve gone from a nice easy early season ride to the toughest ride I’ve done in months….
And to make matters worse, Trace invited a guy I don’t know to join us. I don’t mind pissing and moaning in front of my friends, but a total stranger? It was here that I began to wonder what I had gotten myself in to….

Well, the ride started out cold. As we headed out through Redwood Rd there was actually frost on the ground. No worries though, the pace being set by Trace and Keith had me well into the red zone part way up the hill. While being a hindrance while climbing, my weight, combined with a lack of good sense, is a definitely benefit on the downhill…did I mention it was cold? I wasn’t actually worried about ice, but where I was warm and sweating on the uphill, the downhill was downright freezing…..that’s ok, it never lasts long enough to get really cold and soon enough we were headed uphill again and I was watching the other two guys pedal away from me as we headed up Pinehurst.

The route from Orinda out along San Pablo Dam reservoir, through Bear Creek and back past Briones Reservoir is a nice loop that includes a trio of climbs called the 3 bears. The climbs aren’t really that bad. The only problem is you can see the entire climb from the bottom of each one so it seems to go on forever.

After finishing the three bears and making our way back to the Orinda BART station we split off from the group in search of lunch. There was no way I was pedaling another 20 miles, mostly uphill, with nothing but a cliff bar in my belly. I needed REAL food. We rode into Orinda proper and found a hof brau where I proceeded to demolish the best roast beef sandwich and pasta salad I’ve ever eaten in my life. Of course, I’m pretty sure roadkill squirrel on a stick would have tasted amazing at that point.

Getting back on the bike after a nice lunch is always hard. I tried my hardest to convince the guys that since we were already right around the corner from a BART station, and there was another one a block from where we left the vehicles, there was really no reason to ride back through the canyon….unfortunately they weren’t buying it.

So off we went. Once again with me falling behind on the climbs and then passing them on the descents. At one point on one of the last climbs of the day, they even started circling back and offering encouragement…..come on Rich, you’re doing great, looking good Rich…..man, I hate those guys. How could they be so mean???
Now, I’m sure they thought they were being nice and supportive, but I really just wanted to stab them in the eye with my bike pump….

Well, after the last long downhill to the golf course we had a nice section of flat and then I had Li’l Evil to deal with and she almost did me in…..I never actually stopped, but I’m pretty sure there was a moment or two there where it looked like I was practicing my trackstands……all in all 64 miles and about 4800ft of climbing…..a perfect day!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Not sure I make the best decisions……

197.2lbs
Well, last Wednesday was the Death Ride registration day. They did it different this year than last and instead of a lottery type drawing, they opened up a certain number of slots on a certain day and you had to log on and register.
Well the first day they opened registration back in December, my boss decided to call a meeting so there was no way I could have done it.

Last Wednesday at 10:00 am they opened up the remaining 1800 slots and I was determined to get my name in there.
I logged on at 9:58 and of course it wasn’t open yet…that’s ok I just kept clicking refresh until 10:00 when of course the site posted an error message saying “we’re sorry we’re experiencing a high volume of traffic please try your request later” are you kidding me?!?!?


This event sells out every year, they specifically broke it into two registration days because of the number of people trying to register and they didn’t expect high traffic levels???

So, with my blood pressure right about 400/250 I kept closing the browser and trying again…only to get the same message. My co-worker, worried I was going to blow a blood vessel, also logged on to try to help me from her computer….click, error message, refresh, click, error message, refresh….this went on for 10-15 minutes before Yeana excitedly said "I got in"…..and sure enough, I was able to log in, register and get my confirmation….I was IN!!!!

Of course, now it comes down to one of those be careful what you wish for moments…..I mean, it’s not like I really want to do this ride….as a matter of fact I really do not want to do this ride. Instead, it's a case of I have to do this ride. 2 years ago, I attempted this ride with a group of friends and although they all made it, I only made it 80+ miles before I cramped up to the point that I couldn’t finish.

So, you see…I really don’t have a choice. I tried it and failed so now I have to complete it in order to be able to move on.
I still have the 07 jersey in my bottom drawer. It’s still in it’s wrapper, taunting me, rubbing my nose in the fact that I couldn’t finish….I swear when I reach in there for my shorts or another jersey, I can hear the Death Ride jersey snickering…go ahead, put me on... No one will know you’re wearing a jersey for a ride you couldn’t finish. Go ahead, wear me. And when someone asks you about the Death Ride you can tell them how you didn’t finish. You can rationalize it as bad fueling, or maybe it was the heat, or you were having an off day….

So, now that I’m in I guess the work really begins…..How did I get into this mess???

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Of road bikes and broken computers…..

195.6lbs
Well, last night it started. I took the geared road bike down off the hook in the garage, lubed the chain, put air in the tires and planned my first ever “training ride” for 2009.

My first thought, as I pulled it off the hook in the garage was, “dang, this thing is pretty light”. I think my road bike weighs in just under 20lbs. which when compared to my full suspension bike at 30 and my SS mt bike at 24lbs seems pretty darn light.

Well, I loaded everything up in the truck and headed out to meet Trace and Greg for a ride up and over Redwood Rd to the bottom of Pinehurst and back. I would like to have done the entire zoo loop, but with it still getting dark by 5:30 there just wasn’t time.

We started out up Redwood Rd and the first hill we come to before we even get into the canyon kills me. Every time! I think it’s something like 300 ft but it comes pretty much right outta the box and I’m always huffing like a herd of buffalo by the time I get to the top.
Luckily this hill is followed by a nice downhill then a stretch of flat that lets the legs loosen up. After that though, it’s about a 5 mile climb to the top.

It’s funny, I don’t think of myself as a fat old Buick hauling a trailer up a hill, but that’s how I felt last night. By the time we got to the top of that climb, I was wheezing and puffing, my heart rate was up there around 700 beats a minute and I was sweating like a fat guy in a tuxedo at a yoga parlor (how’s that for a visual?)

Well, once we started down the backside of the hill my mass and fearless descending skills (also known as a lack of brains) took over and we screamed down the back to Pinehurst where we immediately turned around and headed back up the hill.

The majority of the climb back up isn’t too bad, there’s just the last section past the entrance to Bort Meadows where it steepens up and gets kinda serious. I guess Trace decided at that point that he was sick of my whining and picked up the pace to get away from me. My first thought was “there’s no way that’s gonna happen” My second thought was “ow my legs hurt, go ahead, I’ll catch up later

Well, we finally made it to the top and once again, my mad skillz came into play. The only reason I’m willing to suffer the climbs is so I can enjoy the downhill and Redwood Rd is one of my favorites. It’s fairly smooth, not ridiculously steep and there is very little traffic….which of course means you just put it in the big ring and let ‘er rip….

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end and we soon ran out of hill and were back on the flat which leads to the last hill of the ride. Several of my friends refer to this hill at Li’l Evil since it’s short but steep and comes when you’re already pretty much out of gas.

So, we finally make it back to the trucks and I’m feeling pretty good about the ride. Sure I was dying but not too bad and it was a good training ride. That’s when Trace mentions we had only done 10 miles…..huh? Ok, if this is how I feel after 10 miles, how can I possibly do 100 by March? I know I’m not in prime shape, but it is winter and I shouldn’t feel this beat up after doing 10 miles in an hour and 15 minutes.
To be honest, I went home kinda bummed…..

Well, the story actually has a much better ending. This morning I was adding the ride to my training log on mapmyride.com and when I plugged it in, I found out that we didn’t do 10 miles, we actually did about 20 and that we had done about 1500 ft of climbing.
So, I am still out of shape, but not AS out of shape as I originally thought I was.
Evidently Trace’s computer is broken….

Monday, January 12, 2009

This week begins the training….

196.6lbs
This is the week I officially begin “training” for the Solvang Century.
I’ve been riding pretty consistently, but it’s mainly been mountain bikes and my single speed and it’s always been about fun and never had any plan or structure behind it.

Saturday I did a great 16 or so mile ride on the SS mt bike with the nitedawgs….(yeah, they can actually go out in the sunlight with out burning up like vampires – who knew?) The weather was gorgeous, the group was fun and the route was spectacular
The really concerning part is that I was tired. More tired than I should have been after 16 miles.

The problem facing me in preparing for the Solvang Century can really be broken down into two parts...
The first is that I can be kind of a slacker. (although I’m also very determined) If you give me all day to do something, it will take me all day. But if I have several things I need to get done during the day, I will work to make sure I get them finished.
When it comes to riding, I’m the same way. If I don’t have a goal in front of me, I’ll just ride for fun and stop whenever I get tired. But, if I have a goal then I will fixate on it and work my butt off to make sure I achieve that goal.

The other part of the problem is that I’ve done several centuries now and have come to the point that I know I can ride my bike 100 miles. It’s not really a matter of whether I can or I can’t do it like it was when I did my first ones.
It really boils down to how much I want to suffer doing it.
I would bet that I could not ride between now and March and still finish the century. And while it wouldn’t be pretty and I’d be totally miserable the entire time (except on the downhills of course) I could do it out of pure stubbornness and unwillingness to quit.(some may call this bull headedness but I prefer determined)

So, this week, I will move from riding for fun to training which, as everyone knows, is completely different. I’m going to have to get a new battery for the odometer on my road bike so I can keep track of things like mileage and elevation. I’m going to have to plan rides that actually increase my mileage and climbing every week and I’m going to have to make sure that even if I’m tired, I don’t stop my rides before I’ve hit my goal.
The good news is that this should also tie in nicely with my other goal which is to be at 185 by the time Solvang rolls around on the 14th of March.

Well see how this all works out…..

Friday, January 9, 2009

New riders, new loops, new pain…..

197.2lbs
Thursday nights we ride Lake Chabot. It’s usually a 13 mile loop that I know I can do on the single speed without suffering too badly. Well, last night was a little different.
We have a couple of new guys that have joined the group and unfortunately, they’re strong riders. And they had a new loop for us to try that added miles and climbing.

Now, I fully realize that it’s good to ride with people that are stronger than you are as it forces you to perform at a higher level……but to be honest, it kinda sucks! I don’t like being the guy being waited on and I don’t like pulling up to the top of a hill totally redlined, trying to put my lungs back down into my chest cavity and see them sitting there relaxed and waiting patiently.

And this whole being polite thing….what’s up with that? It’s like when you go for a ride with new riders and you have to be encouraging and supportive when what you really want is for them to suck it up and get their butt in gear.…..
I hate pulling up and having them ask how I’m doing and being all supportive and polite….…..all of a sudden I feel like the kid that rode the special bus to school being helped into class…..(ed. note – if you’re reading this and you were that kid….uh…sorry… no offense intended)

Eventually we made it back to the truck where I’m pretty sure I heard someone say “wow, that kicked my a$$”…..Rumor has it that it may have come from my general direction but since it was dark and no-one can prove it, I’m denying that.
I’m pretty sure it came from behind me…..oh wait, I don’t think there was anyone slow enough to actually be behind me…..So, I guess there’s a slim possibility that I may have accidentally and unknowingly uttered something that sorta kinda sounded like whining…..but unless someone can show me proof, I’m still denying it.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

New Year’s Day Hangover Ride….

199.0lbs

This year was the second annual New Year’s Day hangover ride. There are only two rules for this ride.
1. Go someplace new
2. You have to be there no matter how bad you feel or how late you got to bed.

Now the hangover portion of the name is probably a misnomer since most of us, being solidly into our “middle age years” really don’t party like we used to. And I know that some of us, me specifically, never even saw midnight as we were asleep well before that time. Still it’s a good name and I’m sticking with it.

Last year, we did Henry Coe Park which was probably one of the toughest mt. bike rides I’ve ever done. (Actually calling it a ride is probably being generous since I was on the single speed and probably hiked almost as much as I rode) Still it was an amazing ride and it was a total adventure.
As you can imagine being the first of January, temps were a little chilly. I knew this because the entire parking lot was frozen solid and every puddle was an ice hazard waiting to slide your bike out from under you.
The day actually warmed up nicely though and we ended up with blue skies and warm temperatures.

This year we decided on Montebello and Saratoga Gap. Technically some of us had ridden here before, but for the majority of the riders it was new so we figure it qualifies.
We had 10 riders and the morning was cool and damp, but not too bad. I think the fog was keeping the temperature moderate.
This ride starts out with a nice little warm up climb of about 5 ½ miles and 2000ft. It’s all on the road though so it’s not really as bad as it would be if it was in the dirt.
About the half way point Trace was able to sneakily wedge something in his chain causing it to break and thereby getting a nice little 15 minute break. (he claims it “just happened” but I’m not sure I buy it)

One of the coolest parts of the ride was when, part way up the hill, we popped out above the fog and were treated to some amazing vistas. It looks almost like you could walk across the fog to the other side of the bay.

At the top of the hill we regrouped and got ready for the fun. I actually enjoy climbing on the bike. It’s always a good workout and, like hitting my head against the wall, it always feels so good when I stop.

One of the best things about the Montebello loop is that with the majority of the climbing done in the beginning, the rest is all pretty much downhill. Sure there were some rollers, but almost the entire remaining ride is downhill. And it’s fun downhill. There are long swooping fireroads, some nice narrow single track, a creek to ride through and plenty of opportunities to get your bike in the air if you’re inclined to do so.

At the end of the loop you come back to the road and it’s a nice fast downhill for a ways then one small climb back to the parking lot. With my extra winter mass I’m actually pretty fast on the downhill portions. I was in the big ring pedaling like crazy as we started up the climb I felt good and passed Chris thinking I was going to hammer my way to the top and finish strong…..unfortunately, about 2/3rds of the way up the hill, my tank ran dry…..Paul passed me throwing out something about being old, fat and slow…..and I limped back to the truck thoroughly spent and grinning like an idiot……

Here's a fun little vid of the creek crossing

video

Of course we followed the ride with a bbq which included hot dogs, pancit (which is the food of the gods),beer and those little miniature brownie things that are more addicting than crack.....pretty sure that even with all the climbing I managed to gain weight on this ride.....What a fantastic way to start the new year.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I was always a skinny kid…..

Growing up I was always skinny. You know, one of those kids that could eat and eat and eat and still look like someone needed to give him a sandwich.
And I hated it. I felt self conscious about being so skinny. I was always in fairly good shape since as kids we actually went out and played all day instead of being inside with all the video games kids have now, but my friends were always bigger than I was.

In high school I swam, ran, biked, and skied but still remained skinny. As a matter of fact when I graduated high school, I was 6’1” and weighed 145lbs.
Even later when I got married, I was thin, I think I may have been up to 150lbs by then. This continued to be the case throughout my life.

Well, as life and career get busy, age creeps up and exercise takes a back seat, things change. As a result, at 40 I found myself at 210lbs and unable to even run a mile.
Still, once I got active again and started working out, the weight seemed to go away fairly easily. I got down to 185 and was able to keep it right around that by going to the gym at lunch a few times a week. I didn’t really have to try very hard to keep my weight down, it just sort of happened.

So, as you can imagine, I have no idea how to diet and have never even had to think about my weight. I ate as much as I wanted, whenever and whatever I wanted and never thought twice about it. Eating dessert just before bed, no problem. Eating a whole stack of pancakes with bacon and eggs for breakfast, no problem. Mid-day snacks of junk food and soda, no problem…..

Lately though, I notice things have changed…..drastically. I’m still pretty active. I work in the yard almost every weekend, I ride my bike a couple times a week and I generally try to watch what I eat. (I do have a weakness for pizza and beer though)
The problem is, its just not working anymore. I need to do something different….I may need to actually diet.

Now I don’t mean one of those cabbage soup, or carbohydrate only diets. And I don’t mean taking pills or anything drastic like that. I’m not going to be weighing my food and I’m not going to deprive myself….but I do need to get serious about losing some weight.

I thought about this for a while and think I’ve come up with the best way to do this. I’m going to have to set a goal, set up an accountability partner or two and actually focus on this instead of just increasing my exercise and hoping it works.
I’m going to post my weight daily on this blog (which isn’t a big deal since there aren’t many people that read it) really concentrate on not eating junk food and try to add in some different workouts other than just riding my bike.

So, since it’s a new year, I started on Friday and weighed 200.6 lbs. My goal is to be at 185 for the time the Solvang Century on March 14th. That's 15lbs which should be a very achievable goal.

I didn’t weigh myself over the weekend but yesterday I was 199.4 and today I’m 198.2. I’ve run once and ridden once this week but both were short since I’m a wuss and it’s been really cold….

I’m guessing Friday will be the biggest challenge since that’s traditionally pizza, beer and a video night at the Sims household….

Monday, January 5, 2009

I really don't like doctors.....(rant to follow)

Well, last Wednesday I went to the orthopedist for the follow up visit for my elbow.
It had been 5 weeks since “the incident” and to be honest, its better, but not really better.
I’m not really in any pain as long as I don’t straighten the arm, rotate the wrist or try to lift anything more than a few pounds.
Basically I can ride the bike and I can ski as long as I remember to keep the arm bent.

So, before the doctor will see me I have to go to x-ray to get an updated picture, after which I go in to see the orthopedist, Dr Elliott.
What I didn’t realize was that in order to earn the title of orthopedist you have to pass a class on being entirely clueless while at the same time being able to make your patient feel like an idiot…..

Now, that may seem a little harsh, but here’s how the appointment went.
Dr – Hello Mr Sims, what seems to be the problem?
Me – Um…I’m here for the follow up on my elbow
Dr – (looking at x-ray) hmmm…..looks good. You’re all set.
Me – uh….no, I’m not. It still hurts to straighten my arm, rotate my wrist or lift anything
Dr – why is that?
Me - ?????? I don’t know
Dr – well the x-ray shows nothing is broken, hold out your arm (at which point she puts one hand under my elbow and straightens my arm with the other. “see, I can straighten your arm”
Me – curse, swear, mumble, mutter……uh…that’s pretty painful
Dr – well, it’s just from not using it. You’ll be fine.
Me – so, this big lump on the side, the grinding noise when I extend my arm, and the pain are all normal?
Dr – (looking at the x-ray a little closer) well, there’s this area here…wait here while I consult one of my colleagues….
Dr - 10 minutes later - Well, evidently this area here is new bone growth which indicates there was a fracture. But we don’t normally see new bone growth this quickly with someone your age (ability to insult your patients is obviously another requirement for the title of orthopedist)
Me – uh…but you said it wasn’t broken…..
Dr – yeah, well we were mainly looking at the area below the elbow, this bone is the one above the elbow.
Me – so what does that mean?
Dr – well, it appears to have been fractured, but it doesn’t appear to be now. It’s too hard to tell from the x-rays
Me – So maybe we should get an MRI so we can find out for sure
Dr – No, I don’t really think that’s warranted
Me – So, I just have to live with this the way it is?
Dr – No, you’ll be fine – you just need some physical therapy – what did you want a note to stay off work or something?
Me – no, I’d just like the full use of my arm again
Dr – well, we won’t know if that’s possible until after physical therapy – start the therapy and we’ll see you again in 3 weeks for another x-ray and follow up….

So, after spending my morning at the doctor’s office, I left with absolutely no information, feeling like I was being a total wuss, unsure as to whether my arm was indeed fractured or not, pretty disgruntled with Kaiser and the orthopedist and with more questions than answers….
Do I bother to go to P.T.?
Was my arm really fractured or not?
Will my arm get back to normal?
Should I get a second opinion or just quit going to the doctor and let the arm heal on its own
- If I do let it just heal, will it be normal or will I be impaired
- If I go to PT – what if they make it worse

I guess my real frustration is that I’m not sure if the doctor was inept or just really doesn’t give a damn. If I took my car to a mechanic and he said, “I can’t tell you what’s wrong but you can probably just keep driving your car” would I continue to use him?
So, if she’s not inept and just doesn’t care, is that better or worse……
I really do not like doctors…….