Biking Again

Bike riding for the first time in years I might be jinxing myself here, but I finally got back on a bike yesterday for the first time in over 15 years. Yup, it’s been a very long time since I rode a bike. I am glad the old saying still holds true that once you learn how to ride a bike you never forget.

I purchased a bike from a friend a couple of years ago as he was moving States side and thought I would be riding from day one. Alas it sat in our bike locker until this past weekend when I decided it was time to get it tuned up and get it on the biking trails. After a $60 tune up (yeah a couple of flat tires, rusty parts), I was riding.

English Bay Sunset I rode along the sea wall towards English Bay, where I sat for a bit to admire the lovely Vancouver sunset. I forgot how easily and quickly you can get from point A to B on a bike when compared to walking.

As I was on a limited time, I continued to ride into Stanley Park to see how far I could get. Once I past the swimming pool on south part of the park, the trail sorta disappeared on me. I had no clue where I should be biking towards as I couldn’t continue along the sea wall in that direction. The only way I could continue to bike was to go into the trails that took me into the wooded area of the park. As I rode the trails for a bit I realized this wasn’t where I wanted to go and quickly found the route out of the trails and back onto the roadside. I thought I couldn’t go any further than this so I decided just to head back home along the sea wall.

I truly enjoyed the feeling and freedom it gave me and I hope to continue riding as our summer seems to have finally arrived.

My goal is to at least ride along the sea wall once this year. I’ve always wanted to walk it, but never got that far. This time with two wheels I hope to be able to enjoy the scenery in a different way. Thanks to some of my Facebook friends I now have a better idea of the trails around Stanley Park and this should make it easier for me to get around.

My Mother's Stroke

So I was debating most of these days whether I’d blog at all about my mom’s stroke. Most of my friends on Twitter and Facebook already know what has happened, and for it is helping me by updating posts and seeing the great generous feedback I’ve been getting from my friends and family. The support is truly amazing.

My mother suffered an ischemic stroke on Friday. An Ischemic stroke is occurs when there is a blockage of blood to the brain cells. This could be caused by buildup of plaque (either fatty tissue, calcium or scar tissue).

The stroke affected my mother’s left side of the brain and thus affected her right side of the body. She has limited movement on  her right leg currently and no movement at all on her right arm. Since the area of the brain also deals with speech, she has suffered from aphasia; when she speaks words sound mumbled and only a fraction of the words that she says are recognized. She doesn’t suffer from reverse aphasia where she hears us speaking to her in mumbles. We still don’t know if her ability to read or write is affected at this early in the game.

I have to say it the staff here at York Central Hospital have been awesome. They have placed my mom in a specific wing that deals only with stroke patients. I am surprised at the differences in the stroke patients here and sadly think that my mom is the worst of the lot currently here. That said, this is only day 5 of her post stroke and with the improvements that I’ve seen in her these short few days I know she will get better.

The hardest thing for me personally is the fact that my mom has always listened to her doctors, always took her medication, always went to her appointments and still she suffered a stroke. I don’t blame anyone here, what I’m saying is that one never knows when these health issues might happen, one never knows when it might happen to you.

This has opened my eyes on making sure I become healthy and stick around longer. It has made me thankful for the time I’ve spent with my mother and the rest of my family and friends. It makes me think long and hard that we have to live every day to our fullest and if we are not, we are just cheating ourselves in the end.

I’m grateful that I’m here during this time and that my family has really stepped it up. I’m so proud of my sisters for their amazing drive and spirit, I’m proud of my nieces and nephews for being here when they can and bringing a sparkle to my mom’s eyes, I’m proud of my dad who is our protector through this time, I’m proud of my brother-in-laws who truly love my mom like their own. My family totally rocks!!

This little exercise for me has helped me and I hope you as my readers, whomever you are, will take something with you from this and hopefully you too will live your life.

Movember 2010 – Day 8

Movember Day 8 Hard to believe we are already into our first week of Movember, and what a week it has been. After all I think my Mo is coming in nicely :)

Canada is on top of the Movember country scale raising over $5.7 million, as of this post. We have over 94,000 MoBro’s (and Mo Sista’s) participating in this years campaign and those numbers are going up on a daily basis as well. Every one of these participants is out there trying to raise awareness for men’s health and prostate cancer. It is truly an amazing sigh to be behold. It’s not often we give men’s health this much attention.

Today I was asked by Rebecca Bolwitt of Miss604, why I’m doing this, what is driving me? I really didn’t have to think long at all about it. As I mentioned on her blog, I’m at an age where it becomes important for a man to be checked yearly for prostate cancer. We as men are brought up to believe that we are macho and that having a prostate exam is somehow degrading and thus fewer men get checked. The good news is that there are blood tests out there now which can help detect the early signs of prostate cancer. The earlier you are detected the easier and quicker it will be to have it looked after.

So don’t let the great turn out of donations affect your decision to help and donate. Every dollar raised in Canada goes directly to Prostate Cancer Canada to fund research into ways of detecting and preventing prostate cancer. This is their only major campaign of the year so every dollar helps.

So please help donate to my campaign, and with every $25 your donate, you will be put into a draw to win a fantastic $75 gift basket from Masc in Yaletown.

The Doctor Complex

Chud Tsankov IllustrationsDuring my recent trip to the doctors, I began to wonder how much I should be telling my doctor above and beyond why I’m there for initially. I mean, should I be telling him about the headache I had the night before, should I be telling him what I ate, should I be telling him about the pimple, when it’s say my finger I’m there for him to take a look at? How do we know if something we felt is actually a symptom or just something normal and unrelated.

As I was talking with my doctor these questions came to my mind. Some doctors are smart enough to ask you some particular questions that get you to state your symptoms. But others will just take down the notes from what you divulge.

How much do your reveal to your doctors right away? Do you wait for him to ask those questions to help guide you?

World AIDS Day 2009

World AIDS Day

Today is World AIDS Day. It’s the day we mark to help raise awareness, change attitudes and stigma surrounding HIV and AIDS. The first World AIDS Day was held on December 1, 1988.

I have never known anyone personally who has had AIDS before, but I have a few people I consider friends with HIV. Though no longer considered a death sentence, the figures are still high.

International Statistics from 2008

People living with HIV:

  • 33.4 million people living with HIV worldwide
  • 31.3 million adults
  • 15.7 million women
  • 2.1 million children under 15

New HIV cases in 2008:

  • 2.7 million people
  • 2.3 million adults
  • 430,000 children under 15

HIV-related deaths in 2008:

  • 2 million total deaths
  • British Columbia will be hosting the following events:

    Victoria

    Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise service of prayer and worship

    Vancouver

    World AIDS Day Candlelight Vigil @ UBC
    World AIDS Day Concert
    World Aids Day Concert (Jammin Local Impacting Global)

    Damn You Cold!!!

    I don’t know what it is, but it seems that every time I’m about to go on holiday, or am on holiday I develop a cold. Two years ago to Puerto Vallarta; tonsillitis, last year vacation to Toronto; cold, January’s trip to Buenos Aires; cold.

    I’ve been coughing and stuffed up since Saturday.  Could this be a way for my body to tell me to just rest? Could it be that my body wants stress so it “creates” this cold? I dunno what it is, but boy it’s no fun.

    I’m trying not to let this cold get the best of me. I’m fighting it with everything I got. I’m not letting it stop me from getting outside and enjoying this vacation.I know the end is near for this cold, but it better be soon! You hear me cold – get lost, go find another body to infect. :)

    Fight Against Preventable Injuries

    Today The Community Against Preventable Injuries (The Community) launched their year campaign to raise awareness and form a community to prevent the 400,000 injuries suffered by British Columbians [link]. These injuries are also the leading cause of death for individuals for people between the age of one and 44.

    The Community is a new organization (businesses, injury prevention organization, government and other individuals)  established to raise awareness, transform social attitudes, and and ultimately change behaviours. Its goal is to significantly reduce the number and severity of preventable injuries in BC.

    I myself have been injured in the past during summer work, and like everyone out there, we always feel that injuries can’t happen to us.

    For more information on The Community, visit the website at: preventable.ca

    Here are some facts as well as an interesting video to launch their campaign.

    Magnitude of Injuries: Fact Sheet
    THE HUMAN TOLL

    • 95% of all injuries are both predictable and preventable
    • Preventable injuries are the leading killer of Canadians in the prime of their lives (one to 44 years old)
    • More than 400,000 residents of BC are injured each year
    • Every hour of every day, 47 British Columbians suffer a preventable injury
    • On average, more than 1,200 British Columbians die and more than 27,000 are hospitalized every year
    • On a daily basis, over 1,100 British Columbians are injured seriously enough to require medical attention. Of these, approximately four die, 90 are hospitalized and some 27 are left partially or totally disabled
    • More children die from injuries than all other causes
    • On average, 200 children and youth die from preventable injuries every year
    • At least one person dies every day due to a motor vehicle crash in BC

    Reiki – What is it?

    This past weekend I was helping Theresa with some ideas for using WordPress to set up a webpage for her new business.  She’s looking at starting a Reiki business and possibly teaching Reiki. As I haven’t really heard of Reiki before she educated me on a few aspects of Reiki.

    The word Reiki is made of two Japanese words – Rei which means “God’s Wisdom or the Higher Power” and Ki which is “life force energy”. Reiki was developed in 1922 by Mikao Usui, whom after days of fasting and meditation was given the ability to heal without energy depletion.

    Based on the Canadian Reiki Association (CRA) website;

    Reiki is a Japanese holistic, light-touch, energy-based modality. Working as a support mechanism to the body, Reiki re-establishes a normal energy flow of ki (life force energy) throughout the system, which in turn can enhance and accelerate the body’s innate healing ability. Through a series of hand positions either directly on or just above the body, the energy worker allows for the flow of energy through their body. The client’s body then draws off the amount of energy that is required. The simplicity of a Reiki session may raise some skepticism, however, after experiencing it, many clients keep coming back for more of those relaxing feelings.

    Reiki is simple and produces measurable results. It is power, light and love. Reiki transcends the man-made divisions of religion, economics, location, gender, and race.

    The process also involves calling of the spiritual guides from the participant, the giver and the surrounding environment.

    I can see, how the use of Reiki, can help those through meditation focus their energies. This might be something to try out one day.

    I've Been Cracked

    Source: Wikipedia

    Source: Wikipedia

    Yesterday, I took Russ to his Chiropractor to get his side and back pain checked out.  He had fallen a few weeks back while taking Junior out for a walk and hasn’t felt the same since then. Prior to his visit we were discussing the fact that I myself have never been to a Chiropractor and that I probably should get myself checked out since I have been experiencing some neck pains for awhile. As his doctor was working on him, I decided to set up an appointment for myself.

    Luckily enough he didn’t have any other appointments and was willing to take me in right after his appointment with Russ.

    After filing in the appropriate forms, I had my first consultation with Dr. Richard Frey. He started off going through the usual questions of where my pain was, have I ever had pain elsewhere, how long has the pain been going on, etc. We than moved into a separate room where he started to exam me. We started first with some reflex items; hitting the knee cap. My left leg responded to the test, yet my right leg did not.  He hit it several times and even went back to my left leg. He was puzzled and I myself was a little puzzled at it. Not because nothing happen, but mainly because this was the second time a doctor has ever performed that test on me and the samething happened back then. He had me lie down on the table and he lifted my leg, one at a time, to see if there was any pain (experienced none), he had me sit up and he pressed and felt my back and asked me a question that surprised me – Where you recently in a car accident? Of which I replied No. He than asked if I was ever dropped as a baby (Mom do you want to answer this question cuz I have NO idea :) ).

    After his examination he gave me some of his findings.  My right hip is higher than my left, resulting in my right shoulder being higher than my left (I’ve been told this before). He explained how our spin works and how we, as humans, always are adjusting ourselves to maintain a straight posture. He also said that sometimes through these adjustments the joints can pinch or compress nerves that result in less sensation and “feeling” to that paticular side of your body.  As a result you might not notice that you are twisted, or you might not notice that pain.  It is the job of the Chiropractor to loosen that joint and open up the nerve sensation (made perfect sense).

    He let me know that he never starts off with twisting a patients neck as people have to be very relaxed for that to happen and he would start off with some specific area of my back. As I have always been scared about having my neck cracked, let alone my back I was glad he wasn’t starting with my neck.  I laid down on my stomach on the tab, where he pressed on a vertabre and caused it to crack. I then laid on my back crossed my arms, breathed in and as I exhaled he pressed on my chest and I felt another crack on my back. He than massaged pressure points on my neck for a few minutes to finish off my session.

    There was a great sense of relief afterwards. I felt much better and I know I made the right decision to see him. I have another appointment this coming Tuesday and will probably have some more to come as I try to re-adjust myself. I never knew there was some actual benefit to seeing a Chiropractor.

    Oh My Aching Foot

    I’ve been experience foot pain on my left foot for just over 4 months now and I have tried changing the insoles of my shoes, but to no avail.  As a result I booked an appointment with my foot doctor (yeah I have a foot doctor I’ve seen in the past for other reasons) and I saw him today.

    A little history here, my pain first appeared one morning when I woke up and felt some discomfort when going to the bathroom at night.  Now the pain only lasted a few short seconds and then went away.  I never thought anything about it, but over the months the pain continued and started to last longer and longer.  I would start walking to work and experience the pain, but by the time I arrived at work the pain was gone, yet only to come back when I got up from my desk to walk.  Fast forward to a few weeks ago, and the pain is pretty much constant.  I feel the discomfort all the time and sometimes I can feel it throbbing.

    I’ve begun to start icing the foot near the area and that has helped some.  I try not to use my flip-flops and settle for my running shoes instead since they have a more bounce to them and cushion the pain.

    My foot doctor has told me that I have the beginnings of Achilles Tendonitis. This is usually brought on by a change in shoes, weight gain, or increase activity.  Well I guess I qualify for number 2 :).  He said to continue to ice the area as well as begin to stretch the tendon.  He suggested I get some high performance arch support shoe slips and see how that goes for a few weeks.  If all else fails, I might have to get orthotics.  I guess I’ll be spending more money on better quality shoes as well that have a greater arch support to try to heal this heel pain.

    If anyone else has some suggestions, please let me know.  I’m not sure if I could handle wearing orthotics as my feet are big enough as they are and every room counts when I’m shopping for shoes :)