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)