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Thursday, March 30, 2006

"The Amazing Shrinking Man- A Manuscript excerpt

This is an excerpt of a manuscript I'm working on, feedback appreciated!-Tom

©2006- Tom Stormcrowe

All rights reserved


Where do I start? I suppose I should describe the problem. I developed a rare metabolic disorder called Empty Sella Syndrome which caused me to gain a tremendous amount of weight. I peaked at 581 pounds (That's 264 kilos, for those of you who use the metric system.). Needless to say, my general health was beginning to suffer. Matter of fact, I had gotten to the point that I was basically unable to have a normal life!

I had gotten so heavy, I was unable to stand for more than a couple of minutes or walk more than 50 feet without crushing chest pain. You can imagine the difficulties this caused me. I was unable to work, and was stuck in an over-sized wheelchair. This weight problem was slowly killing me.

The symptoms of gaining all this weight, other than the chest pain were quite oppressive, to say the least! I was put on supplemental oxygen because my arterial blood O2 saturation was at 68%. This low a blood oxygen level is unhealthy to say the least! The strain on my heart was incredible. I developed an enlarged heart, along with congestive heart failure due to my morbid obesity. The poor oxygenation was contributing to poor kidney function, which was contributing to my congestive heart failure. In addition, I developed severe edema in both legs, to the point that I was developing ulcerations from the ischaema caused by a combination of the swelling and poor oxygenation. The poor healing and immune system depression was contributed to by the development of Type II Diabetes as well. Essentially, I was falling apart. I had come to the point where I had to make a decision. I had to decide whether I wanted to live or not!

I had spent years dieting, unsuccessfully. I actually continued to gain weight for

years, regardless of the diet I was on. I finally saw a doctor named Kenneth Power, a Canadian doctor who had come to the USA to practice medicine. Dr. Power recommended I look into Bariatric Surgery because he felt I was down to it. I would be dead inside of two years if I didn't get my weight under control. The prospect of this surgery scared the living crap out of me, I must admit!

Chapter 1

The Search and the Fight For Surgery

I started my search for a surgeon on the Internet, looking for information about the procedures offered. I also was looking into various factors, such as sites like the site located at http://www.weightlosssurgeryinfo.com/dtcf/. This is a site that specializes in information and support for patients either looking into or having gone through Bariatric Surgery. It was a godsend! I was able to find information of the surgeons in my area as well as information from patients who had undergone the surgery and their experiences at the various programs in the region. I eventually chose Saint Vincent Hospital in Carmel, Indiana and Dr. Rosemarie Jones.

As I had mentioned in the introduction, I had blown up into a tremendously obese man! Dr. Jones treated me with the utmost of respect, her manner with patients is incredible! For the first time in a long time, I didn't feel like a freak! On my first appointment, I went through a class on what I could expect. After the class I had my consultation with Dr Jones. At this appointment, I was able to feel my first bit of hope! It looked like I might have a chance after all.

I should interject an observation at this point. Bariatric Surgery isn't the easy way to lose weight! Far from it! There are risks! First, 1 in about 200 dies in the surgery, even done as a laporoscopic procedure. After the surgery, there is a risk initially of a postoperative infection. Long term effects include poor absorption of various vitamins, calcium, protein, and the potential of physical side effects.

The potential physical side effects include formation of scar tissue, paralysis of the stomach, adhesions, both bowel and pleural, blockages, hernias, and the list goes on. The person considering this surgery needs to take all this into consideration when they are considering the surgery!

Along with everything else, you have to understand that insurance carriers do NOT like to pay for this surgery! My insurance carrier was Blue Cross/ Blue Shield through my employer, Marten Transport. Marten had disallowed Weight Loss Surgery, except for medical necessity. BC/BS had taken the stance that even though I was diabetic, with a heart condition, and on supplemental oxygen as well as being wheelchair-bound, it wasn't medically necessary for me to have this surgery. I was required to more or less jump through hoops to get my surgery approved. I was required first to go through a psychological examination to prove I understood the ramifications of the surgery. I cleared this hurdle........denied!

I filed an appeal through the mechanism BC/BS provided, and they “lost” my records! They had no record of my medical necessity records, so they were resubmitted. Another several months went by, and I was denied again! At this point, I was put into contact with a lawyer, Judy O.! She agreed to represent me in my efforts to get this surgery.

In the meantime, BC/BS was requiring me to undergo a physician supervised diet. This was not successful, and I was still denied! Judy contacted the lead counsel of BC/Bs with my information, and was finally able to break through the bureaucratic nightmare I was in! My surgery was approved thanks to this contact, and was scheduled for March 11, 2005. I was so shell shocked though, from the fight to get it approved that I was not holding my breath! I didn't actually believe I was going to get my surgery till I arrived at Saint Vincent on the morning of March 11 and was being prepped for surgery. I kept expecting the phone to ring and have my insurance deny the procedure right at the last minute!

Chapter 2

The Surgery

My family had gathered for the surgery, from all over the country, literally! My mother and Stepfather was in From Florida, My Uncle John,and Aunt Debbie (Who are the ones who hooked me up with Judy Overturf, incidentally!), as well as my Aunt Julie! I hadn't seen Aunt Julie in nearly thirty years! I actually thought the drugs were kicking in and was hallucinating her! Dr Jones came in and I suppose I should mention at this point in my narrative that she is a stone fox! I had a big old shot of Demerol, I think it was, or possibly Dilaudid in me and apparently told my mother “See Mom, what did I tell you, Dr Jones is a fox”! Narcotics will do that to you. Things are a bit hazy at this point, kind of a blur. Appropriate though, because I went through a bit of a rebirth after my surgery! There should be a bit of a gap between the old life and new one! One person I should also mention, last but definitely not the least, would be my wife Earlena. Her support and help got me through this mess on a day to day basis! Without her, I don't believe I would have had the will to make it.

to be expanded

Chapter 3


I woke up in the recovery room in severe pain! At this point, I have to admit, I wondered if it had been worth it! The pain was intense and I couldn't have any pain killers because I was experiencing respiratory problems and narcotics depress the ability to breath. There was a significant risk that the pain killers would have killed me! I just tried to crawl into my head and close out the pain! Every so often, I'd have the nurse in recovery rather loudly tell me to breath! She is a nice lady, and I'm afraid I can't for the life of me remember her name. During the period I couldn't have pain killers, though, I thought of her as Nurse De Sade`!

One of the first things they do after a surgery, just as soon as you are able to, they get you up walking! This actually helps the pain! It seems when a laporoscopic Roux-N-Y procedure is done, they inflate your abdominal cavity with a neutral gas to give the surgeon room to work. If you lie around, the gas forms a bubble that compresses a nerve and puts pressure on a nerve plexus in your shoulder. This causes excruciating pain! Morphine does absolutely nothing for this pain, and the only way to get rid of it is to dissipate the bubble, by walking and moving around!

So we come to my first walk! I can tell you, it wasn't exactly the most athletic power walk in history! It was more a hobble and a wobble, as JRR Tolkien once put it! I was as weak as a new born kitten! I had my wife steering the IV pole, a nurse behind with my wheelchair, and a nurse on both my right and left side. I was trying to keep my sense of humpor, and joke around that I hadn't had that much feminine attention in years! I can tell you, a sense of humor is an important part of your recovery process. It allows you to get through the pain, as well as the embarrassment involved. After the surgery, I was so debilitated, I couldn't even wipe my own butt! This is a part of the embarrassment I am talking about! Another is the fact that I couldn't bathe myself! I have always been self reliant and here I am, totally dependent on others for basic needs like an infant! This is a part of why I refer to this period as my rebirth! All I could do at this point was pray that I would recover quickly!

In the process of recovery, you face a terrifying prospect, eating! This is when you discover that you do or don't have major complications to the surgery initially. I was given breakfast the next morning, not that I was hungry, but you do have to eat! I had one oz of scrambled eggs. No, you didn't read it wrong, that was one ounce volume! I promptly got violently ill. I couldn't believe how painful it was just to eat! One fluid ounce of egg and I threw up in less than 30 seconds! When you have your first breakfast after the surgery, you will have a choice of various breakfasts, all in the one oz. size, custard, Cream of wheat, or scrambled eggs. I recommend you avoid the eggs, at least for the first few days!

Another aspect of life after Bariatric Surgery is no coffee, at least for the next six months! You have to be sipping fluid almost continuously, to get enough fluid in you to avoid dehydration! You need to get at least 60 oz of fluid a day into you! How do you do this when you have a stomach the size of an egg and is initially so fragile you can rupture it by taking too big of a sip of water? You drink out of a 1 oz portion cup! That's right, those little portion cups that a restaurant might use to portion out salad dressing on the side, yup, you got it.........them! You also use a sports bottle, or a child's sippy cup! Anything to control the amount of fluid you take in in a sip! You don't use a straw, though, for two reasons. First, to much fluid volume can be sipped too easily. Second, too much air can get into your stomach! I addition to water, you drink protein shakes. Mine were a combination of Carbo-Lite, 1% milk, and powdered milk. As a substitute for the Carbo-Lite, Carnation Sugar free Instant Breakfast can be used. Both of these can be purchased at Walmart, by the way! You need to drink 4 portions a day, at 8 oz each. Guess what, there's 32 oz of your required 60 oz minimum of fluid! I tried to drink a lot of milk, because of the calcium and additional protein, by the way, so most of my fluid intake was either water, protein shake or milk! It's a good thing I like milk, true? The other thing I like is both Cream of Wheat, and Cocoa Wheats! This is a good thing, by the way, because those are about the only type of semi-liquid food my stomach could initially tolerate, other than sugar free pudding, or sugar free custard, or Jello! The rest of my diet, my chef was Gerber! I rediscovered why babies hate strained peas! I did find out I like pureed squash! This was a surprise, because I hated it before! It's amazing how your tastes change when it's one of the few foods you can keep down! My favorite meats were Gerber Veal, Beef, and believe it or not, they make Pureed Chicken and Noodles! Strained Bananas are cloyingly sweet, but easy to keep down.

One thing I seriously missed was coffee! You have to understand, as coffee goes, I drink rocket fuel! This is defined as a cup of Sumatran Coffee fortified with 4 or more shots of espresso! Like I said, rocket fuel! If it didn't make my eyes pop out and switch sockets and my head pop off, why bother? The problem with coffee is that it's a diuretic! That is to say it makes you go.....and go......and go! Coffee isn't purchased, it's rented! Another way to look at it is that coffee is a Shylock, it loans you the cup of fluid, but is charges three in interest!

Another drink that's out the door is soda. Several good reasons for this, by the way! First, the carbonation can blow out the stomach early on, and literally kill you. Second, too much sodium! The only real exception to that rule is Diet Rite! They are caffeine and sodium free. The only problem is that pesky carbonation! As I mentioned before, it can cause serious problems!

Now we come to the problems of taking medication. You can't swallow anything bigger than an aspirin tablet, anything larger must be broken up. This is something you need to be aware of when dealing with time release medications especially. Always remember to check with your pharmacist as to whether the med can be broken up. If it can't, you will need to have your doctor consider other medication options. Other medication options include liquid medication. Keflex Liquid , an antibiotic you will likely be on immediately after the surgery as a prophylactic against infection is one that deserves mention. Have you ever wondered why babies cry when they have to take Keflex liquid? I can tell you! It tastes absolutely horrible! The best description I can come up with is that it tastes like a combination of dog crap smell and asphalt! Absolutely disgusting! Chances are you will be learning to give yourself shots of Lovenex as well. This is a blood thinner/anticoagulant and it's necessary to prevent formation of clots where clots aren't supposed to be......like your legs, lungs or heart. In addition, you will be taking large doses of vitamins, in form of children's chewables as well as B12 liquid under the tongue and B1. Calcium supplementation will be necessary as well. This is because you have a reduced ability to absorb vitamins. You will be taking these the rest of your life. The Bariatric procedure is a lifelong commitment, this is something you need to accept now. If you don't, you can face serious problems down the road. Your surgeon should cover all of this with you. If they don't, you are selecting the wrong surgeon!

The elimination of the receptors that occurs also changes your dietary habits dramatically. Sugar and starches can cause a problem called Dumping Syndrome. This is where you get tremendous diarrhea from a massive peristaltic wave. Essentially, your bowel floods with fluid to flush out the sugars and starches you can no longer process very well. Along with the diarrhea, you can get cramps, chills and nausea. The wrong foods aren't the only thing that can cause you discomfort either. If you eat a little too much, you will learn the true meaning of pain! It literally makes you throw up! You also need to chew your food up very thoroughly. A piece of meat, improperly chewed can block the outlet of your stomach pouch. This causes pain and nausea. The treatment for this ranges from drinking meat tenderizer dissolved in water to, in more extreme situations, having an endoscope run down and push it through. Remember, and I can't stress this enough! Chew your food, and eat SLOWLY! Your stomach will thank you! It is definitely possible to eat past your pouch capacity, and wind up quite sick before you even realize it. Like I said, this is a lifelong change.

Another interesting little occurrence is green poop! This can occur because of the antibiotics you are taking, as well as magnesium uptake problems. Magnesium is contained in green leafy vegetables like spinach. If it smells really weird, it's probably from the antibiotics. We have various bacteria that live in our intestines and large doses of antibiotics can damage that population. These bacteria live in symbiosis with us and among other things, synthesize vitamins for us that we cannot make. If this population is damaged, other bacteria move in and the result is smelly green diarrhea. It will normalize, but it is disturbing.

More to come, this is a sample of the commitment required for surviving and recovering from Bariatric Procedures. It's not the easy way out at all! It should be considered as a last resort, after all other options fail! If you need it, go for it! It will be difficult, but it's worth it!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Final March Spinner Saturday Graphs

Here they are, the Graphs! The data from this week will apply to April miles, and I'll tell ya! Everyone did pretty well this month! Good job!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

I thought I'd post some of my wifes recipes, with her permission of course!

1 lb. ground beef chuck, lean
1 lb. ground lamb, lean
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon oregano, crushed
1 cup tomato sauce
pinch of cinnamon
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup butter, melted
12 sheets Phyllo pastry
In a skillet, saute ground meat in olive oil with onions until browned. Season with salt, oregano and pepper. Add tomato sauce, cinnamon.
In a small bowl, beat eggs and stir in cheese. When ground meat has cooled, fold in the eggs and cheese mixture.
Butter a 9x13 inch baking pan. Arrange six sheets of Phyllo pastry on bottom of pan, buttering each sheet. Spread a layer of cooled meat mixture evenly on Phyllo. Cover with remaining six sheets, brushing each with melted butter.
Trim edges of Phyllo to fit pan with a sharp knife. Slice through top of pastry to form diamond shapes.
Bake in a preheated 350°F oven until pastry is golden crisp.
May be served hot or cold.

1 bottle Healthy Sensation no fat Italian dressing
1/3 c. Worcestershire sauce
3 tbsp. chopped garlic
1 tbsp. Molly McButter
1 tsp. Tony's salt-free seasoning
Pinch of sugar
1/3 c. skim Pet milk (optional)
1 qt. peeled raw shrimp
1 sm. pkg. cooked shell or wagon wheel pasta
Butter-flavored Pam
1 c. chopped green onions
Spray a large coated skillet with Pam. Add first 6 ingredients. Simmer until bubbling. (Add milk if desired.) Add shrimp. Cook 10 minutes on low heat (bubbling). Add green onions and then cooked pasta. Heat for approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Serve.

1 c. flour
1/2 tsp. soda
1 1/2 c. quick cooking oats
2 egg whites, slightly beaten
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. oil
1/2 c. skim milk
1 c. raisins
4 level measuring spoons of Sweet and Low brown sugar substitute (spoon included in box of sweet and low)
Sift together flour, soda, cinnamon and brown sugar substitute. Stir in oats. Combine egg whites, oil, milk, vanilla and raisins and add to flour mixture. Mix well. Drop batter (1 teaspoon) on lightly oiled cookie sheet. Bake 375 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes, depending on texture desired. Shorter baking time results in a chewy soft cookie, the longer time in a crisp cookie.

Make graham cracker crust in usual way, omitting sugar. Cool in refrigerator while making filling.
1 (24 oz.) carton of fat free cottage cheese
1 box sugar free lemon Jello (4 serving size)
Put cottage cheese in blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Sprinkle lemon Jello over smooth cottage cheese and mix until well blended. Pour into graham cracker crust (9 inch). Refrigerate for 4 hours before serving

Use these with MrsStormcrowes compliments!

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Spinner Saturday, Once More into the Breach!

Well, here it is, Spinner Saturday, once again! My miles for the week are 60.

BigMike, by the way was able to shrink his letter g to lower case(Even if he did just avoid having to grow mutton chop side burns)! Drop by his place to see what I'm talking about, in his "Revolution Challenge" He only had 16.2 miles this week according to his email this morning, but I can understand him not wanting to ride in tropical cyclone weather(Their equivalent of a hurricane).

Tayfur Yagci is competing in a marathon race, 26 miles on Sunday, April 2, so let's all wish him a great race! This is a marathon by bike, with a 1000 meter elevation climb in the 26 mile course. Go Tayfur, Go!

As usual, I'll be posting the graphs on Monday, as I'm still getting the data in! Have fun all of you and Keep pedaling!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Health update

Well, I had a sleep study done last night! This was to assess my sleep apnea. I did quite well, no stoppages and held O2 sats most of the night! I did have to go on 1 liter of O2 for the last half of the night. This is a signifigant improvement in my physical health, believe me! A Year ago, if I had tried to sleep without the BIPAP and O2, I would have had a statistically signifigant chance of dying! I was set a 17/20 cm pressure and 7 lpm on the respitatory equipment(for those of you who understand this!). What it means is on breath intake, I needed 20cm extra pressure to prevent the breathing stoppage, and then on the expiration, the pressure dropped to 17 cm additional pressure to ease breathing out. I have also lost another 6 pounds since my last weight check! WoohooThis makes total weight loss at 331 pounds!

I have a request of those of you that have media sources, by the way. In the Indiana Business Journal, they were talking about an initiative by the government to force insurance carriers to ease restrictions on bariatric surgery, and I'd like to get as much info on this as possible. This is a bandwagon I would like to jump onto! I had severe difficulties getting my surgery approved and would like to help others that need itto get the approval more easily and cheaply than me! If I hadn't had the support and assistance of my Wife, Uncle, Aunts, Parents, Lawyers, and everyone else involved, I probably would be dead instead of writing this post! That's how bad my health had gotten! I'm not advocating bariatric surgery for a few pounds weight loss, by the way, but I am if it means a lifesaving procedure! The simple fact of the matter is this, that you can help someone find their way out of a literal hell on earth! That being the situation where a person is trapped in a body that's coming apart at the seams due to an either metabolic or eating disorder. Another way that you could help would be to email or fax or write your representative in DC that this is of concern to you! I normally don't dabble into politics here on my blogs, but this time I am making an exception! I have a voice here and the issue is extremely important to me! Refer tham to my blogs here and at Blogspot to let them see how their action CAN help people (or hurt them!) My MSN address, by the way, is http://spaces.msn.com/theamazingshrinkingman/

By the way, I was just emailed a link by my lawyer, Judy! It's to a similar story to mine! Click here for the story of Joseph Huber!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

The Spinner Report for the Weekend of March 18/19

Spinner Report
OK, here we go! I have all the Spinner Data, WOOHOO! These are the graphs for the week.
Al blew past all of us, with me in second for the week, and third for the month, and Big Mike 3 for the week and 2nd for the month!

Mother Stormcrowe has rejoined in Spinner, but walking for now. She has a brand new stent and a new attitude about exercise! Welcome back Mom!

PHAT_K should resume soon, I am planning on reinstituting the sprints in April, so get ready!

In the meantime, get pedaling! Time to ride!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Mocha Momma: The Reluctant Meme

Mocha Momma: The Reluctant Meme

Here is My Reluctant Meme! Songs I'm embarrassed to admit to listening to, so enjoy:
1) Staying Alive- The BeeGees
2) MacArthur Park- Donna Summer
3) Space Race- Billy Preston
4) Funky Cold Medina- Tōn Lōc
5) I Got You, Babe- Sonny and Cher
6) The Macarena!
7) Copa Cabana- Barry Manilow
8) Pianoman- Billy Joel
9) Baker Street- Gerry Rafferty
10) and the piéce-de resistànce, A lovely little song from a no hit wonder band called Boones Farm, and the song is "Mother in Law"! It's an incredibly tacky song!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Catch Up Post

March 17
MY entry to Caloi's Contest

It's not a bicycle company, or equipment. I thought I'd go another route, Adventure tours! The Photo is Sourced from a Scottish Bicycle site...I'd appropriately credit it, but I can't remember the site! It's been on my 'puter for over a year!
Mandatory Disclaimer: This Company does not exist and the phone number is not valid, nor is the web address!

The headline of this catchup is a link to my MSN Space, drop by and meet me through video1(You will need internet Explorer to be able to view the video...Sorry Firefox and Mac users!

March 16 A Little Housekeeping Spinner Saturday
Spinner Saturday was put on hold for my little vacation last week! All of your miles are going on this weeks Spinner Report, so please get them to me Saturday evening, or Sunday at the latest! As a reminder, walking, running, cycling, spinner bike, all of these categories count! I am still a bicycle commuter by necessity, but I may have found a car! Wish me luck!

Other Business Stopping Smoking

I am participating in a challenge, as I posted earlier! So far so good.....smoke free! You can watch this over at STOP IT!, a blog I am participating in with Christa from AwfulSouls!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

More Ride Photos

This is me a year ago! First off!

an this is a year later!

Click the tiny image below to see a terrain profile of my ride!

By the way,I am currently involved in a STOP SMOKING CHALLENGE with Christa. This one is for BIG MONEY! If I lose, I have to donate $10.00 in real money to the ASPCA! CLICK HERE

Up in Alaska: Hey, this is my blog

Up in Alaska: Hey, this is my blog

You definately want to check out this excerpt from one of Jills articles! Great writing!

Just a little thought that occurred to me!

My ride attempt to Syracuse, Started at 9:00 AM on March 11, 2006. My Bariatric Surgery date was March 11, 2005, and i was wheeled into surgery at 9:00AM! I didn't plan this timing, but wow! What a way to celebrate an anniversary!

Monday, March 13, 2006

The First Sign of Spring

The Ride

According to a lifelong resident of Delphi, Indiana, the first sign of Spring isn't the robin arriving in Indiana! It's the site of a cyclist riding through Delphi with full touring kit, just passin' through! This year, that was me.

The route I was following was a section of the Fort Wayne- Evansville route mapped out by Charlie Meyer, placed online for free for cyclists by the Wabash River Cycle Club at http://wrcc-in.org/routes/fortwayne-evansville.pdf and the map is quite good. The only thing it doesn't cover is terrain. The average vertical rise and drop of the route is +/- 200 feet and runs generally uphill along the Wabash River Valley if you ride the route toward Fort Wayne. The section I rode, From Lafayette to Logansport, and then back, is mostly along the river, or along the old Wabash-Erie Canal and is quite beautiful, even this early in the year.

The Hay Bales

North of Delphi, along the ride, I had a farmer with a load of hay in bales pass me. The wind gusted and blew several bales,(Yes, it was that windy!), off the top of the stack. Needless to say, they landed in the road, rolling every which way, including loose as the broke their baling wire binders! If you ever want to have your HR jump to MAXHR in a literal heartbeat, try dodging rolling, breaking up bales of hay on a loaded bike! Especially in a STRONG crosswind. The farmer was truly apologetic, and was worried that I was OK but hell, I dodged them, so no hit, no foul! I reassured him I was OK. Who would have thought the wind could have blown a bale off a truck, much less several?

The Wind and the Calories

If March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb, the end of March should be pretty nice! The wind was averaging 25-28 mph and gusting to 50! Unfortunately, it was a head wind most of the time. I figured the caloric burn and came up with 19,516 calories burned with an input of about 3000 calories. I'm not sure how accurate this output figure is, as I used the caloric burn engine averaging a 0.5% positive slope and a headwind of 28 mph as the variables. Is it even possible for someone to continue operating with a 16,000 calorie deficit without collapsing? I know I felt pretty weird at the end of the first day, runners high doesn't even cover it! All of my nerve endings were humming, and I actually felt a little detached from everything. No cognitive difficulties, but I was basically on the ragged edge. I had hit the BONK!

I had planned to camp out for the night, but


I was so tired, I didn't even want to pitch a tent. If the weather wasn't going to go bad that evening, I'd have just rolled out the sleeping bag and mat. I was carrying a small portable radio and with the wind, and how the sky looked, I found the local AM station just in time to hear a severe thunderstorm warning. I opted for a motel!

I wanted a HOT shower and a Pollinex Massaging Showerhead almost badly enough to make a deal with the devil! I HURT!

Surprisingly, it wasn't my butt or legs that hurt, (Those were this morning!), but my shoulders, neck and back!

I can't imagine how I would have felt if I hadn't eaten 3 Clif Bars, 2 Zone Bars, and a Snickers, as well as a good breakfast, 2bottles of Gatorade, and at least 3.5 liters of good ol' H2O! Dinner was, of course, Tuna and Ramen Soup, and I wound up eating a second dinner an hour later(As soon as my stomach emptied!). One thing about post bariatric life is that if you need to take in a massive amount of fuel, you have to do it in deliberate stages when you have a stomach capacity of 6 OZ.! After Dinner, I was watching the Weather Channel, eating a bedtime snack of a Clif Bar(Yes, I was STILL HUNGRY, Blast it all!), seeing the continuing bad weather, and predicting snow for Tuesday, I decided to abort and head for home.

The Tail Wind

The forecast called for a NE wind and reasonable weather for the rest of the day, and then getting NASTY again last night. TAIL WIND, Cool! To take the best advantage of the tail wind I rode IN 25 from Logansport to Delphi. On my way through Logansport, I took a picture of a Stump Sculpture I had come across on the way through to go to the motel. I have a picture of it attached here to this post! I should also make the following statement to Burrows, Indiana: “I hereby extend and apology to the residents of Burrows, Indiana for setting every dog in town, (All eight of them!) to barking at 8:00 on a Sunday morning!”

All in all, everyone I met along the ride was pretty cool!

The Homecoming!

I got home about 4:15 PM, 53 miles in a bit over 6 hrs. Not bad for as heavy as my bike was! On arrival, I called my Aunt, who was the “Designated Call of Shame Recipient” if I blew up on the ride and needed to be picked up and carted home! I was determined, though, that if I made that “Call of Shame”, it would be to pick me up from whatever hospital I landed in! Other than that eventuality, or a catastrophic bike failure, I was determined to pedal this trip under my own power! Here's a roughly paraphrased transcript of my call to Aunt Debbie(Relevant portions only), to let her know I was home:

Aunt Debbie: Hi Tom! (Caller ID!)

Me: Hi Aunt Debbie, You are talking to one pooped cyclist

Aunt Debbie: How's it going then?

Me: Well, my legs blew up, you're going to have to come pick me up!

Aunt Debbie: Where are you? I'll be there as quick as I can drive there!

Me: About 6 inches from my front door! I made it home OK, Aunt Debbie, I just couldn't resist!

Aunt Debbie: Unprintable,- Expletive deleted!

Actually, I'm kidding on the last line from Aunt Debbie, firstly, she's too much of a lady to say unprintable, and expletive deleted kind of things! She actually got a kick out of the 6 inches line!

The Wife!

On my arrival home, My wife did three things. First she helped me get the bike in! Then she gave me a hug.......and promptly said “YOU STINK!” And then fed me some of the best tasting Chicken and Noodles I've ever tasted!

It must have been bad, when she took my cycling jersey, shell and shorts to wash them, she was wearing a Racal biohazard level IV spacesuit!

Most of the photos resolution leaves something to be desired.....they were taken with a cell phone camera! Made more sense to get the pics that way than to carry a $400.00 digital camera on the bike! I've included a sattelite view of my ride route along with a map view!

Ride Photos

There is a ride terrain profile...looks like a line, almost

Friday, March 10, 2006

Headed out in the Morning

Hello, I'm heading out in the morning on my 256 miler! All is ready and the bike is loaded, except for hanging my front panniers on the rack! I'll have a ride report when I get back, have a great weekend and week, everyone!There should be some ride reports posted by MrsStormcrowe over at my MSN Blog, to go there, click this posts title!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

How To Eat for 6 days on 8 pounds of food

This is six days worth of food for my bike trip. Total weight is 8.2 pounds, and while it may be a bit monotonous, eating tuna and Ramen Soups, with power pars for the Bonk and oatmeal for breakfast, it's light, easy to fix in a single burner backpacking stove and a good, make that excellent source of both protein and carbs

Tuna Ramen Backpack Casserole
A Quick nonperishable recipe
1 softpack tuna
1 package Ramen Shrimp Soup
Easy! Boil water and add tuna after you pour the water and soften the noodles! That's all there is to it!
About 30 g protein
Saturated fats 7g
Fiber 1g
Calories 500
Sodium levels are a bit high, but if you are sweating a lot, it will actually help!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

An announcement about Spinner Saturday this week!

I won't be running Spinner this week, because of my bike trip, so save your miles data, I'll put the Spinner report together after Spring Break! Instead of doing the Spinner report and collating the data, I'll be pedaling with no internet access! I'll also post an after tour report as well! Friday will be my last post for a few days, for my leetle vacation! See the attached map images below.

Countdown: 2 DAYS TIL TRIP

Days 1, 2, 3, and reverse it, 4, 5, 6

Catch up post, the last few days!

The text below are the last few posts from my msn blog, I haven't had time the last couple of days to keep up onn both, so here's your catch up! Be sure to check out the video greeting I have linked below! This is the welcome message from my msn blog, so pleased to meetcha!::GRIN:: Here are the Spinner Charts by the way!

March 08
I am now a bike commuter by Necessity
My van threw a fit yesterday on my way home from my appointment with my surgeon yesterday, in Carmel, IN. On the way home, I am pretty sure I either blew a head gasket or cracked the block. White smoke was billowing out the tailpipe suddenly and I now have antifreeze in the oil and all my coolant disappeared! After things cooled down, I had to get the van home the last 15 miles, so we put in coolant and limped home. This morning, the engine was locked up. I'm pretty sure it's a hydraulic lock(Antifreeze in the cylinders) but have my doubts as to whether the engine survived the experience. Minimum repair cost is going to be around $800.00. It may be a case of RIP, ol' van!. If any more happened, of course, the repair cost goes up! AAAAAAAARGH!

On the flip side:
1) As long as the weather holds, the bike trip is still on!
2) At least it's more or less Spring
3) My surgeon gave me a clean bill of health to start core exercises to strengthen the Abs and Obliques
4) At least I have the bike!
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March 06
Spinner Saturday Graphs, The First for March!
Here they are, the Spinner Charts! Most of us did very well this week! Dan and MotherStormcrowe are both bikeless this week......tuneup time, in the shop!
We'll be having a new member appear next week, so let's welcome Yelme, a hoosier cyclist also doing the shrinking thing! Welcome Yelme!
This is a short post, I'm prepping for a midterm tonight in Anatomy! Blech!
Countdown to Lake Wawasee trip: 4 days!

Here's another cool link: Click here to see the website one of my readers threw together for me, Thanks Sister Celtic, it's pretty cool! A little hard to live up to, but cool nonetheless! Sister Celtic comments in on my blogspot site, and has been one of my blog buddies for a while! Drop by and tell her I said Hi!

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March 05
Check Out My New Toy!
I just added the welcome message! Don't worry, I'll change it fairly frequently!
Make sure the sound is on!
*Note, the Windows Mediaplayer only works with IE, sorry, Firefox doesn't support it! Clich here for the video also!

Al Maviva Race Results: Click here to view Al's lates race post over at CF! Great JOB Al! Keep it up, you're doing the Spinner Saturday Gang proud!

Saturday, March 04, 2006

My Miles Today!

What can I say, I planned on a little 15 mile ride today, and I didn't go 15, I WENT 60! Actually, 62 miles total, in just over 4 hrs, with a bike at touring weight, fully loaded with all bags on it! Not a bad day, all in all! It felt great too! The best thing was all the strange looks I was getting, out on a loaded bike this early in the year! My loop was out to Williamsport, Indiana and backAlmost everyone that passed me in a car or truck gave a little honk and wave.......and the even used ALL their fingers!

Spinner Saturday

If you've noticed I'm posting here more often, it's because I'm Parallel posting between my MSN blog and here, to reach a wider audience!

Welcome to the first Spinner Saturday for March, 2006. We have some pretty good overall stats for last month, with an overall total of 1554 miles, jointly! Not bad folks, for winter! I have 32 miles thus far and am planning at least 15 or so today.

Tayfur, I have your miles as well as BigMike's and Tim's. I have almost everyones, actually, and the graphs will go up on Monday!


Bicycling Magazines Guide to Bike Touring

Doug Donaldson

This is a very useful book, in preparing for my upcoming rides. It is loaded with “no nonsense”, practical advice for the aspiring Bicycle Tourist. Subjects range from how to pack your bike to basic checklists for your gear! There is a section on basic maintenance as well and I'll tell you, this book has been invaluable to me!

The book is published by Rodale, Inc. and is available at Borders, where I purchased the book.

Friday, March 03, 2006

One Week to Go!

I'm getting antsy, and I hope the weather holds! One measly week to my first cycle trip of the year! My bike is in great shape, bags and racks are mounted, and I'm riding at loaded weight! Satyurday, March 11, I'll be pedaling towards Lake Wawasee to do that 256 mile shakedown ride!

As of now, I'm just waiting to see if we get a late storm, as that will be what stops me! Wish me luck, and if anyone see's Murphy reading my blog, tie him up!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Bicycle Commuting For Better Health

Not to mention a lower Gasoline bill!

Now that Spring is just around the corner, I think it's time to consider bicycle commuting to school or work. There are several advantages to this!
Slimmer waist line
It doesn't cost $2.31 a gallon to operate a bike
The only greenhouse gases you produce are from eating beans!

You don't have to have the most expensive carbon framed racer to enjoy the commute either, as a matter of fact, all you really need is a basic bike! I personally ride what is referred to as an Urban Commuter. Basically, it's a mountain bike with flat handlebars and a rack on the back. I use a street tire called a commuter, which is reinforced with Kevlar®.

The joys of cycle commuting are manifold, with benefits such as just plain time. You can get into your own head on the ride, it gives you time to think. This is a precious commodity in these fast moving times. You have time to get over being mad at the boss on your way home. The family dog will definitely thank you for this!

Your spouse will notice the tighter muscle tone, and will appreciate the new view! Your coworkers will probably think you are nuts, but if you think about it, who's the one that is nuts? The person getting the benefits of the exercise, as well as the stress reduction? Or is it the person trapped in a steel box rushing to get to work, scarfing down a donut and coffee while driving, cussing at the other drivers, while balancing the cellphone in one hand, the donuts and coffee in the other, driving with their knees? Which one of these are you? Which one would you like to be?

Photo©2006-Tom Strormcrowe

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

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