Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Plans Gone Astray

I haven't done any blog worthy paddles, just a couple short trips so I can remember what it feels like to be on the water. With my knee the way it is, I can't carry and load my boat onto my car myself, and I find it really difficult to slide in and out of my cockpit, so I'm nervous about going out into any conditions that may require a quick exit from my boat. I also find it difficult to have my thighs braced in the proper position to have good control of my kayak at all times. It sucks!

I'm going to be starting new medication in a few weeks. I'm really hoping I see some positive results. Nothing has worked thus far. Fingers crossed I guess.

One thing I enjoy as much as kayaking is traveling. Angie and I usually take a trip or two (or three) each year. The thought of staying around my house while on vacation gives me shudders! Life is short, vacation time is limited, and its a big ol' world, so I'd like to see as much of it as I can. Angie and I, along with our friends Chad and Kathy had been planning a trip to Nepal for the past 2 years. We planned to hike to the base camp of Mount Everest, a lifelong dream of mine. Everything was going as planned until last spring I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, and my knee grew to the size of a cantaloupe, and still remains that way. With a heavy heart I had to pull the plug on that trip of a lifetime.

So, to combat the blues, we decided to book a trip else where. Do something a bit more relaxing and suitable to someone with my  mobility issues. We came across a really good deal on an 11 day Baltic Cruise with Princess Cruises. It was a fantastic trip, and was just what I needed.

Hope all is well in everyone else's world. Thought I'd share a few photos from our trip, just to let everyone know I'm still alive.

Church On Spilled Blood, St. Petersburg, Russia
Brandenberg Gate, Berlin, Germany

Peterhof Palace, St Petersburg, Russia
Peterhof Palace, St. Petersburg

Gamla Stan (Old Town), Stockholm, Sweden

Humbolt University, Berlin, Germany
This is where Einstein went, and was also the site of the Nazi book burning incident

Icebar in Oslo, Norway
Nothing like walking into a room thats -5C when its +28C outside and having a cold drink in a glass made of ice!

Little Mermaid, Copenhagen, Denmark
The symbol of this amazing city

Lutheran Cathedral, Helsinki, Finland

Old Town Tallinn, Estonia
Viru Gate, Old Town Tallinn, Estonia

Remains of the Berlin Wall, Berlin, Germany

Site of the Fuhrer bunker, aka where Hitler killed himself, Berlin, Germany

Stonehenge, United Kingdom

Viking Ship Museum, Oslo, Norway

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Arthritis Chronicles Vol. 2

I spent most of last week at St Claires Hospital, in the rheumatology department getting my knee looked into. I met with a rheumatologist, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, pharmacist, etc.. Turns out I do indeed have psoriatic arthritis. Bummer.....but glad to finally have a diagnosis and a plan deal with it.

My knee was really swollen, so an orthopedic surgeon drained some fluid off of it. The normal human knee has 5-6ml of fluid on it. He took over 70ml off mine. Said it was the most fluid hes taken off a joint.

Thats a lot of knee juice!
The following day I had a steroid injection in my knee. I felt just like Lance Armstrong, I wanted to pedal a bike the 90kms home :-) I had to stay off it for 48 hrs, which wasn't easy, but now, 5 days later, it is amazing the difference in my knee. I'm slowly gaining back my full range of motion. Hopefully in 2 weeks I can start swimming and doing water exercises. 

I'm off to Jamaica on Sunday for a wedding. Should be nice and relaxing. When I get back on the 14th....the ol' Seaknife is going back into the water again and I can't wait! Angie and I started watching This is the Sea Vol. 5 last night, and its really really making me miss kayaking. I'll be back on the water soon. Maybe then I can actually have a blog post about kayaking.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Arthritis Chronicles

Been a while since my last post, and a fair bit has happened.....but nothing really paddling related unfortunately. Heidi is getting bigger every day, and keeping us busy as parents, and very entertained to say the least.

I had some news during that fall that kind of put a damper on my lifestyle. I woke up one sunday morning back in November, and my knee felt a little tight. Better layoff the fitness for a day or two, I thought, let it rest up. But it only got worse. Went to see my doctor. He thought it may be an injury, so it was off to get an X-ray, which turned out ok, so then it was on to get bloodwork. Positive rheumatoid factor, plus I've have psoriasis most of my life. So it looks like either rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis in my left knee. I've been limping around since November and it sucks! Next is an a appointment with a rheumatologist in late March to finally get a proper diagnosis and start a proper treatment. Its been a bummer to say the least, but I know things could always be a lot worse, so I'm trying to stay positive about everything. At least it shouldn't affect my paddling right?

On a much brighter note, we bought a cabin 2 weeks ago in the Traytown area. It is exactly what we were looking for. Under a 2 hour drive from home, in a sheltered cove on the saltwater, with access only by boat or atv/ski-doo (and on foot of course). We weren't actively looking for a cabin, but sometimes when something like this comes up, you just have to go for it. Hoping to get out there this weekend to check a few things out. Its an amazing area for paddling, can't wait to get out and explore the area this spring.

Hope everyone is enjoying the winter. And if your knees work properly...love and cherish them :-)

A few pics of our cabin. Bit of work to do on it here and there, but thats part of the fun.