Next Year Will Be Better - September 2019
Written by Doug Wintin
So I have had quite a bit of time lately to think about a summer that wasn’t. As most of you know I contracted a case of shingles while vacationing in Montana. The early signs were pain in my left chest and back. It wasn’t horrible but it did keep me from sleeping more than a few hours. I went to doctor as soon as we got home. By this time a rash (3 little dots) had popped up on my chest. The diagnosis was made and I settled in for the long haul.
It has been a month of pills and lidocaine. Sleep has become infrequent. For the first few weeks I only managed to get two to three hours of sleep a night. Fatigue was constant along with much needed cat naps. The real damage is to the nerves of the skin. Even a light breeze or a shirt brushing against the area can cause pain. As time has passed I slept more and the damage to the nerves in the affected areas has begun to subside. It seems that I may be one of the lucky ones. For some Shingles sufferers the pain never goes away.
I can’t tell you how much I missed riding this summer. Being out on the road and having miles pass by with the company of good friends. Gliding along roads that I have grown accustomed to riding or finding new (to me) roads is always pleasant surprise. I think that it really comes down to the liberty the bike provides. I remember coming home from work frustrated by the worst boss ever and in need of some kind of release. I found my way while sitting on a saddle and hammering my pedals as hard as I could. I was going to pound that pavement into submission or die trying. Well the road is still there and I am still breathing but those daily rides were exactly what I needed…every day.
Over time the boss from hell moved on and I kept pedaling. The job got better and I kept pedaling. A new job meant new challenges and I kept pedaling. So now I have new challenge in Shingles. I have only managed to do two club rides in August. I got dropped on the first ride but I kept pedaling. On the second ride I took the short route but I kept pedaling.
Hopefully, sooner than later, I will be able to get out and ride all of the weekend tours and the week day training rides that I enjoy so much. I am really looking forward to being in the peloton, sprinting into Bluffton and getting a big, cold, Coke at the sag stop! Next summer for sure!
One last note: If you are over 60 years of age please go get the new Shingles Vaccine!