Monday, November 30, 2015

Walking 2015

I haven't walked very much this year so far, 138 miles in Novemer and just over 840 miles for the year. And while my physician is happy I'm walking, especially 6 miles a day for the days I walk, saying, "Most people don't walk 6 miles a week.", I haven't been happy for a reason, which is good depends on your perspective.

November has been an up and down month. After getting a flu shot in September I keep coming down with colds or flu symptoms, especially in November where I had to take a few days off because the cold and bacteria overwhelmed the body, but not enough to get just 2 days short of the goal of 25 days (150 miles) for the winter months.

The less distance this year is because since November of 2014 I've been fighting a bacterial infection in my digestive tract. I had one from March into August of 2014, gaining 8 lbs in 3 months and losing all of it in July, and then finally losing the infection after a round of an antibiotic in August for an ear infection, but this infection was and is different.

I've written about it, in March and then again recently when it almost completely went away to come back a month later, and now it's slowly fading as the body seems to manage the episodes better now to keep walking. Since they don't know what bacteria it is (all tests for known infections and overgrowth are negative) there's no treatment, let alone a cure, except, the old adage, "Patient heal thyself."

The issue now is that the latest MRI of my lower back discovered that my Sciatic nerve injury has improved but there are still some residual compression. They discovered some further degenerative bone issues with the vertebra in the lower back. I had an appointment with a spine specialist in October who will looked at the MRI's to assess the situation along with a physical examination of my back.

He was able to determine that while I should have some pain I don't have pain from the spine. The pain isn't the type which indicates issues with the spine, but the possibility of an abdominal aortic aneurysm. Not being his specialty he recommended a CT scan and consultation with a vascular specialist.

I had the CT scan which reported the abdominal aortia is normal, so the lower back and leg is a mystery, but signs show it relates to worse periods of the bacteria. The bacterial infection has abated but not disappeared with episodes where it flares up in the digestive tract for 2-3 days, but the body is managing it better so I can keep walking through them now.

I parked the bike for awhile as I fell twice, once on the shoulder of the road nearly falling down an embankment and another hitting the curb and sliding on the sidewalk, taking chunks of skin off my elbow and knee.  Lesson learned.

So that's the story to date. I'm still walking 6 miles and planning to increase the walks to 7 miles sometime when the legs and body consistently walk 6 miles without problems. For now, there's no timeline for that, but hoping for spring.