I got some interesting news from my GI doc last week. My Crohn's disease, which I've had most of my life, is getting progressively more intense.
This is not a surprise. When I had my surgery fifteen years ago, the doctors reminded me that surgery would not cure me, and that I could expect a re-intensifying of the disease (most likely at the same location) later on.
So I wasn't surprised, but I was sort of bummed. Intensifying of Crohn's helps explain my decreased energy and lack of interest in daily riding (especially in cold weather). It means, among various things, that I willr equire a stronger medication regimen, one that will compromise my immune system slightly and make me more susceptible to colds and such. It will mean that I cannot push myself too hard on my bike anymore, for fear of triggering an auto-immune response that could land me in bed. And it could mean a few others things, depending on the drug selected and its side-effects. There are almost always side effects with these stronger drugs.
What's a gal to do? Well, for now the answer is: Keep riding when I can. If the weather's especially nasty and I decide I'm not up for it, I try not to get down on myself. But if it's dry and not too cold, I go out, believing that even a very short ride -- to the store and back, or whatever -- is better than nothing.
To help encourage myself, I've done a little puttering on the All-Rounder, including adding a basket and swapping in some beautiful old stem shifters.
(I pulled the Shimano "beehive" thumbies because while I still love them, they take up too much room on the bars for me to have a bell and rear-view mirror there. Plus, money's tight. So they're for sale. You can see them over at my Flickr page.)
Took a short ride today, to a coffee shop and home again. It was dry and overcast, and not too cold (high near 50F). It was nice to just ride around the neighborhood. It felt good to spin the cranks and glide along quiet side streets, while southbound geese honked overhead to remind me that winter is here.
Tonight we'll light the first candle of Chanukah.
May this season bring you warmth, light, health and peace.