Tuesday, May 15, 2012


One week ago today I was turned around, feeling upside down,  and on a plane headed back to San Francisco.  In just seven days I decoded the local health care bureaucracy and managed to get an MRI, a doctor's appointment, and today a corticosteroid injection in outpatient surgery to alleviate the inflammation of my C5, 6 and 7 discs.   For 17 days the bulging cervical discs have been putting pressure on nerves that run from the left side of my neck, down to my shoulder, in my arm pits near my chest, down my forearm through my left hand and finally ending with five tingling fingers.  Although I've never had shingles, I now sympathize with those who have since similar nerves are painfully affected.

  Fortunately the MRI nightmare is behind me.   Today my doctor cautioned me to be patient because this drug might not take affect for a few days;  in fact, it might be a week before I'm pain free.  But there is a strong sense of psychic relief because I know I'm finally on the road to being back on my bike,  and if my doctor agrees,  I plan to rejoin the tour on 5/26.  Two weeks of riding is definitely better than staying home,  but after the tour I will need to reconfigure the handlebars of my bike, putting me in a more upright stance so I'm not craning my neck.   I need to do everything I can to make sure this doesn't happen again.

I've always known I'm a pretty resilient person.   After all I was dumped twice by men with wandering eyes and not only did I survive,  I became a better person in spite of it.  In this case,  it's more than just resilience, it's determination.  My family will say it's in our genes.   I set my sights on this Mississippi tour a long time ago and trained hard for it despite some limitations earlier in the year.  But the determination is based on more than just my personality.  It's also based on the fact that I have so much loving support from so many people, even some I've never met who found my blog and have written to cheer me on.  Then there are the women riders in the group.  While I only spent five days with them, they have been calling, writing, posting, and sending strong messages of encouragement and love.  Then there are my dearest friends at home -- you know who you are -- who have been calling daily, sending emails, driving me for the injection, offering to spend the night at my house, and wanting to cook dinner for me.  Then there is my doctor (who earlier fixed me) who went to my bike shop for the first time last weekend to maybe buy a bike, and told the manager Dave how special I was.   And then last but not least there's Miss Patti in Natchez, Mississippi who is praying for me.  If you go to my 5/10 blog post entitled "Driving Miss Pami, "you will see a new post in the comment box written by Miss Patti herself and another one written by her sister Barb.  Now who wouldn't be determined after reading what they said in those posts.

Most of you know what I'm talking about, whether you ride a bicycle or not.  Determination and resilience are not reserved for cyclists.  It's also a characteristic that many of my dear friends share, and I believe exists in all of my immediate family.

I close with  a message to those of you who don't ride but are thinking about it, " Do It"  "Go for it".    It will change your life.  It changed mine.  Besides it's so damn much fun!  And you meet the greatest people.

So as you can tell I'm pretty pumped up right now.  It may be the Corticosteroid drug talking, I don't know for sure, but for those who know me pretty well, you'll probably say, "Nah, that's Pam."

N.B.  In case there are any burning questions.   My husband Bruce left Saturday for a cruise with his youngest daughter through the British Isles,  a trip he planned to coincide with my ride.


  1. Pam, I'm so sorry we didn't connect today but so glad you are finally feeling better, psychically, if not yet physically. I loved reading Patti and her sister's messages. What a ride this is, whether it is along the Mississippi, on the road to New Orleans or here at home in California. Loved your inspirational post today and looking forward to talking to you tomorrow. Right now I'm sending you a lot of love.

  2. Awesome post, Pam. I see you back on the ride SOON. Fix that bike setup and then GO GIRL, GO!!! Best wishes for a pain free "end of the ride". Your bike buds will be so happy to have your smiling, happy face back with them.