Sharon is having a knee replaced on Monday. We're #2 in the line up, but the doctor wants her there at 5:30 AM anyway. In case #1 is a no go, she's "batter up." In her typical anti-authoritarian way, she announced that we need leave the house no earlier than 5:15 AM, which gets us to the hospital at about 5:45. :) Sharon has two bad shoulders, one bad elbow and two bad knees. At other times, other joints chime in too. It seems to relate to juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, and her knees which have been swollen and gimpy for years but have gone up and down in pain and disability took a very fast plunge in the last few months. While both need repair, the doctor only does one at a time. Obviously, she wants the second one done soon, but how her body handles this first one will influence the course of other treatment.
I took her to the pre-op appointment on Friday morning. We were within a minute or two of the time but we sat for about 30 mins in the waiting room and then another 30 or 45 in the exam room. A nurse came in and apologized for the delay, but we were irritated. As she reviewed the details of the case and what to expect procedure wise, she went over Sharon's chart. "You have A+ blood, your numbers are all okay." Let's see now; you're 53 years old, 5' 7" and you weigh____." Hah! For 35+ years, Sharon has successfully kept me in the dark about her weight. I must say that it's not something I'm even remotely curious about, but I had to smile that the secret was out. Actually, she's been losing weight lately so I still don't know the real #. I already knew her height and age though. The doctor was very attentive, serious and when asked by Sharon, he confirmed he is good with power tools. At least the kind needed to saw bones and insert new knees. He prayed with us for the sugery and the recovery. We liked that.
We finished up at the knee guy's and I took her home, warmed up some left overs and headed into work. After work, I prepped the Rivendell Road Standard for a Saturday morning ride. The weekend forecast was for a pretty day to go for a pedal, if warm and humid. Frank, Max, and Ray joined me for a return to Champs BBQ in Wetumpka, a couple of towns over. It's about 70 miles all told, including the scenic loop north of the restaurant. Our pace was lively and we had a great ride over while it was still bearable in temperature. A nice surprise was finishing Weoka Loop and running into Bill and Chris at the Deli/Store. Bill has a Rivendell Carbonomas steel fork in place of the original carbon Salsa model his bike came with. It looks great. Lunch was tasty and while I don't know if they really did, the folks there said they remembered us from past visits.
By the time we finished eating and refilling our water supplies, the Sun was high and hot and there was a heck of a headwind from the south to southeast. It finally helped us some when we turned toward Millbrook, but by then I was getting a little warm with effort. Max stopped for a minor mechanical and I took advantage to catch some shady rest. I had to do the same thing a few miles out from downtown Millbrook, and finally I decided at the park that calling for a ride home was my best bet. My core temp was too high and I could not get it down. If the rest of the way were flat, I'd have pedaled, but there was no steam left in the engine for the climb, so I cut my ride 6 miles short, and enjoyed it a lot more than if I had really gotten sick. My voice was gone, I was light headed and copious fluids were not helping. It was a great ride until it wasn't anymore though. As Max said, "At least you got a metric." Despite the slower last few miles, I still was decent average pace wise, and time spent with these guys is always good stuff. I learned that you don't always have to ride the full published distance to enjoy your time on a bike.