Sometimes, serendipity arrives, just when you think you’ve run out of options. Three years ago, I was diagnosed with something called Benign Joint Hypermobility Syndrome. Long story short… my connective tissues are too loose, so my spine is too mobile and refuses to stay in alignment. This means my nerves get pinched, and I end up with a plethora of delightful results from my nervous system being in constant “Oh crap! Sabertooth tigers! Or spinal compression! Whatever, it’s all the same!” mode. I don’t sleep well, my immune system is in hyperdrive (“What? Sabertooth tigers? I’d better produce lots and lots of mucus to combat them!”), my fingers and toes tingle, go numb and sometimes pop out of joint for no reason… and much, much more. It’s like a bonanza of badness.
Since my initial diagnosis, I’ve been bounced around from doctor to doctor. See, while this stuff is easy to diagnose (the diagnostic criteria is quite clear), it’s very difficult to treat and doesn’t earn folks boocoo bucks through drug endorsements. So there are few specialists. Okay, there are fewer than few. In this country, there was exactly… one. Note the “was” in the previous sentence. He had retired to do research into fibromyalgia, which is different but shares some similarities to my problem. Anyway, I’ve sort of been self-medicating for three years, trying to find treatments that work. I haven’t had much success. But then this week, I got a referral to see… the specialist. And I saw him! And it was amazing! He actually knew what I was talking about! I spoke with invisible exclamation points for hours afterward! I’m now his patient, and I must say, all seems much rosier, not the least of which because we’re starting by treating the fact that I don’t sleep. I’m liking this track.
At any rate, after my visit with him, I was able to take a short ride. I only had an hour (do you sense a theme in recent rideblogs?), and I was down at the tail end of the Interurban Trail, so I just set off from there.
Tis rather industrial, this part of the trail. We parked on a side street, and were promptly surrounded. Nearby, a lady driving a FedEx truck stopped to deliver her packages, and to compliment my helmet and then my whole ensemble (not my usual riding wear, to be fair). “You look like you should be riding in Martha’s Vinyard, not in Kent!” she told me. I was suitably flattered.
Here’s a miserable-looking self-portrait. This was my fifty-thousandth attempt to get this to work. I took a great one, riding at the camera, smiling… but the camera didn’t focus on me, because it’s a Piece of Junk. I cursed at it numerous times, then got this shot and gave up.
Farther on, The Raleigh enjoyed a quick game of Horse at the local basketball court. You can’t see The Raleigh’s opponents here because they were so ashamed at being soundly dunked by a bike that they slunk away before we could do our victory lap. Spoil sports.
This section of the Interurban has to be the most decrepit of any portion of any trail I’ve been on, including the lowly Green River Trail.
Across the “street” from this is a fenced-off set of old farm fields, turned to urban meadow. There are two very grandiose old apple trees blooming fruitlessly in the middle of the tall grass. I wondered, looking at them, what the area had looked like when they were planted. But as we all know, when you start to empathize with trees, it’s time to move on.
The Raleigh and I paused at the bridges over the Green River, where the Interurban meets up with the currently-closed tail end of that trail. I’ll be interested to ride that section, once it reopens… in two years. I realize trails aren’t a priority right now, so I won’t say something snarky about that.
Short ride, short rideblog. Happy rideblogger, filled with the possibility of effective treatment at last.
For more info on Benign Joint Hypermobility Syndrome, go to London to the only Hypermobility Clinic in the world. Or, start here. I took a much longer ride, and bought a new camera (!) on Saturday. I’ll be writing that up shortly, including my meeting with the very Irish, and irascible, man at the camera shop. Good stuff! Stay tuned…