Bunch of stuff.
1. Cortisone shots can hurt pretty good but that is one hell of a drug.
2. On One Midge bars aren't great if you have #shittywrists (at least that is my experience)
3. EVS makes some sweet wrist braces
4. My new 'road' bike is seriously kick ass
5. I won't be able to shred singletrack with complete abandon but I will be able to shred
Saw the foot Doc this past Wed. He was a bit confused as to the amount of swelling I still had around the joints in question. I told him about some of my other diagnoses I had received and he explained that it could be arthritis and that rheumatoid can very frequently present in the small toe joints. He wanted me to get tested for the full slew of auto-immune stuff again that I already got and tested negative for. So its still a guessing game. Symptoms say one thing, tests say the other. Somebody get me Dr. House.
I did end up getting a cortisone shot in the foot to deal with the symptoms and man do those things hurt. It wasn't all that bad in the grand scheme but for some reason I was expecting no worse than a tetanus shot so it snuck up on me a bit. But once that stuff kicked in...Magic. We'll see how long it holds.
Tried commuting on Friday. Ended up being a bit colder in the morning than forecast and I didn't layer all that well so that was awesome. I also realized fairly quickly that my wrists didn't really like any of my available hand positions with the Midge bars. Something about the flare and the brake levers being slightly off axis just doesn't work. The reach to the levers was always a bit far and now with reduced grip strength my braking power isn't awesome. Throw in numb fingers and you've got yourself an exciting ride.
I think I'm going to need to make some changes, first to the bars and possible even to a set of brifters. The bar end shifters were a bit hard to work with at the angle they are at and they aren't indexed which also makes them a bit harder to work with when you don't have the best dexterity. Gonna swap the bars to a pair of standard road drops I have in the parts bin to see what I get and go from there.
Got my first experience with the EVS wrist braces this weekend both with my road bike and on a quick MTB shakedown ride down the road. I'm going to save the official review for a bit more ride time but so far I am very pleased and its looking like my ability to continue riding is all but assured.
Speaking of my 'road' bike I love it a real lot. Did a nice little mixed 70/30 pavement/dirt ride around the neighborhood and while my fitness is god awful right now I really enjoyed being able to just go wherever I want and have a bike that is more than capable. I am sticking by the Macho Man being one of my best build decisions ever.
Also had a few minutes to kill Sunday and I really wanted to see how my fork rides and the braces feel on the MTB before the team meet and greet ride this coming Sunday so I threw on my shoes, helmet and braces and took off down the road. Granted it was a half mile down the road but Sanbornton roads are not buff by any means so I got to see the fork in action and I'm liking what I see. Action was smooth, didn't even know it was there in most cases and the lockout worked great on the climb back up.
Braces held strong and the pain was minimal. I was particularly pleased with the lack of pain while pulling up on the bars. I was worried that was going to be my downfall but I think its going to work out ok. That said I took a few more jarring jolts and I definitely feel it up through my wrists so I'm going to have to ride clean. Luckily years of riding rigid has cleaned up my line selection pretty well.
I'm far less concerned about the season (and the rest of my riding career) than I was a few weeks ago. But if there is one thing I've learned about arthritis, things can change hour to hour so I've got to stay diligent and be smart.