Pilates, 2010 March 20

I had another Pilates lesson today; this one was fairly gentle, with a lot of arm and neck movements. The studio is very nice, with a view over a wooded valley. At one moment, a red-tailed hawk flew past the window.

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Biking on a stand

The usual way of training for cycling in winter is to get a stationary bicycle. It seems neater, somehow, to use the same bicycle for both outdoor and indoor biking. You can buy a stand that holds a bike’s rear axle and applies a variable amount of pressure. It’s a little harder on the seat of the pants, because the bike doesn’t sway and change pressure points. However, we got a second one and so far I’ve had two short sessions side-by-side with my SO: about 40 minutes yesterday and about 20 minutes tonight. It’s not bad so far–I have the pressure on the tire very light. It might make the spring jump onto the bike a little more successful.

Natalia’s lungs arrived none too soon

Given the number of lung transplants each year in North America, perhaps when a continent-wide alert is on and you’re at the top of the list it’s not too surprising that lungs are found. But almost half of transplant candidates die on the waiting list or become too ill for the surgery before it happens; and at that point they’re regretfully removed from the waiting list. Natalia was fighting for her life when the call finally came. Members of her family were literally less than 24 hours from donating parts of their own lungs–and writing their wills–when the lungs were approved.

The Toronto Star says, “Lung transplant came at the eleventh hour.” We can leave off the “miracle” part and thank the devoted family, dedicated surgeons, and modern communications and transportation–and the thoughtful people who sign their donor cards when they are young and healthy.

Then the call came. After a fruitless 3 1/2 months of Natalia Ritchie being on the transplant list, a set of lungs was available. “The call came literally at the 11th hour,” [her husband] Martin Ritchie, 35, says in an interview. “I can’t imagine it coming any closer.”They were debating whether she was even a transplant candidate anymore; she’d slipped so far.”

The call came around noon but it was 6 p.m. before the surgical team, led by Dr. Shaf Keshavjee, determined the lungs were suitable and they were ready to go ahead with a projected 10-hour double-lung transplant operation.

Ritchie, chief financial officer of Toronto-based renewable energy company Greta Energy Inc., talks to the Star on Tuesday after spending the morning with their 4-month-old baby, Scarlett; a long day awaits him at Toronto General Hospital, where his 30-year-old wife is in stable condition. “I know the lungs are working, which is huge,” he says. “I see her chest heaving and there’s no coughing or rattling for the first time in years. It’s pretty amazing to see that those are taking.”

Had the organs not been available, Ritchie and Natalia’s brother, John Boguslawski, and father, Chris Boguslawski, were ready to share their lungs with her. The trio had passed tests proving them psychologically and physically sound. “We were meeting on Saturday to decide which two of the three of us would go in,” Ritchie says. “And then the call came. It really was a miracle.”

In October, Natalia Ritchie entered St. Michael’s Hospital, site of North America’s largest cystic fibrosis program. This month, she had to be moved to Toronto General and put on a Novalung – a machine that acts as an external organ, oxygenating the blood and removing [carbon dioxide].

Flu clinics open for general public in Toronto

The flu clinics have inoculated enough health-care workers and people in high-risk groups to open for the general public. I’ve posted the flu clinic schedule and flu information links in the sidebar. The weekend clinics are from 1 – 9 p.m. and the weekday clinics are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Swine-flu clinics for free inoculations in Toronto

A Time to Dance blog

This looks like a nice place to visit: A Time to Dance.

Check out “Music as Lifesaver.”

Swimming with triathletes, May 29

swimmer blowing bubblesSwim workout in 25-yard pool, overseen by Coach Kelvin:

  • warm-up, 150 yd.
    • freestyle, 50
    • breast-stroke, 50
    • kicking with flutterboard 50
  • freestyle (50 slow, 50 medium, 50 fast) = 150 x 5 = 750
  • cool-down: freestyle, easy 50 yd.

Total: 950 yd. or 805 metres.

Worked on: deep breathing, continuous swimming, double-leg push-off.

Pilates, May 27

We had Pilates lessons again. I’m pleased that our group has finally moved up to the Intermediate level. We had a nice, relaxing lesson at Coyne Pilates.