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Racing thoughts......1320 feet at a time


Herdswoman
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Some of the guys I know in the racing community decided to post this about me. It's pretty nice........I just wish I could have explained POTS better in the space I had:

http://forums.performanceyears.com/eve/ubb...511&m=652106558

Larry Davis, who affectionately says I'm "da man" is a former Navy Seal. Pretty high praise, huh? :P

Scroll down and you'll see the photo. I'm the one behind the white car. I rarely drive the racecar now, so it was an especially sweet way for me to bow out.

Here's the link to the whole article:

http://highperformancepontiac.com/events/0.../0412pon_shoot/

At the risk of being totally shameless, HPP is available at WalMart.

I think I posted this before, but it's a little something I wrote about the experience:

For The Times They Are A Changin'? August 9, 2004 Amy Richcreek

I was fortunate enough to be asked to drive for an article in High Performance Pontiac magazine this past March. They needed six women from across this part of the United States and I was thrilled! Their first comprehensive article on women in racing, it was a big honor to be asked. Despite my recent heart and lung illnesses and upcoming surgery, there was no way I was going to miss out. I called the surgeon and postponed my gallbladder surgery. April 29th dawned bright, cool and clear - perfect weather for making maximum horsepower. High Performance Pontiac had rented all of Norwalk Raceway Park for the photoshoot and racing. Norwalk, as always, would have the track in tip-top shape for this event.

The last time I had been at Norwalk before this was the Nationals, seven months prior in August. I was dismayed to find how quickly I now became fatigued, how short of breath I was when attempting to walk what had been my regular long-distance pace. I slowed down considerably, took it as sign of the times and an omen of things to come. If I became this tired, this slow, in the April cool; how would I ever handle the Nationals in the August heat and humidity? I figured I'd better be getting Plan B together as Plan A was too pokey to be acceptable on those long, long stretches of concrete and asphalt.

Fast forward to August at the Norwalk Nationals: My cousins let me borrow their John Deere 4 x 6 Gator for a pit vehicle. Let me tell you, you get respect driving a monster like that. Both our cars were broken but we wouldn't miss the Nationals for anything. Our friend Paul Spotts let me pit crew for him with his vintage front engine dragster. The Gator was my perfect disguise - all I did was make sure we had everything loaded in the cargo bay then sit down and drive. "Everything" for driving a front engine dragster at those speeds is kinda like putting on the armor of God: helmet, fire suit, fire gloves and shoes, arm restraints, neck roll, toolbox, tire pressure gauge/air tank box, battery/starter box and ice cold Powerade. I'd tow us up to the staging lanes, walk about 15 feet, help Paul with his suit and safety equipment, make sure he was in the shade as much as possible, then walk back another 15 feet and sit down in the Gator. I'd do other easy, menial tasks, like handing tools off, helping with the jackstands and floor jack, dumping in the oil when the oil needed changing, picking up the skinny front tires when they needed changing. Between that and chasing the dragster down the return road and towing it back to the pits I really looked like I was doing something. Hah! No one had any idea that I would have trouble walking and shortness of breath at the track. And I am still in the middle of the sport that I love.

Not that I complain of want; for I have learned, in whatever state I am, to be content. I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound; in any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and want. I can do all things in him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:11-13

Paul's dragster - just so you can see what I was working with:

http://www.spottsperformance.com/images5/D...ster%202003.jpg

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Had a doctor visit today, MD is sending me to a neurologist for a full work up. Thinks maybe I had a stroke or some infarct or another near the pineal gland. Gee, I'm glad that article came around when it did (April of this year). I don't think I'll be racing much anymore.

My right lower leg is now in an immobilizer. **** thing makes me dizzy and nauseous to walk with it much.....it makes my right leg longer than my left and I wobble. *****. None of my shoes - or my daughter's shoes - have the right amount of heel or platform sole.

My race car is for sale.

My brand new race motor is also for sale.

I was once asked to drive for a nationally known manufacturer of racing motors. Offered me a three year deal. Like dates for the dance, it's nice to be asked - even if you turn them down.

Guess those days are gone.....at least for now.

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Herdswoman, what an experience for you to have lived and it is obviously something you loved doing. Sorry that dysautonomia had to steer you away.

Take care of yourself. Sounds like you are in a rough spot right now. I hope you can get in to see the neuro quickly. Does your MD think this possible stroke is a direct result of POTS or something new?

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Geneva, thanks for the reply. I wasn't sure what kind of reception the article would get from the board members. Women who aren't into cars - let alone race - generally are a lot different from women who do. But from my perspective, it usually doesn't matter. A person can be just as passionate about needlework as they can about going 125 mph in less than 1400 feet. BTW: the prelim. question is whether the event in my head - if there was one - was related to meningitis that I had some nine years ago.

I'd love to go on Oprah and talk about all of this and bring POTS a little more exposure. This past summer I thought I would get my NHRA competition license. Instead I got a house that is easily adaptable to ADA guidelines. No wheelchair on the horizon yet, except for this **** heel pain. Been known to grab an electric scooter at the grocery store on bad days.

Today I decided to forget wearing the immobilizer. I have things to do through the end of this week pretty heavy. Can't afford to get seasick while walking. S'pose I should call the podiatrist in the morning. Maybe I have a poor attitude, but if life is going to suck, I may as well be as productive as I can for as long as I can.

I heard some words of advice once that I didn't fully understand at the time. A woman said "I finally realized that what is, IS." The context of her comment was talking about faithfulness and security in one's marriage. But I think it could apply to a lot of other things as well. If I had a stroke as a result of meningitis some years back and fought hard to regain a productive, full life..........then that is what IS. If the residual of that alleged stroke is just now affecting more of my life, nine years later, then that's what IS. If I feel good today but felt like crap yesterday, then that's what IS. No point in worrying about what might or might not be.

OR -

If your husband is a world famous sex symbol, a real man's man, every lady's fantasy and you'll hear rumors about infidelity. Yet if this man comes home at night and is a loving, respectful husband, then that is what IS. No sense in worrying about what might be when you should be focusing on what IS.

The woman who gave the advice was JoAnne Woodward, on the subject of her husband, Paul Newman.

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Herdswoman, I think learning to accept THAT WHAT IS, IS must be something everyone with a chronic health condition has to come to terms with whether or not we can vocalize it that way. 3 weeks ago on a Saturday, I woke up feeling normal. I don't mean my Pots normal, but REAL normal, like before I got sick. I said to my husband...TODAY is the day for us to do STUFF. We had lunch out at a new retaurant, lingering for 2 hours and the owner kept bringing us new things on the menu to try. We seldom go out because my diet is so restricted and the noise bothers me but that day I ate and enjoyed every minute. It was the most relaxing meal I can remember and my husband and felt like we were on a date! Then we went for the longest walk I have been able to manage and later I slept the best I have in years. It was just the BEST day.

You know the rest of the story I am sure. The next day I woke, the same old Potsy me! I get about 3 "normal" days a year and you have to make the most of them.

It is great that you have had a occupation/hobby/interest that you have been passionate about. WHAT you do is not as important as HOW it makes you feel I think.

I get the part about going about your business without the brace! SOmetimes, we just have to say the *&%$ with POTS and go about our business. Hope you do OK. I can't imagine walking uneven. If I change shoes and the height is different my brain takes days to adjust (LOL)

take care

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Guest tearose

You've done some amazing things behind the wheel! It must be hard to part with the vehicles. You seem to have a survivors attitude. I think it is best to be honest when life throws us a curve and we face it and call it what it is. Hopefully you'll find a new way to keep involved in racing that will fill that space.

I can relate to needing to leave the brace off every once in awhile...I use lymphedema compression and all the other pots compression garments and once in awhile I give myself a day to just go natural...how did you feel at the end of the day?

Hope you have a good experience with this new neurologist. Sure hope you aren't dealing with yet another challenge like a stroke... when is your appointment?

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Herdswoman,

Just wanted to say I'm sorry you're unable to pursue your racing hobby and even more sorry to hear that you may have had a stroke.

You have a great spirit and sense of humor which should help you through this ordeal. Please take care of yourself and feel better soon!

Rita

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Guest Julia59

Amy,

I just wanted to let you know i'm in your corner. I know it must be difficult to stop racing as I know it was your passion. I just love looking at the cool cars! I remember my brothers car. 1968 Dodge Charger. When my brother went into the Navy in 1976 the car just sat there. I wanted my Mom and Dad to get it running for me so I would have a car. Well they never did, and I don't remember what happened to it. We used to go driving around in Michigan before he left for the service.

In Michigan the drinking age was only 18 and my brother was 18. I was only 16---but I was a bad girl and used his girlfriends ID. She was Blond with green eyes and about 140 pds., and I was reddish hair, dark brown eyes and only about 115 pounds. The people checking IDs in that bar wern't real sharp-----LOL. Oh those old wild days. I would love to go out just for one day and be WILD.

But what is,is-----------so i'll settle for a dark chocolate truffle----that's about as wild as I get these days-----LOL.

I'm glad you have a supportive husband. You and I are both lucky in that department. It was nice to meet both of you at the dinner, and hopefully we can do it again soon. Take Care-----hope you feel better----soon. :)

Julie :0)

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