For The Long Haul


I didn’t want to go to the pain clinic.  I have this vision in my mind of desperados milling around, chain smoking, waiting to be seen and get their meds.  That vision is there because my allergy clinic’s former location was next to a pain clinic/pill mill that has since been shut down.  Anyway those thoughts were absolutely unfounded at Kaiser.  In fact my visit was pleasant even though the news was unpleasant.

Her: Did the doctor go over the x-ray with you?
Me: Yeah they said I have arthritis and told me I could do nothing but walk, ride a stationary bike and practice yoga until I came here.
Her: Yes you do have arthritis in your back, severe arthritis.
Me: How did this happen?
Her: Have you had any injuries to your back?
Me: No but I’ve had problems off and on for almost 30 years. How did this happen anyway?
Her: You’re just unlucky.

She proceeded to have me bend and twist and touch toes and all sorts of thangs which I had no problem with.  However I still had the the spasmatic butt-cheek thing and numbness/tingling going down my right leg. She prescribed meds, physical therapy and to maintain the current level of activity.

One week later.

I’m at the physical therapy facility.  My therapist is late, I’m hot to death and about to leave.  It was a scheduling problem and I’d been told the wrong time. Hmph.  Anyway the therapist arrives. She’s nice, experienced and thorough.  She explained everything that was going on with my spine and my hip.  In addition to the arthritis in my back, it turns out that the right side of my pelvis is tilted forward.  She prescibes one exercise for the right leg alone to be performed one zillion times a day.  I push the envelope and ask what else I can do? Her reply? Definitely no running, walking (for exercise) nor biking and the killer NO YOGA. I’m like what????????? Yoga is the only thing I’ve been practicing and I have done so DAILY.  What’s acceptable, strength training of the upper body only with a protective back brace/wrap on if needed, swimming and the one legged therapy exercise.



(ye olde broad’s pelvis)

That’s it.

My fitness program has gone straight to the sh****r, but I have to get well.  I will absolutely comply as much as I hate it because I want to be active going forward.  Reduced activity in the short-term is truly a sacrifice, but who know I might end up a master swimmer after all this is over. Just don’t tell my current instructor that, she would beg to differ.

Until next time, see you in the living room, where I’ll be doing a zillion reps of one exercise AND at the gym, thank you JESUS!!!!!!!

For more information on the diagnoses go here and here.

Photos: MsThorns

Injury Report – Ridiculous

The latest injury news for the old broad is lumbar radiculopathy.  When I received the diagnosis I couldn’t help but think how close the word was to “ridiculous” and told the doctor as much.  This is a back problem, inflammation aggravating a nerve which manifested itself as a pain in the arse, hamstring and foot. This is not new and is something I’ve dealt with off and on for about 30 years.  In the past the condition has been treated by:

  • steroid injections which failed at relieving the back pain but ended up improving my asthma symptoms
  • chiropractic manipulation – which helped tremendously but required weekly visits that were not covered by insurance
  • major weight loss – which eliminated the chronic pain
The doctor didn’t ask me what I’d been doing but I told him about my exercise regimen which is what I assumed caused this latest flare-up.  To relieve the symptoms the doctor prescribed:
  • oral steroids (which are making me bats#$% crazy)
  • rest and, wait for it …
  • losing 10 pounds as my current level of exertion may be too much at my current weight

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Thus far I’ve taken the pills and stayed out of the gym, practiced yoga (the only exercise permissible) and have been contemplating how to address my diet in order to lose some more weight.  I’m not pleased but will do it, and will seek a nutritionist since I’m diabetic and  exercise five days a week.  In other words, I am actually complying with doctor’s orders 🙂

I hope that none of you are dealing with any injuries during this festive season.  If you are, I hope you’re on the mend, complying with the prescribed treatment(s) and enjoying your family and friends.  On the bright side, if you’re sidelined from the gym/road/court etc, that gives you more time to spend with the folks you love.

If you have a history of back problems, I’d loved to hear about your experiences and how you’ve overcome them.  Feel free to share in the comments or hit me up on Twitter or Google+.

Until next time see you somewhere, anywhere other than the doctor’s office 😉