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

A Real Pain In The…

20130619_150939Some comic details came forth from my visit to urgent care Sunday. Stuff like jumping butt cheeks, stale graham crackers and x-ray technicians who know only of x-ray film from books like they’re ancient history. Then stuff got kinda serious. I’m diabetic after all and I do get a little scared sometimes. My sugar was down to 59 and my arse was hurting and messing up other stuff.


I’d been having these muscle spasms for a week in my fanny. Thinking that skipping running a week I’d be in good shape so I kept it moving. Lifting weights, Tai Chi, yoga everyday and some time on the elliptical. By Sunday I couldn’t take it. I had this tingly and numbness that ran from my rear end all the way down my leg to my right foot. The doctor ordered an x-ray, instructed not to run or lift weights and prescribed oral steroids and pain meds.

The doctor called later that evening and stated that I have arthritis in back. Queue expletives.

Today wasn’t much better. I did some yoga took the meds which I hate and made an appointment to go back Tuesday. The pain isn’t bad it’s the spasms and tingling stuff that is wearing me out. My paranoia about not being able to move runs deep. Moving and diet changes enabled me to be off medication for diabetes for the last 6 years. What I believe is that I’m paying the price for carrying 200+ pounds on a small frame for years and that the damage was already done when I finally got my act together in ’08.


I’m trying to be optimistic but I’m fearful of being limited after coming so far.

Stay tuned…

Photos: MsThorns

Powered by Soul Spotlight: Charles L. Mason III

He is that guy, you know that glass is half-full guy whose optimism in what looks to be fairly negative circumstances is quite remarkable. I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing first hand how his optimism and commitment to others have had a positive influence on their lives and am pleased and proud of him for doing something good for himself.  Introducing one of my favorite Kappa’s, Charles Mason, in his own words.

My name is Charles L. Mason III, 51, born in Norristown Pennsylvania, outside of Philadelphia.  I moved south in 1981 to attend Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina.  I’ve lived in Atlanta nearly 26 years and am married to my college sweetheart.  In terms of what I do, it’s been said that people will have at least three careers in their lifetime.  I started as an accountant, have been an application developer, am currently a government administrator making a transition to my fourth career in photography.

Talk about your fitness routine.
Because of back issues I’ve temporarily halted my workout routine.  Previously I walked 5 miles, 4 times a week at Stone Mountain and performed back stabilization exercises.  I also really use to enjoy yoga.

Do you follow a particular nutrition plan?
I eat three meals a day. For breakfast usually a protein shake.  For lunch a small serving of a low-fat meat with two vegetables.  For dinner I usually have chicken or a meal similar to lunch.  I do occasionally treat myself to Ben & Jerry’s Pistachio Pistachio ice cream which is my favorite.

How long have you been following this nutrition plan?
I’ve been following this plan for about six months.  I used to eat a lot of carbs and processed food that seemed to make me tired.  The switch to this form of eating has given me more energy.

Do you have a success story/testlmony you’d like to share?
I’d been visiting doctors about back issues and was experiencing pain in my back and knee at night to the point that I couldn’t get in a comfortable position for sleep.  It was taking 20 minutes or more every night before I could go to sleep. Tired of the pain, I decided to try losing weight to see if that would help with the back pain as well as benefit my blood pressure numbers. After seeing the success that my frat brother had on a high protein, low-carb diet I adopted his eating regimen. Over 9 weeks of this regimen I lost 33 pounds. I gained back 5 pounds but have maintained ever since.


Do you have a personal motto/philosophy?
Yes, it’s your attitude not your aptitude that determines your altitude.

Powered by Soul thanks Charles for sharing his story and hope that it inspires others to make the steps necessary to improve their health and quality of life.

If you or someone you know would like to be featured in the spotlight, please let me know in the comments, on Google+ or via Twitter.