8.22.2013

News: Good, Bad, and Otherwise

Today was a big day. A big day that started yesterday evening about 5 O'Clock. I was test driving a new massage therapist (LMT) to see if they might be able to alleviate some of the (fuckinggodawful) pain I've been dealing with in my neck/shoulder/back/arm.

Turns out he hit all the areas that were giving me problems. I left there already noticing a difference. I went to bed hopeful that I would actually sleep through the night. Went to bed about 10:30 pumped for a full night's sleep.

Then...like clockwork, I'm up. 1:30AM. But not from pain. From the office calling me with an system down issue. Fuuuuuuuuudge. I guess I'll be testing the full night sleep theory tonight.

I still hurt. But on a 1-10 pain scale...it's about a 2 or 3. Compared to before my visits to the LMT, it's WAY down. Prior to yesterday the constant pain was about a 5 or 6 and would flare up to 9. In short, it sucked balls.

Had my visit with the neurologist at OrthoNeuro today. That went...uneventfully. I took my X-rays.

Apparently what the radiologist diagnosed (or rather read) as a narrowing of the vertebrae causing a pinched nerve is NOT what's going on. Nope. It's good old fashioned-fuck-youre-getting-old Arthritis.

Yay.

Smell the sarcasm? Yes, I'm thankful that it's not a pinched nerve. But the diagnosis of arthritis pretty much means its something I have to just deal with and treat the symptoms. And the symptoms suck.

It means though that what's going on in my shoulders and arm isn't an issue caused by a pinched nerve (at least not by this doc's logic and expertise). Which again, is all kinds of good news. Except I still get to deal with the pain.

At least, though, He feels that through a round or two of Physical Therapy could alleviate the issue.

I'm all for that.

Oh...and apparently 'muscle relaxers' don't really relax your muscles. Nope. They're a sedative. Which explains quite a lot actually,

 

Alright.I need to get off here and back to work. My lunch hour is over and I feel the sedati-er, muscle relaxers starting to work.

 

8.21.2013

Meh...And Other Tales of Woe

It's been quite some time since I've updated the blog. Sorry about that. For about the past 4 weeks I've been fighting this back pain (well...feels more like shoulder..but it shoots down my whole right arm). And to be honest, I just haven't felt like doing much. The pain is constant and on some days its kind of overwhelming.

In short, it sucks. I'm not trying to garner any sympathy or anything like that...I'm just in pain. The drugs help a little..they take it from a burning stabbing pain to a deep dull ache. Which, I suppose, is better.

I've got two doctor visits this week. One with a DO, the other with the neurosurgeon. My choice is to resolve this things non-surgically if at all possible. But at this point, I just want to be out of pain. Seriously. I haven't slept through the night in weeks. I'm almost always up 3-4 hours after I get in to bed. It's not been a lot of fun. I totally don't feel like myself. Even my trip to the farm was clouded by the shroud of ache that follows me everywhere these days. There are blissful moments where I don't feel the pain, but I'm sure that's because other endorphins are kicking in.

I really hope we can get it figured out this week and actually get on the treatment path and figure out the cause instead of just treating the symptoms. Because it's making me somewhat of a Grouchy Todd. And between you and me, friends, Grouchy Todd is a total douchebag. He's worse than Fat Todd. At least Fat Todd was a lot of fun. These 2 months of not working out have been something of a siren call to Fat Todd. I can see him starting the case the joint. Soon as I can get this back shit resolved (I'm not happy about 'narrowing C5, C6, and C7 vertebrae), I'll be working out as soon as possible to make sure Fat Todd doesn't get any kind of foothold here.

I'll let you know what the docs say!

Peace Out!

-A.T.

8.12.2013

Even When I Don't Want To

Some days I don't quite feel like myself. There are days when I feel like the person you see... the person that everyone sees when they see me isn't quite the real me. It's like a role. Or a part in some play. And I'm watching myself play it.

Pain makes things true. I've been in pain for a few weeks now. Physical pain I mean. I've been in pain in my back, neck, shoulder, and arm for a few weeks. And shit hurts. I don't want to hurt any more.

I don't want to take drugs before I go to sleep so I can sleep 4 fitful hours before the pain wakes me up. I don't want that.

And yet...part of me thinks that maybe this is part of my new normal? I don't know. Normally a weekend down on the farm clears my head. This weekend did some of that. But it also prompted more questions.

I don't know that I can put in to words right now quite what's going through my head.

I'm not intentionally trying to be cryptic or mysterious...but...meh. I need to get some sleep if I can.

I'll put pix up tomorrow from the weekend in KY. For now...sleep.

8.07.2013

Manifestations...or Infestation or Something Like That

I don't enjoy being in pain. Well...I mean sometimes it's ok in a Marquis sort of way. But this is not one of those times. 68 days ago (oh how much better the segue would have been had I written the opener tomorrow, but alas I'm up now...and writing...so we go with it)...yes...68 Days ago or there abouts, I did the Warrior Dash. It was on my fukkitList as something I wanted to accomplish. At this point in my life, it represents the pinnacle in physical achievement. And I thought that after doing kickboxing and Hap Ki Do 3 times a week each (6-8 solid hours of working out a week) that I was ready for it.

I was right, and I was wrong. I completed the course. I did every obstacle, albeit quite slowly. But I finished it. I can cross it off the list. For now. But it was not without price. At the time I did the dash I weighed nearly 20lbs less than my current weight. Yeah. I've put some of the weight back on. Because...well..I jacked up my knee doing the Warrior Dash. I sprained my MCL. And as that was healing, I tried to adjust my eating back to my pre-workout portions, but somehow that didn't quite work. A couple of weeks ago, I thought my knee was healed to the point where I could at least attempt to get back in to kickboxing. Again, not full bore, but ease myself back in. I make it through the 1 hour class, but I think that being overly sensitive to my knee but still wanting to get a good upper body workout in resulted in my jacking up my shoulder/back. And for the last 2-3 weeks now I've been fighting a pinched nerve in my back (well, lower neck-shoulder area that's radiating down my entire right arm).

And it sucks.

I'm not a big fan of pain anyway (vaguely alluded to kinks aside), but this shit is ridiculous. It's nearly constant. I can see it creeping in to and affecting other areas of my life, too. And that's not good.

I go in to see my doc today and hopefully get some more muscle relaxers (those helped for the 3 days I was on them) as well as an MRI to make sure something isn't seriously jacked up. In short...I want this fucking pain to go away.

The rub of it is this...I'm willing to bet that at least a small portion of this pain is also psycho-somatic. Maybe it's where I'm burying the stress of going through this dissolution. Because...honestly-I don't feel stressed about it. I know I should probably feel some stress about it, but at the moment, I don't. It's actually going better than I could have hoped for. For the simple reason that there is no contact. Don't get me wrong...I don't hate my ex-wife (pending legalese aside, she's my ex- now, I don't give a shit if the paperwork has gone through or not, in my mind we're no longer married). No. I don't hate her. To be perfectly honest, I don't even know her anymore. I speculate that she could say the same of me. And that's fine. That's pretty much the main reason we're no longer together. We grew apart. Different hopes and dreams that didn't leave room for the other person. When your dreams of the future don't have a place in them for your current partner, you're with the wrong partner. Pure point blank.

But I know until the judge rubber stamps it, that I'm still carrying some of the stress...the latent guilt...the anger...the remorse. All of that is being carried around under the facade of 'hey my life's pretty fucking perfect right now--weeeee!" Sure. My life is really fucking good right now, I'm not going to lie. I'm happier in most areas than I've been in years. But it ain't perfect. There's still some shit to set straight. And once that's set straight, I have a feeling that some of the other latent physical symptoms will fall back in to place too. But I'm hoping the doc can help before that. Because this shoulder/arm bullshit is seriously messing me up.

And now on top of it, I have high blood pressure. I've never had high blood pressure. The ER doc said that could be a result of being in pain (all the fucking time--expletive added). But still...it's ridiculous.

The other part that scares me (and there's that fear thing...fear is the mind killer...but it's creeping in nonetheless)...the part that scares me is the realization that I may not be able to get back in to the Hap Ki Do or kickboxing at the same level as before. And that would suck. It was the perfect outlet for my emotions and physical stress. So...I guess...I need it. And being this long without it has kinda jacked my equilibrium.

I'm probably not going to go back and re-read this post for a while, if ever, because I can already sense that it's a lot of whiny 'I'm in pain and this sucks' kind of bullshit. And I know enough about me to know that when I write that kind of stuff, I'm really just writing it to get it out of my head to make way for other stuff. I don't know how much of a redeeming edge it has...or hell, even how entertaining it is to read. I'm pretty sure this is one of those 'cheaper than therapy' kind of posts. And lucky you, you happened to stumble upon it. Sorry about that.

I'm off to find a heating pad now.

 

Peace Out!

-AT

8.05.2013

Back Pain...Shoulder Pain...Heart Attack...Back Again

Some of the events from this weekend were actually fun. Some sucked ass.

And, as is my custom, I will start with the suck ass bits of the weekend. Which, really, just boiled down to Friday night.

For some unknown reason, my back and right shoulder area has been hurting for several weeks now. I've been going to the chiropractor since I've had success with them before and since I wasn't keen on putting a whole lot of drugs in my body. And this is good...in theory.

The problem is that I'm still in stupid amounts of pain...so I'm taking more than the maximum recommended dosage of tylenol and its generic equivalents. So I'm sure my liver is not necessarily as keen on alternative medecine as I am. As I was in the chiro office this past Friday, she gave me the news I'd been expecting. My back/shoulder (or the scalenes as they called the area having problems) is not responding and it's time to look at steroids and muscle relaxers.

Woohoo. Music to my ears.

Problem was, they can't prescribe them.And I can't get in to see my family doctor for at least a week or two. This put me in the pickle of having to go to an urgent care...repeat all the 'hot button' phrases that the chiro gave me.

So I did that. And it was going smashingly until they decided to do an EKG since my blood pressure was in stage 2 hyper tension and I'd had heart issues in the past (never mind that it was congenital and I haven't had an issue in 16 years now).

"Well, Mr. Skaggs, I can send you home with the steroids and muscle relaxers as long as you're aware that you could have a heart attack tonight. I leave that choice up to you. But if it were me, I'd go the ER like we're recommending."

Well, that's not much of a fucking choice, is it?

Yeah. It wasn't much of a choice, and she knew it. So...I stopped over at St. Ann's ER to see what they had to say about things. Gave them the whole backstory (including the so-called choice given me by the Urgent Care Doc).

Long story short (too late, I know)...3 hours later I'm sent on my merry way with scrips for painkillers, steroids, and muscle relaxers.

I also learned that the ER doc was none too pleased with the Urgent Care Doc. AND apparently prior heart events (such as...oh..I don't know...open heart surgery in 1997) can still show upon EKGs.

I'm on day three of the muscle relaxers and steroids and I can honestly say that I'm feeling less pain. Sure...there's still some pain there, but it's about a 3 or 4...not a 7 or 8 (on a 1-10 scale). And it's not waking me up in the middle of the night--this is a very good thing!!

So. That was Friday. Saturday (day) wasn't much of anything to write home about. Later on Saturday I hit the Fairfield County Hot Air Balloon Festival at the invite of a co-worker and fellow shutterbug friend. I got some great shots (well, at least I think they're great...it's my first hot air balloon photo shoot...so...hard to tell, I guess).

I've got them posted over on my SmugMug page as well as a link from there my facebook page. Here's a few faves:

 
Had a photoshoot this weekend, too. Senior pix on Sunday morning. And that's about it. I started this post last night, so I apologize that I've lost the train of thought on it.
But...um...yeah. Gotta get back to work now.
 
Have a good rest of your Monday.
 
-AT

 

8.02.2013

TechnoCheez

It doesn't matter how technically advanced as a specie or society we get. It will never cease to appall me when someone's phone rings and they answer and have a conversation in the shitter. Seriously dude...there are certain audible cues that no one should have to hear on a phone call. The grunting, clenching, plottzing, and plopping. Nope. No sir. I don't like it. I don't like it one bit.

And before you call me out on it...texting or Facebooking whilst on the crapper is not the same thing at all. Those methods of communication can happen anywhere. And unless you tell the recipient, they have no idea of your current locale. Easy peasy Japanesey.

I had a whole train of though queued up and ready to leave ShinyBlog Station...but at the moment all I want to do is take a nap. The past couple weeks of only getting a few interrupted hours of sleep a night are catching up to me. Time for a Spark.

Yeah. Seriously. At this point, I got nothin'. I'm not even going to put this up on FB because well...it's a turd of a post.

And with that, I'm gonna go mix up a Spark Energy drink and get back to work.

Have a kickass Friday my friends!!

 

-AT

8.01.2013

in Flux

Weird thing happened to me the other day. I was typing and as soon as I hit 88WPM, I found myself in a document I had written years ago.

Strange. Guess that's what happens when I used Brown's Doc DeLorean app.

OR something like that. Yeah...I know...it was a long way to go for a Back to the Future reference. Although I'd be lying if I said I was sorry I made it to begin with. Any day you can quote or reference BTTF is a good day in my book.

Speaking of books...I haven't been doing much on Facebook this week but lurking. Which leads me to wonder....are the same peeps still reading the blog now that I haven't actually posted on FB that the blog has been updated? Dunno. I mean I can look at a traffic report from blogger.com and find out, but it's more fun to just blindly speculate.

This isn't really my lunch hour (I'm not actually taking a lunch today because I'm hitting up the chiropractor again today to try to figure out what the fuck is up with my shoulder/back).

Did you know that there are no plain M&M's in any of the vending machines where I work? Well, there aren't.

Now you know.

And with that I let you back to your regularly scheduled day. Hopefully more better updates with be forthcoming at some point in the near future.

-AT

 

 

 

Oddly OK

I should, by all accounts, be freaking out right about now. Most of my friends and even my daughter are kind of freaking out for me. Which i...