Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Oh, My Aching Back
This Blog Wrangler isn't doing much wrangling lately. I'm fine except for my back which got painfully wrenched when I bent down to pick up the newspaper. This same kind of back pull had also happened few months ago (and many times before that) but this time it seemed really bad. So I decided it was time to see an orthopedic surgeon to make sure I hadn't really messed up some sort of bone or disc.
I'm doing minimal Blog Wrangling (or even looking at other people's blogs) because the most painful position is sitting. I can manage about 5-10 minutes at a time. Careful walking is ok, I'm swimming my laps, but I'm also getting a lot of couch time and a lot of books read.
How claustrophobic am I? VERY, VERY.
We used to scuba dive in Hawaii and dive in and out of lava tubes, which are long underwater caves that thread along the coast line. For years we dove with some really great Dive Masters, Tom and Lisa of Dive Makai. They taught us a lot about underwater life, how to dive carefully, and how to manage your air supply. They loved to take us in the lava tubes to see creatures visible only with dive lights deep in the back of the tube.
How did I manage the MRI? Since only a small part of my back had to be imaged it was not more than 20 minutes in the machine. And I survived it all thanks to the miracles of modern medicine: A lot, a whole lot, of Valium. I kept my eyes closed. I made them put me in feet first. They played a CD I brought. I was zonked out. I might have even fallen asleep except that MRI scanners are unbelievably noisy, even with the sound-muffling headphones they put on me, and the bed rattled and shook at times. I thought it would be soundless. Thank you, Valium, I love you.
Lucky, lucky me. Not bad bone or disc things, just degenerative disc disease and osteoarthritis which I put in the category of "Growing Old is Not For Sissies". A lot of Advil and physical therapy are on the horizon.
Eventually you'll get more of Don back on his blog. He has pictures for you.