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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

6 Weeks!

Well, six weeks have passed and the progress has seemingly stalled. Since I can't look inside my spine, I am not sure if the disk ligament tore and released the nasty gel into the canal and irritated the nerve, or if there is a substantial herniation. So, assuming the former, I recognize that the nerve could remain irritated for up to 6 months while the myelin coating heals. If it is the latter, then I will have to wait until the protruted disk material is reabsorbed. So, in two weeks I will take this fat out of shape body and begin trying to do some walk jogs to see if it irritates the condition further or not. If it does, on to the MRI. If it doesn't, then just try to wait it out longer.
Have been working on transferring photos and music into the new Acer, as well as setting up mozilla firefox, setting up the many shortcuts on the toolbar, setting up security, and removing all of the unnecessary bloatware that acer and windows 7 added. The 18 inch high def screen is excellent, and it weighs about the same as the dying toshiba 15 inch it is replacing. Sure is darned fast compared to the dying toshiba also. Will have to try and keep it that way......

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

5 Weeks In!

Well, I am 5 weeks in and having mixed results. The back pain is gone, and I felt that I was finally making good progress over the weekend, but the last three days have been filled with excessive numbness and tingling again. One step up and two steps back. May have been a bit too aggressive in trying to rehab this. Again, I remain committed to giving this at least three or more weeks to see if any more improvement occurs before engaging the medical industrial complex.
My old toshiba is on its last legs and I found a windows 7, 17.3" screen HD acer at walmart online which should be here over the next week or so. Will have to move a lot of music and pictures once it comes. While Deb and I both use her apple macbook air, I still don't find it to be as intuitive as, say, an Ipad. Every review on the laptops with windows 8 complain about how slow it is, how much bloatware is attached, and how much memory it sucks up, so I was glad I could find an older model on clearance with windows 7. If windows 10 gets good reviews, I may ultimately give it a try...who knows!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

TTIP, One World Corporate Governance, And Rollerball!

Was at my doctors office today for my annual physical and to get a referral for an MRI on my lumbar spine. It has been 4 weeks since the evening of June 12th when my spine blew up. Almost all of the back pain is gone except for when I first wake up in the morning. The paresthesia (numbness and tingling)  has intensified in the balls of my feet and all around my lower right leg. As far as I can tell, I have not lost any motor function, so I am willing to hang on awhile longer before engaging the medical industrial complex further. The doc had me close my eyes and took a feeler tool to the bottom of both feet......can't feel a damn thing. Course, couldn't feel much there for the past 20 years since I first had a L5-S1 discectomy. The paresthesia around my right leg moves constantly from my calf to my shin, and to the inside and outside of my ankle, and on occasion to the top of my foot. Pretty sure this herniation is at that same disc level. Just don't want to fork over that 6-8 grand!
While I was at the doc's today, we got into the discussion of the recent passage of the Transpacific Trade And Investment Partnership. The most controversial provision contained within this agreement is that it allows for corporate sovereignty over countries and people......if a country passes legislation that negatively impacts the profits of a corporation, the corporation has the right to sue the country for lost revenues........Wow, now that is just spectacular. Monsanto could sue a country that won't allow GMO seeds for a loss of revenue, or Phillip Morris could sue over laws that try to regulate tobacco usage that would effect their profit margins. So, the pendulum swings farther toward a one world corporate governance structure which puts countries and their people unable to pass laws that will protect their health and safety. We will move from companies buying our representatives to ultimately just owning our nations. So, when the Dallas Cowboys become the Exon Cowboys, we will have moved to the world of rollerball that I found so fascinating as fiction in 1975!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Groundhog Day In Hell!

Well, today is the 18th day of my visit to Dante's 7 rings of hell. Like that Bill Murray groundhog day movie, I feel like I am reliving this same day of misery. Each morning, I awake in pain and prepare for the first hideous nauseating half hour of pain that comes when I get up and start to move. I get coffee going, get on the yoga mat, and start to try to do about 15 different exercises to stretch my back muscles and decompress my discs. Then I do my first walk of the day of my three twenty minute walks. I come back and eat, and then start to try different strengthening exercises back on the yoga mat. After another walk, I eat lunch and then head into the guest bedroom and lay in a fetal position to take the load off my spine. Another pre-dinner walk, dinner, then liquor and TV to numb myself, and then groundhogs day starts again. Today was the first day where there was a small amount of less sharp pain and spasms, so I guess we will call this progress. I have a doctors appointment on Wed july 8th for an annual physical, and I will ask the doc for a referral for an MRI. The end of July will mark 6 weeks from disc blowout day, and if there is not substantial improvement, I will have to begin the painful and expensive dance toward surgery.
With a 20% drop in the chinese stock market over the last two weeks, the chinese govt has lowered interest rates, and more frighteningly, lowered bank reserve requirements to try and stabilize their stock markets. Tomorrow the greek stock markets and banks will be closed, and the government has imposed capital limits of 800 euros a day for withdrawal thereafter. ATMs were drained over the weekend. If the greeks are removed from the euro and create their own currency again, folks will find that their $100,000 bank balance will now be worth $60,000 overnight. So will folks in Italy, Portegal, and Spain start to consider running on their banks? The chart above shows that a correction, a drop of 20% or more, is no one can predict what the catalyst will be for this correction, but this could be one of those reflection points.....might be a good week to buy the GLD gold ETF......

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Frankenspine Returns!

Well, it has been 11 agonizing days since I hurt my back. Not a lot of positive progress so far. The pain has moved to the right side  of my spine, and I have some paresthesia as well....tingling in the balls of both feet, and in my right calf. You all know that odd feeling you get when your foot or hand falls to sleep....kind of a random similar experience. This tells me a couple of things....The disc level is L5-S1, the lowest lumber level where I have twice previously had surgery. The herniation or disk leak is pushing out the rear to the right. Not a shitload of disc material exists for me at that level, so if in the next 4-6 weeks, the paresthesia doesn't fade or disappear,  will have to start with the MRI first (Catching$$$), and then probably to a surgical resolution that doctors wanted to do 20 years ago.....a fusion at that level. (Real Catching$$$ there!).

So, all I can do is the prescribed exercises, walk my skinny ass off, and ice 4 times a day and wait it out. Really really wanted to hold off on any medical crap for 18 months until I got to medicare so I could stick it to all those young working stiffs! So, it is what it is, and will end up like it will end up. Got a bit pissed at myself today cause I did something I rarely do.....felt sorry for myself and got into one of those "why me" places.....then I thought about sister Suzi who died 2 years ago today and was dealt about the shittiest health hand a person could ever not ask for. So I stopped being a whiny bitch and just got back on the yoga mat!
Was out watering the nice golden pine this evening and got this poor guy wet and pine covered. Good place to hang out in the 103 degree weather. The last week or so of June is always our hottest week of the year and most likely to exceed 100. looks like it will be that way again for the next 10 days. Keeping my walks to 20 minutes at a time so I don't die of heat stroke!!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

9 Month Healthy Streak Ends!

Well, my 9 month healthy streak came to an end on thursday. I went out to do a 10K run with a fast finish,  and my back felt oddly sore, and by a half hour, I could hardly walk. Back spasms hit and I have been couch bound ever since. The usual pattern is 3-5 days of general immobility, and then I can start to stretch and strengthen the area. Some times the situation can be resolved in a few weeks, other times it takes a few months. Either way, my planned race for the 4th of july weekend is off, and my thoughts will turn to the fall. What is particularly irritating, is that I have tried really hard to do every spine stabilization exercise in the know universe to keep this at bay. I know with the 4 back surgeries, that there are just some structural problems that I probably can't overcome, so that is why I keep my mileage down and my racing in the 5K to 10K range. So, I will try and rehab again, and hope and pray that it is not a disc problem, as I just can't do any surgeries for at least 18 months until that old medicare kicks in.
This is the award ceremony from last sunday. These women are either cancer survivors, or have lost someone recently to cancer. They made me feel like a giant! Anyway, they are tough little ladies....

Sunday, June 7, 2015

A Great Race Story!

What a perfect day for a race. The race was at 7:00. Temp was low 70's, very light breeze, and somewhat overcast. About 200 people showed up. I know that because they only guaranteed shirts to the first 200, and I didn't get one from my early race day registration. While I was warming up, another geezer came up and started warming up with me. He asked me if I was from Las Cruces, and when I told him Deming, he said he was there in the Vinyards mobile park in his camper for the next three months while he was driving his truck for a local mining company. Over the next few minutes, he told me that he made $250,000 a year doing that, had a $400,000 home in Phoenix with an indoor pool and hot tub where his wife and dog were, and began bragging about his running prowess. He told me how in his last race in Phoenix he had run a 5K where he went a half mile off course and still won his age group. He told me that he was an age group ace in Phoenix. When the race began, he quickly moved to a quarter mile lead in the first mile. In the mean time, a guy who I have raced a dozen times and always seem to catch and pass at around the 2K mark, performed as he usually does, allowing me to put him out of my thoughts. Around two miles into the race, I realized King Phoenix was now only about 20 yards ahead of me and looking a bit ragged. I started to press, and caught him at the 4.5K mark, and leaned over to him and said, "hey, we have around 300 meters to go, so lets push it home". I then went into my puke sprint......this is where I just go as hard as I can and either beat the other guy, or, if I have to puke,  try and puke on him. He tried to go with me, but I ended up coming in at 27:47, with him coming in as the next finisher at 28:04, just 17 seconds behind me. I then went for a kilometer cooldown, and when I got back they were posting the early results on a board. Found out he was 58. He ended up 4th in the 50-59 age group while I won the 60 to not dead age group. I was again tied for the oldest guy or gal in the race. So I beat the King of Phoenix! After doing the race, I began to doubt his prowess in Phoenix.....between a probable much larger runner base with all those folks in those sun city communities, as well as a thriving triathlete community, it just doesn't add up. I doubt that I would be the King of anything in Phoenix.....