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Posts Tagged ‘neck & back pain’

Warning this is semi graphic.

My apologies to Lennon & McCartney for the title and anyone who knows me.

Time frame Saturday evening until Sunday evening, early January.  Evening started with a wonderful visit from my sister and her husband and most importantly my Daughter who I don’t see enough of.  My other-in-law whom I live with spent the previous 24 hours frantically cleaning her house in anticipation of guest. The house got cleaned post Christmas this year because this is the 1st year we didn’t have a large family Christmas in this large Victorian home. Many happy Christmases have been had here with large gatherings, lots of children of all ages, and way too many gifts. But then unexpectedly the man of the house died. He was hospitalized for 45 days from just after Thanksgiving thru Christmas and into January of the next year. The holidays in this house haven’t been the same ever since. There were attempts, but they were pushed trying to be happy and it just wasn’t the same.  Then this year another tragedy struck. A family member became very ill. Instead of celebrating Christmas at the big house we all gathered at his families house and had a nice Christmas gathering. He gave a meal prayer that God willing we would all do it again next year. That left a real lump in your throat. Anyway that was a long way of telling you why the house didn’t get straightened up until after New Years, and why This Family gathering was important.  Spiney did his part by helping to clean his little piles of existence around the La-z-boy, and doing whatever the ladies asked.  Most days I need to be told what to do or I’ll do nothing. Not because I’m lazy, but depression and pain make you want to take the path of least resistance. If you’ve seen the Cymbalta commercials, that’s what it is really like.  Mom being an incredible cook, cooked us a wonderful dinner of stuffed pork chops, real mashed potatoes, stewed apples, and vegetable dish that Spiney didn’t partake in.  Being in my mental state I was nervous. When in depression you like what is familiar.  Anything that disturbs your groove, even though it may be a very positive thing, makes you nervous.  I was nervous as to what I would say. Would I have enough to say for more than 10 minutes of niceties?  When the majority of your days are spent with you, a cat, a rabbit, and the TV your conversation skills aren’t honed.  Except for those in your head.  They are very well exercised. You run the coulda, woulda, shouldas through your head all day.  Sometimes they even get a chance to come out.  And sometimes you have to yell “Shut Up” to get them to quiet. A noisy head is no fun.  It doesn’t allow for great productivity.  Well all that came to rest when my guest finally arrived.  They offered up conversation, as did the other two ladies of the house, my Wife and Mother-in-law.  So that gave me a springboard to jump in.  There was a time you couldn’t shut me up.  I was once class clown, life of party, foot in mouth guy, and once had very long, very meaningful conversations with my daughter. These conversations kept us both sane during her teens, and really bonded us.  I know she misses them and can’t understand where that went.  I miss them too. I have god days and bad.  Unfortunately the good are spread pretty thin and you got to be there when they happen.  Sometimes they are weeks or even months apart.  and when they come, I feel like I can do anything.  Anyway we had a great dinner. I did disturb my sister when I kept disappearing during the visit and meal. My medications make me thirsty so I drink a lot. I drink diet Sierra Mist Free because it’s  decaffeinated.  The 2nd part of the equation is drinking makes me pee a lot, but the pain killers I take 24×7 make it very hard to go. So I have two speeds in that department.  I either can’t go, or I go every half hour or less.  I take Flomax for that, which again is always advertised on TV.  I could be doing TV pharmaceutical commercials. So I kept going to the bathroom and this upset my sister for some reason.  My wife, mom, and cat are very used to it. If my sister reads this and gets upset that I call my Mother-in-law my Mom it is not out of disrespect to our much loved, deceased mother. It’s because she treats me very much like a son, she is a mother figure in my life, and it’s easier to write mom, than mother-in-law all the time.  We then exchanged belated Christmas gifts with my Sister and Brother-in-law before they had to leave.  I know my sister wants a closer relationship too.  Both our parents are dead, our older brother is estranged, many of our aunts and uncles have passed on also.  She feels I’m all the family she has, even though she has three sons, two that are married, one grandson, and a granddaughter on the way.  So she has family.  I wish we did more together too.  But again she doesn’t understand that while I look normal, my days are far from normal.  I bid her and her husband goodbye.  Then My Wife and I exchanged gifts with our daughter.  That was nice.  I think we surprised her. She’s our one and only so we did the best we could do.  We wanted to give the gift or more time together doing things we all like, such as concerts and plays.  But our schedules and the distance between us, about 1 hour, make it difficult. So we have that on the back burner in case we can work it out.  We then sat down to watch a movie. Since the Spineys don’t get out much we invested a windfall last year in a 42″ LCD TV.  This Christmas we followed up with surround sound.  This is our entertainment since we don’t get to the movies and such.  So we broke out “Mama Mia”  My Wife and I had seen the play in NYC and loved it.  This was the first time for our daughter and Mom to see it.  The first time actually for all of us to see the movie.  It was fun and uplifting.  The only bad part was feeling bad for Pierce Brosnan. They should have used a vocal dub.  Everyone else could sing pretty well, especially Meryl Streep, but not poor Pierce.  During the movie I was in a good bit of pain because I had been up quite awhile without rest. I sat with an ice pack on my shoulder, then my aching knee, and also used the massage of the La-z-boy throne. I had to change position constantly to redistribute the pain.  I also disturbed the others with my constant trips to the bathroom.  I got up probably 5 times during the movie.  At the end of the movie we checked out some of the bonus footage, because we all wanted a little more.  Then knowing I had to get up to travel the next day, and being co-dependant I kept asking my daughter if she had to go.  I was worried about her driving home, I was selfishly thinking about going to bed, and I was in unfamiliar territory.  At one time this was very familiar territory. When we all lived together My Wife, Daughter, and myself would often have all night movie, music, TV, or cleaning jags. We were all night owls who had gobs of energy at night and loved to sleep in late the next day.  We lived in a 2nd floor apartment with no neighbors. We would break out 100’s of 45’s from when I was a DJ and have our own little listening and dance parties till the wee hours.  Music, Family, conversation, and 13 rabbits we a big part of our life then.  That was before the 2 big operations and subsequent downturn of my pain. Plus our daughter grew up, moved out, went out on her own, had a life changing epiphany, we moved away and closed our business. A lot changed in a few years. But when we are together I think we all realize that we miss being a family.  I know my wife and I do, and we sense it in our daughter. And I will state here, I have changed the most. I’m in pain, I’m depressed, I’m alone a lot, and I’m not real fun to be around anymore.  So back to day.  Our daughter stayed a bit more, we had a bit of desert and we all bid adieu.

At this point I wanted to crawl right into bed, but we had to clean up the house to the spotless condition it was in earlier that day because everyone worked so hard on it.  Then we retired. Part of our nightly ritual is after we brush and such, and take my nighttime regiment of about 7 medicines I get a massage from my wife with a handheld percussion massager. This is every night to break up the pain. It usually last about 5 minutes though it could go one forever as far as I’m concerned.  It’s a concert of a little to the left, a skinch to the right, yes yes right there, that’s where it hurts.  Then onto another hurting spot, or instructions back to THE spot as my wife falls asleep.  And I have to have pity on her because she needs to get up the next day, I usually don’t.  But this day We both do, to travel to her Fathers for a belated Christmas gathering.  One last thing before we retire.  I get an Ice pack which is a semi frozen blue gell in a plastic pack, wrapped in a light towel.  I get one for each of us.  My Wife uses it to fight back her constant headaches, and I use it for my shoulder, neck, and back pain.  In fact I will go through about 3-4 throughout the night. We keep them in a small refrigerator freezer on the 2nd floor, just for this purpose. We now have 9 on hand at all time.

This is getting really long and I’m tired. Thanks for sticking with me.  It’s 1:45am so as they say on TV to be continued….

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My real name is Dave but online I go by Spiney.  Why Spiney?  Well the last few years and much of my future has been defined by a big change brought on by 3 back surgeries and (1) neck surgery.  I have 4 levels of my lower back or Lumbar fused together with donor bone and held together with plates and screws. I have the same done to 2 levels of my neck or cervical spine.  So I am very aware of my spine 24 x 7.

I must give credit to Conan O’Brien, or actually one of his writers Pierre Bernard for the “Recliner of Rage” tagline. I use that because most of this will be written from my New La-Z-Boy recliner, I wore the old one out after 10 years, or my bed. That is where unfortunately I spend the majority of my days.

Because of this I am unable to work a job or better yet, run my own business like I did for 15 years full time and another business for about 8 years part time. So I have a lot of time on my hands.  I’m in chronic pain and have serious sleep issues so the time I have can be an hour here, there, or mostly in the middle of the night when pain and insomnia are my pals. I’m an info junkie.  always have been, but today there are so many more sources.  The Net, cable news, NPR, XM, BBC, a slew of monthly magazines, Borders when I can get there, and the occasional newspaper.  I also watch The History Channel, History International, the cable channel owned by Al Gore and Steve Jobs: Current, the Science and Discovery channels. Yes I do interact with humans when possible, but I don’t get out much, so it’s mostly my Wife and family. Oh I also moderate a Neck and Back Pain Yahoo group.

What I hope to accomplish here is to say the things I would say to people if there were intelligent people to discuss this with.  Things I yell at the TV about, or talk my wife, or cat, or who ever will listen. I hope someone reads this and I encourage response. Thanks for listening, Spiney

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