"The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep."

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Happy Birthday

Popeye took the picture.

Meme made the cake.

Lei Lei stole the show!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Post Doc Visit

As expected, my visit to the doctor’s office resulted in x-rays, narcotics and an MRI appointment for tomorrow.

The x-rays show my previously acquired metal cylinder, securely embedded between vertebrae’s C5 and C6. There it continues to perform the function of the disc it replaced six years ago while secretly awaiting the most opportune time to set off all manner of alarms in a major metropolitan airport.

Meanwhile the one just below seems to be degenerating. I suspect this to be causing the numbness and pain radiating down and through my right arm.

For the most part, the prescribed drugs are unsuited for the work place as they tend to bring on bouts of narcolepsy and leave me incapable of maintaining lucid conversation. So while at work, I take mega doses of Naproxen – which for some reason I find difficult to pronounce - while employing shock therapy with the aid of a Tens unit.

A Tens unit or Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation is a pocket size, portable, battery-operated device that sends electrical impulses to certain parts of the body to block pain signals. The electrical currents produced are mild, but can prevent pain messages from being transmitted to the brain and may raise the level of endorphins (natural pain killers produced by the brain).

That is of course provided one doesn’t turn the device up too high. Doing so will instead cause pain messages to be fast forwarded to the brain in rapid succession while causing one’s body to contort in the fashion of a Cirque du Soleil acrobat.

On my days off however, I’ve been ingesting happy pills which leave me floating about in a semi-conscious state while Beth takes care of me; which she does well and which I certainly do not deserve.

She and I both know what possibly lies ahead and neither of us looks forward to it with any degree of enthusiasm. However if indeed another metal cylinder is destined to take up residence in my spine, I know the ensuing recovery will be significantly less of a pain in the neck (pun obviously intended) because the woman I love will be with me, making sure I’m back on my feet and logging my miles as soon as possible.

Beth has always been there for me even when I’ve not been there as I should for her.

For those times, I am filled with remorse.

For temporarily losing sight of what is most important, I am sincerely sorry.

For falling headlong into a darkening abyss, I am overwhelmed with regret.

And for the opportunity to set things right, I am eternally grateful.

Monday, February 04, 2008


Millions of people suffer from pain in their necks or arms. A common cause of cervical pain is a rupture or herniation of one or more of the cervical discs. This happens when the annulus of the disc tears and the soft nucleus squeezes out. As a result, pressure is placed on the nerve root or the spinal cord and causes pain in the neck, shoulders, arms and sometimes the hands. Cervical disc herniations can occur as a result of aging, wear and tear, or sudden stress like from an accident.

An anterior cervical discetomy is the most common surgical procedure to treat damaged cervical discs. Its goal is to relieve pressure on the nerve roots or on the spinal cord by removing the ruptured disc. It is called anterior because the cervical spine is reached through a small incision in the front of the neck (anterior means front). During the surgery, the soft tissues of the neck are separated and the disc is removed. In many cases, it is replaced with a metal cylinder which is fluted so as to allow the bone to grow through and fuse.
Prior to six years ago this coming March, I knew none of this. However it was then I experienced this procedure first hand and at that time was told I had another disc which was potentially suspect and may or may not present a problem in the future.

Fast forward into the future, i.e. now.

The old familiar pain and numbness is back.

Ergo my limited number of miles logged of late.

Off to the Doc tomorrow where I anticipate a prescription for some excellent narcotic based sleep aids and an MRI appointment.

Will keep you posted.