On Backing Out:

Over the last 25 years or so, I could count on the very simple fact that about 2 times per year, I would experience some degree of muscle spasm in my lower back. This came about as the result of having worked on a roofing crew for a summer while I was in college. During that summer, I hurt my back pretty seriously, damaged a couple of discs, and found myself off work and in traction and physical therapy once a day for several weeks.

This was not fun, but I recovered. Over the years, the discs in question have been sensitive, as have the muscles surrounding them - they are very protective, and when I strain my back, those muscles go into spasm - they basically revolt - at having to protect those discs from further damage.

So, about twice a year those lower back muscles seize up and give me pain for maybe a couple of weeks. In the last 5 years or so, this has become more of a once a year thing. I attribute this to a little more time spent at the gym, and being more physically active over that time. That's not to say that it still doesn't go out though. About 5 years ago I bought a nice upright bass. I remember one day while paying it, I could literally FEEL the old disc in my lower back pinch and move (what we call a herniation). I was immediately in excruciating pain, and by the time ThatOneWife came home from work, I was lying on the living room floor, writhing in pain. I had taken an ungodly amount of pain killers, to no effect whatsoever.

So, it was off to the emergency room I went. This was later in the evening, when it became obvious that I was not going to be able to mitigate the pain myself. (I had learned some tricks for stretching and applying pressure in certain spots to help from the time I was in Physio - but this was not working at all...) Anyway, after a few scans/X-rays, whatever, I was given a shot of Demerol in my arse and was sent home with a pain prescription. I was warned that the shot may make me nauseous. About a block from home, this prediction had become true, and I ordered ThatOneWife to pull over immediately, whereupon I puked all over a fire hydrant in our neighborhood. Funny now, but then, not so much.

Long story short, then, my back has been "out" in a minor way for almost two weeks now. Just muscle pain, not a disc slippage - and I can tell the difference now. It has been stiff and sore, and has kept me from doing some of the things I want to do. It's almost all better now, but it's never fun. The last couple of years, it has only happened about once per year, and to a pretty minor degree at that, so all in all, I'm pretty pleased with that. But it's no fun for anybody when it's bothering me. Let's just say, I can be a bit of a grump.

Obviously, that's not the "backing out" thought you were thinking you were going to read about here today, is it..?

So, here are a couple of thoughts on the backing out you were likely thinking about:

A week or so ago now (seems like 6 months since Super Tuesday), Mitt Romney pulled out of the race for president. There has been a lot of talk about the machinations of this move, who (if anyone) urged him to bow out, and how it might effect the race for a republican white house.

For the record, the race for a republican white house is as dismal a prospect as it has been for a long time now - but that's just my opinion.

Here in Utah, Mitt Romney won the primary by a virtual 90% to 10% for all others on the ballot. Obviously, this was a given. (I saw NO republican ads on tv running up to the vote) Mormons here gave him the nod by a landslide vote.

And here's my problem.

When the rest of the country goes through the process of evaluating a candidate's past performance, his current positions, and his political platform, and decides that he is a say-anything-to-get-elected flip-flopper, liar, and general snake, and then a state full of people who share only his religion, votes FOR him in a landslide, that makes the state look like they will vote for ANYONE who shares that same common trait. Which, apparently, is exactly the case. Which, in turn, makes the rest of the country even LESS inclined to "be ready for a mormon president." It makes everyone here look very provincial indeed. It makes the state not matter even more.

And that's all I'm going to say about that.


Anonymous said...

Do you watch "The Daily Show"? I love their spin on Mitt. (If you haven't seen it, perhaps you should search for it on youtube...)

As for the back...remember you have genetics playing against you on this one. Of course you have ThatOneBrother who has royally hooped his since the accident in March and then you have ThatOneSlug who claims to have injured it by being alive. But certainly there is a genetic proponent to your ailment. Massage, Massage, Massage during the flair ups is key. That's what the Neurologist and Ortho guys told TOB. Slug on the other hand just eats more and does less. As Dr. Phil would say, "How's that workin' for ya???!"

Reach Upward said...

I'm sorry if this sounds kooky, but please consider any of the works by Dr. John Sarno with respect to your back problem. His book Healing Back Pain literally changed my life. Learning and implementing the principles he discusses has helped many thousands of people that used to suffer with chronic back pain.

John Stossel investigated Dr. Sarno's 'treatment' for 20/20 back in 1999 (you can buy the DVD here). Stossel himself had suffered from serious chronic back pain. He came away healed and said that it's the real McCoy.

If nothing else, any of Sarno's books are a relatively cheap read. Trying it can't hurt.