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treading miles through gulfs of oil

screwed
I have been very dissatisfied with myself of late. Before my back went out, I was fairly active, going to my martial arts school two or three times a week and going to two different styles of yoga twice a week: Ashtanga yoga and a gentle Kripalu yoga. I could walk miles without breaking a sweat and my doctor once told me I had the lung capacity of a marathon runner.

Then the back started to deteriorate. I don't know why. It could have been a long ago diving accident or maybe I was just blessed with the bad "saboe" back that plagued my dad and others in our family. At any rate, I slowly had to give up Ashtanga yoga, then my TaeKwonDo/Karate/Aikido classes, then lastly my gentle yoga classes. I lived on percocet until my surgery, at which point I felt I'd been given a second chance.

My surgery was successful. I could walk again, and even though I was left with painful nerve damage in the right leg/foot, I was so much better that the nerve pain wasn't more than an annoyance. Even so, I soon realized I would not be able to resume martial arts training or any sort of vigorous yoga practice. My surgeon recommended Pilates, which I began doing with wonderful results. Really strengthened my core, but did nothing for the weight gain that came with the decrease in my activity level. Eventually, I had to give it up due to the expense (why is Pilates so expensive?). I tried walking, but honestly, I dislike walking in my neighborhood because it is very hilly here and even with the bolts in my back, inclines == severe back pain. Then I got hold of a stationary bike. ouchouchouch. The seat just hit me in the wrong place, causing pain in my lower back and legs. All this fitness failure has been making me very despondent.

A couple years ago, my aunt downsized and sold my sister her treadmill. Lori's experience with the treadmill mirrored mine with the bike, so a few days ago we did a fitness equipment trade and I think this will work for me. I've vowed to do at least 1 mile a day to start, and have even found a way to mitigate the boredom of walking in place in the basement -- C-SPAM!! -- er, I mean C-Span!!

Yes, I take my laptop down to the basement, balance it on a big box on top of an old tv-tray and then log onto C-Span and watch congresscritters grill BP, Transocean, and the rest of the culprits. Today, I did a mile and a half in what seemed to be no time. I'm up to where the tar balls hit the Florida keys.

I have a feeling that with the help of Congress, I will finally lose this post-surgery weight.

Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
ladywind
May. 20th, 2010 06:09 pm (UTC)
~wry grin~ I'm with you, except I'm headed the other direction: I tread to the dulcet tones of Jason Mraz & whoever else happens to be in my CD player as a way to escape Slashdot & Google news' constantly informing me of what various gubment types are up to.

Ganbatte, lovey. :D
nimitzbrood
May. 20th, 2010 07:30 pm (UTC)
At 5' 7", 240lbs the treadmill is an easy way for me to at least get some regular exercise in my life. Unfortunately we don't have the room for it.

What we do have the room for is a Wii and a Wii Fit board with Wii Fit Plus. And I can tell you that the exercises and the weight tracking on that system are excellent and really help.

If you can afford it I'd buy one because it has quite a few different exercises that you can pick and choose from. (Get the Wii Fit Plus not just the regular Wii Fit. More stuff and better interface.) If you can't do one (I figure the hulu hoop one is off the charts for you) then try another as there's plenty to choose from.

Losing weight in any form is a pain for most people. (Doubly hard for me because I have "fat" genes in both sides of my family.) But if you can get moving on it and stay moving on it then it _will_ happen. You just have to keep at it.

Not to be nosy but have you tried supplements like Chondroiten Sulfate or Glucosamine?
lsaboe
May. 20th, 2010 08:40 pm (UTC)
hmmm....i was thinking abt the wii but i just don't know if that would work for me or not. maybe one of these days i'll find someone close by who could show me what it does. the $$ is definitely an issue though.
as for glucosamine and chondroiten, yes, i've been taking them for years, and before that, sharks cartilage. i think those supplements allowed me to put off surgery for close to 10 years, but eventually, the instability of the vertebra plus the more than usual wear and tear just got to a critical point. in fact, the surgeon found that there was actually a tear in the spinal dura around the chord which had to be patched so that i wouldn't leak spinal fluid. he said, "it was a mess in there."
nimitzbrood
May. 20th, 2010 09:06 pm (UTC)
Sometimes the Game Stop stores ( http://www.gamestop.com/ ) have display models set up so you can take a look at them. It might be worthwhile hunting them down. As for the price I hear ya - we bought ours before I was unemployed. Keep an eye out for used ones.

A tear in the dura is nasty. :-( I hope that healed up well. Is the spine just crumbling then? You mentioned abnormal wear which of course brings up osteoporosis and a million other things you've likely already tested for.

These bodies are great when you start off but damn they wear down when you get older! ;-)

I can't believe we haven't come up with a supplemental support implant that covers the entire spine. You could likely make it from medical plastic and pretty thin so it would be a support "sheath" so to speak. You could almost do a two-piece mirrored caterpillar affair that would screw together at the "feet".

The problem of course is getting it in there without breaking any nerves and fitting it in with the organs. And it would likely take a full micrometer measurement of the spinal sections to get it constructed right so it would support as well as protect. That is unless you could use a laser scanner to get the dimensions just right.

Sorry - the problems of an inventive mind. Sometimes it runs away from me. ;-)
lsaboe
May. 20th, 2010 10:05 pm (UTC)
yes, the hole in the dura was patched. i had to be flat on my back after surgery for 48 hrs to make sure i didn't blow the patch, which was hard as i was sick from anesthesia. kept thinking, "great. survived surgery then chocked on my vomit like a college freshman." lucky me, that didn't happen.

the wear & tear bit: i had a combination of things going on at L4/L5: osteoarthritis which thickened the openings to the sciatic nerves (both sides) and the central canal, herniated disks and spondylolisthesis, so that everytime i leaned forward, L4 would slip over L5, putting pressure on the central canal. and then of course, the tear which no one knew about until i was flayed open.

as for plastic replacements, i dunno. they could work, and i have heard that there's lots of innovation going on, but living bone is always better. problems are worse up in the cervical area because the nerves exiting the spine up there are not sheathed, so it gets super tricky to mess with.

but, you ought to look into all that stuff...fascinating for someone with your creativity.
nimitzbrood
May. 20th, 2010 10:10 pm (UTC)
Heh. I have tons of creativity but right now my motivation is what's lacking. :-(
nimitzbrood
May. 20th, 2010 09:13 pm (UTC)
Oh and never look up spinal surgery videos on YouTube if you don't have a strong stomach. I'm just saying...

Fortunately putting on a "Benny Grey" persona helps me there a bit. ;-)
lsaboe
May. 20th, 2010 10:07 pm (UTC)
heh. when i was researching this before the surgery, i found a webcam of MY surgeon performing my very surgery! i watched it. brni tried but turned green and told me to tell him how it all turned out. after watching it (it was only about an hour of a three hour surgery), i felt confident that i had the best doctor working on me.
(yes, my stomach, she is strong)
nimitzbrood
May. 20th, 2010 10:13 pm (UTC)
Cool! I always thought that if I got surgery I'd want a video record of it to watch later. But it's a horse a piece as to if a doctor is willing to be on camera while working due to liability issues.

That said for some reason this is the first time I've been able to watch said videos (in this case a scoliosis correction using bracing and screws) without having issues. I wonder if it's being older or having a kid that makes me less squeamish about it now.
lsaboe
May. 20th, 2010 11:07 pm (UTC)
i did ask the surgeon if we could record it, but he said no. the recording i saw was a webcam that was used as a teaching tool.

i dunno...i don't think i've ever been squeamish. i mean, yeah, if i see something gross, i go "eww" but i've assisted at veterinarian surgeries while in college and have no problem with administering first aid. when i was 5, my aunt went into labor and her water broke and there was bleeding. my mom and our neighbor were panicking. i grabbed a dish towel and shoved it between her legs, which i'm sure didn't help, but it snapped the women out of their panic, spurring them on to call the doctor.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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