Worst Day of My LIfe
I thought it was about time to add a post, and due to the relatively recent changes in my lifestyle, I’ve Lost around 50 pounds! Some folks have asked me “Dude, …were you eating?”. I laugh, because I have been eating, very well in fact. I just educated myself about the right foods to eat, when to eat them, regular exercise, and decided….. it was time.
The big catalyst for me was back in September of this past year (2009). I had been working out in the yard a lot, including moving 3-4 truck loads of dirt into the back yard to fill a troublesome pond for preparation for sod back there.
1. Shovel dirt from truck to wheelbarrow
2. ‘Barrow the dirt from the driveway to the back yard and dump.
3. Spread the dirt around, and Slam it into the ground with a heavy iron tool to build a good base for the sod.
So, my lower back was starting to hurt. It all came to climax when while at the local dogpark, I bent down just a bit to clean and fill the water dish, and BAM! I felt that horrible sharp pain in my back, ..I had (again) pinched a nerve. The amount of pain is difficult to describe. The only thing I think might compare is being stabbed in the back with Crocodile Dundee’s knife.
The load of just standing causes horrible pain and you’re not sure what to do to relieve it. Do you lie down in hopes that the decrease in pressure will make it subside? Risking maybe not being able to get up? Do you stay straight in the hopes that no bending will help it to calm down? It’s a horrible feeling. Fortunately, somehow, I was able to get Kumo back onto the leash and waddle home.
The Next Morning is a day I will never forget.
As I woke up, I could feel that my back was very sore. Not a good sign I thought to myself, ..typically those first moments as you wake up are the best your back will be that day. So, I could feel sharp discomfort as I tried to get myself sitting up. Once I managed that ,I realized that as soon as I tried to put any weight on my right foot (right side back pain), I had to immediately lie down again. Anna was at work, and my phone was downstairs….Shit.
It was then that I also realized I had a migraine headache…pulsing, aching, …hot. So, knowing that I wasn’t going to do anything upstairs, and I had a dog downstairs in a crate that needed to go out…
…I crawled. I crawled from our uptsairs bedroom, down the hallway, down the stairs backwards, over to his crate, let him out, over to the back sliding glass door, and let him go outside to TCB (Take care of Business, we tell him to ‘Get Busy’, he knows what to do), all the while my head is POUNDING, …I finally break down and am actually tearing up from the pain.
I manage over to the sofa, and roll myself up onto it and lie down. My phone was on the table in front of it. I call Anna to tell her what’s going on. At that moment, I had no idea I’d be stuck on the couch for a month.
I had ruptured my L5-S1 disc in my lower back, and there was a moderate sized protusion putting (a lot of) pressure on the nerve root (…..ouch).
Finally, relief came when I started taking Celebrex (a very strong non-steroidal anti-inflamatory pill), and it came fast. In several days, I was up walking around again. Made a doctor’s visit up north, and he said one of the things I could do was to get a shot in my lower back of Steroids (Cortisone), which was much stronger than anything i could take orally. Anxiously, I agreed to the procedure (done on 10/17/09). Although I was very nervous while I was on that operating room table, on my stomache, with an undoubtedly massive needle looming over my L5-S1, ..it made all the difference.
I was mobile again and not on Celebrex (good for short time, bad long term, can cause vascular problems, heart attack, stroke…ya know, bad stuff). During that week, I decided, I was going to make a lifestyle change. Get my body fat under control, build up my core muscles (abs, back, surrounds), and get fit and stay fit, for life, including what I eat. I may not be able to fix my back completely, but there are things I can control.
When I first went in to the doctor after the disc rupture, their doctors scale read 253 (WHAT! Two Hundred and fifty three pounds! I’m 6’2″, but that is ….well…fat..). Today? I weigh:
200lbs (~3 months later).
The blog entries that follow this one will be about how I did it, and the tools that have brought me success.
My back still hurts a little now, think I may need another shot, but I’m healthier than I’ve ever been during my adult life.