Thursday, July 7, 2011

Getting Old Ain't For The Faint Of Heart

Lets start off with the weather. We have had fantastic weather since the 4th of July. Of course, because I am working Saturday, I have today off. The weather outlook....rain, partly cloudy.
I just don't get how that happens.

Getting old ain't for the faint at heart. I guess it is inevitable that as you age certain parts of the body tend to stop working or have issues due to misuse over the years. I have recently experienced some major pain in my left arm. I didn't have any of the other symptoms that go with the early heart attack warnings so I sort of tried to ignore it. Pain will not allow you to ignore it. At first it was my shoulder. Some soreness, like I might have pulled something. It hurt when I moved it and soon began to ache even laying still. This condition would come and go with no particular reason. Then came the shooting pain down the left upper arm. Pain like nothing I had felt before, right smack dab in the center of my upper arm. It was enough to make a grown man cry. It too, went away only to return for some unknown reason.

The Sunday before last was really bad so I called my doctors office and got a Monday afternoon appointment. After spending some time explaining my situation to the nurse and then the doctor it was determined that they needed to see some pictures of my upper spine. What? So off I go to xray to have a technician position me and shoot wonderful still shots of the internal workings of my skeletal system while filling me up with my yearly radiation requirement. An she was a good photographer, capturing the essence of my insides.

After the doctor spent some time examining her pictures he came to the conclusion that I have a collapsed disc. You can clearly see the difference between the one he calls collapsed and the others above it. There is only half the space between the bone. He assures me this is not an uncommon injury or deterioration for someone getting older as he was speaking. The compression of the disc causes issues with the nerve paths that travel through the spine which, in turn, irritates and causes the pain and aching. It turns out, nerves don't like to be pinched.

I have had recent experience with similar situations with two of my friends. One had surgery to correct the condition and came through it with no issues. He was back to work within three weeks. The other friend has been on leave for nearly six months, partially due to misdiagnosis.

My doctor has suggested I try physical therapy prior to any discussions of surgery. I have decided to go along with his suggestion and begin PT next Thursday. I am hoping to get away with no surgery.

Somewhere the sun is up...just not here. So, I will change my plans for the day and work on another set of teak chairs that kind of lost their luster after sitting on the back deck for the past two years.

Stay safe out there....Less that thirty days until we leave on your first trip in the new trailer.


  1. Better a disk than your heart, although a bad disk can be a painful experience. Hope the PT helps and you can avoid surgery.

  2. I hope your physical therapy will be a huge success and that you will be able to avoid the surgery.

    Thanks for following my blog and leaving a comment about my post about Highway 2. We've been on that part of the highway through Wenatchee and Leavenworth, in fact I celebrated my birthday in Leavenworth this year. See my blog from April 30 to read all about it: Our son is a state patrol trooper based in Monroe, so we're familiar with that area, too. Is your Gold Bar park the Thousand Trails park? We're not members, but we drove through there to take a look at it.

  3. Good luck on the PT and your retirement plans...
    Stay safe