My Most Recent QSO's

Friday, April 12, 2013

Deja Vu

I'm beginning to feel like the star character in the movie "Groundhog Day" where every day repeats itself with an uncanny predictability. I wonder how many times by back is going to repeat it's star performance of a few years ago?

My current problems started about six weeks ago when my left foot experienced a malady called "plantar fasciitis". It's a painful inflammation of the tendons on the bottom of the foot. I hobbled around in pain for weeks before anti inflammatory medicine, aspirin based cream, stretching exercises, and new arch supports in my shoes were about to offer me some relief.

As I mentioned earlier, I have a degenerative disc condition, which, about five years ago, put me in a wheelchair for a couple of months. At the time, the pain was so intense, it made walking, or even standing for long periods of time impossible. I feel like I'm going through the exact same thing this time, but the sciatica pain is extending down my right side. So far, the pain is stopping just below the knee.

During the last 30 years, I've had problems with my back several times. One of the reasons I quit working on "heavy equipment" was the wear and tear on my body. I chuckle when I hear people talk about doing a "hard days work". They've obviously never changed the "tracks" on a D9 bulldozer, the hydraulic cylinders on a monster end loader, or a starter on a 150 ton "off highway truck".

I had some x-rays done yesterday but I'm not sure they will show anything except the extensive arthritis in my lower back. I've know about that for many years, and my doctor and I have both joked about the "golden years" where we just can't do the same things we used to do, when we were 20 years younger.

It will take a MRI to view how bad the discs are distorted this time, but for now, I'm taking some heavy duty pain medication, muscle relaxants, and anti-inflammatory medicine. I'm also using a "tens" unit. It's an electronic device which allows very high voltage, but very low amperage electrical current, to interrupt the nerve pathway up my spine. It does this with adhesive electrodes just above my waist.

All these things are helping a bit, so for now, the course is not to "move" any more than necessary, stay off my feet as much as possible, and hope the inflammation and pain to eases up a bit. I hope to start physical therapy afterwards.

I should hear from my doctor on Monday about the x-rays, and I intend to order a new "wheelchair". I'm not the kind of person that can sit around doing nothing, and wallow in misery. The wheelchair will enable me to move around town and visit the local bookstore. It's also more comfortable to use with the radio.

I've still been able to make DX contacts regularly. You can view my contacts from my log book on the QRZ site.

Today marks my 89th day of making at least one DX contact per day.


Dick said...

Hello John. I am so sorry to read of further developments in your your physical problems. Keep your chin up and deal as best you can with your present condition.

If you must go to an electric wheelchair, don't forget to employ mobile QRP.

I wonder if there are any groups out there that are so engaged. That is, mobile from a wheelchair situation.

At any rate, Good luck, and as I will be back in the USA for a while soon, perhaps a QSO 0n 14.060 one day.

73 Dick

VE9KK said...

Good morning John, you seem to have a very good idea of what is going on in your body and that is more than half the battle. Years back I did have the planter in my on heal and it was not pleasant at all. But some meds took it away. I do have degenerative disk but in my neck (C4-C6) It's not even as close to what you are experiencing at all. I go to physcio every week sometime twice a week to keep it in check. I also see a chiropractor once a month an if things get bad once a week. One caution (something you already my know) I have learned is when on the pain med's......the pain my be masked by the meds but the problem is still there. Lots of folks take the meds and think all is well and go about their normal routine. The meds wear off and they are in worse shape. Keep us up to date and I sure can understand the difficulty spinal pain can be.
Keep us up dated

Jspiker said...

Hello Dick,

An electric wheelchair would actually be a good platform for QRP because of that great "deep cycle" battery. I'll look into it; but don't plan to go the "electric" route unless it appears that I will be "long term". I really doubt that...

I actually have a "handi-ham" number, and they're a great origination that specializes in this kind of stuff. They usually hang around the 7012 frequency.

I hope to get over this in a couple of months and be back to normal.

Jspiker said...

GM Mike,

I'm a fighter and will overcome this temporary problem.

I feel somewhat guilty that I've not been more persistent with my daily exercises.

I avoid pain medication, like the plague, and use it "only" as a last resort. Pain medication makes a big difference when I play cards, or try to follow a high speed CW operator. It makes it difficult to concentrate. The "tens" unit will accomplish the same goal without any side effects.

Sorry to hear you're having similar problems with your neck. Physical therapists are worth their weight in gold.

I'll keep everyone posted on my progress in the coming weeks.

KL8DX said...

John, I sure hope for a positive outcome and that you can be pain free (or as much as possible). I had (have) the same problem with a foot and then I had it in both! I had steroid injections and that was not fun. But, I have not had a flare up for awhile so I tread lightly. Good luck and keep DX'n!

Jspiker said...

Hello Phil,

I've heard about the steroid injections and also surgery for for "bone spurs". They're both "last resorts" for me.

I still have a little tenderness in my left foot, so was "riding the bike" while it heals. Sadly, It appears even the bicycle is coming to a halt now.

Ahhhh...the golden years. Sometimes they really suck!