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Old 01-05-2014, 09:56 PM   #533
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Good thing she knows you are a lawyer or you'd get sued for malpractice.

Pat
She doesn't have a case—I did as good a job taping her toe as any nurse.

Gene
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Old 01-13-2014, 07:21 PM   #534
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It is not the most fun to have a doctor stick needles in your vertebra, suck out fluids and then squirt in steroid mixture. But first, squirt in lidocaine (local anesthetic)—the needles hurt a little, sort of like when a dentist does it. But the fluids create pressure and I could feel that, and the steroid mix creates more pressure and the nerve reacted by some nasty pain far away in my right ankle and shin. Fortunately, the other side wasn't painful.

The whole thing was less than an hour and only 15 minutes for the needles. There was a lot of fluid taken out and that is good. If he can't get fluid out, or very little, this doesn't work and you go to the next step—surgery to take out the cysts (with or without fusing). And even if it works, the cysts can fill up again. But the first stopper (no fluid or very little) is past and we wait to see what happens.

I looked up this procedure and found some recommend to just get the surgery, others say do the least invasive things first. I'm with the latter.

So it takes a few days for the steroids to work and the local anesthetic is wearing off (ibuprofen may help). Right now my left side feels better than in many months, my right side is sore, but the pain in my ankle is lessening. I really won't know how well this works for several weeks and there's always a chance the cysts will refill.

So with my pain and inability to stand very long last week, I only installed a door and the utility sink with a tile backsplash. I figured I'd better take it easy. After we got back today, I finished the door (wet sand the last coat of polyurethane, take the plastic off the glass, installed handle). I took it easy again. Tomorrow, measure for paneling, start putting it up and sand the untreated panels and put first coat of urethane on them. We also have to grout the backsplash. They tell me the worst in when the anesthetic wears off completely and the steroids haven't taken effect yet, so why don't they do the steroid first, several days before?

Maybe we'll go to a movie tonight. Lots of good movies are out and we could go every day for a week to catch up.

You would be locked in a cell without any connection to the outside world not to know recreational marijuana has been available in some Colorado stores for almost 2 weeks. Everyone is driving very slowly and bakeries can't keep up with the demand for cookies. People show up for work 2 hours late and can't remember what they are supposed to do. It is just like being old.

Gene
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Old 01-13-2014, 07:38 PM   #535
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It is not the most fun to have a doctor stick needles in your vertebra, suck out fluids and then squirt in steroid mixture. But first, squirt in lidocaine (local anesthetic)—the needles hurt a little, sort of like when a dentist does it. But the fluids create pressure and I could feel that, and the steroid mix creates more pressure and the nerve reacted by some nasty pain far away in my right ankle and shin. Fortunately, the other side wasn't painful.

The whole thing was less than an hour and only 15 minutes for the needles. There was a lot of fluid taken out and that is good. If he can't get fluid out, or very little, this doesn't work and you go to the next step—surgery to take out the cysts (with or without fusing). And even if it works, the cysts can fill up again. But the first stopper (no fluid or very little) is past and we wait to see what happens.

I looked up this procedure and found some recommend to just get the surgery, others say do the least invasive things first. I'm with the latter.

So it takes a few days for the steroids to work and the local anesthetic is wearing off (ibuprofen may help). Right now my left side feels better than in many months, my right side is sore, but the pain in my ankle is lessening. I really won't know how well this works for several weeks and there's always a chance the cysts will refill.

So with my pain and inability to stand very long last week, I only installed a door and the utility sink with a tile backsplash. I figured I'd better take it easy. After we got back today, I finished the door (wet sand the last coat of polyurethane, take the plastic off the glass, installed handle). I took it easy again. Tomorrow, measure for paneling, start putting it up and sand the untreated panels and put first coat of urethane on them. We also have to grout the backsplash. They tell me the worst in when the anesthetic wears off completely and the steroids haven't taken effect yet, so why don't they do the steroid first, several days before?

Maybe we'll go to a movie tonight. Lots of good movies are out and we could go every day for a week to catch up.

You would be locked in a cell without any connection to the outside world not to know recreational marijuana has been available in some Colorado stores for almost 2 weeks. Everyone is driving very slowly and bakeries can't keep up with the demand for cookies. People show up for work 2 hours late and can't remember what they are supposed to do. It is just like being old.

Gene
Sorry you're feeling poorly. I hope you noticed the two highlighted portions of your post.
In light of the second highlighted paragraph, I don't know why the first highlighted phrase was even included. You can do it, dude.

As an inspiration, I'm happy to let you know that because of my surgery a few months ago and the subsequent rehab, I am now sincerely 110% of what I thought was great before. Just keep at it.

Ken
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Old 01-14-2014, 07:12 AM   #536
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Yikes, Gene!



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Old 01-14-2014, 09:41 AM   #537
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As the anesthetic wears off, strangeness abounds—much pain last night for a while, then much better by morning. Relatively little pain in my back (the feeling of fullness where gallons of steroids were pumped in is gone), somewhat more pain in my legs than my back, especially my right one. But I don't feel stiff and bent over—gotta walk tenderly on my right leg, but the aggregate pain is far less. One of the things about chronic pain is you slowly adjust, not realizing how debilitating and exhausting it is. It also makes me angry out of the frustration of not being able to be normal and the feeling of vulnerability. Pain makes it harder to have a good attitude about life. This morning I feel like I've been released from some sort of pain prison.

And we live in a culture where you are supposed to ignore pain and those that suffer are seen as lesser beings. If you don't see an injury, it doesn't count. Back issues are downgraded by many, and many of them are docs. Pain meds are hard to get, so people have found other solutions, some of which work much better and don't make you stupid like prescription pain meds. I am proud to live in a state where we have alternatives.

So I want to work and work on the basement room where we have been bogged down for months and I've been working slower and slower. I am sure I will overdo it—I always do, and have setbacks, then keep going.

I'm thinking about traveling—I've been afraid I wouldn't be able to. The Airstream sits out there beckoning.

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Old 01-14-2014, 11:05 PM   #538
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After a day of working—some paper work, then sanding panels, grouting the backsplash and a variety of other tasks, I feel great, better than I have felt in many months. Sanding panels has special import to me because it was when sanding panels 29 years ago I blew out a few disks. Now I make sure the sawhorses are much higher so there's less bending. I am walking straighter, and while there's still pain, there's a lot less than even this morning. I feel energized.

I don't—really, can't—know whether this will last, but I sure like it now.

Gene
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Old 01-14-2014, 11:19 PM   #539
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After a day of working—some paper work, then sanding panels, grouting the backsplash and a variety of other tasks, I feel great, better than I have felt in many months. Sanding panels has special import to me because it was when sanding panels 29 years ago I blew out a few disks. Now I make sure the sawhorses are much higher so there's less bending. I am walking straighter, and while there's still pain, there's a lot less than even this morning. I feel energized.

I don't—really, can't—know whether this will last, but I sure like it now.

Gene
Is this improvement with or without MJ, or is that classified?

Ken
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Old 01-15-2014, 07:35 AM   #540
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Glad to hear you're feeling better, Gene.

Hope it lasts, but don't get crazy and overdo!


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Old 01-15-2014, 09:04 AM   #541
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Of course I overdue it. Type A's cannot be stopped. I am realizing just how much the pain has affected me in the past few years—it creeps up and slowly builds. Standing more than a few minutes now feels like a great victory. Back is a little sore, legs a bit sensitive—nerves have been traumatized for a long time and will take time to settle down. Maggie, I think the part about needles made you say "yikes". Fortunately needles don't usually bother me, but some of those were a bit hard to take. Anytime you fill a joint with something (steroids in this case), it is going to feel weird and sometimes they hit a minor pain nerve and you jump. I can think of thousands of things I'd rather do than lie on a table with someone putting needles in my back, but if it works, it is worth it. Needles are better than scalpels any day.

Gotta finish more panels and prepare for putting up paneling today plus go to see about ordering some doors for the kitchen cabinets—we want to put in some with glass to break up the ugly doors. Eventually we'll paint the others (too much white). We thought of just removing all the upper cabinet doors—did that with the ones we will replace. It looks good without doors, but some of the cabinets have vents going through them and others have screwed up backs, so we can't do that.

And we want to go to a movie this afternoon. Lots of good movies out and we are missing them. We keep talking about movies and are always too tired to go.

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Old 01-15-2014, 09:14 AM   #542
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Actually, it all made me go yikes,

I had a bone marrow test once....the biggest needle I had ever seen.

Still......try to pace yourself...says one type A to another.



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Old 01-15-2014, 10:07 AM   #543
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I had a bone marrow test once....the biggest needle I had ever seen.

Maggie
Yeh, I've heard of those. Fortunately, I couldn't see what they were sticking in my back, but given the narrow spaces in spines, it couldn't be too big.

My funniest needle story is when a doctor was using one on me for something and then stuck herself with it. I guess accidentally sticking yourself with a needle that has been used on a patient is fairly common. That meant she and I had to get an AIDS test—routine. She hated needles and when someone else took her blood she looked pretty scared. I loved it. When they took my blood, I told her "relax, it's nothing".

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Old 01-18-2014, 12:17 PM   #544
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Still functioning—every few hours what hurts and what doesn't changes. The steroids' effect in reducing inflammation can take weeks before I feel a significant difference. I don't know how to tell if the cysts have re-filled except by suffering extreme pain. I wish I knew the outcome, but so far it seems to be ok. I'm still working on the house, though today is a rest day back at the old house. We've got almost all the panels finished so they can be installed—prep work always takes the most time. I installed 25% of the finished panels in about an hour while Barb was putting polyurethane on another bunch of them. After paneling, installing baseboard, trim around door and sink, some ceiling molding and two other folding doors and the room is done. Then we can move the combination weight machine there and start working out again. The light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter.

Next would be the master bedroom plus some other things—we ordered new doors for 2 kitchen cabinets—we will get glass installed in them and they will brighten up the kitchen. The rest of the drawers and doors will be painted, or I'll make new drawer fronts (pretty easy) and just paint the doors. We need knobs and drawer pulls too—nice ones are expensive, but make a big difference. The original ones do not have them and are not too easy to open. There's a dining room light fixture that a friend made for us that needs to be installed—not an easy install, but it has gotten put on the very full back burner.

We did get to see 2 movies, Saving Mr. Banks and Inside Llewyn Davis. Maybe if either of us had ever seen Mary Poppins we'd understand it better. Some good acting, especially by Emma Thompson, but I didn't care for it that much. Llewyn Davis is a Coen Bros. movie and thus quirky and complex. It seemed to have a David Lynch influence. This is not an easy movie—dark (the weather is always bad) and there's little to identify with. If you know NYC (I went grad school where the movie is set a few years after the time the movie is set in), certainly you'll recognize a lot of the scenes and feel of the movie. I think it is the best movie I've seen in quite a while, but it will get few awards because it is not simple entertainment (like Gravity—good effects, weak story, poor science, big stars). We spent hours talking about it and figuring out what was going on. We've seen American Hustle (very good, clever story, lots of cleavage, good acting, best con-man movie I've seen in a while) and Wolf of Wall St. (better entertainment than Gravity, felt like I've seen the same story before, lots of times). Awards tend to go to blockbusters and entertainment movies, not ones that require thinking. Still want to see Nebraska and Her. Might go to see the Hobbit 2 if we need a quest movie, but Hobbit 1 was far too long and boring. At the time I pledged never to see another Hobbit movie, but I can be flexible on certain days.

Now if we would get some showings on the house—of people we know who have been trying to sell ethe sellers of another house have dumped another realtor and now trying to sell it themselves. The good thing is of the 3, we are the least expensive, but, of course, there are other houses priced lower, but fewer of them. It isn't easy to sell in Colorado in mid-winter, but we've done it and so have others. Still looking for that person who falls in love with the house and can act on it. We've had some close calls, but no cigar.

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Old 02-05-2014, 10:19 PM   #545
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Snow has returned to western Colorado after weeks and weeks of dry weather. If you have a well like us, you have to love snow. Sometimes that love is tested. Besides being used by a snowblower, I've had to cut some firewood since we are really low on it.

But we have almost finished the basement room—just have to install some molding, threshold for the French door and install 2 bifold doors. I don't like bifolds, but they save a lot of space because they don't take as much space when opened. So far as my back is concerned, the right side is pretty good, the left not so much, but much better than it was. So I can walk farther and stand longer and can work longer. Removing snow or using a chainsaw does not make my back happy, but I'm getting along and pain isn't dominating my life. Compensating for pinched nerves makes muscles operate differently as my body tries to avoid pain—the result is that muscles are doing things they aren't designed to do leading to quick exhaustion. There's less of that too. There is plenty of deterioration in my spine, so I'll never be young again (I really thought I could be).

We're going to Santa Fe for 5 nights of rest and (New) Mexican food, so we'll see how well I can do. I have no trouble driving and am pretty flexible, so life continues. I have learned how destructive chronic and severe pain can be. It takes hold and it is easy to have a very bad attitude because of feeing so vulnerable. It is not easy to live with someone with severe pain and it takes an understanding and loving spouse and fortunately I have one. Even when I knew I was seeing things darkly and was very worried about my future, it was very hard to not react negatively. I hope my left side gets better—sometimes it can take more time. I am trying to avoid surgery so I am taking the most conservative approach. The odds are not good and the doctor who drained the cysts is skeptical, but admitted there is still a small chance the left side will get better.

The new house feels more and more like home except for not having our favorite furniture. We are spending more time there every month and like being closer to things we want and need. It is hard to sell a house in mid-winter Colorado, especially when it snows a lot. We are hopeful for the spring since the housing market is improving. But if the country defaults on the debt, all bets are off.

Meanwhile we found some bargains—oak beadboard we will use in the hallways (half price), a snow blade for the riding mower, also half price (we'll use that at the old house until we sell it), beetle kill ponderosa paneling (it has an attractive blue stain in places) at about 85% the cost of aspen paneling, curtains for the basement windows marked way down and a vacuum for $50, retail $125 (Barb worked that one; she's learned well). We go to the big box stores all the time and keep on the lookout for bargains. It pays to think ahead so you know when to buy something well before you need it. Not quite as pleasing at scoring an FJ Cruiser with 600 miles on it for about $6,000 off MSRP. But cool anyway.

Once the basement room is finished (we'll build the closet behind the bifolds later), we go upstairs to the hallway which connects the master bedroom, public bathroom, office and great room and also has a laundry closet. It gets beadboard and new southwest style doors. Then the bedroom gets more sconces for lighting and other electrical work, a soffit, the ponderosa paneling and new moldings plus another door. It is easier to finish the bedroom before we have all our furniture than to do the living/dining area (great room) right away.

We've had about 30" of snow at the new house so far and most of it stays between storms, compacted and frozen so it stays 'til late spring. Too cloudy and cold for much to evaporate and keeping up with the driveway has been an effort. Without 4WD we would have a problem getting up the driveway after being away for several days while it snowed more. The back deck collects a lot of snow and then when it melts, it turns to ice and is hard to keep clean. We need to figure out a solution to that—an extended roof would be very costly and end up too low; heating the deck from underneath would be very expensive, and shoveling isn't something we can do forever.

Below some photos of the basement room.

Gene

1. The south end of the room with new French door, aspen paneling, new utility sink and much of the moldings and finished tile floor.

2. The north end with treadmill, bargain curtains, and hole where the bifolds will go. The combination weight training machine will fit on the left side and Barb's sewing table on the window wall.
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Old 02-05-2014, 10:36 PM   #546
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Sounds pretty level-headed to me, Gene, as chronic pain has it's own pace and demands (I had to ask my wife to leave me alone as irrationality crept in quickly at times). Glad the vision for the new house is other than abstract, that it is concrete at the level of "stuff" easily obtained at the chain stores. That is satisfying in my experience (and good for pointing the pain towards, in a manner of speaking). Always enjoy the installments in this thread, so, Best wishes . . . .
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