A Silent Back

I’ve had this habit of cracking my fingers since I was a kid.  Then it gradually expanded to my toes. My mom was always annoyed and warned me about painful and swollen joints.  As a teen, I started to crack my spine.  Eventually I figured I could crack almost every joint in my body.

A few years ago, I stopped cracking my neck.  These past few days, I’ve stopped cracking my back.  The easiest way for me to crack my back is to simply lean back over my chair and with my arms behind my head, I pull it forward while pushing against the back.  I’m pretty sure this isn’t healthy for my muscles, ligaments and tendons.  But there is a satisfying release of pops that follow.

Here’s the odd thing.  When I see my chiropractor, the only joint that makes any sound is my neck.  My back only makes a wimpy pop when when it’s being adjusted.  It’s nothing like the loud pops I get at home.  I’ve mention this to my chiropractor.  He’s not sure why.  Maybe my back is so intimidated by this young, very handsome, muscular, Asian chiropractor – it’s just very quiet. Or maybe I’ve hyper extended my joints so much that it can’t crack normally.

I think I’ll have to slowly replace this back cracking with stretches.

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My back seized up on Saturday morning.  I was just getting ready to head to J’s place when everything just tightened up in a knot.  I had to hold on to the counter when I brushed my teeth.   My chiropractor was fully booked that day and the earliest I could get in was today (Monday).  I managed to do some stretches to ease the pain.  I knew I had some Ibuprofen.  But it’s harder to find it when you’re in pain.  Eventually I did and quickly downed a pill.  I had another one later that day.

That was it for me that day.  Stretching, sitting, walking around in slow motion and Ibuprofen.  Yesterday was better.  I could walk around in my condo and didn’t need Ibuprofen.  What is worrying me is I have an 8 hour car trip coming up in the weekend.  It’s for a wedding so I can’t get out of it.

And to top it off, I woke up with a bit of a stiff neck today.  I can’t wait for my chiropractor  to “crack” it.  You know what’s strange?  Whenever my chiropractor manipulates my back, there’s no cracking or popping noise.  I crack my own back (I know it’s a bad habit…) and have been doing that since my teens.  I told him that and I think it has probably messed up my back by overextending it or something like that.

I watched the Anthony Bourdain special on CNN last night.  It was a bit cathartic for me.  Today, the sky is blue and the sun is flexing its muscles.  I have a ton of things to do today so I hope I can get to those.

 

Sis problems

My sister’s health hasn’t been great.  She’s been to hospital a few times this year.  I’m sure part of the problem is her fitness and diet.  Like me, she doesn’t sleep well – perhaps less than I do.  I think I come from a family of insomniacs.  Whenever there is bad weather (rain, wind, thunder) – she doesn’t sleep.  She’s been like that since she was a kid.  On bad nights, when she’s stressed out – her blood pressure and heart goes crazy.  So I stay over.

I guess it works out that I’m not working.  All her blood work, heart, thyroid, urine have checked out so far.  It’s puzzling.  She has one more blood test to do.

Stay healthy everyone.  Go out for a walk.  Do some stretching.  Eat healthy.  Get some quality sleep.

It Was a Long Night

I spent the night at the emergency room of my neighbourhood hospital.  The hospital wasn’t far from my home and while I could have walked, I decided to take a cab.  Besides it was already past midnight.  The front door of the hospital was already closed when I got there so I went into the Emergency Room.  I’ve been here a few times before so I knew what to expect.

Within minutes, they triaged me, had my EKG done, got my paperwork done and led me past the patients waiting to get in.  Some were on stretchers – their ambulance attendants waiting patiently with them.   Heart problems gets you front of the line access to the ER.

The rest of the night was uneventful as they tried to figure out what I had.  Basically my heart started to race although it didn’t go as fast when I had previous problems with it.  The staff was good to me and patiently explained what was going on.  They were hesitant to give me the same medication as before because the symptoms exactly fit what I had before.  I had a bit of time to chat with a nurse.  When he found out I was in IT, he told me his family was all in IT except for him.  I told him he was the smart one.  We chatted a bit about travel and his work.  He had an easy going manner and a good sense of humour which helped to put me at ease.  I complimented him on that.

The ER was busy.  A man was swearing loudly.  The woman beside me had a stroke.  Another patient across from the hallway asked for a bedpan.  The bed I was on was narrow.  Another guy wanted water because he was very thirsty and got angry when he couldn’t have any.  Sometime in the middle of the night, the doctors decided to simply give me a double dose of a medication I was currently taking.  It took several hours for the meds to work.  Before I left, they told me they would follow up on me.  I got out around 6AM.

The sky was still dark and the air was cool.  The 2 coffee shops on the corner were just getting busy.  I passed by a deserted park on the other side of the street.  The elderly Chinese women haven’t come out yet for their Tai Chi exercises.  A skunk wandered out from the park to the edge of the sidewalk. It kept walking in the same direction.  I kept my eye on it just in case it tried to cross the street to say hi to me.

I took a nap later in the morning.  My sleep patterns were all messed up.  I made a couple of appointments, did some chores and just took it easy for the day.   J came by for dinner. I feel fine now but I need to find out what caused this.

 

 

It Will Probably Be a Long Lunch

I just got off the phone with an ex-colleague.  It was a very long call – over 90 minutes.  She called me earlier in the day while I was walking home but I missed it.  The odd thing is that I was thinking of her yesterday.  She called again when I got home.  We always got along very well at work but we have never met each other.  We did eventually meet for lunch and had a wonderful time.

She asked me how I was doing and I gave her a quick update.  Her voice though sounded a bit slurred.  Was she drinking?  Then she told me that when she went in to check on her migraines, they told her she has an unruptured brain aneurysm.  Because of where it is in her brain, it is very difficult, if not impossible to treat.  The doctors said it could rupture in a week or a year, there’s just no way to tell.  So she’s been running around trying to settle her affairs.  I listened as she calmly went on talking about the doctors, the insurance forms, work, her family, her funeral plans and her dog.  She spoke about her life, her parents, her brother who passed away at 18 in a car accident and all the questions she still had about life.

She told me while she was doing all of this, she heard her guardian angel reminding her to connect with old friends.  So I was one of the people she called.  As we were winding down, I asked if there was anything I could do for her.  She asked to have lunch with her and so that’s what we’re gonna do in a couple of weeks.

Aging Body

My body has been out of rhythm for awhile now.  I’ve had foot problems since my 20s and had to wear orthotics to address pronation problems my flat feet.   Now I’ve got some pain in one of the joints of my second toe (capsulitis).  I had it last year but it went away when I got new orthotics and new shoes.  My podiatrist suggested getting new shoes again with more cushioning in the midsole and less toe lift.  The orthotics are still in decent shape.  It can be painful walking sometimes and unlike last summer, my daily morning walks has stopped and my weight is slowly climbing back up. It’s just so frustrating.

My shoulder and thumb are slowly healing.  Once it fully heals, I can start lifting some weights.  I had an eye infection (stye) but thanks to some antibiotic eye drops, this is now going away.  I also have a bit of a stomach flu but it was mild compared to the food poisoning I picked up Singapore.   Hopefully it be gone by the weekend.

I need to find the fountain of youth.

Shouldering Some Pain

I’ve visited my chiropractor twice recently. My back was giving me some problems and I also have pain in my shoulder and thumb.  My doctor told me to get some physiotherapy.  Since I was seeing my chiropractor about my stiff back, I showed him the diagnosis from my doctor and asked if he could also help.  So my chiropractor worked on my back, shoulders and thumb for about 45 mins.

It’s always a bit awkward for me to see him.  He’s young, Chinese, incredibly good looking, muscular and always looks like he just stepped out of a fashion shoot.  I try not to tense up when he touches me.  He held my hand while he worked on my thumb which made me swoon a bit.  While he was holding my hand and making small talk, he mentioned an upcoming vacation with his girl friend.  I think this is what straight guys do to make sure there are no “misunderstandings”.

I have a date an appointment with him again this week.  On a more serious note, I hope my shoulder will heal.  I can’t figure out what I did to injure it though.