The Long Road Back

What’s been going on with Big Mike?  Well that is a loaded question….

Some of you may remember back towards the end of the summer, The Life Of Jamie caused me to break my ankle.  I still say she put that rock under my foot to make me fall. I still won the competition though……

Anyway, I tried to use my ankle the way it was after I gave it time to heal but didn’t like how it was coming a long.

I just completed physical therapy on my ankle, YAY!  It is not what it used to be but there was not much else the therapist could do to bring me along.  Outside of the normal movement therapy and electrical stimulus, she utilized this weird new thing I have never heard of, ASTYM.  Basically its a tool assisted tissue massage.  It was great in the ending weeks of my treatment.  I think it really helped.  My only drawback to having this done was that I have very sensitive feet.  So when the tools had to be dragged across the sole of my foot… wasn’t pretty.  But I’m still glad I had it done.  Currently I’m still waiting for the perfect day to road test my healed paw.

Of course after my therapy ended I got really sick again.  Stupid stomach virus, the Norovirus.  After a week of that nonsense and losing 15 lbs I am now in physical therapy for my neck.  Yup, it’s bothering me again.  I’m going down the list of things I can do for it besides surgery.  Unfortunately, surgery is the next and last thing on this list.  I, we, all know this therapy won’t cure my ailing neck but so far it has loosened my neck muscles as well as my pectorals which is causing a more relaxed sensation in the damaged area.  The stretches and movements I’m doing make it seem as if I’ve never used my neck properly to begin with.  I’m happy with the results so far……

After therapy today I went to the store and bought myself a juicer!  Mmmmmmmm goodness!  My first concoction was a pear, lime and lemon juice.  Wow, was it amazing!  Tomorrow I have a carrot, apple, parsley, spinach juice on tap.

Who’s a juicer out there?  Share some of your favorite ingredient combos with me please.  I am hooked on the juice.



My Poor Body

So today is the day after my birthday and I figured why not start another 90 day go around of P90X to fight the effects of aging.  Well, that was the idea anyway.  After a few hundred pushups, a hundred pullups and however may situps I did with the Ab Ripper X my body began to hate me.  The first thing to really get me was my neck….

Yeah, that is me in this x-ray.  My poor ole neck is a little out of whack.  I actually have two herniated discs that, well, never healed.  This is a fairly old injury.  It bothers me from time to time.  When it gets really bad my left arm goes a little numb and I get sharp shooting pains from my neck to my fingers and down my back.  I have a decrease in strength in my left side which makes working out interesting.  About 9 months ago I had an epidural steroid injection in my neck.  It worked for almost 2 months.  What is a guy supposed to do?  Some Motrin and a heating pad is basically all I can do while avoiding surgery.

Then all of a sudden my lower back started to hurt.  I don’t get it but I blame the situps for that pain.  It has to be, right?  And out of nowhere my left foot started to hurt and I didn’t even run today.

I have stress fractures in both of my feet.  The same bone (5th metatarsal), in the same place, happened a year apart from each other to the day.  I always found that weird.  I never thought such a little bone could cause so much pain.  They still hurt when I run.  But the good thing is, I can tell when it is going to rain….. 🙂

In high school I had an umbilical hernia.  That sucker hurt!  I ignored it for a while.  I still remember how it happened.  I was doing squats and just couldn’t come up.  Stupid me kept lifting then went for a run.  After the run, I had blood on my shirt where my belly button is.  I looked but didn’t see where it was coming from.  It wasn’t flowing so it must not be that bad.  A few days passed and I start to smell this foul odor.  It was embarrassing because I was at that age where I was very aware of the girls around.  I had no idea if they could smell what I smelled too.  It almost smelled like I pooped my pants (not that I have done that).  But I knew if the aftermath in the bathroom could peel wallpaper, this is probably not a good thing to have linger around while trying to attract a girl.  I think what made me speak up was after I couldn’t bend over anymore and the smell got worse.  If you don’t know what an umbilical hernia is, it is a tear in the stomach muscles.  If it’s bad enough it will allow your intestines to pop out .  Luckily they didn’t come bursting out like Sigourney Weaver’s worst nightmare.  That whole episode almost made me miss my senior year playing lacrosse.

Oh lacrosse, my weakness and sport of choice.  I had more injuries from that than anything else I have ever done.  I had to have leg surgery because of it.  I played defense and was a very active person on the field in terms of defending my goal.  I would jump in front of shots and get hit in various places that didn’t have pads.  I was repeatedly hit in my right shin by shots game after game.  I was hit so many times it damaged a major vein in my leg.  It looked like the Incredible Hulk trying to escape from my shin.  Not that you want to know but I had to have 6 ft. of vein stripped from my right leg because of it.

Well, 5-6 moths ago I had another surgery on the same leg to fix another bad vein.  Thankfully technology has advanced and I was only down and out for a few days.  I just had another surgery 3 weeks ago, this time on my left leg.  It turns out I just have bad valves in the major veins in my legs that don’t shut off the blood from flowing.  The pain during my recovery from these surgeries kinda sucks.  The actual vein was closed off from my shin to my groin.  And as the vein accepts this being done, it feels like a bad groin pull with each step.  Which makes running so much fun!

Well there are a few things no one ever wanted to know about me.  But I shared them away.

If you are having a bad day at the gym just think of my issues and finish strong while being thankful that you are not me.

Now go workout!

Don’t Worry, It Comes With Instructions (Part 2)

So at the end of Part 1 I left you just after I got my IV.  And I had received some great comments about that experience.  I told The Life of Jamie a joke that I told the IV lady, which may have caused her first missed stick.  And little did I know how relevant that joke was going to be for the next hour or so of my life.

Here’s The Joke:

A guy walks in to a psychiatrist’s office covered only in Saran Wrap.

He says to the doctor, “I’ve felt so weird lately, Doc, can you tell me what’s wrong?”

The doctor replied, “Well, I can clearly see your nuts!”

Insert Your Laugh Here….

It was now time to head back to the procedure room and get NAKED!  Hell yeah!  Nothing can go wrong when your naked…..(Isn’t that right, Chrystalyn from The Future of Hope?)  This is where I realized two different phenomena at the same time.

1) The more of your naked body that has to be on the table, the colder the table is.

2) When you are naked in front of other people (meaning not just yourself and significant other) there are different levels of embarrassment.  This I think should be investigated further, and I did……

Since this was the second time doing this procedure with this same doctor and crew, I figured it was a good time for a human behavior experiment.  Not that I had a choice.  I was stuck on a table with people around me (all women).  I just figured I might as well watch people instead of trying to avoid looking at what was being done to my leg.

So here I am behind a curtain getting undressed and listening to the one lady give me instructions to get naked and hop on the table.  I was like, OK.  Then she said there should be a paper cover on the table to cover myself with.  I saw this Kleenex type thing on the table, was that it?  That’s not gonna hide anything.  Then I looked further down the table and there was this rough, scratchy paper thing folded up.  If that’s not it, too bad cause that’s what I’m using.  Besides being like a cheap piece of toilet paper from a public bathroom, it was also fairly see through too.  I guess it was a good thing I shaved my legs.  How embarrassing would that have been, right?

Well, I’m laying there with the translucent saran wrap cover and all these women are coming in staring at me.  I was like OK, why are we all in here and why are you looking at me like that?  It turns out I didn’t realize how see through this paper shroud was.  I didn’t really care because my mind was on not puking since I was still woozy and sweaty from the IV incident.  So what if they can see my Tentacle of Love!  Enter Experiment….

So I was watching how each person looked at me and then I measured my embarrassment.  I used a 1-10 scale to measure my embarrassment if you are wondering.  The first lady that came in was the one yelling at me through the curtain.  She had to of been 60 something.  When she came in and looked she had this expression of hmm seen it, been there, done that, bought the t-shirt.  It didn’t seem like a big deal to her so I rated my embarrassment at a level 3 for her.

The next girl to come in was the prep nurse.  She was the youngest of them all, Mid 20-30 ish.  I think this was the most embarrassing because she was the one that got to scrub my leg with some disinfectant soapy stuff .  This required her to lift my leg up and down and do around the groin.  I had to switch my mind to things like cold water, Betty White, and blood (ugh) to keep from further embarrassment.  She was professional and all that but I know there was a bit of embarrassment on her end too which made my embarrassment more.  I rate her at a 9 not a 10 only because she was a professional.

Then there were two other girls to come in.  They were both 40-50 ish.  At this point I was like, OK so who is texting the other offices to take a field trip and come by?  It turns out the one was an equipment operator and the other must have been an assistant of some type but she kinda just stood around.  Their stares were a bit longer than the older lady.  I couldn’t help myself but look down at my cover to see if it was even still on.  But not that it mattered, stupid cheap medical paper.  I gave them a rating of 7 1/2 because there were two of them at once.

As you can see there were different reactions by the different aged women but there were also different internal thoughts of mine too.  I was definitely more embarrassed with the younger girl.  Then the old lady was kind of disappointing.  Almost like an ego buster.  She didn’t really care.  I was like but I’m right here….see!  The last couple of ladies were more interested but still didn’t make me fell like Fabio.

I guess my take away from this experiment is that women don’t look at me like filet mignon but more like beef jerky.

To be continued………