Thursday, November 8, 2007

Cigars. back pain, and other thoughts

Got out and walked a couple of miles this morning...all in the name of back pain, or lessening of same....will do so again later this afternoon. One thing about back pain/problems(this session is entering it's 2nd month), each day brings something new, and usually revised hope. Folks that never have had them(which included me until the late 1980s) usually have no clue has to how debilitating the problem can be....people who claim a bad back are usually looked at with disdain. But once you suffer from it, whether, like me from an old motorcycle accident(s), a hard working lifestyle, or just just being plain lazy and fat, once you "suffer" from it, you will not look at somebody with back problems the same.

As I had posted earlier when these problems popped up....I suffered from the problem for a 5 or 6 year period back in the 80s and early 90s....then, after being close to open back surgery, one shot of cortisone, ended the problem withing a matter of days....the problems did not reappear(except for a few minor spells) until this spring....then a month ago for some unknown reason they came back with a vengeance.....I have managed to deal with them thus far, with the help of a chiropractor....I'm not a big fan, but the insurance takes care of most of the bills, and the advice and treatments have given me a confidence to withhold any decision on laser or any other kind of back surgery until at least the end of the Christmas holiday season.....and for the most part, things are improving, and with the walking, the weight gain I had noticed has reversed, and starting back on the downward trend.

I've always had a pretty high threshold for pain, and that helps me get through it, along with Patricia, who when the morning aches are rough, helps me put on and tie the foot ware. Despite her overload at school this time of year, she has taken on the brunt of the housework, cooking, etc....I help out when I can...right now I'm taking a break from the housecleaning rest the back, but I don't sit for too long, and the work is standing and walking rather than sitting, so that how is the back? Better than it was 3 weeks ago, not as good as it was this past weekend....the key will be a trip to a conference in Akron(200 miles each way) next Wednesday and back home Thursday, and a trip to the VA Clinic taking my brother next Friday.....then the ride to Wisconsin for Thanksgiving the following week.....that all should test out how far I've come, and a glimpse of what may lie ahead.

Hoosier Transit called yesterday, Shawn, the manager, and dispatcher wanted to know how the back was, and if I was up to taking a quick RV run delivery to Orlando....well it needed to be there by tomorrow, at 1200 miles I declined....not ready for that far a drive in a short period, plus the 120 mile Jeep drive to get the RV, and the plane flight back from Florida....told him I'd call them after Thanksgiving....we will see how it holds up then.

During and after my original back problems, I became pretty involved in weight D.O. at the time was in favor of that type of rehab...I took it up with a pretty good workout schedule, and by the time I was 50 I could bench press 300 lbs...and was doing multiple sets 3 or 4 nights a week....most of the sets I did were back friendly.....even after I quit the local club, I continued to work out at home, but lowered the total weights lifted as I approached the ripe old age of 60(I turn 59 this coming March) with this new spell, the weight center sits empty and used only when Sam is home from his RV sessions.....I'm not sure when and if I will start up again...and when I do, it will have to be in a limited form, and the free weights will be a thing of the past....the Weider Gym will have to do.

Enough of that....


This time of year I usually put the cigars away, slow down on the beer drinking....this fall, since I won't be on the RV runs for awhile, and when I do return, not as often....I decided to enjoy cigars, even in the cold weather, and have switched from my usual Miller Lite, used to cool off in the summer, after a baseball double-header, or after officiating a hot weather football game. I'm am getting into the darker and more hearty type brews.....I've tasted about a half dozen different types, from Oktoberfest, to Pumpkin, to Dark Wheat, the Becks, the Killian Red, and my friend Garry's homebrew.....I have not decided on a favorite....but I am bound and determined to find one, or two, or thing about this type of beer, you don't need or want to drink too many in one sitting.

As far as cigars, I had been buying them at the local "Low Bob's" outlets...but decided to give my old supplier Cigar International an order:

Bought some of my usual, including the infamous CI "Mistakes" you can see from the photo, nothing wrong with these beauties, except the hand rolling was a little "off"...they ain't as "purdy" as the regular brand of Torpedo I smoke...but at $1.75 each, as opposed to $4 each....they work and draw just fine for me.....after my work is done inside, I will take a walk, come home and partake in one, with a nice "fall" type brew........

{PHOTOS...the CI Knock Off Mistakes in one of my favorite Humidors, and my old weight lifting station located in the darkest corner of my basement, sitting idle for now}


Mushy said...

You need to go find a cheap Ho to jerk the kink out of that back!

I used to buy Mac Seconds a lot...they are really pretty good. Like you say, the wrapper might be a little off, and one will be hard to draw, but overall, a good smoke.

Get better dude!

BRUNO said...

Not all "mistakes" are the same, that's for sure. I bought some "house-brand" mistakes once---and that was the LAST time, too! They really WERE mistakes! Hot, uneven burn, and damned near impossible to draw! Had some good Mac-mistakes once, but I still prefer the premos, if I'm gonna go broke doin' it!

Damn, dude! The first look at those weights I took, I thought ya' had a 9-inch Ford differential sittin' up there! Glad to hear you lightened-up the load on 'em---start payin' Sam to lift 'em for you, and take the credit...!

Shrink Wrapped Scream said...

I never knew how much I took my health for granted until I popped my back out last year. It's never been the same since, but for the most part, with exercise and the odd glass of wine, it's A-OK for everyday living. I NEVER want to be laid up as I was back then, and I have no idea how you manage to cope living with such constant pain. For someone used to leading such an active life, it must be doubly hard not to be able to do the stuff you love. So glad you've found some ways around it, I sure hope things ease up for you soon.

Anonymous said...

I fell off a ladder a couple of years ago, broke three ribs and messed up my back. I can sympathize with you, when your back is screwed up there isn't any little thing that doesn't involve pain, including just trying to lay down and rest.
I used to smoke cigars, they were the last thing the ships store ran out of so when all the other devil weed was gone everybody smoked cigars. I gave them up though and switched to a pipe once I got out of the service and was able to get as much cancer plant as I wanted.

Buck Pennington said...

I think you did "the right thing" by passing on the RV delivery, Pat. No sense in taking a chance of further aggravating the back...

I sure hear you... loud and clear... about not taking back pain lightly once you've experienced it. I dunno about you, but after six months of continuous pain I was ready to kill something, anything. I wasn't exactly the most pleasant person to be around, even with good pain relievers on hand. That ruptured disk event kicked off the absolute worst year of my life, bar none.

~Fathairybastard~ said...

That waight set is cool. Wish I had one likek it. I was one of those "fat and lazy" type back pain guys, about 20 years ago. Did a lot of sitting on the job and in school, and had always been overweight, never athletic. I jouned a gym and started working out with weights and got strong for the first time in my life. Was cool. Back pains went away and stayed away. Get a tinge now and then, but it's not structural. Usually strain a muscle lifting something or whatever. A good muscle relaxing pill takes care of it.

I got a bundle of Taino cigars from my usual online source a while back. They were about a buck a piece. I've been steadily smokin' them and every once and a while one starts to come apart on me as I smoke it. I find the Macs burn more evenly. Hell, you get what you pay for. I splurged and ordered a box of some 10 yr. old Macs the other week. Came in a nice box, each sealed in a glass tube. I figure if we all manage to get together some day I'll bust them out and we'll make a time of it.

Take care man.

pat houseworth said...

Thanks all....I seldom complain about pain, but this stuff in a "pain"...this morning I felt fine, worked at the Honda location for a couple hours doing some inventory...walked when I got home, then it(pain) goes into the butt and left leg.....I've been doing all right with just IBpro and a few beers.....too much driving in the next couple of weeks will give me a handle on what I need to do, or not do. But right now, I can live with this...but want to get it under control before baseball season begins...I don't want to give that(umpire work)'s my spring and summer I get to drink a couple beers and smoke a good cigar when done...;)

pat houseworth said...

FHB: As far as the weight lifting...I started later in life(early 40s) a kid I was a 135 lb defensive back....same weight when I joined the Air Force....I began the weight lifting for my back when I was 41 or did help the back...of course this is no longer a muscle's a spine thing....and hopefully I can get back to some sort of workout with weight training you get older, I believe it's even more important to keep working the old body.