Tuesday, October 2, 2012

I'm Not Sure If I'm Going to Make It (I also stole this picture from io9.com) (Call me "Leathertaint!")

So over the last couple of weeks I've been noticing strange feelings in my upper back, arms and legs. I think this all goes back to my back surgery I had about 4 years ago, where the doctor showed me an x-ray of my back (or more likely it was MRI images) and said "see those discs there at the bottom? How they're all grey and crackled looking? And see those discs there in your neck that look like that, too? Yeah, those are all bad. They'll be causing you problems in about 15 years, so I'll see you back here when they go. And also, your spinal cord is about a third of the width of a normal person's spine, so good luck with that, too."

After my surgery was all healed, I felt great! I had no pain or discomfort in my legs or back, and I walked without a limp for the first time in years. Now here we are today, and I am noticing that when I lie down flat on my back on the sofa or a bed, both my feet feel like they're just waking up from "being asleep." Not the pins and needle feelings, but the fuzziness, like a small buzz or a little tiny massage all over the soles of my feet and up my right calf a little.

And my upper right shoulder blade sometimes feels like a pinch is going on that needs to be stretched out.

So I'm thinking, is it my discs getting all broken down again? Am I freaking out because of the seed of uncertainty the doctor planted those years ago?

Now, when I 'm riding my bike, I generally don't feel any of this discomfort. Indeed, the only discomfort I feel is in my crotchal region because I sometimes don't have my shorts adjusted properly, or maybe it's my saddle is too high/not adjusted properly/not right for me, but I can manage that sort of affliction with various creams and lotions and such. But more likely I'll tough it out and let the blisters scab over and become tough, and thus earn myself the nickname "Leathertaint." But I digress...

So when I ride, I feel good. When I stop, my feet and lower legs have this odd but not painful buzzy feeling, and sometimes my shoulders feel pinches and minor spurts of momentary irritation. Is it because my riding makes these things happen later on, or is it my deteriorating back region is starting to flare up again? Because this is sort of how it felt when it all started-- in 1997 I was a runner. I ran and ran. Then I ran a marathon, and from that day forward my hamstring always felt tight.

The tightness remained until the fateful day when I went to bend over to pick up the hose in the yard (I made a post about it but probably won't ever link back to it) and blew out the disc. Then I limped, literally, everywhere and just kind of managed with the inconvenience for a long time before I couldn't take it and got the surgery. And all was well. But now I'm feeling these things again and I fear it's just like the years after I ran the marathon: will this weekend be the time when I move that bag of mulch and blow out another disc?

And the biggest fear I have is not that it's going to happen, it's that it might happen before the end of this year and I won't be able to complete my goal/resolution to ride my bike for longer than I commute in my car, because I'm still 31 hours behind (as of today)!

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