I turned 52 this past month. As I start into my 53rd year on this ole planet, I am grateful to be alive. My previous back issues got me a little down for a while but I’m better now and realizing it’s not that bad, all things considered. Personally, I think I look damn good for 52, but I am a little biased. 😉 My medical issues as of late have all been mild compared to other more serious ailments that plague us as we age. I have to remember that moving forward.
Part of me still grapples with the idea of being in my 50’s. My brain simply won’t completely accept it. I guess that is a good thing. In stark contrast, this past year I’ve been noticing when people “die young“, which in my brain translates to around my age or younger. It is a bit of a surreal feeling to realize I’m moving into an age bracket where people can and do die from a host of issues regularly. Granted, some of these conditions can often be prevented and treated, but that doesn’t make it any less meaningful. I’m certainly not judging others. It just makes me value my efforts to keep myself healthy. Of course, my body reminds me daily now I am indeed not a young man anymore.
And speaking of healthy, I’m hoping to get thru 2023 with no self-inflicted gym injuries. hehehe Another hard realization is I can’t constantly push heavy weights anymore. As I focus on strengthening my back muscles, I’m building on my past mistakes. Rebuilding my exercises from an entirely new perspective has had its benefits. Even with the back injury, I’ve made some solid gains this year, and my bony legs have grown some too.
If ya know me, you know I don’t make a big deal over birthdays. Shawn always tries to make them meaningful for me, which I appreciate. He always a way add a personal touch. This year was no exception. I couldn’t imagine him not being in my life.
Beyond that, work has been incredibly stressful and frustrating. Ironically, not for the reason you’d think. More on that later. I have a meeting with the Council of Elder Gays on what the new prize the most gay conversions in a year. 😉
I’m back and my back is doing better! I left off quite some time ago after having some back issues. Well, I ended up doing PT on my own because the places available didn’t work with my schedule and I can’t afford to call off work every time I need PT. Two different friends in the biz told me they don’t work you in the office anyway. They give you the exercises and send you on your way. They do help if you are unclear on how to do an exercise, otherwise that’s it for my type of PT I figured I could do that on my own.
I was discouraged at first because it only seemed to be staving off any new spasms vs actually improving my condition. I was getting frustrated thinking maybe I’m doing it wrong, not doing enough, etc. I do so some research famous last words and discover it can take weeks and/or months to heal up so this gives me hope I’m on the right track.
Well, fast forward to now. A couple weeks ago was my first time doing the PT w/zero discomfort! I’ve been getting delayed due to lots of /mando at work over holidays, but still focused on getting gym time in for my exercises and stretches. Lo and behold last week I did my first exercises on lower back with weights! And I’m still walking upright! lol I was only doing a measly 40 lbs on deadlifts but it felt great to finally be doing any weights at all. Yay me!
The whole thing kind of threw me for a loop. I’ve always considered myself rather resilient when it comes to bouncing back from injuries. Every surgery I’ve ever had the doctors always talked about how fast I heal. Even my most recent nasal surgery was a flying success. This time around I didn’t bounce back. And it finally became obvious to me it wasn’t getting better; my denial was making it worse. While not "depressed", I also realized it was altering my daily motivation to do much of anything. I mean I’d still get to the gym, but I had to drastically pare down even non related exercises.
This is the part of getting old I don’t like. I don’t mind the wrinkles, the aging skin/looks. Hell, I don’t mind the need for more checkups, but this not healing or getting better like normal is for the birds!
About a year or so ago, I took a tumble on a foot scooter and injured myself a bit. Nothing critical at the time, but I’m beginning to think I may have injured my back more than I thought. Ever since, I’ve had increasing bouts of random back strain or spasms. Sometimes it comes on from just sitting in a different position for more than a few minutes.
Fast forward to a week ago, and the first day of my vacation, I tweaked it from sitting weird. I was leaned over on a foot stool cleaning Ms Daisy’s foot pads and after I attempted to get up, everything went haywire. This last episode was the worst it has ever been. Time to see a doctor. Even a week later, I’m still not 100% yet.
I see a chiro doc pretty regularly and it does help; however, it doesn’t seem to be going away. From my limited medical training and work experience, I’m leaning towards a bulging disc. The severity will determine the level of care I need to proceed. It’s incredibly frustrating realizing my body is wearing down and not as resilient as it used to be. One can say it comes w/age, but f**k that. lol It could be a combo of back issues and a weak core, or at least I’m hoping it is. I’ve always babied my back since I had a car accident ages ago in the mid 90’s. That may be working against me now. I’ve been working on strengthening my core, but it only seems to aggravate the issue.
On the flip side I guess I should be grateful this is the only issue. I mean I’ve put this body thru the ringer in my 51 years! I got metal, plastic, and even polyurethane inserts to prove it. Air boat crashes, throwing hay and feed, three-wheeler flips, roller-blade stunts, motorcycle slides, etc have all contributed to the latter. When I do finally slide into the grave, they are going to know “I lived!” In my best hung over Gooch voice LOL And yet, it still drives me nuts. I’ve been really hitting a good rhythm at the gym and it seems like every 2-3 weeks there is a new delay knocking me out again.
I’m booking an appointment for next week to see a specialist. I’m assuming a lot of poking and prodding and x-rays later I’ll have some answers.