What A Pain In The Neck

I finally had a good sleep last night. I was cozy and warm all snuggled up with my wife. I even slept through the night until my alarm woke me up.

But from the moment I woke up, my shoulder and neck have been in pain. Debilitating pain that has stopped me from basic activities. Driving has been challenging as it hurts to shoulder check since it’s my left side. Which is contrary to my normal pain on the right side.

I must accept that I am always in pain. But I don’t want to. Maybe stretching before bed? Perhaps more pain killers? Cry and whine?

Ugh. Getting older sucks. Maybe I’ll trade a shitty night sleep to wake up without pain.

Fall Down, Go Boom

On Saturday evening, I fell over and hit my head pretty hard on the cement of our garage floor. Besides a bruised ego, it feels as though I have strained some muscles in my neck and shoulder. All day yesterday my left thumb was also tingling with pins and needles.

My coworker reminded me “Pictures or it didn’t happen” and asked if anyone videotaped it. In my brilliant forethought- I had a camera in the garage. Not specifically to see this mind you, but there it was, at around 5pm.

Anyways, a tall guy like me falling over is not a normal thing to occur. Lucky for me in this day and age, there is camera footage. Oh boy do I look stupid. Watching it play back, I am embarrassed for past me and the fall that occurred.

My son was in the kitchen and heard the ruckus. He was nice enough to come and check on me. Again, the situation was embarrassing and completely preventable. My equilibrium was off due to a mix of swimming and drinking in the hot sun. Not a very grownup thing to do.

I am not ready to share the footage, give me a week or two when the Emotional Damage dissipates. Then I can share with friends.

Back At It Again With The Back Pain

It’s been a few months since I have complained about Dealing with Back Pain. So here’s a quick update.

It’s still here.

Today is not as bad as it has been in the past. Mostly my lower back causing me grief. I think it is partly due to sitting for extended lengths of time while at work in front of a computer. I have been doing my best not to cross my legs while sitting, as well as getting up to walk around more. I do have to drive quite a bit for work, so I’m also sitting for ages heading out to different locations.

I do enjoy walking when the pain isn’t around. My wife knows that I have struggled occasionally to keep up with her- I feel elderly some days even though she has five years on me! At work, the ground isn’t exactly an even surface to walk on (railroads are like that). Sometimes I’m naturally tense as I walk the rail yard talking to crews.

Slouching is also a bad habit I have. But being 6’8” means I have to lean over naturally while standing. Slouching while sitting is a habit I need to break; and I should have broken years ago. Back stretches help. I hate to say it, but last week when building the roof on the gazebo was really good for my muscles. I felt great after the physical work.

What I’m saying is, the back pain is back. Or it never really left in the end.

Dealing With Back Pain

I have mentioned experiencing back pain a few times over the years. Getting older is rough on the body- you can’t do what you once did. Recently, my back hit a new level of pain.

Over the years, dealing with the pain has been a challenge. Besides stretching and Advil, I have a few other tricks I use.

A5-35 is always soothing. The smell is unforgettable and is ingrained in my memory from childhood. I have tried many different types, but original extra strength is my favorite.

The next favorite is Acuhealth. This is an electronic acupuncture that I bought 20 years ago on eBay from Australia. It was my parents that introduced me to this device. They had one back in the late 80’s/early 90’s. It works amazingly and helps relax tense muscles.

Recently we picked up a roller and my wife also bought an item called Bang. That machine bumps the muscles rhythmically to remove tension. Great for calf muscles.

Living with pain sucks. But I don’t remember a time when I didn’t have back pain. I remember my mother saying it was just “growing pains” when I was a kid but they never seemed to stop. In fact they have definitely gotten worse over the years. Most people don’t notice that I suffer since I usually just keep going through the pain. Sometimes the pain is too debilitating and I have to call it a day by laying on the floor attempting to stretch my back.

How do you deal with back pain?

Are You Kidneying Me?

All night last night I was uncomfortable. My body is being mean to me. Right before work I had sharp jabbing pains in what I assume to be my kidneys. Dr. Google is not my friend when I look up what could be causing my pain.

I did however take the remedy plan of drinking Cranberry Juice. I drank about a liter of that and a liter of water. Hydration is not an issue, nor was the expulsion of said liquids. That’s good.

But the pain subsides and flares up randomly. I don’t like that. There are times when it hits me and I’m like, “that’s kind of uncomfortable” and other times when I’m thinking, “oh god make it stop, put me out of my misery!” Those ones are almost debilitating, where I just stand still waiting for the moment to pass.

Before you give me grief, yes I am going to try and see my doctor or at least get a consult. I’m also really tired and just want to go to bed- so I will be doing that first. Hopefully sleep will relax me.

Deteriorating Joe

I know I was complaining yesterday about my joints and pains. Today I realized I have hit another stage of growing older. And it wasn’t my hearing like I thought it was going to be because of the loud music and my work environment. Nope, it’s my eyesight.

I was unable to read the writing on the yellow part of this label. My wife gave me her reading glasses, and voila- clear as crystal. It’s odd because I could read the part above with a bit of strain, but accurately without hesitation.

Naturally, I went on my phone to search up signs of aging and stuff like that. Here’s what I found:

  • Your Heart Works Harder.
  • Your Skin Feels Different.
  • You Find It Harder to See and Hear.
  • Your Teeth and Gums Change.
  • Your Bones Become More Brittle.
  • Going to the Bathroom.
  • It’s Harder Getting Around or Staying Strong.

I stopped consuming alcohol last August because I could feel my heart working harder than ever. By October I felt normal. But the last month or so I have noticed my heartbeats being erratic once more. And with the aches creeping in more, and today’s realization that my eyesight is going to diminish, I’m feeling a bit down.

I always knew that I’d grow old. That’s just what happens. I’ve already been enjoying trimming nose and ear hairs as I watch my hairline recede. Getting a scratch or bruise? Might as well watch it heal at a snails pace. On normal days where I don’t work nights? Bedtime is before nine pm.

So yeah, my body is getting decrepit. Since the day I was born, it was a downhill slope leading to eventual destruction. Just like everyone else. What to do about it? Besides complaining (which I kind of enjoy) or comparing it to other people’s ailments- I think it’s best to IGNORE it.

I meant, work out. Exercise. Read more. Eat healthier. Look after myself. I kind of like my life and friends and family. It’d be nice to see them for a while longer. Or I can hope that technology catches up soon and I can be part robotic.

Anyhow, maybe next time I get my eyesight checked I’ll look at the possibility of getting reading glasses. Until then- I’ll use the technology available to me now. My iPhone can zoom in on the directions for me. Who needs glasses?


Over the past week or so I have been in a lot of pain. I think stress has caused my joints and muscles to hurt more than usual. My hips hurt right at the socket where my legs meet. I am also experiencing lower back pain that is causing me to be virtually immobile. Plus my neck and shoulders are stiff as well. Ugh.

What I should do is try yoga or stretching exercises. Instead I just pop a couple of Advil every few hours in hopes that the pain subsides. I’m not a very active person these days, so I really should get on that. But it’s so much work… Going to bed and complaining is easier though, am I right?

Because of my height, I have always had back pain. I’ve also been nicknamed “Stretch” by those who are much shorter than me. (Some people called me “Tall Guy” as well.) I never found it offensive or irritating to get a name like that. But looking back, maybe I should’ve taken the advice and done more stretching.

Anyways, enough griping. Time for a cup of tea and a couple Advil. I’ll do stretching tomorrow. Or maybe the next day…

When Did The Pain Begin?

I like to think I’m still youthful and carefree as I hit my mid-forties. But as much as my mind likes to think so, my body says otherwise.

From my ankles to my arms, it seems my pain receptacles like to remind me that they are still working. Muscle aches, joint pains, even skin irritations. Everything just hurts a tad bit more than it once did. Or maybe I’m just noticing it more often.

The hardest part about being over two meters tall and with mild scoliosis is the constant back pain. I mean constant. I can’t find a comfortable way to sit or sleep. Just as I feel like I’m going to relax, my lower back screams in its best Samuel Jackson impression, “NOPE! Wake Up Mother-!”

I have a little machine that takes a 9V battery. I call it “The Zotter”. It’s an electronic acupuncture and it helps to relieve most of my pains. Perhaps I should also try doing more yoga once more. Stretch those muscles. Or whatever people do when they Yoga.

There’s no way to avoid the pain. It’s just how to deal with it. I feel like yelling at the pain Get off my lawn!

Pain Pity Party

As I get older, my body hurts more. I don’t like it. It seems that my aches love to travel around my body and change off locations. The pains do not tend occur at the same time.

This morning is lower back pain. Yesterday was my wrists. A few days ago it was my hip. Last week was my tongue. Many other places that I experience pain have been my shoulders and elbows. I worry my joints are developing arthritis. Sometimes I swear I can feel pains in my organs. Advil is my best friend every day.

Maybe these are like growing pains of my youth. Only now they should be called Growing OLD Pains. I want these pains to ease up. I suppose I should just exercise and stretch more, right?

Ugh. That doesn’t sound fun either. I think complaining about it is the best answer. Hashtag sarcasm. Hashtag quit complaining and do something about it.

Old and Broken

Old and broken is how I feel. I am sore. All over sore. Headache. Back pain. Muscles aching. Even emotionally drained. You name it, I am feeling it.

It seems that the teddy bear sitting beside me shares my pain. Not much we can do about it but throw a bandaid on our wounds and push onward. Work through the pain and put on a brave face. A face that will make others smile when they see us, even though we hurt.

Old and broken. That’s how I feel. But it’s not what others see.

Evil Footwear

I’m an idiot.  I thought wearing some rugged shoes would have been a good idea in Alberta. I was wrong.

Standing on my feet for the last six hours has pained me.  The concrete floor of the convention center sucks.  Luckily My wife almost always remembers to bring some foam mats to cushion below us.  This year, she brought her gel mat from her studio with us. 

I am eternally grateful that she did this. Tomorrow I am going to wear my runners instead.  Forget looking good- I need to last three more days on my feet.  I don’t want to be grumpy at my favorite convention of the year.

Perhaps when we get back to our AirBnB I will take some Advil and soak my feet.  A little me time… Maybe some scented candles? Aroma therapy? Foot rub? That last one won’t happen- who am I kidding.

I know nothing about how my body works.

I woke up this morning with a sharp pain in my lower back.  Only it wasn’t my muscles.  So I thought, “Man, my colon is sore” as I rubbed my lower left side.  Then it dawned on me that maybe it was my kidney.  Could it be my liver?  Definitely not my lungs- I know when those are sore.  I really have no clue where this pain is coming from or why I am experiencing it.

It dawned on me that after 40 years on this planet, I really don’t know where my organs are located or what each of their purpose is.  I know the basics.  Brain runs the show.  Heart pumps the blood.  Lungs bring in oxygen for the blood.  Stomach digests the food.  Intestines shove the food waste out.  Without each organ, I could die.  Maybe.  Or I would need medicine or treatments to bypass that death thing.  Medical advances could keep me alive.  See?  All sciency and stuff.  I have zero understanding about my body.  I assume that I have the same organs as everyone else.  That’s where my knowledge ends.

I learned long ago not to trust Dr. Google if I had some sort of ailment.  My family doctor is much better.  He studied medicine for years.  He knows me personally.  He even kind of cares about my well being and my family’s well being.  I trust his medical opinion.  He isn’t a multimillionaire.  He isn’t “Big Pharma” either.  He just wants to help people stay alive and healthy.  I go to him and explain my ailments.  I don’t tell him what drug I think I need or what possible disease I think I’ve contracted.  I know nothing, so I trust my health in his knowledge of medicine and the human body.

Nine times out of ten?  I am advised to go home.  Rest, exercise, eat better, see him again if things persist.  Smart advice.  The other one time?  Inhaler refill.  He recommends a flu shot every year, so I get one.  I haven’t had the flu in over five years.  A common cold every so often, but not the flu.  My children and I are up to date on vaccinations as well.  Guess what?  None of us have gotten the measles, mumps or rubella.  Poliomyelitis?  Not here.  Why?  Because I trust my doctor and his knowledge of the medical field.

I don’t have the answers or the knowledge of how the human body works.  But I am smart enough to find someone who does.  I like my family doctor.  He’s pretty chill.

My wife is no doctor, but sometimes her advice is spot on.  Today for example- I told her about my pain, she told me to try pooping because that may be the problem.  Guess what?  I pooped and feel better.  No doctor’s appointment needed this time.

Aw dang.

In my infinite wisdom this evening, I stubbed my big toe as I began up the stairs towards my bedroom.  I stumbled uncharismatically in hopes of not landing on said toe.  I was successful in my not-so-graceful-toe-saving-recovery by reaching out to the bannister.  I stopped myself from falling.  Needless to say that hand was holding my cellphone.

The post of destruction.

Perhaps if I had turned on the lights to the stairway before I entered this could have been avoided.  Or maybe I should have been focusing on where I needed to go, not what my next plan was tonight.  My carelessness allowed my mind to wander for that brief millisecond.  My iPhone paid the price.

Why did I have to crack my screen (again)?  I wasn’t even looking on my iPhone at the time.  After the last screen break, I put on a new flip case to protect it.  That worked excellent for the past nine months; except tonight.  I was carrying my iPhone with the flip case open.  I don’t normally do that anymore (unless looking for Pokemon).

Why am I so stupid?  Arg.  We have good health care up here in Canada- my toe wouldn’t have cost me a dime to fix.  In fact, if I was off work for more than three days due to an injury, my extended medical from work would kick in.  Sure, it doesn’t pay as much as working.  Plus the fact that I’d have a broken toe.  It’s still a stupid mistake I made tonight.  But I’m not stupid because I cracked my iPhone screen (again).  I’m stupid because… 

I tried to take a screen shot of the cracked screen to show you…

“Why isn’t this picture working?” 

*long pause as brain clicks back on*  

“Oh wow.  I am stupid.” -Me only moments ago.  But now you can see what my home screen looks like.  I’m going to go have a beer and use my iPhone as a coaster now. Dangit.