Tuesday, May 31, 2011

It's Hell Getting Old

I've been dealing with annoying back pain for a few years.  The pain has really spiked to mind-numbing levels over the last twelve months.  I rode 650 miles one day last week and was ready to sign up for a spinectomy by the time I got home.  With a 10,000 mile journey commencing in less than a month, I realized I had to do something fast. I just hope it's not too late.

I pay good money into insurance every month, so I finally got off my ass and saw a back specialist.  I was expecting a diagnosis of flattened or excessively bulging disks.  I wasn't expecting arthritis.  I'm only 48 years old.  The doctor pointed out several previously broken bones, which were apparently still visible on my x-rays.  He added that it was a wonder I can stand up straight at all.  Looking back, I suppose he's right.  Between martial arts, motorcycle racing, and a lifetime of general stupidity, I've broken both collarbones, multiple bones in both wrists, my left ulna, my right radius, cracked a vertebra in my neck, fractured my right tibia, broke my nose three times, crushed the tarsals in my left foot, broken all ten toes, and had my broken jaw wired shut.

The doctor prescribed some anti-inflammatory meds along with some core training rehab at a local physical therapy clinic.  Hey, I'll try anything.  I'm in the gym at least five days each week anyway, so if these exercise techniques yield improvement, I'll incorporate them to my daily workout regimen.  I admit however, that I'm uncertain what improvements might be realized with so little time before I depart on the Alaskapade.

I've always felt age is irrelevant and I believe I live a younger lifestyle than many guys half my age.  After all, it's not how old you are, it's how you are old that counts.

Arthritis.  Who would have thought?  It's hell getting old.