Monday, December 03, 2007

Back Trouble part II, this time it's serious

For the first time in ten years, I have to take a sick leave. I have acquired some painful inflamed nerves in my neck, and my physio therapist tells me I have to stay off the computer for a week, otherwise I'm in big trouble.
So I will really try to stave off my blogging addiction.


Anonymous said...

You could do it from bed, like Harry Knowles when he first started.

kronostar said...

All the best in recovery and proving you have mastery over your Internet/blogging addiction. I know I'll be suffering since your blog is a part of my daily habit.
However, hopefully you can get some suggestions from your physiotherapist or a chiropractor on positions/products that wouldn't be so harmful. eg. in bed with a laptop on your stomach like what I'm doing right now.

Alex said...

Dragon Soft - Naturally Speaking.
IBM - Via Voice.

These kick off at around $100 for the basic speech to text, then go to a few hundred for legal or medical editions.

A few years ago these did okay on 500MHz machines with my accent (using a US edn with UK accent). I am sure they are much better now. You'd think there'd be a programmers edn by now.

Get well soon. When you're fit again make sure you get your work station set up perfectly.

Dibutil said...

One of the reasons for strain is lack of the silicone micro element in the organism. Do you eat watercress, aragula or nettle regularly? Those contain organic silicone which is easily digested and.

Anonymous said...

You could do it from bed - here I don't quite agree. I'd rather put it this way: You could do it in bed (Lol!).

Anyway, I think it's important to find the right balance between work in front of the screen and doing something completely different, eg swimming, where your neck and back muscles get some relaxation.

I also spend a lot of time sitting at the computer, and reading books , ie my neck is always stressed and bent forward while reading. I try to balance it with walking and cycling in fresh air, doing some Pilates exercises and going for a swim in a warm thermal spa. Luckily enough, there's one nearby.

All the best to you, you'll be alright.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about your troubles. The body is trying to tell you something. Better heed to its plea. The blog can wait.

Our bodies weren't engineered to stay in the same position hours on end, every day. The challenge is to incorporate natural movement to working on the computer.

My solution: I have a motorised desk! With the touch of a button I can change the height of the tabletop. I often type while standing. But I switch back and forth between sitting and standing positions when I feel like it. Variation is key.

For example, even while working in the standing position I often adjust the height a centimeter or two up or down. The small changes make a big difference for the body.

Ergonomics is so last century. Now its dynergonomics.

Anonymous said...

Hope ya get better Captain. I'd trade you my pain for yours? Mine is physical every day. (50 to 75 pounds of lifting aluminum castings including the jackhammer which ways at least 35 pounds.)
Not to mention doing the actually work which includes busting out the rock solid cores.)
Not to take away from your pain but it could be worse Captain. Now get some rest and get better.

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

I'm not the one to say "I told ya", but... I told ya!
Be honest with yourself and start lying. On your back.

Richard Catalyst said...

Hello to a nice guy.

An aircraft hurt my back in '69, and about '74 a doc gave me a miracle... the old muscle relaxer, Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine) will relax all those little muscles so that an anti-inflammatory can get to them via the blood supply. I used Motrin 800's with Flexeril, then switched to Naproxyn 500... only once a day, about 30 minutes prior to sleep.

You already know that you must take a few days off, and I have found that is wise. Three days of flex + anti inflam each night erases even severe musculo-skeletal pain.

A 'stand-up' desk has really helped me, also. With a footrest about 9 inches off the floor. Standing is healthier than sitting, and you can look up to your Mac. I am waiting for my Panther to arrive.

Thank you for years of giving to me of your thoughts and photographs. I apologize for failing to write sooner, to express my admiration and appreciation.

gently, Richard (

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

"Trouble in Spinal Park part 3: Back with a Vengeance."

These other comments gave me food for thought and fuel for talk.

There are several oligo-elements which might lack in one's diet. Focusing just on one might not cut it.
Not to belittle Dibutil Ftalat's advice, but perhaps a nutritionist might me of more help, ideally. Establishing a metabolic profile, prescribing the most adequate micro-element supplementation...

classic swimming might be counter-indicated once a spinal pain has set in, because some of the movements are relatively intense. Except for slow back swimming: calmly floating on your back is hugely relaxing.

It is general consensus that one of the best physical exercises is plain simple walking. And I don't mean strenuous trekking, either. Just go for a long, leisurely walk, if you can still walk. Carry nothing, don't bend, run, jump... just stroll about. 30 to 60 minutes a day, ideally. Or much more if you so feel inclined!
You can take a camera along, if you're reasonable with it. :-)

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear you’re not feeling well. You didn't mention what lead you to this condition, but I'll go ahead and assume that it is or partly because of stress. (because, well.. doesn't stress get to everybody at one point or the other ?)
If it is serious enough to take you away from blogging, then submit to your medical orders and stay in bed.
Most likely you won't feel relaxed in bed as you experience boredom, restlessness, and blogging withdrawal symptoms. I suggest some type of mental relaxation or meditation exercises. I know that it sounds a bit new age, but not mentally relaxing just cause another wave of stress and defeats the purpose being ordered to bed in the first place. Plus, if you want to keep your blogging addiction taking care of yourself (mentally and physically) would certainly insure that your computer will never be pried out your blogging crazed fingers again.
I have a friend who repeated doctors orders (the “do-it-or-you’ll-join-the-undead” kind) and now suffers multiple conditions. (blood pressure, heart condition and etc)

Take good care of yourself and you’ll be better in no time.

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

Nothing like having some health problems to see all your trusted friends come visiting, eh? :-)

The muscle relaxant advice is good, too. As long as the pain doesn't directly reach the nerves, or you'll probably need more.

In a nutshell, you have to find what suits your situation best. No need to run a whole checklist, getting all stressed if just this once you forgot the herbal tea or the foot reflexology.
There are as many back pains as there are patients. It's too deeply woven into one's lifestyle to have one single, standard response.

Anonymous said...

Just take care of Eolake; hope all is well soon.

Cliff Prince said...

Aside from the diet issue, here's a suggestion for a "lifestyle" change of exercise.

Imagine that the spine is like a stack of coins. If the stack is put into a sock that is loose, it can wriggle all around and get out of order. But if the stack is put into a tight paper wrapper that is snug, then it will remain straight.

You need to keep your wrapper more snug. Try "suck tuck" types of abdominal exercises: not literally SIT-UPS or other forms of motion, in which you use the muscles to articulate the spine and move it in a given direction. Rather, PULL-INS, in which you simply try to cause your belly button to touch your back by sucking inward.

You can invent any of a number of exercises with this motion. Suck and hold for 8, repeat; or suck and out and suck and out and ...; or whatever. The point is, to gain strength in the "wrapper" mechanism.

There's more to it. I suggest you try looking it up. In some American physio and exercise texts they call them "suck tucks."

Anonymous said...

A stack of my spine? Nah...
But a stack of coins in my POCKET: that for sure makes me go a big rubbery one.
LOL, soz, I just HAD to air this comment.

Anonymous said...

Ah, yes. I wondered when that clueless carny fuck Final Identity was going to weigh in, and start talking out of his ass about something. In this case he's pretending to be a personal trainer.

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

If Final Identity can make stacks of coins come out of his ass, I want the dear fella to come live in my house for free!
Thanks for the anonymous tip!!!
Actually, I once read a fairy tale about a precious donkey that would crap gold coins... So the idea isn't very new.

Incidentally, Final's advice sucks much less than his exercises (pun intended). The spine is very much a living, curved, mobile, tightly wrapped stack of thick coins.
Though I would recommend something more "wrapper-building" than just sucking in-blowing out (wouldn't that make Eolake feel like his own blog troll? :-). The wrapper is double: the para-vertebral muscle shaft, and the whole abdominal wall also plays a major supportive role, like the rigging of a ship's mast. The more tonus you have everywhere without over-straining your spine, the better.

Anonymous said...

Pascal, maybe you and final should get a room.

The Gunny said...

Anonymous, don't force me to unscrew your head and shit down your neck.

Cliff Prince said...

I don't get why people hate me so ... sniff ... sniff

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

I don't get it either, Final. Who wouldn't *love* a guy who can crap gold? ;-)
[You look close to tears on your photo. My sympathies.]

"Get a room"? You're far from it, Anon! I'm having a giant, 3-cubic-acre money bin built, and I've ordered a whole harvest of prunes. I hope Final's odd syndrome is contagious! (Blink-blink, nudge-nudge.)
Otherwise, I've made an offer on that donkey anyway. Wonn't get much talk out of THAT ass, but heck, I won't mind doing the whole conversation, considering how enriching it'll be.

With some luck, the $45 billion national debt of Lebanon could be a distant memory in three years. And I'll be President! ("Holy crap!", people will say.)

Gunny, if you wanted to be really mean, you'd threaten to shit UP his neck. Ooh, I'm a bad boy, I am! :-D
Sorry, Ma, that just had to come out. :-D

Anonymous said...

It was said that Final Identity was talking out of his ass. As for getting a room, I wouldn't recommend it - he probably rolls in shit all day and probably smells like Bigfoot's dick.

Anonymous said...

"Back Trouble part II, this time it's serious"

Bigfoot like gorilla: small dick, small smell. She-apes prefer Tarzan, oogah!

Tarzan curious: how Anonymous know what Bigfoot dick smell like? Is small smell. Need to be very very close.

Anonymous know also what Bigfoot dick taste like?

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

Anonymous said...
"As for getting a room, I wouldn't recommend it"

Will you make up your mind, already? One day this, one day that... Just whose idea was it in the first place?

Pascal think Bigfoot small dick smell has confused Anonymous' small brain cells. As Tarzan would say: "Kreegrah!"

Anonymous said...

Hmmm ... when the captain is away, people start showing their true colours, I note. ;-)

Anonymous said...

You're assuming that Bigfoot is just a gorilla.

Hmmm ... when the captain is away, people start showing their true colours, I note. ;-)

Anonymous has never been shy about showing his true colours.

Anonymous said...

Arrr! This be true, matey!

Avast, Big-Foot! What're ye looking at, you mangy flea-bitten big ape? Saaay... you've got lovely scurvy eyes!
Meet me in my cabin then, ye blundering land-lubber. Skippity-skip!

Methinks me's gonna wake up with lower-end back pain. But it be well worth it, aye!

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

Joe Dick said...
"You're assuming that Bigfoot is just a gorilla."

"Kreegrah!" in gorilla language means "watch out, be careful, danger".
This seems like a mild neurotoxic smell...

Anonymous said...

Did you ever see the stop motion animated "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"? I imagine Bigfoot to be a bit like the Abominable Snowman from that.

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

Just a LITTLE bit then. :-D

Anonymous said...

All this innuendo is making me go a small latex one.