Sunday, August 21, 2005

Feeling Old + Blog Hate

This post is a little awkward for me because, as some of you already know, I hate blogs. Sure, they're not all bad, but there are far too many blogs that update daily for the sole purpose of......updating daily. Entries like "Today I'm bored" or "I have nothing to say today" just get under my skin. Likewise, I'm weird about getting personal online, mainly because it's such a detached place to start spilling your heart out. I often feel uncomfortable when my online friends use me as their emotional touchstone (some people you feel you know really well online, others less so....and you never know exactly what the perceived relationship is). Blah. Point is, I like to think I'm using this blog as a place to throw random mini-articles and to share random things. I've sort-of had a traumatic week and I think it's a worthy story.
Backstory: My father has juvenile-onset osteoporosis. He's always had severe back trouble and has been on industrial strength pain-killers for as long as I can remember. My father filed for disability when he was 40 or so if memory serves, something most "adults" out there think of as a rather young age to retire. Still, it's something that runs in our family and something that I've been told to keep an eye out for it.
Two weeks ago I awoke with severe back pain. As in, I had trouble moving without hurting myself. It didn't go away, so I took to sleeping on the couch (which helped actually) and went to see my doctor. Besides saying that I was 35 pounds overweight (I'm 6'3 and 210 pounds....go body index I guess), the doctor was completely freaked out by how curved my back was. Now I've had minor scoliosis (sp?) for a long time, but it's never been a problem. She sends me off to a specialist....namely a place in Berlin that can take x-rays and a bone density test. Armed with very little information, pain, and a bit of hypochondria, I went to get the tests done. Almost no one spoke English and this had to be first time in my two years of being in Germany where I really had a problem communicating (For those of you that don't know, Berlin is so bilingual that I've had a hell of a time learning German....because I really don't have to. Everyone speaks enough English for me to get by). Now, I've had X-rays taken before. However in Germany, they do things a little differently. Like what, for instance?
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They made me take off all my clothes and put me in lead underwear to protect my junk. What's worse is that I couldn't help but keep laughing and making jokes about my lead underwear (I was hella uncomfortable), but the nurses just gave me weird looks....probably because I was speaking in a language they didn't understand and was repeatedly pointing to my crotch. Suffice to say that was awkward. The Bone Density test was what really freaked me out to the point of wanting to scream. Me. Naked. Strapped to a table. Table rolls slowly into a giant machine. I can see nothing but medicinal white plastic except for a glowing message to me with a giant SKULL on it. Of course it's in German, so I don't know what it says...I can't ask the nurse and suddenly the Skull LIGHTS UP as the machine starts making this horrible "jet plane taking off" noise. Sweet mother of Christ, I can't believe someone thought the "glowing skull" extra was a good purchase for the bone density machine. Gah.
The next day, I got the results:
The Good News: My bone density and my spine are (mostly) in fine working order. I do not have my father's crippling condition, at least not yet. By "mostly,"I just mean that one of my vertebrae connects weird, and while it shouldn't be causing me any amount of pain, it does sort of freak out the doctors.
The Bad News: I'm still in a lot of freaking back pain. This could be anything from chronically sleeping wrong to not having enough muscle mass in my back. It could also be that elves have started building condos in my spine...the point is, we don't know what it is. My doctor's getting some painkillers for it, but besides exercise and changing my mattress....I've no clue what to do.
So more expensive tests and specialists....but I'm happy because it's not what I was afraid it was.
Sorry for this long un-funny post (though the lead underwear thing was kinda), but I figured an informative thing might be a good change of pace since a few of you emailed me asking what the heck I meant by "spinal injury" when I did the update for last week. Thanks for your concern. Capitalist Pig, my cartoon character who shares the joy of giving me money and buying stuff, will be debuting earlier than I'd expected on the site mainly because doctors = money I don't have. It's fun to be poor, but I have to admit there's a downside you see occasionally.
Enjoy yourselves, and I promise to not make so many unfunny personal rants in the future.
-jared

6 Comments:

Anonymous Seph said...

I know you don't read my Journal, but I had a similar hospital experience about two months back when I broke my collar bone; it was actually far more uncomfortable and humiliating than I even wrote about. If I wasn't such a Nietzschean god-amongst-men, I might have fucking cracked. It was surreal and horrible, made more so by the fact that my left side was paralyzed and I was in horrible pain.

Anyway, as to your back; I hope the pain has subsided, and I'm glad you're not any worse off just yet. I know you probably already know this, but try cranberry juice - the 100% juice shit, not the crap that says "cocktail" on it - and drink as much of it as you can. If the pain is near or in your kidneys, it can feel like murderous back pain that lasts for fucking days. If your diet has changed or if you've done anything to upset your kidneys of late, it might do you well to give them a good flushing. Hence, craberry juice and water, and lots of both.

Other than that, just...take it easy, aye? Don't exert yourself and keep up on tylenol or whatever you can get in Berlin so your muscles don't get inflamed or lock up.

7:45 AM  
Anonymous flatluigi said...

Did you get to keep the lead crotch, Jared?

4:46 PM  
Blogger Jared said...

Seph: Thanks for the advice. The humiliation of being in a lot of pain is often worse than the actual pain. Or maybe that's just me.

FlatLuigi:
Keep the Lead crotch?

Why the hell would I want to steal, no matter how cool/strange they are, a pair of extermely USED underwear?
Then again, the sheer novelty of owning armored underpants is far too alluring.
-jared

8:28 AM  
Anonymous Art S. said...

OMG!!! Jared, I had no clue. I've falled behind on reading your Blog... I won't make that mistake again. That must have been hellatious to go through. Like being in some alien hosptial where the doctors have antenae coming out of thier heads and the evil anal probes ready to strike any minute!

I have minor scoliosis (sp?) as well and occationally have back pain too. I've found that changing mattresses made a major difference. I also try to remember to stretch out my back regularly...

I hope you feel better soon.

Art

7:02 AM  
Anonymous memory foam mattresses said...

great blog! I have had back trouble for years since i was hit by a car! I sufered for a few years but then i bought a special mattress and since then i have slept soundly and had very little back trouble! The mattress adjusts to ur body and weight and supports your back exactly where it needs supporting!

6:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Back Pain is a pain in my… well… back!
I was hit by a car a few years ago and since then I have suffered a lot of lower back pain and back ache! I was on strong painkillers for awhile but then I was getting addicted to them so had to drop them before it got too bad. That was about a year ago now and since then I have been looking for alternate ways of relieving the pain and aching until a month ago I was struggling to find anything that helped but I managed to get hold of some Cheap Slumberland Beds and I finally got a good nights sleep! It was great!
However!
Upon waking from my beautiful bed the relief only lasted until I got to work then the suffering began once more.
Can anyone give me any advice to ease my pain?

5:38 AM  

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