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08-01-2009, 05:15 PM   #1
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An apology to all...

.for not being on the board lately. I really enjoy conversing with you folks even if our views are contrary to each other on occasion. I have recently had a lot of trouble with my back. It has been a life long struggle against degenerative disease. I would go through bouts where I could hardly walk for a week and then I would be better for about 4-5 months. That all changed recently.

In June my back went sour and I have made very little recovery. I have had a set of x-rays and now an MRI performed. I know now that I not only have osteoarthritis (degenerative arthritis) very extensively but also spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, 4 damaged disks (2 herniated into the nerve tracks) and some quite intense discomfort. All in the lumbar region of the spine. I am facing epidermal shots and therapy to start with. Later will probably be surgery and quite likely a retirement from federal service due to disability. I am going to serve just as long as I possibly can.


Still it is no excuse for me neglecting to pay attention to all of you here. I enjoy viewing your photos and learning from all here. If I am able to walk this week I will try to do a photo essay on the 15 Covered Bridges in our county. I am hoping to do this for our historical society so all can enjoy these wonderful historical items. Doc has limited me to a 10 pound lifting profile so some of the extra gear will have to stay in the car.


Eric

08-01-2009, 05:19 PM   #2
Damn Brit
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I'm sorry Eric, my back problems pale in comparison to yours (I've got time to catch up though). The epidurals are going to help and I'm guessing you'll get some PT to help strengthen you're core.
I wish you the best and I do find going out and taking pictures is great therapy. It's about the only thing that works for me sometimes.
08-01-2009, 05:27 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Damn Brit Quote
I'm sorry Eric, my back problems pale in comparison to yours (I've got time to catch up though). The epidurals are going to help and I'm guessing you'll get some PT to help strengthen you're core.
I wish you the best and I do find going out and taking pictures is great therapy. It's about the only thing that works for me sometimes.

Thanks Gary,
Yep epidurals and Pt for the core. I know eventually I will be forced to retire early due to disablility but I do not look forward to not being able to work. Could be worse though too.

I agree about shooting too. I need to get the k10d out before it rebels against me!
08-01-2009, 05:31 PM   #4
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Sorry to hear about your back. Chronic pain can really put a dent in life. You might want to consider a lightweight collapsible handtruck to carry your equipment (instead of putting the weight on your back). I have been dealing with a bum knee myself and taking the load off of it has done wonders.

08-01-2009, 05:35 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by mithrandir Quote
Sorry to hear about your back. Chronic pain can really put a dent in life. You might want to consider a lightweight collapsible handtruck to carry your equipment (instead of putting the weight on your back). I have been dealing with a bum knee myself and taking the load off of it has done wonders.

Thanks for the sentiment. Sounds like good advice too. Would you mind sharing some info on the truck you have?

Thanks,
Eric
08-01-2009, 05:38 PM   #6
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I have to tell you folks that the pain can make me really short tempered and grumpy. I normally tolerate pain quite well because I have been doing it all of my life but is getting hard to do. If I offend anyone I am truly sorry and it is not personal.
08-01-2009, 05:57 PM   #7
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Bokehboy - I'm on disability pension with diabetes, COPD, and a shoulder joint that will soon need a rebuild.... But having read your Post has made me realise that I'm not quite as badly off as some. I'm still quite mobile, just get a bit out-of-breath walking up hills at times, so on.

I'm just past 60, so my working career wasn't shortened much. It must be so much worse when the "interrupting" events happen earlier in life - particularly if still-growing kids are involved - and the house isn't yet paid-out.

We do have very good universal healthcare in Australia, for which I'm eternally grateful. I hope the same applies wherever you are. We also have quite generous disability pensions here (some ungrateful lots here think not - perhaps they can't budget very well...) - and all-day $2.50 SmartCard unlimited Bus-Train-Ferry tickets for pensioners. Those also range about 200km (120 miles) - along the coasts North and South of Sydney - so I can certainly get around over a wide area with a camera-bag and travel-tripod!

> As I have, you might find that there are quite valid (not "quack-remedy") - herbals and alternatives that can at least ease and make living with disabilities rather better. Just as a "my case" example, as diabetes can interfere with circulation, I've found that 'Ginkgo Biloba' actually helps with that.

> Of course, as whenever you're taking Prescription medications, it is dangerous to take anything else without checking with doctor and pharmacist first. In my situation, both cleared the use of the Ginkgo.

- I'll be thinking of you - do keep us posted as to how you're getting on.

My Very Best Wishes to You and Yours,

Regards, Dave.
08-01-2009, 06:23 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bokehboy Quote
I have to tell you folks that the pain can make me really short tempered and grumpy. I normally tolerate pain quite well because I have been doing it all of my life but is getting hard to do. If I offend anyone I am truly sorry and it is not personal.
Oh shut up already. Nothing personal Eric.


Back to being serious, I have this hand cart, it doubles as a chair. http://beachrollyusa.com/index.html

08-01-2009, 06:26 PM   #9
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Welcome back.
08-02-2009, 03:34 AM   #10
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I can certainly empathize with you.
I've had back problems since I was 15 when I broke a vertebra.
Seven years, and a lot of pain pills and therapy later, they did a spinal fusion.
They chiseled chunks of bone off my hip and packed it around the break to form a gristly mass.
It worked, but I still have frequent problems, pain and sometimes weakness.
I did my job to the best of my ability and kept my off-days to a minimum.
I just retired from my job and am eternally grateful I never have to climb another telephone pole again.

Keep at the therapy and do as much as your body will allow.
Photography is a great mental and physical escape at times.
Enjoy life to the fullest!
08-02-2009, 05:13 AM   #11
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I'm sorry to read about your problems. I hope eventually, doctors will find a way to help you with a definitive solution to your problem. In the mean time, just hang on, and if you feel like you need a shoulder to cry on, feel free to call on us. Good luck.
08-02-2009, 05:35 AM   #12
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Welcome back, Eric. I know back problems can really pose difficulties, but I'm betting yours will respond to therapy and you'll be in harness soon. Do, however, take care of yourself.

Jer
08-02-2009, 07:14 AM   #13
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The handtruck I picked up is from a local surplus sales place called Ollies. It cost about $25 dollars. It weighs maybe 3 lbs. Carries about 100 lbs. Folds down flat to fit in the trunk (about 18 inches x 12 inches x 3 inches. With a few bungies, it does the job.
08-02-2009, 07:30 AM   #14
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Sorry to hear about your back. My husband has back problems too. He wore his out in the Navy carrying all the welding stuff up and down the ladders of the ships. He had a double disc replacement March 2005. It was supposed to take care of the bulging discs. It did not help and he is still in constant pain. Now the disc above those is bulging causing even more pain. He takes pain medication as well as heart medication. He would not recommend that disc replacement to anyone. He should have gotten fused. If they were to take the discs out, it's a 25% mortality rate.

I hope you can get through this. You ought to ask your doctor about Opana pain medication. My husband used to eat his pain medication, but has since got on this Opana which is time released and he only takes it twice a day. It has helped. Atleast he can do some of the things he used to do.
08-02-2009, 02:20 PM   #15
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I am starting to find out what Bokehboy is talking about. I came home from Afghanistan with a knee that needs a surgery to repair, while home I went thru an extremely painfull time with my back and had a CT scan done. Thinking not much about it my doctor called me into the office last week to give me the news, 5 areas of serious concern at least 3 herniated discs into the spinal cord area.....what happened???? I guess I'm getting older and 27 years of fixing cars and trucks has taken it's toll along with the various motor vehicle crashes. I am now awaiting a MRI to be done but the doctor told me I will not be returning to my job anytime soon. I guess the 15ft fall from the top of a firetruck onto a pile of fire extinguishers in December is literally the straw that broke "Dereks" back.
That is the reason I entered into the dSLR world, to occupy my mind and keep myself busy learning something totally new to me.

Keep your chin up Bokehboy, people have recovered from terrible things (Lance Armstrong) and gone on to do great things.
Doors open in the strangest places and times when we least expect.

Good luck...

Derek
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