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Friday, May 14, 2010

Well, I've been sitting on the sidelines long enough!

Missed a GORGEOUS day of biking due to a mis-informed weather map which showed a bunch of rain off to our west which I thought would douse me...instead we have a BEAUTIFUL day...say 85 degrees on a bank thermometer...! I just LOVED the warmth! Kept being so surprised over the numbers of people I came across who were like "whew! It's so HOT!" ...Me? Just basking away...! I remember the bad-old-days when all those pounds would have me sweating at the drop of a hat! Which makes me savor all the more being able to enjoy the warmth and the heat.

So! Had another round of physical therapy today...tried to weasel out of going back, but they cautioned against it because I haven't been up to speed with my physical activities just yet.

Well! The gauntlet is DOWN! Time to get GOING again! I have NO pain anymore...it's been a few days since finishing the steroid. I'm ready to pump it UP! The difference? Going to be WAY more diligent in my stretches. Now that I have a repertoire of several different stretches instead of my cursory token two types of stretches in the past, I'm going to get going again, add the stretches and see how it goes. I also have two PT sessions scheduled for next week as back up. If I get through the week without trouble, I think it will be time to wrap up the PT. Those co-pays add up! And if I've got the right moves, I can't see the point in keeping on with it.

Going to kick it off tomorrow by riding my bike down to the park where the Annual Walk/Fun Run Against Obesity will be held. This is sponsored by our local bariatric surgery group.


I'm arming myself with my mighty red SparkPeople shirt and a fist full of SparkPeople flyers and going to join in with the 3 mile walk and plan to tell my story and talk up SparkPeople with as many folks as I can! Woo hoo!

With a little luck I might be able to either help a few folks to prepare to make their weight loss surgery a success OR to SPARK their lives in such a way that they can sidestep surgery altogether!

I am SO looking forward to getting out on my bike and connecting with others on the walk! Doesn't look like rain for the foreseeable future which also means MORE BIKING & COMMUTING on my bike too!

Hope everybody's Making your May a SPARKING good time! :-)


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRAINOF4 5/15/2010 9:47PM

    I hope you don't overdo it today - but you know your limits As long As you LISTEN to them!!

Wish I could say that losing weight would cool me off - alas, even when I was underweight I was a sweaty, hot misery! emoticon Just my nature .. still complain that with that sort of metabolism why am I so fat!? LOL ... no I KNOW why!

Hope your day was just WONDERFUL! Way to go spreading that SPARK! emoticon

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ETAGGEL 5/15/2010 3:10PM

    Enjoy yourself Don, but take care you don't do too much at once!

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LADYGWEN25 5/15/2010 10:40AM

    have a great time at the run! glad to hear you're back in the swing of things :)

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FERRETLOVER1 5/15/2010 8:03AM

    Have a wonderful time at your walk/fun run! Don't overdo it, though.

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SMILINGBREYES 5/15/2010 6:53AM

    Glad to hear you're able to get back to the biking commuting! Yep stretches, stretches, stretches is the way to go and praying that with the new ones you're able to stay the course and not have to go back to PT again! Praying for you Don and hoping quite a few is Sparked on from your story!

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COLOURFULME 5/15/2010 2:58AM

    That's why I belong to my own club AWG! It is an acronym that has many explanations. It started as All Weather Girl but soon I was joking about it and turned it into All Weather Goddess!! LOL But then thinking it could mean All Weather Guy, All Weather God, All Weather Group, All Weather Gang etc.......
So pleas join my club! LOL AWG, it means whatever suits you!!!!

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_MAOMAO_ 5/15/2010 2:13AM

  Haha! I left home yesterday w/ a low turtleneck, the single layer mock variety. It was over 70. I took off the t-neck and re-donned the light cotton shirt I'd had over the black turtleneck.

Congrats on being done w/ therapy!

I'll be at church in the morning, saying an extra prayer for that walk, perhaps you can help someone save their life - Spark on!


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DAISES2 5/15/2010 1:09AM

    is'nt it a drag when the forecast is wrong,it makes a lot of people change their plans ugh.glad your getting back to it,enjoy the event.

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PUDDLE_JUMPER 5/15/2010 12:07AM

    Take care of yourself Don, Way to Spark it UP!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FRECKS96 5/14/2010 11:05PM

    Glad to hear you're back at it. Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow.

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VALERIEMAHA 5/14/2010 10:59PM

    I'm SO HAPPY that you're "back in the saddle again!"

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VARMINT3 5/14/2010 10:19PM

    Bummer about missing out on biking - it was a lovely day to ride, whether your choice is bike or horse emoticon

Have fun at the walk tomorrow!

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MORGANLAFEE 5/14/2010 10:13PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FreeCycle: Downsizing & Paying It Forward!

Monday, May 10, 2010

I just LOVE Freecycle! www.freecycle.org/

Rather than just plopping and dropping off bags of "stuff" anonymously, it is so cool to touch base with folks during the process of posting and arranging for passing things along. In doing some spring cleaning I came across some 2X / size 18 shirts that I should have gotten rid of long ago. I discovered another case manager who was looking for clothes for her client just as I had been looking for a TV for one of my clients in the recent past and managed to get one through Freecycle. A few weeks ago I unloaded HUNDREDS of music cassettes as I no longer own a cassette player...brought lots of smiles to some fellow...doubt his WIFE will smile when he comes home with all of THAT...lol! The personal touch...paying it forward...it's all GOOD!

Made up my mind I couldn't just sit around cringing over the possible aches / pains I might suffer if I worked out so I hopped onto my 'mill tonight for an hour...felt GREAT! Enjoyed James Taylor's song "Never Die Young" ( www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4qjS5Q2Xqg ) which to my ears sounds like: "Live your life with as much youth and vigor for as long as you can!" Had another round of PT this a.m., added another stretch, got another piriformis (yes, my butt...lol!) massage. Finished off the steroids today. We'll see how things go. I'm quizzing my bike club members to see if anyone else has dealt with this.

Time for my bedtime stretches and a good night's sleep...!

Keep on SPARKIN' everyone!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DONNELDA22 5/13/2010 8:24PM

    I agree Freecycle is a great way to rid yourself of your excess "stuff".
Keep up the good work.

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USARUNNERGIRL 5/13/2010 3:12PM

    Wow that is such a cool thing. I usually donate to goodwill, but this is actually better because the people don't have to pay for the items. Woot.

I hope you are getting to feel better. Sounds like you are making a little progress.

Thank you for the goodie you gave me over the weekend. I really appreciated it.

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TRAINOF4 5/12/2010 11:34PM

    I LOVE freecycle! I got my 55 gal fish tank AND the handmade wood stand (with brass fittings, casters, and cutout in the back for access to the filters & air lines etc.) I love being able to get rid of things by passing them on to people who need them! It's a great idea isn't it!?

And giving away clothes that are too big!? Whew, that must feel even better! Way to go!

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SASSYCHRIS1952 5/12/2010 11:56AM

    Does it feel great to get rid of clothes that are now too big or what! During my moving process, I got rid of big-sized clothes too!

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GR8CATSBY 5/11/2010 10:44PM

    I have a bunch of LPs and a record player. I TRIED a year or so ago to put all this away in a closet but then decided "no, I'll start listening to my LPs again." Which I haven't. On my someday list is to convert these LPs (and my cassettes as well) into .mp3 files...

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MSAGER2 5/11/2010 10:48AM

    I love to bike too.. that is the one exercise I don't "hate" doing and I can stick with. Go you!

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COLOURFULME 5/11/2010 1:50AM

    Hoping that the medicine has relaxed the area and you indeed won't need them anymore. Keep us posted!! I know you will! :)

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L*I*T*A* 5/10/2010 10:54PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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THEUPS1 5/10/2010 10:37PM

    Yay for freecycle!! And YAY for giving away clothes that are too big now!!

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Laminate Skater Squats Boogie

Sunday, May 09, 2010

I've been appreciative of Mother Nature NOT teasing me with fine biking weather today...lol! Chilly 40's, snow on the car this a.m., can't remember the last time we had snow in May!

After our Mother's Day outing I got to taking care of some housework, including cleaning our laminate floors, which we had put in place last year. Although I LOVE the look of the laminate, I have yet to find a satisfactory way to clean them so that they have that impressive sheen they seemed to have in the store, despite following the directions. What I HAVE found that helps is to have nice white, absorbent socks on and to go over the floor with my feet to buff them to look better. Problem is, I usually don't have time to do this. But as I've been looking for alternatives to biking I thought 'what the heck?' Put on my mp3 player, boogied and buffed the floors with these skater squat type of movements:


Worked up a nice sweat to some of my oldies like David Byrne's Desconocido Soy (no, I have NO idea what the title or words to this song are all about...it's just a fun tune to MOVE to...lol!)
I can even enjoy some fun with the Jackson 5...yes, the disco era left it's stamp... www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjW1iq4IO2k

Later I put together my batch of hummus
( recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
) for the week...I take it into work with fresh veggies for lunch. It's become my healthier alternative to cheese. I like to have fun customizing it each time I make it.

Today? I had soaked some Roman beans overnight...I enjoy trying a different bean each time I make hummus, black beans, garbanzo, pinto, whathaveyou... here's an interesting reference for beans: www.foodsubs.com/Beans.html

I never buy canned beans...avoid the BPA, save money and soak those dry beans!

Swapped out the sour cream for nonfat plain yogurt.

Instead of adding onion and garlic to this fresh I sauteed them first... tones down their bite. Had an old shriveled up yellow bell pepper, what the heck, in it goes! And then for a different tweak I noticed I had one too many apples getting a bit long in the tooth...diced 'er up and threw it in the pan too!

While running it through the food processor I jazzed it up with some crushed red pepper and a HEAVY dose of black pepper along with the cumin. I'm pretty liberal with the lemon juice too.

For pretty low cost I've got a stash of hummus that'll see me through the week!

Must run now, another round of stretches await as does physical therapy tomorrow morning @ 7:30! Hoping to consider resuming some of my former activities soon...will test the waters with shorter distances first.

Next weekend is our local Obesity Walk, which I'm hoping to join in with (c'mon all you locals...!) some others from our Binghamton Area Losers. They have a 1 mile & 3 mile walk as well as a 5k run.

Make it a SPARKIN' Week everyone! :-)


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SATYAGRAHA 5/12/2010 9:09AM

    Look at you go buffin' those floors and making your hummus! Maybe you could do both at the same time! At least that's the image I have in my head right now. emoticon Running around the kitchen, buffing the floors, and throwing stuff in the food processor all while jamming to some disco. emoticon

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MSAGER2 5/10/2010 4:51PM

    So how long do I soak beans and then how long do I cook them? I love to add them to my dishes, but I will admit I usually use canned.

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L*I*T*A* 5/10/2010 11:41AM

    what a great solution...........
way to go!!!
have a great week....
blessings and hugs....lita

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ZELLAZM 5/10/2010 6:50AM

    I'm in big batch mode myself today...you may have inspired me to make a batch of hummus, too. Chili is on now...back to the kitchen to stir and check.

Hope you continue to heal up well. Great example of making lemonade out of the sciatica lemons!

Blessings in the new week,

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DONNELDA22 5/10/2010 6:15AM

    Hi Don: Thanks for all the great ideas to make a variety of different hummas. Never thought of using different beans. Great idea.
Hope you are back in action soon. emoticon

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MIZZSB 5/10/2010 4:07AM

    good for you Don!
We have laminate as well and it doesnt shine as the store shows either..

how is the pain?

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COLOURFULME 5/10/2010 1:30AM

    Good solution for exercise!!
Love it!!

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SUZIAND 5/9/2010 10:43PM

    hehehe...I'm imagining you buffing the floors with your socks...jamming to disco! That's awesome! Maybe I should start cleaning my hardwood floor that way!

Man I wish I lived in your area... I would LOVE to do all these walks with ya! And I wish I liked hummus and/or beans in any shape or form! lol !!

Have a wonderful week, Don! I hope your PT goes well!!!


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The Miracle of Modern Medicine...!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

It's been a nice bounce back with the steroid (Medrol) I've been taking. I'm not making the assumption that I'm CURED by no means, but the pain relief has been striking. The first day of having this sciatica I could not even walk upstairs to our 2nd floor. By the end of the next day I had gone up & down the stairs without a problem several times. Today I mowed our lawn with our reel (non-powered) mower. Feeling some twinges tonight as I've probably pushed myself a bit too far. I'll be quizzing the physical therapist BIGTIME tomorrow as I'd like to know what activities I can pursue, what to avoid. I'm fearing the bike may be problematic given the sciatic nerve that seems most affected runs from my *buttock* (hello sit-bone!) down my leg.

At least I was able to attain some speedy relief!

Now if only Mother Nature wouldn't tease me with some mighty fine biking weather...! :-)


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

COLOURFULME 5/9/2010 5:38AM

    Hope you ae feeling much better after a few day! I know it is terrible. It can take up to months before it heals. Hope it will be much sooner for you!!! Take care as I have written before!!! emoticon

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ZELLAZM 5/8/2010 11:44AM

    Don! Sorry to hear about the sciatica but glad to hear you're healing well. (Just now checking blogs that have back-logged since Tuesday!) Have a happy, healthy weekend in spite of this setback - I know it won't slow you down for long!


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JCORYCMA 5/8/2010 12:51AM

    Having had sciatic pain and finally herniated disk surgery I can sympathize! A pack of frozen peas on the back sure helped as the cold worked wonders on the inflammation. Take it easy! I'm sorry I missed your earlier posts. For some reason, I don't always get e-mailed notifications of the blogs I subscribe to!
Keep us posted on your recovery.

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LUREAH21 5/7/2010 2:59PM

    Hope you can get back on the bike again sometime soon!

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LADYGWEN25 5/7/2010 12:49PM

    glad you're feeling better too Don... I have sciatica as well...lying down verses sitting helps ALOT... so when i'm watching TV.. i no longer sit in the recliner but stretch out on the couch....i know there are stretches that help relieve it... alot are yoga related.. and since i've started doing yoga daily...nary a twinge.. But make sure you heal first...Glad you're on the mend. :)

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L*I*T*A* 5/7/2010 12:08PM

    glad things are looking up and you have an asnwer to get better soon..........
blessings and hugs...........lita

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FRECKS96 5/7/2010 9:51AM

    Glad you're feeling better and I hope it continues!

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    So glad that the meds are helping. It is good that they are helping and not doing nadda. YEAH. Yup I probably would hold off on the biking bit until you get the green light. I know as "painful" as it is to be sitting idle while nature is saying come bike out here with me, it is far better to wait a short time than to exacerbate the problem to bigger proportions.

Take care and hope you can go biking sooner than later.

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SATYAGRAHA 5/7/2010 8:35AM

    Glad to hear you're feeling better, but I definitely thing quizzing the PT is a must. You don't want to push yourself too hard!

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HOPE2BE 5/7/2010 8:02AM

    I've never found relief from sciatic pain unless I go to the chiropractor. I'm glad you found relief. The medicine is nice to get rid of the pain but I would still ask the Dr. what you can or can't do.

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FERRETLOVER1 5/7/2010 7:45AM

    Thank goodness for medicine! Now just take it easy, okay? Be sure you are okay before you try to ride that bike again!

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AMABILE75 5/7/2010 7:36AM

    I'm so glad you were able to get some relief from the pain. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that you can get back to that bike soon. :)


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CARRIE1948 5/7/2010 7:25AM

    Don't you just love medral? It's mu drug of choice.

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MIZZSB 5/7/2010 4:21AM

    Im glad to hear that your pain is getting less...

take your rest!!

ps. i saw you on the video thats on sparkguy's blog last september ...;)

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DRASADAF 5/7/2010 2:51AM

    wow,thats great...have a great day

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TRAINOF4 5/7/2010 1:16AM

    Blech - sciatica. Can relate. Hope you can get the problem under control quickly & off the meds - they aren't any fun for the long term (can you say "FEED ME"?)

Mine makes my foot itch. Totally annoying. Hope the physical therapist can provide you with good stretches & exercises to help control the problem.

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VALERIEMAHA 5/6/2010 11:50PM

    Hmmmm...I never let the sciatica stop me *much*...slow down a bit for a few days (never took any meds regardless of the pain levels) and I have always found it to be fast-healing, assuming I allowed it to heal.

I always found yoga asana VERY helpful, e.g.: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VMb

Speedy recovery, dear Don!

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Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Saw my doc this a.m. and things are pointing toward sciatica of some sort...looks to me from my 'net research and the symptoms I'm having to be of the Piriform's variety, however I'm no medical professional. Will be seeing a physical therapist Fri. a.m., hoping for some help there...have had great assistance from Physical Therapists in the past.

Found some helpful info / tips @ CoolRunning.com:


The pain is somewhat less today, I think rest and caution are helping.

I have to chuckle some over all the potentially risky things I do...whizzing down hills on my bike at high speeds, dealing with traffic; possibly tripping and tangling my limbs in cross country skis and everything else...surviving this all to be hung up by something else altogether!

Thx everyone for the well wishes...!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AMETHYST0809 5/11/2010 8:46AM

    Sorry to hear you are still hurting Don! I look forward to your "exploits" with the bike and poles.... :) My son is having major problems with his back right now, related to a herniated disc at the L3,4,5; he is large and they are talking about him haviong lap band surgery to help with weight loss before doing anything else. He is in a lot of pain, and doesn't like to push himself, so exercise will probably be minimal for a while. They are sending him a pain clinic, so I'm hoping that once he gets more comfortable, he'll want to get out and move around some more. Is anybody familiar with Dr. Tvetenstrand's bariatric surgery clinic? Other recommendations for doctors who do that kind of surgery? I will encourage him to get on the Spark in the meantime! Good luck with your problem Don! We're rooting for you to get better!

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BARBARA_BOO 5/11/2010 1:38AM

    I had something similar in 2002.

The pains would radiate from my sit bone down my right leg, not the left. Doctors called mine "spondelolysis", wanted to fuse my 4th &5th lumbar vertebrae, sent me home with an exercise sheet, a diet and a back brace. I avoided surgery.

I have since had an inflamed piriformis on the right side, during a time when I was taking several dance classes a week (4 yrs ago). My doctor called the piriformis problem "ballet butt", since many dancers suffer from it. (I'm sure you will find it amusing to tell people you have "ballet butt".) Weekly pilates classes with a very good professional for the past 4 yrs has kept the piriformis quiet. No more spondelolysis, either. PT will do wonders for you. Take care of your A$$.

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FRECKS96 5/6/2010 10:46PM

    Oh, that stinks. I really hope that PT helps and that you're feeling better soon. Take care of yourself. Your bike and walking poles will be lonely without you!

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AMABILE75 5/6/2010 7:24AM

    Keeping my fingers crossed for you that all works out well and quickly!! Keep us posted!!!


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DRASADAF 5/6/2010 4:27AM

    oh i am really sorry to hear about this...take great care of yourself emoticon

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L*I*T*A* 5/6/2010 12:56AM

    so sorry to hear................
at least you know what it is...........
and can do something to make it better.........
take care..........wishing you well soon.....
blessings and hugs............lita

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HEALTHY_CAROLYN 5/6/2010 12:48AM

    I hope all goes well with the physical therapist, Don! Sad to hear that you're having pain, and I hope that you can keep safe while still being active.

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SMILINGBREYES 5/5/2010 11:49PM

    I have this ever since I try to pull a skid of ice that melted to the cooler floor. Should have used the power jack but instead used the manual one and pull did I in the wrong place, my lower back. Physical therapy (PT) goes a long way in helping! First one I had was young but EXCELLENT. Caught that I have two problems not one. One leg is shorter than the other. Every so often my back goes out along with the leg.

Try the heating pad and laying flat on the back with NO pillow. Helps me loads. Its painful I know. Brought tears to my eyes and this from a gal who has a high tolerance of pain.

Feel better and hoping the PT gives you some GREAT stretching exercise to make the pain go away quicker!

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HAPPYMOM8 5/5/2010 10:43PM

    So sorry! Sounds awful. but glad you are getting help. docs seem to do wonders in no time these days.
thanks for the goodie

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JOY1918 5/5/2010 9:33PM

    Yup nerve pain is no fun. I have a disc issue and can relate. I have really pushed myself this past month with cardio and weight training and now am paying for it. Ice, naprosyn, and rest sure do help.

Good luck, hope all goes well with PT.

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SATYAGRAHA 5/5/2010 8:55PM

    Bummer! Hope you get well soon! Take good care of yourself!

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COLOURFULME 5/5/2010 6:34PM

    Yikes! Don't like to be right!
Take care!! emoticon

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SIRCATNIP1 5/5/2010 6:33PM

    Hope you feel better

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SVELTINGTON 5/5/2010 6:09PM

    emoticon emoticon
Take it easy and get well soon!

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WILLOW49 5/5/2010 5:37PM

    You should listen to your son, after all he's a neurosurgical PA!

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_VALEO_ 5/5/2010 5:06PM

    I feel for you, I had one and was a physical wreck during months.
Yet your tub remedy is a good solution, I remember how better I felt in water (the only sport I could do was aquafitness.)

Wish you a speedy recovery.

Comment edited on: 5/5/2010 7:35:36 PM

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MIZZSB 5/5/2010 4:22PM

thats gotta hurt Don!
Hope you can get some help friday.

take care! emoticon

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    Ouch. Glad you went to your doctor and you are starting to feel better. Hope you are back to it soon!!!!!

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