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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

A New Wrinkle

Nope, not in the Journey, or our Element tow car.  It's me.  Again.

Many years ago during my Coast Guard days, I got injured in a rescue.  To make a long story short, I got smacked across my lower back by a pipe (actually a Jack Staff for you Navy/Coast Guard folks).  It's a campfire story.  (The rescue turned out okay).

I was a little sore for a few days and the bruising soon disappeared.  Didn't think much of it after that.

A few years later during an MRI on a fraud investigation (another campfire story) it was discovered that the pipe smack had damaged a disc in my back ( L-5).  It didn't bother me but I was told it could cause problems later on in life.

Occasionally over the following years, I'd get a minor backache and treat it with some Motrin.  It worked okay for me.

Fast forward to now, now that I'm of Old Fart status, the back started acting up about three months ago.  The Motrin was working but as the days passed, it worked less and less and I'd be taking more and more.

On our California trip, the back really started to talk to me.  I didn't let it slow me down (too much) but on the trip home my back started talking to me, yelling actually.  Now I was up to 800 mg Motrin 3-4 times a day and it wasn't working.

By the time we were visiting our friends at the NWR, my back was now screaming at me.  Time to get home and to the doctor.  The pain was getting to the excruciating level and my left leg at times tingled and went numb.

I got an appointment at the Columbia VA today and after an X-ray, there shows problems with that pesky disc that got smacked all those years ago.  Thankfully I got some more powerful meds that have helped turn down the pain.  I'm going to get an MRI in the next week or so as they have an opening.  The downside is there really isn't much that can be done to fix me short of surgery.

That new wrinkle is throwing a wrench in our remaining summer plans.  I'm not complaining, just facing up to the fact that reaching the age for a Golden Age pass can come with a few unwanted side effects.  ;c)

Anyway, we had a great trip to California, the granddaughters were so much fun to be with, the many sights we saw and things we were able to do on the way out and back were worth it all.  We did 5366 miles on the trip and the Journey did us proud, we sure are pleased with how well it ran and how comfortable it was.

The downside is I couldn't wash the Journey, I had to put it in the storage lot with all those bug casualties all over the nose.  I may have to take it to a nearby truck wash when I get a chance, I like to keep it clean and shiny.  It's the least I can do in return for all the Journey's great service it's given us.

So I'll be chilling here at our SC home base for the time being.  A good place to be.  :c)

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.  


  1. Good luck with your back issues, not fun at all. I have suffer with back pain for the last 40 years but not retired is manageable. A cannot drive longer than one hour at a time with stopping for a rest and a stretch . This works good in our retirement.

  2. Back problems sure seem to be prevalent amongst men of a certain age. Jim destroyed his when he was young. Got mad at his employees and lifted a transmission out of a truck by himself. His surgery a few years ago really helped. Still some pain but nothing like it was. Goid luck with yours.

  3. Know what you mean about back pain. Hope there is something that will fix you up and not slow you down.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    I's about time.

  4. Ouch!!! Back pain is no fun...ask me how I know:o((

    Several years ago, L4 & L5 surgery, rehab and exercise helped me. As long as I do my exercises, it doesn't holler at me too much!!

    Wish you pain relief so you can get back to enjoying retirement!!!

  5. It's not fun to have new wrinkles. Age does creep up on us and those pesky little problems don't go away as fast. Hopefully, yours will soon subside and you'll be able to get on the road again to smell more flowers.

  6. Ugh! Prayers for healing for you. Apparently back surgery has come a looong way since the age of technology. Hopefully if that's the route you have to go, it will help.

  7. Really sorry to hear this Paul. I think your trips in the Journey may have to be extended to include a few days of back rest for every day of driving. I sure hope they can come up with something other than surgery. I'm sure you have heard the same back surgery stories that we have. Fingers crossed for you.

  8. Ouch ... yeah ... Golden Age status sometimes comes with pains and aches we could well do without. Hopefully it's not something that will require surgery.

  9. Sorry to hear about your back trouble. I'm experiencing back issues myself but fortunately the meds are helping. I hope the VA is getting better and quicker on getting appointments. We use "The solution" on our motorhome and have actually never used soap and water. It works great for bugs and Marti could easily do it.

  10. Amazing how we all thought those old injuries were never going to catch up to us...BUT THEY ALL DO! Hopefully the pain will subside, we feel your pain!

  11. Paul, does that mean you will no longer be doing the marathon driving sessions? Be well my friend, be well.

  12. So sorry to hear about your back problems. Hopefully they can do something to relieve the pain. Be careful taking those powerful pain pills. Personally I'd go with Marijuana.

  13. Any news on the surgery? Also Happy Birthday to the Coast Guard.