Dec 022009

Cyborg I’m serious.  My back has let me down again and I’m done with it.  I’m ready to go into some mad scientist’s secret laboratory and undergo some painful surgery that replaces my skeleton with adamantium, or perhaps some combination of gyros and advanced cybertronics.  Hell, I’ll take $6 million worth of bionics.  Whatever. 

Wednesday, I went to class without a problem.  We rolled relatively light.  I had a great roll with Mark W, the kids’ coach, which I always enjoy a lot.  He and I match up well, enough to push me, but not overwhelm me. 

Thursday, I was a little stiff in my hip.  Nothing unusual, though.  I live with that pretty much all the time now.  I was in charge of the turkey, the gravy and the wine.  My wife pretty much took care of everything else… because she rocks like that.  My 12 year old daughter made pumpkin pie and pumpkin loaf for dessert.  I’ll have to take some time to write an entire post about how completely amazed I am with her passion and talent for baking and cooking.  Suffice to say that her pies were great… crust nice and flaky. 

Anyway, Thanksgiving day was fine.  I felt okay.  Still a little stiff, but as I said, nothing unusual.  Friday morning I woke up and went to yoga with my wife and daughter.  I didn’t overdo it at all.  Felt a little more tweaky Friday night.

Saturday morning, I woke up in a lot of pain.  So, I began icing my back.  Slept like hell that night and Sunday was in a lot of pain.  My right hip was on fire and my back was killing me.  Monday, I drove to work, although I’m not sure how.  I made it about 2 hours before I called the doctor.

backpainTwo days off work and I’m starting to feel better.  I slept last night, but it was drug assisted sleep, so not very restful.  Enough, though, that my mood is considerably better.  As usual, I’m a little depressed.  The conversation with the doctor was entirely without hope.

Doctor:  "So, what’s going on?"
Me:  "My back is killing me.  Look, Doc.  Here’s the deal.  I exercise more than most of America.  I have a strong core.  I have lost 40 lbs.  I want to figure out a way to break this cycle.  What can I do?"
Doctor:  "Well, unfortunately, there’s not a lot that you can do.  It sounds like you’re doing all of the right things."
Me:  "So, you’re telling me that I can just expect this to happen for the rest of my life?"
Doctor:  "Basically, yeah."


He actually said, "Welcome to the world of chronic back pain, along with millions of other people in America."  Well, if it’s all the same, I’ll pull out my member card from the Six Million Dollar Man Bionic Action Club (which I still have!) and go that route.

So, Dr. Sean, you were right and I was wrong.  I have a hangups with chiropractors, but I trust you and need to do something else.  Traditional medicine has failed me.  Unless I want to live with a cycle of pain, vicodin and flexeril, I need to do something different.  I’ll talk with you about it next time I see you, even if you weren’t man enough to wear the stache!  hehe.

  18 Responses to “So, seriously. How hard is it to become a cyborg?”

Comments (18)

    That sux.
    Hope you get better, but medical science is also lacking clues how to treat chronic back pain. Basically, man evolved to become upright bipeds but someone forgot to make the back strong enough to do the job. Give me gorilla strength and low posture anyday.


      I’m telling you, meerkatsu, bionics are the way to go. If it was good enough for Col. Steve Austin, it’s good enough for me. And that nifty bup bup bup bup sound when you run would be great.


    I am really sorry to hear about your predicament.
    You are probably going to be doing so much research
    to find your own cure and healing that it will qualify
    you as a MD or better.
    I wish you a speedy and lasting recovery.
    Take it easy, Steve.


    Sorry to hear you are down in the dumps my friend. They say injury is all part of it but that never makes me feel any better when im going thru it. Just got in from a doc visit regarding an old knee issue. Nothing major but I have found that by taking action to do something about it helps with my state of mind. I also suggest NOT researching it on the web because if you are anything like me you will convince yourself you have every condition imaginable related to the injury. Remember also this is a life long commitment. You are allowed some rest, it doesnt mean you are lazy. Hang tough my friend.


      I know what you mean about the web. It’s almost too much information. But at the same time, I’ve found that doctors, particularly in the USA, run their practices as a business, and they benefit from a snappy diagnosis. For example, I’m going to have to see a specialist in order to get an actual MRI done. The family practice doctors will only prescribe more drugs and tell me to get used to it.


    Hi Steve….Sorry to hear about your back pain.

    My husband suffers from chronic back pain and has seen many doctors and asked them to “fix it”. He had one neck surgery/fusion that helped but unfortunately he has several other compressed discs. This is in addition to 2 knee surgeries, 1 shoulder surgery, ulnar nerve transposition, skin grafts (burn) and thumb surgery. If you find the secret lab…let me know. :)



      I heard about a lab, but it’s in a place called Island of Despair. I’m not sure I’m going to go with that particular Dr. Evil is, after all, his middle name.


    Well, its not a cure for the back pain but it is interesting. XFX has started trial screenings for optical implants:

    Who knows maybe science will come up with something soon for your back. In the mean while let the rest of us know if you find anything. I have a few of my own back problems too.




      That’s very cool. Maybe there will be a cure for this stuff. I’ll post about whatever I find, and if anyone else stumbles upon a miracle cure, please let me know!


    Hey Steve, sorry to hear about your back pain.
    I have pain in my hips and lower back that gets chronic after exercising.
    But I figured out two things that really help: always trying to correct my posture during daily life (having a straight back) and having a good, slow stretch especially of the legs, when still warm from training. that definitely stops it from coming on too strong.


      Posture is something I’ve become aware of over the years, as well. I tend to slouch and it’s a never ending struggle to sit up straight.

      Stretching after class is something I’m not all that good about, but I’ll take that advice to heart.

      Thanks for the comment.


      Good advise. Very few of us take time to cool down properly before we head out of the gym. (Especially into the freezing cold!)


    I think I’ve only told one person they were going to have to live with it and I truly believed that person continued to come in because they wanted attention. They were mental!

    Otherwise, unless we can find irreversible damage from a specific trauma, there is always reason for the symptom and we just have to dig until we find the cause of the problem. That may be a particular adjustment or it may be a stretch or exercise. In my experience it is usually a combination of both and, it is part of the routine of maintaining your body for optimal health over a lifetime.

    Ill be in the academy this weekend hope to see you!


    Hi Steve,

    It has been my experience that a) lots of low back pain comes from “length/tension imbalances” and that b) some stuff in yoga is actually terrible for low back pain. For instance, if my back is feeling trixy, the last thing I want to do is the standing forward bend – if you’re doing these in class, you might try clasping your hands together behind your back and keeping your back straight while you do them. Things like that. Overstretching the low back *always* leads to pain, IME, while I’m not at all sure it’s even possible to overstretch the hammies, and my back usually feels great after I spend 20 min stretching and rolling out my hammies and IT bands (if you don’t have a foam roller, you might take a look – in my case, it was $20 well spend for both low back and IT bands).

    I share your skepticism of chiropractic, though – I’ve had one fantastic chiro and about half a dozen total quacks and scam artists. The good one was more akin to a massage therapist than anything though – he’d stretch my back out and crack more or less everything, and I’d feel fantastic afterwards. So there is hope!

    Best of luck.


    Ouch… bad back here too. a visit to the chiro each month.


    I have disc degeneration as well. I have had blowouts lasting up to 7 weeks where I could barely walk.

    Lately it is much better (as in the last 3 years). I attribute the improvement to a number of factors.

    1) Weight loss
    2) Better hydration
    3) Working on flexibility
    4) Lifting properly EVERY time. No lifting and twisting
    5) Posterior chain work (deadlifts, yoga etc)
    6) NSAIDs and glucosamine
    7) I limit ballistic movement (I don’t do cartwheels etc and I’m careful with takedowns)

    I had some bouts that made me feel like I was going to die the pain was so bad. Virtually zero mobility.

    I have been training at BJJ now since Feb, 3 to 4 days a week. I am almost 47 years old.

    There is hope.


    Have you tried Yoga? or trigger point therapy?
    Yoga helps me out all the time when I have back pain. Just some awesome stretches for a few days relieve the pain and totally limber up my body.

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