Wednesday, October 24, 2007

What are you doing to me, C3-C4? I thought we were friends?!

Monday I had the distinct displeasure of having my XXL-sized body squeezed into the drinking-straw-sized device they call an MRI machine. Being mildly claustrophobic, it was not an enjoyable 20 minute ordeal. Luckily, they only inserted me from head to waist. Had I had to endure a full-body encapsulation, I'd have needed tranqs.

I just heard from the doc with the results. Word on the street is that I have a "small herniation" of the C3-C4 disk. Actually, he said I have *two* herniations. One at C3-C4 and one somewhere lower (he wasn't specific), but he thinks C3-C4 is the one causing me discomfort.

I asked him what the next step was. He said for more severe herniations, we start talking about surgery at this point. However, with the size of mine, and the fact that my symptoms seem to be subsiding (slowly), we were best off taking a wait-and-see approach. Apparently, herniations never "fix" themselves. The symptoms may go away fully, but once you're herniated, you're herniated till you opt for surgery to smush the disk back where it belongs.

I asked what I should and shouldn't be doing physically at this point. He said tackle football was out (I can manage that...I've avoided it for 20 years now), and he said that "getting in a car accident would be really bad now". Check. I'll put that on my "stuff not to do" list, too. When I specifically asked about mountain biking, he said that I should be able to start again. But that I should "avoid head-on collisions". Thanks doc. Master of the obvious. That's why you get paid the big bucks.

So (thankfully), it's time to get back on the bike. I'm gonna take things gingerly at first, I think. The Bliss is just a few weeks away. Gotta determine if I'll be riding it, or driving around the park strategically placing myself (and my camera) at peak action-shot locations.

While I had the doc on the phone, I took the opportunity to explain that I was going to have to start traveling (flying) more for (wedding photography) work. I asked if he could prescribe me some Xanax to keep me sane at 30k feet. Thankfully, he obliged. Ye ole medicine cabinet is getting crowded these days!

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