Saturday, February 28, 2015

Stromer Spondylosis

After our nice trip to the left coast, I came home to wrestle with a condition that I had never heard of.  I had lumbar spondylosis, bacically, a herniated disc.  And as for pain, on a 10 scale, it was an 11.  It occured in a  bicycle accident event when I adjusted my seat height too high. Yes, that's it. I didn't fall, I just extended my left leg a little too much to keep from falling.

My partner and I had just purchased some really cool electric bikes called Stromers.  They don't have a little throttle like my last electric bike  (an A to B), they have a little computer on them where you set the amount of power you want when you apply energy to the pedals.  And its very satisfying.  You end up riding more or less effortlessly depending on the setting ranging from eco to power.  In a crowded urban roadway, these Stromers are the best, fastest way to travel.  And their 22 mile per hour speed is plenty fast.

So, once we got back from the coast, my partner suggested we get some images.  That seemed reasonable.  And thus I got my first MRI.  MRIs are curiously noisy.  And after about 25 minutes in that long donut, I was more than ready to get out of there. Later that day I looked up MRI and found out that it was invented by a guy named Damadian.  Raymond Vahan Damadian was a violin player who just happened to figure out that potassium ions might provide image potential. This from Wikepedia:

Damadian's early work on NMR concerned investigating potassium ions inside cells.[8] He found that the potassium relaxation times were much shorter compared with aqueous solutions of potassium ions. This suggested that potassium was not free but complexed to ‘fixed-charge’ counter-ions, as he had previously determined.

Damadian predicted that cancerous cells would have longer relaxation times, both because of the disordering of malignant cells and because of their elevated potassium levels.

Curiously, others got the nobel prize for his discovery.

And so thanks to Raymond and the rest of his cohorts, I got to see my spine like never before.

Now, let me set it straight.  I have had a bad back ever since the time I was coming down a 500 foot cliff in Colorado and the last ledge before we got to the ground broke off with me on it.  It was a  good thing actually, because a few moments before there were five other 14 year olds on that ledge with me.  As the the ledge broke off, I turned and tried to find something on the cliff to hold on to.   After a few seconds of doing my best impression of Wylie Coyote, I pushed off, opened my arms into flight mode and glided to the earth like a rock.  Remarkably, I walked away.

Ever since that fall in the mountains of Colorado, I've known I had a trick back.  And fifty years later, after running 10 K a day for twenty years or so, and running and working out more than most folks for another 10 years, I got to see the pictures of that day thanks to Ray and my new neurosurgeon Dr. White.

Dr White told me to forget about doing anything other than resting.

And for the month of February that is what I did.

And I am better.

Might even try the Stromer in May.


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