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Three score and ten or more

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


I have a lot of things I'd like to write about, not very much conscious time, and a serious headache after watching the cable news about the New Hampshire Primary. I spent last week in our Time Share at Hilton Head Island and will write further about that, then yesterday I went to the Medical College of Georgia to see the neurologist about the pain I had last month in my back. (I believe I gave you pictures).

First the medical stuff. I have said before that three score and ten plus some more years is a pain in the butt. Actually it is a pain in the neck, in the back, occasionally in the heart and head, often in the shoulders (thank heaven for naproxin) and a frequent major problem with the bladder and urinary tract, but this trip was primarily for the back. I ended up in the Neurologist office being examined by the Doctor with whom I have appointments two or three times a year to run herd on my peripheral neuropathy (I forgot pain in the feet and hands). He looked at the CD of my back (which my family practice physician was supposed to have sent him and didn't, it was a good thing I had a copy) cursed the quality of the MRI and arranged for me to go back up there and get another one (actually I was going anyway for the ophthalmologist who did laser surgery on my eyes a few years ago to keep my retinas from falling apart-- No pain there, just another part of me wearing out). I discovered that instead of extruding disks in the L4 and L5 vertebrae I have bone spurs on the L1 and L2 vertebrae. Knowing that the locals completely misdiagnosed the problem really makes one feel confident. He was in no hurry to do surgery. There doesn't seem to be muscular degeneration in this area and he said that surgery just for pain is sometimes not a good idea. (Not out of the question for the future, but not good now). He then ran me through my usual tests, concluding with an EMG (electro myologram or something like that.

I have discussed the EMG before. I thing it is one of the few things that can happen in a Doctor's Office that can compare with a non anesthesia root canal (yes I have had that too, but I was young and stupid (er) then.) They stick electrodes (and sometimes needles) onto or into the top and bottom of a nerve then shoot electricity between them to time the reaction between the electrodes. It is particularly fun when they insert needles for this purpose into the joint between abdomen and thigh. Since we were there to check on the vertebrae as well, he turned me on my side and stuck the needles into my back (or spine or thereabouts). That was a new and "refreshing" experience, the other stuff I get about once a year, but now they have a new and more sensitive place to play pin cushion (I wonder if that's how "Pin the Tail on the Donkey" started?) At least in the electric chair (which was outlawed as cruel and unusual punishment) the did it all at one time, from the top down.

One thing about it, when you go to the doctor's office and they work on you for two full hours it is harder to resent the size of the bill. (Especially when sometimes five minute office calls are billed for eighty to a hundred dollars.)

Jan waited patiently for me and when all was done we went to Logan's Roadhouse for a bucket of peanuts and a"Little bit of Everything Salad" which is one of my favorite restaurant meals with two or three kinds of lettuce, crumbled bleu cheese and chopped almonds on the bottom and hot grilled chicken, hard boiled eggs, and various other goodies mixed in. It is one of those salad that you can tell yourself is good for the diet, even though in your heart you know taint true.

Now from one "pain in the butt" to another--- The Primaries. I am not going to spend a lot of time on politics, though my resolution to avoid this is getting harder and harder to maintain. I only keep my sanity because I can make comments on the political blogs of others. I do get a little irritated at the "Primary Process" . Iowa only has about ten percent more inhabitants than Wyoming but half the world's press spends weeks in Iowa, and cable news (all of it)stays with every second to the bitter end of the Iowa Caucus. The Wyoming Caucuses were covered by a cub reporter from the Denver Post.

I really can't stand Hillary, but the one redeeming feature, to me, of the New Hampshire Primary was the fact that the media and the polls got the New Hampshire Democratic Primary so completely wrong. That almost cures my indigestion. Why? WHy? Why do people let a miniscule percentage of the nation's population (about a total of a hundred or so thousand participants in the Iowa Caucus and as close as I could count from the tickers about three hundred thousand voters in New Hampshire) have so darn much influence (I had to go back three times to take the "m's" out of "darn") on the selection of the nation's president? Some talking head on one of the shows stated that Romney, having lost twice was about done. If you look at Everything that has happened, he now has more committed delegates to the convention than any other Republican. Huckabee won in Iowa but got less than ten percent in New Hamphsire and he's in the catbird seat. Of the Democrats I only have one real comment, I taught oral communication in one form or another for forty plus years, and Obama is one of the best I have heard. With his skills as a communicator, he may not be elected president in this election (I rather hope not), but I would be really surprised (though I probably won't be around to really be surprised-- another part of the three score and ten jazz) if he isn't president of the U.S. within the next twenty years.

I've got to get some sleep. I will rant about time shares later.


At 8:01 AM, Blogger Gayle said...

Glad you don't have to have surgery, Richard... at least not yet!

Yeah, I don't understand why there's so much focus on these states either, but even though I blog politically, there's a lot about politics I freely admit I don't understand.

Hey, Richard, on Saturday I'm going to have a video posted that's not political. Stop by because I think you will enjoy it!

Back to politics (there really isn't any way of getting away from it, is there?) I don't believe the results in NH tell us anything at all. There's still a long way to go and anything can happen.

You had to remove the "m" from "da-n" three times? LOL! I am having a harder time not swearing too!

Stay well! :)

At 2:37 PM, Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

I'm glad you got a second opinion. Those bone spurs in the neck are awful. I've had them for 20 years. Surgery is only worth it if the pain is crippling because it only has a 50% chance of success anyway.

At 7:38 PM, Anonymous Kathleen said...

I was given excellent advise some years ago about back surgery ... don't. Unless it is impossible to bear, and you have tried all less invasive procedures, don't. My ex-husband almost had major surgery on his back only to find out it was misdiagnosed and was handled completely with physical therapy, a daily exercise routine and a minor dosage of an anti-inflamatory. My friend had surgery on her spine (fusion) in the area of her neck. She was never the same or better. It ended up blowing out the disc above and below. Glad you went for a second opinion.

About politics... never mind.;>)

At 10:33 PM, Blogger Three Score and Ten or more said...

Just a silly post. I posted some comments with Mahndisa and they were rejected by blogger as having the wrong password. Just checking to see if it is only on her blog or if blogger has killed my long time password

At 12:05 PM, Blogger Norma said...

Yes, Obama is one of the best at saying nothing I've ever heard. All rhythm and emotion, no substance. A friend said, "If I hear the word 'change' one more time in this election, I'll throw up." What I do like about NH and IA is it is local, grass roots democracy--I pay no attention to the other states, many of which are only controlled by the big mammoth (Chicago for instance).

Sorry about the painful back. Try some acupuncture (for pain relief). It won't hurt and it might ease the pain while they're figuring out where to cut or poke you next.

Salad sounds yummy. Can you be a bit more specific?


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