I am alive, but still dealing with my lower back and left leg pain issues from an injury in 2003.
The lumbar fusion I had in my lower back in Oct, 2004 has given my back good stability; my back no longer feels as if it's precariously balanced on worn ball bearings.
That's a good thing, and made my two surgeries of 2004 worthwhile, but I have had chronic pain in an increasingly intense way in my lumbar back and left leg that has gotten almost unbearable since late 2009. This has basically put an end to my hobbies of bicycle riding and going for long walks with my camera. I quite literally have only a finite number of steps I can take in any given day before I MUST stop. So hardly any walks and no bike riding in a long time now.
My life, for the most part, consists of getting up way before I have to be at work, just to be able to get ready and get there. There is much pain involved and it takes me a long time. Then I work, and where I work has about 100 buildings, about the size of a small college, and I end up walking a lot and that uses up the aforementioned finite number of steps in any given day.
All of that is to say this, I give my all to simply making it through a work day and trying to make a living for me and Lovely Wife. My photography habit/walks are very few and very far between. Haven't ridden my bike in a couple of years now.
But I really want to keep my blogs going, so I'm going to add photos here as I can, and hope you'll be patient with me and check in from time to time to see if I have something new.
Thanks, John M. (Saturday, September 18, 2010)
Update, May 2012
In 2011 I ended up having another surgery, this time to implant an intrathecal pain pump.
I have a little electronic gizmo, a little bigger than a hockey puck, in my side, with a catheter running around my side and inserted into the intrathecal space of my spine with my spinal cord.
This device slowly adds pain medicine directly to my spinal fluid.
It works pretty good for me, I take MUCH less pain medication now, but it hasn't been the knock-out punch that some seem to get with the pain pump.
I still have troubling chronic back pain, but it's under better control, plus my liver and kidneys aren't getting pounded with lots of medicine any more.
So, still trying to make a new life for myself with the constant pain. And it is a new life. The old days of shaking off occasional body aches and going to Disney, or on long photo excursion are over. I must plan all activities, and they are limited in length and amount of exertion. Even sitting at a computer to blog or work in Photoshop Elements has a serious time limit because my back starts roaring.
As a person who once thought that any level of pain could be mentally ignored or shrugged off to get on with the job at hand or to just go and do as I please, I can tell you that there are levels of pain that can totally shut down your body. Absolutely make it refuse any mental commands to get up and go and do what you want.
This is my daily life.
Not trying to be a Debbie Downer here, but to let you guys inside a little bit.
John Masters (May 21, 2012)