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Showing posts from 2008

A Letter to Sheri about back pain

First I'm not a doctor and I don't play one on TV. This is simply my opinion based on my own experience. First a little background so that I don't come off as preachy. I've had 2 back surgeries, the first was a discectomy . The second was a spinal fusion . For the first I had a herniated disc at L4, L5. This occurred due to a fall I took. Immediately after the fall I pushed myself to get up and try to work as normal. The fall took place on a Saturday, by the following Friday I was in so much pain that I had to crawl to the toilet. When I could no longer crawl I had to have the EMT's come to carry me out of the house to the hospital where I spent a few days on Morphine. After recovering from the pain to the point where I could have physical therapy I was able to get myself to the point where I was pretty much pain free. When the pain returned I opted for surgery. The discectomy surgery wasn't that bad. Recovery was pretty easy and the pain was almost i

So long to summer.

Well another summer has flown by. This summer was actully very busy for me and my family. My kid sister finally got married. What a great wedding. I took my boys camping up in the woods of Maine. We went white water rafting, fishing and saw some Moose. We spent a couple of days with my father. The boys got to ride horses and learn how to care for them as well. I think it was one of our best vacations. Work has been nice and busy which helped to speed the time along. I got a promotion a few weeks ago and I look forward to getting things up and running in the new position just as soon as I can clear a few things from my current plate load. My kids are all doing well. The Olympics were a great inspiration for my boys, who are now both looking forward to the fall/winter swim season. Way to go Michael Phelps! Football has started again and both of my younger boys are both back into the full swing of practices. Autum is pretty much here. The nights are cool and dry and the days are sunny an

All Wet

As a kid I was on the swim team. I love the water. My kids love the water. And all of them, at one time or another, have been on the swim team too. Currently my youngest is the only Stevens still on the team. Each season the team has a fund raiser. This season we swam to raise money for Heifer International. We had a family swim and encouraged all of the swimmers and their families to swim laps for money. So this past Sunday I joined my son and the rest of the swimmers in the pool. It's been a while since I did any laps. It felt good. I swam fairly constant for an hour. I even raced a friend of mine who had also been on the team when we were kids. I think I edged him out but who knows. My butterfly isn't what it used to be but everything else felt pretty darn good. Yes, I've been a bit sore since Sunday but it's a good muscle sore. While I don't see myself joining the masters anytime soon. It's not out of the realm of possibilities. Besides the swim I've al


So I was doing my forth set of inclined dumbbell presses. The weight wasn't too much, nice concentration and contraction. I felt good. I was adjusting my shoulder blades on the bench when I got a sudden wave of pain and heat washing over me from the base of my skull to the front of my head. I calmly put my weights down and took some long deep breaths. I wasn't in a lot of pain but the suddeness of the headache that set is was amazing. I could feel my heart beating in my temples. Needless to say I brought my workout to an early end. I went up stairs and layed down with an icepack on the back of my head. After a few hours the pain was down to a mild headache. My wife asked if I thought my blood pressure was up. I hadn't really concidered it. My son needed a couple of folders for school so I went up to the local Rite-Aid with him to get them and while I was there I decided to sit at one of those BP machines. 144/95. hmm. The next day I awoke with a bad headache again. Now, I h

The Dungeon

It's not much but it's mine. The only thing I'm missing now is a chin up bar. I've got my eyes open for one that I can attach to the overhead beams. It's a tight squeeze but if I'm careful I don't bump my head too often.


I got my first set of weights from my parents for Christmas when I was 10 or 11. I got a straight bar with about 20 lbs of weights on it. I also got a chin up bar that went in the door frame of my bedroom. I think I stubbed my toe on the weights and hit my head on the bar in my door frame more than I used them, but as with many young boys my desire grow up big and strong was there. Jump ahead to freshman year in high school before I did anything closer to serious lifting. A few friends and I started working out with some of the seniors behind the school with a mishmash of barbells and old benches. We eventually got permission to clean out a storage closet in the gym and set up 'The Weight Room' . I remember after one workout being afraid that my arms would never fully straighten out again. The next day I had what we called the 'Coco-crispy cripples', where your arms were so sore that you couldn't hold the spoon to eat your coco-crispies. Today the same High School h


So in my waking moments yesterday my brain was wrestling with why I continue to want to lift weights. Why lift? Why push for more? Shouldn't I start to become content with simply becoming healthy, eating well, losing weight? For some reason I still have my college days Muscle head mentality. While I am trying to eat more healthily I'm still pushing for a more muscled look rather than thinning down. I'm forty with 4 kids and a wife I love and I still feel like a 20 something, well at least in my head. My body feels much older. I've had 2 back surgeries, the last one leaving me with 4 screws and 2 rods in my lower spine. So my goal is to feel, physically, as young as my mind says I am. I’m in a competition with myself and with time. I know that the statistics of age say that at 40 things start to change more quickly. Testosterone levels are supposed to drop more rapidly. Depression is more likely. Well I’m going to do my best to fight these changes. So I’m


Here's an email I sent to a friend of mine, slightly edited. So 10 weeks ago of so I started working out again with the goal of being in better shape by the time I turned 40. I turned 40 last Monday and for the most part it's worked. I feel pretty good. The muscle memory is still pretty good though it's taking me 2 days or so to recover between work outs. I'm assuming that if I keep it up the recovery time will improve. Anyhow I woke up this morning with an idea for a website . Sort of a site for newly middle aged men with articles about how to get or stay in good health. In my pre-waking moments I envisioned a community site, local, personal, growing as users join... So I woke up walked the dogs, fed the dogs, fed the cats, answered some work emails and looked at website building sites. Almost immediately I started to lose interest. You've got free site builders, pay small fee for sites, Wiki's... Easily overwhelmed I looked a