For those of you interested Only in TRAVEL, I (Jack) wrote the blog between March 2010 and October 2010 during our travels west. We saw the most beautiful places and had the best time in our big truck and little trailer. See Blog Archive below.

Jul 28, 2013

Another Birthday

I Love You (song)
I miss you more with every passing day.

Someone Waits For You (song)

How she loved you, too.

Jul 25, 2013

The Long and the Short of it...

This post is mostly for people who have back pain and sciatica. I hope my experience helps you. I went back for another post-op exam/discussion this morning.

The PA greeted me saying, "Are you still glad you had back surgery? Do you want to know why you still have so much pain?" That was unexpected. I like my doctor and his PA very much and was dreading telling them that I have the same pain as before surgery, thinking that made the surgery unsuccessful. I can't walk and I can't stand for any length of time--same as before. I was feeling like I would be a disappointment--I know...crazy, but I really didn't want to tell them I didn't think the surgery was successful.

It seems I have been since they first saw me, an atypical case (what else is new). I *should* have had excruciating pain down my legs. I didn't and I don't. The PA's statement was, "We don't operate on backs to fix *back* pain, we operate to fix *leg* pain. Ok, so why did we do surgery on you? After the MRI, we were scratching our heads not understanding why you didn't have leg pain. That was the reason for the dreaded Myelogram to back up what we saw on the MRI and maybe something we didn't see. Your nerves were so compressed that we didn't have a choice, leg pain or not. Frankly, your back is a mess."

The long and the short, the fat and the skinny is that I will have to take medication to manage pain for the rest of my life. When the pain becomes unbearable, they will do another study to see what, if anything, can be done with other means including more surgery. So there you have it. I guess I would have been better off having the sciatica because it would have been fixed. The surgery I had was to stabilize the lumbar spine and to take pressure off the nerves. Over a period of time, however, this can sometimes cause more stress on the vertebrae above the surgery (sounds like the domino effect) and nerve pressure can occur, again. Any leg pain, I am to call them. Hopefully, I'll continue to be atypical, and that won't happen. Most of my pain comes from severe arthritis. Thanks, Doc, see you in October.

I've been taking less medication than prescribed which is not a bad thing he said, *IF* it's managing the pain. However, there is no reason to "suck it up" and not to take the prescribed amount. When the dose I'm taking doesn't work any more, they will increase the amount.

There's a new law in Georgia. Anyone on narcotics has to take a drug test every three months (which I did). When they started getting tough on pill mills in Florida, it seems they moved north. They shut one down in my town, recently. Oddly enough, this particular test tells them when you ARE NOT taking narcotics as well as when you are. They are more interested in the people they test at Orthopedic and pain clinics who DO NOT test "positive". They have already caught a few people who are getting prescriptions for back pain (very common) and selling the medication. Who knew? The test is the way they flush them out. Before surgery, I had to sign all kinds of papers; one stating that I will not use any druggist other than the one they have listed, and that I won't see another doctor (except for a second opinion) for back pain. 

I can't say I'm shocked by the news, today. I'm disappointed. I'm disappointed because I was hoping that I would be able to walk Jack, again, and hike...that part of my life is over. At least I know I'm not crazy...yet, and that it's not anything I did or didn't do to be in this situation. It doesn't change my determination to get back out camping in October. I'll be able to get his exercise in when he plays with the other pups and swims in the lake. Maybe a few very short walks. Knowing the group of women I'm meeting, they'll probably take him along when they walk...they are wonderful friends and I can't wait to see them all. Of course, it goes unsaid how thankful I am that Susan loves Jack as I do, and she walks him as much as she can. She even gets up early to get him out before the heat of the day when she can.

And what would a post be without a picture of Jack, and his nephew, Bogey?

I think I'll get off the couch...
On second thought...I think I'll go back to sleep...

Don't get attached, Nancy. I have a home with Michael. When Laura is home she walks me a couple of miles a day and lets me run at the dog park.

Jack shares the couch with me. I think he's a very gentle guy...I'm trying not to run in to him, I really's's just that I can't contain my enthusiasm.

Jul 20, 2013

Whistle Stop Cafe "Fried Green Tomatoes"

This will not be a long post because I've posted twice before about Whistle Stop. For those of you who have seen "Fried Green Tomatoes" (I've read the book and seen the movie), you will recognize some of the buildings. You'll be able to see just how much rain we've gotten in the south by some of the pictures. Naturally, we both had to have the Fried Green Tomatoes and the Frank Bennett BBQ (the secret's in the sauce, you know).

Anyone who happens to stop along I75 at High Falls State Park, it's worth a ride to Juliett.

The waitress told us the the veggies of the day were on the blackboard. It was across the room and I didn't have my glasses, so I took a picture so we could choose!

Smokey Lonesome's Home
Where Frank Bennett wound up in the sauce!
Can't not take a picture of this building. I'm not sure what kind of factory it was (I probably forgot), but the railroad tracks run between it and the town and I remember seeing it in the movie. A train passed through while we were there, but I missed the shot of the engine.
After wandering the few shops in the town that are struggling to survive (with very high prices), I decided to take Marie to see where the kids in the movie walked along the dam. I found this guy enjoying the view, too. I don't know if it's a duck or a goose.
This body of water looks like an infinity pool.
Where you see the "infinity pool" drop off, it's usually a fairly big drop into a very slow moving stream. Because of all the recent rain in Georgia, it's a pretty fast running river, today.
My friend Marie. We've had a very nice time even though this year I couldn't do the walking that we generally do. She's a very kind and good-hearted person.
Anyone interested in a good read or just an evening of entertainment, I recommend the book or the movie if you haven't seen it. You will love Jessica Tandy--she was wonderful, as always, and Kathy Bates as Twanda is wonderful. I loved all the characters, but my favorite was Idgey (don't remember who played her), and other well known actors each added their own talent to make it a great story. I don't know how many times I've seen it, but I could watch it all over, again, and if I could see the print in the book, I'd read it, again. I believe I have it on my paper white kindle. If not, I will.