Archive for the ‘Back Problems’ Category

I: Ice and Ibuprofen

My weekend at home was fabulous.  How was yours?  The weather here in Pittsburgh was overcast but warm.  It was the first weekend that was nice enough eat outside.

Care to join me for dinner at dusk?


Well, I never said that I was a good cook.  On the menu: Ice and Ibuprofen.   Yummy!

As I mentioned in The Alien Ass, it’s been a while since I’ve worked out.  When you have a mid-life body (like me), take 6-weeks off from exercise (like me), and then overdo it on the first nice weekend of the year (again, like stupid me)…Ice and Ibuprofen become a necessary part of the diet.

I know all about pain.  Sometimes it is laughable, like when a little kid shown on America’s Funniest Home Videos swings a golf club into his dad’s privates.  Other times, it’s not so funny…especially when it happens to you.  About 6 years ago a disk exploded in my lower back.  The pain was so intense that I made a secret deal with God to make it go away.  Turns out, God needed the help of a neurologist and a surgical team.  For the rest of my life, I won’t wear high heals…I won’t play impactful sports…and I’ll always keep Ice and Ibuprofen on hand.

So, did you decide if you’ll join me for dinner on the patio?  I promise to be nice and add in some chocolate brownies for dessert…


I made them myself; and yes, they are as moist as they look.  All the food blogs post their recipes, so I’ll do the same.  To make these at home:

  • Go to the store;
  • Buy a package of Hershey’s Ultimate Chocolate Brownie mix; and
  • Follow the instructions on the box.

The recipe is quick, easy, and…totally painless.

Do you have any aches and pains?  Have they gotten worse, or better, as you’ve aged?

The Coco Chanel Book giveaway ends tonight at 9PM, so there’s still time to enter.  Remember to check back tomorrow…you might be the winner!

If you liked this post, you may also like Balancing Act.

Balancing Act

 Did you ever say or do something dumb?  Not just dumb, I mean really dumb.  Dumb to the point that someone asked “Is your head screwed on straight?”  That’s a funny saying because I can’t even imagine someone’s head being placed on their body wrong.  Too far forward and you’d be staring at your shoes.  To far back and you’d be gazing at the sky…and, it would be kinda hard to swallow.  

Emotionally, I think we all want to be level-headed.  Physically, however, our spines won’t allow it.  The cervical spine curves inward so that our heads can balance on our necks.  Without the curve, it wouldn’t balance.   

© Chrisharvey

I’ll bet you never thought about how your head balances on your neck before.  Or maybe you have…if you were a wannabe runway model or pageant winner (…cue the Miss America hand wave) and walked around with books balanced on your cranium.  I could never do it well.  Balance books that is.  Okay, the hand wave either – it always looks like I have the Girl Scouts Promise sign rockin’.  See….   


I think the human skeleton is super cool.  Not because I have an iota of interest in the medical profession (I black out at the sight of blood), but I do like skeletons.  In particular, I think the human spine is absolutely fascinating.     

© Chrisharvey

Caring about posture and spinal alignment is not something that most people worry about.  But, I must.  I’ve had a lot of problems with my back over the years including back surgery in 2005.  From my personal experience let me just tell ya that the spine is nothing to fool around with.  It supports your entire body and if something isn’t right, it lets you know…screams it, actually.     

 Every time I have a painful episode or blowout with my back, it’s always the result of not enough exercise + too much sitting at my desk + too busy of a schedule + stress.  In fact, my doctor said that if I don’t get with the program by doing sit ups and stretches every day, I’ll have back problems my entire lifetime.    

(c) Chrisharvey

I submit to you a theory.  Just like our real backs, we need to take care of our symbolic BACKBONES that I talk about all the time…all of those intangible traits and characteristics that make us who we are and define us as unique individuals.  What happens when there are pressures on your symbolic BACKBONE?  When it’s not balanced?  When you try to “correct” its natural curves?  When it’s not getting enough exercise?     

Are there episodes?  Are there blowouts?  Is there pain?  In my life, the answer is yes.    

Think about all of those qualities that make you…you.  Not one other person on Earth is put together exactly like you are, either physically or characteristically.  Celebrate your uniqueness.  Embrace  your quirks.  Take care of both of your backbones.    

Do you take better care of your physical health or your mental and emotional health?  How do you know if you’ve struck a good balance?