The Lord Is My Shepherd

If you’ve read through the backlog of blog posts or know me personally, you know that I’ve struggled with lower back problems since December 2011. I’ve been incapacitated from a herniated disc between my L4 and L5 vertebrae to the point that I missed 4-5 weeks of work on two separate occasions, 3-4 consecutive days a couple of other times, and have dealt with chronic pain for at least a couple of years. I’d seen some marked improvement this summer, but am now about 5 weeks into a period of mild-to-moderate inconvenience where I’ve managed to get through an entire shift at work and then been more or less physically worthless the rest of the evening. It’s frustrating, to say the least. Lately I’ve been reading about Jesus as the Good Shepherd. I read Robert Wolgemuth’s Like The Shepherd, which calls husbands to shepherd their wives. It was solid enough, though … Keep reading!


It’s been a trying year as my last post indicated. I spent all of January and part of February off of work because of my herniated disc (things got a lot worse than I had anticipated at the time of my last post), and my return to work was not a smooth transition. There were several nights where I hurt so much that I wondered how I was going to make the drive home. But God was good to me, and I survived every trip.From a medical standpoint, I really turned the corner when my GP prescribed a three-week course of Prednisone. I’m not surprised, since a steroid prescription two years ago is what seemed to help me get over the hump and on my way to healing.I’m not, by any means, done with this issue. I have muscle weaknesses in my core that will leave me predisposed to future injury … Keep reading!

Quick Update

Okay, I’ve been to the gym twice this week and haven’t posted about it yet, so I figured I’d better get that out of the way before I forget.Monday morning I managed 3.77 miles in my hour, which comes out to a 15:54 pace.Today I pushed 4.03 miles, which is a 14:53 pace. I’ll admit, I threw in a few 6.0 mph jogging intervals…I just couldn’t help myself as I’ve been feeling so good! I’m going to shoot for similar distances at least twice more this week.Somewhere along the way, I’m looking forward to incorporating strength training again. I’m still a bit nervous about my low back and wand to add weights in slowly, though I am still hopeful that I might even get into P90X before the end of the year.Goals are important, and so is flexibility. The key is to keep doing something. … Keep reading!

Keeping it going…

I hit the gym again this morning after work and had an easier time of it than yesterday. I’m still not where I’d like to be, but that will come with time. Having a goal in mind is helpful…that, and patience.There is definitely some loosening of leg muscles, but my lower back was still stiff when I woke up this evening. Part of that could be from the bed I’m sleeping on while doing this overnight schedule, but I’m sure it also has to do with the muscles back there being weaker in general and that I’m starting to stress them a little bit.Again for those of you who like numbers (I admit, I’m one of them), I did 3.60 miles in 60 minutes, which is a 16:40 pace. I don’t expect it’s going to improve all that much anytime soon, but I’ll still post values as I have them.What stops … Keep reading!

Back to basics…

With low-back pain continuing to be a problem for me, I decided that I needed to step back from actual running and work on simply getting movement into my routine. So this morning I went to the gym and hit the treadmill for an hour. The first half hour especially I could feel my muscles were very tight, not the most pleasant of feelings and something I definitely need to change. I’m going to try to get in most days for the next several weeks and log some walking miles before attempting to work on the C25K program again.I admit, it’s somewhat frustrating, but I have to realize that I’m not 20 years old and I’ve abused my body for so long that it’s going to take time to get it to respond the way I want it to. I also have to keep things in perspective: I am still … Keep reading!

Running workout

Today was rather frustrating. I was planning to get G28K Week 4 underway, and managed to get through the first running interval of 10 minutes. When it came to the second one, however, I could only make it for 1 minute before the tightness in my legs forced me to slow things down. I ended up doing a few sprints of up to 1 minute each to keep things going a bit, but all in all it wasn’t a very impressive morning.On the plus side, my back was feeling better today. I’ve had some soreness in my lower back, which, of course, had me concerned. I might have to take things very easy for a week or two to ensure I don’t do something to hurt myself again.Hope you’ve been able to get some activity in! … Keep reading!

Ups and Downs

It’s hard to believe it’s been over a month since I last posted here. In that time, some things have changed, others haven’t, and in both cases, not everything has been for the better.One thing that hasn’t changed is my sweet tooth. Man oh man, do I like sugar and all things associated with it! My particular weakness is soda (or pop, depending on where you are and how you grew up). Thankfully I haven’t been hassling with Mountain Dew for quite a while, but other varieties still call out to me. No, seriously, they’re speaking to me and are mad when I don’t pick them as my beverage. It’s really quite scary sometimes.On a more positive note, my flexibility is improving, thanks in large part to the work at physical therapy. I can now bend over at the waist and come just a few short inches from touching my … Keep reading!

Physical Therapy

I had my four-week follow-up appointment at the orthopedist’s office yesterday. In the time between visits, I’ve improved 85-95%, at least in how I feel. No surprise (to me, at least; others with a less optimistic view of traditional medicine might be surprised), he didn’t recommend surgery, the verdict I was wanting. What he did recommend was physical therapy, and I had my first appointment yesterday afternoon.First of all, I didn’t realize that PT was something a doctor could actually prescribe. I guess you learn something new every day. And second, PT is expensive. I’m going to PhysioTherapy Associates, which must be affiliated in some way with Mercy Hospital. It’s $100/session and the therapist wants to meet three times a week for three weeks. Thankfully I can pay half the cost per week and be billed for the rest, which should get us through until our taxes are finished.My lower back … Keep reading!