Wack Back? Go See Dr. Bao Thai

Back pain? I think most of Americans have it because of our poor sitting habits and eating habits. Well, my back was wack just last week. You may have read me moaning about it on this blog, but if you didn’t then you wouldn’t know that I could barely walk and now I am going to be playing ultimate Frisbee on Saturday cause I am almost 100% better.

I had a leg 1 inch shorter than the other and Dr. Thai hooked me up. I’ll dig up his phone number and place it on here. He is in Plano off of Legacy and Coit and even if your back isn’t hurt, you should go see him and get it adjusted. It is necessary and good for you!


Prayer, Magical Thinking, Willing it to Stop, Taking handfuls of prescription strength pain meds

The title references things I have done to make my back stop hurting – but it still hurts like a banshee.

I slept last night rather well and when I woke up to go pee I didn’t have much pain. I almost thought I could go in to work today and then after a few steps around the house the pain awakened inside my spine and sciatic nerve like a demon spawn. I can feel it kicking and scratcihng and tearing away at my insides. It snakes its way down my spine to my kidneys and down the side of my right leg. If I am still, it goes to sleep, but it doesn’t like it when I get up or when I try to sit back down.

I am scared to go to a chiropractor or a doctor. I am afraid of what they might say. I will not accept the fact that something is seriously wrong, this is something that will go away as long as I am determined to just make it go away.

And the pain, the pain is such that it has left me focused on nothing else. My house is dirty, who cares, I can barely put on socks or underwear without screaming out in pain, the house and chores can wait. Fortunately, I can sit at this computer and type away with little pain. I have homework to do and so I can work on it and I can read blogs. Daytime television is so boring that it will make me want to commit suicide and so I don’t even bother with that. My buddy Joe told me about a book I should read called “The ABS Diet”, but I haven’t taken the time to go to Barnes and Noble to take a look at it and I am trying to keep my walking to a minimum since I look like I am disabled when I walk, especially when I have a shooting pain and I sort of buckle midstep.

On the upside, the weather has been great and so I slept with my windows open last night. It rained here in Plano and so I slept so peacefully. My neighborhood was as quiet as a tomb until the rain started to fall. There was thunder and it sounded so powerful and strong that I remember thinking that there must be a God and he sure is amazing. Then I drifted off to sleep lying in a mummified position wishing that this same God would remove the demon that has possessed my spine.

Culture Health

I want to be a Dallas Desperado

Don’t know what that is? It’s a football player, Arena football to be exact. So now the training has begun.

Dallas Desperados This picture is of the field in the American Airlines Center in Dallas

Actually, I started really gearing up my workouts during December. I ate whatever I wanted right up until today where I started my diet. I decided on taking the 1200 calorie approach while still minimizing my carb intake. The crazy thing is that I don’t feel hungry and I am half wondering if I am doing the math right. I had an apple for breakfast and a chicken sandwich and 8 nuggets from Chick-Fil-A for lunch. Nuggets? Hey, they were 280 calories, that sandwich was only 270 calories and they were quite satisfying. Now I’ll have a salad or a bowl of soup for dinner and I will be under my 1200 total calories with ease. The crazy thing is, I don’t feel like I eat a whole lot more than this on a regular basis, but in reality I do. I also drink a lot more calories when I am not watching what I eat and drinking calories is never a good thing because you consume them all so fast.

Back to being a football player…

My goal is to get down to about 275 and to be able to run about a 4.7 second 40 yard sprint. I’m actually surprisingly fast for someone that normally weighs around 330-350. I play frisbee on the weekends and I hold my own and then some most of the time and so I feel like if I actually train for speed and weight loss and muscular development and flexibility and core strength then I have a good shot at making the team.

So right now my workout is this:

Monday: Yoga Stregth 1.5 hours
Tuesday: Yoga Stretching class 1.5 hours
Wednesday: Aerobics class plus weightlifting 2.5 hours
Thursday: Yoga Stretching
Friday: Yoga Strength 1.5 hours
Saturday: Ultimate Frisbee and weights 2-4 hours
Sunday: Rest

I’ve actually been doing most of this already without the extreme focus of the new year and getting past the holidays. Tryouts are in October and if I make the team it is a win/win for me. If I make the team, awesome, I’ll play until I’m too broke down to continue. If I don’t make the team then I can close this chapter of my life once and for all. No more wondering, “What if”.

After making the Desperado team and playing football for a few years I’d like to be on Survivor or some other extreme reality show. I think there is a potential for a show like survivor, only harder – why haven’t they done this yet? I want more competitions and less belly aching.


The Dehydration Continues…

Yesterday it was cold outside and I don’t know why, but that made it feel hotter inside the Yoga room. The windows were covered with steam and my body was covered in my own perspiration. After about 30 minutes I was so wet that my hands became wrinkled, the way your hands became wrinkled when you were a kid and you had stayed too long in the swimming pool. This is odd to me. I know that I’ve been swimming for more than 30 minutes without having this wrinkly palm effect, so what causes it so quickly with Yoga?

Yasmine, pronounced Yahsmeen, walked around the room with her near perfect physique. When she bent, it was effortless, when she twisted she filled pretzels with envy, and when she massaged my feet while I was laying prostrate on the floor I think I might have fell in love.

After class, Bill a larger than average man but still small compared to me, came up to me and said, “I sure enjoyed working next to you today, it’s nice to see a big guy do yoga.” A small and very bendy man was standing next to him, his chest was covered in a huge tattoo that from a distance could be mistaken for chest hair, nodded in agreement. Humbly I told them that I enjoy the class, but I am not very flexible at all. Bill was quick to jump to my defense, even if he was defending me from myself. “I’ve seen unflexible and so if this is a competition then you aren’t winnning.” The compliment, though contorted like one of the many poses I had just done, was not lost on me. I shook his hand and thanked him. He smiled and I couldn’t help but think that he reminded me somewhat of my dad. Silver and white beard, easy to be around, quick to compliment a stranger. I left class feeling 10 pounds lighter and most likely I was due to all the water I had just lost.

 I have until Thursday to finish out my 10 days for 10 dollars. I plan to sign up for at least a few more months because this is quite possibly the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. It challenges me mentally and physically, but when I am done my body feels rejuvenated, not torn down the way it feels after lifting weights or running on the treadmill. My back doesn’t hurt, my ankles and knees feel limber instead of compressed and achy. While I am in class I get so light-headed I feel sick to my stomach. After about 45 minutes the heat really starts to take it’s toll on my body and I have to just let go and allow myself to push through these uncomfortable moments, because when it’s over the feeling of accomplishment, the feeling that I’m doing something good for my body, well, those feelings make it all worth it – even if I do feel dehydrated and prune-like when it’s all over. – try it for 10 days – it’s only 10 dollars! It is great for weight loss, you can lose about 10-15 pounds depending upon how many classes you take and how many pounds you need to lose. My friend Annette said she lost 4 pounds in 10 days and this is from a woman who did a marathon and a 10k run in one weekend. She had no weight to lose!


I can’t wait to see my therapist…

When I started going to see a counselor I was going once a week. I was nearly manic with anxiety and stress. I had allowed myself to become so emotionally unstable that I would do stupid things, drive fast and angry, take risks, avoid responsibility, contemplate idiotic things like taking sterroids and sometimes I would even drink alcohol to escape my problems. There were other things too, but I won’t go into them here, I mean, that is what I pay a therapist for, to keep my secrets secret.

So things are much better now. I have learned how to deal with my problems, my pain, my addictive personality, my avoidance issues, my lack of self-control, but I am still undeniably human and so I like to visit my therapist just once a month to maintain balance and sort of as maintenance. It’s like having a personal trainer that helps you reach your goals. Once you have gone through a series of workouts you know what to do and you no longer need the coach. However, a monthly check-in is still good for accountability and for additional guidance and to check over-all progress. That is what I do with my therapist now and trust me, it rocks. I can tell him about the extremely stressful weekend I had and how I am currently juggling multiple issues that are out of my control and he can help me deal with it – rationally. I can bitch and moan to him about everything that is bothering me, I can be a big cry baby and get it all out of my system in an hour and he listens and nods and when it is over I feel better and I don’t feel guilty for making my friends carry my burdens or listen to me vent.

 Fortunately, I don’t deal with depression, but I’ve danced with it on occasion.  I understand it’s cruelty and how it incapacitates and cripples. I thank God that I am not on any medication. I am fortunate that I had a friend suggest counseling to me and that I took that step because if I had continuted down the path I was heading I hate to think of what I would have done to myself.

People, seemingly carefree and unencumbered by things of this world, are often times the ones that are hurting the most. Their happy exterior is just a way of hiding the pain because our culture views “neediness or dependency” as weakness.  We are ashamed to ask for help and when we don’t know what else to do, we take a gun and go on a shooting spree, or drive our children into a lake, or jump off a bridge into speeding traffic. When we read about things like this, we don’t understand how this could happen, where did this monster come from?  It could be the person right next to you, a close family memeber, or one day it might even be you.

I hope that you are still praying for the families from Virginia Tech, but also for our nation in general. If we slowed down for a moment and really looked at the world around us it is bruised face covered with makeup and large sunglasses.

If you need help, don’t be afraid to ask for it, you can even ask me.