PA Is For Pennsylvania and Pain

In this post, Jason and Angela spend Mother’s day in Pennsylvania with friends and Jason confirms yet again that he can snooze in adverse conditions.

Oxford, PA

We spent more time hanging out and not so much time taking photos this weekend. However, I did like this clock I noticed in a small town on the drive through rural PA.

Angela and I drove up to PA over the weekend to visit our friends Sally, Chris, and Mason, whom we hadn’t seen since the last time they came to visit Richmond. Our only other trip up to see them was spent sight-seeing around Philadelphia, so this was a much more relaxed visit. By relaxed, I mean that we ran a 5k footrace on Saturday morning. Rather than just any old 5k, this was a one-time event being held on a yet-to-be-opened-to-traffic new bridge on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Even better, this particular bridge was designed by the company Chris works for, Figg Engineering Group (of the Natchez Trace Parkway Arch Bridge, among many other high-profile bridges). The new Susquehanna River Bridge isn’t exactly Figg’s most spectacular design (this is the company whose motto is “Bridges as Art,” mind you) but it is still a large and attractive structure and the view for the entire race was great. Okay, it was a pretty sunny day on large river so even if the view was of Three Mile Island, you could still do a lot worse.

We celebrated mother’s day by all going out to a nice Italian lunch yesterday. Angela’s 3/5 of the way to being a mom, so we figured this was her first un-official holiday for which she could celebrate.

For the past couple of months, I’ve had a pain developing in my right hamstring. Angela and I figured it was due to some uneventful running injury but stretching and yoga didn’t really seem to be doing a lot for it. I finally got around to seeing a sports medicine doctor this morning and as it turns out, it may have nothing to do with my leg at all. I may have some sort of spinal disc issue which is simply sending incorrect signals of leg pain up to my brain (stupid nervous system). Anyway, I had a couple of x-ray images made this morning of my lower spine which didn’t really answer much. However, the doctor did point out that I have an odd sixth bone/lower vertebra at the base of my spine, at my sacrum (I’m hazarding a guess that you only have five lumbar vertebrae). This apparently is not a health concern, just a really odd thing.

MRI Sheets

This is probably going to take a while for the doctor to go through. My spine feels very well documented now.

Anyway, since the x-rays didn’t explain much regarding the soft disc tissue, I went for an MRI this afternoon. MRI’s take longer than an x-ray (a lot longer, as in about 30 minutes), if you didn’t know. Of course, this results in about 100 images as opposed to just a couple. Frankly, I could see how someone who was claustrophobic might get very upset at being in a similar machine. Frankly, I didn’t mind all that much being wrapped tightly in leftover parts form an jet-liner’s interior for that long. It’s loud and cramped, but I ended up falling asleep for almost the whole thing.

I suspect that will remain the most expensive nap of my life for a long time to come.

I feel just fine other than some mild pain in my leg. It’s not like I broke my wrist or have debilitating migraines. I came home this afternoon and mowed the lawn as well as ran a couple of miles on the treadmill (the doctor did ask me to limit running to softer surfaces for now). This is all just so he can get down to the bottom of where pain is coming from and then recommend what to do about it.

5 thoughts on “PA Is For Pennsylvania and Pain”

  1. whoa, dude. keep us informed about what is going on. and sometimes having severe pain can be better than mild discomfort. i get fancy medicine that makes me see bubbles in kroger and feel all mushy inside.

  2. I thought the MRI equipment was pretty odd too. The one I was in sounded like and well also looked like a jet engine. No doubt GE encourages their engine and medical equipment people to collaborate.

    There is growing trend and use for open MRI where those who do not like tight spaces can still comfortably get an MRI.

  3. Travis:

    No doubt GE encourages their engine and medical equipment people to collaborate.

    Brilliant stuff. Possibly the best quote ever on my site.

    I had read that for people with mild claustrophobia, sometimes video goggles (with DVDs playing, even) were used. For extreme cases, the people were just put under for the duration of the MRI. I think open designs are probably safer, provided the results are as good.

    I just wanted them to turn the light out in mine since it was about two inches from the end of my nose.

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