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.