Only one hybrid in this house.

Today my brother-in-law Peter dragged us out to look at cars. And since we needed a car I knew we’d probably end up with one. My mom wanted a grey Camry Hybrid, but they’re hard to come by. Camry Hybrids and Priuses are very popular here and there are places that charge a premium for them. Grey, for some reason, is also hard to find. My mom ended up with a normal silver Camry with a sunroof, another thing she didn’t want. But at least she has her own car again. What a pain it is to buy a car.

My sister is supposed to run the Portland Marathon tomorrow but she had something that sounded like a sinus infection today and slept most of the day. I don’t know if she’s going to do that well tomorrow.

We did end up trading phones. She got the magenta Razr and I got her silver one. I immediately tried to change the software on hers and turned it into an expensive paperweight. I’m such a genius.

I had the craziest massage today.

I went to the acupuncturist at the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine (OCOM) today, after going to my primary care physician and making sure he didn’t have anything against acupuncture. (He didn’t have anything against chiropractors, either.) I didn’t get an acupuncture student but the instructor of the school. He was good. My usual acupuncturist, who was a student at OCOM, says, “Tell me when there’s a dull ache.” The instructor didn’t have to ask; he hit it on the first try. After the acupuncture with electric stimulation, he gave me a tuina massage. It was the oddest massage I’ve had, like being rolled from side-to-side. But it seemed to work on my back pain.

I liked the acupuncturist a lot. He asked about my medical history and he had a good idea of what was wrong. I think he even diagnosed the opposite of what the chiropractor did as far as the difference in my leg length. The last part of the treatment was him yanking on my leg to try to even the length. That also made me want to laugh, which put me in a pretty good mood.

We’ll see tomorrow if I’m able to walk or not, but I enjoyed my traditional Chinese treatment.

All the bad things I said about the chiropractor are worse.

The day after going to the chiropractor are the worst, but I’m sure he’ll say it’s part of the healing process. Well, today I was getting ready to go to work with a very sore back. I got in the car and realized I forgot my cell phone. I had to crawl back to the house, and that hurt so much that it was a very slow crawl.

I have nothing good to say about chiropractic now. Making my back pain a little worse is something I would have put up with, but incapacitating me and keeping me from work (a place where they’re probably looking for reasons to can people anyway) is not a viable option.

In any case, the pain must have kicked off my endorphins, because I got inside, took two Advil, and slept until 5:30PM. I got up once to call my manager, and twice to go to the bathroom. I’m feeling a little better now, but I doubt I feel better than I did before I went to the chiropractor.

Damn. Now I’m one of those guys with severe chronic back pain.

Jumping from one Quackwatch category to another.

So I read up on chiropractic today. Unfortunately for my narrow mind, I like to have thing proven by the scientific method and don’t take much on faith. Basically the pointers from the research said that spinal manipulation can help back pain a little more than following the instructions in a brochure on back pain. That’s fine. However, all the fruity stuff that I didn’t like about the, “benefits of chiropractic,” were unproven and taken as articles of faith by chiropractors. That means it’s kind of a religion of cult. Also, manipulation of the neck is correlated to stroke risk in older patients.

In any case, I wasn’t going to tell the chiropractor that I didn’t believe in his religion. I’m just going to cancel any future appointments. I think he probably did me some good, but I just don’t believe.

And now for my display of cognitive dissonance, I’m going to see an acupuncturist for my back pain. Not my usual guy, but one of the instructors from his school. I know quackwatch has nothing good to say about acupuncture, but I’m hoping that he won’t tell me that my chi is blocked and just stick some pins in me. Since I haven’t seen any scientific literature promoting acupuncture, I must jut be taking things on faith (the cognitive dissonance I was referring to earlier.)

My buddy thinks the only reason the needles work is because they’re coated in Fentanyl. I figure if they were, I’d be jonesing for a fix, and I’m not.

Day after day.

Night after night. You might as well just write it on a post-it and hold it in front of a browser:

  1. I go to the gym.
  2. My back hurts.
  3. I’m afraid my job at megacorp is ending.
    • Sometimes I go to a chiropractor/massage therapist.
  4. Sometimes I feel lonely.

I’m kind of bummed lately and I know the best way to cheer myself up is to hit the gym. Unfortunately, my back pain precludes that plan. And besides that I got nothing. Oh, and the weather got nice again, in the upper 80’s. (No surprise, Septembers and Octobers here are quite nice.) That’s keeping me from sleeping well because it’s too warm for comforters when I go to sleep and too cold without in the morning.

And for a another list:

  • I introduce myself as Todd because my second grade teacher didn’t want to try to pronounce, “Hisashi,” and she was probably racist as well.
  • People who know me through my sister call me, “Sashi.”
  • The guys at work, for some unknown reason, call me, “Brian.”

I suppose it beats being called, “Toad,” or, “Retodd.”

Sneezing is bad.

I’ve been going to a chiropractor and I suppose it’s a good thing. This morning I sneezed and had a back spasm and had to lie down. Of course, today was is the day that our VP was supposed to tell us if we’re all canned or not, so I went in to work anyway. Apparently he’s still leaving us to our doom, but he’s only telling us that he’s telling us about our doom in a couple more weeks. Typical. They’ve been pulling this stunt for months.

I did go see the chiropractor today and I hope he’s doing some good. In any case, I’m poorer for the experience and I’m supposed to see him indefinitely. Yeah, like that’s going to happen. I do have to see him a bunch more times, though. I blame Dave the Trainer for referring me to the guy.

My life as an Academy Awards seat filler.

So, a few weeks ago, my friend Megan told me that I had to go with her to her friend Kelly’s wedding. Kelly was one of the people who always hung out when Megan came back to town, so I know her and I’ve met her husband. But I was really just filling the seat. I’m really happy for Kelly, but the wedding was a bit weird. There were pauses in the ceremony for cheesy music to be played, she danced with her dad before dinner, and we had a strange sherbet between the salad and the main course. It was all for Kelly, but I heard she just wanted to go home and take it easy. I believe their daughter is only three months old (and adorable) so I can understand that sentiment.

Did I mention that Megan had to kick me during one of the cheesy songs because I was trying to quietly stifle my laughter? After several minutes of, “God has brought you to me,” my shoulders were shaking with the effort.

Afterwards, Megan and I went to the Portland City Grill where I got even more loaded, and we badgered this poor young couple into holding hands. (We were spying on them and they looked like they really wanted to, but were afraid to.) Megan paid for their drinks before we left.

So today, in atonement, I ran the wood chipper, mowed the lawn, and washed my car. I also forgot to take a nap and watch football. What fun is that? I should probably stop drinking.

I feel more beat up than ever.

I can’t believe it’s been about eight years since I’ve gone to see the sports massage therapist Michael Bilyeu. He has a fancy new clinic with his wife now out on SE Belmont with herbal remedies and an acupuncturist. But boy, did I feel beat up afterwards. My back feels better (it was feeling bad again this morning) but maybe that’s just because my calves are so sore. He did say my back was all tense.

Ominous events are taking place at megacorp. I may be on an extended unpaid vacation starting Monday! We’ll see soon.

Backcracker first.

I could say something bad about the chiropractor, and I probably will, but it wouldn’t be too nice. I mean, I don’t believe everything that the chiropractor or the acupuncturist tell me, but I still go to them because they’re good at doing what they do. Do I believe my spine is the center of all that is holy? Of course not. But my back sure feels a lot better. If his fancy gizmo says I’m in balance and my back feels better, that’s fine with me.

Tomorrow I go to the massage therapist I used to see when I was training for the marathon. I know he’s good but I haven’t seen him in years. I wonder what sorts of odd tricks he has now. The last time I saw him he’d found an air conditioner by the side of the road and fixed it for his apartment. He was a crack up.

Addendum

P.S. I made it to a year at megacorp.

P.P.S Somehow I lost five more pounds, down to 175 after my latest illness, I think. So much for looking like Charles Atlas in his prime.

My back hurts.

I figure it can’t possibly be the stress from going to work each day and having someone else tell me I’m getting laid off. Or is it layed off? I never could get that straight, and for some reason I don’t really care. In any case, my back still hurts. It hurts more today than it did after helping my neighbor move. Dave says my hamstrings and back are really tight and I should see both a chiropractor and a massage therapist. In any case, the only thing that gets me out of the bleak mood I’m in after work and my even more pathetic non-dating is getting tired at the gym. Maybe I should get a job moving furniture or something. You know, something that puts that MIT degree to good use.

I was late to the gym because my mom and I played the Enterprise Rent-a-car shuffle. We waited for cars to arrive back to see if there was one small enough for my mom to drive. I’m not sure how they do their scheduling, but I think a lot of their rentals are for people who are getting their cars fixed and they aren’t sure when cars are coming back. They were really nice, though. Oh, and then Dave asked me to drive to the neighborhood with no parking and pick up his dinner on the way to the gym. Somehow he’d scheduled himself into a corner, putting all his clients into one day. This left him no time to eat between his trainer gig and his DJ gig. I just realized he owes me $6.50.

Paperwork and phone calls.

I worked from home today for the few hours that I wasn’t calling insurance companies or body shops or mechanics. Looks like my mom wasn’t doing anything wrong and the other insurance company thinks they’ll have to pay most of the damages. Like I said before, I’m glad nobody was hurt, but this sure is an annoyance.

Working from home does give me some options, like drinking coffee vs. taking a nap. The nap is never an option in the office, though I think it should be.

Oh, and since I keep the stuff for Portland Audubon’s swift watch, I tend to be out there every day I’m not busy. Tonight I was going to watch the football game, but my friends dragged me out again. Honestly, how many days can I spend watching the birds flock around a chimney? Looks like this year it’s approaching six straight weeks.