Wow!  I can’t tell you how nice it is to be home, back in a place with a backyard, proper t.v., window blinds, and actual dresser with drawers for storing my clothes!

Nice while it lasts.

I got in a little after 3 pm today and the first thing I did (after greeting Akemi and the dogs of course) was to head over the nearby medical center and get that x-ray. For almost two weeks now, I’ve been suffering from what I’d describe as “a sore right lung”.  Every time I take a deep breath, it triggers a dull ache in the region. On my first visit to the doctor, he poked, prodded, listened to my lungs, then sent me for a blood test that came back all good.  He suspected it was a muscular issue. On my next visit to another doctor, there was more poking and prodding and listening to my lungs.  He also suspected a muscular issue – but sent me for an x-ray, just to be sure.  If I’d just gone on Monday, I’d already have my answer by now but, because I was feeling a little better, I elected to put it off.  Thus, I get to stew all long weekend.

I love the idea of it being muscular.  Only problem is, I can’t recall doing anything that could have caused the problem.  “Oh, at our age, you don’t need to do anything anymore,”my writing partner, Paul, informed me.  “Stepping out of the shower, sitting up, just turning your head – crack – that’s it.”

Really?  Can anyone confirm this through amusing anecdotal evidence?

Tomorrow, I commence my goodbye tour of my favorite Vancouver bookshops: The Comic Shop, The Book Warehouse, White Dwarf Books – and continue work on Episode 204.  That script aint gonna write it self.  Trust me, I know.  I left my laptop out two nights in a row with a dish of cookies for the script fairies only to discover the cookies gone the following mornings but absolutely no work completed on my script.  Has this ever happened to you?


32 thoughts on “October 8, 2015: Home! X-ray! Script elves!

  1. As a man in my mid-fifties, I can confirm Paul’s assertion. I have degenerative disk disease, so I’m always having back trouble. I once had massive, painful muscle spasms all because I tried to fart. I was in bed for 2 days on muscle relaxers, but I’m happy to report all farts since have been incident free. Well, except for the usual and expected side effects.

    I also once threw out my back kneeling down to pick up an ice cube. Now, I just kick them under the fridge.

    Stuff’s just falling apart. I’m waiting for it all to just start falling off then I’ll have to be carried around in a wheelbarrow as a loosely related pile of random parts. PARTS, I said parts!

  2. Well you can break your rib sneezing, so I wouldn’t say he’s completely wrong.

    If it comes back clear, I’d visit an RMT or chiropractor. I have a stubborn rib that gets ‘stuck’ or pops out of alignment every so often which gives me a sharp pain when you breathe in fully to the point where you just can’t take a deep breath anymore. Sometimes it kinda cramps up, I used to call it my heart attack but turns out it’s just a funky rib.

  3. Oy, we’re going to talk about our old-age ailments? (Said in a New York retiree’s accent). Well maybe commiseration does help…so here goes:

    When I was in high school I twisted my right wrist in gym class playing football; I fell hard and landed my full weigth on it which dislocated one of the bones. I snapped it back in place and while it hurt for a couple of weeks, it wasn’t really a problem.

    Over the years I’ve had this bone pop out of place during strenuous activity, but like the first time, I could pop it back in place and only suffer some soreness for a while.

    Well now that I’ve passed the Five-Oh mark, I had it pop out again working on my daughter’s car four weeks ago. Like the times before, I popped it back in place (with the help of my son and a leather belt), but now it’s been hurting me for the last month. Soooo, I finally went to see a doctor about it and he confirmed that the bone was in place, but he also said that it’s common for old injuries to “act up at our age” (he is a couple of years older than me) and that if it still hurt in another 6 weeks to go back because I might need to get an MRI. Even then he said that surgery would be a 50-50 proposition at best.

    Geez, first my knee, now my wrist? And that’s before I get started on the clicking in my neck and popping in my joints from arthritis. Yep, it definitely takes longer to heal when your past the half-century mark.

    On the writing fairy, I was hoping for a GPS engineering fairy to finish my component layout and microware strip-line calulations, but it didn’t happen. Instead I had a half-full inbox of technical questions, travel itinerary issues, and my uncompleted GPS design. It’s going to be a long and busy Friday…

  4. Hi Joe
    My left foot loves to fall of my leg at random times. Hurts like hell when I step down on it and put it back in place.


  5. I’m 63. I scored in the 99 percentile in a fitness test for my age group. I do 90 minutes at the gym 5 days a week. I’m on my feet almost all day at work. I hit the stationary bike while watching sports on the weekends. One day I bend over to pick up the dog’s water bowl and POW, my back goes out. After two weeks walking hunched over and in a good deal of pain I finally decided a visit to the doctor might be a good idea. MRI showed I’d cracked a lower vertebrae at some point many years ago. God knows doing what and it was the cause of the problem. A month of rest and misery and I healed up right nice. Sooo I would have to say Paul is absolutely right. I;m sure you’ll pull through this one, Joe, cause you have at least four more seasons of DM to produce.

  6. I can tell this is going to be a very comical blog… @Tom Gardiner – LOL!!

    And I can tell you if you fall, you don’t bounce like you use to. Five years ago, one month after turning 51, I slipped and fell and broke my leg. I broke it at the ankle and knee, tore 2 ligaments, and 1 tendon. So watch your step and don’t fall. Watch out for water on the floor, like a melted ice cube.., 😉

    Also, after 50 you have to watch what you eat. Your stomach ain’t like it use to be. What never bothered you before becomes your worse enemy. And I have bit down a few times now on something tough and split teeth down to the gum that then had to be pulled. Watch out for that bacon in your sandwich or salad.

    Hope your x-ray shows nothing but your kind heart and soul.

  7. Not sure if age is always the issue… In my early twenties I leaned over to pick up an EMPTY plastic laundry basket and when I was upright again, my neck was frozen. I couldn’t turn my head, right or left or up and down, and honestly, I kinda freaked, which probably didn’t help matters. Walked a block and a half to a chiropractor’s office, they refused to touch it. Went to my Doctor and he prescribed muscle relaxers. It took a couple of days before it got moving again and I’ve had neck issues ever since…

    Last year I woke up with extreme pain on my right side. Couldn’t figure out what the hell happened until I realized that I fell asleep on my computer mouse. My best guess is that the muscles relaxed while I slept, and the hard plastic lump must have moved a rib or something, I have nooooo idea, but it hurt for two and a half weeks, every time I moved, breathed or got out of bed. I didn’t go to the Doctor, how do you explain injury by mouse? If that’s even what it was, maybe it was a case of princess and the pea and I’m just a delicate flower…….*snort*

    The human body is weird….

  8. Joe —
    You’ve had the hip pain with no apparent cause before, too. Hip/chest pain shows up for me when I’m having an inflammation flare-up from being around one of my allergens. If you did a full seven days of paleo and still had your hip pain, whatever you didn’t eat in even trace amounts might not be an allergen suspect. It takes five days with no traces for me to eliminate that type of pain. This kind of inflammation is more likely at sites that have been injured before, but can be anywhere. The next time you have an infection, take note of your pain levels — wonky immune systems can give you a break and stop causing random pains while they fight a legit invader.

    Not so much old people stories, but people with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, joint hypermobility, we can get hurt doing nothing. I have family who dislocate their hips while sleeping with normal tossing and turning. My ankle once swelled up to the size you’d get with a bad sprain and I absolutely know I never let my ankle out of alignment that whole afternoon – I keep track. So, when I saw a documentary where they were painting this pain med addict who claimed she had EDS as delusional for saying stuff like “these flowers are dislocating my hips”, I just took it for out-of-context editing. We say stuff like that all the time in my EDS-heavy family. For my ankle, I had claimed grass did it. It’s a lament when there is no seeming explanation.

    It’s a new realization for me that so many adults aren’t in much pain at all. With my bad genetics and family living hard lives, I used to think adults in pain was the norm and that stoicism was way more common than it is.

    I wasn’t going to come on here and say maybe you have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome until I realized you have a sister with a subluxing rib. I was just going to say @Andrea – that’s common with EDS, but siblings of people with EDS have a 50% chance of having it so here I am committing the annoying internet habit of saying maybe you have what I have.

  9. Yeah you can hurt yourself without much noticing. A bent rib hurts like f’ing hell and you can do it bending wrong. So I hope the x-rays show nothing and you’ll heal soon. That apartment, however, looks like hell. Are you locked into staying there? Oh wow that really .. oh dear no words. Next year, really either go look or have a trusted person check it out. You work too hard to come home to a hovel. 🙁

  10. Paul is right, sorry to say. Us mid-fifties all have our stories. We can throw out our backs sneezing or strain a muscle passing gas, sitting up in bed reading for too long can cripple us for months. Random heart issues, bad knees, sore ribs, ugh! If I stand up in the kitchen making dinner for too long my feet start to throb. Good news is, I don’t have to cook elaborate meals any more, 30 minutes or less or we order in! So there are some advantages. 😀
    Best wishes with the x-rays.
    I’ve been reading but not responding to your posts Joe but I just have to comment on your new digs. EEEEW! I hope you didn’t sign a long lease. Do they have real estate agents that help people find rentals in Canada? If so, get one! Break the lease and get out of there. Scary.
    Also, not fair asking all the hard questions for the contest to us old brained fans 🙁 I still love you –even though the cool coasters would have looked nice in my collection.

  11. After my whole brain-tumour gubbins, they added a “shunt” to help drain excess brain fluid.
    The shunt is essentially a giant tube that runs from the back of my head, down through my body, into my gut, and spits goop from my head into my my body cavity.


    Every so often it causes a stitch for next to no reason whatsoever, and when I get a shunt stitch it’s a good idea to sit down and not do anything for about half an hour.
    Daring to “push through the pain” only ends up making the pain worse, and worse.. And worse!!!

    .. Yeah, getting old sucks!

  12. Sadly, I can confirm Paul’s assessment too. Here’s an exchange from my visit to my wise-cracking doctor earlier in the year about a pain in my back, which turned out to be a QL muscle in spasm (too much sitting using the computer!)

    Me: “It’s really bothering me, it hurts to sit down.”
    Him: “You know what your problem is? You’ve got ‘Old Man Back.'”
    Me: “Excuse me??? I’ll have you know that I stay very active and I think I’m in pretty good shape!”
    Him: ” *laughing* Just because you drive a car everyday, doesn’t mean it won’t wear out!”
    Me: *grimaces*

    So… yeah. If it’s not one thing, it’s another. Just gotta keep pushing through I guess.

    I have to agree with Ponytail on the stomach thing, too. I used to be able to eat anything spicy, but my recent bouts of acid reflux have really put a damper on that.

    On the matter of the script faeries eating the cookies – you didn’t happen to leave those cookies out at the new place did you? Maybe it was something a bit more down to earth than faeries.

  13. Hope you feel better soon! And thanks again for sending my new Stargate compact – it arrived yesterday! Loved the flag holding bunny from Akemi 😀

  14. Unfortunately, yes…Paul is correct.

    I’m 46. Two weeks ago, I awoke with an intense pain in my right hand all around my thumb. Like I hyper extended it. But I was SLEEPING! One would think that would wake you up. Nope. The area is swollen and it still hurts pretty intensely. I can’t grasp anything with my right hand. Good thing I am left handed. Apparently the use of an opposable thumb IS pretty important.

    Good luck with that lung, Joe.

  15. As we get older, it doesn’t take much to cause aches and pains. Stress is behind a lot of it. And you’ve had your share of stress these past weeks with the move and the start of writing season. But you are wise not to ignore it.

    As for fun aging ailments: I have developed Benign Positional Vertigo. Which means that some mornings when I roll onto my right side to turn off the alarm the room starts spinning until I change position.

    It’s an inner ear thing. There are these structures called semicircular canals, that have little hairs with bits of calcium crystals at their tips. They are what your body uses to keep your balance. In some people, one of these little crystals breaks loose and get stuck in amongst the hairs and don’t let them move freely and this makes your brain think you are spinning like a top.

    So today I have to go get my inner ear reset by the physical therapist. Again.

    And like everyone else is saying – don’t go back to the scary apartment. Let Akemi and the fur babies stay at home until you can find a reasonable place to live.

    Dang, it! You’re a big time writer! You should have people for that!

  16. Didn’t realize there were so many old people on this blog. I feel better cause I fit right in. I will confirm that things do start to hurt for no reason. My back hurts from time to time because I apparently slept wrong. I hurt myself in my sleep now, it very disconcerting..

  17. ~I hope your lease included a clean apartment to move in to, and that is just what the landlord is doing while you are gone,(heads will roll) or they gave you a better apt, and a lot of money back. and a wet bar, (stocked) you may need it if you have to stay there. Please let us know how it goes, the only way is up…
    ~~ I get aches and pains in places I didn’t know I had places. I always say its the age, and try to smile, if that does not hurt too. I like the comment das made,, very possible,, very possible,, and funny as hell! Hope you feel better soon, get the dogs to take a look, they are great healers. well they make you feel better anyway.

  18. Tom Gardiner (@Thogar): Ouch and 😆 .

    Das: 😆

    I’m glad you’re back home Mr. M.! Yes, Paul is correct. I have aches/pains all the time (51) too and I have no idea how I got them.
    I have thrown out my back opening a window once (that was the worst pain!) but a friend did severe damage putting garbage in her large trash bin. The lid slammed down on her arm and did extensive damage. She had several surgeries.
    Anyway, hope you feel better soon and you have a wonderful time this weekend!

  19. Good luck with the results. A muscular problem can heal, but it may be a long, slow process. Best wishes for something simple and not scary.

    Yeah, I have lung pain from asthma, with very specific triggers such as mold and mildew, or pot smoke and sage smudging. Dang damp hippies.

    Ah, age. I have had a number of surgeries which have left me with scar tissue and a weak abdomen; coupled with a “rat’s nest” of a lower spine (doctor’s term, not mine), I usually have some sort of pain going on. And foot issues, tendonitis. Cure is “stay off your feet”. Right.

    I think my Toronto friends have all moved recently, or I’d ask them to scout out a better place for you.

  20. It could be pleurisy. If you look it up online, it appears it can be caused by pneumonia but I’ve had it before (as has my husband) with no known cause. It is painful, that’s for sure. I also had an inflamed spot at the tip of a rib (a cartilage issue) one time, that calmed down with rest and cold compresses. There was no known reason for that either.

    As a 60 year old with a totally mangled spine, I can tell ya that things will begin to hurt for no known reason. Oh, there are definitely reasons for the mangled spine, that go back 25 years or more, but it can stay calm and relatively pain free for long periods, then for no known reason, I end up with an awful episode that can even keep me from walking. However, all my medical tests are squeaky clean, so I guess it’s just a ‘thing’ that I have to deal with.

    Hope it all comes out well for you. And hey, that apartment in looks AWFUL! RUN!

  21. I hope it’s a nice simple pull that you can rest from. I miss the days when I only saw the doc to get a shot followed by a lollipop.

    I hope it’s nothing, agitate for an ultrasound instead of an xray; you don’t have to take off your clothes, or get bombarded with radiation and you can see what the technician sees, which in my case was a white blob that turned out to be a gallstone affecting my liver function. It meant I had to cut out fat and oil from my diet, not easy to do but I’m glad to finally get a diagnosis.

  22. I concur with everyone else. If it weren’t for my chiropractor, I wouldn’t be able to move my head or arms, walk or breathe and I’d be a pain pill junkie. Thing is, your medical doctor will look at an x-ray and say it’s fine, and give you pain meds. He won’t recognize that a vertebrae is out of alignment which is causing a twisted rib that is causing the pain. But a chiropractor will see it right away. An adjustment takes only a few minutes, brings immediate relief and no pain meds. Good luck.

  23. I guess there are a bunch of old farts on here who love to talk about our ailments (just kidding). As one of you who just turned 47, it does kind of hit hard those first few aches or issues that just show up from being old. Anyway it is funny the number of people who just seem to be waiting to hear how your day went.

    On an unrelated note, I was watching “The Cabin in the Woods” (seems i like to rewatch this time of year fairly regularly. One of the main “zombie redneck torture family” characters Patience Buckner looked really familiar. Not a lot of screen time / no lines but played the part well and thought i should know that face. Anyway it was Number 5 / Jodelle Ferland, that face and those eyes even came though all the makeup, not to sound to creepy. Glad to see some past scenes of our favorite Dark Matters characters.

    hope you feel better / good luck with the apartment, hope it all works out.

  24. Wow, like MikeP said, I didn’t realize so many here were near to my own age (60). Well, I too concur with Paul. No surprises there. I suppose age-related or inherited issues are also correct. Weak veins & blood vessels and tendency to stroke, have heart attacks or aneurysms runs in my family. So far, I’ve avoided these issues but do have degenerative disk disease as Tom G mentioned.
    Lately at work, while working at my computer, various parts of me suddenly go numb. My butt, a foot or ankle, back of my neck or part of an arm and as I make myself move or shift, it eases.
    Hm-m-m … I’m sure it’s spine related, so if you don’t hear from me for awhile, maybe something really important went numb, like my head/brain and I needed a hospital.

    Hope everyone feels better… eventually. Especially you Joe.

    2cats =^-^= =^-^=

  25. Though am sure all the stress you have been under has not helped the sore lung situation, I’d ask the doc for a precautionary round of oral antibiotics just incase he is wrong about it being muscular. There are a number of respiratory allergens and virals that do not show up in blood or xray in the early stages but can be knocked out with proactive dosing of lots of oranges, (vit c) hot tea and a round of amox or other prescribed anti biots.

    Cant do anything about the aging thing – but to asist with easing the stress .. I know you have been so busy with DM and the housing situation – so to save you from more work next week when your big 50 comes up I went ahead and filed your AARP and CARP membrships for ya.

    Whoo-hoo! You can no save 10% on a dennys breakfast and 15% on ex-lax at select pharmacies! ~Feel better old man~ 🙂

    Having turned 52 a couple days ago, I dared to stop for a fraction of a second to entertain the thought about how incredibly lucky I was. Having ice danced all my life, being in great shape and living an active, forever on the go, rock n roll lifestyle and attitude, no one ever guesses I am a woman in her 50s.

    Of course as soon as that fractional instant passed -I quickly realized I’ve developed ( as Pony Tail mentioned) serious adverse reactions to foods I’d loved since childhood in the last few years and 3 wks ago i developed a stiff neck and sore leg simply from sleeping wrong and it still has not eased up despite an abundant use of tiger balm and other muscle ointment and I’ve noticed in the last year or so every time my brain might say time for a butterfly jump during a dance work out it occurs just as my body is saying time for a coffee break. ( or in my case tea – because more than one cup of coffee per week these days is too much for my middle aged system to handle) Ah… the joys of human aging, eh.

    OH MY! Listen to so many of us co-mmmmmiserating!.
    Oops! So Sorry Joe… I think we may have just cost you any new potential DM fans in the younger demographic, counted in ratings, who might have been following the blog. ;-D

  26. Apologies for the late reply but I’ve been on the ‘razal’ – did you see what I did there (razzle?) …. oh never mind.
    A 94yr old once said to me, with a smile … ‘When you get to my age, if you’re not in pain, you’re not alive’. He seemed to find comfort in that knowledge …. mmm.
    And the script fairies? Maybe it’s the apartment fairies who are eating all your tasty fresh cookies and have chased the script writing fairies away!
    Feel better soon! 😊

  27. Hi Joe
    Ah, the ‘fun’ of growing old. It is, however, better than the alternative!


  28. I coughed once and pulled a muscle in my neck that caused me to lose feeling in my left fingers. Took a month on physical therapy to heal from that sucker

  29. Don’t get me started because if you do, I will probably cry. This year and a half has sucked with one thing cascading to another thing to another thing and to another thing orthopedically. I have another surgery scheduled for Thursday. I hate my 50’s.

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