Wednesday, November 16, 2016

New and exciting medical discovery

Okay, I need to make a confession: I lied.

Last post, when I put up that cute little ballet video, I said I was having a "busy few days." I lied.

The fact is, I woke up Monday morning in extreme pain from a tweaked lower back. I have no idea what I did, but it hurt. I do not have a history of back pain, so this took me entirely by surprise.

So when I said I was "busy," what I really meant was, "I’m in too much crippling agony to write anything even remotely interesting."

All day Monday, I pretty much moved as little as possible, and whenever I did move, it was to show me what advanced old age will look like.

But we’re butchering today, so yesterday – bad back or no bad back – we had to negotiate most of the herd down to the pasture, keep a couple of other animals out of the way in a barn stall, and retain the targeted animals in the driveway area (which is mud-free and will be easiest for the mobile butchers to do their work). This meant, bad back or no bad back, it was an all-hands-on-deck shuffling of animals, always a kinetic enterprise.

Rather to my surprise, after our half hour of mobile excitement, my back felt considerably better. Afterward, Younger Daughter and I headed into the city for some errands. By evening, I would say my back was about 75 percent improved.

This morning, it was back to crippling pain. But animals must be fed and stalls must be cleaned. Now, as I write this, I feel about 50 percent better.

So while I don’t know what suddenly plunged me into the agony of back pain, one thing appears to be coming clear: chasing cows helps. So does mucking manure and forking hay, as long as it’s done slowly and within the boundaries of whatever it take not to jar me back into agony. I claim this treatment as a New and Exciting Medical Discovery. Maybe I'll patent it.

This afternoon, after the butchers have come and gone, we’ll bring the herd back up from the pasture and return them to the feedlot. Gosh, I’m sure it will make me feel much improved.

Bonus: We’re having the year’s first snowfall, always pretty.


  1. I know it sounds nuts , but when I would throw my back out , when I was working at a manufacturing plant , I would specifically ask to unload 20 lb compressors from 4 ft square boxes . I found the bending and reaching and lifting acted like traction I am guessing , after doing 300 hundred or so of these my back would be cured !! Every time ! No one else would try it though !Hope you feel better , and make a complete recovery ! Karen Jones

  2. Said the city dweller to the country boy, 'Homesteading, how difficult can it be?'

    We are glad you are feeling better.
    Montana Guy

  3. Try taking a muscle relaxant and or pain killer before bed. A pulled muscle or disk often causes other muscles to tighten up further pulling things out of kilter. The muscle relaxant or pain killer allows things to get back to normal.

  4. Hi Patrice,
    Sorry about your back. I saw great relief from a good chiropractor. Contact Dr. Harper, in Orefino, ID. He has some really good new treatments that you might find helpful, like Prolozone. Look it up, and go see him! It has helped Mike and I from backs, to feet to a torn miniscus in Mike's knee. Hugs!

  5. I had really bad back pain when I was in the Coast Guard. It was the muscle spasm variety, and it went on for three years. I could lift a Honda transmission and put it in the bed of a pickup one day, and I would be fine. The next day, I'd reach to grab a pen that was rolling off my desk and I'd be on the floor in agony! I thought I was going to be "medical'ed out" of the Coast Guard. It was that bad!

    One day, I was working with a shipmate to get a 150 lb spool of cable stowed below decks. We were carrying it between us on a length of pipe run through the center of the spool. We had to go down two ladders to get to the hold. I told the other guy to be sure and not let the spool slide down the spindle, as I had a back issue. Did he listen? No. Next thing I know, I'm on the deck, writhing in agony. I literally HOBBLED to the dispensary, where I was told there was really nothing to be done except to wait it out (government-run healthcare at its best). Wouldn'chaknowit; two hours later, the pain was gone. It's never returned. That was twenty years ago. Go figure...

    Those "Doan's Pills" work pretty well. The pahrmacy and Wally World carry "Back Pain Relief" generics that work just as well. If that didn't work, a hot bath and a couple of shots of tequila (or whiskey, or rum, or...) were my plan B. Worst-case scenario, I was clean, I still hurt, and I just didn't care...

    God bless, and good luck with your pain!

  6. Secret with back pain is to exercise -- lying still will exacerbate the condition. Two good exercises: get on your hands and knees and rock forward as far as you can go, then slowly move back to sitting on your heels. Next one is super simple, lie on your back and bring your knees to your chest and rock back and forth. Assuming, of course, that there is not a serious debilitating problem. Feel better soon!

  7. When I was young, I would get on my horse and to for a ride when my back went out. Always made it feel better. Now I go to the chiropractor and walk more. Chronic back problems.

  8. Hi Patrice.
    Hope the morning pain is gone soon.
    My hips ache and I take Magnesium before I go
    to bed. No pain while I sleep or when I get up.
    Goes well with your calcium too.
    Feel better soon.

  9. your just getting older, how old are you now...28..29?

  10. Hope you aren't experiencing kidney stones lodged in the ureter. Trust me, that can cause some serious back pain to the point of hardly being able to move.

  11. Beautiful pictures of the snow!

  12. Won't our dairy farmer friends look at me funny the next time I get a sore back and ask to try your remedy on their farm!

  13. Patrice, could it be you need a new mattress for your bed?

  14. Best chances are you spasmed a couple of muscles. Hot packs off and on for several hours. Ibuprophen, and get someone with strong wrists (this is why we invented husbands) To give a a good back rub.

    When muscles spasm they put out an enzyme that... makes muscles spasm. It becomes a viscous circle. Have your masseuse lean on those sore muscles (Press, not rub) to make them quit it. Ibuprophen is not just a pain reliever, it has a minor muscle relaxer effect to it which Tylonol does not.

  15. I've had this happen to me with a vengeance after hyperextending myself several times during a rather hurried move into a storage unit.

    Blue is correct: ibuprofen is really what you need in terms of NSAIDs, and skip the paracetamol (or acetaminophen), aspirin, and naproxen.

    A soft dish sponge scrubber thing with a handle helps to apply plenty of Icy Hot or some other kind of mentholated liniment on your own, or of course having someone else doing the job (also as Blue suggests) will also work.

    I was travelling on my own when the worst hit, so I didn't have that to go back on (pun intended).

    BTW, don't take so much of the ibuprofen that you can't feel the pain -- that will simply make it easier to injure yourself, and you will need some of the inflammatory response to heal properly. Take just enough to dull the pain to where it's bearable.

    Eventually if you keep the inflammation and pain down, you will recover from this as long as you're patient about it ...

  16. Patrice,

    Get some horse linament gel from tractor supply or other farm store.
    It's Ben Gay extra extra extra strength, costs 9.99 for 16 ounce bottle when on sale, and cures sore muscle problems fast!

    I get a lot of practical advice from you so this is me paying you back a teeny weeny smidge. Thanks for everything that you do and go get some linament gel post haste!