Disability Is Limited Unemployment

Hear me out.

You can be unemployed and actively seeking out employment for the entire duration of your period of unemployment, and after a hard month of applying to every conceivable job offering on Indeed, Monster and Career Builder someone calls you back to invite you to an interview.

YES!

That’s the feeling you get when you finally grab the opportunity to work after a dragging, tiring, 7 days per week job search you have been doing for a while. Good for you!

Now let’s try this for disability.

You can be disabled and actively seek out employment, but you’re limited to what you can do. If you’re like me, then your doctor is considering you unemployable for a period of time, during which you are to take it easy, rest, and not lift anything. So you now have to consider employment with reasonable accommodation for your condition because you either have weight limits (cannot lift more than twenty five pounds), standing limits (no standing for more than 20 minutes), and sitting limitations (no more than an hour of sitting). How is anyone supposed to make reasonable accommodations when you yourself don’t even know what sort of limitations might affect you on a daily basis?

See, I’m currently totally restricted from any kind of work. In my case, it’s a full year, and I don’t know how my doctor saw it but it was a good decision on his part, because the moment I begin to feel better I push myself right back to my old “limits,” if you would consider my condition self-repairing (not like your average pain which simply goes away over the course of some stretching and a week of ice and whatnot).

However, this isn’t something that has simply gone away. What I am experiencing is something I never thought I would ever have to experience, particularly at the age of 34. Chronic back pain, nerve pain and leg weakness. If you’re familiar with my blog thus far, you would understand that this is not an illness which plagues me. This is, in fact, a physical ramification of poor posture and lifting practices for at least… Oh, 15 years? Although I haven’t worked my whole adult life (four years college, several months unemployed, among other things), I can blatantly state to my readers that it wasn’t because I wanted to stop working altogether. I actually physically do not have the capacity to walk for an unlimited distance without tiring anymore. Back when I was going to college and had a bunch of free time between classes, I would sometimes walk upwards of five miles in steel toed boots just for fun.

Now, I’m lucky to walk 300 feet, after which I have to stop and rest because using a walking stick is tiring, and that’s not the bad part about it. If I stop and rest because my back decides to start hurting and I have nowhere to really sit, I have to force myself to walk back to where I was able to sit down, which sucks. This physical limitation is still new to me, and I know beyond all shadow of doubt that I’m in total denial, even by admitting to you that I know what’s going on, because in my mind I haven’t even soared past my 20s in age. It reminds me of a meme I read once, about looking for an adult even though you yourself are an adult, so you look for an older adult or something like that. You can Google it if you’re looking for the meme itself.

Anyhow.

I have to take my time with everything. I have to exercise caution when standing because the action itself is limiting. I have to exercise caution when sitting because the action itself is painful. Not only to I have to worry about my back pain, but the other part of this entire ordeal is my right leg being far weaker than it is supposed to be. Bulging discs are not exactly a fun ride, and although one can write to the end of time about the very condition, no one can understand it until someone actually experiences it.

I’m there, and I’ve been there and done that, and I still live it. I know it sounds like complaining to those who either live with me or are involved with my life, but I can absolutely not believe that it is a reality that people actually have to live with. Sometimes it takes an act of experience to express a level of compassion for those who have been in the game long enough to coach you.

Take care of your health and stuff!

CBD Oil: Day One

Doctor’s appointments– you can almost never have too many of them, right?

Monday (the 25th of March 2019) was a follow up to my MRI, and it seems the neurosurgeon would really rather I attempt cortisone shots and physical therapy as opposed to going straight towards surgery. Imagine that, right? But it’s good they’re not subjecting me to the forces of a knife right off the bat, so I can tell you I am pleasantly relieved at this!

My dad just happened to have an appointment the same day in the same city, so he very graciously offered to take me, and I am always extremely appreciative of that– for reals. Gratitude 101, you guys.

Anyhow, this last month was the time I discovered he had been using CBD oil for some chronic pains of his own, and he very recently settled upon a concentration which works to help with his pain management– awesome! In the beginning, the lower 250mg and 500mg concentrations did very little to help, but he went up to the next step to treat it, and it seems to have worked efficiently.

So, he went out of his way to help get me some CBD oil for myself– a 1,000 mg bottle from a brand new vape shop I had never seen before. The brand of CBD I had never seen before was displayed in this very clean shop, the proprietor being a veteran like my dad and myself. He had run these kinds of shops in various other places before, and we got around to chatting about our military careers. It turns out he was a corpsman (navy version of an RN) and fairly knowledgeable in medicine.

It seems he took a great liking towards CBD after reading about it, and additionally he helped me obtain some literature on this particular brand of CBD oil.

By the way, this stuff sort of tastes like the very hint of lemon in lemon-lime cola drinks– not overpowering to any degree (by the way, if you would like to try it, click right here!), and after the minute is up– just simply swallow. The flavor doesn’t have that supreme hemp taste as I have tasted with others. Actually, the texture itself could be likened to any oily or greasy food you have ever had. If you have swallowed a spoonful of olive oil, think of that! But the amount is significantly less than a spoonful.

Anyhow, the aftereffects really were something different. For me personally, I felt a bit more relaxed and more limbered up. Unfortunately, it didn’t do anything for my right leg weakness (a pinched spinal cord has caused loss of strength in my right leg), and unless the bulge itself is removed or reduced in order to get that physical pressure away from my spinal cord it will stay right there– possibly get worse over time.

HOW DOES THIS WORK FOR MY NERVE PAIN?

Of course, with injuries of this nature, there is a severe caution which must be exercised. Because of how closely it is situated to my spinal cord, of course, the entire thing really scares me to think about. I mean, I’m not a doctor by any means, so don’t take this the wrong way at all– but I feel that the 85-90% success rate does not take into account the chance for recurrence (in other words, it could realistically give me problems later down the line). It could bulge further if I take on another manual labor type job post therapy. It could bulge again if I’m doing nothing entirely because of how tall I am (I covered this in another post the other week right here, even when I make frequent references to this fact hereafter), because the fact of the matter is simple: if you have a ten inch pole with a five pound weight attached to the end of it, it’s fairly easy to suspend the weight straight using wrist strength alone. If you take that same five pound weight and attach it to a five foot pole of equal weight to the ten inch pole, what tends to happen is that the weight is further away from the fulcrum (in physics, this is the point of contact on a lever, the point at which balance can be achieved) and this leads to an increase in energy to sustain that same weight. This is called “leverage,” and more leverage means more strength is required to hold the same amount of weight.

So, in my instance, I’m fairly tall and the distance from the point above my lower back to the top of my head is greater than that of the average person who might be, say, five foot seven. The fulcrum which is the lower back is stressed much higher in myself than the average or shorter person. The fact that I am almost 300 pounds just increases that by slight magnitudes (and I couldn’t possibly tell you the math behind it. You will have to find a mathematics professional for that information).

So with that in mind, what has CBD done for my nerve pain?

Well, almost literally nothing. The reason for this is because the bulging discs are exactly the same as just keeping perpetual pressure on, say, a water hose– you can open up the entire rest of the hose and relieve it of pressure to allow for optimal water flow. A single kink or a reduction in flow limits the amount of water which passes through to the end of the hose. The concept is the same– I have a signal which tells my feet and legs which way to go, and these signals all come from my brain. However, with a small kink in the system due to a physical barrier, that signal is diminished.

However, a water hose does not feel pain when its flow is blocked. A nerve does.

And with that having been said, the pressure has been on these spots for such a long time that I’m practically used to it now and it doesn’t bother me too much at present, but I will tell you that it is annoying trying to get around. If I step wrong I can DEFINITELY feel that.

I have, however, experienced an exceptional sleeping pattern since I started CBD. In fact, I seem to be sleeping more deeply for much longer periods of time– almost by a factor of 25%. Now that I have no time limit, my mornings are fairly open, and I can carry out my day with no real limits excepting my now limited mobility.

It’s frustrating. It’s as if I know how to go about getting the pain to reduce itself using natural methods, but the natural methods are working minimally at best. Walking is a new chore where I never had a struggle. It feels as if I have become a sudden burden to myself and those immediately nearby me, and plenty others. I know I’m a veteran, but I can’t help but KNOW from the perspective of others that I would be using my veteran status to take certain benefits and use them to my advantage. I mean, they’re there for a reason, I know. But I feel guilty using these benefits for some reason, and that’s a fact which might just be me not asking for help for such a long time.

I dunno. But CBD oil has really helped with my sleep, so I can confidently say that nighttime pain is tolerable.

Writing For Financial Freedom?

As I understand it, people who can write and get by on life are the successful ones. There is a bit of hustle and grind, and when one has more time than usual, you tend to take things to a different path than that to which you are accustomed. The content they create is enough to pay the bills and get the food they need, whether it be through affiliate pay, traffic ads, and other things of that nature. But it still leads to a considerable “laptop lifestyle.” This is an outcome which I would one day hope to obtain if I had the correct usage of my available resources! [Read: I suck at web design.]

The first thing I would have to do is create a set of goals on a regular basis. So far, I have managed to (in comparison to my online presence thus far) crank out more blog posts since my whole job situation. Eliminating things which do not serve a purpose to me for my future is a large goal, and it is obtainable very easily through actually diving headfirst through the noise of useless-to-me things (TV noise is one such thing, but until I clean out the back room and complete the office I want, I will have to work with headphones in my ears every time). I have to eliminate the YouTube distractions, Facebook, Instagram, and reading. I mean, reading is good for you, but if you only read and take zero action, you’ll have zero action in your life.

Second, in order to achieve my goals, I have to make little goals which can achieved regularly. For example, this might seem to be a simple goal, but actually writing blog posts is one of those things that just has to happen in order to create some kind of path through which I can plow through the monotony of life. It’s the deep rut I have created for myself which I need to change using small adjustments to my path which will allow me to take a new path to freedom (which, by the way, is something I would be thrilled to even lightly taste)– because the rut I have created over the long term has given me no sense of freedom, I have to steer the wheel just a little ways off into the new, less-traveled road.

What does it look like to make little goals? Well, in the simplest way for me to break it down, it would be the overall goal represented as a circle (think of a pie chart) or a rectangle (because 3.14 times radius squared doesn’t work out in my head at all, so think of a rectangular brownie. That makes things much easier). You have your whole brownie or pie chart (I like that– brownie chart. Nice) represented as your preferred shape. You can take half of it right off the bat and set that aside.

Take half of those new halves, and now you have fourths / quarters. Each of these is represented as a quarter of the year, or a three month period. You can break those down even further until you have 12ths, representing one month each, and further break it down into a week, and you now have 48ths. There are not 48 weeks in a year.

This is why I failed math.

Anyhow, if you break your goals down into one or two week increments, and you set yourself a goal for, as an example, writing a blog post every two to three days, you get eight to twelve blog posts in one month span of time. That turns out to be 96 to 144 blog posts within a one year time frame. If you maintained a minimum of 1,500 words per blog post, your minimum word count would be right around 144,000. That’s the equivalent of a very long novel. Even 1,000 words would give you at least 90,000 words over the course of the year, which is still an excellent word count!

Naturally, it takes a while to get through a novel of that length in one sitting, but if you write about a variety of interests you have instead of forcing yourself to burn out on one thing, you can essentially have the written equivalent of a novel every single year.

Now, when we break that down into smaller, bite-sized blog posts, with the limited amount of time people have to read outside of work and family and chores, that comes out to around 30 minutes a day of reading on your favorite subject. You can learn a lot from the perspective of others much more efficiently than you realize.

Also, it would naturally occur that as you continue writing, you’ll inevitably become a faster typist and you’ll be able to generate content at a much faster pace, allowing you to more interactively engage with your audience as time goes on. As for myself, I actually don’t have a regular audience as of right now– they’re mostly on Facebook and includes exactly one handful of people. Remember, the beginning stages of any new endeavor will require you to have very little to no feedback and responses. Some people take up to a year to start seeing regular traffic, and it’s just how blogging works. For those who stick to it for an extended period of time, their lives can and will improve dramatically.

If you’ve read my blog before, you’ll know that I have had this account open for around five years, and it’s been only this year where I have had the greatest amount of activity. I’ve had more traffic to my blog after I have shared it on other social media, so I really had better get around to posting on Twitter once again!

I have a fairly decent audience on Instagram, so perhaps I will try that out as well.

Anyhow, success also comes after you have marketed yourself. Otherwise, you will have five years of zero activity as well! You have to maintain a certain level of diligence in that respect.

Is It Enough To Be Motivated Or Educated?

In addition to sharing what I have known about the last few weeks of struggling with some significant amounts of back pain, I would have to include more of my personality traits to get a sense of where I come from. In this, you will learn more about how I actually function from my perspective, and my view of myself through the eyes of other people.

For starters, as a kid, I remember being taken in for testing for ADHD, and that required a series of electrodes being attached to my head. The easiest way to go about using these was to ever so slightly scratch the surface of my scalp (not enough to scar, but it was more akin to a very fine, imperceptible glass cut) and “glue” (attach by some means) thee wires to my head and measure brain activity. I don’t remember exactly when this took place, and I certainly don’t remember the time of day. That was weird, and it showed up as a memory out of nowhere.

I was, as I mentioned before, diagnosed with ADHD and given Ritalin to control my random urges to be bored in class, and this persisted for around four years.

Ritalin did absolutely nothing to me, but at the time I didn’t really care what it did– so long as I was able to improve upon my schooling, that’s all I was supposed to do.

And it did exactly nothing of the kind. I ended up paying even more attention to seemingly insignificant things, like flies, scuff marks (turns out, rubber soles can leave marks on the ground which can easily be wiped away), chalkboards (nails on a chalkboard is exactly as unpleasant as you might have been lead to believe, and with sensitive hearing, it’s 100% guaranteed to make a chill go down my spine the likes of which make my neck muscles go haywire– and it’s annoying), actually practicing my handwriting, and everything else which happened to do nothing with schooling in any fashion.

I was, however, particularly fascinated with how things were the way they were, and why they were as such. These could have been things easily explained to me, given the proper environment, but the schooling system doesn’t allow for that type of one-on-one education within their cookie-cutter “standards” to any degree; it is built upon specific foundations of learning which, by the time third or fourth grade rolled around, all of the basic things I could have learned were learned. Everything else was fluff. I really don’t care that Crispus Attucks was the first recorded death in the Boston Massacre, but that fact has stayed with me because they drilled that into my head. Well and good, but if we are to consider that as a highly important piece of history, should it not be considerable to discover who the first person killed in the Civil War (Daniel Hough, though it wasn’t technically a casualty– it was a cannon that accidentally fired and he just happened to be in the way).

None of these facts are significant, and yet with the internet at our fingertips, we can learn ANY fact we wish to learn, however insignificant it might be.

This is where I thrive, and yet, primary schooling tells us what’s important to learn and what is to be disregarded, and for that I believe a great injustice to people like myself is being promulgated at the hands of people who learned in a traditional environment who believe this very model (now outdated) is precisely the model which is to be a permanent mark of societal culture going into the twenty-first century.

I learn and learn and read and learn, just for the sake of knowing more about very specific things about specific things, and not caring to take into account the greater picture. Zippo lighters, I can explain to you as much as I can remember about them and still be considered an expert on it, even after lacking refresher reading. Knives, they’re cool to learn about, and I have a small handful– whoop de dooders, yes?

The problem I encounter after accessing every bit of information I can, and obtaining just as many of the very things I read about, is simply this– I lose interest. I then cycle between months and years of going back to collecting them, selling them, collecting, selling, collecting, selling– after holding onto these items for extended periods of time without actually using them, and then I grow highly attached to these things without considering once their long-term value if kept outside of a display case or otherwise.

I then retain a few items of said interest, and after a while I’m right back into the same exact thing. It’s a cycle of sorts, and it tires everyone else out. I have laser-like focus when it comes to that, and I have unlimited amounts of dedication to learning the one thing.

And then, just like that, I drop the entire thing. I spend multiple hundreds of hours reading and learning from the pros who have done this for years. Everything from experience can be distilled into a few minutes of a video or a blog post, and then I fly in and out and I’m done.

Therein lie the problem.

I have zero motivation to stay in one branch of expertise for extended periods of time. Most of this is due to a lack of true discipline. Once I begin to burn out of something, I stop. Staying in one subject for too long really bears down upon me. This is exactly the reason why I don’t keep up with blogging, writing, or anything else of that matter– I can’t do it for too long without feeling as if I am forcing myself into something. I can set goal posts and still fall short because I run out of motivation to stay in the one area of expertise for too long. I become frustrated, and then extended periods of this force me to become bitter towards my job.

I have no explanation as to why this happens to me.

What happens with me specifically is this: whenever I find myself achieving a certain amount of skill level in any job sector, I become recognized for that skill. Once I have earned expertise in that area, I then must continue keeping that level of achievement everywhere I go within that job, understanding full well the effort it took to get there.

And then…

I see that other people are not doing what they ought to to be able to get to that point of skill even when they have been there for longer periods of time than myself, and it bewilders me that I’ve earned a level of achievement for something I only had a few weeks of skill in versus their years of experience.

It bothers me that I can do something very well, but when it comes to being paid for that effort in equal amounts– there’s no way they will consider a raise because I fall short everywhere else, and from my experience, it makes full sense why they would never raise my income a dime per hour.

I’m super forgetful in SOME things in EVERY job I have ever had, and once I have gotten to a point of expertise in ONE thing– I dwell entirely too much on it at the loss of gaining experience in other areas of that particular job. Balance is way out of proportion. At Panera, I was an excellent dish washer, customer service associate, trainer in dining room, and coffee brewing dude. I did those things VERY well. In order to become a trainer, though, you must become knowledgeable in three areas out of five– dining room, sandwich line, salad line, barista, cashier. The first three I accomplished in under a month, and towards the end of my stint there, I was on dining room exclusively. Apart from that, even if I had to day days off from being sick, it wasn’t met without some form of resistance.

Once I left for a new job, I was happy about not having to wash dishes endlessly, but I had a system in place which made me the most effective employee-level dish washer during the time I was there. Whether I can do something well or not, regardless of the quality of work I produce, and regardless of the sustained level of excellence I had achieved for dining room and customer service– I could NOT remember the sandwich builds. I could NOT memorize the salads. I just couldn’t do it no matter what, no matter how much time I placed into learning that particular thing. I just could not do it.

Now, why could I do one thing very well with little effort and perform very poorly in another, equally important aspect of the job duties? I believe it has to do with being selective about the things at which I wish to excel. My brain works to be awesome in just a couple of things and not consider the project as a whole just as important as the menial tasks. I do not understand why this is, and it frustrates me that I cannot just motivate myself to become great at the few things because those particular tasks are synergistic with everything else. The bigger picture, as they might call it.

One thing I can tell you I excel in is writing, and that’s for sure. There is a certain voice to my writing, a particular style, and a certain level of creativity that goes into my work. This is one thing I can say without any hint of doubt where I excel and actually know it. This is where those problems I have experienced in every other job pretty much end. I know every aspect of what I write and I control the content, and this is how people have been able to really glow in their chosen line of work. It’s been a secret in today’s world that, although we have access to all the information in the world at our fingertips through the use of  miniature computers which connect us to opposite sides of the world in a matter of seconds, we have certain abilities that no one else has, unique to our personality fingerprints as much as our quirks and flaws from the beginning of our time here on earth– we each have skills which no average person can match. Even if you chose to work on your weaknesses the rest of your life, you will have that innate strength of creativity on your side regardless of the means by which you exercise that strength.

Many people don’t fully awaken to their strengths until after the rooted novelty of youth is pretty much felled to the wayside during adulthood. They say the world is a tough place to live, but if you can find the things about which you are most passionate, then nothing can really stop you from living the life you deserve.

Remember, if you aren’t doing well in your job, or you feel as if the escape from the rat race is limited to a glass ceiling, just remember that the methods by which you advance to the next stages of income and freedom will only take a few moments of reflection each day about the things which you find the most pleasurable for experiencing.

For example, I like to write sometimes, and this year I have actually been writing a lot more due to the amount of back pain that I have been experiencing and my journey to recovery. This is one of those things which I had not expected to ever do in my life time, and I for certain never thought I could regularly post upwards of 1,500 word blog posts in a couple of times per week for an extended period of time. I always thought I would burn out. But if you break your tasks into smaller, bite-sized piece of work, you can accomplish much more than you ever thought possible. At the same time, however, you have to actually put the work in. One does not simply get ahead in life by doing nothing, and it took me a long time to learn that very true fact.

 

First Impressions On Gabapentin

Back pain, leg weakness, and seeking out pain relief have been my journey these last few weeks, and I have been prescribed various anti-inflammatory and pain relief medications, including the usage of Diclofenac, Methocarbamol, Celecoxib, and most recently Gabapentin.

Now, these are not your average dosage of ibuprofen and acetaminophen. These are something that must be prescribed by a doctor due to the nature of their potency. However, I have just taken Gabapentin for the first time, and I wanted to share my experience with you.

First, as per the bottle, it states that one must go about starting on a single capsule at bedtime for a week, then progress to twice a day after that for another seven days, and finally three per day for pain management. As someone who doesn’t normally take super-strength medicines on any basis, I have to express my impressions on this particular medicine. If you take too much the first day, apparently there are some significant side effects, but I didn’t want to start out wrong.

My first night, which was last night, was riddled with some intense dreams including celebrities and various people in my life, in a way which I can only imagine would be every single element of my odd nature as a person coming together to make sense of the world as I see it, as I have recently experienced it, and how I am perceiving both of these time-based viewpoints to manage the future. Now, I slept VERY deeply last night, as evidenced by the fact that I was in the same exact position as I had been when I lie down. I didn’t shift my position at all.

This morning, after what I would say around seven hours of sleep, I got up feeling a bit different. It seems that, due to Gabapentin being used for nerve pain (in my case), I might have experienced some relief– and these first two hours of the morning have been difficult for me to comprehend. I’m feeling physically weaker and groggy, and I’m actually having the hardest time concentrating on writing this blog post. I walk with better gait, but my muscles are just not wanting to react as quickly, and this includes my hands, arms, legs, and even my head. So this is a new experience for me.

I feel as if I could go back to sleep even after chugging two cups of coffee because I’m under much more intense relaxation than normal. I don’t like this feeling at all. It feels like a struggle to maintain a certain level of awareness because I’m so used to being hyper-aware of my environment. For someone who was diagnosed with ADHD as a 12-year-old, that hyper-awareness is difficult to want to stop because it allows me to learn anything I want to with great speed and proficiency. Today, I can’t retain much of anything I have just read. This side effect doesn’t work for my personality. So, if I have this medicine in the future, I must be super alert when driving. As of right now, I don’t think I could drive safely because I feel my reaction speed would be highly compromised, and unsafe driving is something to which I will never subject myself or anyone else.

If you’re new to Gabapentin, and you feel as if you need to sort of balance the pros and cons of this particular drug, be aware of this– you will not have the same exact reactions as I am experience. You might have a much better morning than I do, and perhaps you might experience an allergic reaction. You might feel nothing. It would be wise of you to read on the side effects before taking it. I’m not liking this feeling at all. I have read about the risk of dependency, withdrawals, and other things of that nature. My body doesn’t like this feeling at all. Normally, I have enough energy to get around, and although I can get around the house fairly well without the normal amount of pain from compressed disks, I’m woozy and that’s an abnormal feeling to me. I don’t normally take a lot of medicine, but I absolutely had to do something about the pain I was experiencing.

I have mixed feelings about Gabapentin immediately. First, the sleep was great, but the morning after feels like a painless hangover, although there is a very mild headache associated with it. Trying to think about what I am writing is a big challenge. I’ve had to correct myself at least twice as often as normal, or more. My comprehensive side of writing is compromised. I’m very easily distracted, and I just absolutely want to stop writing right now to lie down again until this feeling passes. It’s almost depressing.

Facing Back Surgery Is No Walk In The Park

I’ll tell you this much: there is nothing that is easy to consider about back surgery. At the age of 34, I’m currently unemployed as recently as, perhaps officially, yesterday, when my employer contacted my primary care physician to verify that my time off work will, indeed, be a full year.

Now, this might seem like a simple thing to consider. Snip the offending tissues and walk away (no pun intended). Fairly straightforward, I would imagine. However, there are many determining factors which I believe might not be considered by the average person when it comes to back surgery, primarily a microdiscectomy. A microdiscectomy is an operation which requires the partial removal of an intervertebral disc, which is bulging out and compressing against nerves in the spinal cord. In my case, I have two compressed spots– one in L4 and L5 (L4 and L5 are the two lowest lumbar vertebral discs and are the two most susceptible to this type of injury and deterioration). Unfortunately, they’re both affecting my right side, so I have a much weaker right leg than left leg.

After several hundred feet of walking, I tend to get to the point where I cannot walk much further due to the significant effort it takes me to sustain the energy needed to keep walking. I tire out in a grocery store in ten minutes. Contracting this to a few years ago, when I could walk for five miles and still walk around effortlessly for hours after that. It’s a huge change, and it’s a change which happened in what seems to have only been an instant but, realistically, has progressed somewhat rapidly due to the area of work in which I have been performing.

A little about myself– I’m most recently a custodian at a local city in Central California, and before then it was a series of odd jobs in fast food and cleaning maintenance. I’m a navy veteran of four years, during which I had sustained an injury to my back which started this whole thing, particularly ruptures. Additionally, I am well over six feet tall, and this height, though considered glamorous to the shorter population, is nothing very glamorous in reality. I have to duck under my house entryway and various other doors. I struggle to fit into the driver’s seat of our minivan, which is a step up from the two-door Chrysler Sebring we had owned before. A queen sized bed is just perfect for me, but my fiancee doesn’t have the room she would have if she had a normal sized man in her life.

This Monday, the eleventh of March, I received an appointed MRI which allowed me to see exactly where the affected side was having its neural signal reduced, and according to what I saw, it’s pinched about halfway at both of those points. I’ll tell you, the pain associated with a flare up is debilitating, and it is unbelievable.

You see, when a disc is protruding or bulging, this simply means the disc itself was subject to forces beyond its natural limit, and as a result, there is a chance that a certain point of the disc will fail to maintain its integrity. In my case, this afflicted area failed immediately adjacent my spinal cord. At one point in time, it had totally ruptured and some of the nucleus pulposis (which is the fluid substance within your vertebral discs and provides the shock-absorbing qualities of your spine) had managed to escape and totally become sequestered from within. When this first happened, there was a six month period of zero pain relief, zero rest, totally disabling pain. Had I not had a particular girlfriend in my life at the time, I believe would have actually been able to recover faster, but there’s no real way to prove that.

What I do know is this– this is my third MRI in eleven years for the same problem, and a neurosurgeon is at the helm of deciding whether a surgery is going to be the fixer-upper I need, but as I mentioned before, there are certain determining factors which keep me throttled from sleep and mental peace.

First, my height. There is a very strong chance that the same exact health problem will affect my work performance permanently, and it would be of great consideration to change my area of expertise (my working ethic is manual labor, so based on that alone, it’s a no-go). In fact, Tiger Woods underwent a similar operation around five years ago, according to Medical Daily (article is here). However, at the end of the article, this portion of the article had me in great doubt:

“Other athletes treated for back problems are often quick to recover. ‘Dr. [Robert]        Watkins, who is known for treating many athlete[s] for spine conditions out in Los Angeles, actually published a study where they looked at 80 professional athletes, across all sports including golfers – 90 percent [were] able to return to their prior level of sport,’ ESPN injury analyst Stephania Bell told ESPN.

That 90% success rate of returning to normal duties means that a full ten percent of the given athletes were able to return to a level of performance matching their peak before their injury and operation.

Now, I am not athletic. By any and all means, my athleticism is akin to a newborn deer walking on ice for the first time (think of Bambi taking his first steps). Sure, I could have succeeded in being a basketball player if I really cared for sports, but my hand-foot-eye coordination were severely lacking. I sprained my ankle taking a writing test because I’m so out of coordination. Verily, this might be a good time to express this article on the correlation between height and injury risk.

If I decide upon a surgery, there could be a number of problems down the line which stem from this particular surgery. First, if the disc ruptures again and I have been employed in a similar line of work, I would be systematically disabled once again. Second, if they remove the disc entirely and replace it with a prosthetic disc, the disc(s) immediately below and above would naturally be the next to fail, and the same problem could be imminent in the future, requiring more of the same procedure to be performed.

Besides all of this, however, my mindfulness to posture is going to be the singular thing which prevents me from sustaining these types of injuries in the future, and this is a very difficult thing to do throughout the day with a special needs child. Lifting a wheelchair in and out of the minivan is a chore when the hydraulics fail to stay up in colder weather. Picking her up after falling (which is every day at least 30 times, quite literally) lends to the stressors of my lower back. Laundry. Dishes. Cleaning. These are somewhat difficult chores for me to maintain over the course of time, particularly floors. Vacuums are not fitted for tall people. Mop sticks break because of the forces I apply from a more vertical position.

Besides these minor inconveniences, there is also a chance that the surgery fails. A ten to fifteen percent chance that the surgery might not even alleviate the pain is still existent. Some people have walked away from a surgery with zero associated pain, but there is that little ten to fifteen percent which still nags at my head to be overly cautious, primarily due to my height, which naturally places me at a significant disadvantage above my shorter fellow humans.

Seeking Pain Relief In The Meantime

The nature of my back pain and the methods I have used to attempt to reduce the pain are varied, but they have included the use of medicines by such names as Methocarbamol, Celebrex, Diclofenac, and more recently, I was prescribed Gabapentin, which is to arrive in the mail at some point this week (my medications get mailed to me from the VA). I happen to live in California where recreational cannabis is legal. The thought has crossed my mind a few times because of how variable my levels of pain happen to be. Whether or not cannabis would help me obtain the amount of pain relief I would like to get is not something I will know, but if it does, I will apply myself directly as a guinea pig and let you know– however, your mileage may vary. What works for me may not necessarily work for you for the exact same condition.

Another well-known, sort of holistic approach to my pain relief is cannabidiol, or CBD for short (another compound found in cannabis known for its relatively potent medicinal properties). There are a variety of methods one may use to ingest CBD, including the traditional smoking of CBD-rich hemp flowers, oils, water soluble fluid, whole flower extract, or simply eating or vaporizing extracts thereof. CBD has seen recent news in the almost immediate halting of epileptic seizures, muscular imbalance conditions such as Parkinson’s, and so many other innumerable examples of the therapeutic properties of CBD alone.

Now, this oil is fairly expensive and there are plenty on the market. If you chose to treat your own conditions and you happen to live in a state where CBD is legal, make sure you do your due diligence to ensure you’re getting a full spectrum oil. The reason behind obtaining a full spectrum oil or fluid is because there are no isolated compounds extracted– whole flower oil is what you would be looking for.

It seems every day, we are discovering new compounds from the cannabis plant and discovering the nuances of each compound. I have recently read on CBG, which is, according to Leafly.com, understood to have a primary effect on relieving the effects of glaucoma, inflammatory bowel disease, and protecting neurons and nerves against degeneration, and several other conditions. CBN, or cannabinol, may have considerable benefits in the area of sleep in addition to combating pain and inflammation, according to apothecarium.com.

This is all to say that I, as a sufferer of disc disease, will perhaps give my hand a try at properly dosing myself with cannabis in the future if I cannot gain employment or if I skip out on taking on the recommendations of the neurosurgeon to go under the knife. The average person of average height might get away with recovering properly from such a surgical procedure, but these considerations I have presented are legitimate concerns for this procedure.

Voice Blogging?

Well, it is 5:37 in the morning, and it is Sunday. I’m thinking about all the different things that I could be doing with my life at this point in time due to the significant amount of damage my back has taken over last 3 years.  I believe one of the biggest turning points in any person’s life is being faced with the harsh reality that they are unable to perform their job in a manner that is both useful for an entire team and safe for their physical limitations. If I were to take what I know as a custodian, as a writer, and as the primary breadwinner of the family, I could probably write an entire series on my daily life and the struggles that I face, upon which I probably could not otherwise comfortably dwell. As somebody who has a skill in writing, I am actually using the voice typing tool on Google Docs to put everything into this document as as means by which to expand my knowledge of writing; by that point, in this case, I mean literally speaking. This is going to be the first blog post where I use nothing but my voice (but I will proofread and edit manually) and I’m going to speak in perhaps about 20 minutes of time and get an idea of how to practice for writing a blog differently, as well as forming content that will be pleasing to the eye of the reader in the future. Also, I hope this will be food for thought, and I most certainly hope you are inspired to use this tool as well.

I have to take the time to think about what I say because I’m not necessarily good at speaking my mind on a whim, basically. I’ve never really had to form content in such a quick manner– so  now I am practicing to see if I can pump out content based on bringing to fruition certain words and phrases in a much quicker manner than I could for writing. I personally believe this would be an excellent replacement for writing in the event that my back does not want to act correctly– that is to say, if I cannot sit for extended periods of time to typing out my posts, this would be an excellent alternative with a standing desk. I should mention also the fact that I’m using a laptop with headphones that have a microphone on them. I am not using a high-end microphone, or a studio, or tape recorder… I am actually just speaking into a default headphone microphone headset which came with a Samsung [something or other]. So far it’s been nearly 10 minutes, and it was 5:37 in the morning as of the minute that I had start speaking. I’m going to do a word count to see how far this has gone. I think that I can write about 50 words per minute so if I was able to keep up with a 50 words per minute typing speed for 10 minutes okay I could  have a 500-word essay in 10 minutes flat. let’s see what this is at 10 minutes later.

 

Just over 400 words. That’s about as fast as I’m able to speak my words alone. So, this means I am actually a little bit slower at using my voice to write as opposed to using my hands, so perhaps it might be better for me to use this little bit more frequently to get an idea of how to formulate words and speech patterns and summon my content, and maybe it could be grow to become good practice for public speaking at a later point in time.

I find it a little bit interesting that I’ve never once considered using this program to speak out my blog posts. I had seen this trick put up on YouTube sometime last year. That’s not to say that it is a trick of any sort, but it is a very effective writing tool that is being used– that it is freeware and works as well as it does is far from unexceptional. This makes writing much more accessible to anybody who wishes to write, but does not actually have the time to sit down and pound out words on a keyboard, worry about grammatical errors, and other things of that nature. Anybody who was a typist or typesetter or keyboardist at any point in time within the last century would have been astounded at such a technology. I formed this blog as a means by which to express myself, my mind, my words, and beliefs, and in the same breath I would also like to place, more or less, my opinions on certain things based on experiences that I have had in my life. Under no uncertain terms should I be considering placing these blogs up blindly without looking at their grammatical structure.

I tend to read a lot of blogs. Now, I know these are really good blogs and these are extremely variational blogs (I have not stuck with a single niche) and over the years I have probably visited somewhere in the vicinity of several thousands of blogs just to kind of get an idea of what I could learn whenever a new hobby idea struck me, and perhaps it is the flexible structure of blogging that I have found somewhat helpful for starting my own. As somebody who edits while they’re talking or writing, this is a little bit more difficult for me to accomplish. I would like to have that free flowing writing style at some point, but as a person with ADHD and perfectionist personality traits, that’s seemingly a little bit more difficult for me; however, I could perfect all this. I could perfect my writing and I could formulate words and sentences that perhaps mimic the way that I speak.

It’s too bad WordPress doesn’t have a voice feature (as far as I know), but that’s probably why Google Docs and WordPress are used in tandem with each other. What you can do is simple: if you are in the final stages of editing your words on Google Docs you can copy from here, paste over there on WordPress (or whatever blog or blogging platform that you are using at the time), and then post at your leisure and your discretion. The act of writing isn’t exactly the most difficult thing to do because it is in fact something that a lot of people learn in their first few years of life. This also means that there is room for improvement even after the initial education. so what I’m talking about trying to improve my writing or writing a little bit better using my voice as a medium for the first time, what I’m saying is that I would like to be able to write a little bit more proficiently using my voice only as a means by which to speed up my writing. I would like to have longer posts that are a little bit more detailed, little bit more lengthy, a little bit more dense  in information. I don’t know if it’s just me talking– but Google Docs has had a little bit of a hard time trying to keep up with what I’m saying because I am speaking a lot more silently due to the fact that it is not even 6 in the morning and I don’t want to be heard by those who are asleep.

 

Well in right around 21 minutes I have been able to formulate a blog post that is surpassed 1000 words, which is probably the average for my writing– the difference here is that I have made very little physical effort this time around. I’m trying to think of a way to make this a little bit more compelling, but for right now this is just a test of the voice writing tool on Google Docs. It’s interesting because if I can learn to articulate myself a lot better than I have been able to, then I will be able to write a lot more professionally. I have to be willing to speak about certain things, and this is just a part of writing. It is also a major part of speaking, but it also has a lot to do with just trying to get a message out there as well. That’s what it boils down to. Everybody wants to have a message that they have been wanting to share with the world or their tightly-enclosed “Circle of Friends” but there are people out there who probably don’t even have the means by which to communicate properly. This voice tool, although it does not give proper grammar every time, is actually a significant help in trying to pump out content. It would be an exceptional training tool for speech therapists as well.

 

The last time I had placed a blog post up was actually yesterday, and it was fairly short too.  I don’t even think I made it a thousand words and I kind of worked on it all day because I kept getting interrupted with things. This brings me to another point of blogging– make sure you have the time set aside to write and to create content that you want to share. It will take a little bit of getting used to but at the same time it’s going to be nothing but good for your blog. I feel like I am still just been nothing but a beginner for my blog (and I’ve had this blog up for 5 years), and I’ve had very little traffic to show for it. It’s interesting how I didn’t sit down and just put my thoughts out using my voice before, and this totally changes the game of  blogging. It’s new to me, so don’t judge!

Not even 30 minutes later and I’m at 1500 words for this blog and I am absolutely astounded with how well this is working. And I’ll be able to play some emotion into my writing– that’s okay. Sometimes you won’t be able to put the emotion that you want to put into your words with great efficiency: that’s something that comes with practice. But at the same time, practicing putting emotion into your writing is going to be a major part of your writing journey anyways, should blog posting be something you decide to do with your life. There is a wrong way to blog, and I do not know at this point or this stage in my blog post making whether or not I am doing good or bad. It helps to have an audience and it helps to share your posts.

Basically, blogging it is marketing your own work which you feel and know is your very important message. And there’s nothing wrong with that at all. There is no wrong way to put out your message if, quite obviously, one of the things that you wish to do is to help others get into a particular hobby or niche of sorts. So it is with that having been said, I would like you to give me a couple of examples of where you had written your blog out using nothing but your voice, and I would like for you to comment on what you think of this.     

 

I could imagine that somebody speaks fairly rapidly would be able to write a very very long blonde post with almost literally very little effort. That’s a lie I can work on eventually as well. Who needs a dragon voice technology when you have Google Docs?  

This has been an interesting experience. This might also be the fastest I’ve ever been able to put out content. Do you think that using your voice as a more effective means by which to write a blog post or do you think it is something that requires a little bit more work due to the fact that you have to go through and edit and proofread everything that you’ve written? Let me know in the comments below.

I will place an addendum here: It took me around 20 minutes to edit and proofread this post, but even with all of that, the form I use is fairly choppy. If the tone of my writing has changed between my spoken voice and my written material (which is this paragraph), that just means I get to try to improve upon my speaking skills. It would als be of utmost importance to do on the grounds that I will improve my speech simultaneously over the long term, and I like that idea.

Blogging For Yourself?

I have seen plenty of tutorials and read blogs about how to go about blogging, and whenever I read or see these posts, it reminds me that there’s always the person behind the entire outfit who underwent the same exact struggles as I am when it comes to trying to  blog about. It wasn’t until I really talked to people when I finally understood that blogging and writing in general are just a small part of a larger thing– the audience will become privy to your content when it actually makes sense, but I don’t have to stick to JUST one subject all the time– that would burn me out faster than a kerosene-soaked match.

What I am choosing to do this time is really report on what I experience in life as I seek to fulfill my journey, whatever it might be. Right now, I am eating an apple fritter and listening to cello music. I choose to hear music over a television when writing because I’m not so distracted.

Earlier today, I had posted about my back pain.

It’s a difficult subject for me because I cannot express in enough words– enough specific words– about how I am feeling. It’s as if the message between my mind and your eyes / ears is blocked by the limitations of my knowledge of words– and the frustrating part about this entire ordeal is that I can feel the decline in travel that I could, in the past, physically perform on any given day when my back felt great– or at least, far less debilitating pain than I currently experience. When I didn’t have this pain, I could walk for miles upon miles without even thinking about it, in steel-toed boots– five miles in under two hours. That’s quite the achievement when you consider that I can (now recently discovered) get worn out in twenty minutes at the grocery store, or I’m in a level of pain that keeps me from really getting around with the same level of efficacy as I could just a few years ago just getting to the van.

Now, are these extreme examples? Well, partially– sometimes I don’t really experience much pain, but I am sitting or sleeping during such periods. My doctor says I really should try to get as much exercise as I can, but physical therapy is only going to help so much. He also says I should be relaxing as much as possible so as not to cause any further pain or damage.

Kinda difficult when you have to get back to work before your paid leave is gone.

As a means by which to for of log my journey towards seeking out pain relief, I will be doing everything within reason to ensure I can give you the most accurate accounting for as long as I keep going about writing it down.

One thing I have never really been able to do is sit down and actually blog about any one thing, but they say if you want to be  success in anything, you must do whatever it takes to keep from having to stay in the corporate grind of employment. After you recognize the importance of providing value to others as opposed to putting your head in the wood chipper 40 hours a week for the sole purpose of fulfilling someone else’s financial independence and needs. Your time is irreplaceable! My time is just as limited on this planet as anyone else’s. Discovering a purpose is one of the great challenges of life and some people take it in stride– these are the people who make life work in their favor with seeming ease.

Some of these individuals actually take the initiative to stick to one thing long enough to become self-sufficient experts in their fields, and they reap the rewards of having actually done the work necessary. What most of the world doesn’t want to do is work hard– but, as non-verbatim quotes would have it, Robert Kiyosaki said something along the lines of this: “The rich do the hard thing so their lives are easier, and the poor do the easy thing which makes their lives harder.” This is a golden nugget for anyone who might be wishing to get out of their current life of droll fortitude.

So what does it mean to succeed? It means to take all the challenges you are facing and organize them in such a way as to show that you have what it takes to get past every obstacle. If something is particularly nudging at your every hour of existence and taking away from your investing into your future (even if it seems to be taking a lot longer than you want it to), then you may want to set aside an extra hour in the morning for yourself because your future is being paved by every successful goal you fulfill now and in the coming years. Just sticking to ONE thing will make you the unequivocal expert in that thing, but it comes down to narrowing your target from a broad area to a more focused niche.

These are just words, I will admit that– you will never know what these goals will be because, just as with anything in life, micro-corrections will ultimately determine your overall path. They say the shortest distance between two point is a straight line. Life is not linear in that way, so your path will be unique and have its own shape of corrections.

Back Pain Is Terrible

Taking time off is one thing we wish we didn’t have to do, but that is, after all, what sick leave is for. We build up enough time in the event of some catastrophic event, such as severe sickness, an injury, a family emergency, or other such disaster. Of course, there are limits to how much time you can take based on the number of hours you have put into your workplace. For example, if you only have enough time to take two weeks off, that’s all you can get before you start taking your vacation hours.

In my case, that’s exactly what is going on.

You see, I have a back injury which started out in the navy some thirteen years ago. About eleven years ago, three of my discs ruptured and forced me to quit my job due to being unable to perform my duties (it was a fast food restaurant, and the manager had no problems with me being up front with her. When it came down to having to tell her I was unable to work anymore, she was understanding and wished me the best). I was lucky to have had parents there to take me in if something happened, and since it did I had no choice but to stay there for a while.

At this point, I had to seek out the veteran representative for my local county to see what they could do about evaluating me for disability, being that my injury stemmed in the navy and had progressed to this point.

It was a bit of a process, but they obtained copies of my medical records from my last duty station and sent me to the nearest medical facility to get evaluated.

The MRI results showed that there were, in fact, severe damages in my lower back (L4, L5, S1), particularly to the discs. What happened when they ruptured was this– some of the nucleus pulposis ended up getting sequestered (separated, or broken away from, in other words) out of the discs and collapsing to the point where I was experiencing severe pain, tingling and numbness, loss of muscular strength, and almost to the point where I could not walk at all on my right leg. The pain was so bad that every time I even thought of moving to adjust where I was seated or walking, a debilitating shock of what felt like electricity would down me for an hour longer. Getting out of bed was the most difficult thing to do. Eating, not so bad. Sitting in a soft chair was nearly absolutely impossible. Getting out of bed. Sometimes, even turning my head was enough to put me out of commission.

During the worst part of my pain was when they were able to evaluate me for 50% disability through the Veterans Affairs. Now, this means I get a compensation check once a month in addition to whatever I can make from a place of employment for the rest of my life, but it would barely cover rent if I had an apartment. The rest of my income would be for gas and food. That would not have been enough to live on, so after I began feeling good enough to try to work I applied to different places to work and also gave college a try.

Now, I’m in a position to where I might be losing my full-time job soon, and this is a grave reality for someone like myself– but it is the grave reality for many veterans as well. Debilitating pain is not something a young person like myself should have to experience, but alas it is my reality.

With a house payment as part of my monthly expenditures, a vehicle payment, and several debts in my name, it would be something of a travesty. However, another problem has proven itself to be nearly impossible as well, and that is back pain relief.

See, when you rupture discs in your spine, and the annulus fibrosus(which is the membrane which encases all the nucleus pulposis) becomes compromised, there is no healing it. It maintains itself as a rupture and stays damaged forever. The disc will maintain its bulge upon the nerve or nerves to which it is immediately adjacent, which is what causes the pain and weakness and numbness associated with a pinched nerve.

What makes pain relief difficult? First, it would have to do with many factors in your daily life. In my case, it is my job. Second, it is my height. I’m 6’6” (200.7 cm), and each time I bend down to pick something up, the amount of leverage placed on my lower back immediately places me at a disadvantage towards preventing further deterioration or injury. My work involves changing large numbers of trash cans, cleaning floors, scrubbing toilets and sinks, among other things.

Another factor which might not immediately occur to people would actually be posture and stretching. Although this is a temporary relief, the amount of pain going on right now with me is not quite motivation enough to limber myself up, developing core strength being the main goal of physical therapy.

So, being that I am in the VA system, it is likely that the only pain remedies they can offer are chemical drugs, and they have given me multiple months’ worth of methocarbamol and Celebrex in an attempt to provide relief. Well, the problem is that the amount of pain I am experiencing right now is too much for the medicines to be much of a help, so sometimes I don’t even take them because the result is the same.

I keep hearing about CBD oil and CBD hemp being useful for pain and inflammation, but the VA is a federally-funded organization and it is not legal for them to even discuss it with us.

I’m at a point where, if I am going to have to switch over from my current job to something a lot less stressful on my back, I’ll be having to experiment myself. I’m to a point where my quality of life has been affected seriously. I don’t want to have to fear for taking a medicine which has been touted to work for ALS patients, epilepsy patients, and so many other conditions (including pain relief) because I might get fired in the event they test me. But I don’t want to have to fear anything, for that matter. But right now, that’s my reality– I have to avoid taking specific medications because there is still a stigma and stereotype attached to it. I have to avoid it because it is federally illegal, and too many businesses, particularly government businesses were the medicine is outright banned and there are still zero-tolerance policies attached to such places, including where I work (and being that I live in California, that’s about as backwards as I can imagine).

So, I will be speaking to the doctor today about other pain relief options for now because this is unbearable. I had such a hard time at work yesterday that I had been shaking from just how much pain I was in, and everyone saw it. I bet I looked like a wreck with tears in my eyes. Sucks.

Well, if you read this far, I appreciate it. There is nothing I would like right now than to be guaranteed to be able to generate an income of sorts and not have to worry about risking my spinal health for the good of someone else– I want to do what I know feels correct, and although I haven’t been as outspoken about it as I ought to have been over the last decade, cannabis and CBD have been changing the lives of thousands and even hundreds of thousands of people across the United States. I don’t mind working, but if I am physically unable to do my job, I cannot foresee a working career in my future. I could, however, blog about it as often as I can.

I want to hear from you– have you tried medical cannabis after years of avoiding it? Have you got severe back pain and nothing else seemed to work? I want to hear back from you because I’m probably where you were when you first considered it. I want to hear that it worked for you and that you would, beyond all shadow of doubt, recommend a natural medicine above the pain pills which I couldn’t imagine are doing to my vital organs.

I want to hear your recommendations, your stories. I want to connect with you. Are you a veteran? Tell me about it!

Always Thinking

One of the things that I can say pervade my daily habits endlessly are my rampant thoughts. Yes, those times when you read something and you read it in “your” voice– your mind’s voice– those are the thoughts I’m discussing. I have so many thoughts run across my mind that I cannot consider much else in life. I think about the future, and what it could hold. I think about the past and how it has shaped my life up to this point. I think about the present, and how I should be able to mold my future in some degree.

I can also vividly recall how my imagination pieces together events in a certain order, and how the future might appear if I didn’t have this one thing, or if I didn’t have this other thing.

However, I am also one who does not exhibit much in the sense of patience and concentration, however heavily I demand it from others. How true this is is almost scary, because I almost always have something running through my head and it oftentimes distracts me from work, even if the thought itself is not considerably important or applicable to my life at any given time. I entertain thoughts and I often forget what I am doing in that present moment. Those thoughts which play a heavy role in how I perform at work are often such that I under-perform, despite my known strength in working this particular job.

What is something that I would rather be doing than work? I am often thinking of my back health, actually. I’m often thinking of how I can minimize the amount of damage I cause to my lower back, and through working a manual labor job I can exacerbate this injury until I can no longer walk.

That, my friends, is nothing to look forward to. I want to be able to walk around at the age of 40, but if I end up getting stuck working the same job for years, what choice do I have in whether or not I can reduce the amount of injury to which I subject my back? On the other side of the coin, what kind of job could I do in order to minimize my risk of injury?

It’s safe to say that I am almost in a constant mindset of worry about a lot of things, but I’m also getting myself motivated to do more with myself  do get out of having to work for the sole purpose of protecting my spinal health.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy working, but I don’t like the idea of further damage to herniated discs either. If you have never once injured your back, you might not take information in regards to your back seriously, or play it off as something which might not affect you.

If you have a strong will to continue to exercise on a daily basis, good on you. You’re knowledgeable on proper seating posture to such an extent that the average person might be ignorant.

The thoughts I spoke about earlier are actions I could and should have taken when I was younger, how I live my life right now, and how I must continue to be aware of how I am sitting or walking, or even sleeping, to ensure I don’t further irritate or aggravate my condition.

However, on the positive side of this entire ordeal, I have learned that I have to have some grit to get my head into working towards a better future using my skills in writing. I know there is a message I would like to share with the world, but at the same time, I have so many messages and I really don’t know if I could type out everything I could ever want to talk about on this blog. I have so many things to relate to!

When it comes to writing, I de-rail a lot and digress. When it comes to thinking, it’s mostly the same thing. I can go off on random tangents without fail, without effort, and without equal. The difference is that I can recognize these qualities about myself and the best I can to do manage it is to work around these particular challenges to myself.

I’m using blogging now as a means by which to learn to focus on one thing long enough to really convey an idea. This might come easily to some people, and even with my highly skilled writing talent, this is just a challenge for me to stick to.

You’ll notice, if you browse my blog posts, that I have had this blog for around 5 years. I can safely say that I haven’t kept up with it properly. That’s hard for someone to do when their mind is 1,000 directions at once, so to say that writing comes naturally to me is useless if I don’t have a method by which to properly utilize these skills. People like me do exist around the world, where the messages they wish to share with everyone are hindered by the fact that they actually have to sit down and do the work to spread that message.

I’ve been reading Tony Robbins lately. In fact, I have four books of his that I am currently reading– Awaken The Giant Within, Money: Master The Game, Unshakeable, and Unlimited Power. In order to change myself, I have to change my habits– this is an indisputable and universal truth. If it seems impossible to change your life and your mindset, perhaps you just need a wake up call from those who have changed the lives of thousands of people over the course of their careers.

I think, of all thoughts, that I want to reshape my future into something less stressful and hectic. Something more fulfilling and more rewarding. I don’t want to have to be forced to work for another person any longer.