A Perfect Storm

Why I’ve been neglecting this blog.

I don’t have much time to write this — and that’s the reason I haven’t been writing more regularly. I like to compose at least 5 blog posts a week, yet this is only my third in just over a week. The last post — a video — doesn’t really count, since I didn’t write anything.

So why the neglect? As I mentioned above: time.

Every once in a while, life throws a perfect storm at us. You know what I mean — it’s a period of time when everything seems to go crazy at once.

In my case, it was the following, which have all occurred since July 29:

  • Completion of the annual revision of one of my books (ongoing throughout this period).
  • Reposition my helicopter from Quincy, WA to Seattle, WA.
  • Reposition my camper from Quincy, WA to Page, AZ.
  • Brief 3-day catchup period at home in Wickenburg, AZ.
  • Distribute the animals among multiple boarding facilities.
  • Trip to Seattle, WA.
  • Reposition helicopter from Seattle, WA to Page, AZ.
  • Set up housekeeping in my camper in Page, AZ.
  • Entertain an overnight guest in a very tiny camper.
  • Deal with FAA, airport manager, and local tour operators in Page regarding tour, photo flight, and charter work in Page, AZ (ongoing).
  • Provide moral support for my sister, who has been laid off from her banking job.
  • Three photo flights from Page to Monument Valley.
  • Start of new book with August deadline.
  • Three trips to medical facilities in an attempt to diagnose some severe back pain.

It’s this last thing that’s really gummed up the works. I did something to my back while I was home and the pain became unbearable after the commercial flight to Seattle the next day. I was in an urgent care clinic there where I got prescriptions for drugs I couldn’t take because I had to fly. The pain has varied from annoying but bearable to absolutely crippling every day since then, with one day so bad I was in the hospital emergency room. It hurt to sit and since I need to sit to write, I couldn’t work on the new book — let alone write blog entries.

Miraz hit the nail on the head in her Twitter comment to me, when she said, “Pain is so time consuming and draining.” Wow. I’d never really thought of it like that — probably because I’ve never been in such severe pain for so long.

So now I’m behind in just about everything, racing against the clock to finish a book that’s due tomorrow. (It ain’t gonna happen.) The pain is under control — yesterday was the first day that it was tolerable throughout the day — and physical therapy starts on Monday.

Please bear with me. I do have lots to write about. When I get this book off my plate and catch up on my FAA stuff, I’ll be back with some interesting (I hope) new content here.

11 thoughts on “A Perfect Storm

  1. Well, no wonder you’ve been quiet!

    It’s not really so funny how life sometimes likes to throw everything at us all at once.

    Take care of that back though – you can’t afford any long-term problems with it.

  2. For some reason, my blog keeps sorting your comments into spam….Good thing I review caught spam before deleting it. Most times, anyway.

    This back thing is driving me nuts. While I’m not the healthiest person on the planet, I’m not usually what I’d consider unhealthy. Yet I’m feeling miserable, from back pain and now stomach problems due to the quantity of OTC painkillers I’ve been told to take all day long. Ugh. I wish this was over already! Wish I could go to sleep for a week or two and wake up all better.

  3. Many “Get well Soon” sent your way. Check with Doctor’s on your back. Once my girlfriend suffered from symptoms similar to yours…was a large cyst on her tailbone. Once doctors removed she was good as new. Hope you feel better. Vickie/Mississippi

  4. I feel your pain.

    After flying for 25 years, I have a lower spine compression caused by choppers.

    I’m also 1/2″ shorter. Used to be 6’1″. Some of it is caused by age and doc says lower back pain is caused by compression. I also have tingling in the toes caused by same.

    Before we left Seattle, the local Sherriff’s dept had a Huey and I donated gel cushions for both seats to help them out.

    They would tell me after a long flight, their backs hurt, but not now.

    Something you might consider.

    Chopper Bob (shorter but not much)

  5. After 2 lower back operations, I can safely say…..do not neglect the pain or take meds to cover it up. Get to the root of the issue. 2 bulging disc’s that I ignored and kept taking OTC pain relievers finally disintegrated and caused damage to my sciatic nerve that runs down my left leg. After 6 years, I still get spasms in my leg when I lay down.

  6. Bob, I measured in 1/2 in shorter this medical than last! I only have 2,000 hours. Can you provide some info about those gel pads just so I can follow up? But I don’t think it’s the helicopter causing the pain. I definitely did something weird to my back.

    Mark, I agree wholeheartedly with you. Find the cause of the problem — don’t just mask the pain. But I’ve been to three different doctors and all they want to do is write prescriptions for pain. I had to beg for an X-ray (which turned out okay). One doctor didn’t seem to think the problem was worth giving any attention to at all — despite the fact I could barely walk. One of these days, I’ll have to tell my knee story here. This seems to be a repeat of that.

  7. Maria,

    Can’t remember the brand name…it was over 3 years ago.

    Google wheelchair gel cushions and see what pops up.

    I only paid $50 ea. for these. Don’t consider the $100 plus products….same things.

    They are designed for long term sitting. They have foam around the outside edge and gel center.

    These work so good for me that I have one for the driver’s seat and one for the computer seat in our motorhome.

    Hope this helps.

    Chopper Bob (sitting on one now)

  8. Maria,

    You may have already taken care of this – I think an MRI is called for. Expensive but an MRI (and the excellent diagnosis that accompanied) allowed me to choose an effective solution to my back problems (as I’ve already related some posts back).

    Mark R.

  9. The pain went away almost as suddenly as it started. One day I was miserable (after three weeks of same), the next day I was much better, and the day after that I was pretty much back to normal. It hasn’t bothered me since.

    I’m pretty sure I just had something out of whack. But since none of the doctors I went to seemed to think that my pain was serious enough for an MRI, I didn’t get one. I guess I need to be completely crippled and brought in on a wheelchair or stretcher to get some kind of real diagnosis.

What do you think?