Back In the Saddle

Uncle AndrewUncle Andrew
Filed under: @ 1:45 am

It’s two o’clock in the morning, and I’m sitting here in front of my computer, listening to an old Alphaville CD and wishing for Christ’s sake that I could sleep. There isn’t a single sleeping position that is truly comfortable. About the only thing that even partway works is to lie on my back with four pillows under my knees and my head propped up on another two, and in that position I snore so loudly I wake myself up, much less my poor wife.

Up until about two days ago I was able to get in a decent night’s rest by taking a Tylenol #3 with codeine and two Benadryl and slapping a transdermal Lidocaine patch on the base of my spine. For some reason that just isn’t cutting it any more. I can’t decide whether that’s because my back is getting more painful or because of a growing tolerance for the codeine. Problem with codeine is that, if one doesn’t work, two tends not to work any better, though they make do me a little dizzy and give me weird dreams. My doctor would probably be perfectly happy to prescribe something stronger, but I really, really do not want to go that route if at all possible. I kicked a mild hydrocodone addiction once during this little escapade already, after my surgery; I don’t care to do it again.

I go in to see my GP on Monday and my back specialist the day after. I’m planning on discussing the next phase in the overall strategy with the back man, be it more cortisone shots or surgery. I suppose I could deal with another round of cortisone. It really does seem to help. I need to start going to physical therapy as well, though where I’m supposed to find time for it between producing our upcoming holiday catalog, my other myriad work duties, my domestic chores (I am the Creator of Most Things Comestible ’round these parts) and of course the release of Bioshock (after all, all work and no play make Homer something something), I have no frigging idea.

Hmm….I wonder if a codeine and a White Russian would pick up where just the codeine seems to have left off….

Codeine Roominations:  Alphaville’s Lassie Come Home is one of the weirdest songs written in the 80s. Alphaville had a real knack for evoking a sort of cosmic sensibility in their music, an impression that one was listening to music written by futuristic space hippies from another dimension. This song is a classic example of that affect. There’s some wistful, bittersweet emotion behind the song, yet the lyrics make little or no sense. My favorite passage:

In the park, shes giving out some photographs
On which shes giving out some photos of what she hands around
They videoed a ghost tonite, she said before I turned it off
It rode an orange paper bike and left without a sound
Keep on riding, sir, open up the door and shout it out
Lassie come home, come home

If you don’t know the tune that goes with these lyrics, don’t even try to place them to music in your head; you’ll get it wrong.

More Codeine Roominations:  A lot of people speed on our street at two in the morning. Or maybe that’s just at two in the morning on a Saturday.

Okay, I’m going to go try this sleep thing one more time….

8 Responses to “Back In the Saddle”

  1. Gavin Says:

    So, Roo, what sort of sitting apparatus do you use during your extensive periods in front of the computer? I found that 8 plus hours in the standard ergonomically correct office chair was killing me. So for comfort and shock effect I put a huge bean bag chair in my office, and there I sat laptop in, well, lap. I eventually upgraded to a recliner as I found that guests to my office had a tough time climbing back out of the bean bag.

    PS:This just in from the Things You Never Expected Department, I just watched Mony Python and the Holy Grail with my kids. They loved it, but they are still saying “Ni!”

  2. Shawn Says:

    I don’t kow if your open to it but I have had great succsess with Tylonal P.M. Knocks me right out.

  3. Uncle Andrew Says:

    Gavin: I use a Herman Miller Aeron chair, and it was the best money spent on my back so far. I got it shortly after my first post-surgery bout of back pain, when sitting in any chair for more than about 20 minutes became almost impossible, I can sit in this thing for nine hours without even noticing it. Anyway, coding on a laptop is easy; doing DTP and photo manipulation requires lots of screen space for tool palettes, a calibrated monitor and a more precise pointing tool than a trackpad.

    Sitting in my office chair is, in fact, one of my most comfortable positions. Lying down is, unfortunately, one of my least. I’m really wishing I had a nice big recliner for those nights where I can’t seem to get comfortable in bed.

    Re: Monty Python, Shawn watched it with his seven-year-old daughter a couple of months ago, and she was inconsolable. Oh, to see the world through fresh eyes! Tell your kids they are now no longer the Knights Who Say “Ni”; they are now the Knights Who Say “Eki eki eki eki eki eki pootang zoop boingoingoing”. That oughta foozle ’em.

    Shawn: thanks for the offer, but Tylenol PM is just Tylenol with Benadryl in it, so I’m already taking all that and a bag of opiates. 😉

  4. Valerie Says:

    Wow. Dood. When benedryl fails to knock you out…. I just don’t know what to say. How ’bout dramamine? That always knocked me out when I was a kid.

  5. Uncle Andrew Says:

    It’s not that I don’t get to sleep; it’s that my sleep is not particularly restful. And if I happen to wake up around 3 or 4 in the morning, I find it very hard to get back to sleep.

    This just in from my GP: I’m up six pounds. This may be a good chunk of the problem right there: I know from previous experience that my weight has a direct impact on my back. So now I have to figure out a way to exercise despite the sciatic stuff. Guess I’ll see what my back specialist has to say tomorrow. 😐

  6. Gavin Says:

    Something for you to try:

  7. Gavin Says:

    This time with a link..
    Rescue Sleep

  8. Uncle Andrew Says:

    Huh. I take it you use this stuff yourself? Anyway, while I’ll happily try just about anything I’m not sure that a sleep aid is exactly what I need, I need pain relief, either through drugs or through surgery. I think surgery is the way to go at this point.

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