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A Pain in the back, a pain in the head and a pain in the arse (basically an update)

Posted by DeadAnarchistPhil on September 15, 2013

Any regular readers or old-time friends who read my blogs will know that I was almost completely absent from blogging last year (2012), and most of this year (2013). For me this is unusual, I can go missing from blogging for weeks or months on end and then come back with something.

However, this time I didn’t. The reason for this? I was preoccupied with my University degree and generally being  and trying to be healthy. For those people who know me they will know how rare this is as I have several illnesses that impact my ability to do many things and go places.

One of the worse of these was Ulcerative Colitis. I was taking Prednisolone steroids to control this in conjunction with Mesalazine. But then I had to switch medication as the medical steroids I was on had given me steroid-induced diabetes (Type 2 Diabetes) and weren’t always delivering consistent results. Since I started taking Azathioprine medication to control the Ulcerative Colitis in late 2011 I slowly got better and it gave me my life back. Now when I say ‘better’ I mean things were good and well controlled but I still had and still do have issues with the UC. In fact after being diagnosed with the diabetes it made me more depressed and this stalled the UC recovery into to early 2012.

As the UC was beginning to get better I was able to be more physically active, something I’ve not been able to do properly for a while. I think I was helped along with this when I had a bad bout of OCD, to stop myself from ruminating and worrying I threw myself in to my exercise regime, which is something I badly needed to do as I was 25st (350lbs/158kgs) and had the diabetes to worry about too. I’d gained so much weight because of years of the UC affecting my diet, so many foods I ate, that were good for me, triggered a reaction with the UC. So I ended up eating junk food, which didn’t apparently do anything. Combine that with lack of exercise because that set the UC off too and being housebound and you’ve got yourself the right combination for more health troubles.

I started off on the treadmill just walking for half an hour five days a week, it was gentle and not too much hassle. I did however get blisters on both my feet and on my toes because my feet weren’t used to wearing shoes for so long and in such conditions. These were huge blisters too! But I couldn’t take time out, it wasn’t an option anymore, so I just looked after my feet and bandaged them when I went on the treadmill.

Gradually my feet got used to it and I started to walk for longer and then jog. I made a game of it, I’d try to jog for that bit longer each time I did the ‘run’ in the run and walk system that I used on there. When I say ‘run’, it was more of a jog for me as running put too much pressure on my back and knees, not to mention the treadmill! I began to develop great endurance and at my best I could jog non-stop for an hour and half. I couldn’t go no more than that because if I did my back would completely give in, I was getting back pain just doing the run and walk system for an hour.

During the times I was doing the treadmill I was also lifting weights too, but not too many and not too heavy. I’d set off my back pain doing weights on and off since the age of 16.

All this paid off as I went from being 25st (350lbs/158gs) to just under 18st (252lbs/114kgs) from November 2011 to August 2012 (though I only started my proper exercise regime in April 2012). I felt great! I was feeling physically and mentally well, the first time in a long while. Things were going so good I moved out of the family home and was even contemplating getting a part-time job, because despite what some people may say the UK benefit system isn’t that great and I’d rather make my own way in the world anyway.

Then came August 2012, the back issues I’d had on and of since I was 16, the ones that made me unable to walk for days and not able to walk properly for weeks, came back! The Doctor who came out to see me diagnosed Sciatica and my GP said the same thing. They gave me pain killers and told me to rest, do some core exercises to help strengthen my back then exercise as usual when back to normal, and if the pain comes back then take some pain killers and carry on. The pain has never gone away and I could not possibly exercise with those pain killers as the amount I’d need to dull the pain sufficiently leaves me really tired and feeling drunk. And lifting weights and jogging when you’re drunk aint such a good idea.

I had the issue investigated this year with X-rays and a CT scan, one of the Doctors said I may have Sacroillitis, before the X-rays and CT Scan was done, though I couldn’t see how that could be as Sacroillitis is a problem caused by inflammation caused by inflammatory bowel disease, I know I have that but I’ve only had that since 2005 and I’ve had these back issues since 1999! So that was dismissed by me and my GP who thought it unlikely too. The results from the X-ray and CT Scan came back and there’s a problem there, they can’t say exactly what it is, but it’s there and there’s nothing they can do. They advised me not to jog, run, lift weights or do any exercise that puts pressure on my back. This only leaves me swimming, which I can’t afford as a pass at the local gym is £22 a month which I can’t afford, the only other pool near by is £29, so both are out of the question.

Walking is supposed to be good but I can’t walk or stand for more than half an hour anymore without getting a tightening in my lower back, like someone’s stuck a cork-screw in there and is turning it. If try to carry on walking the pain gets worse and spreads down my groin and legs. Despite this I’ve been trying on and off since August 2012 to restart my regime despite what the Doctors and specialists say but I am just incapable of keeping to it anymore, there’s always pain and a lot of the time I’m physically incapable of completing the movements.

Without the exercise to release the endorphins (and I really need those guys) I need to help suppress my appetite and generally feel good… I’m slowly putting it back on. So I’ll be starting another diet tomorrow, only 1500 calories, to try drop my weight because it just isn’t healthy at all for me, and I don’t enjoy feeling unhealthy. The most annoying thing is I want to be physically active, but my body just wont allow it.

Hence why I wasn’t around much last year or most of this year, because I’ve been trying to stay physically and mentally healthy.

Another reason why I haven’t been on much is my University degree. Despite the obvious study, reasearch and writing of notes and essays and the like, there was something else about my course that stopped me from coming on.

It’s not that I can’t do or understand the work, I mean I passed the level 2 Philosophy module in my Politics, Philosophy and Economics degree and 2 others, the issue is that I’m learning so much and it makes me even more unsure of my own opinions. What I mean by this is I read a piece of work then think I’ve got it nailed and seen from all angles, then comes along another way to look at a particular issue from another angle I think to myself, “How could I miss that?”. It’s made me quite unsure of many opinions I hold.

I mean, if I’m wrong about that I could be wrong about many other things. And in fact, so can many other people. This is nothing I didn’t already know but doing this whole course brings it to the forefront because I’m forced to think about these things a lot.

This may sound stupid and cliché, but the more I learn the less I feel I really know.

Anyway, it’s this thinking, alongside my obsessive over thinking I do anyway, that tires me out mentally. Combined with illness and medication side-effects I can barely think straight most days, which makes it extra challenging to do the course and put everything I have into it. This is another reason I couldn’t come on, I was just too mentally tired after being consumed in study, reasearch and writing.

This piece is the blog I should have come back with instead of my Syria one, which is a bit of a throw back to how I used to write, my other blogs should be well thought out and researched, just like the essays I’ve had to write. And you know what, writing them can be a pain in the arse too, especially as only a few people will even read them. Which is another reason why I wasn’t posting much, because if I do one of my long blogs again many normal people don’t bother much. There’s also the fact my blogging at the world also wont change much.

Oh, I didn’t mention my headaches, but they impact my blogging too, but sod them.

My next course starts in October 2013, so expect me to go quiet a little but I will still be around commenting on blogs and such. For now I’ll leave you with Bat for Lashes, simply because it’s the song I’m currently listening to. Oh and how cute is Natasha Khan in the video?

Much love to all!

– Phil


23 Responses to “A Pain in the back, a pain in the head and a pain in the arse (basically an update)”

  1. Hey Phil! Just read this… I feel for you man. Its not easy going through all this shit. Some people get it harder in life but I like your fighting spirit. Keep it up man.

    Also, Awesome choice of song. Love Natasha and Bats for Lashes… Especially that song!

    • Hiya Shaki! :O)

      Thanks for your kind words and support, man!

      Things have moved on a little bit now (I still have the health issues though), I joined a gym and will be getting a concessionary rate because of my student union card! I still can’t fully afford it, but I need to do some exercise! So I go swimming 2 to 3 times a week, or I will again once my viral throat infection has gone! 😛

      I love Natasha too! Beautiful AND talented! You wouldn’t think the song’s about the Karate Kid would you? lol

      Cheers man! 🙂

      – Phil

      • Its about Daniel Russo? I had no idea! Wow… I love it even more now. Natasha is just really awesome. She needs more recognition for her talent.

        And good to hear you’re doing better. Keep it up. I’ve started the gym as well but not really motivated enough. Never going to turn this flab into an ab-section.

        • You see the lad she hugs at the end of the video? That’s supposed to be him lol. Yeh, she isn’t as recognised as she should be!

          I don’t have abs and most likely never will, I aint in it for a perfectly toned body, just to be healthy and strong. That’s all you can do man, but if there’s no motivation there’s not much point in going! Sometimes it’s a chore for me, but I have to do it for my health. 🙂

          • I’m doing it for my health. Started gaining weight recently and I got a lot of diabetes in the family as well as heart problems so a mans got to look after himself. I go with my diabetic uncle to give him company.

            • I have diabetes and heart problems in the family too! It’s a little too late for the diabetes now, but it’s well under control these days!

              Keep it up man and good luck with it!

              Oh, and it’s always good to gym with a partner! 🙂

  2. prenin said

    Hi Phil! 🙂

    Thanks for the visit and comment! 🙂

    If there was such an award he’d win it hands down… 😦

    One minute he’s sober and begging for money, the next he’s drunk and threatening allsorts!!! 😦

    Yeah the isolation is a problem: I have a few friends living nearby, but they have active lives so it is rare that I can go visit them.

    There is Lillian of course, but I don’t like to impose… 🙂

    Yep: Next time I’ll let the emergency services deal with him – he called me rotten for saving him the last time and I got the social services to help him only for Doug to deny everything.

    There’s no helping some people… 😦

    God Bless!


  3. prenin said

    Hi Phil! 🙂

    Thanks for the huge comment! 🙂

    I discovered the boot up problems were a power issue.

    All I have to do is turn on the mains, count to twelve, then boot up the PC and it works first time! 🙂

    McAfee finally did its stuff with a sweep for virus programs and discovered a Trojan before permanently disabling the adware! 🙂

    I prefer Kaspersky myself as I have had a loooong history with the company, but McAfee works well enough! 🙂

    I prefer to pay for my Internet Security software as you get better support, but if the freeware works for you then fine! 🙂

    I agree about the back doors – as an ex-programmer I have to say I lost count of the number of programs that I came across that had a back door! 😦

    The weather has turned and no mistake – I was tempted to just power up the heating and go back to bed until it got warmer!!! 🙂

    Hope you have a great weekend my friend and that your medical problems improve! 🙂

    God Bless!


  4. prenin said

    Hi Phil! 🙂

    Thanks for the visit and HHHUUUUGGGGEEE comment!!! 🙂

    Here’s the reply – I’ll try to keep it short! LoL!!! 🙂

    No worries dude – I have many follows so I average 150 emails per day!!! 🙂

    Yeah Doug really is a total screw-up.

    The thing is that he’s a coward unless drunk in which case he’s an Uber gangster.

    And Doug spends most of his income on drink!

    Right now he’s already 4 weeks out of pocket because he has been trying to control and manipulate the staff at the Jobcentre, so it looks like he became abusive and threatening.

    BIG joke that – he’s a weakling and just puts on an act to intimidate people.

    It doesn’t work on me so he’s tried just about everything to no avail! 😦

    Looks like the Jobcentre staff were not amused though and next he can expect a Solicitors letter.

    Trouble is that he has no money and he’s been dropping hints about me supporting him and maybe giving him a home when he loses his own.

    Two words spring to mind:

    No Chance. 😦

    As for Doug getting on your tits?

    You have really good judgement!!! 🙂

    As a rule I’m pretty tolerant and forgiving, but even I have limits! 😦

    ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D’ has had a good beginning and has some seriously good tech that had me wishing it was real!!! 🙂

    The Stargate series are pretty good, but I agree about the fans who complained! 😦

    Still: I got a chance to drool over Elizabeth Weir – I have a fascination for intelligent women!!! LoL!!! 😉

    I missed ‘Stargate Universe’, but I’ll see it on the re-run.

    One thing all these Freeview channels have in abundance are re-runs…

    ‘Breaking Bad’ got some press and it looks like it was a good series, but not really my cup of tea – I’m mainly an SF fan. 🙂

    I’m back down to 105Kg after my break made me put on 6.6Lbs (3Kg), but the meds are making it difficult to lose weight even though I am trying to hold at around 1,200calories per day, but the weight goes down slowly.

    I’m hungry as I write, but I have to ignore it until 9pm when I’ll have a meal.

    I’ll also have one before bed so I sleep.

    Sorry you’re in so much pain my friend.

    I just wish I could help, but all I have is Anadin because the doctor dropped Cuprophen from my prescription.

    They work, but I have to use them sparingly because they include Aspirin.

    Exercise is supposed to be good, but with the joint pain I can barely make it to and back from the Co-Op.

    If you can manage it then go for it! 🙂

    Doug has been silent all day, so I’m grateful for the peace.

    I still have a huge number of his begging messages on my hallway nook despite him walking off with handfulls when he comes into my flat! 😦

    Have a great weekend and look after yourself! 🙂

    God Bless!


    • Hey Prenin!

      Sorry about the late reply, been sort of absent and doing other things the last week.

      Anyway… when I was reading the first part of your comment and saw this in relation to Doug: “Two words spring to mind:” I thought the two words ere going to be “Get fucked!” LOL! That’s be my choice of words anyway. Good on you for not putting up with his shite anymore!

      You have a thing for Elizabeth Weir? She’s OK, but you do know she can’t hold a candle to Samatha Carter, right? lol I always found her hot, these days, um…. not so much! lol I always thought the hot girl out of Atlantis was the Doctor (the later one) and Teyla before the doctor arrived!

      I really don’t like the freeview channels! So many repetes! I’m glad I have my Mam’s to go to where she has SKY! Oh yeaaaaaaaaaaaah! However, when I have the net in my flat, that should be more IF I get the net in my flat, I’ll be getting some good stuff from on-line!

      105kg aint bad! I’m not even sure what I am right now! I’ve still be recovering from my latest cripple-week. I’m going to start my regime again on this coming Monday, but this time I will ommit the exercises that I believe flubbered meh upski! I’m not supposed to do anything but swimming, but I don’t have any other choice at the moment.

      My pain killers work, to a degree, but the side-effects aint good, so I try not to take them unless I have to, which is why I’m in pain to some degree each day. But not as much since last Wed!

      So you only cut your calorie intake? I understand that with your hip problem, but you would still lose weight with 1500cals a day and have a little bit more to eat, you wont feel as hungry then. You may lose weight a little slower but you’ll be able to maintain your diet for longer! 🙂 You must have excellent self-control to only eat 1200cals a day, I have zero self-control if I don’t or can’t exercise! I dof my cap to you Sir. Prenin!

      I hope you haven’t had much trouble from Doug today! Enjoy the rest of the weekend, man! 🙂

      – Phil

  5. hrhdaf said

    forgot to hit notify me of follow up comments… agaiiiiiiiin! Memory like a sieve man!

  6. hrhdaf said

    Hey heeeeeeeeeeey Phil!
    I think saying the more you learn the less you feel you know is one of the most intelligent things you ever blogged (not that you’ve blogged like an eejit or anything but you know what I mean?) ;O) I think certainty is a sign of a closed mind. If you’re certain you don’t need to learn.
    Is there no way you can get help with the swimming expenses on health grounds? Alternatively you need to buy a git big paddling pool for in your spare room. Just a thought….
    Oh and typical… I actually blogged this vid yonks ago and I bet you never saw it cos you never like any of the songs I blog :OP
    Aaaaanyway hope your week is going well amigo (have you tried any relaxation techniques for your headaches cos often theyre caused by tension?)
    Luvski and hugskis and other skis Daf xxxx

    • Daferooooooooooooooooo how d’ya doski? 😀

      That’s it… after what you’ve just said, I am now a philosopher, and my course pass proves so! I may even grow a beard!

      I agree with you, when people are sure they know the score/lot, then they’re done, their minds are closed to learning. Reminds of some people I’ve spoken to and know who follow their ideologies so dogmatically. Do you think my excellent bit of wordage and beard would persuade them to be open-minded again? I’m thinking not because Osama Bin-Laden had a beard and he was killed? Then again it could’ve been the wordage he was using.

      I asked the Doc to help me with swimming (not litteraly of course, I got mah bronze badge ya know!), he said he can’t do it and the decession is out of his hands, despite the fact the money for GPs is in their collective hands now. I think he just doesn’t want to fight my corner. I’m going to bitch at him again when I go.

      I know you were jesting, but a swimming pool in my extra bendroom would help pay for the spare room subsidy! However I’m too tall to swim in it! 😛

      I did some weights today and it wasn’t too bad, will do some more tomorrow and see how things go, though I believe I’ll end up stopping at some point again.

      If you’d posted Bat for lashes I would’ve noticed because I’ve liked the music since they first came out. Stop making me out to be some sort of joyless jaded muppet! Oh wait… lol I must have missed that one! Have you heard the Dub Step version? I aint fond of dub step but I like this: http://youtu.be/rGp4D4uQp54

      Also, do you remember Orbital? I’m loving their new stuff: http://youtu.be/ktgznOFpXeY

      I’ve tried some techniques to get rid of them, they don’t work. You can’t get more relaxed than sleeping, but I can go to bed with one, wake up with it intermitantly all night and wake up with it in the morning. But hey, recommend me some techniques, I’ll try them. And yeh, it is tension/stress I believe, but sometimes I get them for absoloutely nowt!

      Lots of git big hugskis comin at cha mateski and hope your week is kicking bottom so far too!

      – Phil xxx

      • hrhdaf said

        Hey heeeeeey Phillipo!

        Well you may be like a boss but you aint no boss of mine :OP I would draw your attention to this… http://hrhdaf.wordpress.com/2009/04/01/cant-get-this-out-of-my-head/ so stick that in your very fine beard and smoke it (and I know that makes no sense but psssssssht!)

        Oh and I know I called you intelligent but dont let it go to your head sunny jimbo I was off my tits on hippy crack when I said that (well thats my excuse and Im sticking to it ;O)

        I randomly signed up for a course on psychology starting next year. Part of this free open learning thing I found. Like I dont have my hands full enough. I really shouldnt be left alone on the internet!

        Hope youre having a great week!
        Mahoooooooosive hugs n luvski Daf xxx

        • Tiz our Dafarooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

          I looked at the link and as I supsected, my comment is absent, so I missed that blog. That was probably because I’d already migrated over to WP from WLS and you dragging your heels at the time clinging to the teet of WLS. Was is them who got you on hippy crack?

          I do like Bat For Lashes though, this is my new favourite of theirs: http://youtu.be/ZCUCBCL8KKQ

          I’ve heard about that open learn course, I haven’t looked into it much but I have enough on my plate with my new one. Psychology, that’s the course I always thought you were doing! lol

          You shoudn’t have been on the net alone! You shouldn’t do anything alone because you’re a special case like that. Booze, hippy crack and weird cults… you need a shrink mate! 😉

          Have a good weekend mate and git big hugskis and moocho loveski comein’ back at cha!

          – Philski xxx

  7. WordsFallFromMyEyes said

    That’s one helluva update!

    I admire people who get by in life despite pain and disease. You’re amazing so forward, forward, Phil. On the treadmill 5 days a week for half an hour is huge!! Well, I reckon.

    I wish you could find a cure for headaches. I have never understood what headaches are and why, but I’ve heard they can be great distress.

    I wish you success. And I love how you expose me to music I wouldn’t otherwise know. I enjoyed the video.

    Cheers Phil 🙂

    • Hiya Noeleen! 🙂

      I left quite a lot out of there actually to keep it short! I have a tendencey to write epically long blogs thinking people will find them interesting. But, um, tiz very rare indeed when someone actually does read the whole blog and find it interesting! lol

      I did some excercise today, some weights, it was ok but still a little hard on my back, but not as bad last week when I did it and had pain in my left hip and down my groin untill Sunday!

      I’m not really sure what causes the headaches, but the fact I get them mostly when I’m stressed out could mean they’re stress headaches.

      Glad you enjoyed Bat For Lashes, Natasha Khan has a great voice and makes some great music besides just looking cute!

      Thanks for the kind words, too! 🙂

      All the best!

      – Phil

  8. prenin said

    Sounds like you need to swap your body for a better model with go-faster stripes!!! 😦

    Sorry life is treating you so badly at the moment my friend!

    I’m on a diet too, have trouble exercising and I am waiting for my weight to ease down to 96Kg which is a sloooow process!!!

    Given all the shit you’re going through I’m delighted that you have continued to study and I am praying that you succeed!!! 🙂

    Hope life treats you better and God Bless you!


    • Hey Prenin!

      I’d very much like to do that! But alas it aint currently possible, and those go-faster stripes really work, too!

      Life could be worse, but it’s no damn help when you think like that.

      I hope your diet’s going better than mine, already crashed mine yesterday. Without the exercise and the endorphins I get from it, I can’t really control my appetite that well.

      I’ll succeed, man, it’s Politics! Only problem is if health issues don’t permit me to do so! But the Uni takes account of that anyway, so if I get a bad grade I can sit the test again. But if I fall behind and have to the course again, well, the Gov is pulling funding for the Open U in 2017 so I would most likely be out of pocket completely paying for it at the end (depending how much I miss) or not completing the degree.

      Hope things are going well for you too, Prenin and thinks for thee support. 🙂

      – Phil

  9. penelopephoebe said

    Hiya Phil. Obviously I knew about your Ulcerative Colitis but I had no idea about your other ailments.Well done for trying so hard with you fitness regime. Would it be possible to do upper body exercises whilst sitting? I know how awful back pain can be.
    Good luck with your studies. Take care. Pen.

    • Hiya Pen! 🙂

      I do have a few health other problems I just don’t mention them much on here (I have 7 in all, only one is well controlled, the others range from moderate to out of control), UC was the main one I was having trouble with, then I started to control it. Then another health problem comes to the forefront and I’m flubbered again.

      Upper body exercise is an option but if it involves weights there’s still issues. Using weights at home sat down still puts pressure on my back. Using a multi-gym would be something I’d like to try but I can’t afford to buy one or go to the gym.

      Yeh, I remember you mentioning back issues you had once or twice. Are you having hydro-therapy for it? If it’s chronic they should be offering it, instead of just pain killers.

      Thanks for you wishes and thoughts, Pen! 🙂

      Have a great week!

      – Phil

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