Gold Crown IV

Gold Crown IV
FastMikie's Fun House, Del Mar, California

Friday, December 28, 2012

What a pain in the neck!

I got a pain in the neck, full time, and it comes on real bad, it seems, after I shoot a little bit of pool. This has been going on for a couple of years, maybe 4 years.  About 2 years ago I had an MRI of my entire spine, and one of the notes in the 4-page printout was "broad disc bulge with bilateral foraminal stenosis" on five of the vertebra in my neck.

That's medical-speak for it's not likely to get better and shooting pool is gonna irritate things.  So I haven't been shooting much pool, and now on the last two occasions of hitting only a few balls, the pain in my neck has been severe for days at a time, and recovers only after extensive icing and Advil and rest.  I'm beginning to think that having a pool table here at the Fun House is a health hazard.

My trusty cue lays unused.  So tempting to pick it up,  so easy to just move a few balls around the table for a while, to feel the speed of the table, the action off the cushions, to feel for the stroke and the cue tip and the cue ball, to take the long way around for position... because I can!  So much fun.

I wanna play, but I know it's gonna hurt real bad.

I read that last line and it reminds me of a few ex-girlfriends.
I love you baby, but I gotta go.

And so it seems with pool.

FastMikie has left the game.



Robert Johnson said...

I wish your neck was okay. I wanted to play you pool one day.

Michael McCafferty said...

I wish my neck was OK too, Robert. I always figured we would match up one day, and I figured you would win, but it would be good fun! :)

poolminnow said...

FastMikie! This is a sad day. But it sounds like you've made peace with the decision.

I do have friends that have had great success with acupuncture for problems, despite what doctors and x-rays seemed to show. Or a good physical therapist could possibly tweak you shooting position to limit stress on your neck?

But, all that takes time and effort with no guarantees, and has to be weighed against the other adventures elsewhere.

Amidda said...

I am very sad to read this. I sincerely. Hope you are able to find absolution to your health problems. We never got to play a game. I had a bulging disc in my lower back that I fixed with a frequent adjustments. Is surgery an option? I hope you had a wonderful holiday.

Michael McCafferty said...

I have tried acupuncture and surgery and other methods for my lower back (L4-L5) and found nothing that worked as well as yoga. But this neck thing is more pervasive, with 5 discs involved instead of just one. Additionally, I figure that I have done everything I set out to do with the game and I'm OK with letting it go now. If I can let go of flying an open-cockpit biplane I can surely move on to other adventures from here. I don't have to look far for inspiration in this area: my son Mike is my teacher in this regard. He was paralyzed 20 years ago in an accident, and while there were many things he couldn't do any more, there were/are still many, many things he can still do very well. So, I'm looking forward to the "next big thing"... :)

Amidda said...

I am always amazed by your son's ability to stay so pleasant despite his predicament. I have never had a time while hanging out with him where he was not happy. I look forward to reading about your next adventure. You are an inspiration to me, your first job interview (the one in your bio) has truly motivated me.

Michael McCafferty said...

You mention my son, Mike, and his pleasant personality, despite his "predicament"...

I should start by saying that he is my personal hero for several reasons! I'm thinking that he would probably use a word other than predicament, which suggests being stuck and incapable of changing. He might rather simply speak of it as a condition not unlike conditions that we all have. For example, I have a condition whereby I am unable to lift 500 lbs. over my head. There are things we all are unable to do, but Mike's focus is on the many other things he _can_ do. A red flower is so into being a red flower that being a blue, or yellow, or whatever flower is something irrelevant.

I think he inherited a lot of his wonderful personality from his mom. I probably contributed the geek and the entrepreneur stuff. And we probably both added lots of positive attitude.

One last word on this topic, before moving on. I have heard that there is evidence that people do not change their basic personas because of a major accident that changes their physical condition. If you are a wonderful, delightful, loving human being before, you will continue that way after.

I love him beyond words.

On the other topic of how my first job interview might give you some inspiration... could you be more specific on that one? The IBM interview? Or the interview where I bluffed my way into a job as a programmer without ever having been a programmer? Or... :)

Michael McCafferty said...

"I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance but by our disposition."

- Martha Washington

Unknown said...

I believe that's called the set point theory of happiness.

I went from shooting pool to standup comedy, I bet you'd be great!

zenman said...

Nothing is forever! Someday I still hope to bring my trusty RAMBOW cue to California to shoot a game or two of straight with you Mike. I am sending you lots of healing vibes. Till then ... Jerry

zenman said...

Nothing is forever! Someday I hope to bring my trusty RAMBOW que to California and shoot a game or two of straight with you, Mike. Sending you lots of healing vibes from Indiana. Till then ... Jerry