6 Years

6 years!  The 5 year mark is where Mr. Dare no longer needs to see xrays, so I’m a little on the fence of whether or not to get any done this year – if even just for me to see in there.

Everything is still going well here in New York.  The kids are growing up and I get to play sports with them and do normal dad stuff… it’s been pretty awesome.  I’m grateful every day for the back Nick gave me.

Sadly, we lost our dear cocker spaniel in May, 2017.  He wouldn’t leave my side as I recovered from my surgery in 2011 and our walks were an important part of my physiotherapy.  I miss him a lot. 🙁

Yoga and hockey are still a go and I’m walking more than ever while living here in the Big Apple.  Probably about 7-8km per day.

Interestingly, over the past 7 days, I’ve played 7 hockey games and my back has kept up with me.  I don’t think I’ve ever played this much in my life and I’m astonished that I was able to pull it off.  2 Championships clinched!  If we win this Friday, it will be 3 Championships and 8 games over 9 days.  I’m 6 months from 40 and can’t believe I was able to play at this level, especially with an ADR.

This brings me to my next topic.

I started supplementing with Elysium Basis in November 2016.  I was very skeptical at first, but was intrigued by the scientific papers on Niagen and NAD+ supplementation with regard to aging.  It’s almost imperceptible at first, but after 7 months, I believe I’ve experienced more efficient sleep and a dramatic decrease in recovery time after intense physical activity.  Specifically, I would get an achy back after going too hard… for a day or so, but this has absolutely decreased since I started Basis.  Some of the literature surrounding NAD+ supplementation includes the potential for a decrease in neuropathy pain for chemotherapy patients… so maybe it somehow dulls nerve pain in general or perhaps speeds up healing?  I can tell you without a doubt, that before I took Basis, I could have never played 7 hockey games in 7 days without having one hell of a sore back.  Even if it is just placebo, I’ll take it.  It might be worth looking into for any of the older readers of my blog.   I don’t think NAD+ supplementation will affect younger people as much, if at all.  As always, do your own research… but I’ll be keeping my subscription to Basis going for a while longer.

My current supplement regimen is Basis, Vitamin D and a regular Multivitamin.  I’ll add that I do take Animal Flex occasionally when my ankles or knees are injured while doing sports.

-Brett

5 Years!

Wow, it’s been 5 years!  Just a quick update until I find the time to see a doctor and have new x-rays done…

In short, all is well.  I played two seasons of hockey since the last post with no issue (aside from my crappy goaltending – i’m getting old!). 🙂

I’m leading a busy and normal life with young kids, here in New York and my back doesn’t limit me.  Knock on wood, and I appreciate it every day.  Yoga, walking, kids and some hockey.  So far, so good.

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Hockey

While I wait to hear back from Mr. Dare, I’m a little worried about the start of my Fall/Winter hockey season, this coming Monday.  I might hold off playing until I hear back.  I hope I get to wear this new mask soon!

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4 Years Out

I’m a little late on the post, but I finally got my xrays done today.  I’ve emailed them over to Mr. Dare in the UK and hope to hear back in the coming weeks.

Today marks our 1 year anniversary of moving to New York from Canada.  Crazy how time flies.  All is still going well!  We won our hockey championship, I’m doing yoga twice a week, walking ~10km a day and going on bike rides with the kids.  I still feel weird about having this M6-L in me and I feel like it’s probably going to fail me one day… but I cherish every day I’m able to run around with my kids.

I’ll update my post when Mr. Dare gets back to me.  To my untrained eye, all appears to be unchanged.  For all of you armchair surgeons, please see the photos below. In order of appearance: Flexion, extension and a couple of neutrals.

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View from the observation deck of the Freedom Tower:

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Update 1: I just heard back from my doctors office with some abnormal results on the xray:

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I guess the takeaway here is that it’s good to include all previous xrays you’ve had when you get a new one done in a different country/health care system.  To my eye, everything looks as it did in July 2011, but I’ve emailed Mr. Dare these results and look forward to hearing back.  I hadn’t ever heard of or been diagnosed with retrolisthesis before, so I’m a little anxious.

Update 2: I just heard back from Mr. Dare and everything is normal… or as normal as it should be an ADR in your back!

Update

Howdy from the Big Apple!

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I’m at 3.5 years out of surgery and doing well (knock on wood).  New York has been incredible so far and we’ve been here since late August, 2014.

I’m still keeping up to date on ADR and found two links I wanted to include in my blog:

1) You can find the abstract here:

INTRODUCTION:
Cervical artificial discs (CADs) represent an established surgical option in selected patients with cervical spinal disc degeneration. Though CADs have been available for many years, there is a lack of information concerning long-term safety, durability and implant-related failure rates.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
The authors describe the failure of a M6-C CAD (Spinal Kinetics, Sunnyvale, CA, USA).
RESULTS:
Eight years after implantation of a CAD of the M6 type, a 39-year-old female presented with new clinical signs of cervical myelopathy. Radiologically, medullar compression due to posterior core herniation was the suspected cause. The damaged CAD was removed and the segment fused. During revision surgery, rupture of the posterior structures could be detected. Possible mechanisms leading to implant failure are discussed.
CONCLUSION:
As there is no standard regarding clinical and radiological follow-up for patients with CADs, radiological long-term follow-up investigations seem to be justified for exclusion of implant failure.

This is the first mention of an M6 failure that I’ve found in a legitimate, peer reviewed journal.  I’ll be keeping an eye out for more.

2) Intervertebral disc prolapse – A neat slideshare on the spine and disc injury.  Yoga gets another nod in here! 😉

I’m still doing yoga a couple times a week, core work twice a week, walking an average of 1.5 hours a day just in my NYC commute with kid pickups and drop-offs (more when I walk the dog) and playing hockey once a week.  Still holding roughly @ 172 lbs and just over 6′ tall (185cm).

Also, we scored a new bed from Casper Sleep and it’s been so nice for my back.  I would highly recommend one for anyone else with back pain.

3 Years

I’m a little late on the 3 year update as our lives have been a whirlwind this summer.  The long/short is that my back is doing well, I have my yearly physical/xrays scheduled for Monday and we’ve accepted a relocation offer from work.

So, my back is being put to the test one more time for ANOTHER move.  The good thing is that we won’t be taking very much and have sold off all the large, awkward, heavy stuff. The bad news is that our new place is only 1100 square feet.  That’s a big change for our family of 4 and dog in our current 3000-ish square foot(developed) house in the burbs. We’re very excited to be moving to Manhattan though!  I still can’t believe that it’s 1/3 of the space for twice the price we are paying per month in Calgary!

We accepted the offer about 2 weeks ago and are moving around Aug 27th – if all goes well with the visa applications.

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I’m still playing hockey and doing yoga, but I’m going to have to find a new team in NY, so I’ll probably not be playing as much anymore.  I’ve also been troubled by a few reports of failed M6’s in the forums as of late, but I think more information is needed before anyone draws serious conclusions.

I’ll post the results of my xrays as soon as Mr. Dare sees them.  I hope everyone else is doing well.

Keep your stick on the ice!

2014

Edit: Here is my back as of today: 

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*Just waiting to hear back from Chris Dare now.  Looks good to me, though the technician sure wouldn’t take my art direction on the shots!

**I heard back from Chris and everything looks good.

Return to the Slopes

Not much new to report on the back front – still doing ok and crossing my fingers!

However, I did finally make it out once with my daughter to the local ski hill for her first time on planks!  She loved it and I hope it is the first of many outings. 🙂

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The icing on the cake was our annual trip down to Whitefish, Montana, where I partook in some “real” skiing with my wife and father for the first time since 2009.  When they were finished for the day, I ventured off on my own into my special little spot on the hill and snapped a couple of photos.  I finally made it back!

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There is nothing like steeps and some pow to get the blood moving.

-Brett

2 Years Post-Op

I wasn’t sure if I should do another update as everything is going well(knock on wood), but I figured 2 years is another milestone.  My life is hectic and pretty much as normal as any other father of a young family!

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I’m still playing hockey multiple times a week, practicing yoga, walking/hiking and ALWAYS working my core.  I’m going to try returning to skiing this winter… a sport I haven’t tried since my original back injury.  I grew up on ski hills, so I hope it will be like riding a bike.  Fingers crossed as I have to teach Nora how to ski this year! 😉

Xrays are ordered and I should have them done for Mr. Dare to view next week.

IMG_20130712_004940.JPGI was getting a sore tailbone for a while if I sat in one position for too long, but that seems to have almost totally subsided as well.  That happened gradually over the past 6 months I think.

Everything feels pretty good in there still.  I can certainly tell when I’ve worked it too hard and need to rest, but I’m pretty sure that is normal.  Nothing else really new to report and I hope you are all doing well!

 

Cheers,

-Brett

EDIT: I just heard back from Mr. Dare and I got the all clear on my 2 year x-rays.

Golf = OK

Well, I made it out for my first real round of golf this week.  2 to be precise.  I lucked into a once-in-a-lifetime business trip to Pebble Beach and Pelican Hill.  We flew on a private jet!  I’m so unbelievably fortunate to have been able to participate… and wouldn’t have been able to think about a trip like this back in 2010.  I’m still in awe and my back didn’t even flinch.

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1.5 Years Out

Well… I thought I’d give a brief update though not much has changed in the past 6 months.  I’m still playing hockey a few times a week, doing yoga and pretty much anything I wasn’t able to do pre-surgery.  Having said that, I refuse to lift anything “heavy”.  34lbs is the most I’m lifting now and that is my 3 year old daughter!

We finally sold the house, paid off the back surgery and moved out to the burbs. 🙂  The move/lifting went off without a hitch.

I’ve found another slight decrease in pain when I sit crouched or cross legged for a long time after getting up quickly… this happened around December.   No clue how, but it was a welcome feeling.  Again, I’m not 100% pain free, but I feel great.

I’ve halted the gluco/chond/msm pills because of a study posted on ADR support about it actually wrecking discs instead of helping.  I’m erring on the side of caution right now even though it did relieve some knee/shoulder pain for me with prolonged use.

I hope everyone else is doing well! 😉

-Brett