A lot has happened in the last 10 years! We spent 6 years in New York and ended up moving back to Canada during the pandemic. A 41 hour drive from Manhattan to Palm Springs with 2 kids, 3 dogs and 2 hermit crabs for a 3 month shelter-in-place with family, then another 22 hour drive last summer from Palm Springs to Calgary with everyone but the hermit crabs (apparently they don’t do well in the desert). The last year specifically has been a real challenge, as it has been for everyone. Thankfully, my back has not been one. Not a lot to report on it, but I haven’t had an xray since the 6 year mark. There have been various reports of M6 failures on message boards and facebook groups(I’m not sure if you can trust them all), but I’m still thankful I’ve got this little device back there working it’s magic. I’ll always be paranoid about it failing at some point, but I’m trying to take advantage of it every day. Here’s a photo I would not have been able to take if it weren’t for my ADR and Nick Boeree. Hanging out of a helicopter over lower Manhattan!
I’ve also noticed a lot of old broken links on this blog – my apologies as I don’t update anything on here anymore.
This one kind of snuck up on me! I’m not really sure what to post… my back is hanging in there and I’m able to do the things I need to, within reason. I can definitely over do it sometimes though! Hockey and Yoga are still a big part of my exercise routine and I can keep up with my kids who are now 7 and 9. It’s crazy how time flies. I turned 40 last December and I’m so very grateful for the last 7 years of being able to do stuff. 🙂
If anyone is still reading my blog, I wish you well in your journeys.
I stopped doing xrays at the 5 year mark, but maybe I’ll ask for some next year to see if anything has changed in there. I don’t think i’ll ever stop being paranoid about this ADR in my back!
Here’s a shot from Feb, 2018. We took another Central Park Classic Championship!
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 sore from sports.
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!
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.
View from the observation deck of the Freedom Tower:
Update 1: I just heard back from my doctors office with some abnormal results on the xray:
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
Edit: Here is my back as of today:
*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.
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. 🙂
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!
There is nothing like steeps and some pow to get the blood moving.
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!
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.
I 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!
EDIT: I just heard back from Mr. Dare and I got the all clear on my 2 year x-rays.