Results Back From the MRI || R2V6

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, waking up on the boat. Putting the kettle on for the first cup of tea in…almost a week??????????

That’s right, I’ve been off caffeine completely for almost a week, and I’m about to have a cup of black tea. Why, you ask? Why would I go back to caffeine when my life is so great off it? Well, I love tea. And also: I have like six tea bags that are going to get stale if I just leave them sitting in the box on my boat. Also: I love caffeine. Also: I love tea. Also: it’s raining.

I’m actually PAYING ATTENTION to the steep time this morning, something I never do. It’s 8:04am, which means the tea has another minute. And the funny part is everything I’m typing right now you probably won’t even read, because I’ve discovered it takes me a little bit to get into the “writing mode,” and the stuff I write at the beginning is usually me getting into the mode and usually gets axed. But who knows, maybe this’ll make the cut.

Let’s talk about CLIMBING, since that’s ostensibly what this series (Road to V6) is about. Or actually let’s not talk about climbing quite yet. Let’s talk about my day. It’s currently raining as I type these words sitting on the boat. It’s supposed to rain most of today and then ease off sometime in the evening, and tomorrow’s supposed to be nice. Thank god. Tomorrow is even supposed to be somewhat dry in Gold Bar, and I thought about going to the Camp Serene boulder to finally hopefully put down Serenity Now V4+, but if I climb today that won’t happen. Because I’m thinking of doing a gym session today. I’m thinking about it. Only if my friend Jessa can climb, and if not, well, actually I’ll still probably go.

Ok I’m gonna grab the cup of tea and take my first sip of caffeine in almost a week.

Stand by.

I’m a little worried the tannins are going to make me nauseous. Maybe I should get something in my stomach.

Chia seeds?

Two raw, shiitake mushrooms, that’s what I’ve settled on.

OK, here goes.

Oh man, the first sip was anticlimactic. I still had some shiitake residue in my mouth and that interfered with the taste of the tea. Plus I have lemon in the tea and that interferes with the taste, too. Basically, it all got messed up. I was expecting that to be much more satisfying.

Dang it.

We’ll have to talk about something else.

OK, that sip was better.

Ah! Yes! I remember what this blog was supposed to be about in the first place. It’s supposed to be about the MRI I had the other day, and how the results supposedly came back “normal.” In case I didn’t mention it I had an MRI of my low back the other day, and was waiting to hear back about the results. When I found out yesterday they were “normal” I was a bit confused, mostly because I’d like to go over the results and look at the images with someone who knows what they’re talking about rather than just get a seemingly auto-generated message in my MyChart. But also, what if the MRI results ARE normal? What does that mean? Well, it could mean that the back pain I’ve been “having” is actually all in my head.

One theory I have this:

I damage a disk (or something) back in September of 2021. 

I experience the symptoms of that acute injury until a surf trip in November, by the end of which the symptoms are basically gone. 

I come back to WA and start climbing again, and the symptoms “come back.”

Except they don’t come back, because the bulging disc is actually better, but my body has LEARNED pain patterns and associates pain with climbing and falling in bouldering and assumes that these things should still hurt. 

It becomes a completely psychosomatic ailment. 

Terrible theory?

Possibly. But that’s currently my best theory so far.

Runner up theories: 1) There’s a hairline fracture that would take a specialist to detect and not just my primary care doctor who may be the only person who’s seen the results. 2) There’s another more obscure problem (like something wrong with a facet joint) that requires a specialist to detect. 3) I don’t actually have a spine.

This last theory is in beta testing, and will tested today in the form of a pink with an undercling start at SEATTLE BOULDERING PROJECT and also maybe this one blue where you can break the beta and dyno. If I don’t send either of these boulders or at least make crazy good progress, we might have to assume number three is true.

Though of course spineless doesn’t refer to physical prowess but rather to moral character, and in the department of the latter I consider myself adequate.

Anyway.

Did you see this video of Yves Gravelle?

No, you didn’t, you sinner.

Canadian French is so often maligned, and it’s so awesome. Screw “Metropolitan” French. I’ll take Quebecois French any day of the month.

He also has almost no accent in English, which makes it so much radder that they did that video in French.

Time for a spring bouldering trip to Les Laurentides?

Mais la la.

Fait que…

OK, it’s looking like I’m going to gym climb today. And maybe work out a bit. Why the hell not.

And maybe I’ll actually post this blog post, even though I talk about very little. And then in a couple hours come back and edit the shit out of it. Or take it down.

Party.

– Wetz

 

Curative Properties | The Road to V

I’ve always been a huge fan of dandelion tea for its kidney cleansing properties. When I wake up in the morning the first thing I think is, “Dandelions!” and vision of cottony strands blowing in the wind dance in my head. Then I get up, streak into the kitchen to put on the kettle, and hold my cheek against it until it burns, letting me know it’s hot enough to steep.

Dandelions.

Meanwhile…

It’s raining in Seattle and I’m contemplating putting a snus in. Bit early for that, probably. I would leave the house but this is the kind of rain that soaks you to your fibula if you’re not careful. The kind of rain you might drown in if you get stuck in a ditch looking for the keys that just fell out of your pocket. And yet just around the corner from here there’s a prickly pear cactus that’s in full bloom. How does a prickly pear cactus survive in Seattle? Aren’t we supposed to get two inches of rain in the next two days? I hope not. My boat already leaks enough. I also hope that the doctor gives me a referral for an MRI today so I can get the hell out of here. And if she doesn’t? Well, then I guess I just leave. Yes, that’s it. I just leave. I assume that everything in my knee is fine. And I just….leave.

Or I just….stay.

Or I just….leave.

When it’s raining like this I have this strange desire to say, “Fuck this rain, I’m moving to________.” Insert name of place with more desirable weather than Seattle. Mexico? Colombia? Chile? Argentina? Spain? Ha! The weather in Seattle is perfect, if you’re perfectly deranged, which some people are. The weather in Arizona is terrible. It never rains and if you stay too long you might become an anesthesiologist. The weather in Mexico is fine if you’re on a surf vacation for two weeks, but to live on the coast where the highs are in the….and the lows are in the….

And to live in Mexico City with all that pollution…..

And to live in Bogota with all that tinto….

It’s untenable, unfeasible, unreasonable, unfathomable, and frankly, unseasonable.

And yet nevertheless…

(Side note: SBP Fremont is open!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

I’m thinking about what to have for breakfast. I might go to PCC and get some sort of breakfast burrito or smoked salmon or vegetables. But for right now the rain is still far too fierce. I don’t have a rain coat, all I have is a puffy jacket and there’s no way it would keep this monsoon out. We’ve probably gotten an inch in the last half hour. The streets are flooded. This is nearly biblical.

And yet, a breakfast burrito beckons…

Less than two hours till my phone call with the doctor. My whole life hinges on this phone call. My career as a professional boulderer. My career as a professional mason. My career as an ornithologist. What will she say to me? “Listen, Mark, an MRI, really? You’re not worth our imaging…”

Or maybe something along the lines of, “Everyone knows you’re faking it. You felt a ‘tearing in your knee.’ Ha. Good one. I would sooner cut myself than refer you for an MRI.”

I mean, she could say anything.

If I leave Seattle and my boat sinks then, well, that’s fine.