Hi – and welcome to MatthewsBack.com
Who Am I ?
I am happily married husband, embarrassing dad to two teenage daughters, musician, and corporate IT drone who has worked for the same organisation for more than 18 years. I am in my very late forties – I am old enough to know better, but young enough to want to explore new things.
I have responsibilities and I take them seriously – families with teenagers and mortgages and electricity bills are expensive. I love my family dearly.
However, surely working in a large office building is not all there is ? “Stuck on the hamster wheel” springs to mind. I hate wearing a suit and tie. I hurt myself a few years ago and this provided a wake up call that life might be too short to always be wearing a tie.
I am exploring other options to the standard “get up, go to work, pay the bills, spend less time doing the things I’d rather be doing with the poeple I’d rather be with, repeat”.
I want more control, while recognising and enjoying my responsibilities.
Who Are You ?
You are also a parent, probably a father, but many mothers come here too. You are probably older than you’d like to be, but are also still young enough to want more out of your life. You are busy: maybe far too busy (like me!).
Maybe you have hurt yourself too or have become ill/incapacitated in some way – or know someone who has – and have had your own wake up call. Or maybe you just want to do something different, or at least explore some other possibilities. You probably don’t mind your job, but if a better option came along you’d jump at it.
But you are not sure as to what that option might be. Perhaps you can create your own….but how….. ? Not quite in mid-life-crisis territory just yet, but you too are questioning the current stage of your life and dreaming of taking control of the next stage.
In July 2015 I hurt myself – a disc bulge in my lower back. Ouch.
I had recently changed jobs from something horrible to something much more enjoyable, so I was disappointed that my lower back injury – received at work while being the enthusiastic new guy – was impacting my ability to perform properly in my new role. Disappointingly there was a mis-match between my brain age and my body age….
A few visits to the physio helped, but did not cure my disc bulge as such.
At about this time my father-in-law was getting very sick and we lost him in late November 2015. So all in all 2015 was not a great time for me or my family.
In February 2016 I did it again at work, only this time I made it worse. Double ouch.
An MRI confirmed a lower back disc protrusion.
Again, I sucked it up as best I could – briefly.
In late March 2016, half way through the day my boss actually sent me home. She effectively told me not to come back until I had some significant improvement with my back.
So, I went home and went down for the count. Being horizontal on the floor provided small relief, but at that stage I’d take any relief I could get. I was off work for a few weeks.
Doctors, Specialists, Physiotherapists, Rehabilitation sessions, Hydrotherapy, pain killer perscriptions, Swimming, intense lower back pain, etc, etc. And much time spent lying on the floor.
I even had an epidural injection into my spine – I figured that approximately half the female population in the Western World had them, so why not ? Actually, I went out of my way to make it happen, because to be honest the lower back pain was chronic and excruciating and debilitating. It turned out that I wasn’t pregnant and this cortisone epidural injection actually helped me get back to some form of vague normality.
A month or so working from home in a very part time capacity was helpful in that I could continue my exercises and attend various medical appointments. As of September 2016 I was still working part time but back in the office.
I am fortunate in that I have a wonderful wife and two amazing daughters. My wife and I had been planning an overseas holiday earlier in 2016 – we knew our oldest daughter was going to be travelling overseas, so we thought that we could take our youngest daughter somewhere overseas as well.
As much as I didn’t want to believe it, the closer the holiday date came the more obvious it was that I would not be going anywhere. Sitting in the car or at the dinner table or walking for 15 minutes was painful enough – sitting on a plane and then wandering around foreign cities was going to be impossible. Yes, this is a First World problem, but none the less, for me it was very upsetting.
Disappointingly, in September 2016 I dropped them off at the airport then came home by myself.
I never want to feel this way again.
Because I had planned for this holiday for more than 6 months, I had put in for leave at work. I didn’t cancel this leave. I took the opportunity while my wife and daughters were away to concentrate on my physical and mental return to the real world – not one clouded by pain, frustration, physical and mental limitations.
While I have been spending far too much time on the floor, I have tried my best to do some thinking about life, the universe and everything. While my wife and daughters have been away, I have been very motivated to return to my previously active and happy self.
I am pleased to say that I have turned a corner and that I and my lower back are on the mend. I am confident that I am over the worst of it.
This blog is a documentation of my recovery process.
It is a documentation of my experience(s) with lower back pain and all that this entails – my “Sore Back“. I am using it as a form of self therapy.
It is also a documentation of my “Come Back“. Even now, looking back through some of the earlier videos I can see the difference.
I am slowly transitioning from a stiff, tired, sore, unhappy and grumpy old man back to the happy and loving father / husband / person that I was and desperately want to be again. Slowly, yes, but I’m getting there.
This blog is also a documentation of my “Side Hustles“. In this fast-paced-always-on-internet-enabled-world in which we live, I am keen to join in. While I enjoy my job, I do not really wish to rely on it for financial security. My injury has been a bit of a wake up call in this regard.
I have no desire to start the next Facebook or Amazon, but I am keen to explore some financial and business opportunities that the internet can provide. And maybe earn a few $$$ on the side. Some of the affiliate links in this website might help in this regard – you get a great deal and I may or may not get a small compensation. Either way, we both win.
Perhaps these concepts can help others who may be going through the same thing.
“If I can do it, then so can you”