Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Weekend Trader - Dear Sigmund

Some thoughts on a rainy day on the coast.

Of All the Nerve - I'm unfortunately still dealing with a significant pinched nerve in my neck and related symptoms that I picked up on my recent trip to Atlanta (main problem is tingling in the small two fingers of my right hand and some swelling in the neck ... which oddly enough started immediately after having sat in one of those demo massage chairs in a Brookstone store) that had worsened to a point where I chose to undergo a head and spine MRI yesterday to supplement my chiropractor's current treatment. btw, one has a lot of time to think while in the casket-like MRI tube for 50 minutes. I think I planned the next 90 trading days.

Anyway, technically I have "multilevel spondyloarthropathy", with among other things, "moderate bilateral foraminal stenosis at the C7-T1 levels". Sounds like some techno-trader describing a simple pullback in an uptrend. Translated it simply means my back is showing its 48 years, and I have some pinching where some of the hand nerves exit the lower neck.

Oh, and I also learned that the "visualized brian parenchyma is unremarkable" ... which ironically means my brain is OK ... although I'm sure many would dispute that.

Not sure where I go from here, but obviously it remains a concern until licked.

Yet I'm a trader, so consider it simply water splashed in my face ... which leads me to:

Comment of the Week - Goes to Steve in response to Thursday's post:

My wife used to say the hardest part in open water triathlons was getting kicked in the face during the swim. It's not something you can train for, and all the solo running, biking, and swimming miles doesn't prepare you for it. But being able to expect it (possibly) and recover from it means you might finish the race.

I couldn't have said it better.

Dear Sigmund - As we get ready to enter month ten of this public diary experiment, someone mentioned to me the other day that this blog now ranks ahead of many trading sites in terms of both growth rate and sustained traffic (and apparently still inching toward the list of top 100K sites for the entire 'Net at 237K last week ... and jumping 1.5 Million Q4 08 to Q1 09 in terms of 3-mo average), to which I simply shrugged my shoulders. Don't worry, the market will keep any ego in check.

You see, from my perspective I still view this as simply writing to myself and perhaps my alter ego. Sort of like Dr. Sidney Freedman writing to Sigmund Freud in the classic M*A*S*H series. Why don't they make shows like that anymore?

Yet I suppose we may have inadvertently planted another Bamboo. Still, all I want to do is focus on my own trading. One man climbing another mountain, and so much work remains.

That, and solve the pinched nerve puzzle. Maybe Hawkeye can help on that one.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and check out yesterday's video if you missed it.


abel said...

Of All the Nerve...

I have the answer for you, and it is simple, and effective.

Some years back, I had a similar pinched neve condition, that emanated from the neck also. While it did not affect my fingers, it did affect a nerve that terminated at just below the elbow. This nerve, also ran through the epicenter of the shoulder as it winded its way to the elbow. So, it produced 1) a sore and tight neck / upper back / shoulder muscles, as well as 2) a 'fire' sensation through the shoulder joint, which were in addition to 3) the irritating and constant pain at just below the elbow.

After months of evening baths, and completely working steadily through our entire wine collection, the condition actually worsened over the same time period, as the muscles adjacent to the muscles surrounding the neck got 'in on the act', and began tightening also.

At this point, I went for targeted massage therapy, that focused on the affected area, and was applied every two/three days, for a couple of weeks.

Did the trick. From my experience, I estimate your current condition may be much the same...a tight muscle that attaches from the upper back to the neck, near the vertebrae that is pinching the nerve, that is in effect constantly tugging at the vertebrae just enough to pinch the nerve. Over time, other nearby muscles may join the fray, effectively locking and deepening the condition.

I suggest you get some massgaes every couple days for a couple weeks that target he upper back / shoulder / neck'll be good as new in no time, will learn to recognize the condition early next time it flares up, and can catch it prior to it becoming skewed.

Unknown said...

Just want to wish you a speedy recovery. Your blog is truly an inspiration

E said...

The Incredibe shrinking man syndrome is a similar ailment I am dealing with...

My wife gently (?) reminds me everday...

"Stand up straight".

"Stop hunching over. You sit at your desk all day looking at monitors. Get up and walk, do something, you are getting smaller than me."

She bought me an ergonomic chair, and has been concerned about the effects of the sedate lifestyle I am now pursuing, after leaving a highly active past.

I am convinced she is right about this, and encourage everyone to get physical activity regularly to combat the not so obvious occupational hazards we face.

Springfield grad here; Spirit, Mind and Body.

Feel better Don.

Market Viewer said...

What keeps your blog among the top is the envy, jealousy, and curiosity of those who failed miserably only to see you succeed yet another day after day. They dial endlessly and refresh, refresh, and refresh to see if maybe it is their illusion that shows a green scorecard instead of what should have been your first "bonehead day" of the year. They also hate to see how you rant about how poorly you did, after tacking a "modest chip" which could have been a weekly or monthly goal for them.
I wish you well in recovering the neck and fingers to prove all of them wrong yet again and again...

steve said...

Don, get better! "Internetneck" and all associated desk-jobs are hazardous to our health! I'm in the same camp and have developed all sorts of hip flexor issues that really 'cramp my style'. And thanks for the comment on my comment!

Sam said...

I predict a good day for you today (03/30). The morning "oscillations" have been working wonderfully for me so far and I suspect you are on top of things as well!

Unknown said...

You should be seeing a chiropractor who can apply electrostem and ultrasound to eliminate spasm and the resulting pain. Abel has a good point: the muscle spasm creates a feedback loop that increases the pressure on the the nerves, leading to more pain, etc.

Another effective treatment is traction: a device that puts negative pressure (pull) on your head. This action helps re-centralize extruding discal material and will help take pressure off of nerves.

These treatments together can help you avoid the more costly and risky surgical approach. I have them done to me every week, and they have kept a couple of cervical disc herniations from worsening.

It is also good to start the day with a microwaveable heat pack on your back to get out any tightness.

Hope you are pain-free soon!