Sunday, August 31, 2008 4:59 AM
A few months ago I herniated two lumbar disks while at work. Since then I have seen a surgeon, been out of work, and have undergone hours of physical therapy. What I also have not been doing is riding roller coasters. This has been my first summer without roller coasters since I can remember. Sitting in a chair or standing for longer than two hours results in a gradual increase in pain in my lower back and legs. It’s safe to say, and the doctor agreed, my roller coaster days are over for now at the ripe old age of 33. Surgery, which is looking more likely everyday, may not even make it possible to ride again.
It really hit me hard today as the summer is coming to a close. It hit me even more when I was thinking about making plans for KI next year and it might not happen. I have not been on a single roller coaster ride this summer. I took how fun every ride I had for granted. I miss the sounds, the smells, the anticipation, and even miss people watching while waiting in line. In one summer I miss it so much, I can’t comprehend what a lifetime will be like. What I am not looking for is sympathy. There are a lot worse things that can happen to a person than this.
Just remember these times you have in your riding years. Enjoy them all and get as many rides in as you can. Roller coaster lovers are a different breed. We think about them all the time. Doodle on paper sloppy designs or weird names for coasters. Remember the laughs you had with a first time rider or the times you were next and the damn thing broke down. They are all great times even if we don’t realize it when it’s happening. Enjoy them all for one day it could end.
*** Edited 8/31/2008 9:03:00 AM UTC by Winston***
Sunday, August 31, 2008 9:04 AM
Well said Winston. You have reminded us of what a blessing it is just to be able to hit a favorite park and ride and have a great time,and do the things you love.
I am 43 and still pretty fit and like you have said you gotta ride while you still can.
About seven years ago my older brother fell 30ft from a deer blind. The doctors did an incredible job of putting him back together actually using some bone material from a cadaver. He is fortunate to be able to walk now and does light duty at work.
I felt some of your pain man. I know your health comes first and all but the thought of never being able to ride again? Gulp.
Hang in there bud and here's wishing you an extraordinary recovery. Keep us posted ok?
Sunday, August 31, 2008 9:12 AM
I am 60 now and I am still riding, but I was told to stay away from the old Arrow Loopers, because of the way they throw you around on the loops. I recently went to Marineland and I went on Dragon Mountain and it wasn't too bad, but now I have tendinitis in my shoulder. The doctor said that it wasn't from riding the coaster. I'm going back to CP for Holloweekends so I guess I'll stay off the corkscrew.
Sunday, August 31, 2008 2:13 PM
Winston, even though you're not looking for sympathy, I hope you won't mind if your words move some of us to feeling the emotion anyway. I've often dreaded that nightmare scenario, never being allowed on my beloved coasters again. That would be a hard pill to swallow.
Sure, I think about the old fallbacks that people mention. At least you could still go to the park. You can visit with friends between their rides. You can ride gentler rides that your body will tolerate. You can vicariously ride the coasters on Youtube. All true, and I'm sure that I would clutch at those things versus not having any kind of park experience at all, but it certainly wouldn't be the same.
Hang in there, and here's hoping that your treatment and recovery will eventually allow you to enjoy (at least some) of those coasters again.
Sunday, August 31, 2008 4:25 PM
Sorry to hear that man. Being able to get to parks and enjoy them is certainly a gift and I cherish it, but this is a good reminder none the less. Good luck to you, sir.
Sunday, August 31, 2008 5:15 PM
Sadly I can't go to parks either. The location of the bad disks in my back is where all of the weight of the upper body rests. Standing and sitting put pressure on it and it gets to a point where I have to lay down for a hour or two. Hitting the bottom of even a small coaster hill will obviously push me down in the seat possible making a disk rupture. I guess those warning signs at parks about people with bad backs are not just a cya.
I do have sites like Coasterbuzz and Pointbuzz that keep me in the loop which makes me say a big thank you to all the people who run them and the people who make up the community of members. I don't post a lot but I read a lot of peoples messages. Its not the same as riding but it does quench my thirst just a little bit. Also the reason I am getting a new computer to run No Limits at top performance. Take care of your backs people. If that goes your days of coaster riding could be over.
Jwhoogs - thanks for your message and thanks to everyone with words of encouragment. Not trying to call you an old man but your comments are inspiring. There is still a possibility I will ride again. I just can't go the rest of my life without coasters. I will base part of my decision of surgeory on the possibility of riding again.
Sunday, August 31, 2008 9:04 PM
I feel ya man! However, I'm starting to realize that having a back injury is definitely worse than a knee injury. Not trying to make you feel bad by any means. I had knee surgery in late May this year. Patellar Subluxation - misalignment of the kneecap. My knee dislocated for the first time when I was in jr. high.(about 1992) Since then it dislocated 9-10 times. In turn, causing my ligament to stretch. So the doc fixed my ligament and inserted two stainless steel screws into my knee to keep it aligned. Today, I'm not 100% since the surgery, going through therapy now. My motivation through therapy is that I need to be ready for the Fall Affair at Holiday World at the end of September. All the hills concern me, but I'll have friends to lean on. ;-)
My heart goes out to you! Hope you get it taken care of to the point where the pain subsides at least. *hugs*