#426 - Total Body Implosion

6 minute read

Warning: whining ensuing shortly by a person who isn’t actively dying.

My Belief in Balance

Somewhere along the way I adopted the belief that life inevitably has ups and downs, and they more or less offset. If you go through a happy time, you will then go through a sad time of equal-yet-opposite intensity & duration. If you have a collection of really great events, then you’re more prone to going through some sort of antithetical streak of suckiness. Life ends up looking like a big sine wave of peaks and valleys.

I had a thought in mid-2020 I was in for a rough time at some point in the future. During the beginning phases of the pandemic my life was absolutely humming. I was working from home for the first time thanks to the pandemic. I was learning successfully to code. I was in the best shape of my life. My son was at a very fun age and we learned we had another on the way. I had several months of pretty much uninterrupted bliss; and I genuinely thought “this has all been so great, I’m in for it soon”.

I can now confidently say that I’ve experienced the equivalent valley from that peak.


I really try to keep perspective. My life is easy. See #1541. Since that time I’ve got a few new things to add to that list of things people would gladly point out and say “you’ve got it so easy, bro”.

  • I am straight and cisgendered. It didn’t even cross my mind to mention this in 2014 - that’s how privileged I am. My wife and I look like what everyone’s grandma thinks of when they think “gee they’re such a cute couple”.
  • I’m still very happily married to a wonderful woman after 8 great years.
  • I have two sons that were born more or less healthy and without any special needs that we are aware of. While they have had seemingly more than their fair share of minor illnesses, they haven’t yet had to return to the hospital since they were born.
  • I have yet to experience any profound loss in life.
  • I’m a homeowner and job-haver with an incredibly in-demand skillset.
  • We recently bought a Tesla. So again everything below is bullshit.

…but holy crap I’ve been stuck in a cold streak for a LONG time now.

Thus Begins the Suck

My youngest child doesn’t sleep through the night. I don’t mean like “he usually wakes us up”, I mean in his >2 year life we have gotten an uninterrupted 8 hours of sleep on fewer than 5 occasions. I was cool with that when he was a baby and it was expected, but I didn’t expect to still be having a child kicking me in the back every night.

This ties into another one of my beliefs: without proper sleep, everything is harder.

This by itself I wouldn’t bother writing about. But the lack of good sleep plays into everything below.

Begin Sob Story

I have had Anklosing Spondylitis for 13 years. Flare ups are not dependable in any way. If you wake up and your joints are particularly stiff and painful, you have no idea if that’s just a bad day or if it’s going to become the start of a months-long trend.

How it feels
Photo by Dylan Hunter on Unsplash .

Luckily I’ve built and maintained a whole ridiculous system for tracking various aspects of my life. Its thanks to the PDW2 that I can pinpoint 6/28/2022 as the beginning of this long-running streak of garbage luck.

6/28 - begin flare up.


My back is unsteady. Most days are bad, but sometimes I have a random not-so-bad day.

7/19 - gum grafting, right side. Begin liquid-only diet & no exercise.


8/2 - grafting healed, back is seemingly maybe doing a bit better?

8/4 - just kidding, but back is still bad, and more depressingly I’m feeling pain in lots of new joints that have never before been issues. My knuckles, knees, and the little interstitial joints in my feet, they all hurt pretty much all the time.

8/14 - back is now the worst it’s ever been. There is no escape from pain. Laying in painful. Sitting. Standing. Walking. Everything.

~8/22 my back began spasming, which is a new issue I’ve never experienced before. It came from me holding everything tense trying to protect my spine for so long. This translates to breathtakingly sharp and sudden fits of pain that happen seemingly at random.


The spasms stopped, but otherwise more of the same. Around this time I couldn’t put my shoes on because that required me to lean forward, which wasn’t possible. I developed a method of putting on shoes that could be done by leaning more “sideways” than forward.


Begin the illnesses.

10/4 - 10/6 - 2 Year Old home sick

10/7 - I put $12k into the basement, and in doing so went from having a finished basement to having an unfinished basement.

10/11 I got a cold and our 4 year old had something that kept him out of school

10/19 - Gum grafting part 2, the other side of my mouth. Back to a liquid diet, back to no exercise - which isn’t new. I haven’t been able to exercise really since July.

10/24 - 2 Year Old Pink Eye


11/1 - 11/6 - both boys come down with fevers the day after Halloween, this lasts for 4 1/2 days

11/8 - the boys are healthy and I took my first ever dose of Humira. A symbol of the end of the streak of bad things… or so I thought.

11/9 - I take a day of vacation for R&R because I’m not feeling great, but also not so sick that working would be impossible. Hope it’s just a 24 hour thing.

11/10 - 11/15 it’s not. I’m much much worse. I am now on my 3rd straight day of bed rest. These things only ever happen during the weekend. I’ve run multiple dozens of fevers over the past few days. Come ON DUDE.

11/16 - I’m out of the woods… so far as I know.


Since late June I’ve had my worst flare up, two oral surgeries, sick kids, some very un-fun home expenses, and now just when I thought everything was going to be better I got the sickest I’ve been in yeaaars.

Top 5: Skipped

Honestly don’t have the energy for creative thought.


Daddy’s temperature was ninety-ninety-nine. That’s a lot of temperatures! Our 4 year old

  1.  The Android Wear half of that post didn’t age well, Android Wear was the beginning of the end of my love affair with Google. 

  2. Short for “Personal Data Warehouse” - the latest in a long series of bad names for the thing.