Today was one of a long excruciating series of attempts to find some relief for my “butt pain”. I’ve had diagnoses like sciatic nerve demylenization, high hamstring tendenosis, ischial bursitis, performis syndrome and probably some other things I’m forgetting. I’ve had cortisone injected in my spine (where the sciatic nerve comes out), in my ischial bursa and in my hamstring, I’ve had physical therapy for all those diagnoses, and I’ve even had a electrodes implanted in my spine for a pain stimulator. So far nothing has worked.

The last doctor who worked on me suggested I look into getting an ischial bursectomy, but after calling 7 or 8 doctors in places like Texas, Kansas and New York City, all of whom whose websites said they do it, I got told over and over again that they don’t actually do it. I actually found one who said they do it and they booked me in for an appointment. And yeah, the front office person who booked me in had actually checked with another staff member to make sure they do it. This was in a fancy clinic in New York City just a block from Central Park. We had to fly down there and back. And when we finally saw the doctor, he said he doesn’t actually do that procedure, but he said he was going to suggest something less drastic. I think I surprised him when I asked him if he meant PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma?) or Prolotherapy. He was going to recommend PRP, and he confirmed the feeling I’d gotten from my research that while both are not FDA approved, many people find PRP helpful, whereas prolotherapy is pretty dubious.

The best thing about PRP is that I could have it done here in Rochester, and didn’t have to fly somewhere. Also, while it took a few weeks to get in to see the doctor who could do it (who was also the guy who’d shot cortisone in my hamstring), I got the appointment to have the procedure a week later (ie today).

So I had it today. First they took a bunch of blood – they tried to take 90ml but my blood kept coagulating so they had to stop at 78ml, after jabbing those giant 17G needles in me 3 times. They centrifuge it, and the centrifuge spits out a bag with plasma and platelets,and another bag of red blood cells. Sadly, they throw out the red blood cells, so there goes some more of my left over aerobic fitness.

Then it’s into the OR where they put you face down on a table and inject some lidocaine and then the platelets right into the hamstring. The lidocaine hurts like hell getting the needle in, then it feels just semi unpleasant as they inject it, and then it feels a different type of unpleasant when they inject the plasma.

Then it’s all over, until a few hours later when the lidocaine wears off and you realize your entire leg hurts like hell all along the hamstring, and you can’t take anything except Tylenol because the whole point of the procedure is to cause inflammation to start the healing process, so you can’t take any anti-inflammatory.

I’m really banking on this working, because my only remaining option that I know of after this is to keep searching for a doctor to do an ischial bursectomy. I found a video on YouTube that showed a doctor actually performing one of those, so maybe I’ll try to track that doctor down.

Pain sucks, fighting for treatment sucks harder, and the mental toll of this whole drawn out process is enormous. It’s only taking a pretty heavy dose of an anti-depressant and the love of family that gets me through the day and keeps me from giving up.

Well, that was a waste of time and money

So our house network looks kind of like

-fiber-[Fiber Modem]-[Router/WAP]-[switch]-[security camera]
-[living room drop]
-[dining room drop]
-[Mac Studio]

The cables represented by dashes (except the fiber one) are supposed to be Cat5e, but they might only be Cat5. The switches are 10/100/1000 Mbps and all three of the wired computers are running 1000 Mbps. The new one, the Mac Studio, had to be coerced in that speed, because it didn’t seem to be capable of negotiating correctly. I wrote that off to the fact that the switch is several years old and came out before 2.5G/5G/10G Ethernet was a thing. The WiFi is 802.11ac (I think) although I never really saw even close to the theoretical speed out of it. I think most of the time would show the computers on the wired connections getting somewhere between 600-800 Mbps and the wifi only getting maybe 40 Mbps on a good day. But that was perfectly adequate for most uses – I want the faster speed on my wired computers because I’m uploading big video files and running various servers.

A few months ago, Greenlight told me that they were updating my fiber to 2Gbps. At the time, because my whole network is 1 Gbps, I didn’t think much of it. But recently Vicki’s been complaining about the WiFi being too slow and dropping out whenever the microwave is on. Fair enough, my experience is that home routers is that they need to be replaced every 5 or 10 years, and this one was in that age range (I think.)

I’ve been looking for routers that can do at least 2 Gbps on the fiber “modem” side, and also on the uplink to the switch. I did some investigation, and couldn’t find one at a decent price point. But then a couple of days ago I found a review of “best routers” that seemed to be saying that one of the routers could do the trick. It also had WiFi 6 which should speed up some of the WiFi’d devices. I also found some switches that said that they could do 2.5 Gbps on all the ports.

I spent a very frustrating time yesterday trying to get it all set up. My first problem was I forgot that because I’ve got a static IP, I had to manually enter the WAN IP address and other stuff. I got it all set up, the switches were showing 2.5 Gbps from each other, from the new router, and from the Studio. Speedtest was showing the wired computers were making 900+ Mbps up and down, and WiFi on my iPad was just about as 2/3rds as fast.

One weird thing I noticed is that the link between the router and the fiber “modem” was still showing at 1 Gbps. I didn’t realize it at the time, but the review I read mislead me. The router is capable of 2.5 Gbps WAN, but only using something called “Dual WAN”, which I think means using the both the port labeled WAN and the first port labeled LAN to connect to the fiber modem. But since only that LAN port is 2.5 Gig, I’d be able to get data to the router faster, but it couldn’t go out faster to the upstairs wired computers. I suppose that might make the WiFi a bit faster? Also the fiber modem only has one port, so I’m not sure how to make use of the “Dual WAN”.

I tested port forwarding and all that stuff and it all seemed to be working just fine, when I decided to see if copying files between the 3 wired connections were any faster. (In retrospect, they probably wouldn’t be since 2 of the three computers are only capable of 1 Gbps.) Soon after I started the copy, the Linux computer completely stopped talking to any network. I rebooted and it still wasn’t talking. I fiddled with a bunch of configuration, but the only thing that got it working again was putting back the original 10/100/1000 Mbps switch upstairs. Not sure why that happened, or why switching the switch could fix things.

At that point, I was having trouble with my Mac Studio. The Ethernet kept dropping and coming back up. I looked in the hardware settings for the Ethernet port and it was set to Automatic instead of Manual like it was supposed to be. And every time I switched it to Manual and reconfigured everything, after I clicked “Ok” and then clicked “Show Details” again it was back to Automatic. I eventually gave up on that and just used my old Thunderbolt to Ethernet dongle I used to use with my work laptop when I had one. Actually after I woke up this morning I had an idea and deleted the Ethernet configuration and made a new one, and it worked fine.

Meanwhile I reconnected most of the other devices to WiFi, including the Roku, and right now with Vicki watching videos on one of her devices and me watching videos on the Roku, Speedtest is showing the WiFi speed down to 30-40 Mbps again. Sigh.

So honestly I think I’ve spent a lot of time and money, and given myself a terrible day of screwing around with things that used to work and then didn’t work, and now work again, and all for nothing really. And I still have to manually re-attach some of the Wyze cameras to the WiFi, which in one case will involve going up on a step ladder to push a reset button and show it a QR code.

Cross country skiing

So three winters ago, I decided to see if I could possibly get back into cross country skiing without buggering my knees up too much. For most of that first winter, I skied at Cumming Nature Center, which is about the nearest place that had rental equipment. I had just come off a really great year of kayak racing, except for the hip pain that was making it increasingly untenable to keep paddling, and I pretty much did no paddling after August except for the Long Lake and Seneca Monster races.

So I was still pretty fit when I took up skiing, and I really enjoyed skiing around Cumming which had a great network of trails and a variety of conditions. Also their rental equipment was pretty great. The only drawback was the driving distance. I usually arrived at Cumming just as the sitting pain was becoming unbearable. On the way home I’d have to stop at least once and walk around and stretch a bit to alleviate the hip pain.

After four or five times renting, I decided to buy some equipment, a mixture of stuff bought on-line and my friend Dan’s old skis. Dan introduced me to something called “Start Tape”, that was like a 1-wax system that you applied like a tape to the wax zone of your skis. I don’t know if it’s because the wax pockets are so much better engineered that when i was skiing in the 70s and 80s or just that my expectations were lower, but I’ve continued to use the Start Tape.

Buying also meant I could ski closer to home at Durand-Eastman park, which had a mixture of groomed trails and skied in trails, and wasn’t a bad place to ski as long as the weather held. I still went back to Cumming and a few times to Bristol when snow was scarce on the ground because Bristol makes snow. It’s only a 1km or so loop, but it’s consistent snow when everybody else is ice and puddles. And when the snow is good, they have an additional loop that’s about 1.8km.

Only drawback of Bristol is that most of their customer base appears to be skate skiers, so they’re not very consistent about putting in grooves. Due to the knee problems that caused me to quit skiing the first time in the 1980s, I don’t do skate skiing any more, and I really want those grooves.

By the end of that first winter, I was tolerating the length of the drive better, and I was skiing as much as 9 or 10 kilometers at a time. A far cry from when I was training for the Canadian Ski Marathon and loppers, but I sure remembered why back when I was doing everything (skiing, orienteering, backpacking, canoeing, etc), cross country skiing was my favourite. If you don’t believe me, look at my domain name,

Second winter came along, and this time I did almost no paddling during the summer because of the hip pain problems. And it turned out to be a complete wipe-out for snow – the only place I skied was at Bristol, around and around that 1km loop. I think I made it up to 7 or 8 kilometers at a time. The driving wasn’t bothering me as much, and I’d often go 3 times a week. Still felt great to ski. I often felt like I was slower than the slowest skate skier, but faster than the fastest other classic skier. I took my drone a few times to get footage of myself skiing using “Follow Me” mode which was pretty cool.

It’s now the third winter. I did get out a very few times in the kayak this summer, but only for an hour or so each time. But the fitness is way, way worse this year. Most of the skiing has been at Bristol, because we haven’t had much good snow. Cumming hasn’t opened for more than a day here or there, but not fully groomed, and I managed Durand once before it all melted away. And I’m slow, just horribly horribly slow. I get one decent loop which takes about 1.5 times as long as it took me two years ago, and then the rest of it is ski for a bit, catch my breath for a bit. I’m up to 3 loops and a bit of this out and back trail called Halle-Bopp. Maybe 4 kilometers total. It’s sad. But if the winter lasts a bit longer, maybe I can add another loop or two by the end.

Except I’ve got a problem. I feel like I shouldn’t even write about this in public, because people are going to tell me to stop skiing. The problem is that my knees are acting up. My right knee especially. For a day or so after I ski, I get a terrible stabbing pain when walking up and down stairs, and sometimes even when walking on the flat. I’ve been grinning and bearing it mostly because I don’t want to give up skiing, but I’m extremely concerned.

More ranting about pain, I’m afraid

So to follow on from The current state of pain, here’s where I stand now. I’ve been paddling for about an hour every 2nd or 3rd day. I’m not very fast, and the thermarest pad I’m using to protect my hip/butt makes me very unstable. I tried biking a few times and after the first one I felt great but after the second my butt was killing me for several days afterwards, so I probably won’t be doing that again. Too bad, because Towpath Bike finally got my gear indexing set up perfectly – it’s smoother shifting that when it was brand new.


Not much change here. I think I’m getting the “stabbing pain” more frequently, especially after paddling.

Ischial Tuberoscopy Area (aka “Butt pain”)

It got good enough that I was actually able to stand a trip up to Canada, by sitting in the passenger seat with the “sciatica pain” cushion and the seat reclined a lot to keep the weight off my butt. Unfortunately I tried cycling twice and now it feels pretty much the worst it’s ever been. Hopefully it will abate over the next few weeks again.

It’s very hard to remain upbeat about this pain. It’s still restricting my activities and enjoyment of life, and OTC Aleve and Tylenol aren’t really doing much. If I forget to take it for a couple of days, I notice the pain has gone from merely nearly unbearable to completely unbearable.

I really like my new primary care physician, but she seems to have seized upon the last conclusion from the doctor who did the pain stimulator implant test who suggested I should try the Mayo Clinic or the Cleveland Clinic. That seems like a real expensive roll of the dice. I’d have to spend some unknown amount of time away from home, and I don’t know how much or how little insurance would cover.

Tooth/Jaw Pain and Headaches

The tooth/jaw pain I reported last time has been pretty much cleared up. The dentist decided the antibiotic he was giving me wasn’t working, so he switched to something stronger. Almost immediately I got a big swelling on my jaw below a tooth two down from the one he’d started the root canal on. I got that tooth removed a day or two later. After the infection died down and I got the stitches out, the root canal was finished and in a few months they’ll implant a socket where the tooth was removed so I can get a replacement.

Meanwhile, in a quest to see why I’m having all these headaches, I got an MRI of my head which showed a very bright thing in one of my sinuses. It looked scary, but when I eventually got an appointment with an ENT he said it was just a mucosal accumulation cyst, and it was nothing to worry about. About 30-40% of people have one of these and most never know it.

But long before I got to see the ENT, the headaches went away on their own. It seemed to coincide with the progress of the antibiotics. They tell me it’s very rare for infection in the lower jaw to cause headaches, but it sure seems like it did.


While I was dealing with all these other things, I got a blood test that showed that my A1C had gone from 5.7 last year to 10.7 this year. I’d had this year’s blood test done at a local blood lab that I’d only just discovered was near me and I was finding it hard to believe my A1C had gone so completely to hell in just a year, so I asked for a second test which I had done at the same lab I used last year. This time it was 11.1. That’s full blown diabetes. My doctor put me on insulin – at first slow acting stuff before bed, and later I was also put on fast acting stuff before each meal. What a pain.

When I got my gall bladder out they warned me that it might take a while for my digestion to accommodate the lack of a gall bladder. I wonder if that’s what caused the diabetes? I hope so, because it means it might go away again.

Also, I started noticing that I was rubbing my feet against each other, and it seemed like I was doing it because my feet were always freezing cold and the skin on my feet are always tingling. My doctor did some simple tests and says it’s not due to lack of circulation or lack of nerve sensitivity so it’s probably not due to the diabetes. But it’s still annoying.

So this is happening

I’m slowly ramping up to start a drone business. I have the website with copious design help from Bob Raymonda, I have business cards (also designed by Bob), I’ve just filed a DBA, and I’m about to start advertising.

My business card

Funny aside here: Notice that the URL is https rather than http. I’ve got several websites hosted on my server, and I’ve been resisting for years getting certificates for them all and redirecting from http to https. I figured it would be a full weekend type job. But what I discovered once I decided that it was a major requirement if I’m going to run a business website on my server was that basically I had to install a script and run it, answering a couple of questions mostly with defaults it provided, and I was done in 20 minutes. And 10 of that was thinking it wasn’t working because I accidentally forwarded the wrong port on my router.

The goal of the business was originally was to get my neighbors to pay me to get a look up on their roofs to see if their gutters are full of leaves or they have a shingle lifting or an obvious leaking spot at a chimney or a vent pipe. I mean, I would have paid for that when I had contractors telling me my gutters were full and I should pay them hundreds of dollars to clean them. But when I talk to other people, they don’t seem all that enthused. Well, maybe when they see the ad they’ll come around.

Alternatively, there’s a lot of real estate listings that would be improved by some nice drone shots. Or maybe contractors who’d like a look at a roof before they start estimating. Or home owners who’d like before and after shots of what the contractor has done. Or maybe weddings or graduating classes who’d like a cool video group picture. Or (and this one I didn’t think of, but I got approached by two rappers) an overhead shot in a music video.

I never thought this would become a full time job. What I’m hoping for is for it to grow to the point where I’ve got one or two shoots a week. But first, I’ve got to drive traffic to my website. Having a link here on my blog couldn’t hurt.

I’m trying to decide if I want my drone stuff to move to a separate YouTube channel. I worry that going forward it’s probably going to be the only content on my channel and I don’t want to make a new channel and starve my existing one.