It’s Downright Amazing What You Can Learn About Yourself From People Who’ve Never Met You

I like quiet Saturday and Sunday mornings. It’s for this reason that I often find myself getting my ass out of bed earliest—about 5am this particular Sunday morning. Began catching up on emails, Google alerts, etc.

Low & behold, I got a complete education on myself I had no idea of, courtesy of a rather crazy person and her solipsist readers.

Well, at least I now know that:

– My plan to do a 3-month experiment to see how much, if any, I can improve hypothyroidism (here and here) is plain quackery. And here I thought that my Kaiser primary physician, Haas, MD, had blessed the experiment, said he’s seen stranger things, so why not, and already approved the next round of lab work. And while I thought I’d consulted Chris Kresser, not to contradict my mainstream doc, but to see if the approach my doc had already said sounded good, jived with his clinical experience, but apparently not. Oh, well. Back to the drawing board.

– I’m having suicidal thoughts. And here I thought that was five years ago, back in the winter of 2010 where, for the first time in my life, I had months of chronic pain as a result of a herniated cervical disc (likely from pulling heavy deadlifts at #325 for reps), confirmed by MRI. I’d thought that I’d worked that out and this time around, no such thing because the pain doesn’t worry me anymore in terms of putting up with it for life. But what do I know?

– My current back, hip, and leg pain—along with tingling in my left foot—is linked to my hypothyroidism, general ill health, and a slew of other conditions I wasn’t aware of until today. And here I thought that, save for the thyroid panel (with untreated TSH better today than 7 years ago), I just had the best blood work I’ve ever had. And what a surprise to learn that the radiologist’s report from the MRI I had a week ago is unrelated to my pain.

Individual axial levels as follows:

T12-L1: Normal

L1-L2: Normal

L2-L3: Normal

L3-L4: Normal

L4-L5: There is loss of disc height with disc desiccation. There
is presence of a left posterior lateral to far lateral disc
protrusion measuring 5 mm. This abuts the left L4 and L5 nerve
roots. Correlate for appropriate nerve symptoms. There is moderate
left neural foraminal narrowing and mild central canal stenosis.
There is no right neural foraminal narrowing.

L5-S1: Normal

Additional findings: None.

– S

Left posterior lateral to far lateral L4-L5 disc protrusion abuts
the left L4 and L5 nerve roots. Correlate for appropriate nerve
root symptoms.

And won’t longtime reader Rick Mehaffy of Peninsula RSI be surprised to learn that the hour and a half I spent in his chamber of horrors yesterday as he poked, prodded, stretched, put me in traction, and hung me upside-down, was not about the MRI report, but about my thyroid. Perhaps I should get another thyroid panel, since I had measurable relief all the rest of the day. Or, perhaps there’s something to this notion that spinal alignment underlies all disease and Rick is just very clever, making me believe he was actually treating an apparent spinal injury! Clever man!

And next, I’m going to have to let my dad and two younger brothers know that those 2″ scars they all sport on their lower backs has nothing to do with the conspiracy underlying an MRI finding identical to mine, but that it’s actually a revolutionary new technique to conduct surgery on the thyroid glad, cure depression, anxiety, and/or whatever else may ail you, according to the exclusive authority of people who’ve never met you. Won’t they be surprised!

– I live apart from my wife. And here I thought the woman in the next room here in San Jose is my wife—including time spent in Mexico, SoCal, and Las Vegas over Thanksgiving with her parents and looking forward to a Tahoe trip with my parents next weekend. I hope she doesn’t find out the truth!

– I don’t make any money anymore, and even have to clean my own cabin vacation rental because occupancy is down and I can’t afford a cleaner. And here I thought that I was finishing up 2014 with the highest income for that property in the four years since renting it out. I was also pretty sure that I was dissatisfied with the level of cleanliness, had a parting of the ways, and that while looking for another cleaning vendor and I did it myself, that it was a good way to move around, given the back and leg pain that’s all in my head…or was it hypothyroid…can’t remember.

And what a shock to find out that after selling out my 2014 right to occupy contract with The Grand Solmar in Cabo (10 weeks per year) by the end of March, then popping for an additional contact, then selling that one out for 2014 (another 10 weeks per year), it’s only because of poverty.

I sure wish that 89 bookings in 2014, and 19 so far for 2015 between the three rentals was enough to keep me out of the poor house.

…The truth about yourself is out there, folks. You just have to stop hiding and accept it!

[“Clown car” indeed.]

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More


  1. eddie on December 14, 2014 at 14:33

    Now is the time to DO an OAT test to prove and show some things dude

    be a good experiment ( I dont post alot but still read )
    OAT test

    LOOK at the sample markers — youll get more answers

  2. rob on December 14, 2014 at 11:34
  3. Groker on December 14, 2014 at 12:10

    LOL. You do better when you don’t rant but stay calm and wax ironic.

  4. gabkad on December 14, 2014 at 12:42

    If there would be no hyperbole and selective recitation of events out of context, there would be nothing to write about.

    The silly season has started early. Usually the madness begins in the middle of January for these psych patients. Oh well. Let the fun begin….maybe it’ll end sooner.

    I’m not sure, but wasn’t Paul Jaminet’s wife diagnosed with Hashimoto? Or him? I can’t remember which. But I’m sure he’ll be uber generous with any help or advice.

  5. Richard Nikoley on December 14, 2014 at 13:45

    “The silly season has started early. Usually the madness begins in the middle of January for these psych patients. Oh well. Let the fun begin….maybe it’ll end sooner.”

    Ha, tell me about it. The morning began with dumping commenter v/mary for like the 3rd and last time and deleting the 21 comments she’s posted since the last time I dumped her.

    (Hey Mary, I made you a cuntcake: )

    Then, people from both Grace’s blog and YKW must have got wind of yesterday’s post and this one, and I got a rash of crazy moron. Funniest was people who didn’t even know which post they were commenting on. Funniest of those was an “MD” who in addition, can’t write.

    I love having 1st comment moderation so I can just gleefully hit the delete button. Unlike Eades, Jimmy, I have never failed to put through a comment that argues against some aspect of the various science topics we deal with.

    But really, it’s funny to get someone commenting for the very first time to tell me what a douche I am. The irony completely escapes them, but you can’t fix stupid, especially that “MD.”

    One guy commented no less than 3 times to tell me: “Grow a pair and STFU about Grace.” The “MD” (Mark Dougherty – ) closed by saying “Do yourself a favor and stay off her website,” in regard to YKW. Now how pathetic is that? Who even talks like that?

    Ha, suck on it, y’all. I deleted all you fucktard morons. Come again soon, y’hear?

    • Richard Nikoley on December 14, 2014 at 13:48

      Ha, I just taunted Mark Dougherty MD in email. 🙂

    • gabkad on December 14, 2014 at 14:23

      Ahhh, good thing her echo chamber has become an intimate, private space. Her acolytes can rant at their leisure and pleasure. Especially that semi-literate ‘teacher’ (?!?) v/mary. Never could figure that out.

      I wouldn’t have read the rant if not for a friend of mine emailing me an alert about it. Lost among the bullshit is some valid information. Except one thing she never learns is it is not what you say it is how you say it. (So glad the flamethrower can’t reach me. LOL!)

      I find it entirely offputting when people claim they are trying to enlighten us and maybe even saving our lives by taking out a bludgeon. Oh yeah, the other one was doing the same thing as well. Zero insight. Dysfunctional communicators. The frothing at the mouth and flying spit is even more offputting.

      Oh and I am just listening to a recent podcast with Paul and both he and his wife were hypothyroid…. People ‘find each other’… hey, I hope Bea’s thyroid is good.

    • gabkad on December 14, 2014 at 14:29

      He’s just jealous because he never got one of her sex rated selfies. Envy is such a bottom feeder emotion.

      (Gotta make up here for marie’s unavailability at this time, Cherie.)

    • Richard Nikoley on December 14, 2014 at 15:10

      “Ahhh, good thing her echo chamber has become an intimate, private space. Her acolytes can rant at their leisure and pleasure.”

      I mean just think of it. A Mark Dougherty, MD comes in deriding me because I had the audacity to read an entire post about me and 20 comments doing the same, then tells me to stay off her blog.

      An MD. Someone who prescribes pharmaceuticals to people and/or cuts on them. Imagine that. Quite a following she has there.

    • pzo on December 15, 2014 at 05:46

      It’s also possible he has the medical degree but never did residency or get licensed. I’ve seen some of that around. Not dishonest, but plays on our suppositions.

      Obviously, you need to go vegan………….


  6. Barfly on December 16, 2014 at 04:58

    Crap, months of chronic pain from herniated disc sounds brutal…

    Have you given up on deadlifts since?

    I really love DLs and thought they should be great for the spine and back longterm but stories like this make me really paranoid and scared.

    Oh well, I guess it is better to fuck yourself up and go down by heavy lifting than slowly decaying on your couch or yoga mat.

    Hope you will sort out all your issues soon man, all the best.

    • Richard Nikoley on December 16, 2014 at 06:29

      I did a foray back into DLs a year or so ago. Got back up to doing #275 comfortably for reps (previous high was #325 x 4). But, I just figured probably too risky for me, given what I’m up against.

      I think leg presses are probably a pretty good and safe way to go. Plus, just plain moving around and standing a lot. I’m standing as I type right now, for instance.

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