On The Road Again


Me at Iron Bridge Spillway Lake Fayetteville, AR

In June, doctors and specialists completed their blood-drawing, prodding, poking examinations. They decided prescribing a drug called TEGRETOL to help manage the pain until they could diagnose the exact problem was the right thing to do. It wasn’t. Side effects (among the many) include depression, anxiety, thoughts of suicide, and death. Yes, death.

In whose world is death a side effect?

Maybe it’s the mystery writer in me or my sense of humor:

Doctor: “Yes, Mr. Cotner, we have a cure for what ails you: Death.”

Me: “Thanks, Doc, but I’ll pass if it’s all the same to you.”

Anyway, I’m not dead (yet) and now that the full body and brain CAT Scans are over and the results in, they’ve determined the problem causing pain and occasional paralysis in hands and feet is not a brain tumor as they first suspected but it is pinched nerves in my spine caused by deteriorating spinal discs.

I’ll live with the pain and have opted out of drugs and surgery (at least for the foreseeable future).

I’m back on the road again, a few pounds heavier than usual but that will soon be lost when I get my daily hiking and biking regime back in full swing. Managed to ride seventeen miles around Lake Fayetteville on the day these pictures were taken with no problem and little pain. It’s good to be out and about again. I’m cheering for the return of normal (whatever that is).

Good to be back blogging again, too.



Taking a rest at Iron Bridge below spillway


Bridge across the spillway on the lake’s bike trail


Wildflower Meadow On The Fayetteville Bike Trail


Taking A Water Break At Wildflower Meadow


Wildflowers Lake Fayetteville Meadow North


Bike Trail East Of Lake Fayetteville


Winding Bike Trail East of Lake Fayetteville, AR

22 thoughts on “On The Road Again

  1. Good to know you’re up and running again, Jack. I enjoyed your little dialogue with the doctor – great to see your sense of humour’s in full swing, too. The problem of deteriorating spinal discs is more common than you might think, especially as people get older. I can imagine what you’ve been going through, living with thoughts of a possible brain tumour. The relief must have been incredible when they eventually ruled it out. I’m so glad you’re over all that worry. Enjoy your bike rides and hikes, and the lovely autumn weather. You’ll soon be fit again.

    • Thank you, milliethom. Couldn’t agree with you more. Was great to get out this weekend. On a side note, I’m nearing completion of Pit of Vipers book review. And I have to ask: how’s the third book coming along?

      • Please don’t think about writing book reviews at the moment, Jack! Just get yourself well and fit again. Health comes first. I’m so grateful you’ve even read the book, so no worries about anything else. I’ve no excuse for being behind with my reviews though, other than spending too much time on WP and having so many short breaks away this year. I’ve got dozens of blog posts lined up! They should keep me going while I concentrate on my book over the next few months. It’s coming along, but far too slowly. Hope you’ve done much better than that with yours!
        So glad the last few months are over for you. You’ve had an awful lot to worry about. Take great care… and happy cycling!

  2. I’m glad to her it’s not a brain tumour though pinched nerves are bad enough. It’s good you were able to complete your ride with little pain I’d hate to think getting fit was killing you. Keep an open mind as regards the painkillers and surgery as the pain can be as debilitating as the illness and surgery could at least move the nerves from between the discs.
    Keep well.

    • Thank you for that, David. I still have the surgery as an option though I’d prefer not to go there until there’s no other option. As for the pills, I’ve never liked taking medicine or pills, not even aspirin (which used to frustrate my mother to no end when I was sick). Perhaps someday I’ll let them operate but right now I think I’ll ride and write without it until I croak. 🙂

  3. I chuckled at your comments about death being the cure for pain. 100% effective, but no thanks. Great news that you don’t have a brain tumor too. Yeesh. Riding 17 miles with minimal pain is not too shabby. Hope your road to pain management is as beautiful as the pictures.

  4. Good to hear you are riding again. Cheers on that. Fine pictures of your first day out on the trail. Drats on the pain – hope the exercise and clean living make it, if not bearable, at least forgotten for periods of time.

    • Thank you. I’m not quite back in good enough shape to keep up the pace with you and your dog Hiker but hopefully I’ll get there.Really enjoy your posts and the pictures take me back to younger days. I was born and raised in the Ouachitas east of Ft. Smith and you and I have hiked many of the same trails it seems.

    • Thank you, Jean. I need to get back into my exercise regime of walking and biking to drop the extra pounds I managed to accumulate from over two months of virtual inactivity. Really appreciate the well wishes and post, Jean.

  5. It’s great, Jack, that you have such a good sense of humor. I laughed out loud about death being a cure. It’s also wonderful that you’re able to get out and about the way you do. I think you’re right putting off surgery for as long as possible but keeping it as an option. I don’t get out much and enjoyed the pictures. 🙂

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