Jul 182019

I appreciate everybody’s concern for my health given my recent episode of dizziness and all that. When I went to bed Tuesday night the dull headache was still there, but I was so tired that I thought I would sleep through anything. As it turned out, I was wrong about that. My back was hurting, which is normal, and the headache seemed to get more intense as time went on. I got very little sleep, and all day yesterday the headache was very intense.

I couldn’t concentrate to get any work done yesterday, so I basically parked myself in my recliner and spent the day there, drinking lots of water and occasionally using an ice pack on my head.

The good news (I think) is that when I talked to the doctor’s office yesterday afternoon, they said he had reviewed the MRI and everything in the scan on my brain looked normal. But given the headache, they still want to see me Friday.

Sometime around 7 PM yesterday I was hanging upside down on my Teeter inversion table, which I do to take some pressure off my back, and I kept turning my head from side to side, and I felt something pop in my neck. Within about three minutes the headache had dropped down from about an 8 on a scale of 1 to 10 to somewhere around a 2. I don’t know if the headache and the dizziness were related or not, and we still don’t know what caused them and are still looking for answers to that question. But in the meantime, I’m just glad things seem to be easing off.

In other news, the missing reviews for my new book, Big Lake Ninja, are back on Amazon, along with quite a few more. And all of them are five-star! People seem to like the book, and many say they were blown away by the ending. Yeah. I was, too. I didn’t see that coming. The only thing I can think to explain why the reviews kept disappearing and then coming back was that it was Amazon Prime Days and their systems don’t seem to be able to handle that much traffic. Last year on Prime Day their computers crashed for several hours. I guess it’s back to the drawing board for them.

Do you know how to drive a stick shift car? It seems to be a disappearing skill. I had to laugh at a news story last night about someone in Orlando who carjacked an elderly man and jumped behind the wheel of his Jeep, then promptly stalled the engine because he did know how use the clutch and shift it. He tried to start it a couple of times before giving up and running across the street to steal a different car. Fortunately for him, that one had an automatic transmission. Unfortunately for him, the cops caught him not far away.

I learned to drive in a Rambler American station wagon with a push button automatic transmission. But a year or so after I got my license, I bought a 1960 Ford Fairlane from my older brother, Jack. It had the old three-on-the-tree manual transmission, and when I said I didn’t know how to drive a stick shift, Jack assured me that he would teach me. He lived about 15 miles from my parents, and our dad dropped me off at his house and left. I paid Jack the $75 for the car (yes, in those days you could buy a car for $75. I actually bought one for $50 once). With me in the front passenger seat, Jack got behind the wheel, showed me the gear pattern and how to work the clutch and accelerator. Then told me to have at it. I stalled three or four times before I got it to moving in first gear, then ground my way into second. Jack said that was all I needed to know and for me to go home, he had things to do. I said I still didn’t know how to drive a stick shift and he said, “you’ll figure it out by the time you get home.” Well, kids, it was a bit of a lurching trip and I stalled out at every red light and stop sign. But by the time I got home I was doing pretty good. So beware, if I ever decide to carjack you, having a standard transmission won’t stop me!

It’s Thursday, so it’s time for a new Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audio book of undone, the first book in my buddy Jason Deas’ Burt Bigsley mystery series. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.

Thought For The Day – I bet when aliens from outer space cruise past Earth they lock their doors.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  8 Responses to “Still Looking For Answers”

  1. Then there’s needing to pull away from a stop facing uphill. It didn’t take me long to learn to drive my dad’s car that summer, though, because it was either learn or be stuck at home.

  2. Laughing at the straight stick bit. The first time I drove one was at age 12 driving a Jeep to yank our landlord out of a snowy ditch. But since I had been driving a tractor for years at that point, it wasn’t a problem. My youngest daughter had taken driver’s ed at high school. I was driving an old straight stick Chevette at the time. I was going on a biz trip for a week and told her she could drive it to school if she wanted. I took her on a teaching loop of about a mile in the neighborhood. By the time I came back she was speed shifting like a pro.

  3. We have had a teeter for many years & swear by it so, not surprised that the “pop”
    you heard was “problem solved.”

  4. My dad made me learn to drive on our ’62 Dodge Dart. He said that unless you learn to drive a manual transmission, you are’nt driving, you are just steering! He made me stop on hills and get going without rolling backwards, know how to check the oil and water, and be strong enough to change a tire before he would let me take my test! I made my boys learn the same things … good advice doesn’t get old.

  5. I learned on Farm Tractors which when you choose a gear that’s the one you are in to start. Then my first job I was shuttling Semis around a yard where I learned to shift in motion.
    When I ordered my first New Van it came with Four on the Floor but then I got Married. It took Four Clutches to teach my Late Wife how to drive it. Even had a Winter Car with Three on the Tree.
    Kathy wants nothing to do with a Standard so I’m stuck with an Automatic.
    Good Luck with your Follow-up and hope you fully recover.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It’s about time.

  6. You might want to pay a visit to your chiropractor. Your symptoms sound a lot like your neck may be out of adjustment, especially since that little ‘pop’ helped relieve some of them. Of course, you may have fixed that yourself on your Teeter, but it still doesn’t hurt to get it checked out by a pro in case there is a little more that needs to happen. I would also recommend an ice pack on your neck, believe it or not, as that may be where the swelling is that is causing a lot of your pain. Just prod around, gently, a little bit until you find the tender spot(s) and that is where the ice pack goes for 10 minutes at a time. Been there, done that, don’t need that stinking T-shirt again on my neck going out…

  7. Diane, I see a chiropractor on a regular basis, has done a lot to help my back. Was just there this morning and she says she thinks I may have fixed the problem. I hope so.

  8. Sure glad to hear you are better. Vertigo and dizziness are bad enough without the addition of a headache and back problems. Prayers.

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