“Stop me if you think you’ve heard this one before…” (Part 5)

Posted: September 9, 2015 in In Transition, Injuries and Owies
Tags: , ,

Everyone gets little niggles from time to time.  In my case, lately, it’s been this nagging knot right between my shoulder blades.

I woke up with it this past Sunday morning but at the time it was no big deal and I wasn’t worried about it, like, at all.  I just chalked it up to sleeping wrong, or maybe twisting the wrong way in the shower, or whatever, and I simply went about my business.  I barely even noticed it for the remainder of the day. On Monday morning, there it was again, only a little worse this time.  I went for a fun swim in the canal with the Coach and kids and it seemed to work itself out.  But that night, ouchie, the small niggle had worked itself up into a bigger niggle and suddenly going to sleep wasn’t quite so easy as I couldn’t get comfortable enough.  Instead, I lied awake, tossing and turning and readjusting the pillow over and over again hoping to find a position that allowed me to lie more comfortably and fall asleep.  It didn’t happen.

By yesterday I was more than annoyed and even straightening up to walk around the house was a chore.  I felt like some decrepit old man, which, HRH  was kind enough to keep pointing out; ever my biggest fan.

Anyway, by yesterday evening I had had enough and decided that I had to do something.  I went routing through my gym bag looking for my trusty tube of A5-35 but, when I fished it out, I was disheartened to see that it was all caked with crude and mold.  Clearly, I haven’t used this thing since the early 90’s judging by the green ring of crust around the cap.


I scoured the cabinets, my shaving kits, the cupboards and turned up nothing.


Then I came across this:


A little sample packet of ‘Lakota Topical Pain Reliever’ with the words “MUSCLE PAIN” emblazoned in green across its front.  It was like a gift from God sent directly down from the Heavens for my benefit.  I think I might have even given a little prayer of thanks.

Anyway, they used to hand these things out in the schwag bags at local running races and triathlons and, usually, they just ended up in the garbage.  But, hey, desperate times call for desperate measures, amiright?

I quickly browsed the back of the packet and was pleased to read:

“For temporary relief of aches and pain of muscles. Relieves muscle pain associated with overuse, intense exercise, sprains and injury.”


Sign me up.

So after dinner I cracked open the packet and had the kid liberally apply the rather odd smelling goo to my back. “It looks like snot”, she told me.  It was a real bonding moment, let me tell you.  Afterwards we went down to watch some television.

At first, it kind of tingled and I figured, ‘Great! It’s working.’  But then the tingle turned to heat.  ‘Okay, this is a bit intense, but I can manage’  I thought.  Then the heat turned to REAL heat and I started to worry.  In fact, calling it ‘heat’ at this point would be like describing molten lava as simply ‘tepid’.  And even then, there’s “hot”, and then there’s HOT.  And this was definitely HOT.  I started to stress as sweat began to pour off my forehead.  Surely this weird devil’s concoction would reach its critical mass, boiling point, or whatever, and begin to subside, right?


It just kept escalating, like, seriously escalating.  It was like a hot plate had been applied directly to my back.  What the fuck are the Lakota’s putting in this shit anyway?  Napalm?

After 20 minutes or so, it was like somebody had poured gasoline over my back and lit it on fire and I was concerned I was blistering…it was that bad.  Furthermore, HRH’s little pinkies were also beginning to burn as well.

Oh crap.

What have I done?

I scanned the packet again and was dismayed to see further down, ‘Risk Information’.

“Transient irritation, burning, stinging, or redness are normal, expected actions and usually diminish after repeated application.”


They’re fucking with me, right?

Being on fire is not normal.

Warm and tingly, surely…hot, maybe…on fire, shit no!

By this time I was in a full blown panic and went to the bathroom to take full stock of the situation.  Upon doing so I hear, “Terry! Oh my god! Your back!”

Oh shit.

And don’t just take my word for it, check this out:



Here’s a closer look:


Not good.

In short, I freaked.  I jumped into the shower and blasted the cold water over my back.  Except in its current angry state this wasn’t exactly as relieving as I had hoped it would be.  Every single drop of water that spit out of the shower facet felt like a little razor slicing into my sensitive skin.  It was painful and I could only stand a minute or so before I hopped out and sprinted upstairs to find the cold, soothing sunburn cream which I then had HRH  rub into my back as well.  I’m sure I’ve probably left some sort of mental scar on her at having to rub lotion into the back of her half naked stepfather but, at this point, I was in absolute agony.

I shit you not.

The only thing that would ease the burning scalding sensation was applying an ice pack directly to my back.  Afterwards, I had to wrap myself in a towel soaked in cold water so that I was now walking around like a genuinely injured man.

Not unlike this:

Except with less dancing, of course.

After an hour or so the burning finally started to subside a bit and my back slowly returned to normal.

Thank Christ!

The knot, however?  Absolutely no difference; it was still right there between my shoulder blades where it had always been.  I guess my suffering had been in vane.

So, this begs the question: what in the sweet Sam Hell is in that Lakota crap anyway?

Reviewing the packet once more I note the ingredients include: Canada Balsam, Birch Oil, Juniper Berry, Yarrow and Capsaicin. Sound innocent enough, right?  Well, I went looking on Google this morning and discovered that Capsaicin is actually a by-product of chili peppers.


So, basically, it’s pepper spray for your skin.


I also noted that that the Lakota website suggested that I might have to apply it 3 or 4 times daily during the “initial stages of use”.  Umm, yeah, no.

Not. A. Fucking. Chance.

Personally, I’d rather dive into an active volcano than ever apply this stuff again.   I mean, seriously, you’d have to be a complete and utter sadist to ever rub this shit into your skin more than once.

So, what do I think of this Lakota product in general?


Note the ice pack still on my back.

I think I’ll just carve out the knot myself with a soup spoon as that would be infinitely less painful.

  1. Saskia says:

    Yikes! I don’t think they will appoint you as their spokesman anytime soon.

  2. Ken says:

    At least you didn’t forget it was on your hand and went to take a leak.

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