This is my excuse:
Remember that back injury I talked about in September? Turns out it's a ruptured disc. Well, I feel better about being a whiny little brat about it now.
I went in to see the doc today and he put the above picture up on the screen, turned to me, and said, "well, I bet you can find the problem!" Heh, yep. He also said that the bright white parts that are right up against the vertebrae (inside the blue circle) are actually supposed to be inside the disc. Eeeewww. I told him I had a shock absorber leak, which got a chuckle out of him.
The good news is that I shouldn't need surgery and the doc says most ruptured discs go away on their own within 6 months.
I can resume normal activity as pain permits — unfortunately, pain isn't permitting riding yet (hockey is of course also right out) but I was glad to hear that the injury is "stable", meaning that if I do try to ride a little or go to a public skate, worst case is that it hurts. I'm not going to make it worse, per se.
So…yeah. I refused the epidural steroid injection the doc wanted me to get (since my last one didn't go so well) but I did agree to the 5-day stint on methylprednisolone. I see the doc again in a month and we'll go from there. With any luck it'll be healing and I'll either be back in physical therapy or otherwise well on my way to recovery.