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Archive for February, 2009

2/21/09

The decompression therapies seem to leave me very tired. I feel as if I’ve been to the gym afterward, and all I want is a hot shower and a warm bed. I attempt to give myself that, but always takes more time than I think it will to get home and do the few things necessary. I  have only been able to put in a dedicated session on my strengthening exercises once this week. I’ve kept up with the small 2x/daily exercises and stretches. That is the best I’ve been able to do this week, and that’s OK.

Listening to Louise Hay on the way to work this week has been nice. I’m reminded to pay attention to my thinking and my words. I am running up against a lot of my beliefs (that I don’t even think of as beliefs most of the time).  I am letting the process start of sorting the beliefs I want to keep and those I no longer wish to hold. I have done this numerous times in my past, and then over time I slide back into old ways and patterns. I am letting that be OK. Once I’ve learned whatever it is I need to learn, the changes will stick.

There are people who tell me to “just get the surgery.” I find myself utterly repelled by that thought. If it comes to the point that I cannot tolerate the pain, numbness or it is causing permanent damage, then I would have surgery. As I said before, I am not anti-surgery. Now that I am not in as much torment physically I am learning things that will help me for the rest of my life. The exercises that I am doing and the ones I will add when possible will my my lifelong companions. Sometimes this is irritating and annoying because I feel bound or trapped or maybe even punished by the need for them. Hopefully I will come to view them as friends and not irritants. It would have been fantastic if I had found these things in my 20s. Perhaps I would not be in the physical state I am in now. But, alas, that did not happen. For this moment, I can move past that fairly OK.

I also decided to address the overbearing depression that has been brought on as a result of this chronic pain, and loss of some activities that bring me the most joy. I am adding an antidepressant medication to my recovery regime. I can tell that this chronic condition has taken a toll on me mentally as well as physically. If the need to make a decision about surgery arises, I want to make that decision with as clear a mental state as possible.

I have allowed myself a long lie in this morning, and now I think I will take a very hot shower to ease sore muscles. Until next post.

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Today 2/18/09

Since memoirs are personal accounts of the author, I thought that an appropriate name for this category. I’ve not posted in MONTHS. I’ve been dealing with chronic back pain and all the “crap” that goes along with chronic pain. Decided to try writing some short memoir type posts.

Other than work, my life has become comsumed with pain and the cause of it. Short answer is scoliosis. According to orthopaedics, it is too mild to even talk about. I wholeheartedly agree it is nothing that needs any type of surgery. Where I disagree is that it is not the cause of my herniated and degenerated discs. You cannot have a curved and rotated spine and over time not think it will cause other problems that in turn cause pain, motion limitation, etc.

The bigger issue for my life is that the pain and now needles and numbing has made my love in life – dance – not possible. The pain is not so great that I can’t tolerate at this point. Last Aug I was out of my mind with it. Now my calf and foot feel like they are in icy water with needles or are mostly numb. There is also some loss of strength, maybe function. I am doing everything known to man to avoid surgery. It’s not that I don’t “believe” in surgery. It’s more that I believe in it being the last resort.

I’m on an exhaustive regime currently. I am going for decompression therapy 3x/week. I have strengthing exercises that I do 4-5 times a week. I have a few exercises and stretches that I do 2x/day, every day. This and work make up 90% of my waking time. I am mentally and physically worn out. Oh yea, I didn’t also mention the various heating packs, ice and  muscle rubs that I must regularly use. sigh…

I am trying to be very grateful for the health I do have. I lost a friend last week to cancer. In the light of that, my back problems seem so minor. So, I am also aggressively seeking to change my default mental state and way of thinking. I have always loved Louise Hay’s work. I’ve started listening to her on my iPod on the way to work as a way to start my day in a better state of mind.

I hope to be back sooner rather than later this time.

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