Ted’s essays

Rx – phase III

Using proper lifting techniques in excess is not the normal back injury. “The Experts” all KNOW that I only think I didn’t pull, pop, snap and twist my back to cause the disability. A physician who doesn’t listen is useless for conscious customers. I didn’t waste a penny, let alone $85 for five minutes of their dear time to get a prescription for useless pharmaceuticals with horrid side-effects.

I knew what I did wrong* and knew what I had to do to fix it. Ice packs, alternating max doses of Ibuprophen and Acetametophin kept the pain at a level where it told me loud-and-clear that I was NOT to bend over, lift and that I was to spend a great deal of time flat on my back.

After a very long two weeks, I entered phase II where the drugs were no longer necessary, but the pain would communicate quite well exactly what I was allowed to do and what activities were prohibited. That was a very long two months ago.

My physician has recently allowed me to begin carrying things as long as I don’t pick them up, but my back does have to spend some quality time in full contact with carpet or mattress afterwards. In the last week I have begun being able to ride my bicycle a bit, though I discovered nine miles was quite overboard for starters… four seems to be good. My discs now seem able to handle a little more compression load, so I began doing a few situps – very few and very cautiously.

But the pain of the bruised discs is now being joined by regional pain. Or the disc pain is down enough I can feel the other. Or something like that.

Okay body, what are you trying to tell me now?

Aha! Phase III began today with a trip to a massage practitioner. Oh yes. I am an incredible jumble of knots that need to be untied. I had no idea I had tensed up in so many places and to such a degree. This may take a while, but I know I am on the right track now. I made a huge improvement and will be having her retrain my body weekly until it gets the hang of letting go.

I have a surgeon friend who actually DOES listen well, but specializes elsewhere in the body. He has cautioned me to think in terms of 6 months for healing a back injury where I had initally been thinking 6 weeks. I am now confident I’ll be there a bit ahead of his schedule… way far off my excessively optimistic one, though.

A very nice side benefit is that I found a masseus who knows what she is doing and does it very well. I also rediscovered the benefits of knowledgeable, skilled massage that I seem to have forgotten over the decade-and-a-half since I last had one.

Better still, she is in nearby Darby. I am getting used to the reality that a lot of things are not… nearby, that is.


* confessions of a 64-year-old idiot: I uprooted 200 feet of wooden fence posts and 15 feet of willow saplings with my hands… the last few with my back suggesting I ought to quit soon … real soon …. NOW! All with my back straight and vertical in the recommended position, mind you.

I have no idea now why they had to be pulled up by the roots when I have perfectly good pruning shears that could cut them off at ground level year after year until they finally give up. Problem is, I am unable to bend over to prune them … because, you see, I have a back injury.