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A miracle begins a path

December 6, 2008

13 years ago at age 41 I injured my back.  It was a two stage injury; the two stages occurring about 4 months apart.

Stage one came while I was building a retaining wall out of treated 6 x 6 timbers. Not a high wall, but a wall just the same.  I worked like a dog, digging trenches, lagging timbers (bent over of course) leveling, stacking and pinning.  The final stage was driving 4′ long spikes into the ground as vertical support rods.  By this time of the job the muscles of my back were screaming as it had been about 5 days of work. Each swing of the hand held sledge drove bolts of pain into my low back, but being stubborn, I continued so the job would be completed by the time our weekend guests came.  Of course I wanted to show the project off.  

It got to the point where I needed to drag along a folding chair, sit and swing and wait out the pain after each strike of hammer to rod. The last rod in, I was left to rake out the gravel, clean up the mess, tools and myself and call the project done.  Needless to say by the time I got out of the shower I really could not walk.   My company came, admired the project,  laughed at “DUMBNESS”,  stayed the weekend while I laid around trying to recover.

Stage 2 began 4 months later, during which I had been trying to get my back to not hurt too badly with meds, some stretching, and hoping.  I was on a winter walk with my wife and some friends when I hit a patch of ice.  Instead of relaxing and letting myself fall, I kept on my feet (one foot) while doing a set of movements, twists, pirouettes and gyrations I hope to never see again.  I came to a stop, still upright and said,  I need to lay down NOW.  Luckily I was close by the house and was able to make it home.  I took off my shoes and lay down on the floor and remained there for about 6 months, other than trips to the doctors, chiropractor, therapy and anyone I felt could help.  

Unable to stand for more than 5 minutes due to shooting pains from mid back to left toe, in constant pain and unable to find anyone to help the typical questions began to build. Foremost in my head ongoing was , “Is this is, is this my life, laying here day to day?”  You can imagine the conversations I had with god,  myself and the related semi hallucinations brought on constant pain, and medications.

My main track was keeping up with massage work.  My chiropractor convinced me that the surgical procedure should be avoided at all cost. The orthopedics wanted to do back surgery. He actually told me to find a good set of hands to massage my peraformis muscles,  low back, hips and so on.  Pain killers really did nothing other then numb my brain but not much for the pain.

Then came the mothers day miracle.   I awoke at 5;30 am,  took two steps away from the bed and felt a “rip” cross my back that buckled my knees.  I managed to keep on my feet,  somehow made it down to my living room and dropped to the floor and lay perfectly still.  I found I could not move, turn my head or flinch a muscle without shooting pains.  This was the worst I had been.  My wife called the squad who came right out, took me to the emergency room, strapped to a flat backboard, on a bumpy ride from hell.

Two hours,  two shots of morphine,  and a few other major pain killers later the emergency room docs sent me home saying,  good luck,  there is nothing more we can do.  Luckily the drugs were enough to take the ride home.

The next morning, after a relatively calm night of sleep,  I awoke, turned over in bed,  rolled out, stood up and took a step, then another , and another.  There was almost no pain, except some residual soreness in my back where I had felt the muscles rip across the prior morning. A sign,  a miracle, a result of treatment finally from months of massage?  I choose to believe a combination of all three.

That day, almost that instant,  I chose to begin a path of  recovery that would include flexibility, mobility and balance training  to help avoid a repeat of my prior 6 months of suffering.

One Comment
  1. rae permalink

    More about what concrete things you did that day and in the following days, months to slowly but surely get your strength and life back


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