Friday, August 18, 2017

Gray Lady Down

I've been dreaming up a lot of projects I could do, but I'm actually on hiatus for a while. 

A few weeks back, my arms started to hurt and were hard to lift and painful to flex. I sat in a chair for most of the day waiting for that to pass. It didn't. 
Then my back chimed in, which was where the muscles in the back had knotted up causing the arm problems. It went downhill from there!
Honestly, in my mind I'm still 19 and up for high adventure. Maybe that's why I never mentioned here that I had spinal fusion surgery in 2007, which lead to early retirement. 

It took years for my back to return to somewhat normal.

I've had a lifetime of back problems due to an injury in 1972 while working evening traffic in a RADAR unit in Tampa Florida. I've posted some Air Force pictures of me, around that time, on the upper right corner if you're interested in a visual. 

That night, when all the planes had landed, I took a minute to bend over and fix a loose wheel on my crappy government chair when a 20-pound, overhead emergency light came loose and swung down on its cable, hit the middle of my lower back and knocked me head-on into a heavy metal door. 

After going to bed that night, I woke up around 3 a.m. and my back had locked completely up, and I couldn't move! It's a scary feeling. My heart goes out to the men and women who get injured and live paralyzed the rest of their life.

I've had several bouts of that over the years (due to herniated discs) until the fusion surgery in 2007.

During spinal fusion surgery, three of my lower back vertebra were fused together using the bone of a cadaver and a piece of bone from my hip. 

As you can imagine, I have some limited motion in my lower back, but most of the time you wouldn't know I have a problematic back. I have never regretted having the surgery. 

What I do regret is that through the years, I didn't seek chiropractic help. 

Only one time, around 1994, when my back froze up and the E.R. (at the HMO I was a member of) kept giving me drugs and sending me home on bedrest even though I could barely move without two people assisting me. 

I, who rarely ever called in sick, was off work for over 2 weeks on intermittent bedrest. Well, it was actually "floor rest" because if I got up to go to the bathroom during the night, I usually couldn't get back into the bed.

During that incident, my mother and another person put me in mom's car and she drove me to her chiropractor. I could barely get into the office. After an hour of treatment, I walked out by myself. It wasn't a pretty walk...but it was on my own two feet!

I completed a 6-week treatment plan with that chiropractor, Dr Wyrick, which I (a single mother barely making it) paid for since my HMO only wanted to provide drug treatment. After the 6 weeks, I was back to normal again.

Now when I look back, I really wonder why I didn't see a chiropractor again through the years during the sporadic bouts of back issues! 

I can only say, in the military, we were taught to "suck it up" and keep going.

I've been seeing a chiropractor for 3 weeks now for my current back/leg/arm problem, and I'm feeling much better, almost normal. 

In fact, better than normal because now I'm sleeping through the night whereas, before treatment, I was used to being awake every few hours!

I just wanted to share with you what I've learned lately for my own situation. 

1. The sign on the wall in the treatment room reads:
Manipulation First...
Then Drugs...
Maybe Surgery

2. This clinic advised to stay away from heat, as in only use ice.

3. Turns out, babies can benefit from chiropractic care. Every time I'm at the office, I see at least one or two babies with their moms.

Let me be clear, I'm not giving medical advice here. I just want to relay what works for me. You should always check with your doctor concerning medical conditions and treatment.
I'm not trying to be "woe is me" about this. I think I'm more the norm than the exception...half the people I know have back issues. 

Just thought you might like to know that if you, or someone you love, suffers from back pain and related issues -- there may be some good treatment out there just waiting for you to stumble on in.

Thanks for dropping by!


  1. Takes a very strong minded and brave woman to overcome the injuries you sustained and live with the new normal (I hate that phrase). Hugs.

  2. Joy, I think half the people out there are probably suffering similar back problems. The Chiro said I have a lot of scar tissue, again pretty normal. He recommended medical massage therapy. It's always something!

  3. Oh my that does sound painful.
    You sound like a real fighter to have been through all that!!

  4. Backs, the older we get, no matter how well we've treated them through the years, seem to break down on us.
    Glad you're doing betting. Our regular doctor says the worse thing you can do for a back is go to bed. Keep moving as much as you're able.

  5. Hi Sugar, sorry to hear about the bad back. I get one myself, so I know how uncomfortable it can be. I hope you get better sometime soon.

  6. So sorry to hear about your back problems. I have had back problems off and on for years. If I can do my exercises I'm good, but when I can't it is heck.

    Take care of your back and hopefully you will be back on track.

    I liked this post very much as I learned all about what a terrific woman your are. My hat's off to you and I wish your back will be better.


  7. I'm a firm believer in chiropractic, glad it's working for you. My back has been making a statement of late, and after consulting a my family physician, and some minor testing, he told me it was my age, I'm so ticked off, although these test did reveal another issue, that I've dealt with, I still have a sore back. I think I may be making an appointment with my chiropractor, I do love him.

    1. I seldom go to the doctor. I've had so many problems with incompetent doctors I just don't go. Hope you get back to feeling good soon.

  8. I'm sorry to hear of your back trouble, Sugar! My goodness, you have been through a lot! I hope that you have a lasting recovery and remain as pain-free as possible. There is nothing worse than chronic pain. My eldest daughter was in a car accident years ago and injured her neck. If it wasn't for chiropractic therapy she would be in constant pain. It worked wonders and now she is mostly pain free. Whenever it flares up, she goes in for treatment. Chiropractic therapy works! Hope you are back to your old self soon. xx Karen

  9. I did chiropractic care for several problem is having fibromyalgia it makes it hard to be touched and popped like that. Then my body rebels for days into weeks afterwards. I hope that you feel better soon and the chiro care helps you.

  10. My mother has suffered from terrible back pain for as long as I remember. She went to see a chiropractor and apparently it made her back worse so I can only assume it must work on some back injuries but not others.

    I hope you feel much better very soon.

  11. I'm so sorry you've been going through this but glad you found chiropractic to help. I've got lower back pain on occasion, but so far heat and an occasional (rare) ibuprofen keep it under control. Hope you continue feeling good. Chiropractic really is amazing, I've done that, too, but as you say, insurance won't pay for it.