Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Not Going to Surrender to the Pain

Looking over my first two years of senior-fitness blogging, I read many upbeat posts about snowy egrets, hummingbirds, cold-weather walking, warm-weather walking, and adventures on the trails with my loyal Superdawg. I am pleased to note that these posts have attracted 30,000 "views" from all around the world. I hope they have inspired some people to do more walking themselves.

Today, I have to say it is not easy to keep your eyes skyward or in the trees to spot birds and other wonders of Nature while having to lean on your walking stick every few steps, and stretch out your back so that the pain will subside enough to permit you to take a few more steps. Yes, despite another round of physical therapy this summer, the lower-back pain has returned, and now it migrates to the left hip and down the left leg. The only recourses offered by conventional medicine are injections of painkillers (epidurals) and surgery. Neither appeals to me.

Therefore, I have embarked on the chiropractic alternative. After some useful preliminary visits and review of an amazing x-ray of my spine, I have signed on for twice-a-week adjustments and related therapies such as trigger-point therapy, massage chair, cervical extension/compression, heat-cold, inversion, and electrical stimulation. I also will be using my well-respected and knowledgeable chiropractor as my fitness guru, and will do my best to follow his advice on nutrition and exercise. I like that he acknowledges my physical strong points from being fitness-conscious over the years, and that he is not promising overnight miracles as we work hard for easing of pain and enhanced spinal health.

As a last resort, surgery is still there, and I am of course a veteran of heart and knee surgeries. However, I believe in following natural paths as long as possible. It is hard right now to walk as far or observe as many beautiful birds as before, but it has been good to see my old buddy, the cormorant, down by the pond practically every day. Again, old Sadie the Superdawg has been understanding with regard to shortened jaunts. After all, we have taken turns being each other's personal trainer/nurse for the past 14 years. We will soldier on, and we will not surrender to the pain.

                                                       © Robert G. Holland  2014

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