8/23/19

The back saga continues. In short, the new MRI of my low back issues did not convince my surgeon that I needed surgery and he was singularly unhelpful in having any solutions or understanding of how I could be having the symptoms I am experiencing. I think he did a very good job with my cervical operation, though his narrow view of my current presentation was puzzling to me. However, he did recommend that I see a D.O.,who is a non-surgical spine specialist. Because this other man is so highly sought after, (as I found out from other Kendal residents) my appointment with him isn’t scheduled until October 31st. I have also found another local lumbar surgeon recommended by residents, for a second opinion of my MRI. Him, I will see on September 12th.

I am still quite certain that a bulging disc touching the nerve root at L4 is largely responsible for my pain and constant inflammation. I am hoping that someone with new eyes will either confirm or deny this. If I am wrong, I hope to learn how to interperet what is happening correctly and offer me other solutions to deal with my issues going forward. In the meantime, as soon as I understood that my relief was not forthcoming from somebody outside of me, I began to renew my own resurces of self healing. My nutritionist continues to send me supplements that have reduced the pain level, I have summoned my own “mind over back pain” visualizations with deeper focus, and I am finally a legally registered medical marijuana user in Ohio. Cannabis is a great help to many with spinal pain and MS damage, and I am no exception.

All of the above tools do not eliminate my pain, but have brought it down to manageable levels. I still am very careful and cannot accomplish as much I would like to every day, but I am not in agony. It is tolerable, and for that, I am very grateful. Over time, I am having more pain-free moments, which I try to use as a template to calm my overworked hyper-alert brain-immune system-inflammation cycle. Slowly I am retraining my nervous system to communicate more quietly. Once again, my body is a Teacher for me to disengage from the physical trauma/drama of living in my body. As I have said many times before, I’d like to learn my life lessons from a different textbook, but this is the only one I have. I respect it, and so far I am learning to love it over and over again. Love is healing, active, patient, strong, and kind.

Here is an August poem.

After the Lawnmower 8/19/19

Stillness

Intermittent trill of cicadas

the slightest breath of a breeze

swishes leaves of the viburnum bush

small birds twitter below 

loud honkers above

conversations flutter through the open window

air conditioning units hum across the way

At Buttonbush Pond, no rain

abandoned shores of mud 

frog eyes float in the shallows

Still, quiet, camouflaged

startled, their strong legs

push them deeper 

into what is left 

of the dark fermenting brew

Crickets chime me to sleep at night

Misty nostalgia

swirls a cloak

around another passage

evoking the past

anticipation rises 

shedding

unhurried tapestries of seasoned gold

I need only sit, and watch, and listen

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