Maybe I shouldn’t have been doing the exercises with the kids
My lower back has me hostage. Relief is its ransom. My physiatrist, which is my pain specialist, and I have been around the block a few times trying to scare up any relief. Physical Therapy and the various exercises did very little. Accupuncture had the same results. Steroid injections registered relief. Unfortunately, I learned that steroids are mortal enemies of my osteoporosis in my back, which is what is causing the pain. Have you ever seen that image of the snake in a tight circle as it consumes its own tail.
When it comes to medication that’s going in the direction of having a head-on collision with body, Morphine. My kidney runs a high risk of failing because of the opiods.
There’s more than mere give and take, more like Peter robbing Paul to pay someone else, though I don’t remember who is getting robbed and who is getting paid. Okay people, this is where I need your help. I heard this phrase a lot while growing up, but I don’t remember many details. Can you help me out?
The question really lies in whether I’m living in the present or the future. We’re all struggling with this conundrum. Do I have enough money for retirement? How long will I live? But who’s to say that we have that much time? Why not make the most of life right now? The scale with those philosophies always on my mind. Would I rather be in severe pain and live a longer life or not be in as much pain, but not have a long life-pan. This question keeps the scale perpetually adjusting up and down.
In my quest for the Holy Grail of Pain Relief, I bounced to another physiatrist. Former football player was written all over his body in large letters. He’s the gentlest of giants that I have ever met.
I think the procedure he performed was called a nerve oblation. I know it’s a strange word, not something as easy and powerful as the word obliteration, even though that’s what I was looking for. Micro Pyro techniques burned nerve root endings. Kind of like Smart Bombs. The procedure paid off, but the duration was brief.
Unfortunately it doesn’t take much to upset the apple cart of pain and the scales of common sense become blind. Everywhere I turn, I’m shelled with catchy phrases such as Seize the Day or Just Do It. The momentum of mastering the moment
has me doing all sorts of stupid things that is hurting me in the longrun, even shortrun.
In today’s physical education classes, I ran with the class. It was just two laps around the gym. The best motivators are when I yell, “Can you beat me” or “I’m going to catch you.” I tell them that their eight-year-old bodies, or whatever age they were, ought to be in better shape than this fifty-four-year-old. My former partner Phyllis refered to me as the Old Gray Mare that wasn’t what she used to be. My body had started to disintegrate bedore I got into my twenties. I was so hard on my body because I didn’t think I would live very long. I’ve already surpassed my self-imposed agelimit.
It’s not like I ran a marathon or even a mile. I ran a mere two laps around an elementary sized gymnasium. Two of these laps is a drop in the bucket. I have five classes. Running with children is like running with the puppies. I have to watch my step closely as I run to avoid taking out small tykes who must think that I can either jump over them or perhaps run through them. Good thing I didn’t do any of the running and exercises with the Kinders. Today was a bonus day as I don’t usually have those darlings. People are so cute at that stage of life.
I did take it easy on the kids and only do two to three exercises. One of them were Side Stradle Hops, aka Jumping Jacks. Some schools require PC names. While teaching at the military-style school, Willamette Leadership Academy, I learned that Jumping Jacks is a derogatory phrase and it was the military that was trying to clean up its act. That’s all I remember. Perhaps one of my faithful followers can explain whether I’m barking up the right tree and fill in the gaps like why or how?
I did take it easy on my self with this activity. In some classes we only did ten though in some classes where I felt warmed up as I hadn’t stopped moving in a while, we did twenty-five repetitions.
I taught them my all-time favorite exercise. Up Downs. Some of you may be groaning by now and perhaps questioning my sanity. I think there’s another name for this popular conditioning drill. Every coach worth their weight in gold had this in their bag of tricks.
I told the kids that this was an exercise I used to dish out while teaching at Willamette Leadership Academy when cadets failed to do their homework. Today’s five groups of kids liked them, but I think it’s a lot easier to enjoy something when it isn’t wrapped in the tissue of punishment. Erase that. WLA doesn’t believe in punishment. The word is correction. Unwise choices lead to corrective action. Punative is in the eye of the beholder.
Up Downs begins by simply jogging in place, waiting for the word Down to be yelled or a the irritating tweet of a whistle. In a split second upon hearing the transitional word, the participant would flop flat face down to the ground. Luckily I’ve never had anyone smash their face aginst a hard surface and break something. At WLA, there seemed to be a correlation between the uncoordinated doing their homework, and the others not so much, though I did have students who preferred being outside doing up downs. They’d either not do their homework to guarantee a spot on the field or they would pretend to have not done it. At one point, I had my favorite go-to-first sergent, Sergeant Ough, who gladly took the deliquents out. Normally this computer tech guy didn’t interact with many people and yelling helped him vent built up frustration. Afterall, when is there a time when something’s not gone wrong with technology?
In an attempt at trying to explain why I do what I do; why I play and exercise with the kids knowing full well that these activities are a bad influence on degenerative back. I’ve never been one to spectate. Yes, I will watch the New England Patriots win the 2015 Superbowl against the Seattle Seahawks, and I do watch a lot of televised sports, but I can’tget sucked onto the playing field. They’ve not invented that mode of transport yet. Not that I’m the first to know these kinds of things.
But when I am there and I can reach out and touch somebody, something takes over control of me and I get possessed with the younger years of me, years of many moons ago. To run just for the heck of it is a freeing experience, and physically I sure wouldn’t mind being in my twenties again, though I would request to have my current mental capacity and wisdom that’s been built during those years.
In retrospect to today’s agenda, the running wasn’t a gregious assault on myself, but definitely I was not in my right mind when I did those up downs. My intention was to demonstrate once and and then stop and monitor. But I couldn’t do just one. I had to keep going. Can I blame it on momentum?
Reviewing the momentous moments of momentum, the pain has steadily increased since the end of October. I started teaching PE at the end of October. I had just started to recover from the grueling pain that gardening puts me through, so it’s not like I haven’t experienced this high level of pain over the years; there are cycles as the since my pain ebbs and flows in a unpredictable cycle, though this cycle had neon flashing lights warnimg me to not enter. It’s like movies when someone is chasing someone and they run upstairs when they could have run down. They must be possessed as well.
With high hopes of seeing my physiatrist sooner rather than later I took the calendar off of the nail. The remnants of January offered no relief.
February was another story. Numerous chicken scrathings covering almost the entire month intimidates me. I’m a bare bones essentialist when it comes to scheduling things. I prefer that several days pass between appointments, and I’m allergic to have back to back meetings But with all of the writing, hope of seeing that pain specialist unfolded its wings only to be once againt hammered by the cruel hands of reality. My reality. Your reality may be nicer to you than mine is to me.
None of the zillions of appointments in February were for the pain specialist. Maybe I was wrong and that I hadn’t written the appointment down. I’ve always been awful; my track record in that department is dreadful. I especially started slacking when more and more agencies and businees set up a call system where they would alert me a few days ahead as a reminder.
I was positive that when I called OMG, the monopoly winners of the medical care in this area, they would tell me what day in February I was to come in. I even apologized to the receptionist for not writing down my appointment.
I always get a kick out of people asking for my birthdate and then name to identify Susan Honthumb when there’s a lot of people born on that date even year, but since my sisters and I, as well as some nieces, are the only stockholders of the Honthumb name. My surname going extinct will have to wait for another blog.
She told me that my appointment wasn’t until March. I didn’t catch the number at that point I was numbed all of my senses. Good news, bad news. I was pleased that I had written the appointment down. I just hadn’t looked that far into the future. Afterall, Daffodills will be in full bloom by then. Spring will be around the corner. How can I return to gardening if I haven’t gone through my hibernation of healing?
Now the pain is off the chart, though I do okay while I am moving. Constantly moving. In this way, all of the activities with the kids, has been goo, though you have to be standing on your head to see that point of view; while moving, the motion gives me some almost painfree moments, but once I sit still or stand still, the pain rears its ugly head and let’s me have it. I can’t let stiffness of stillness set in.
Because the morphine isn’t cutting the mustand, I am forced to look in a different direction. Adding a chiropractor and masseuse to my team, has started to pay dividends. In my search for support, I’ve also been looking to myself for some answers. I am, afterall, the most important member of my team is me, though I’ve not been my strongest advocate. I wouldn’t be surprised if most if not all of you can relate to this. Why do we get in our own way? Not only do we not help, but we block progress?
And when I am in dire straits, (Or should that be straights) can I do do to help reduce the pain. How much ice and heat treatments do I do? Am I stretching enough? Yoga and meditation have been highly suggested, but where’s Yoga on the calendar? I can say that I’m getting better at setting time aside for some vanilla time for myself so I can veg out and still the waters of my mind. Iron out alll of the riples. It helps when a dog or cat or both park on my lap. It breaks my hear to have to disturb them. It takes a lot to turn off the chatter in my head or at least mask most of the white noise. Without even noticing it, while I’m in the throes of silencing my mind, I forget about the pain. I’m so busy trying to get the freeway of speeding cars to not only slow down, but to park. It would take a lot of Staties to pull this off, but with enough practice it is possible.
Of course, there are easier ways to distract the mind. The pain specialist who burned the nerve root endings, suggested inplanting a would do just that. You may have seen those small TEMS or whatever they called where small electrodes or something are attached to the painful area. With a push of a button, you tell the unit to pulse or pound or vibrate. The brain is all over trying to decipher what that sensation is doing that it forgets about all the pain it was inflicting.
They’ve created a unit that that would be implanted in my body and it would do the same thing: scramble signals to prevent pain messages from getting through; And since I am easily distracted, the odds of having success with the unit would be high..
Insurance balked, but didn’t let me take first base. According to the person or persons in control of the money bags, they were not convinced that I hadn’t sought out all of the other possible ways to treat me, all the cheaper ways that is.
I know that it can’t be easy for these people to stamp deny on someone’s chance of having a better life. I was especially enthusiastic about the procedure since had met a wounded vet that testified the inplant was all that it was cracked up to be and relieved him from the short chain of pain, allowing him to do whatever he wanted to do. Talk about Freedom.
And that’s exactly what I’ve been doing, though my my freedom of doing what I want to do doesn’t take the pain away; it creates pain. I believe that the consequences are worth every stabbing jolt of pain. I choose to embrace the pain and have as much fun as I can while I can. We all know that life is too short. I would much prefer to die young and have exciting times than to become elderly and live with regrets.