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Discussions With My Back

I had a long discussion with my spine today, it wasn’t very fruitful.

After a recent fall, I developed a a series of acute pains in my buttocks, thighs and legs, to the point that restricted my activities and walking. The soreness continued at night, making sleep another painful process. I discussed this condition with our family doctor who recommended an MRI of the spine. The results showed that I had spinal stenosis of the lower back

(lumbar L 3-4). Went to a neurosurgeon who explained in clear and concise detail the anatomy of the spine, the causes, symptoms, conditions and treatment. It seems that this problem had been developing for a long time and had reached a point where a surgical procedure is probably the only cure.

So I talked to my spine to see if it could help me in my distress and soon discovered that it was in no mood to cooperate. “Bob,” it said, “what did you say so many times in the past, I quote “I (Bob Hall) have a cast iron stomach and a cast iron back.” Well, your cast iron back just gave up due to abuse and unnecessary roughness.” I replied, “I’m sorry, back, what did I do?”

“DO! You dummy,” retorted spine, “why did you leave that cushy job running a corporation and wait until you were in your fifties, when your body is deteriorating, to become a macho orchardist and farmer? “You thought it was great fun to handle thousands of heavy bushels of apples for weeks at a time, heaving 80 pound apple bins around the orchard as if they were frisbees and the dumbest stunt of all, lifting 600 pound bins of apples to slide on the forklifts. And, manhandling hundreds of heavy rocks to clean the cornfields didn’t help one bit!”

“I said that I was sorry, what can you do to help?” Spine replied: “Sorry will get you nowhere, sorry is a state of mind. Sorry can’t make me better, it’s too late, only a scalpel can! Please give me the surgeons’ bona fides and ask him to be gentle." Oh, by the way, have you checked with your cast iron stomach lately?"

Some days it just doesn’t pay to get up out of bed.


Easton, MD


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