I didn't really want to continue to post about health issues but at the moment not much else has been going on and I did want to share what I've learned and been going through the past 2 weeks so that if anybody else is having similar trouble it may give you some ideas for treatment. Now, ya'll know I'm not a doctor and don't even play one on TV but this is just what I've been doing and how it's worked for me. I was fairly disgruntled after my last visit to my orthopedic doctor and only having more pills shoved in my face, so I decided to look around for other options and ended up making an appointment with a recommended chiropractic doctor. The chiropractor did complete spinal X-rays, not just spots here and there, and that was an eye opener for sure! Seeing my whole spine from 2 different views really explained a lot. I have a small crook at my neck (below the fusion) and a small one way down at the bottom but I have a fairly significant bend right between my shoulder blades. It's out about 3/8-1/2" actually. I have had muscle spasms and cramps in that area for years but never really thought about my spine being messed up there. My tailbone is a little wonky also, so basically, my spine zigs and zags all over the place and it ain't supposed to. Now, the doc assured me he had seen worse, and I don't doubt it, but this may be what is causing me a great deal of pain and trouble and if I don't get it corrected it will just continue to worsen until I could become almost handicapped. He also showed me a number of diagrams as to how all the organs of the body are connected to the spine via major nerves and if you are having trouble with an organ, say irregular heartbeats, it is often because the corresponding vertebrae in your spine is out of whack. Now, I know a lot of people don't trust chiropractors and this would all sound pretty stupid and woowoo, but it makes perfect sense to me. Maybe I'm stupid and woowoo but whatever. When he pointed out every one of my vertebrae that are out of place it matched exactly with every organ that I am having issues with. So, I have started going twice a week for adjustments and therapy to get my spine straightened back out. As much as he can anyway. He does know about Klippel-Feil and said of course, he cannot correct the fusions I have but can help with the spinal instability and crookedness. Another thing he also said was that, the vertebrae around the current fusion, will over time also try to fuse together (which I didn't think would happen) and that could be very bad considering it's in my neck. As you get older your disk tend to degenerate and calcium deposits form on the edges of the vertebrae. Because mine are way ahead of most my age, those deposits could get big enough to touch and ultimately fuse together. Regular therapy should prevent this though.
So...it will take some time to get straighten back out. He said my spine has obviously been like this for years and even the muscles around it have moved and set to compensate for being out of plumb and out of square. In my first treatment he said my spine would not even move in one area due to scar tissue and such but things have started to loosen up a bit and the pain radiating down my leg is pretty much gone at this point. The adjustments make me very sore though and I usually feel like crap for that day. The next day though I feel better and so it goes. Hopefully, as my spine and muscles get straighter, I will get to where it doesn't hurt so much and things will move easier.
I guess I said all that to say also that these past 2 weeks have found me in a contemplative mood as I have spent so much time laying on ice packs and such. There has not been a whole lot I can do lately and that leads to a lot of soul searching and wondering about the future. I know a great deal of my back issues will get better but at some point I have to ask myself just how much strain I want to put back on it and what activities now hold precedent over others. Just how much more can I do and still be able to reasonably enjoy what I've built when I really get old? I've debated whether or not I should continue my pottery. Many older potters I know have some serious back and arm issues and many eventually learn to throw standing up. I may have to go that route. I do know that major production pottery is not an option anymore. I just can't sit (or stand) at the wheel for hours on end churning out a hundred mugs or what have you. I never sold many dinnerware sets anyway due to the price! Maybe I should switch to another medium of art all together?
I'm also seriously contemplating just how much more of this house I can build. I think finishing the kitchen and other similar inside work will be no problem once I get going again but what about the other half? Will I ever get to it anyway? I was recently talking about at least extending the roof over the deck and expanding the deck itself. How much roof framing can I do? There's a lot of outside concrete still to pour also. And a lot of stone to lay, patios and flower beds. I'll admit I was fairly bummed when I thought about it all after first seeing those X-rays. Several people have suggested that I should just apply for disability and forget it. But....I just ain't ready to throw in the towel yet. If I learned anything all those years in construction, I learned that there is always a way. I may have to sit in a special chair while I lay one little stone at a time, or learn to throw standing up and I may even have to pay another carpenter to help on some framing or roofing but I think there is always a way. All of life is just one step at a time. Just keep puttin' one foot in front of the other.
Now!! How about some flowers!? One reader had asked me where I got the seeds for my zinnias and I honestly can't remember that far back. I have no idea. Mama may have given them to me or maybe I bought them. At any rate, I would be more than happy to share these zinnias seeds with anybody that would like some. They procreate well!! Just email me your address (ann.beaird @gmail.com) if you like and I'll send you a packet of seeds from these very plants. I assure you I have plenty to share and don't mind at all.