I have a bad back. Lots of people say that. Back pain plagues millions of people around the world. Commercials lead you to believe that one pill taken each morning will have one throwing hay bales or swinging golf clubs in a matter of minutes after ingestion. I do neither of these activities. I just want to lift a large laundry detergent container or rather full grocery bag.

I’ve had MRIs, X-rays and CT scans and they all have said about the same things over time. Arthritis, bulging discs, calcium build up, little stenosis, little scoliosis, tons of inflammation. I’ve worn sensible shoes for years. I had my first foot surgery when I was 19. Never did wear sexy shoes. Strappy little shoes do not accommodate orthotics.

On top of all of the spinal issues, I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 1981. They didn’t even call it that then. Doc called it Fibrositis. A few years later I was told I had Sjogren’s Syndrome. This causes dryness of the eyes, nose, mouth, stomach and well on down the route. Both cause body pain.

I do pretty well when rested, doped up and being careful. You’d never think picking up a 17 pound cat could throw you off kilter. I get so angry. There are days I want to break windows and smash pottery. I’d never be able to pick up the pieces so I don’t do that. My husband does enough for me already. There in enters the guilt. Feeling guilty and at times left out because you just can’t participate.

We have a Harley Davidson motorcycle. It’s beautiful. On a good day I can ride with my husband for a spin. I have only ridden once in two years with him. Makes me very sad and once again angry. This was something we were supposed to do together.

I’ve seen orthopedic surgeons, done tons of physical therapy, seen neurosurgeons and gone to rheumatologists. It stinks because until these conditions get worse they can’t do much. Even if they did do something, it probably wouldn’t help. I’ve done meditation. I’ve been given information on yoga.

Last night I slept with onion slices in my socks. Yes. Really. My daughter found it on a holistic website and sent it to me. It is supposed to suck out bad stuff in the body and help relieve pain. We said why the heck not? I love onions and it didn’t hurt and I am doing things this morning and I think I will try it again. So what if it is the placebo effect. I DON’T CARE. Anything that helps. At least it’s not some voo-doo in a bottle for $79.95 plus shipping that cures everything within THREE DAYS and I’d be running marathons this summer with celebrities and blah, blah, blah. Snake oil. Yes. I’ve tried a lot of goofy cures. There is eternal hope.

That is actually the key to getting better. Hope. Not only hope, but faith and acceptance that it may improve and that I can handle it. Small improvements are thrilling but also scary because you just don’t want them to go away. Having a good day makes me a little anxious because I want a good day tomorrow too. But, there you go…acceptance. If people don’t believe you hurt as much as you do…so what! When it comes down to it, the person who needs to believe and love us the most is ourselves.

So here’s to onion slices, excellent docs and loving family and friends. My hope, faith and acceptance.

Until next time…


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