Look Closely


It’s the balloons.

They flew once.

Now they have been caught in a tree’s branches where they will likely deflate and die. Was this an accident? Or, were they launched? Probably those of us who didn’t see where the balloons rose from will never know.

I do know this.

I went to my doctor yesterday. You know my ailments so I won’t backtrack and waste your time. There are two additional issues. One is fairly simple. Bursitis. I had a corticosteroid injection and I should be feeling better sometime his weekend.

The other.

Not so simple. As we age internal body parts change. Sometimes they calcify, like my vertebrae which actually doesn’t cause me any direct pain. Sometimes they narrow, like arteries which can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Sometimes narrowing occurs in the spine. That’s called stenosis.

That’s what I have. It’s brought on, in part, by age. Arthritis doesn’t help. And, there may be some genetics involved.

Essentially, inside of the spine there is what amounts to a tube. It’s wider at the top and narrows as it gets to my tailbone. Inside of the tube there are nerves. Stenosis occurs when the tube narrows so much that the walls are pressing on the nerves.

My symptoms confirm it. There are times when my hamstrings feel so tight that I can’t stretch them. Sometimes, I have this weird feeling that my feet aren’t touching the ground. Eventually, it passes. Until the next time.

There is a repair. Surgery. Before you say oh no, not back surgery, this isn’t that. The work isn’t done by an orthopedic surgeon. It is done by a neurologist. It’s minimally invasive. It’s done in the office as an outpatient procedure. I can even drive myself home. I would be back in business within a week. Business means walking and hunting for pictures.

Sounds pretty good, yes?

There is a condition. There’s always a condition.

I have to wait until it gets worse, which could be next week, next month or next year. There is a timing issue issue which means we have to catch the pain at the right time.

Between the bursitis issue and stenosis treatment most of my pain should be taken care of within a reasonable time.

The good news is that I rarely have back pain. My Mardi Gras pain was transient in nature. I was feeling a little better before I saw my doctor. The lack of back pain makes me a prime candidate for a successful outcome of the stenosis procedure.

As my doctor said, you often hear people talk about major surgery as a procedure. It’s not. It’s surgery. What I will eventually have done is a procedure.

Thank you all for your concern and good wishes. I promised you that I would keep you in the loop. I try to always keep my promises.

Too much information? Probably. But, you asked.

7 Comments

    1. As Neil Young said, “the thing that makes you are will kill you in the end.” It’s not so much age as the grief I put my body through. This is all on my right side. Guess which side I carried 40 pounds of camera gear on for almost 40 years.

      Liked by 1 person

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