Fight for your life and your chances
Husband hands me a magazine, the Health Check that our local hospital, Robert Wood Johnson at Hamilton (formerly Hamilton Hospital), sends out to everyone whose address they’ve ever received for any reason.
In it, it talks about the McKenzie method – a way for people to reduce back pain and sciatica by doing a series of exercises which reduce the pain and then strengthen the back.
And the suggestion to do this is given by the orthopedists for a woman who is ‘a dancer’ and very active. So she avoids surgery. And they are proud of themselves because they helped her ‘avoid surgery’ (PS: she had the same diagnosis I did, spondylolisthesis – vertebrae out of alignment).
THEY DIDN’T EVEN MENTION THE EXERCISES TO ME BEFORE SURGERY.
I was over 50, and had CFS already. I told them EVERY SINGLE VISIT that I wanted to walk properly again. They didn’t even send me for PT for walking.
Be warned: what comes is something you should know: doctors will make an arbitrary decision when you come in about whether you should have the ‘treatment for those who have a chance’ or ‘old lady medicine.’
And it will affect the rest of your life.
McKenzie back exercises
I do them every day. The book is called ‘7 Steps to a Pain-Free Life,’ by Robin McKenzie, an Australian physical therapist.
My PT taught me them – AFTER the orthopedic surgeon ruined my back.
When I wake up with sciatica (much less frequently now, and usually due to lying on my left side while asleep without the little pillow – for some reason that side doesn’t like flat), I head for the floor, and, within minutes, start working the vertebrae back to the non-painful position.
They wanted to operate again; all three of the surgeons I consulted – different operation each. I walked away. Still working on getting better at walking, but the surgery took me a YEAR to recover from, and had me back in the ER for non-existent pain control, so I’m not likely to repeat.
Why are older women more vulnerable?
Because, among other things, it’s easier. Cut, get fee, blame lack of success on the patient.
They don’t expect us to improve with exercises, or to do them, so they actually give us less useful PT (warm compresses?).
If you have an older relative, especially a female one, watch for this: the key is to DO YOUR EXERCISES – and to insist they give you ones which work – just like the ones they gave the young lady, or the teenage athlete. They will hurt, but it should be bearable if you’re doing them right, and it gets better. Takes me less than fifteen minutes on a really bad day, and I do them daily prophylactically.
Ask for ‘young woman exercises.’ Tell them you’re aware of ‘old lady medicine,’ and you don’t want it. Stay away from surgeons as long as possible – once cut, things are NEVER the same (there’s a whole section of my abdomen where the C-section left me with no feeling, and the hernia above my belly button has been ‘repaired’ THREE times – and is back).
Wish I could go back in time. What do you think?
Today is the last day of the 0.99 ebook sale for Pride’s Children (upper page on the right).