I Got My Dad Back The Other Day

He had been missing for quite some time. He was captured by the Dread Pirate Sciatica years ago when he accidentally missed his footing on a small divot in the lawn (a divot in the lawn, people!). My father has been sailing solo on a choppy sea of chronic pain ever since. Like me, he has suffered intermittently with sciatica for more than a decade and, also like me, his bouts are triggered by seemingly inconsequential movements, like lifting a box of screws or turning to speak to someone.

It’s easy to forget someone is in constant pain when it goes on for such lengths because it doesn’t seem possible. This last experience for him has been non-stop for more than two years. Can you even imagine excruciating nerve pain every minute of every day for two years? I certainly couldn’t comprehend it until I was in it. It’s only been a few months for me and I have already been battling depression and a strong case of the crazies.

When bad moods and short tempers become the norm we jump to conclusions outside of the pain and get annoyed with the sufferer. He’s depressed because he’s lazy, he’s overweight, he’s not eating well or exercising. Well of course he is all of these things because the pain is prohibiting him from living his life! He has no ability to make healthy choices because he feels paralyzed. Once the downward spiral begins it’s increasingly difficult to get out of over time.

My father’s specific problem involves arthritis creating calcium deposits that crowd the nerve shaft and put pressure on it. The arthritis simultaneously pinches his nerve and destroys its protective sheathing thereby exposing it. Holy ouch.

He called the other day to tell me he had back surgery last week. Such timing! The pain had simply gone on too long and he couldn’t bear it anymore. No other options were helping. And for the first time in as long as I can remember I could hear him smiling over the phone. Surgery was successful and relief immediate. With his cloud of pain obliterated, my dad is back. Take that DPS!

Some days I wake up and wonder what the hell I’m doing with this cleanse. Then I think of what these past few years have been like for my dad and I remember. I’m giving my body a chance to heal itself naturally before it’s too late and I have to consider drastic options.

Always a skeptic when it comes to western medicine (also self-employed with no health insurance), I’ve said I don’t consider surgery an option for myself. It is most likely that my specific issues have not degenerated to the point his did because of my age, which buys me time to explore my body’s healing potential. While I continue to feel this way, I am also enormously grateful that procedures and technology have advanced so far in recent years that surgery is now a viable alternative to those who have run out of others.

Welcome back Popo. You were missed.

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6 thoughts on “I Got My Dad Back The Other Day”

  1. dad, i cried when i read your comment! it was so good to hear your voice smiling through the phone line yesterday. this is such a powerful, positive, amazing period of change and growth we are all going through… here’s to before-now-unimaginable successes for all of us! i love you both more than i have words to tell you. –j.

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  2. After you live with varying amounts of physical pain long enough it becomes your life. You “crawl” to the shower each morning hoping for some relief as the hot water beats down. After a while you give up on the doing the things you like. Walking, hiking, sking. even work takes on a different perspective. Maslow theory of needs seems to me to play a part. You move from esteem and self actualization down to security level. As long as you sit up, eat, breath etc you are happy.

    Now after the surgery, the pain is gone and you can walk a little, maybe tomorrow I can walk a little farther. Next week I’ll try walking up a hill. Transition from doing nothing to doing something will be slow, but it will be steady.

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  3. Oh, Jen, such good news! Interesting timing, huh? Hang in there. You’re learning so much from this cleanse. You’ll know if and when surgery is your answer.

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  4. Jenny I’ve finally had a chance to catch up on your adventures. Congratulations on your perseverance through this cleanse. You are an inspiration, and it’s amazing to read about both your physical and emotional journeys. The body absolutely wants to be healthy, and has the power to heal itself – IF we give it the right tools. It sounds like this particular tool is exactly what you needed right now…so kudos to having the courage to use it! Be strong, and know that we are all here to cheer you on and give you whatever support you might need. Looking forward to hearing/reading more (I figured out how to get the emails…yay!)!! Love you!

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