My back story

I tried it all

I tried it all

A long time ago I had two car accidents. Neither were my fault but, as a result, I ended up suffering terribly from no less than 6 slipped-discs and two bubbles in my spine. Being a medical simultaneous interpreter, the best doctors had a look at my back and offered me their solutions. I even traveled abroad to be seen by the best of the best. Nothing worked. I was operated on the lower back but nothing improved. I was in constant, acute pain. I developed multiple drug allergies and intolerances and could not be prescribed any medication. I developed severe sciatica and could barely stand some days. In fact, many were the times when I tried to get out of bed and literally crumpled down like an abandoned puppet.

The pain!

The pain!

Without medication, what should take a couple of weeks to heal took months. For seven years, I suffered from acute, chronic pain every single day. Believe me when I tell you that I tried it all: herbs, acupuncture, weights on my back to separate the discs, rigid corsets, braces of all types, laying on of hands, positive energy transmission… I was getting desperate. It was hard, very hard to bear. And all doctors were telling me that there was nothing to do and that I’d be in a wheelchair by 40 for sure. It was maddening.

And then, when I reached the end of my strength and was about to have a serious breakdown, a dear friend forced me to visit still another doctor. He was the one. I entered his office all bent down and limping terribly: I couldn’t stretch my left leg or my back.

Four hours later I left his office standing like any other person and pain-free for the first time in like forever. I just couldn’t believe it! As you can imagine, he’s been my doctor ever since.

I stay in bed

I stay in bed

But even with his help, my back is slowly deteriorating. It’s too damaged. I had to quit my beloved job as an interpreter because I can’t stand for any period of time and have some days in which my back refuses to hold me straight. Those days I just have to stay in bed, laying down. Nothing else can be done.

Throughout this whole ordeal I realized I had to choose: I could either feel sorry for myself, complain about the unfairness of life, dwell on the pain and the suffering or try to bear it as best as I could and enjoy my good days. Of course, I chose the latter. So what I do now is I grab every opportunity brought to me by life to do things. I go everywhere and do everything on good days. And just accept it and lay down on bad days.

I couldn't walk

I couldn’t walk

My family and I visited Disneyland and Universal Studios last summer. It proved to be too much for me. I couldn’t stand the lines. What a disappointment! So we rented wheelchairs. That was hard. I don’t like to see myself like that but you know what? I enjoyed Disneyland and Universal Studios and so did my family and it wasn’t the end of the world.

And I learned to use my time wisely. I can’t spend too long sitting down, either, so I use the computer and type only a little bit or for a few minutes at a time. Not enough to be able to work anywhere but enough to help me reach you all and still feel like I’m contributing somehow.

Enjoying good days

Enjoying good days

Now, whenever I have a pain-free day, I get up and feel happy that I can walk. And go out and do things. And when the pain hits me, I get mad, complain loudly to let it out and then settle down in bed to take it easy.

You ALWAYS have a choice. Even if the options are sometimes hard to see .

Enjoy life, J.