Well, January has come and gone. How are those 2016 New Year’s resolutions holding up? Personally, I don’t like making them any more. I’m done promising myself that I’ll fix this or eradicate that in pursuit of perfection. Instead, I try to treat everyday as an opportunity to learn something or try something new.
This year, January brought two interesting new adventures. The first is still ongoing, while the second only lasted for a long weekend.
The first involves lower back pain. That, in and of itself, is nothing new. I’ve had back problems for years – probably more than half my life. Degenerative disc disease, I’ve been told. It amounts to a chronically bearable level of lower back discomfort that flares up (becoming unbearable) once or twice a year. On the few occasions when I’ve bothered to involve my doctor in my misery, I’m directed to pain-killers, anti-inflammatory medication, muscle relaxants, ice and heat. Once, she actually sent me to physical therapy where I learned how to move correctly and, more importantly, how NOT to move. Somewhat helpful! 🙂
The flare-ups seem to be occurring more frequently these days, so when my back started complaining again a few weeks ago, I thought I’d try something new: a chiropractor. I know. Everyone has an opinion about chiropractors. And most people will share those opinions quite freely! (This doctor hurt them more than helped or that doctor is wonderful and made them feel so much better, etc.) A friend had recommended her chiropractor to me months ago. She liked him because of his medical background and incorporation of traditional medicine in his thinking and his practice. He’s a former EMT (emergency medical technician). That sounded safe to me.
I’ve now experienced electrical stimulation, ultrasound therapy, decompression, and minor “adjustments”.
I’m trying to keep an open mind, but pain can be a tiring thing. It’s been three weeks. A normal flare-up used to last me a week to ten days. I do admit that my lower back feels better, but now it’s migrated to my hip. This could be totally unrelated to the arthrosis, scoliosis, sclerosis, and any other -osis or -itis that might be going on in my back. All I know is that it still hurts. And I won’t blame “getting older”. That’s a cop-out! So, anyway, the jury’s still out on the whole chiropractic thing. I’m torn between cooperating with his treatment plan, which consists of two visits a week, and scrapping the whole idea. THAT has been my first adventure of the new year.
My second adventure was a LOT more fun! I joined my husband in Arizona, where the executives of his company had been meeting for a few days already. The whole company, plus significant others, spent the weekend together at the Hyatt Regency in Scottsdale. A beautiful place with an incredibly attentive staff!
Here’s the “adventure” part: we toured a section of the Sonoran Desert, driving Tomcars! (My chiropractor wasn’t too keen on the idea.) Similar to an ATV or a dune buggy– actually built as an off-road military vehicle– the Tomcar can drive over boulders, through ditches, and across uneven terrain with amazing stability. A few dozen of us rode two and four-person cars following a tour guide along trails on the Fort McDowell Yavapai Reservation. My husband drove and I rode shotgun. I even managed to take a couple of bumpy iPhone movies – sacrificing a pair of suede gloves to the desert out the car’s non-door along the way!
During the tour, we learned about cacti, local wildlife, and a bit of Native American history. We were even lucky enough to spot a couple of wild horses.
The scenery was breathtaking and so unlike anything up here in New England. And the variety of cacti, astounding.
I don’t know if anything will top that in 2016, but as February kicks into gear, I look forward to more beautiful (wintery?) scenery and more excellent adventures…
How ’bout you?