At 11:00 o’clock this morning I met with my physician to review a shopping list of queries. The primary question was, “Is there anything I should be doing to address my various concerns?” As might be expected most of my questions revolved around the same general complaint; namely, lower back pain and numbness radiating into my legs and feet. The physician answered that while there was MRI evidence of degeneration of a disc in my spine, the condition was not so far gone as to warrant the risk of corrective surgery. Instead he recommended physiotherapy to strengthen the muscles surrounding the spine in order to provide better support of the load-bearing mechanics. The physician also reported that my latest blood work indicated an escalation of cholesterol. As a result I am continuing to take Lipitor (for coronary heart disease). Further, because the latest blood tests do not improve on the results obtained when I was still taking all my customary prescription and non-prescription drugs, I am returning to my former drug regime. This makes me just as happy because I was becoming agitated by the perpetual low-level pain I was having to endure without Tylenol and Celebrex for example. I may however cut back on the Celebrex. I’d like to see whether the Tylenol is adequate to kill the pain without having to draw upon whatever magic Celebrex purports to have.
This latest round with the medical types just about puts the lid on my concerns. I have yet to hear from a neurologist about a “nerve conductivity test” but frankly I think the most to come out of that will be an admission that I have a problem and not likely one that can be repaired. Meanwhile I am satisfied that my incremental physical declension is just part of getting old; that bicycling is still a good thing; that pain killers are on the menu; and that the standard stretching will be the order of the day.
We have even toyed with the idea of resuming martinis, a prospect which perhaps alarmingly acquires greater persuasion each time we re-visit the theme.