I’ve come a long way since I wrote the first version of this. It’s like time travel. I see who I was “back then” versus who I am now.

Life is change … and change is the single constant. Change is neither good nor bad, but as we age, it tends to be difficult.


I broke my back when I was a kid. I was reconstructed when I was 19. For the next 35 years, I refused to pay any attention to my spine. I was not going to be disabled.

“Mind over matter,” I declared. It turns out, mind over matter only takes you so far. I had been to more than a few doctors, all of whom said I needed a new spinal fusion, the old one having disintegrated.

The solution made no sense because after the new, upgraded surgery, I’d be in more pain than I already am. My spine would be immobilized. How was that going to be an improvement?

I believe in miracles, but I don’t bank on them. If you can count on them, they aren’t miracles, right? In lieu of prayer, I took my case to a top spine specialist.

Boston road signs

He said I did not need surgery. “Ignore my colleagues’ scare tactics,” he said. “Your back got you through this far. It’ll take you the rest of the way. Pain control, gentle exercise, and recognize your limits. Don’t do anything stupid.” Like fall off a horse? Lift heavy packages?


Faith can help get you through times of trouble, but faith in what? Yourself? Friends? Family? It need not be a deity, though I often think it would be ever so nice to believe that an all-powerful deity was watching out for me. Otherwise, faith in something helps. I need to at least believe there’s a future worth living. That’s a big part of getting through life.

Sunshine after a week of rain ...

Faith is a tool, not a band-aid. You don’t apply it like a salve to heal all ills. You still have to take care of yourself and your business. Faith won’t make you young, stop your joints from aching, pay your mortgage, or make you immortal. It can offer you a context in which to see yourself and your problems, make you realize things could be a lot worse and you do have something for which to feel grateful. No small thing.


I believe there is something, but I have no idea what. I don’t believe we have individual guardian angels looking out for us. It would be nice, but I don’t believe it. Yet, I will not commit to nothingness.

One way or the other, to suggest I have answers would be absurd. I’ll let others duke it out on details. I shall stay unaffiliated.

Meanwhile, whoever or whatever has helped me get this far, I’d very much appreciate it if that force would stay with me.

Categories: Daily Prompt, Health, Personal

Tags: , , , , ,

15 replies

  1. I share many of the same doubts and beliefs, Marilyn. By the way, you two missed a lovely dinner.( I’d say maybe next year, but I’m not sure I’ll be up to it next year.)


  2. I am against back surgeries for many reasons. I know friends who have had amazing success with following Miranda Desmonde’s “Classical Stretch” series. “Aging Backwards” you may want to give it a try. Much cheaper, and less painful than surgery. Best wishes G-uno


  3. Both Mr. Swiss and I have problems with the back, both of us sitting on office chairs for the main part of our working life, and Mr. Swiss adding the drumming stool on top. We sort of learn to live with the pain. Mine comes and goes, lumbago, sciatica, it comes under many names. Mr. Swiss had a thorough x-ray which discovered about 4 vertebra which had shifted place. He has a good friend, a surgeon, not in that line of things but he said to my husband under no circumstances have an operation. It will do more harm than good and generally the bones tend to slip back into place. Of course there will be backache on the way, but let sleeping bones lie or something like that. The alternative: an operation, lay on you back a few months and walk with crutches until it might possible get back to normal. This just about confirms what you say.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I did most of the damage falling off horses as a teenager. My back was way off, with three broken, herniated disks. I had also lost all sensation in my right leg and was dragging my left. I didn’t have a lot of choices. Surgery or a wheelchair. I was only 19. The wheelchair was not a reasonable choice. The surgery actually solved the problems for more than 30 years. Time has eroded the fusion and replaced it with arthritic calcification, but there’s no surgery for this. It’s like most things … just learning to work within limitations. It’s easier with time. Not that it hurts less, but I’ve gotten used to it. I manage. We ALL manage!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Faith is the belief in love.


  5. So many blindly follow what one doctor tells them to do. You were so wise to seek other opinions!


    • Talk about learning the hard way — I have learned to get LOTS of opinions. Medicine is changing fast and there are all kinds of new treatments. Sometimes, if you wait long enough, they invent something which really fixes the problem. Doing nothing is sometimes a fine choice too 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sometimes, to my way of reasoning, doing nothing is the most important decision on the list, or researching a less invasive choice. I can’t tell you how many friends I have that have pursued a doctor’s recommendation and ended up worse than before.., especially concerning any spinal invasion. I believe being careful is the key here.., knowing your limits.


        • And educating yourself about the options. Which I was able to do before heart surgery … except that it all went to hell in a hand-basket once I was on the table and everything was so much worse than it was supposed to be. But I did pick a GREAT surgeon and hey, I’m alive. With the back, I was young and there wasn’t an internet. We really were at the mercy of doctors who lied to us. They certainly lied to me.


  6. I have faith in us.

    Liked by 3 people

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