Sunday, February 11, 2007

Post-Modern Prometheus

***NOTE: I originally posted this as part of a discussion over at the Ray Bradbury message boards.

One would think that with heart problems since birth, Hep C since a child, and a full lifetime ahead of me yet to be lived the gods couldn't possibly heft more medical problems onto me.

They can and do.

Brave New Wrold is a decent read. It gets a bit tedious in the middle, but is mostly well written with an interesting idea and obvious social criticism. I also have an odd anecdote to go along with it:

The same year I read Brave New World, I began having serious back problems (in fact the back probs flared up about 2 or 3 months after I read BNW). I've always had back probs, but this was intense. So much so that I was waking up, not so much JUST from the pain, but from my own moaning that I was doing in my sleep!

It was so very bad I went to see my doc right away. He couldn't explain it right off. I wound up getting an MRI on my neck.

Turns out some time perhaps when I moved in 2001 (odd coincidence?!) I must have pulled a disc in my neck out. In a sense, the disc slipped out of place. As a result, the bones on my neck are pinching my spine and along the major nerve that runs down my left arm. It waited for a few years before it really flared up. The pain I was feeling wasn't a result of the pinching itself (which is relatively minor), but the resulting inflamed muscle tissue.

The pain started at the base of my neck and went all the way down my back and my left arm. I even had bouts where I'd lose feeling in my left hand almost completely (a frightening prospect for a writer and painter... tho I'm right handed I am very tactile with my works).

So I got the pleasure of meeting several other docs, going to phys ther for the first time in my life and seeing a neurosurgeon about possible surgery.

The neurosurgeon asked how long it's been since I've had the injury. I said I didnt know becuz it had JUST flared up and perhaps I sustained it while moving a few years before.

He sat me down and explained to me that the pinching was relatively small. He also said he couldn't repair it really, but the best neurosurgeon in the world could/would only fuse the discs together to prevent further slippage and pinching. He said despite all of medical science, there's very little they could do in the area of the spine without running the risk of causing further damage.

On the upside I was in no danger of paralysis and that, being somewhat young (I'm 30 now, i believe 27 then) fusing the discs together at that point in my life would cause the discs above and below to hyper-extend to compensate for the lack of motion I'd have and therefore cause potentially even more pain and damage down the road.

What's all this mean? I have to deal with serious back pain issues every so often in my life (maybe once every couple of years which is NOT BAD imho) plus, while experiencing such pain, I am placed on a drug called SOMA.

The drug that the society used in BNW to stay calm and be happy? (Everybody that's read BNW say it with me): SOMA!

And I have to say, it's a GREAT muscle relaxer LoL

1 comment:

J.Ho said...

hahaha... that essay had a surprise ending that i was definitely not expecting (but then i haven't read BNW yet!)