Fishing near the Arctic Circle last month, created a problem for me. Bouncing around in a boat with five foot waves at Great Slave Lake in the Northwest Territories did what I had always feared. I ended up with severe back pain caused by major sciatica. On my return, the Osteopath tried to manipulate my back for relief, but this time it failed. I could barely hobble to my office with a back brace and a cane. The MRI showed severe degenerative changes in my spine. This was bad news indeed.
The problem was magnified by the fact that I was scheduled to go to Japan the following week. The purpose was to celebrate the 15th Anniversary of our helping to establish home oxygen in Japan.
On the day before I was scheduled to leave, I had such severe back spasms and pain, that I could hardly get into the shower. I asked for help and began to recite my favorite psalm. 'The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want...' I could now get into the shower. 'Yea though I walk through the valley of darkness, I shall feel no evil.' Some relief was noticeable. I could now shower and dry myself. 'Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me.' Now I could stand this excruciating pain.
I am en route to Japan, as I write this. The back brace and cane are stowed, and I am pretty comfortable in my seat.
'Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the rest of my life...'
I will be in touch next month
Thomas Petty, MD