Healing The Spine

Thought this was a really great photo to explain various ailments of the spine. 


From the top:

Normal Disc
Degenerative Disc
Bulging Disc
Herniated Disc
Thinning Disc
Disc Degeneration with Osteophyte Formation

The spinal disc was described to me as a jelly donut between the vertebrae.


The jelly can bulge in the disc or actually herniate/rupture and spill out pressing painfully against the nerve–that’s the scary red that you see!


The disc degeneration and osteophytes are also a pretty frightening looking deterioration of the disc and cartilage.


No wonder
– “31 million Americans experience low back pain at any given time…[and] back pain is the single leading cause of disability.”

– And “80 percent of adults experience lower back pain at some point in their lifetimes…[and] leading contributor to missed workdays”  


When we have our health, we don’t always realize how incredibly fortunate we are. 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Can’t Sit, Can’t Stand

So I’ve been having this excruciating lower back pain for about a week. 


I literally cannot sit or stand without shooting pain. 


When I sit, it hurts the lower back so much to get up. 


And when I stand, all I want to do is relieve the pressure and sit down. 


I feel like the warning from G-d in the Torah where He says (Deuteronomy 28:67):

In the morning you will say ‘”If only it were evening!” and in the evening “If only it were morning!”

The only real relief so far is lying down or going in the pool. 


Planning to see the doctor to check it out and hopefully with G-d’s mercy it will be better very soon.  😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 

Watch Out For That Gopher Hole

So this was funny this week. 


I hurt my back and leg and am going around with a (little) limp. 


So one of my colleagues at work sees me struggling-limping down the long hall here, and they say to me this funny thing:

Did you fall in a gopher hole?


I had to take an aback because I never heard that phrase before. 


Working outside the city here though, where a lot of people live in the burbs, and we regularly see all sorts of animals around campus, perhaps it wasn’t so outlandish a question.  


Anyway, as I’m limping, I can’t get that funny image out of my head.


I wonder if other people have fallen in a gopher hole and that’s why back problems are so common after all. 😉


(Source Photo: here with attribution to annolyn)

Robotics Help The Paralyzed Stand And Regain Mobility

Some of the best work being done in robots to help disabled people is from Dr. Amit Goffer of the Technion University in Israel. 


ReWalk is a robotic battery-powered exoskeleton with motorized legs and hips that enable paraplegics to walk, turn, and even climb and descend stairs again–and is FDA cleared as of 2014. 


And UPnRIDE is a wheeled auto-balancing robotic device that enables quadriplegics to stand and be mobile. 


The inventor, Dr. Goffer, is himself paralyzed from the waist down due to an accident 20-years ago.


This has inspired him to create these absolutely amazing robotic devices to assist all disabled people who are wheelchair bound. 


Approximately 1% of the people are wheelchair bound that’s 70 million


And surely, many more especially in the developing world need wheelchairs and don’t have them.


So these amazing robotic devices have the incredible capacity to help so many people stand and regain their mobility and dignity again. 


These are nothing short of miraculous and a new beginning for so many people suffering from spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, palsy, strokes and more


Being able to stand again is not only psychology healthy and helpful for mobility, but it may aid in preventing secondary conditions that wheelchair-bound people can suffer, such as osteoporosis, diabetes, heart disease, loss of lean mass and difficulty with bowel and urinary functions.


ReWalk has also received approval for coverage from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for those qualifying and with spinal cord injuries. 


Hopefully, this is just the beginning for helping people around the world. Mobility is life! 😉


(Source Photo: here with attribution to The Times of Israel)

Beach Wheelchair

Beach Wheelchair.jpeg

This was really nice to see.

Someone invented a beach wheelchair.

Thoughtful for people with disabilities.

Not sure how well it actually would work to try and push this over the sand dunes.

But I credit people for trying to help other people.

Too often, we only think of ourselves.

It’s inconvenient to think of those with less or with problems and in need.

But when we come out of or own heads, we can uplift ourselves as well as others to the beach or wherever else they want to go. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Losing The Weight

Superman

So when I was young, I may have aspired to be Superman.  


Now, I am a little more realistic in my dreams and understanding of my capabilities. 


Since my hips started deteriorating almost 3 years ago, and I had the 2 hip replacements, it has been challenging at times with mobility and of course, weight gain. 


But as I continue to get back to myself, some people have been particularly encouraging and inspiring to me.  


One is a terrific doctor that my wife had recommended, and she told me straight up to just lose the weight. 


She told me about JuicePlus pills–which I found a cheaper version with JuiceFestiv that are capsules for organic fruit and vegetables that energizes and also fills you up. 


She also told me simply what her principle has been, “Eat half!” 


Next, I am grateful to my friend, Jacob Elbaz, who told me how he wants me around a long time as a friend and with my family.  


He also had good advice, “Just one pound a week…how hard is that?”


Finally, I am grateful to my wife who in a most caring way is cooking the right foods now and making me lots of healthy mush–some of it even edible.


With G-d’s help, I believe that I can do it!  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)