Stealth and Survival

Thank you for all of the concern via email and text messages. It’s been a week, for the world and me.

For the world, the face of terrorism is dead. I guess it means different things to people in different places. To the United States, it means the “war on terror” has opened a new chapter. It’s not over, and I doubt it is changing very much. We’re on alert – we’ve been on alert since September 2001. We just don’t have the color scheme anymore (nicely timed, Homeland Security). Our soldiers remain in harm’s way. And I don’t see that changing. Maybe when American servicemen and women come home, I’ll see cause to dance in the streets.

What bin Laden’s death means to Pakistan is a horse of a different color. It’s a story of either amazing protection of an ex-pat in their midst (you know, the world’s most wanted man) – or such utter incompetence that no one will ever trust them with adult responsibilities again. Either way, Pakistan’s reputation in the international community has been sullied beyond repair, I think. So, they, of course, shot back, America didn’t play fair.

And, I suppose, we didn’t (we in that patriotic way, rather than a personal way). I mean, we didn’t share our secret information with them. Hello? Secret. We flew two helicopters through one of their larger cities, one with a strong military presence, undetected. Landed, took out the target (with no collateral damage), and flew out of said larger city with a strong military presence, noticed locally by an annoyed man on Twitter.

Stealth helicopter? Really? That, to me, sounds too oxymoronic to even discuss.

And the compound itself… Well, here lives the world’s most wanted man, and he is protected by one man with a gun? A courier?—so, like, a gofer? Either incompetence is contagious, or those in the compound felt completely safe there for whatever other reason. Connect your own dots.

And here on the home front, my own personal terrorist has met his end. Quinn, was roughed up by a small game rooster next door, last weekend. Sometime on Tuesday, he was out to exact his revenge. He boldly marched up the road. He was struck by a car and killed.

Stealth traffic.

None of this accounts for my lack of blogging. Well, I suppose, announcing Quinn’s death a mere day after bin Laden, might have sounded…tacky?

But the state of my health does change my daily habits, like blogging. As I have said before, I have a bad back. 8 herniated or prolapsed disks—herniated goes in one direction, prolapsed in the opposite. Five in my neck, three in my lower back. And my pain level radically increased about three weeks ago. I finally went to the chiropractor on Monday. 10am.


Well, says the chiropractor, It’s probably a good thing I’m not a neurosurgeon. I did note to myself that the conversation was probably about to go downhill. And it did. When looking x-rays, there are three points I consider, compression, degeneration, and injury (herniated or prolapsed). I would rate your back severe on all counts.

So, I told him the tale of turning my head and feeling a horrible pain—that refused to go away despite heat, ice, homeopathic remedies and narcotics.

He nodded knowingly. It was instant? And intense? It didn’t hurt more later?

Instantly, yes.

Well, three weeks later, he chided me, I can give you what I believe happened. You ripped a disk when you turned your head.

I was mute. You can rip disks? And turning your head is enough to do that? This was sobering. Stealth disks.

I told him about the couple of instances where I could not swallow – felt like I couldn’t breath. He nodded. I had heard about this, people with bad disks in their necks having pressure on the esophagus.

We would work to reduce my pain, and put my back in line so that I may function with some normalcy. A new normalcy, that includes a soft cervical collar when I drive—and within arm’s reach at all times. But less pain and able to function.

Three adjustments a week to start, reducing, eventually, to one a month. Monday’s adjustment left me wearied, with my pain reduced.

Wednesday was awesome. Pain reduced again. Two visits and on the pain scale, I went from a 9 to a 3. This was good.

At Friday’s appointment, I felt like I needed to “pop”. I kept squirming, trying to find the position that would be comfortable, without success. The chiropractor did a minor manipulation. I sat on the decompression machine—which is amazing and everyone should do it—and still could not get comfortable.

By Friday evening, I was struggling. I cooked dinner, and managed one bite, before me esophagus closed? Was blocked? Pain level 2, but not without cost.

How does this impact my blog? My appointments are in the morning, 9am. So, I have been leaving an hour earlier—cutting short my writing time. I’m working on it. This week and next week will have Monday-Wednesday-Friday appointments, so if you’re interested in doing a guest blog, now would be a good time :). Oh! And someone asked, in an email, how many people read daily, between 230-250!

Happy Mother’s Day! It’s the card and flower companies’ chance to act like oil companies… Stealth happiness?

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