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Spring has sprung!!!

Posted 05-23-2016 at 10:56 AM by onebuck


Finally getting some beautiful weather here in Central Illinois. I told my wife, that we will be leaving for Florida in late Oct/16 and not returning until May/17. See said, 'We've got a lot of work for the new home in Florida. I said, 'I am not going to Florida to work all the time'. I will do what can be done and hire what I can no longer do physically. I am not going to put that new hardwood down that she wants in the rest of the house. I've done the last three homes with hardwood and at my age my body limits what can be done. Cheaper to hire than spend time recovering.

Yesterday, Sunday mourning I played my best round of golf. I had a beautiful drive on # 1 and my second shot with a fairway driver put the ball within 4 foot of the pin for birdie. My round for the front nine was a 35 for 1 over par. My second round was a 38 for four over par so my round was a 73. Practice is producing good results for a old disabled man with 5 spinal surgeries and four heart attacks. I use a golf cart but still got in over 14,000 steps for the day.

I was tired when I got home. My wife pointed out that a ornamental tree was dead and had to be removed. So I got out the old chain saw. Cleaned the tank and put new gas/oil with some Sea Foam in it. Finally got the damn thing running after cleaning the filter & plug. Out of shape since moving too the house in town. On the farm I had to cut things all the time and kept me flexible and strong. Only so much physical work out playing golf, even with my warm up stretches.

For the lawn I use my new Cub Cadet and a trim mower. Not much weed whacking since we are in town. On the farm I would go through 1 trimmer every two-three years. Still using the one I bought 3 years ago(been in town 2 years now) while still on the farm and will probably last for a long time since most of the weeds are so small. Barely have to change the trimmer string with a Gator head. Not a big ditch to trim nor weeds growing along a fence line. But only string thin weeds instead of pencil tick weeds.

I miss my garden on the farm, No real space to have a dedicated large space for a decent vegetable garden. Plus I need to purchase manure instead of using what my horse's produced. What a shame. I gave tons away to people in town. Best way to condition a garden is with good horse manure. I used it on all our flower plots and vegetable garden. I used my bucket on the loader to turn the manure so as to produce a fine manure.

I think that I will sneak out to the course this noon to see if my rounds continue to be great. Practice, patience and concentration has helped my game tremendously. Physically with my 5 spinal surgeries, I have re-trained my self using a single plane swing. I quit golf in 1980 after my first spinal surgery. My surgeon asked me, 'Do you play golf?' and I replied 'Yes, I do!' His return to me 'Not any more!' I waited a year to get fully healed before I started/tried to play. At the time before surgery I had used a rotary swing for my golf. I tried and could not perform a proper rotary since about 4 inches of my lumbar was fused. So I could not use my hips and lower spine to perform a rotary. So I quit Golf. Mid 2007, I started having more back issues. So I had loads of epidurals to help relieve the pain, I stopped at 16 and told the surgeon it was too painful to get the epidural and only have a week to ten days relief. The surgeon suggested that another spinal surgery would help by placing a cage & plate with screws at the thorax area. Performed that surgery and waited about 4 months to heal. Surgeon then said 'Physical therapy was necessary'. I asked if it was too soon? He got pissed and said he knew best. I went to the scheduled therapy and knowing what I previously had with other surgery, When the therapist said I had to do a particular stretch'. I asked 'Are you sure about this', she showed me the surgeon's orders. Not my first rodeo! I attempted to do the stretch. But when I was starting the stretch, I felt a pop and immediate pain.I said, I'm stopping, too much pain'. The therapist said,' No Pain, No gain'. I said, No way and called my wife to pick me up and take me to the Emergency department. Once there they confirmed via Xray that the cage had collapsed thus the pain. Surgeon ordered a MRI and it showed that the bone growth had been tubular and was not a full fusion. Thus he had to do a vetribo-plasty which required a stretching of the spine and using a bone glue to fill the gaps. This was a one shot deal since the setting of the bone glue was time dependent. They made a one inch incision to have access to inject the glue. I was fixed in a brace during and after the procedure. I had to lay flat for 6 hours without any movement. Pain was reduced but never went away. Surgeon said that 'It would take more time'. I asked how long? He said, 'Time will tell'. I was very frustrated with my situation. No real improvements. I asked if the hardware in place would cause this pain or issues? He said, I do not think so'. I asked if the lumbar knot rods could be removed? He said that procedure was not perform-able.

I had enough! I was referred to a surgeon in Libertyville near Chicago. I took all my MRI media to him for review. In my initial visit, I asked if the knot rods, plates & screws could be removed? I thought that was the source of most of my pain and he confirmed that removal would be the best option. I told him what the former surgeon stated and that surgeon notes showed that surgery could not be done. Dr. Citow disagreed and said he performed those very surgeries. I said, Lets go!

Two weeks later the surgery was done to remove the rods, plates and screws. Cage had to remain since it was fused within the spine. He had to open my spinal canal at the lumbar since that was the major reason for pain and the rods were causing the area to close. After the surgery, I had to remain steady in bed for 10 hours before I could even get up.
After that I left to return in 3 weeks for examination. At home after two weeks my wounds started leaking and I went to my Personal Care physician. He communicated with Dr. Citow and they concurred that a trip north was not necessary and that I should remain on limited activity to allow healing.

After another three weeks, I visited Dr. Citow and he certified that everything seemed OK and that I could return to controlled activities. I was experiencing some numbness and sciatica pain but I was a lot better than before. I did not want a sciatic bridge performed and that I could cope with that pain via over the counter drugs (acetaminophen) and get off the opioid completely.

After this I decided to see what could be done with my interests in Golf. I found videos about Moe Norman's single plane swing and that he was the best ball striker in the world. Best thing I could do was to re-train myself. I still had to over come the muscle memories of the past for a rotary swing, even after 25 plus years. I worked on this swing method daily and was able to play pain free. My swing became natural for the single plane. I had to learn upper body controls that would aid my use on a single plane. If I tried to over power then I would loose my rhythm thus creating poor results and with pain. So now I have learned my swing and control things so as to not have any pain. My drives are in the 220-240 range, no where near the distance when I used a rotary swing but I will take what I can get. My short game has taken a lot of practice to produce fair results with control. My putting required changes too. I went to a fat grip and rhythmic follow through with minimal bend of my body. If I bend to far, I will get sciatic pain, so I know that limit.

Just wanted to get this off my mind. Burn those old memories. Back to life but in a controlled manner. I think before I attempt anything physically. Mechanical advantages are taken whenever possible. I will no longer horse but I will retain those beautiful memories with time spent with my dear friends. I oven wonder how the horses are doing. It would break my heart to drive out to see them. It's been over a year since my last visit with the horses. I really miss their companionship.
Enough Said for now!
Have fun & enjoy!
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