A warm light from within, contrasts the cool air
spilling from the open refrigerator door. I stand dumbfounded,
surrounded by a soft glow. All is quiet except for the hum of my
father’s giant clock across the room. Years ago it hung above the door
of his restaurant—simply called "The Truck Stop." Now its neon glow of
red, green and white spreads out from the 1930’s dial and fills the
room like Christmas. I am hovering on a strange and uneasy feeling.
Something significant has happened. I can’t quite put my finger on it.
I had merely reached down into the bottom drawer and pulled out an
apple. Why so strange? What is wrong? I review the scene.
An open door. A quiet room and suffused light. A quick reach down,
then an apple in my hand.
In a rush it comes to me!
What is so wildly odd about this event is the mere fact that I could
so easily reach down and pluck up an apple. It has been two years or
more since I have been able to do that without having to first
strategize the approach.
I always had to decide where my left hand will rest, the exact spot to
place my left then my right foot, then negotiate a careful and slight
lean over to the right to make a final plunge into the sharp pain of
my lower back in order to snare an apple in my right hand and
immediately bolt upright back out of the pain. Each detail of the
movement has developed slowly over time, almost unknowingly, piece by
piece. One strategic detail added to another until the full dance is
performed without so much as a thought.
Now all of a sudden the pain is gone, and its absence is overwhelming.
the previous two years the pain had become increasingly routine and
subliminal. Eventually I was standing like a scribbled “C,” and my
wife pointed it out and made me get some help. A little over a week
ago I was on Dr. Art’s chiropractic couch. After careful consideration
of my complaint and looking at my posture, he made some careful,
feathery light preliminary adjustments. Then he gently placed my knee
in a precise location over my chest, made a quick push resulting in a
small crunch of release. After that a slightly stronger bounce and…
CRACK! My sacral joint popped open like a clam. The pain drained out
of my back just like that.
What a relief.
Afterwards, not quite a week later, with the help of stretching
exercises and another adjustment; the results were slowly becoming
firm and lasting. Now I can reach over and snag things, close the car
door with my foot holding an arm full of bike supplies, movement
unencumbered by the necessity of logistics. On getting out of bed
every morning, my standard half hour “warm-up,” to bring me past what
I’d assumed was an early arriving sign of arthritic old age, was
already down to a few minutes…and disappearing. It was as if Dr. Art
had snuck into my house (playing White Rabbit to my Alice) and caused
everything to grow taller by a few inches. What were significant bends
and painful reaches were now laughable parities.
- Bob Fugett