6/20/2008

Faced with a Dilemma



As I have stated on this blog before, I received disability retirement from my employer due to three different medical conditions I have. One of those medical problems is my back; degenerative lumbar disc disease. I had surgery for a ruptured disc in July of 1995. After my surgery, I had several good months of being free from pain. But, the pain came back with a vengeance after about six months. Doctors since that time have wanted me to go back under the knife to remove scar tissue from the first surgery. I’m just not willing to risk any more pain than I presently endure. So, I keep up with pain killers, do as much exercise as I can manage and go on with my life.

What has become increasingly apparent, however, is that my back hurts even worse when I am driving my ’06 Honda Civic. It has never been easy getting into my Civic because of my height. At 6’1, it is an uncomfortable entry and exit. But, I realized all this prior to buying the car. The ’04 Jeep Liberty was a gas guzzling behemoth I could not tolerate even at that point in time of $2.50/gallon. So, it was a no brainer to buy a car that is getting 40MPG on highway versus one that got 20MPG…on a good day. What I didn’t take into account, when I bought the Civic, were my lumbar discs continuing to deteriorate (and I admit, I should have thought of that).

So, my dilemma is to either sell the Civic, with it’s 40MPG and get a bigger more comfortable car with about half the MPG (and take the chance the pain will subside). Or go a head, have the surgery (with the potential of increased pain…I don’t care what the doctors say) and keep the Civic. I’ve been going back and forth on which course of action to take. I know a lot of people will say go ahead, get the surgery and keep the Civic. Gas isn’t going to get cheaper. I realize all this. But, that’s easy to say when you aren’t the one facing major surgery (and back surgery is major surgery). But, at the same time, I realize I can’t continue to hurt like this for the rest of my life. It hurts to drive that Civic, which is why I drive my Nissan Truck even more now. And buying another big gas guzzler doesn’t make sense either just on the slim chance it will help my back. At this point in time, I’m open to suggestions.

Life can really be hell sometimes.

3 comments:

Ahh, I am an expert at new dilemmas (www.newdilemma.com). Get the surgery, yeah it's major, but it's not gonna get better. What are you gonna do when it hurts to sit on the couch? Or the toilet? Or simply stand? Then sell the Honda. You will get mixed results on the sale. On the one hand it gets great gas mileage, on the other the economy is hard right now. Don't buy another car, just continue to use the truck. Make the money you get from the car be the difference in the price of gas fund. (That is if the car isn't financed) If the car is financed you are left with very little choice but to upgrade, I see alot of "old" people driving Buicks and Oldsmobiles look at one of those. :-)

Ooooh, that last sentence was cold (but true)! I have been leaning the direction of surgery because I really like that little Honda Civic (especially with $4.00/gallon gas). Selling the Civic was something I had considered. And you brought up a very good point about keeping that money as a sort of gas fund. Only thing about is the Nissan truck is a 1995 model and has in excess of 150K miles now. The Civic is paid off, BTW. Very interesting take on my "dilemma". I agree with you that this is only going to get worse from personal experience. It's just the idea of it that is so intimidating. Especially for and "old" person. ;-) Hey, great comments. I"m going to save you site to my favorites in case I need your take again.

May I suggest you do what I did: forget about more surgery & start ingesting mega doses of StemEnhance ASAP for at least 4 weeks. I avoided back surgery because of the anti-inflammatory & cell rejuvinating effect caused by more adult stem cells released naturally from my own bone marrow. Watch the flash movie to understand how it works...fill out the short form & the movie will start to play automatically:

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