Lightly Child, Lightly. (Part I)

Three Advil every three hours wasn’t taking the edge off.  The pain was ripping thru my left shoulder and rolling down my arm.  And during sporadic moments, there was relief.  And, I would breathe. But the storm returned.

Resistance to professional evaluation had run its course. It was time.

A five minute wait in the waiting room.

X-Rays of shoulder prior to examination.

“Shirt off please.”

Doctor steps in.  “Resist here.”  “Push back there.”  “Is it tender here?” “Or here?”

“Sports injury?” As he looks at the bone protruding on the left shoulder.

He continues.

“I’d like to get x-rays of your neck. Your shoulder pain, it’s a red herring.”

He flips the x-rays up, and points to the vertebrae.

“See here.  That’s normal spacing.  See here. That’s some serious arthritis.”

“Arthritis?”  That’s for Old people. No irony crosses the thoughts in the mind of a Man on the wrong side of 50.

“Yes. Cervical spondylosis, or arthritis of the neck. Let me go grab my prescription tablet.”

He walks out and its me, my x-rays and my neck, all three of us sitting in silence with the overhead florescent lights buzzing.

My God. How many moments, days, years were you sitting, walking, breathing painlessly, and taking it all for granted? How many?

A passage from Margaret Atwood’s new book “The Testaments” drifts in: “I hadn’t considered what it was like to leave a place you knew, and lose everything, and travel into the unknown. How hollow and dark that must feel, except for maybe the little glimmer of hope that had allowed you to take such a chance. Very soon, I, too was going to feel like that. I would be in a dark place, carrying a tiny spark of light, trying to find my way.

“We’re going to start with some stronger meds, like Super Advil, and then I want you in Physical Therapy for 30 days. Let’s hope this works. If not, we will move to Stage 2.”

Stage 2.  Hmmmm.  Physical therapy.  Super Advil.  None of this sounded promising.

No Chiropractors for lower back pains. Not a buyer.
No Astrology or Horoscopes.  Please.
No Palm Reading. Please.
No Psychiatry for a long list of head maladies. We self-serve here.
No Podiatry.
No Church. Unless, it is really hopeless, and then we yell for Help. And we’re not there yet.

And now we have Physical Therapy, a few jumping jacks and hand-to-toe-touches and I’m good as new. Right. Pfffttttt.

I see the dark place.  Where the h*ll is the tiny spark of light?

(Stay Tuned to Part II)


  • Photo:
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”


  1. Oh dear. Why do we always think Arthritis is only for Old people? That´s folks over 80, right? It may be a way of our body saying, slow down. Hope the treatment helps. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ouch. I’m hoping your treatment helps and part of that will be slowing down. not the prognosis you were looking for, but a new reality nonetheless, in the way that life pushes us down paths we need to go, kicking and screaming at times

    Liked by 1 person

  3. David. Slowing down does not mean stopping. Take it from a 71 year old who, like most men, is still you in his mind, if not body. We need to stay healthy as there is much work to do to right this world, each in their own way. Keep writing. Your words inspire many. John

    Liked by 3 people

  4. opps. Damn autocorrect, my worst enemy. Should be young in his mind.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Awww, hate seeing you in pain.
    Waiting for part 2!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh man, pal, this doesn’t sound great, but on the plus side, at least you know what’s really going on now and can address the problem. Perhaps add some palliative care like acupuncture, yoga, and meditation to your quiver? Slowing down a bit doesn’t mean stopping, just means embracing a new course of action. Your mind is your most powerful tool, and Lord knows your mind is strong! ☺️

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Deep breaths, pal…No jumping jacks – the physical therapy will help a bit (it will widen some cramped spaces, increasing blood flow, etc)…and Super Advil? Will you share? 😉. Seriously, once you feel better your mantra will change and perhaps concede that everyone gets a roll in the barrel, and if this is yours it ain’t that bad. Ok, that’s projection – that’s what I tell myself…Feel better

    Liked by 2 people

  8. The tiny spark of light is that it’s probably treatable. As I age and develop more ‘interesting’ conditions, I always focus on the sparks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Bernard. I believe your prescription is so correct. Your thoughts remind me of:

      Whatever problems we may have in the present, in every one of us this ‘uncreated spark in the soul’ remains untouched, ever pure, ever perfect. Even if we try with all our might to douse or hide it, it is always ready to set our personality ablaze with light.“

      ~ Eknath Easwaran, Words to Live By: Daily Inspiration for Spiritual Living (Nilgiri Press, 2010)

      Liked by 3 people

  9. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    This sounds so very interesting!! … ‘I see the dark place. Where the h*ll is the tiny spark of light?’ … (Stay Tuned to Part II)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ve had both shoulders rebuilt the last five years. Then last year I started getting a stiff neck. It was affecting my driving. Hard to check the blind spots. I went for a few sessions with a chiropractor. Seemed to help a little, or more than a little. A year went by. Two weeks ago I was at the dentist getting an implant, and the tension in my neck was through the roof, and now I may have to seek some more care.
    Got a little story out of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Sending healing vibes David 💫 bodies are stronger than we think 💪 have a sparkly day ~ smiles Hedy 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  12. yes, me too sending positive feeling and thoughts dear David, I hope and wish you get well soon. Love, nia

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Linnea J Priest says:

    gosh, I’m sorry. BTDT. Crying while lying on the sofa, told my husband that only general anesthesia would help. Ended up with physical therapy and traction. And massage once things had calmed down, because the muscle spasms that followed were chronic and terrible. My massage therapist believes in stretching the muscles and reteaching them what relaxation is supposed to be. Twenty years or so later, I have many days without pain. And my very own percussion massager to treat myself in between. I don’t take pain drugs, at all. My lucky escape from opioids is another story; I refused to fill the prescription because it was the drug people kept breaking into pharmacies to steal and I figured I didn’t want any.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Wow Linnea. Thanks for sharing. Here’s wind at your back for more days without pain. Thanks for passing along your experience.


    • Linnea, I applaud you. I’m allergic to most medication and thus learned rather early to get by with the less strong stuff. I do homeopathy, let myself be ‘needled’, rolled and flattened and try not to get myself into too much trouble. But this sounds really serious! Wishing you good health.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. So, the spark I see is no mention of the ‘S’ word. Sending you healing, strengthening thoughts your way, David.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. nutsfortreasure says:

    Take a shot in your cervical spine (steroid) and shoulder pain will lesson been there done that after being rear ended by that NYC Casino bus 😦 better than opiods and the rotten path they can take you down. Feel better soon

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Aaaah, poor, poor Dave. I feel SO very sorry for you and cannot imagine how you cope with these excrutiating pains with your hyper-active lifestyle and ever longer list of things you ‘need’ to do. Maybe your body tells you to slow down a bit RIGHT NOW. And since you didn’t listen, you’re paying a high price now? I send you a prayer (even if you don’t believe in it – I do!) and many soothing thoughts. Take care of yourself, you’ve got yourself only once.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. it sucks and most of us will get it somewhere on our body tot he point of taking meds. Your on the Young side of 60!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Arthritis, eh? Damn. Physiotherapy will help you cope with it and find other ways to keep healthy. It’s not the end, just a new beginning. Like all have said, now you know what you have, you can focus on finding what works for you. This getting older business really sucks balls at times, doesn’t it?
    Sending you good vibes, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I think I’ve mentioned that I’m old enough to be your mom…and it’s true! Getting old sucks, big time! I was having trouble with my foot, just an annoying pain in the middle of the night…and I was told I have SEVERE arthritis in my foot. Okay, I know now, but I’m not taking drugs for it because I’m one of the unfortunate ones in this country with very poor health insurance. The pain comes and goes, I live with it. I’ve learned that certain foods make a difference. If I stay away from sugar completely then I am pain free. Just a thought for you to try…but I know the thought in itself must be painful. So sorry you’re going through all of that, David. I say this with a wish for wellness. You are such a wonderful and needed person in this world.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I’ve had arthritis since I was 11 and it’s what drove me to recently start writing. First time I’ve stumbled across your blog and found the writing style really powerful. Awesome stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the kind words Joel. Arthritis since 11. Wow. Your strength is admirable. Those of us who have been free of arthritis have had no idea.

      I read your landing page this morning. You are an inspiration!

      “I am stubborn and do as much as my body permits so although there will be posts when I’m struggling or having a bad day, I hope that I can inspire, demonstrate the positive side of those of us fighting arthritis or living with chronic pain and show that anything is possible with the right attitude and motivation.”

      Thank you for dropping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Sorry to hear about your pain. I was happy to see that the doctor did not just prescribe medication – I’m a big fan of PT. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Valerie Meluskey says:

    Oh Dear David, so sorry this is about you! [I wrote a comment answering this Part I a week ago, but used mac and mac password–guess that doesn’t work]. Maybe most important may be that you reach for that forever spark that is always there, and let yourself be comforted and guided.
    To join the cadre of those who’ve been athletic (also dance) and suffered arthritis, various externals can help: arnica montana homeopathic perles and gel, yoga movement, the right kind of physical therapy with someone who appreciates the athletic body, diet of no garbage or poison (white sugar, white flour), and believe it or not, lowering the intake of nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes, peppers). Also love yourself enough to take care of your vehicle–maybe too much movement (running) hurt. If you notice, many old athletes have severe arthritis. You can learn what would be best diet and regime for you. We all care and want you to thrive.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. So much wisdom here Valerie. I have the exercise part down. I need, i MUST do this and especially my diet. This needs immediate change. I KNOW it, I just need to DO IT. Thank you.

    the right kind of physical therapy with someone who appreciates the athletic body, diet of no garbage or poison (white sugar, white flour), and believe it or not, lowering the intake of nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes, peppers).


  24. I am thankful that your PT is helping!
    I meant to mention this back in Dec. Your doctor asked about a prior injury…You Did Have a Prior Injury…think back to the previous Dec of 2018 when you had your surgery and Eric found you unconscious bleeding on the floor…you’d injured the back of your head and I would say your Neck as well…
    Back in your offering:
    I left 3 comments which maybe helpful to you, even now.

    Liked by 1 person

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