We seem to live in a world where “Fake news” is thrown around to discredit something someone doesn’t “like”. I see all too often that belief seems to count as much or more than science or facts. “Theory” is an inflammatory word. I suspect that’s because there are a lot of people who “believe” they understand what it means and don’t want to be told they are mistaken.
It doesn’t help that the word has a specific usage in scientific lingo and a much broader usage in the English language. When someone says, “In theory….” it’s clear there is speculation involved. There is not a great confidence between what is “supposed” to happen and what seems “likely” to happen. When a scientist talks about, “The theory….” it pretty much means that in all the time that theory has existed it’s been the best explanation of all the facts available and that so far nothing has come up to contradict it.
When we talk about education theory or theory in a philosophical setting what we’re really doing is talking about belief. We really want something to be true so we create a theory and then test it in practice. But people being people, we don’t want to change our beliefs, so when things don’t work we change the parameters of the test. No wonder everyone is confused.
In science when a fact shows up that disproves the theory, the theory gets changed so that it explains ALL the facts. It’s a very different mindset.
So, although I’m still taking tests and they still come back “normal” there are some theories.
I have speculated, for much of my life, that the place my back goes out puts stress on the nerves that impact my digestion. The converse also applies, when my digestion is aggravated it “stresses” my back. I’ve seen this happen time and again and when I can break that feedback loop things do seem to improve. I think it’s the explanation that best fits the facts as I see them.
My chiropractor is on board with this theory. He did an x-ray series and can point to places where it’s likely there is some stress on the nerves. Unfortunately, in order to be “clinical” the nerves have to be pretty much pinched off, which thankfully they are not. The radiologist makes some remarks about odd curves and twists but concludes basically “normal” (I’m sure there’s a for a woman of my age in there somewhere.) We’re hoping a chiropractic radiologist will be a little more specific and can talk insurance into paying for more frequent adjustments.
Likewise the other tests come back “normal” but when the bariatric PA looks at them she sees potential for issues. So I’ll take another test and then the entire bariatric group will put their heads together and see if indeed the PA’s observations explain the problem. If her theory holds then they will decide if there is anything they might recommend doing about it.
It may be that I just had a bad turn of what has been a chronic problem and that treatment is to do what I’ve been doing all along. I might have some bad spells and may need a little more intense intervention – pain meds, more frequent adjustments, possibly another round of physical therapy – to get through those acute moments.
That certainly sounds a lot better than the other possibilities that have been floating around in my head! Thank you all for your concern and good wishes.
I am late with my post this week.
I spent this last weekend in Mankato Minnesota at the University Women’s Studies sponsored Women and Spirituality Conference. This event has been ongoing annually for 31 years. I’ve attended many times and have frequently presented workshops on various aspects of spiritual practice. Each year my experience is different. Sometimes I’m moved by a ritual or by the keynote speaker. Sometimes I’m all business, presenting my workshops and getting out.
The weekend was what I was hoping to write about for my Monday blog. I had a great time. I met some amazing women. I got to catch up with old friends. I presented my workshop twice and got lots of positive feedback. I love this workshop. It’s called “Daily Practice Sucks!” People come in struggling with daily practice. They say they don’t have any. They leave with a confidence saying “I have a daily practice.” It’s incredibly rewarding and humbling to be able to facilitate this kind of transformation.
The weather for the weekend was perfect. It was high 60’s-low 70’s perfect fall weather, even on the day there was a hint of dampness in the air. It was great to be able to walk outside between the buildings on the University of Mankato campus. I walked quite a bit and I sat quite a bit and there is the problem.
I have some significant chronic pain issues, currently centering on degenerating discs in my low back. Walking too much, especially in dress up shoes, especially carrying “stuff” is really not good for me. Sitting too long in uncomfortable chairs with my feet on the floor (rather than elevated) is also not really good for me. Spending hours driving in the car (even with the heated seat, which helps more than you can imagine) is not good for me.
By Sunday afternoon the drive home was done with grinding teeth and drifting attention. There are days when I really shouldn’t drive. Sunday was probably one of them. When I got home I brought in my purse and a wheel of cheese. I took a long hot bath and brought my clothes in from the car. I took a nap and brought in my bag of promotional materials for the book. (Manifest Divinity available at Amazon.com) I left everything else in the car. I went to bed as soon as I could and was up every few hours to refresh my pain meds.
Monday morning it was all I could do to get Orion out the door. I had tears in my eyes, not because I was crying but because my body needed to react to the strain I was putting it through. As soon as he was gone I went back to bed and slept until half an hour before he was due home. I NEVER do that. Pain is exhausting!
I sat down three times to write my blog. I even got my photos from the weekend onto my computer. But I couldn’t concentrate. You’ve seen how my literary skills deteriorate on my “bad” days. Yesterday I couldn’t write a paragraph.
I didn’t just sit and sleep. I finished unpacking the car. I took Orion to the grocery store (I needed stuff for his lunch). I took things very slowly and asked for help. I put the last of the groceries away this morning. (It’s no problem leaving the box of kitchen garbage bags out overnight.)
They say that “motion is the lotion for the joints” and apparently it’s true because I am doing better today. It’s a balancing act between not enough movement and too much. The weekend was both. Yesterday was apparently just right.
So you don’t really get a blog about my amazing weekend – I really did have a great time. You don’t get a blog on Monday. But you get a blog with much gratitude for feeling up to writing it.