I have always had back problems, at least as far back as I can remember. Usually in the past I could baby my back, go see the chiropractor and it would be so much better. Lately, this technique is no longer successful to alleviate my pain. I’m sure it is partially due to my getting older and partially due to all the abuse my back has been through in my lifetime. Also, about 8 months ago, I dislocated my shoulder and that has kept causing problems ever since. I think it was inevitable that I would have more aches and pains the older I get; however, the pain has been getting more severe and lasting so much longer. I can no longer get a good adjustment, ice a couple of times, take some Advil, and be good to go. Now, it takes so much more to get to a place of just aches without the pain. I am finding that in order for my back to take an adjustment, I have to first get a massage to relax my muscles. I like getting massages so it is not a hardship by any means, but, it is hard to fit into my schedule. After my adjustments, I need to use the ice, Advil, and an analgesic cream for the pain and if I don’t follow a stretching routine each day, I lose the adjustment and I am back to the pain. I also have to monitor my body posture constantly in order to not do something dumb and cause my back to go out again. It is also important to get to my workouts each week because strengthening my muscles is my only hope for overcoming my back pain.
Parker is a little guy and for that I am extremely lucky. Since I am only 5’1” tall and 105 pounds, I would be in traction if he were big. But, even so, I am finding it more and more difficult to lift him. He is 10 years old, 48” tall, and 47 pounds. Each year I am having more trouble with my back and I know it is due to the reasons I cited above; but, it is also because I have a constant weight I am lifting and unfortunately, not always correctly. If I am walking Parker to someplace he doesn’t want to go, he will all of a sudden go limp and I have to catch him. When I help him in and out of the car, sometimes he cooperates and sometimes he will collapse in mid air without warning and I catch him in an awkward position. There is a constant lifting of the wheelchair and the daily care of Parker that is back breaking. There are also the times he just trips or begins to lose his balance, but, those tend to be rarer and the purposeful falling is more the norm. I know he is capable of learning and understanding routines and some rules and I think it is time to get a little tough with him. I can’t let him keep throwing himself or turning to jello because he doesn’t want to do something. I need to make it clear he is to behave. Of course, I have been doing this as long as he has been able to walk around, but, I need to be a little tougher. If he doesn’t start cooperating and I keep having so many back problems, we are going to end up in a world of hurt. I need to be able to care for him and not end up in traction. My only hope is to get him to understand his role in participating in his care.
For a long time, I didn’t want to be too much of a disciplinarian with him because he had so many health problems and we didn’t know why he was so delayed and whether or not he understood much of what we asked of him. Now, we know he is capable of comprehension and he definitely expresses his pleasure or displeasure with what he is doing or being asked to do. Since he is not verbal and does have so many physical issues, I find myself questioning whether I should be firm with him or not. Does he really understand what I am asking of him or am I a horrible mother for forcing him through an activity and demanding a certain behavior? These questions go through my head as I try to instill a sense of responsibility for self in him. At this point, maybe it is time to stop questioning myself and being wishy washy about making him tow the line. Maybe I better just go for it and hope we find success soon before I am such a mess that I can’t properly care for him. One thing I know for sure is that he will continue to grow and I will continue to get older and my back will continue to be problematic.