Kol Ami — The Northern Virginia Reconstructionist Community

Positive Aging Blog: February 2023 – Staying Positive

Staying Positive by Harriet Epstein

Developing a painful case of Spinal Stenosis was the last thing on my mind.  But I am now 84, and it happened.  No medical professional will promise me a complete recovery, but there has been some improvement already.

Spinal Stenosis occurs when pressure occurs at any location along the spinal nerve.  I must admit it took me way longer than I wanted to finally obtain a spinal MD, and someone to give me a spinal shot. The doctor stated that his hope was to reduce my pain to about half. I have a second shot scheduled in mid Feb, but must never lift anything heavy again.

Despite the flare-up of pain that kept me almost bedridden for a month, I am keeping a positive attitude, and it helps.  Several weeks earlier, I noted that my Druze salon owner had a book in her waiting area called, “There is a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem” by Wayne W. Dyer.  This book is not a proponent of any specific religion, but draws inspiration from many great faith-based thinkers and healers.  It helped me, and you might find reading this can help you deal with both emotional and physical problems.

Another source of help was being in community.  Loving visits from my rabbis and members of Kol Ami’s Care & Concern Committee were appreciated, as was being part of a Talmud study group that was praying for our teacher Rabbi Richard Ruth as well as for me and for others.

If you find yourself with spinal stenosis problems, please feel free to call me at 703-560-4137 for details on different health providers and new technologies that they use.  Meanwhile, I leave you with words from St. Francis of Assisi, whose church in Italy I visited when I was about 20. “If the sun and moon should ever doubt, they would immediately go out.” Wayne Dyer’s response is: “The sun and moon, like each and every one of God’s creations, survive and shine on faith. And faith alone tells us (that we too) can never go out.”

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