Wednesday, February 16, 2011
It was early on a nice spring day that I had fed my flock of sheep and was walking slowly toward my garden thinking of not being able to garden because of my injured back. Shoveling wet manure from a pit to a trailer I felt the sudden stress resulting pain in my lower back. It would be a piercing pain as I suspect being stabbed in my back would feel. It was over two weeks of suffering after this incident occurred. I had not realized my ram had come out of the flock, followed me and suddenly charged and butted me at the base of my spine. Up in the air and down in a heap at which time I experienced a hot flash of pain in that anatomy. Assuming my back was half broken that the ram had finished the job I got to my feet and slowly returned home where I relaxed on a couch until my wife called me to lunch. It had not entered my mind that my back could be anything other than worse than before that butting but I walked with ease up a staircase to dine. It seemed incomprehensible that my condition could be other than worse. The ram had in large part corrected in my back. Previously I had contacted an orthopedic specialist friend at the Yale School of Medicine for advice. He was Dr. Ned Shutkin. Ned had explained that such an injury as I had could be compared to tying a shoelace until it was broken or creasing a paper until it separated. "George, go to bed for six weeks and see what happens." After the episode with the ram I realized no butting of a ram could "heal" my injured tissue and composed and mailed a letter explaining my situation and in the last paragraph offered to let Dr. Shutkin send a few of his better patients through my sheep pasture for a nominal fee. Dr. Shutkin liked my letter and posted it on a bulletin board at the Medical School. The reason for the letter was to suggest that not all back pain was due to tissue being injured as a shoelace breaking. Ned Shutkin is gone by now but was a dear friend.