Overcoming Adversity

My Ordeal with Sciatica

By Zak Klemmer

It started with squatting down then twisting my torso to the right as I stood up; a shooting pain in my right leg the rectus femoris muscle in a spasm and unable to stand completely upright. I went to a chiropractor expecting immediate relief to no avail. Next I drove myself to the hospital and waited in the emergency room to be seen. After what seemed to be an eternity I was seen by a doctor who prescribed Ibuprofen and two other drugs. During the next few days the muscles spasms diminished and I could stand erect again. I saw my primary care physician and he brought out a model of the lower back and explained how surgery could trim away part of the bulging disc- but then didn’t order either an MRI or any follow up on my condition. I continued with the drugs until the prescriptions ran out then continued taking Ibuprofen.

Frequently I would feel a pinch in my lower back and would have difficulty standing up. I was still taking Ibuprofen as this was the only remedy that seemed to work at least until I discovered a more permanent solution. I was 70 pounds overweight, at 5’-9” tall weighing 230 pounds. I went on the Zone Diet after seeing research author Barry Sears, PhD interviewed on television. It was a miracle as I had more energy than I could ever remember and my weight dropped off from 230 to 160. I kept a journal of everything that I ate or drank from July to November 1999. I looked better than I did in my twenties and could fit into clothes that have long since hung in my closet including my prized Bates leather jacket that I purchased at 21.

For family as well as professional reasons I moved back to Los Angeles and my new employer was only three miles from home, so I bought a 16 speed mountain bike and used it for commuting to and from the office.  My body fat percentage dropped again and I was in the best shape of my life. I felt so well that I stopped taking Ibuprofen. After about four days I experienced a sharp pain in my right hip. I was waiting to board a Southwest Airline flight at LAX.

After arriving in Tucson my wife and I went out to our favorite Japanese restaurant Mr. An’s after our meal upon arriving at my home in Tucson I experienced another severe muscle spasm due to sciatica. Here I was in severe pain on a Friday evening home with my wife for a weekend visit. Rather than going to the hospital I decided to start taking Ibuprofen at the dosage that had been prescribed by my doctor years before and wait until I returned to Los Angeles on Monday to receive treatment. This was a mistake.

On the flight to Los Angeles I thought how I was to get from LAX to my residence in Carson. I contemplated having my motorcycle towed home then taking a shuttle for my own conveyance. My Honda motorcycle was parked in a structure a block away from the airport, besides walking in pain lugging a suitcase there were two flights of stairs before I would be able to take an elevator to where my motorcycle was parked.  Then I had to ride it home knowing that if I lost traction I wouldn’t be able to lift the machine up and ride away again.

Upon arriving at the stairs I had to stop at each tread and lift my right leg up to the next higher step, a tedious and painful ordeal. I made it home without incident, now what?

This will be continued at a later post.

Action steps:

1. Create a Vision for yourself.

2. Write a plan of action, prioritize.

3. Live the plan as if you have become your vision.

4. Find mentors

5. Do it now!

“Motion creates the self.” –Nathaniel Branden

So get moving!

I am available for personal consultations, for an appointment you can reach me at: 520.977.0141

See you on Success Road!

Zak Klemmer

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