As a child, you could say I was a bit superstitious. When eight, walking along the sidewalk to school I would always make certain I didn't step on any ants because I thought that it could bring bad karma. I've changed my views about these kinds of things in the last forty years but one kind of superstition turns out to be real and displays a tenacity which is dumbfounding.
Best described as Murphy's law, it seems that any time I write, whether here or on Segev's Facebook page, but especially when I tell someone that one of Segev's problems has shown improvement, he inevitably has a relapse. It's a scientific fact that frustrates me severely. To such an extent that I'm careful not even to think to myself that some aspect of his being, whether cognizance, general demeanor, lungs, bowels, seizures or back has shown improvement.
Over time his health has declined consistently since a three week long hospitalization at the start of 2011. His bouts with pneumonia are constant; about seven occurrences a year. Since May, after struggling nearly five months with pneumonia, there seems to be the illusion of relative calm. It is an illusion because there are several bacteria which have colonized his lungs, mostly the collapsed left lung but that the physical chest therapy, nebulized inhalation with hypertonic saline, suction and postural drainage carried out multiple times each day, is keeping at bay. But most importantly I now recognize the very first sign of pneumonia in Segev, which is vomiting, so with quicker response I hope to see the number of pneumonia decrease, for as long as that is possible.
If you are still reading, then you will be rewarded with some very positive news, something good that not only has increased Segev's health but has especially contributed to his sense of well-being, reducing the degree to which he suffers pain significantly.
I've told you about Segev's back. The extreme kyphosis (hunchback) means his lungs are further compressed, obviously making breathing more difficult but also causes an inordinate amount of pressure at the fulcrum point; in other words his upper back is 'hanging on' above a particular point in his spine causing the vertebrae to be compressed.
Having long experience treating patients' backs with manipulation, which in my practice is more gentle persuasion actually, I've developed a sense of how much change can be expected in a particular orthopedic condition. Now, I've been working on my son's back for so many years it is difficult to understand how just in the last few months things have started to change in an unprecedented, yes even unimaginable, fashion.
The techniques I employ, intuitive, specially catered to the lines of tension that mesh bone, ligament, muscle and fascia in my son, are extremely difficult to perform. Requiring great dexterity, some risk taking and powerful hands. Which is why I am limited in how long I can continue the treatment before cramps in arms and back force me to retreat from the battlefield, or as I like to think, to end the symphony on a whimper.
Whatever the exact mechanism, I've been able to realign his spine to a degree I would have sworn is impossible. As the effect of my treatment seems to last roughly 24 hours, each day's minute advancement began gaining momentum, building on the last until finally I was able to literally push and pull, twist and turn, massage and press his spine to such an extent, that the moment of release felt entirely surreal. I was more than just a little afraid in that instant. Had I done too much, as sometimes can occur? But the expression on Segev's face, of deep contentment, so utterly relaxed, smiling, cooing, wiped away my fears and brought about the need for me to wipe the tears from my eyes.
Since that first 'miraculous' moment, as long as I am able to bring him back to this condition daily, (this means, including when he is at his mother's) where his spine is relatively (remarkably, actually) supple, the alignment nearer center line and especially to reach that state of decompression of the fulcrum point, Segev does not have bouts of paroxysmal pain. There are still many other issues which cause him discomfort but those most severe cases, where screaming and hyperventilating were hallmarks, have subsided.
As always I am committed to maintain the quality of caring for my son, at whatever cost, and indeed the excitement and joy of this positive change, however temporal it may turn out to be, have given me a modicum of calm and, dare I say it, the fragrance of hope.