MY LIFE IN THE NAVY
you happen to stumble across this page not knowing to what else it is
connected, go to
reflection some 37 years later, my Navy “career” was a quite
interesting period in my life but I wouldn’t choose to go through it
again. The time away from my
civilian job put me considerably behind the 8-ball.
The “football heroes” who had back, knee, or shoulder injuries
and such and had, thus, avoided the draft, were way ahead of me and I was
now the dummy on the job. That
fact contributed greatly to my choosing, in 1972, to quit being an
Assistant National Bank Examiner and join SBA.
(See “My Start With SBA” on this site.)
I must say that Dr. Pearl did a wonderful job on my back.
As this is written, he is still practicing up in Bar Harbor, Maine
and I have been in contact with him.
Given the likely advances in spinal surgery since 1970, I’d
imagine that whatever he did way back then would now be considered
“meatball surgery” from the Dark Ages. The VA judged me to be recovered sufficiently that they cut
my disability from 40% to 20% in 1972.
I WAS hospitalized with back pain when Reagan was shot in March of
1981 and then again in August of that year, but those instances were from
my simply not being careful enough. In one instance, I was bending down to
set my VCR and the other time, while on my knees,
I reached and stretched to clean the far side of my bath tub. I have now learned that EVERY time I bend or try to lift, I
MUST think about my back. I
did get foolish once, in about 1997, and tried to go bowling.
That event yielded me two steroid shots ($900, fully covered by my
HMO), which fixed me up. All
in all, back-wise, I’m in pretty good shape.
I don’t like to walk very far and standing for a prolonged period
will give me a wee bit of sciatic pain down my left leg. Had I listened to
Dr. Pearl, I wouldn’t even have these minor problems.
(I’ve grown much fatter and don’t believe in exercise.) My proofreader has problems with both a cervical disk and her
tailbone but avoids surgery, saying “I’ve seen people end up in
wheelchairs after back surgery. I’d
rather live with my pain than chance it.”
Any pain I feel coming on now is self-treated with just a few
days’ bed rest and aspirin. If anything major occurs, I won’t hesitate
to seek him out again.
in January, 2008 by
Ronald E. Hontz
33 Whitcraft Lane
Shrewsbury PA 17361
cell phone (717) 309-1402