SRN Physical Rehabilitation Project
Chris Lawson's Back Injury Rehab Lab

 

SRN Physical Rehabilitation Project

Chris Lawson's Back Injury Rehab Lab

"A place where bodily injury is being rehabilitated without the use of Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, or other New Age occult philosophy based alternatives."
 
- Chris Lawson -
 
(April 14, 2016 update at bottom of page)
 

I have chosen to integrate this back rehabilitation project into my SRN ministry for the simple reasons that follow.

Incorporating physical fitness, a healthy eating and hydration program and engaging in basic athletic stretching exercises is how I am fixing my problematic back injury. My desire is to once again obtain maximum health and strong physical endurance. The goal of my test pilot program, me being the "lab rat" so-to-speak, is to be a living proof example that one need not use Eastern occult philosophy based New Age related methodology in order to achieve a healthy, flexible and physically fit lifestyle.

I am reminded of the Apostle Paul who was familiar with physical infirmity, the weakness of human flesh and the immense power of sinful human nature. One of my goals with this project is to "keep my body under" (self-controlled lifestyle) in order to allow the will of God to continue to be the overriding influence in my life, even though I have had a seriously debilitating injury that requires long-term recovery.

"Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize."   (1 Corinthians 9:26-27)

 

WHY IS CHRIS LAWSON BACK IN THE USA?

As a pastor and missionary, I returned to the USA from the United Kingdom (Scotland) in 2007. I moved my family and I there in 2003 with the intention of remaining there for many years, but some unfortunate things occurred.

Chris_LawsonThe main reason we returned to the USA was due to my own resignation from our sending church's missions support. I was told, "...dump your discernment ministry, or else we will redirect your missions support..." Instead of "dumping" our Christian apologetics, evangelism and discernment minstry, I chose to resign from the sending church I had helped plant for ten long years (1993-2003).

Even though we had massive encouragement from numerous ministries and pastors in the United Kingdom and the USA, and several churches financially supporting us, undue pressure was placed on us to literally "dump" a valid and much needed part our overseas Christian ministry. Never mind the fact that God had clearly provided for it and that Christian apologetics is one of the most needed ministires in the church today, we were told told to just get rid of it.

Ironically, according to our sending church, everything was fine with our ministry until we began exposing Rick Warren's false teachings, the dangers of contemplative mysticism, the un-Christian practice of yoga, and the dangers of false teachers within the body of Christ.

Our SRN ministry was a valid and much needed outreach in Scotland and many people had expressed this to us. Sadly, our sending church did not think so. Even though SRN was just a small part of our Scotland Missions outreach in Edinburgh, severe pressure was placed on us that went clear outside of biblical parameters. In the end I chose to resign our Missions support rather than play a game with a church that has publicly endorsed and continued to allow itself to be influenced by teachers like the publicly vulgar Marc Driscoll, ecumenical false teacher Rick Warren, contemplative/mystic promoting Timothy Keller, hyper-Calvinistic John Piper and others. It was for the best that we parted ways with that church in 2006, just as we parted ways from the entire movement in 2011.

Knowing the potential consequences that my resignation could incur upon myself and my wife and children, I took a step of faith and chose to resign from our sending church. I did not want to slide down the pole of compromise that our sending church has clearly gone since 2004. I was warning them back then about the things we see so clearly see today, but they have refused to listen as is evidenced by their promotion of the popular Christian leaders as mentioned above. Nor did I want to be coerced against my conscience and against God's holy mandate in Scripture to expose false teachers and all that oppose the biblical Gospel of grace. SRN as a ministry has always clearly stood for the biblical Gospel and the refutation of all that opposes it. Sadly, as was foreseen by numerous others as well as myself back in 2004, the leadership of that sending church has proceeded to promote the popular Christian leaders (and others) who have clearly deviated from sound biblical doctrine and practice.

DOING WHAT AS A PASTOR AND RETURNED MISSIONARY?

Chris_Lawson

Our sending church supported us for three more months after my resignation, during which time two other churches dropped our support, leaving us a full $1,000 dollars a month high and dry. We moved back to California in 2007 and lived off of my life savings while I looked for a job. After having a difficult time finding employment and not having the necessary continued funding for missions activities, severe financial hardship was upon us in no time at all. We had already taken a severe financial hit after my resignation and now it was time to cut weeds so we did not have to go homeless.

With the severe downturn in our U.S. economy, I decided to a start my own local business. What did I do? I began offering a much-needed service here on the Central Coast of California - I started a Landscape Fire Safety and Weed Abatement business. I worked very hard for a year and a half, built excellent client relationships and was placed on the local city and fire department referral list for weed abatement/landscape fire safety services.

Working many days of hard, dangerous, dirty and sweaty (and sometimes bloody) labor quickly gained provided me with a good reputation amongst local realtors, business owners and community services. The work was hard but it paid our bills and made for an honest living. One of the bonuses of my work was an outdoor office - in the forest and along the coastline, not to mention being in the best physical shape I had been in since I was 23 years old.

FIRE SAFETY, WEED ABATEMENT, BRUSH CLEARING AND MORE

Chris_Lawson

My line of work was Fire Safety Weed Abatement, Brush Clearing, Chain Sawing and more. I would regularly work along a beautiful stretch of Central California coastline, in the forest and on properties where heavy landscape maintenance was required. At 41 years of age I was working between two to ten hours at a time, oftentimes wearing full safety gear and using very dangerous hand held and self propelled clearing equipment. My clients would often find me plowing through organic matter and debris by hacking, cutting, chain sawing, lifting, digging, crawling, climbing, hauling, scaling, pushing, squatting, dragging, mowing, clearing and more. 

During my work I gained a high level of respect for Firefighters, Military Personnel and Emergency Service workers. The reason is that these people endure very hot days, extreme conditions and very dangerous work environments. I also learned a lot about working in obscurity, trusting God and waiting on the Lord for day-to-day provision (jobs and new clients). With next to no local advertising, my business took off in the first year simply by word of mouth and a healthy work ethic. I believe the Lord blessed my work because the work I did was honest. I refused to hire illegal aliens just to make more money the wrong way and I honored the Lord each day I worked. I prayed as I went and was always looking for opportunities to glorify the Lord and of course share His Gospel of salvation too.

THE INJURY - PARASPINAL MUSCLE DAMAGE

On October 16, 2009 I suffered a work related injury from cumulative overuse of my lower back muscles. I had been wanting to hire an employee for quite some time but workman's compensation was just to expensive to provide for them. As a result of overworking my back my mid and lower lumbar paraspinal muscles went into severe spasms. Extreme pain shot through my back and in one fell swoop I was out of commission, for good. As of July 30, 2010, approximately eight months since my injury, my paraspinal muscles continue to spasm periodically and at random when doing light household chores, i.e. washing dishes, bending down to tie my shoes, taking a shower and washing soap out of my hair, etc. [As of January 2013 I am still having to take a shower on my knees.]

My physical therapist has NOT ruled out the idea that I may have what is known as Facet Joint Syndrome:

Facet Joint Syndrome — destruction of the bony surfaces of a facet joint due to disease (such as osteoarthritis), wear-and-tear, too much weight on the joint, or injury.

Here are the muscles that have been deeply affected by hyper-repetition of my lower back muscles when using chainsaws, hauling debris, and excessive weed whacking and brush clearing.paraspinal_injury

Paraspinal Muscles

paraspinal_spasm

"The muscles next to the spine are called the paraspinal muscles. They support the spine and are the motor for movement of the spine. Joints allow flexibility, and muscles allow mobility. There are many small muscles in the back. Each controls some part of the total movement between the vertebrae and the rest of the skeleton. These muscles can be directly injured, such as when you have a pulled muscle or muscle strain. They can also cause problems indirectly, such as when they are in spasm after injury to other parts of the spine.

A muscle spasm is experienced when your muscle tightens up and will not relax. Spasms usually occur as a reflex (meaning that you cannot control the contraction). When any part of the spine is injured-including a disc, ligament, bone, or muscle-the muscles automatically go into spasm to reduce the motion around the area. This mechanism is designed to protect the injured area.

Muscles that are in spasm produce too much lactic acid, a waste product from the chemical reaction inside muscle cells. When muscles contract, the small blood vessels traveling through the muscles are pinched off (like a tube pinched between your thumb and finger), which causes a build up of lactic acid. If the muscle cells cannot relax and too much lactic acid builds up, it causes a painful burning sensation. The muscle relaxes as the blood vessels open up, and the lactic acid is eventually washed away by fresh blood flowing into the muscle."

 

THE ENDURANCE NEEDED FOR WORK AND RECOVERY

Chris_Lawson_Rehab_Nordic_Track

Mental endurance, physical strength and the will to physically conquer the landscape clearing projects was needed in order to not only do this type of work, but to do it fast, thoroughly and without bodily injury. As a new business owner I worked by myself. Again, I was unable to hire employees because the cost of Workers Compensation in this line of work is very expensive. While working I would stop at nothing to rip out whatever my clients wanted cleared and removed  - within the bounds of my certification and licensing of course. All was going well until my back gave out after many months of overuse.

After my injury, hobbling, crawling and moving very slowly became a regular part of every day life. Dealing with the physical pain was a whole new program.  The loss of work, our personal income and being "disabled" now took its toll on me emotionally.  In no time at all my entire life changed. In the first few weeks of the injury, two doctors and our physical therapist recommended that I immediately change my line of work - and never go back to intensive labor work, either during or after my recovery. Their counsel proved effective. I immediately stopped my business and began to sell and give away over $5,000 dollars of equipment. I ceased completely from working and I also gave away my client accounts to other people in my line of work.

A PHYSICAL THERAPY PROGRAM

Next in line for me was the beginning of a physical therapy program. This I did and I am still in the midst of my program. Much of what I have accomplished has come out of my own recipe for rehabilitation. A lot of what others have suggested has not worked and I avidly reject all forms of yoga, Reiki, etc. These are not needed as they bring occult philosophy and oftentimes extremely dangerous occult power with them. No one needs that!

I have experienced many days where my back, hips, neck and legs have been extremely stiff and where I simply have chronic pain - especially after countless nights of bad sleep and tossing and turning like I am a stuck pig on a rotisserie. I have lost flexibility in my neck, about 10 degrees whilst turning to the left. I have also lost flexibility in other ways as far as bending to the side, bending forward and rotating my back to one side. My back is pretty much a mess and it appears that I will never fully recover from this. At least that is what the muscular damage is revealing. I have a solid mass of muscular scar tissue inside the lower left side of my back that the physical therapists try to break down and massage out. Unfortunately this tissue just won't give way. It appears to have been caused by a consistently knotting muscle from overwork. When my physical therapists press hard to break the tissue down I feel nauseous and sweat and feel like either passing out from the pain or vomiting. It does not last that long but the purpose is to break down the knotted muscles.

WHY THE REHAB LAB?

The CHRIS LAWSON (SRN) REHAB PROJECT is simply a way of helping others see that physical fitness, healthy living and biblically balanced spirituality need not glean from the ways of the Eastern mysticism and the occult. This is my own personal project and I have consulted with my doctors and physical therapists as to the types of stretching and exercises I can do. I have also been informed about the proper intensity levels that would be beneficial in the recovery process.

My goal with this REHAB PROJECT is to eventually apply the same level of endurance to my personal rehabilitation as I did with my landscaping business. I want to once again be in top physical shape and to do it without compromising my Christian faith - like so many do - when indulging in Yoga, meditation, Reiki, etc.  

WHY A PUBLIC PROGRESS REPORT?

I am recording my rehabilitation process here in order to show that Christians (and non-Christians alike) do not need yoga, Reiki, alternative New Age "energy" therapies, techniques, etc. in order to rehabilitate injuries, gain flexibility and have a clear mind and healthy body. Lord willing, my injuries can be effectively rehabilitated. I do not know how long my rehab project will take and my doctors do not know either. Nonetheless, it is worth a try.

LAWSON'S WARNING AGAINST PRAGMATISM IN MEDICINE AND SPIRITUALITY

I would like to note here that no matter what type of injury a person sustains, pragmatism in medicine and spirituality is never a safe game to play. Just because someone says something "works" does not mean it is always safe or "healthy." There are lot of things that "work" but they can destroy the body, mind, soul and spirit for eternity. In our world today there is a never-ending supply of New Age, occult and alternative therapies that appear to "work." Masses of well-intentioned people claim that these things have many "positive" results. The trade-off however is a subtle (and sometimes blatant) induction into a vast vortex of spiritual deception. Yes physical healing may occur, but at what cost - the full personal conversion to an occult worldview with pragmatic occult practices (therapies)?

It should be forever remembered that total delusion and financial ruin are oftentimes the final outcome for many that trifle with pragmatic therapies that are based not upon sound medical advice, but upon ancient folk medicine, "energy work," the latest misguided fads and a myriad of "personal testimony" stories. Ignorance is definitely not bliss. Quacks, spiritual charlatans and money preachers will promote anything that the fallen human mind can contrive, even if it seems really good and is pawned off on T.V. Just because something is popular does not mean it is right and good. World history has shown us that what is often perceived by the masses as right and good, can actually be the greatest of evils.

For instance, Adolph Hitler preached a "Positve Christianity," but then he pulled the out the 'Ace of Spades' - the death card that send millions to the gas chambers, funeral pyres, firing squads and ovens. So too, people today follow the trendy postural yoga, Reiki and meditation revolution. Little do Westerner's know that they are slowly, increment by increment, being duped into a New Age (occult) worldview that even the most radical (and possessed) Indian gurus have been warning about for years. The ignorant will scoff at such warnings; others will take heed.


BACK REHABILITATION PROGRESS REPORT

 

PHASE I: ACUTE PHASE OF TREATMENT, DOCTORS ASSESSMENTS, BEGINNING REHAB

Oct 16 - Dec 31, 2009

Oct .16 - Nov. 10: Unable to work; complete rest; heavily ice back; three doctors assessments; Ultrasound on back; hand massage; body adjustments; upon to listening to three doctors' recommendations I decide to completely shut down my landscape business; file a disability claim; contact family and clients.)

Nov. 11 - Dec. 15: Physical therapy assessments; begin a very light cardio warm-up and very light core strengthening rehab exercises; at times warm up on NordicTrack Commercial 1300 Elliptical Trainer; Physical Therapy one to three times a week at clinic; begin selling landscape equipment.

Dec. 16: Try more intensive Core strengthening.  This proved to be too much as I paid for it later in the afternoon and following day - on the floor and period icing and pain killers; back to light core strengthening through the end of the year.

Personal Note: We discussed what appears to be Lumbosacral Facet Syndrome. I have problems with my mid and lower spine as muscles tense and spasm easily, putting pressure on vertebrae and resulting in nerve issues/pain. This is similar to a sports injury when muscles are extremely overused. This is yet to be determined, however, symptoms are almost identical. Even the intense craving for salty foods has increased.

Dec. 17-31: Light cardio warm-up on stair stepper; very light core strengthening rehab exercises; shoot some baskets on the court and slowly retrieve ball for my kids to shoot baskets.


PHASE II: SLOWLY RECOVERING AND WORKING THROUGH PHYSICAL REHAB

Jan 2010

Jan. 1-6: Light cardio warm-up on stair stepper; very light core strengthening rehab exercises.

Personal Note: Still have approximately 10 percent loss of neck rotation when turning to the left; Still have lessened flexibility when doing supine knee rotations to the left; still have loss of reach going down my right quadricep to the side of my knee. Some days my back feels good and I wake up with no pain. Others days, I wake up feeling horrible, extreme lack of flexibility, dull aching with pain radiating across lower back. Recently I have felt Sciatica radiating down buttocks and both legs. Only a muscle relaxer and stretching deals with this properly.

Jan. 7-13: Continue light Core strengthening program and also try again the more intensive Core strengthening program that we tried on December 16 and increase cardio workout on NordicTrack Commercial 1300 Elliptical Trainer.

Jan. 14-31: Officially disabled regarding my previous Landscape / Fire Safety occupation.  Currently working through paperwork, monthly medical assessments, etc.


PHASE III: FIVE MONTH STRETCH

Feb - Jun 2010

Feb: Qualified for Disability. Intermittent back pain persists.

Mar: Currently on Disability. Displaced home and office due to storm damage. 

Apr: Finally resettled in new living location. Slow back recovery.

May - Jun: Chronic, intermittent back pain persists.


PHASE IV: ASSESSMENTS AND CONTINUED REHABILITATION

Jul - Dec 2010

July: Six-month back assessment on Monday, July 26. 

Chronic pain in lower lumbosacral area.

Now awaiting MRI scheduling and assessment in August.

Aug: Continuing rehabilitation program.

Rehabilitation exercises, cardio-workout and use of light weights.

Light ocean paddling to strengthen upper back muscles and shoulders.

Sep: September 14 - MRI on back - Lower Lumbosacral area.

MRI revealed two fissures in lower spine area. Apparently no nerve damage and no sign of bulging or herniated discs. Still experiencing random muscle spasms, hyper-sensitivity/pain in lower spinal area.  Cannot sit for too long and cannot stand for too long. Still having problems sleeping, however, a new bed has helped tremendously. I can now at least sleep through half the night.

Oct: Further assessments by two more specialists scheduled for mid October. 

Nov: MRI and Ergonomic Mobility assessments completed.  Doctor, Physical Therapist and Insurance Company all confirm medical disability problem that I have.   Confirmation again that I cannot return to the type of labor intensive occupational work that I was involved in before my injury.

Dec: Pain management/rehabilitation continues as does a new consideration of vocational training for either a new line of occupational work - or continued work in the field of Christian missions, ministry, and/or pastoring/church planting.  The latter here is my personal preference as this is what I have been doing now for close to 20 years.

Personal Note:  It's been over a year now since my injury and altogether my lifestyle has changed dramatically.  I am physically much weaker than I was a year ago and have had to make some major emotional adjustments in accepting my injury. 

Also, due to having to accept my physical limitations I have hit some major potholes at times with depression and the frustration of not being able to fully support my family on my own.  We have suffered financial setback and the loss of my personal business this past year as a result of my injury.  I have always been physically active and now at 42 years of age, this life trial has hit me full force.

Nonetheless, I press on, we press on..."And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28).


PHASE V: CONTINUED REHABILITATION

Jan - Sep 2011

Partially Disabled:  According to my doctors and my insurance company I am officially "partially disabled."  Practical maintenance is needed in order to alleviate further muscular problems and avoid injuries.  My back muscles spasm when they are tired because they are damaged.  When this occurs it puts intense pain on my spinal column in the center of my back.   I end up on the floor with ice packs, etc.

Although my very active lifestyle has changed, I am still able to accomplish what is necessary as a father and husband.  I am grateful that the Lord has strengthened me, and that I have been able to at least recover thus far.

Oct-Dec 2011

Recently met with insurance agent (October) again and have also been to a doctor again numerous times. Beginning new round of stretching and back and stomach strengthening.

Physical therapy on muscle knots in back throughout the last quarter of the year. Back muscles continue to spasm from over-use and damage from injury.

Jan-Sep 2012

Basic weight training, light weights. Nordic Track Elliptical Trainer, eating healthy and losing weight. Lost 15lbs in May.

Sep-Dec 2012

No longer insured and pressing on through the financial difficulties.

Unfortunately I gained back the weight that I had lost. Have had major right shoulder pain from the cold, damp air. Right shoulder was rebuilt in 1991 (bone graft, aluminum pin, tendon reconstruction).


PHASE VI: CONTINUED REHABILITATION

Jan-Feb 2013

I am now pretty much back to normal day-to-day living. Over the past six months have found a solution to severe stiffness and muscle spasms. This includes an intense upper body workout and a 45 to 60 minute workout on an Elliptical training machine. Combined with crunches, sit-ups and heavy stretching this takes the pressure off my lower back. I am still dealing with numerous issues as noted above, but at least now I can, for the most part, work daily, surf a little and enjoy life a lot more than the past few years.

Mar-Apr 2013

Sever pain and six weeks of down time. Slow recovery again. Paraspinal muscle damage form initial injury has simply flared up again from working too much, standing too much and/or sitting too much.

May-Jul 2013

Working through how to maintain the balance of not standing too much, and not sitting too much. Extended time in a desk chair ruins my effectiveness in every way.

I now have a progressive foot injury that has been going on for three months. Yesterday my x-rays confirmed the diagnosis that I have as an advanced stage of Plantar Fasciitis, coupled with a sizeable bone/heel spur. We also found out that my right Achilles tendon has some swelling/stiffness and my foot is swollen from a previous toe fracture, from a previous surfing injury. The photo at this link above looks exactly like my own x-ray.

It seems the back pain is here to stay. I have pretty much been able to find out through trial and error what consistently works for me. Light weight workouts, some surfing/paddling, moderate running on an Elliptical training machine, eating healthy and sleeping well. Lack of restful sleep leads to everything else falling to pieces as my back muscles wear out way too quickly.

Aug 2013

Looks, and feels like it is time to lose some weight again. This time I need to lose 20lbs.

Hoping to eventually invest in a VASA Swim Ergometer or VASA Trainer, as the nearest lane swimming is almost 30 minutes away.Chris Lawson Surf

Was able to purchase a used VASA Swim Ergometer with the added donor support. Drove five hours to pick it up. THANK YOU to all who helped us with the purchase. This helps to enable us to continue ot show that we do not need Yoga and Reiki and other forms of New Age spirituality treatments to move forward and heal from physical injuries.

Sept 2013 

Begin VASA Ergometer workouts with two 500 meter sessions (10 minutes each). Continue rehab on feet for Plantar Fasciitis issuesAble to surf/swim consistently now and it is helping tremendously. It helps the foot issues too. I do pray that God heals my back completely, but I am content in Him and His plan for me if He chooses not to.

Oct-Dec 2013 

Almost completely over the Plantar Fasciitis issues, and at present I am dealing with tendon issues in my left forearm. Also have had numerous tumors removed from my arms. Back pain continues when sitting at desk.

Jan-Mar 2014

Very happy to have surfed two-to-three times a week from December through February. Surfed 6-10 foot surf off and on for almost two months. My foot arches and bone spurs are feeling much better, and I wear an ankle brace on my left foot to help heal a near broken ankle several months back. The tendons in my left ankle stretched out really bad as I heard my ankle pop really loud when I fell. Wearing ankle brace when surfing helps, especially in big hollow surf - 8-13ft.

Back problems still persist but at least I am surfing consistently. Surfing has helped me feel much better, both physically and emotionally. Late February and March have been difficult as a huge 21 foot West/Northwest swell ripped up the beaches here recently. The surf has been horrible since then, about four weeks ago.

I have been working out on our VASA Trainer and needing to lose ten pounds again. Time for my two-week weight loss plan again. Still sleep horrible almost every night and the stress of having very little financial support really affects to me.  Nonetheless, others need help so I will continue to help them. Pressing on, looking up, and praising God that I don't do Yoga, Reiki and all the other occult/energy work junk that is destroying so many lives these days!

Apr-Jun 2014

Surfed only three times since January.  Back and foot problems persist. Our Elliptical running machine broke again. We fixed the rubber belt and the new replacement rubber belt shredded after a few times on the machine. The main balance wheel is bent and it appears the machine is not repairable. We are waiting to buy a new one but have no funds to do so at this time.

I am able to do office work but it is necessary to limit time both standing and sitting. Rotating tasks has become a way of life.

Jun-Jul 2014

Have been surfing quite a bit now and am feeling better than I have for years. Still not able to run or jump though, and basketball is definitely not something I can be a part of. I'll just watch. I am starting a new local water business as the drought here is so bad. I will be delivering/spraying water and transferring to water storage tanks as well.

Jul-Aug-Sep 2014

Worked from the middle of July to the end of September, delivering water and watering landscapes for local residents. The new business started off well and I was very careful with my back, however, by the end of September I was crawling again in the mornings just to get to the door to let the cat out. It appears that even after five years since my initial injury my paraspinal back muscles are permanently damaged. Swimming, surfing and physical therapy core strengthening exercises are the way forward and the road to healing.


PHASE VII: RE-AGGRAVATED INJURY AND REHABILITATION AGAIN

Oct-Dec 2014

Serious back and neck injury pain with more assessments and treatment. Work related - from sitting in a chair too much at the desk. Major pain, can't workout, swim or surf at the present time.


PHASE VIII: CARDIO/HEART TEST RESULTS

Jan-Jun 2015

Various back, shoulder and neck assessments and heart and blood tests.

Back to working out again with weights and the VASA Swim Ergometer. Purchasing and using the VASA Swim Ergometer is literally one of the best decisions I have made in 47 years of existence on planet earth! If you are an athlete - get one!

Completed a full round of cardio assessments, ultrasound, stress test, etc. According to the cardiologist and test results my heart is in the top ninety-nine percentile as far as a healthy human heart. The doctor asked "What do you do to keep in such good shape?" I said, I swim and surf. He said" Keep doing it as long as you can!"


PHASE IX:  ACROMIOCLAVICULAR JOINT (AC joint) DEGENERATION (Left Shoulder)

The AC joint is the joint at the top of the shoulder. Since my back injury in 2009 and the ensuing consequences I have had to deal with, I have experienced chronic shoulder pain. The pain is from several things, but primarily from degeneration in the AC joints - both of them. Many nights the pain is so bad that it's virtually impossible to sleep more than an hour or two. Shoulder pain plus back pain keeps me rolling back and forth. Sleep deprivation is part of life. Surfing and core strengthening exercises evens out my muscle useage and alleviates pain in my lower back.

Also, working more than full-time and surfing almost daily at times helps to wear me out physically so I can sleep better. It works! Surfing makes me feel a million times better - physically and emotionally, and the Lord blesses me with joy in the midst of it. I am not into pain meds - at all, and never have been! I'd rather work and surf and exercise and then fall asleep because I am tired, instead of patching up the problem with pain meds. I am not against pain medication usage for excessive pain, I just personally resist using it. Hopefully I will not need to in the future, unless I have shoulder surgery.

Jul-Aug 2015

After two shoulder x-rays, an MRI, and various other tests, a cortisone injection (Corticosteroid Injection) in the left shoulder has helped tremendously. We are working on isolating the pain to pinpoint injury locations. At least I can sleep half way through the night now. I actually forgot what it was like to sleep for more than a couple hours. It's been almost six years of this.

Sep-Nov 2015

 

More pain and tests. Surgery scheduled for December, for my left shoulder.

Dec 2015

More pain and tests - and a surgery in December for the left shoulder. Shoulder surgery in the beginning of December - Removal of bone spurs. The surgeon found that I have a torn labrum, which was trimmed. Started physical therapy.


PHASE X:  ACROMIOCLAVICULAR JOINT (AC joint) DEGENERATION (Right Shoulder)

Jan-Mar 2016

Continued physical therapy on left shoulder, and now x-rays and MRI for the right shoulder.

 

Assessment? The surgeon read a long list of problems that the MRI revealed, and then informed me that I am "...not quite ready for a shoulder replacement!"

PHASE XI:  BACK PAIN...OR, SHOULDER PAIN.

Apr 2016

Simply stated, its one or the other, depending on which form of working out I choose. If I exercise my shoulders (surfing/swimming), my shoulders hurt and my back feels better. On the other hand, if I don't surf/swim, my back occasionally flares up.

Lord willing, I hope to be back in the water consistently when I can.


To those who pray for me, Thank you!

Chris Lawson


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