Saturday, 16 June 2012

Just an Opinion

The last couple of weeks I have been in discomfort with a bulging disc in my lumbar spine. It's been an interesting process to get to that diagnosis, and the process got me thinking about "opinions."
Sometimes we can allow ourselves to believe that something stated is a fact, when it is really only an opinion......
In my case the pain began in my back about 8 weeks ago- bothering my sleep so that got my full attention!. Based on some simple tests we can perform in our workplace I had some remedial massage and some 
ortho-bionomy treatments. It appeared my pelvis was rotated, my upper leg was rotated, and my L5 vertebrae was not moving as freely as it should have been. Treatment helped but the pain persisted so, as with any client I might not be able to give some relief to, I referred myself on....  So I ventured to my Osteopath with my symptoms. Her diagnosis concurred with our own and her treatment was similar with the initial inclusion of some high velocity manipulations to free up my L5 area. That seemed to increase the pain initially (and my disturbed sleep), so I sought the involvement of a Physiotherapist....who also concurred with the rotated pelvis diagnosis and treated with more gentle joint manipulation. But still the pain persisted after 3 treatments.
So finally I went to my Doctor. He was very thorough with all sorts of movement checks and decided to send me for some radiology- X-rays, ultrasounds, and CT scan. The result showed I had a bulging disc between L4 and L5. So now I know exactly what I need to do to nurse the problem till the disc settles back into its "home" again. I was able to return to my Osteopath, tell her what was going on, and she can now specifically treat me. I also have a range of "self-care" options to care for my back while the disc repairs.
All the treatments helped me, but what I realised was that until the radiologist had a look inside the outer casing of my body, I was accepting each new health profession's opinion as having the correct answer- especially as they all concurred. And no doubt each diagnosis was correct, but the underlying cause( the disc bulge) was not being acknowledged or treated. Each Professional was giving me their opinion, and because I kept hearing the same diagnosis, I was accepting it as fact- and this time it wasn't!
 This experience gave me a wake up call because I do try not to "jump to assumptions" but I guess this was "too close to home" and I was pretty immersed in the symptoms. Then when I looked out into the wider world it reinforced that thought......
This week Lindy Chamberlain was able to, finally, after a final( I hope, for her sake) coronial inquest, be completely absolved of any wrong doing in the tragic death of her 2-month-old baby Azaria in 1980....that in fact a dingo had killed her small baby. I was a very young woman during Lindy's original trial, but remember all the media sources seemed to be of the "opinion" and suggestion that the dingo accusation was absurd and that, based on Lindy's calm and stoic demeanour during her trial, devout(often described as radical) religious beliefs, and reluctance to speak with media she was clearly guilty. I think that many Australians, hearing that opinion often enough, began to consider it as fact.... it makes it difficult to truly receive a fair trial!
I was able to watch the Eddie Mabo story this week and, sadly, realised that traditional land rights of our indigenous Australians was a hard fought case. With Eddie Mabo finally winning his land rights claim- whereupon lands that had been cared for, farmed, and handed down through aboriginal families for generations could no longer be taken from them by the Commonwealth. It struck down the past doctrine that Australia was Terra nullius - a land belonging to no-one. And allowed that compensation be payable by the Government on successful native title claims. The respect  I suddenly felt for displaced Indigenous Australians since European settlement overwhelmed me and I felt embarrassed that I had allowed myself to be mislead by media opinion of the times.
It leads me to try not to have an opinion regarding the "bad" behaviour reported of Australia's sporting stars, and likewise our politicians when reports first surface because, again, they are often just opinions of "informed sources."
 Looking beyond our own country we now hear in all the media of trouble and strife in Syria and possible need for U.S.( and allied) intervention. So now I am starting to question this "opinion" in the media. It sounds like the same "recipe" we saw in Libya( does anyone believe there ever were any "weapons of mass destruction"?), Afghanistan, and Iraq....
 It's all reinforcing my belief that until I see with my own eyes, and hear with my own ears, that I will resist the urge to form an  "opinion" based on what others may tell me.

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