Orofino,Idaho-Window on the Clearwater
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Nothing lasts forever

by Jake Foster, PA, Clearwater Valley Hospital and Clinics

When I was in my mid 20's I had my first bout with low back pain.

It seemed to come out of the blue one day. Suddenly, I had a sensation of fullness and pressure in my low back. I didn't dare move, as any small movement caused an excruciating pain. I couldn't sit for longer than five minutes before I would get tingling and shooting pains all the way to my foot. Standing wasn't comfortable either. It seemed so unpredictable too--some movements seemed to be fine, but those same movements would later stop me in my tracks with pain. It was like there was a gremlin twisting and wrenching my spine randomly. The symptoms went on for many weeks, and I felt entirely hopeless. I couldn't imagine life ever being the same again.

2020 was a big lumbar disc herniation of a year. At the beginning of last year, my wife and I made plans for some new adventures that included traveling to new areas. Suddenly, the pandemic hit and our plans were canceled. I watched helplessly as some of my favorite little local businesses between here and Pocatello lost their revenue streams and had to close permanently. I heard first hand stories of friends losing loved ones to complications from the new virus. Then there were the fires. First, it was Australia. Millions of acres burned, and dozens of people were killed. Then the fires scorched across the western US, culminating in multiple fires in our little valley that changed some of our neighbors' lives forever. Many of you are probably like me in wondering if life will ever be the same again.

I haven't wandered around on planet earth longer than a lot of people, but I've been around long enough to know that there is truth in the phrase "this too shall pass." My back eventually stopped hurting. I returned to my usual goofy twenty-something pursuits, rarely thinking about my back again. Winds stop and fires eventually run out of fuel. January inevitably rolls around, every year, after December. The days start lengthening. The sun starts its slow return to its summer zenith. And, in 2021, we have started to see the inklings of an end to a global pandemic. Remarkable new vaccines have arrived, the likes of which the world has never seen before, and people have been able to receive the vaccine one by one. So far, there have been over one thousand people who have received the vaccine in our community. This is no small feat when you consider the short time that these vaccines have been available. The march to immunity is going strong. If you are eligible to receive the vaccine, see about getting signed up to have the injection. If you have questions, give the clinic a call at 476-5777 or visit coronavirus.idaho.gov. Let's keep the march going strong.

I'm starting to have some hope that global pandemics are like low back pain, forest fires and Clearwater Valley winters. They just won't last forever.

Window on the Clearwater
P.O. Box 2444
Orofino, ID 83544
Phone: (208) 476-0733
Fax: (208) 476-4140