Medical advice from friends who aren’t doctors

“You need to see my guy”

Jeffrey Denny

The upside of having a painful, debilitating malady is that you can confirm how much your friends care about you.

The downside of having a painful, debilitating malady is you have to manage medical advice from your friends who care about you.

My painful, debilitating malady is a ruptured disc causing severe lower back pain and flaming agony down the back of my leg. This is known as sciatica.

It’s common. But common, like binge-watching “Friends” reruns, doesn’t make it better. When I can’t walk a block or sleep at night, let alone indulge my regular tennis or find a position in bed without keening like Rachel Maddow about Trump, I don’t care what the pain is called or what causes it.

While I’m largely agnostic but still worry about being hell-bound, I typically don’t damn God lest He decide take a break from laughing at Trump fundamental Christians to damn me. But in this case, goddamn this hurts.

What’s hardest is welcoming medical advice from non-doctor friends, such as:

· Have you tried massage? Here’s the number of my guy. He’s really good. He fixed my spondylosis.

· [Later that day] Did you call my massage guy? Not yet? Why not? You need to call him.

· You need to stretch. Here’s a YouTube video on how to find relief and stay active with simple stretches and strength moves.

· You need dry-needling. I don’t know what that is exactly, but I heard it’s more effective than acupuncture that uses wet needles.

· My friend had the same thing. She had surgery, and it worked miracles. You should get surgery.

· Don’t get surgery! My friend had surgery, and now she needs a helper to tie her shoes.

· Western medicine is greedy and corrupt, especially Big Pharma. It’s all about keeping you sick and hooked on their drugs so they make more money. Sure, they pulled out the stops for Covid vaccinations to save lives and end the pandemic. But they only did that to look good so they can make more money for their greedy executives and shareholders and buy more politicians to keep drug costs high.

· Don’t get hooked on Big Pharma’s drugs. Instead, try these yoga positions I found online with kombucha and healing crystals for wellness and to support women and minority owned business entrepreneurs who aren’t greedy White Male Western capitalists.

· If that doesn’t work, try reiki practitioners who offer holistic healing for stress, grief, worry, physical and emotional pain.

What is reiki? The fact that you asked only confirms you need a reiki master to channel energy into you by means of touch, and activate the natural healing processes of your body and restore physical and emotional well-being. I got this from a reiki website so you know it’s true.

· Your spinal cord is crying out from your life of consuming gluten and GMO foods, Dunkin’ Donuts, and slaughtered animals including delicious chicken sandwiches from homophobic Chick-fil-A and also Popeye’s, Hardees, Burger King, and other greedy corporate chains that hook people on garbage.

Your back issue is just your body revenging for your selfish need to feed your craving for cruel, climate-killing flesh of slaughtered innocent animals.

Did you know that chickens have souls? They do. I saw a YouTube video where a chicken was best friends with a cat, a cow, a lemur and a Brood X cicada before the chicken ate the bug.

· My uncle had what you have. He eventually had to crawl on the floor to get to the bathroom and refrigerator as he died a slow, agonizing death.

· Your leg hurts? Boo-hoo. Man up, suck it up and grow a pair. I had sciatica once, in fact twice as bad as you. I just toughed it out.

· I’m sending you a link from WebMD about sciatica that you should flip to your doctor.

· Have you seen a doctor? You really should see a doctor. My orthopedist is great. You should call him. [Later that day] Have you called him?

Jeffrey Denny is a Washington writer.