The Gaineys are back at UAB Highlands yet again this morning, this time it’s Dan’s turn to visit the UAB Pain Management Center. He’s dealt with chronic neck pain for twenty years, but it has ramped up a great deal in the last year or so, thanks to bulging discs and arthritis. Our wonderful doctor at UAB SpineNet has tried physical therapy, medications, and steroidal shots to help him, but nothing has kept the pain from waking him all during the night. This is not a long-term fix, but the next logical step, and we hope he will get several months of relief.
None of this has stopped my husband, the unflappable Mr. MacKenzie. He has continued to bust his tail working around the house and spending long hours at the theater with a busy summer season of shows, as well as teaching his packed yoga classes at the Downtown YMCA. He has smiled through it all, setting a wonderful example to me and to others about living life in a joyful way, no matter what you are dealing with. His sense of humor is always turned on high, and he did his best to make the nurses and me laugh as he lay on the table waiting to be taken in for the procedure. As always, we were the only ones laughing in the hospital. We always figure, if you have to be there, you may as well enjoy yourself. As I was driving him home after the procedure, he told me that when the doctor was cleaning his neck before the shots, Dan asked him, “while you’re back there, would you mind doing some manscaping?” The doctor laughed, as did the nurse…who turned out to be one of his yoga students. The tech who wheeled him out afterwards was laughing all the way to the car, telling me to “keep this man- he is one good and funny guy.” No worries there.
When I think of all this man does for our home and our family, I have to laugh. He climbs tall ladders, walks out onto our very tall roof, dives into electrical and plumbing work, handles any tool with grace- all to make our home a fun, magical, and safe place. Of course, he scares me to death with his death-defying antics at times. My speed dial stays set on 911 when he pulls out the extension ladder….all the while he is fearless and joking.
Today it’s my turn to take care of my sweet man. I’ve promised him a Heavy D approved Sonic chocolate shake after the procedure, and something yummy to eat when we get home. He works so hard every day, but today he’ll rest…if I have to tie him to the couch.