NEIGHBORHOOD GARDEN FOR MAY 14, 2016 *************************************************************




          The comprehensive guide I bought from the Nebraska Extension service on WEEDS is called “GUIDE FOR WEED MANAGEMENT”. It contains valuable research based information on pest management for crop,  pasture, range, turf and aquatic environments in Nebraska. Modes of action are provided for fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides to facilitate their rotation to avoid pest resistance evolution. It seems to me the experts used to write about “weed control”. Now they talk about weed management.

          I also noticed that Dennis Ferraro at Master Gardener classes and on Backyard Farmer talks about “Wildlife Management” as opposed to wildlife control. I think the basic idea is that wildlife (including birds, rabbits, fox, ground squirrels, moles, voles, etc) and weeds are present and impossible to eliminate. And most are hard to “control”. So the only thing you can do is “manage” them and part of this is learning how to manage and may learning to live with a few.

          What prompted this article is the back surgery I had on April 13, 2016. I have SCOLIOSIS very bad. For a number of years the pain doctor gave me a steroid shot of in my back about every 4 or 5 months. This really helped and enabled me to work in the garden and around the house for a number of years. However, there comes a time when the shots catch up to you and the steroids do as much harm as they do good.

          The “pain doctor” told me about an implant (Neuro-Stimulator) more than a year ago to help me manage the pain. We decided at the time to delay the surgery as it would have meant I could not garden for a period of time and I would have lost a whole summer of gardening. Just before Christmas I told him I was ready to have the surgery. As with most things there were hoops I had to jump through before scheduling the placement of the implant in my back. The first was a trial period. Electrodes were inserted in my spine with a needle and then connected to an external battery pack. My family and friends commented on how much straighter I was standing. I also knew I was able to work longer on my feet before my back really started to hurt. I did not realize how much better until the evening after the trial electrodes were removed and I wished I had them back.  

          The neuro-stimulator does not remove the pain but helps me to manage the pain by sending electrical signals to my brain that overrides the pain signals. As a result I can walk further and stand longer before the pain becomes more than I can live with and I have to sit down. Our son-in-law gave me a plastic chair that is permanently in the garden to help me manage.

          The next step before getting the implant was to check with Medicare and my supplemental insurance company to see if they would pay for the neuro-stimulator. Then I went to Omaha to check with the “back surgeon” to see if he thought I was a good candidate for this surgery. They all said ok and on April 13, 2016, I checked into the “Nebraska Spine Hospital” at 1:00 pm surgery that afternoon. After the surgery the doctor said he was very pleased with the way this “paddle” shaped implement with electrodes on both sides fit into my spine. He put the battery pack just below the skin about the waist line on my left side.

          So far it is working fine and the incisions are healing. I was glad I went ahead even though it has delayed my ability to get into the garden. I did do a little work last week but I am restricted in what I can do. The restrictions protect the implant and also the incision. I don’t want the implant to work loose before it has really healed in. I also don’t want the incisions to tear open before they are completely healed. My wife has been a good nurse that changes the bandages and keeps me in line. Our son has been a big help doing some of the work I am not able to do yet.

          A neuro-stimulator is not for every one but after adjustments it is helping me and will continue to help me get back into the garden soon.

Copyright 2016