Monday, March 31, 2008

Spondylolisthesis, lunch with my new Chinese friend and on the telly again

Hi again

Usually, as you may have noticed, I only mention the good things in life in my blog and, of course, the publishable stuff. Therefore my life probably sounds perfect. I have nothing to complain about but, of course, it isn’t perfect.

To prove it isn’t perfect, I’m telling you about my new ailment. I have been having a lot of back pain in the last few months. I tried to ignore it but it persisted and I finally went to see a specialist. To cut a long story short, the diagnosis is degenerative spondylolisthesis which, I cannot for the life of me pronounce.

From what I have read on internet, degenerative spondylolisthesis develops when the stabilizing spinal structures begin to deteriorate. This usually occurs in the lower back, which carries most of the body's weight. Sometimes the spinal joints become arthritic and wear out, which may cause spinal instability. As vertebrae lose normal alignment one vertebra slips forward over the vertebra below it. When this happens the neural foramina (space where nerves leave the spinal canal) may become closed causing nerve compression and sciatica.

So what does that mean for me? Well, I don’t know yet. Today I am doing the super scan and will see the doctor again on Thursday. Meanwhile the pain seems to be receding and the number of pain killers I am taking has also gone down.

A more cheerful piece of news was lunch with my new Chinese friend, Lisa Wang last week. Lisa and I met at the first TV programme we went to. It’s fun to have a Chinese friend and she is my first. I learned from her how she first came to Spain at the age of 13, how she had to learn Spanish and integrate. Her parents, very typically, had a Chinese restaurant!! I also learned that there are 1.3 billion Chinese people, about one fifth of the world’s population and that Mandarin is the unifying language although there are hundreds of dialects. Lisa works for Inter China Consulting in Madrid which is an agency that helps Spanish companies enter the Chinese market.

And on Friday, the day my friends were coming from England, I went on the TV news chat show again. This time the coverage was nationwide as the channel, Intereconomía has now opened up its signal for the whole country. This time my companions were of Korean and Palestinian origin which made me feel the least exotic of the lot. Anne was American of Korean origin who works for an NGO in Madrid which promotes free trade. Radi was Palestinian and heads up a Moroccan owned bank in Spain. One of the great things about going to this programme is meeting the other “foreigners” and learning about their walks of life.

If you want to see it, you should be able to download it here: Intereconomía (go to the calendar on the left, change from radio to TV, then click on March 28th and then find the programme and time which is: 11.36, Foros Capital).

My contribution was commenting on the visit of Sarkozy to the UK last week and how the main protagonist was Carla Brunni. When the conversation turned to the economy and the sub prime mortgages in the USA my comments were what that might mean to the family economy!!

And then I had to rush home to rustle up lunch for Amanda and Andy and Simon and Gill, whom, as you know from all my previous posts were coming to stay the weekend. But more about that in my next post.

Cheers till then,


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