After an absence of exactly six months of working, I am back at my desk at The Rafu Shimpo.

I am so grateful to the publisher, Mr. Michael Komai, and editor, Gwen Muranaka, who so kindly retained my position. I sincerely appreciate the beautiful get-well cards and telephone calls received. THANK YOU. I cannot tell you what a wonderful feeling it is to once again sit behind my computer and type away “Horse’s Mouth,” “Maggie’s Meow” and other articles assigned to me.  

Feb. 19, 2013 was the beginning of a most infernal experience that I ever encountered. I left work on Feb. 18 with a slight pain in my right leg. The next morning, I had an excruciating pain in my right leg and I could hardly get out of bed or walk.

For a month and a half, my dear friends, my niece and her husband assisted me with grocery shopping. My niece also brought me home from the Rehab Center.

Gwen from The Rafu took me to doctor’s appointments and to grocery shopping as well as picking up my medication, as did Mario and Michael. Thank you to Ayame for watering my plant, as did Cari. Thank you also to Cari for typing “Horse’s Mouth” and to J.K. for preparing it for publication.

Other friends did some grocery shopping and one dear friend came all the way from Alhambra. Another friend also did some grocery shopping as well as took care of my financial needs and visited me at the Rehab Center, as did five other friends. God has truly blessed me with dear friends.

I prolonged seeking help, since I thought, “This, too, shall pass.” I was wrong. I could not tolerate the pain after a month and a half so I got in touch with my neurologist, who in turn advised me to make an appointment with a neurosurgeon.

Upon consultation from the neurosurgeon, he advised immediate surgery since I had spinal stenosis. This is a serious condition of the lower back and affects the legs as well. After being told in detail what the surgery entailed, I pondered whether I should have surgery. This surgery required a small metal bar to “knit” the nerve and disk of the back. I hesitated, but now it came to the point where it was pain vs. surgery.

Therefore, I agreed to have surgery. The opening stage of surgery revealed that the bones in the disk were “chipped” to a great degree and it would be impossible to place a metal bar. Due to the skill of the neurosurgeon, the operation was successful on April 18, 2013.

I was transferred from the hospital to the Rehabilitation Center on April 2l until the morning of May 11. Being in the Rehabilitation Center was not pleasant and I will let it go at that.

After three weeks of physical therapy in my home, I have improved to a great extent, enough so that I can get around with a cane, drive and go to work. As I began this article stating it was an infernal experience, I thank God that He was and is with me and has given me stamina to be able to return to work and take care of the necessities of life as well care for my beloved furry daughter, Tika. 

I must share this story about Tika. She was left alone in the apartment from April 18 to May 11. My neighbor was kind enough to feed her and care for her during my absence. When I came home, she greeted with a “strange” meow and followed me to the kitchen, to the living room and bathroom for the next two days. She was telling me she missed me as I missed her.

Amen and Meow.

Maggie Ishino is a Rafu typist. She can be reached at Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.

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