Saturday, December 14, 2013


The past four weeks have been challenge.   Just after painting at the Baylands, I developed severe spinal pain and tingling that radiated down my legs into both feet.  I could not sit in any position nor stand.   My first thought was that I had tweaked something and that it was sciatica.   But after two more weeks of medication and bed rest, my doctor sent me to a specialist.   Much to my surprise, x-rays revealed a compression fracture at the end of my thoracic spine (T-12).  Three discs are out of alignment due to the fracture with the development of bone spurs.  I had no idea when this could have occurred other than after a rather strenuous yoga session in February 2012.  I've been living with mild back pain and sciatica ever since and had been seeing a chiropractor for relief when needed.  Sadly, I have not been able to return to my daily yoga practices, something that greatly relieved my stress and kept me agile for more than 14 years.

Last week, I had blood work and a DEXA Scan (bone density test).  I learned that my body is low in Vitamin D despite the fact that I've spent most of my life outdoors and have taken 5,000 mg of Vitamin D3 since 2004.   The good news is that I don't have osteoporosis at this stage of my life even though it runs in the family.   I also had my first acupuncture session at Kaiser, a highly effective treatment for energy blocks within the body.  I am very much looking forward to my next acupuncture session this week. 

Because of the acupuncture and lots of TLC at home, I have stopped taking synthetic pain medication and now use only Alleve.  I've also returned to my art studio for a few hours each day to make Christmas cards and finish paintings that were started a month ago.  There was also time to catch up on some of the art instruction DVDs that have piled up on the shelf.

It has always been my belief that good health is connected to a positive mental attitude.  Every day I strive to live in gratitude, even when my life (or body) seems to be falling apart.

Louise Hay's Power Affirmation for December 14th reads:  "My creativity is always in demand."

Even though I am behind on the art projects I had hoped to complete for upcoming shows, I am still motivated to continue painting watercolors full-time.  

My limitations may keep me from plein air painting for awhile, but I endeavor to heal and rejoin my plein air groups in 2014.  Art has truly been therapy for body, mind and soul. 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!

 -- Anna Jacke   


  1. You look pretty good, Anna. I hope that the acupuncture will really help you with your problem. I also have problems with my sciatica and it has really been bugging me. It is really painful and my brother told me that I need to do some light exercises for it. Currently, I am taking pain relievers for it. Now, after reading your article I am thinking of trying acupuncture as well.

  2. I hope 2014 brings relief from the pain.

  3. Thanks everyone. It seems that sciatica comes in waves. Acupuncture works for a time but if the sessions are too spread out, it just rebounds. The best relief is a really good mattress, proper fitting shoes and not sitting for more than 15 minutes at a time. Walking helps the most.