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Archive for August, 2016

When a Reckless Driver Delivers 2.5 Tons of Steel Trouble. Twice!

The date: June, 2016. Twenty-three years after the accident.


Out of nowhere came the light bulb moment, connecting a smorghesburg of symptoms to that underlying cause. Then, the prognosis.


Then, the safest solution: Cervical spine surgery: Removal of four discs (C3-C6), then insertion of four prosthetics. Then, attachment of a thin plate to stabilize the entire cervical spinal column.



But, what has gotten her – my mother – to surgery? To that “last resort” choice to treat severe spinal impingement?



  1. Short-fusing of her patient, caring and creative soul.
  2. Occular hazing, that cast pre-dawn like mist over her view.
  3. Sleeplessness and nervousness that defied any Hathi yoga move or position.
  4. Shutting off air supply, whether sitting, after walking into store, or completing walk.
  5. Numbness that, for her, forgot her fingers were grasping a cup or salad fork, letting it slide away, onto the floor.
  6. Tingling that skipped up the nerves in the arms like a wire short-circuiting itself out.
  7. Sudden runs of uncontrollable fast heartbeats that kicked anxiety into high gear, raised the BP, and led her to the ER at 2:30 am, one or two times a year.
  8. Burning shoulders and connective muscles and joints, that limited vertical range of motion to 6 inches, horizontal to 4, diagonal to 3, and backward to 2-to-4.
  9. Weakened muscles, tendons, joints, and ligaments, limiting weight bearing to 1-to-2 pounds, pain-free mobility to minus 0.
  10. Strange, low grade fever that persistently showed up, and hung around every night.
  11. Chest wall and muscle soreness and constriction.
  12. Drowning nightsweats that dehydrated the system without a hint of the real cause.
  13. Dizziness when raising her head from computer or pillow, turning in any direction, or moving it up or down.
  14. Recurring inflammation and blood oxygen depletion (anemia).
  15. Uncontrollable, unexplainable swelling (edema) of extremities, hands, and inside the actual cervical spine area!


Not being discussed, nor disputed: the risks of getting surgery, and the risks of not getting surgery.


Not being doubted nor feared: the life-and-death need for the surgery. As laid out by the neurosurgeons in a 20-plus minute joint in-office meet-and-greet.


Not being overestimated nor expected: a perfect solution.


After all, as Chicago friend and physiologist Nathan Lavenda, Ph.D. put it one week after the accident in 1992:


“Always remember, Sandra: You have had something very valuable taken away from you that you will never get back.”


Her spine. Oh, yeah, Nathan!


F.Y.I. ALERT: Your cervical spine, signaled by the brain, controls and affects how your body functions. Each cervical area is connected, one way or another, to the entire cervical spine, and also to the thoracic and lumbar parts of the spinal cord. The list below will give you an idea how.


1. Autonomic Nervous System

A. C3, with C1-C4 linked directly: controls your intracranial vessels, C1 – otis, mandibular, cranial and facial vessels.

B. C4: controls larynx, trachea, bronchi, and lungs.

C. C5-C6: controls pulmonary system.

D. C1-C4, C5-C8, T1-T5: control the heart.

E. C4-C6: control medial area of dorsal remi, main “supporting column” of spine.


2. Nerves of the Back

A. C2-C3: relates to occipital nerve, and cervical plexus.

B. C4-T6: concerns nerves of medial cutaneous: the dorsal remi.

C. C5-C6: relates to nerves of super and lateral brachial cutaneous – back of arm, rib cage that runs ajacent to the underarm, trapezius (including sub, supra, scapula),

D. C7: helps control nerves in minimal, yet essential functional ways.


3. Sub occipital

A. C3: controls 3rd occipital nerves/dorsal that run along back of head between ears.

B. C2-C3: also control dorsal remi of neck, the great auricular nerve between ears.


4. Dermatous/Nerves

A. C2-C6: controls clavicles.

B. C5-C7: controls lateral part of the limbs.

C. C6: controls thumbs; C6-C8: controls hands.


5. Cervical Plexus

A. C3-C4: controls longus capitus coli, also scalene and levator scapulae, muscles.

B. C3: controls ansa cervicalis – the super/inferior root, sternohyoid muscles, and omolyoid/inferior belly muscles.

C. C4: controls the supraclavular nerves.


6. External Crani-Cervical Ligaments

A. C3-C4: controls Zygapophysed (1st) joints – anterior.


F.Y.I. WARNING: Cervical spine damage is irreversible, painful and progressive. Many of its victims, such as my mother, are involuntary. Some persons can choose not to engage in activities that may cause permanent, and serious, injuries to their spinal cord.


CLOSING THOUGHT:   The next time you’re behind the wheel, please remember that the spine you save might belong to someone close to you, or to you. Please drive defensively and safely. Please don’t text or talk on your cell phone. Please minimize the in-cabin conversations and activities. And, please relax. Enjoy the ride. Enjoy the moment.



Say a little prayer, if you please.


And, many thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2016. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Painter’s View: How to find something to like about every boss or employer

Ground rule: Expect, demand and require nothing more from someone else than you would ask of yourself.





1. What matters the most to him or her here?

2. What three things does he or she do very well?

3. What one thing do you envy about him or her?

4. In a room of 100 bosses, what would make your boss stand out?

5. Name two ways that your boss walks the talk.

6. Name two things he or she does to cover the backs of every person under his charge.

7. Is your boss a good everyday leader?

8. Does your boss help each worker to understand that he or she has something special to contribute here?

9. Does your boss trust and delegate as a habit?

10. Does your boss know when to listen, learn, lead, or follow? And, do it?

11. Does your boss value the wisdom of his or her workers?

12. Does your boss recognize that his workers know what’s what?

13. Does your boss teach and show others how to make smart decisions and take decisive action?

14. Does your boss value his or her entire team?

15. Does your boss invite or encourage every worker to bring solutions for problems?

16. What part of his or her attitude, behavior, and approach moves you to emulate?

17. How does your boss remove obstacles that may prevent his or her workers from doing their jobs?

18. Does your boss work together with his or her people?

19. Does your boss really care about each of his or her workers?

20. Does your boss empower his or her workers to do what is right?

21. How does your boss wow every worker?

22. Instead of ordering his or her people to do things, does your boss grab an oar and row with them?

23. Does your boss know when to lead, when to follow, and when to get out of the way? And, does he or she do it?



It takes each of us to make a difference for all of us!



Thank you to all bosses that hang in there, do their jobs, and treat their people like they matter.


And, thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”


Copyright 2016. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.


Painter’s View: How to find something to like about every teammate, and project

Ground rule: Expect, demand and require nothing more from someone else than you would ask of yourself.





1. Put yourself in his or her shoes. What do you know the person values highly about himself or herself?


2. What does he or she know more about that you need to learn? Example: how to use Windows 10.


3. When your back needs to be covered in a specific way, who would know what to do? Example: Yesterday, you needed to leave work early because of a family emergency. Maintenance tech Joe finished repainting the guest room walls, then cleaned up the area and tools.


4. When double trouble hits the department on an already busy day, w ho tends to lend a hand in a hurry, though he or she is busy, too? Example: A main water pipe bursts. HVAC pro Rick drops everything to help take care of the problem.


5.Those passes in the corridor, on a sidewalk, or in the front offices are for a purpose. Take a minute. What resource can you tap from that person? Example: Kyle orders supplies form Lowes. He may know the current price of drywall sheets.


6. Discover what part of his or her job is liked the most. Then ask why.


7. What else is he or she very good at, that has nothing to do with the job description? Example: Front desk clerk Mario plans fundraising dinners for his 850 member church. Could he help out when the hotel’s event planner is swamped?


8. Who comes to work excited, and knows he or she is making even a little difference in the world?


9. Who makes mistakes freely and fearlessly, and does not apologize for them, but concentrates on getting things done anyway?


10. What is one of his or her favorite off-the-job interests? Do you enjoy the same thing? Or, are you at least curious about it?





1. What new product will you get to use? What special skill will you be applying that you’ve always wanted to use on the property? Example: To save money, your engineer and you will patch, then recoat the roofs, using a newer system you’ve wanted to learn.


2. What high-traffic area needs complete resurfacing pronto? And your bosses are counting on you to handle it right. Example: Suddenly, the paint starts to chip and curl off of the pool area’s gazebo floor. The hotel’s at full occupancy. Put your concrete coating experience to the test. Get that guest amenity up and running with minimal down time.



Sometimes to see a change for the better, you have to take things

into your own hands.   Clint Eastwood



Thank you, teammates of the world, that do your jobs right, and cover each other’s backs.


And, thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”


Copyright 2016. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

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