I recently had three spinal disks fused in my neck, just in the nick of time as it coincided with me getting my second COVID-19 vaccine back in March. The surgery, called an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) was to repair severely pinched nerves in my neck thanks to some compressed disks that left my hands and arms going numb at all times. They still go numb, especially at night, as the nerves recover and figure out how to operate normally again. It's been pretty crappy. But if I'd have been in a car wreck or rear-ended with my neck all a mess, I could have been a lot worse off. Point is, I needed the surgery, but I also need sleep.
Almost every night, though, either my left side or right side goes numb, and antithetically, it hurts. Couple that with three trigger fingers that need release plus two carpal-tunnel affected wrists needing repair (the effects of 37 years of daily typing), and staying asleep for more than a couple of hours feels luxurious. On the bright side, I've seen lots of Utah sunrises lately and my newly adopted habit of going for a bike ride at 7 a.m. has allowed me to meet a new batch of neighbors I never knew existed. Yeah, people work in their yards at the crack of dawn. I had no idea.
Heading to bed each night, I begin to feel dread. Most people feeling relief at the end of a long day can't wait to hit the pillow. Barring those who use crazy man Mike Lindell's MyPillow—a scourge of citizens who should have perpetually kinked necks—most sleepers are rewarded with comfort and relaxation for their day's efforts. I feel dread. I know it's only a matter of time before something aches. So, I lie there and contemplate. Some people call such times "praying," and I surely do invoke the Lord's name here and there. I've never been one to pray for myself, though, so it doesn't feel right to say, "Dear Lord. My hands hurt. Please make them not hurt. Thank you. Your humble servant, John."
That's not to say praying isn't a good thing. I do believe in the power of prayer. I just don't know if whoever might be listening has the time and will to act on them. So, among other things, I don't pray for rain. If it's going to rain, it's going to rain. Recently, Gov. Cox asked that we all take a moment to pray for rain during what will certainly be a challenging summer regarding Utah's water resources. We will have barely enough even if we all conserve. But, praying for rain isn't going to help except in the obtuse way that it causes us all to think more about water conservation in the first place. And that would be a good thing.
So, why don't we think about conserving water by growing less alfalfa that we to sell in huge quantities to China? In the end, all that does is export our water to China. I thought those rural Utahns were anti-Communists. Well, they are till they profit from them. I never heard it described like that until our Utah Cann Medical Cannabis convention in 2019 when a farmer from Southern Utah shared the idea with me. He said he'd rather grow a crop that Utahns can use instead of one that wastes our precious water and essentially sends it out of state. He wanted to become a cannabis grower. I don't know if he converted his fields, but if he didn't, I pray he finds something of more value to use our water on.
Rain won't help. That only means it's not raining somewhere else, and people there might need it worse. What God would allow for that? How about we pray to be smart, and for fewer cows, Utah? And pray for my hands, too, OK?
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