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From Gerry Lewy

I just want to let YOU & everyone know that I’m back into writing again. I know that many of the readers were wondering what happened to me!
I just had my 4th Spinal surgery and had 4 weeks in rehab. I’m now learning to walk and climbing the stairs again.:sweat_smile::canada::uk::vulcan_salute::ring:
My next tutorial-essay will be about a video that Hanuman (the original owner) of Orchid, made with me. This is one video that MUST be seen.
I’ll be giving the video-link and hoping that it works for you.
I will give you more details in the next essay.

I’m so pleased to be a part of this growing jewellery community!
BTW, your “diamond-setting blog” has reached 56,118 viewers and has gone to 84 countries.

“Gerry, on my iPhone”



So glad to hear from you. I hope your rehab goes well - I know it’s hard work. Good luck and thank you for all your essays.
Noralie Katsu

Gerry…Glad to hear that things are going well. Good luck…Rob

This is great news. Take your time to recover!
I don’t know if you remember me, we met at Julie Sanford’s studio years ago! :slight_smile:

Hi Lisa
It appears that I probably made a great impression on my visit to Julie Sanford’s “fun place”.I have many weeks and months of home rehab ahead of me. I had literally no idea how a few days of learning can lead to long-lasting relationships. Now I gotta send my fondest regards to everyone, bless them all.:gem::ring::innocent:.

Gerry, Hope you have a speedy recovery. And thank you for all of your shared knowledge!

Glad to hear that everything went well!

I always wondered why people say that they feel like a child after this kind of surgery and they have to relearn to do things. May you explain me why? Does it feel like you don’t know how to perform certain actions anymore, like your body isn’t listening to you? Or is it more like you try to do those actions the way you knew them but now the balance and everything is different?

Great to have you back! Wishing you a speedy recovery and minimal pain! God bless

Andreit, it’s not like starting from square one like child learning to use their body for the first time. It’s more first a fear factor of reinjuring the part that was fixed. Once you get past the first flashes of fear, you have to fight through the biggest problem of all, muscle memory. As we initially learn, we use certain muscles to accomplish that task. It is patterned into us. We don’t realize we do it a certain way, but we do. I for one never realized I hold my shoulders up higher so my bust line doesn’t stick out as much. (scandinavian naturally endowed). When I had my shoulder done over 2 years ago, I had to learn to lower my shoulders, and stick my chest out. It felt like the prow of a ship. Along with that I had to tuck my butt in like your are rolling the pockets of your jeans under your butt. The change in my posture made my back feel so much better. You would think this would be easy to keep doing. NO!!! that darn muscle memory is there keeping you from doing it correctly. It takes a long time for those muscles to get use to a new pattern. The new memories need to be exercised to strengthen the weaker muscles. The new pattern needs to be practiced until you forget the old ways. It sounds so easy, but it is not. The old ways are always there. it’s easy to slip backward. Which hand do you use to take tops off bottles? Try doing it with the other hand in a different manner. Now try doing it that way for a week. At the end of the week, think how many times you slipped and did it the old way.

As for back, I’m looking at surgery. I’ve done the cat scan guided steroid shots. At least until I had a bad reaction to it . After I learned steroids only tend in the long run to soften the bones and cause further damage. Recently I was doing radio frequency denervation. It worked well and held for 2 years each time. This last time it only held for 6 months and is much worse.

Something that is not told to you when you start to deal with back problems is how you sit. With a bad back we tend again to rely on habits of muscle memory. It might not seem like much, but we will lean a certain way very slightly to lessen the pressure on the side of the spine that is injured. It causes in older people scoliosis . It’s the curvature of the spine.

Learning our skills as jewelers we rely on practice to hone the skills. It is muscle memory that forms. As wonderful as it seems to learn, learning it wrong. is not so good.

I hope that helped Andreit. Don’t fear a surgery, but research out the Doctor who will do the cutting. Nothing like spending 6 months in physical therapy only to find the surgeon screwed up and left something in you that should never have been there. A second surgery is no fun. With the new insurance rules in the USA, you get to pay for the second surgery as well.



Glad to hear you’re mending!
Wishing you great recovery.
Thank you for all you share and for your infectious good cheer!

Hi Pam Chott & others
I didn’t realize that I had so many great friends. We all take so much for granted, friends and health. Honestly, in my worst days post-surgery I still had my silly weird sense of English humour. My many nurses all liked to visit me while they were jabbing me with needles…OUCH! Even in the operating room, I belted out loud…" I’m BA-A-CK".
Humour is what kept me going. Once in a while, I might make my essays contain some humour. Without humour, our lives are so darned mundane.
Fondest regards…Gerry Lewy


Years ago, I got into a tiff with a therapist who told me I had to learn to walk straight. I didn’t know what she meant until I was in front of a full wall mirror and saw how off-center and twisted my body was. Multiple surgeries and years of PT taught me to walk straight, but now I find myself easing old back injuries by tilting to one side when I sit. Subconscious compensation is far more difficult and painful to overcome than anyone expects because you not only need to re-engage and strengthen those muscles that have become soft from disuse, but also force them to integrate with the muscles that have become overdeveloped from compensating. Rebalancing our physical structure and stability is a difficult and painful process.
Aggie said it perfectly; you have to unlearn the old muscle memory and replace it with correct movements, but until your brain and body completes the rewiring process the muscle memory, you need to be aware of every move you make until your body learns do it correctly without thinking. I hope this helps explain why a process that seems like it should be natural and intuitive, is incredibly difficult.
Alaska Silver

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Humor is the basis of survival. It allows the spirit to flourish. Without humor, I’d be long gone. Keep on…

As a fellow member of “The Ministry of Silly Walks,” I feel your pain. I have Degenerative Disc Disease and have had 3 surgeries–two on my C4-C5 and with a stroke in my spinal cord there. The second neck surgery did wonders toward restoring balance and manual dexterity but the damage itself is permanent. Chin up–there is support out there and certainly people here send their good thoughts and intentions. People are generally truly good, aren’t they?
Gail in Boring, Oregon
Sister City to Dull, Scotland and Bland, Australia

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So glad to hear! May you heal quickly and be even stronger than before! :muscle: :heart:

Hi Gerry. My first time posting on Orchid! I saw you had back surgery, and I wanted to let you know I’ve had a couple myself but was left with an everyday pain thing. I now have a spinal stimulator that’s inserted in my back (my second over the past 20 years), and I get a tremendous amount of relief. Just my two cents; for what it’s worth. I look forward to learning from you. Thanks for all you do!:slightly_smiling_face:
Continued good healing to you! Pam

(I’m trying to thank everyone for your kindest good get well wishes).
Hi, Pam, It’s so nice to read that you are a “first-time Orchid writer”. Hoping to read many more writings in future days, weeks, and months to follow. I’ve been writing on Orchid for the past 20 plus YEARS. BTW, my latest and 4th surgery was a complete success. Hopefully, I won’t have to endure any more,.but my surgeon enlightened me on my last visit and explained I might have another one to follow. This could be a few more additional bolts into my hip sockets.OUCH & OY!
As of today, I have “13 Titanium (non-rusting) bolts & screwsin my Spine, lovely isn’t it? He found a hardware store nearby where these bolts that were on sale. So he bought a whole handful just for me**. :joy: :gem::ring:** (My weird sense of humour is what kept me going through all of my very rough times, during these many years). Just after the second day of surgery, I was making all of the nurses laugh with me as they were jabbing me with I.V. needles.
To make you all laugh.,(some of these same nurses who meant well), used to wake me up at midnight and ask me…"Hi Gerry, are you asleep?" (I’d then reply still in slumber land. “What makes you think so, not now!”) :joy:
Now that I’m back at my home, I’m now in the process of writing 4 more tutorial essays for YOUR educational gem-setting blog. Just go to

Gerry you and I should time our surgeries together. I have enough titanium in me that I do the hokey pokey at metal detectors and set it off with a foot or a hand, I’m looking at a new knee and the other knee that was replaced 11 years ago to have an upgrade. My back will be squeezed in there somehow.

You could take the day shift and make them laugh and I’ll take the night shift. At 2 am and can’t sleep, they give you pain pills. By 2:30am I swear they hand you a NSFW toy to practice breathing. NEVER give an old lady on drugs at 2 am something to fantasize about.