Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Throw It Away Or Restore?

I fixed my car today.

Not just a little fix, but everyone was saying, "270,000 miles on it? Sounds like it's time to let it go!" My '91 Accord was acting like the transmission was giving up the ghost. But I did some research and discovered the key to fixing, not a mechanical problem, but an electronic problem.

So I replaced a tiny, 15 ohm resistor and two capacitors (haven't used a soldering iron for over 20 years...), stuck everything back together again, and the car works now.

I celebrated by cleaning it up real well. Will it last another 100,000 miles? We shall see.

But this isn't just a story about a few electronic components.

This week, I gave a correction to a 92-year old with low back pain. The lumbar spine was twisted and the hips were not level. Most people would have told her, "you have arthritis...at your age there is nothing you can do about it!"

Sounds like pretty grim advice, hopeless...

Good for this patient, she had useful helpers who sent her my way. I corrected the problem (a tiny, two-ounce bone at the base of the skull) and her low back straightened out, bringing the hips perfectly level.

It wasn't a structural problem at all! It was a communication problem between the brain and the body. Kinda like the electronic problem with the Accord. Communication, that's all. Fix the communication, and you can erase signs of the problem.

For the Accord, the problem looked like a broken transmission. For the 92-year-old, the problem looked like an old, broken down backbone. In both, the real problem was a little piece interfering with communication.

I like the pattern emerging here...we don't give up, we look for the underlying problem that is causing all the symptoms. Then health is restored.