Thursday, May 27, 2010

Dear Back:

We’ve been together a long time. I consider you to be a very close, uh, body part. Now of course, our relationship has been somewhat strained for the last five years, ever since you suddenly decided to take that lifelong tendency of yours to get your vertebrae out of joint to the next level, so to speak.

Now, I don’t hold you entirely to blame. After all, I haven’t exactly taken things easy on you. I’ve abused you. I’ve ignored injuries to you – although in my defense, the fact that you’ve always been so damned touchy hasn’t helped there.

After all, I can hardly go through my whole entire life not doing stuff because you’re being a prima donna, Back. I can’t just stop everything to cater to your every whim. Not only would that lead to a very dull life indeed, it’s not just about you, or me, or us – there is a whole big family involved here, and we all have needs.

Which is why I think we need to have this chat today, Back. Because I really don’t understand what you’re doing right now.

I think at this point it may be helpful to pause for a quick review of the sorts of things that may or may not be reasonably expected to cause a back to go :!!!pwang!!!: and then throw itself and the rest of the body attached to it into a downward spiral of agony from which there seems no escape for the next unknowable period of time.

Activities that WOULD be expected to cause a :!!!pwang!!!:

  • Moving a piano up two flights of stairs
  • Picking up a furiously fighting five year old who doesn’t WANT to take a
    bath right now, even though he smells like the jacks behind the 5th Infantry encampment
  • Digging trenches
  • Wrestling bears
  • Bench-pressing a VW Microbus

Activities that would NOT be expected to cause a :!!!pwang!!!:

  • Sitting up in bed
  • Coughing
  • Laughing
  • Picking up a 24-count box of Junior Meltaway allergy tabs (total weight maybe 5/8 an ounce)

All clear? Good. Now. As you know, Back, I picked up a box of melt-away allergy tablets on Tuesday morning. I was leaning down slightly to do this, and I was looking to my left so I could bellow at call to Captain Adventure to come and take his allergy medicine.

And you went :!!!pwang!!!: with an almost audible pop and have been a right bastard ever since. You have scoffed at Advil, sneered at Tylenol, and have throbbed defiantly at Vicodin. You won’t be soothed by packs of heat or ice. You don’t want me to sit, stand, stretch, hold still or lie down. You’re keeping me up all night and then cramping up even more because we’re tired.

All because I picked up a tiny little box of allergy medicine?

Pardon my use of abbreviated obscenity, Back, but, seriously…WTF?!

Now, I still love you. We’ve been through a lot together. We’ve ridden horses and bicycles, climbed mountains, gone wind surfing; we’ve swum countless miles in pools and sloughs. We’ve stood on the bows of sailboats and crawled through cave openings that common sense said were a very bad idea indeed.

We’ve fallen and gotten back up (eventually) many times, you and I.

But if you don’t sober up and fly straight PDQ, I’m sending you to military school.

And this time I really mean it.



marit said...

Oh, poor you! Back pains are just awful! Hopefully it will snap back into place just as suddenly as it snapped out...

Emma said...

I really hope the pain eases soon.
I'd suggest a long soak in the bath to try and ease the muscle spasms, but you might not be able to get out.
Inebriation might work...

Lisa said...

I feel for you--mine did that once when I bent over the sink to spit out toothpaste.

You do know that it is exacerbated by stress, right? Not that THAT helps much, but I'm just sayin'.


Anonymous said...

I feel your pain. I threw mine out brushing my teeth once. Shampooing my hair another time. Hope you recover soon. I'd second the inebriation--it'll at least make you not care about your back pain, even if it still hurts.

Steph B said...

Oh OW OW OW!!! So sorry! Do you have a chiropractor you trust? Can you even use a chiro? A good adjustment usually helps me significantly. Of course, so does lying about the house moaning dramatically whilst expecting everyone to wait on me hand and foot. :-) That part rarely lasts very long, but it's fun! Hope you get some relief soon. Perhaps you should *not* be Wonder Woman this weekend, and give things a chance to heal up, eh?

Another Joan said...

Then there's the boring long-term investment fixes of a good Pilates coach/class and Tai Chi. Can't believe the difference but it took a while. In the meantime, drugs and/or alcohol.... and whinging. A lot of whinging!

Anonymous said...

Mine went out while vomiting. I could NOT stand upright and for an endless 3 minutes or so I thought I was going to be trapped leaning over the loo for eternity. Flexiril and a visit from The Massage Therapist From Heaven got me upright and now I go hang by my heels for an hour every couple of weeks. The back really likes that.

Anonymous said...

Yikes! I hope your back starts behaving soon.
My back gave out once when I, uh, nevermind...very embarassing being found on the bathroom floor. Anyway, a back/lumbar stretcher might help align your back and, yes, pilates is wonderful, if expensive.

Unknown said...

Oh my. So sorry to hear that Ms. Back is misbehavin'. Not much you can do except ice on for 20 min, off for 20 min for the 1st 24 hours, then heat followed by ice. Or is it the other way 'round? Vicodin, and STAY FLAT - I know, I know, not easy to do, but sometimes your back just takes over and you can't thwart it. And were you, maybe, just maybe, forgetting about the stress and strain you've put on it lately getting the garden ready? Please listen to Ms. Back and take it easy, Ms. over-achiever. Hugs (gently).
Nancy FP

Science PhD Mom said...

Ouch! I hope it feels better soon...tricky, sneaky things, those backs of ours!!

Rena said...

Oh darlin, I'm so sorry!

thank Deity for chiropractors. I have three ribs near my left shoulder which are always being yanked out by a wobbly (or falling) Queen Teen. My neck gets pulled to the left as well and before long I'm walking around like a woman with a widow's hump, growling in pain, unable to turn my head. Enter Chiropractor and suddenly I am tall again. Yes, I know some chiro's are morons, but I love mine. I couldn't stand up straight without him.

Fibra Artysta said...

I have chronic back pain that has been with me for ten years now. I find that heating pad helps to keep it from tightening up, especially when it glues me to the sofa.

Might be worth a shot. It just helps to keep things from completely freaking out.