Back Issue

I threw my back out yesterday. Not real sure what I damaged, exactly, but I’m pretty sure it’s the same injury you get when you fail to lift a heavy object “from the knees.” I was lifting my upper body, bobbing up & down while scrubbing the shower walls. There was no “pop” or sudden pain or other “event” that I can look to and say, “there’s what happened;” it was just a matter of bobbing up and realizing that this time, it hurt to do that.

It felt, immediately, like my back felt the day I moved the whole household out of the Kettle View house. A band of weakness across my upper pelvis just above the tailbone, wrapping around to the front encircling both hips. I’ve had tailbone troubles before, especially surrounding the birth of my son, but this wasn’t like that. A little bit, maybe, in that standing upright caused pain and weakness and spasms. At first it was annoying but I could still move around. In fact, within a half hour of injuring it I was lugging a (light) bookshelf in from my car, and transferring my cookbooks to it. But I soon quit that job, as it did seem to irritate my back more. And still, I continued to minimize the injury. “Oh I’m fine,” I told my friend over and over. “It hurts, but I’m sure it’s nothing. It’s just, you know, as it tightens up, it spasms. That’s all.” And then we went shopping. Walking was exhausting because other muscles were already compensating for the injury, so I got fatigued in weird places.

I think it was at dinner that the pain started feeling intense. Sitting in one place allowed it to really tighten, and certain random movements caused me to jump with pain. It got to where I couldn’t concentrate, to a noticeable degree. My friend even joked about it with the waitress. I often can’t keep a thought in my head for a whole minute, but now thoughts seemed to dissipate before even being fully formed. I became aware of an overhanging foggy curtain of continuous “owww.” Dinner didn’t help, what with our lousy service and watery-thin wine flights. Sending them back did not score points with the waitstaff. Two hours and a ten percent tip later, we left, behind schedule for the rest of the night.

Our “big” plans for a nice evening out downtown had turned into “one drink someplace local,” since she had to pick up her boyfriend who was coming back from a fishing trip in Canada at midnight. And my friend still had to shower, because I had promised to straighten her hair before we went out.  But straightening her hair was fun. I don’t normally like doing stuff with other people’s hair, but hers turned out SO nice that it was really enjoyable. With my back in such pain, I couldn’t stand behind her to work with it like a normal hairdresser would, so I settled onto my bed, propped up against the headboard with pillows, while she sat against a pillow between my legs and I blowdried her hair. It was so comfortable that I suggested it be a new form of styling salon: The stylist sits comfortably while the client is responsible for changing positions. We got a good laugh out of that.

We didn’t get out of the house until after 11pm. But that’s one of the nice things about my house: I’ve tried to make it so peaceful and stress free that time seems to disappear. Which is a problem on occasion, but for the most part serves me well. I like to think it’s what keeps me young. Anyway, we decided to take separate cars, and rather than stay local, I suggested we go down to the Third Ward so that she’d be that much closer to her boyfriend’s house. The plan was that I would take her to Cafe Luna + Lounge, (my own “Cheers“) and she could meet my new friends and see what my infatuation with the place is, have one drink, then go pick up her boyfriend. Which is exactly what we did, except he got in a little earlier than expected, called her, discovered that she was still with me, and barked, “fine, then I’ll have my brother take me home!” So, she left soon after to go meet him at home. It would be a shame to let that fine hairstyle go to waste.

I stayed. I’m so in love with the place, and for one reason: The People. I went there once in January. I came back a second time in April, and EVERYONE remembered me!!! I’ve been embraced by the community and seem to have something in common with each and every person I meet. I so want to buy a condo upstairs and live there!! Again I had a fabulous (yet low key) night, and my back cooperated to the best extent it knew how.

This morning I woke up feeling great, until I tried to get out of bed. Spasms of weakness and excruciating pain shot through my torso. If it weren’t for the fact that I needed to use the bathroom, I probably wouldn’t have gotten out of bed at all. I decided I couldn’t live without coffee, so I lurched my way down the steps, made the coffee, and towed myself back upstairs. The cats needed to be fed (and wouldn’t leave me alone until their bowls were filled) so I stumbled to their dishes and tried to figure out how to accomplish the task without bending over, since bending was simply impossible. In the end, I sprinkled the food in the vicinity of their bowls from a great height, not particularly caring that only about half actually hit the target. I figured if they were hungry enough, they’d eat off the rug. It was that, or not eating. They should appreciate that they got food at all. And then I crawled back into bed for the rest of the morning.

To sum up today: I’ve been in bed most of the day, with brief forays into the bathroom, and two trips downstairs to eat. I tried to write this post earlier, but the pain distracted me and made it difficult. The same went for reading a book, and even surfing the internet was hard. So I finally took a nap (even though I wasn’t particularly tired), and when I woke up the pain seemed to have lessened a little. Thinking is also a bit easier, and I’ve read a couple chapters of my book and was able to finally write.

Let’s hope tomorrow is easier.

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