Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Back Story

Such a long time between posts!

I would like to say that life here in Rutland has been so active and full of excitement that I just haven't had time to write. But since my mother raised me to try to tell the truth (except when it would hurt someone's feelings by telling them they're ugly), I can't do that.

Fact is, other than my predicament with the Apple laptop not working, I haven't had a single idea for a post since we drove here last week. Today, though, I am writing about something that happened yesterday. I hurt my lower back.

How I did it is a mystery. After my shower, I was standing at the bathroom sink trimming my new beard when I felt something in my lower spine that seemed to be looking for a way to wiggle out of there. I swear if my body were a cartoon, you would have heard Boing!!! for miles.

My reflexes in this instance were amazingly quick. I knelt naked on the floor and curled in the fetal position. Funny, now that I think of it, but that is my reflex to most of the stressful situations I find myself in.

At some point I felt as if whatever was going on in the lower back had decided to stop and I gingerly stood up. This was a key accomplishment because the option was to yell Help and have someone give this fat naked guy a hand getting off the floor.

The lower back was tender and a little sore, but I think major disaster was averted. Probably most worrying to me was that this happened when I wasn't doing anything. I wasn't bent over, I didn't cough, I was just standing there. Ah, I love being 62!

I did my back in a couple of times when I was in my 20's - once by trying to lift something way too heavy and not bending my knees (who knew those posters at work were serious?) and once while sitting at a table and sneezing. On the frailty scale, I think I ranked 7 or 8 out of 10 for injuring myself by sneezing, but apparently I'm not the only one who has ever done that.

The slight pain I am feeling now is very minor compared to those times, both of which are hazy in my memory as all I can really recall is taking muscle relaxants and lying on the floor.

That's not quite true. I do recall going out with my then-wife Mary even though my lower back was injured. A friend of ours had volunteered to watch Ben and Tom. Mary and I hadn't been out for an evening in months, so we happily said yes.

With my back hurting, I was worried about having to sit in a restaurant or theater, so we opted for a drive-in theater. Mary had a great idea. During her pregnancy, she had worn a maternity girdle - one that held you firmly in the lower back but had latex that expanded as your front grew. Or, that expanded over your fat gut if you were one of the few guys in the world wearing a maternity girdle.

It actually helped the lower back pain a lot, and I was watching Easy Rider at the drive-in. It was a double feature and in between movies I hobbled off to the men's room for a wee. The lines were long, and when I finally got to the front I unzipped only to see a solid wall of latex that I had forgotten about.

With the long line impatient behind me, I had a couple of options. I could pull my pants down and lower my maternity girdle in front of everyone or I could just zip back up and let the next guy through. Or, if you're me, you could worry about what total strangers think of you in the men's room and stand at the urinal a proper amount of time before imitating a shake or two and then zipping up. I then went outside and waited a couple of minutes to go back in and get in line for the toilet stall.

And even then I was praying that no guy would look under the door and see a girdle around my ankles.

So, by earlier standards I guess this year's entry in the back pain derby is far down the list. And it does have its up side. We've canceled a ride to the factory outlet stores in Manchester today.

1 comment:

Sparkie said...

What a fond memory.
-Mary