Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Getting Old, Part #79

This morning I sat down for about twenty minutes to look at e-mail and check news. After I finished, I stood up.

At that moment, the day moved to a different arc.

I suddenly couldn't move. Something in my mid-to-upper back totally seized up. I just stood there, not believing how much it hurt, thinking it must just be a cramp or something.

No such luck.

What I always forget about back pain (until I have it again) is that it screws up everything. Breathing hurts. Moving hurts. Sitting still hurts. And lifting--don't even think about it.

Here's how bad it was this morning. After I got back upstairs (took me ten minutes to walk up the stairs), I was going to lay down for a few minutes, hoping that would relax my back muscles. For some inexplicable reason, I decided to brush my teeth first. So I did, and I started to lean over to the sink faucet to rinse my mouth out.

Couldn't get there. I couldn't bend forward far enough to get my mouth to the running water. I had to cup water in one hand and sort of throw it at my mouth.

After I stayed in bed for about twenty minutes, I felt a little better, so I got up and tried to keep moving (moving gently actually helps your back, not hurt it). Even when I sat down, I kept moving slightly.

By noon, I was feeling a bit better. Then I sneezed.

I swear, every muscle in my back locked up at the same time. Gloria was home for this one, and she was talking to me, but I couldn't hear her. It was incredible. I've had all kinds of sports-related injuries before, but this was one of the single most painful things that's ever happened to me.

I have no muscle relaxers (of course), and my doctor is out of the office on Wednesday afternoons (of course). Outstanding.

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