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A Merry (Painful) Christmas - The Annals of Young Geoffrey: Hope brings a turtle [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Young Geoffrey

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A Merry (Painful) Christmas [Dec. 24th, 2008|03:27 pm]
Young Geoffrey
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Woke up around 5:00 this morning, feeling a lot of pain. I lay there for a few minutes, staring into the darkness, loath to move but also noting that — since I was awake — my bladder was sending me signals, urging me upright.

Groaning aloud, I rolled — carefully, I thought ‐ from the futon and onto the floor.

That's when the spasms grabbed my lower back and wouldn't let go.

When breathing is painful, moving is pretty much out of the question.

I was on my side and, through sheer force of will, after about five minutes managed to turn myself onto my stomach.

By this point I was making so much noise, including such pithy terms as Owww! and Oh Christ it hurts! and Owww! again (and again and again), that I was more or less expecting someone to knock on my door, either inquiring after my health or else demanding that I shut the fuck up.

No such luck either way.

Gasping, I slowly pulled my knees up and that eased the pain a little. And within only 15 minutes or so I was able to get to my feet. Another 15 minutes — hanging for dear life onto the back of a chair with one hand and a low shelf with the other, while very gently lifting my knees in front of me, trying to work out the bastard that had hold of my back like a pit-pull on a poodle — and I was able to shuffle like a very old man to the bathroom, where I answered my bladder's call and downed 1400 mg of ASA.

When I got back to my room I found I'd managed to lock the door. Fortunately, it's more for show than anything else and easily opened via the use of a driver's license.

Which was in my office.

It took my probably another five minutes to make it there and back, but at least I was moving.

I wanted nothing more than to return to bed, but knew that would be the worst thing I could do. When your back goes out, the best thing you can do is keep moving. And so I've done, including a trip to a local drug-store for some pain-killers stronger than aspirin.

I really need to start exercising more regularly ...

Meanwhile, since I'm half-floating on the aforementioned pain-killers and so not feeling particularly productive,

Since the year is fast drawing to a close, the following are the first sentence from the first entry for each month of the year. Isn't this fun, kids?

January 1st: It's worse than I thought.

February 1st: This was from the CBC's news-feed:

Surprise January tumble for U.S. jobs

U.S. employers reduced their payrolls by 17,000 jobs in January, marking the first cut since August 2003.

March 9th: I've often played little games of self-manipulation - setting the clock ahead and then pretending the displayed time is correct in hopes of making it into the office on a regular basis; loudly predicting that les Canadiens will lose a hockey game so that the Hockey Gods (who, apparently, are of such a low level of intelligence as to make the Gods of Asgard look like an ale-reeking troupe of Shakespeares and Einsteins); and in general, low-balling my expectations of good fortune so that, if they do not come to pass I can comfort myself that I was right or, if by some miracle what I want does happen, I will swallow the bitter pill of Error with a ladle of honeyed Victory.

April 2nd: I understand science, I really do.

May 1st: Back in the '70s, when I was 10 or 11 years old, my mother bought into the then-fashionable belief that television was "the plug-in drug", a Destructive Influence that threatened the moral fibre of children exposed to the sex and (especially, to my mother's mind) the violence on offer via the glass teat.

June 14th: Point-form update, in place of coherent paragraphs and flowing narrative er, flow.

July 1st: For some reason and in some ways, "composing" (truth is, I just modify existing emails) cover-letters is harder for me than writing fiction.

August 1st: I'm re-reading Steven Pinker's book, The Blank Slate and would like to hear from the other side.

September 2nd:
"But you must remember, my fellow-citizens, that eternal vigilance by the people is the price of liberty, and that you must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessing." — Andrew Jackson, Farewell Address, March 4, 1837

We expect the jackboot of state power to come down hard during "important events" like the Olympics in countries like China, but not in democracies like Canada or the US (though, in truth, I remember a similar (though lesser) level of state-terrorism during a G-7 summit held in Toronto in 1988.

October 2nd: What with work and the commute turning me upside down, I haven't had the time to properly ponder last night's French-language debate, but for the record, here are some of my impressions.

November 3rd: I made the deadline.

December 1st: On Thursday, Canada's (brand-new) government presented an economic update to the House — not quite a Budget, but something close to it, or such it is in normal times — it is with no little amount of schadenfreude that I watch Stephen Harper's ill-timed revelation of his true colours quite possibly put paid to his political career.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: strider7901
2008-12-25 02:49 am (UTC)
I'm totally taking your meme. It looks really neat!

And wow. My parents had that kind of pain...hence why I'm exercising for the rest of my life. It sounds horrifying.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2008-12-25 03:10 am (UTC)

Steal Away!

It wasn't mine in the first place, anyway.

As for the back, yes, it's pretty awful. This one — seems to be (he said, crossing his fingers and typing with his thumbs) a mild one. But I'm a little pissed that it's less than 11 years since the last time it happened.

Funny thing about pain is how quickly the memory becomes nothing but words. Which is probably a very good thing evolutionarily-speaking; otherwise, I don't think many women would have gone through birth more than once, no matter how mysogynistic a society they lived in.
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[User Picture]From: strider7901
2008-12-27 06:21 pm (UTC)

Re: Steal Away!

Oh Jesus, you're right on that. Hell I don't even want to get pregnant if I'll know there is going to be more pain...well, one of the reasons. Alas, thank god we can't remember pain...in memory.
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[User Picture]From: mijopo
2008-12-25 12:04 pm (UTC)

well, merry christmas, anyway

Wow, sorry to hear about all the pain.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2008-12-25 12:59 pm (UTC)

Re: well, merry christmas, anyway

Thanks, man. Fortunately, as I indicated above, my ability to remember pain is limited in the extreme. And I awoke with not much more than a little tenderness (and the knowledge that one wrong move will set it off again) this morning and so am optimistic it will clear up entirely over the next couple of days.

Stupid evolution, making the spine so fragile.
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[User Picture]From: es_skwared
2008-12-25 05:09 pm (UTC)
Hope you're feeling better today!
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[User Picture]From: paul_carlson
2008-12-27 01:10 am (UTC)
Ow ow owww!

Been years since that's happened to me, after my arms (as it turned out) got a lot stronger than my back. Hang in there.

The doctor gave me a handy non-macho Back Exercise pamphlet, which really did help a lot.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2008-12-27 01:45 am (UTC)

Question

Does that back include reverse sit-ups? Those are among the exercises I've been avoiding of late.

In any case,it's getting better, and fairly quickly. So far I've only taken two Advils today and I'm not really sure I needed them.
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