Saturday, September 01, 2007

How did I come to this?

I used to bike 10-plus miles a day, visit museums and surf on the ocean. I spent weekends jumping from that cliff-in-La Jolla-that-shall-not be-named, doing things and meeting people.

As I lay on the floor yesterday unable to move I wondered what the heck has happened to me. This was not the life I planned. If I was the type of person who blamed others for the choices I had made I would have been totally pissed off.

The problem started with a slight twinge in my lower back that continued for a few minutes. Then the small itch exploded into agony without any intermittent escalation. It felt as if Zeus tied a lightning bolt to a hob-nailed boot and rammed his foot up my anus. Twice. I dropped to the floor in mid-step, barely managing to control the descent enough not to slam my head onto anything and rolled over flat onto my back. It took a awhile to stop sobbing. After a time the pain in my back faded enough that I could move my arms, not that it did me any good. All I could manage was a weak flailing.

I just know I did a great "Chekov-face" right before I collapsed.

I tried to get up but couldn't. I had complete muscle failure in my lower back and when I did manage to move a bit the pain came burning right back. If I could have reached my phone I would have called for an ambulance, but it was in the kitchen and it may well have been in another state for all that I could reach it.

To make my situation worse the four stupid dogs that live in the house kept coming over and licking my face and ears. I guess they were checking me out or were concerned but they all eat poop as between-meal snacks so I failed to appreciate their slobbering efforts all over my face. My main concern other than poop-saliva on my face was that at that moment I was basically a wounded animal in the midst of a pack of dogs. I guess I should have been grateful they didn't tear me to shreds and feast on my remains in a frenzy of applied Darwinism.

So for the next half of an hour I lay on my back on the furry, dusty floor. Eventually, I got the idea to use my arms to push/slide me over to a table so I could use it to stand again. That took a few minutes and when I reached the table it was unsuccessful since I couldn't lever myself up to to grab the edge. I managed to roll over without soiling myself and spent several minutes getting to my feet incrementally. I then staggered over to the couch where I experienced a whole new level of spinal agony as I lay down. I basically had to let myself fall and hope I landed in a way I could reposition for comfort.

Aside from the horrible, emasculating pain the next 4 hours sucked. The channel the television was on was showing really bad Kung Fu movies and the remote was over by the set. The house was hot. My drink was on another table and I couldn't reach it. The stupid dogs kept bugging me to play and jumping on and off the couch, which really hurt when the couch shook.

Is this my future? In between periods of restless sleep I imagined shopping for those spring loaded cushions that help you get up out of a chair and replying in the affirmative when a cashier offers to have someone take my groceries out to the car. That sucks.

Several hours passed and I was eventually able to get up and go to the restroom without falling down. After about a day the pain went away.

I better be nicer to the kid. He'll probably be taking care of me soon.



  1. Jeeze, I hope you recover from that. Sounds shitty.

  2. Sounds like what happened to me a few weeks ago. I was tossing a piece of recycling into a bin and it hit me- POW! It took two weeks to fully recover, but I want to tell you- limit your painkillers! I was further injuring myself for the first couple of days because I was all hopped up on goofballs. I couldn't feel the injury, so I did stuff I should have avoided.

    Instead, ice your back in twenty minute intervals, and after a couple of days start to stretch your muscles. Do this slowly and carefully, and never to excess, or to a point where it hurts like hell. It's going to hurt, but don't torture yourself.

    Best of luck, fellow cripple. I'm one hundred percent better now, and you will be soon.


    Seriously, while not as extreme as your experience I had a mysterious and extremely annoying bout of lower back pain yesterday too. I'd never had it before either.

    With some careful stretching yesterday, it's a lot better today.

    Dang, I've got to start getting back into yoga and exercise.

    I'm officially too old to skip doing such things, which sucks mightily.

  4. Dog poop kisses are bad enough, but no remote! Poor thing. Get well soon, Sleestak.

  5. Man, that's awful. I hope you don't have to go through this kind of thing again anytime soon.

  6. Ah, getting older. Ain't it grand? I think we've all been there.

  7. Did you go see a doctor? About 15 years ago, I hurt my back. It turned out that I herniated a disc. The pain was excruciating. I could barely walk and when I finally could, I looked like a letter "S". I was off work for two weeks, but in hindsight, I should have stayed out longer. I was getting so bored that I actually wanted to go to work.

    Anyway, I hope you feel better.

  8. Sounds like a disc problem, and you'll want to see a doctor about it. I was having chronic pain like that, and the best thing for it was working out doing cardio for 25 minutes a day and the weight machine where you do crunches (about 50 a day). The exercise built up my muscles in my back and that (along with dropping about 30 pounds) has really minimized the problem with a time investment of less than an hour a day. Hope the advice from the old guy helps and hope you feel much better soon!

    BTW, could someone tell me what kthkbi means in that second picture?

  9. KTHKXBI is lolcat for "Okay, thanks, bye"

  10. "Applied Darwinism." Brilliant term. Love it.

    Sorry about the back pain. You might want to look at Dr. Sarno's book, "Healing Back Pain." It worked for my wife. Or you might want to hit your doc up for a load of Vicodin. Either one.

  11. Happened to me once, too. Couldn't move a muscle without agony, from my mid-shoulder down past my lumbar(sp?) region, absolutely crippling and terrifying. Then it went away about four hours later and hasn't happened again in 15 years.
    Good luck with it, go take a yoga class or something.


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