Monday, 15 October 2007

A minor mishap

While waiting for our apartments connection to the Internet I’ve been in a bit of pain. Whilst walking the dog on my way down a partly washed out path to the shoreline a week or so ago (Did I mention that we now have a nice place by the sea?) I slipped and ended up sliding ten feet on my back. Did a judo breakfall and took most of the impact on my shoulders, so I didn’t break any bones. To be honest I didn’t think much of it at the time; apart from cursing my own clumsiness and lack of care. My main thought afterwards was first to get some boots with a better grip before I tried the hundred foot descent again; and second how to get some rocks and logs into place to make the washed out track a little safer for me (and others) in future.

The rest of the evenings walk was a clamber over sea washed logs littering the rocky foreshore partially covered in newly washed up green seaweed. On our little exploratory trip we disturbed a family of six Sea Otters, who dashed into the water as soon as the dog and I got within fifty yards, and then roundly cussed us from the safety of the bays shallow waters in fluent Canadian Sea Otter (Lots of hissing, huffing and snorting) for disturbing them in whatever they were doing.

The return journey up the path was more abseil than walk, and I arrived back at the apartment after dark, a little muddy and dishevelled to find a very concerned Mrs S busily hunting out my old Life insurance policy (No she wasn’t really but it’s an old joke, and well worth trotting out occasionally to make sure it doesn’t get all manky).

Two days later my lower back was playing merry hell with me. It felt like an electric cattle prod was being rammed into the muscles alongside my spine. Both sets of muscles were in spasm and giving me serious grief every time I stand up, sit down or walk. When the pain hits I couldn’t help but buck like an untamed horse with the violence of the spinal cramp. The only sure fire respite comes from taking it easy for a couple of days with lots of hot baths and compresses. In addition, a little gentle traction and hanging from a door lintel by my fingers often helps.

This is not a new problem; it’s a weakness I’ve lived with for around the last thirty years. Every so often, around once, maybe twice a year, I’ll have a tumble like the other night, mis-step off a kerb, a trip and recover and although nothing happens right then and there, a day or so later I can barely move. I’ve had this problem since I was in my late teens and used to do various heavy physical jobs in between college courses to pay for my beer ration. Might even have been caused by the first ever semi serious crash I had on my old wreck of a Honda motorcycle (I really used to abuse that machine), or a particular game of Rugby when I ended up at the bottom of a particularly rough ruck and maul. Notwithstanding, how it first occurred is not important; somehow I’ve left myself with a weakness in my back muscles that kicks up every so often.

I’ve been X-rayed and gone to surgeons who have told me there’s nothing serious worth doing anything about, Chiropractors who have wrenched things back into shape (I’m not sure that the pain they induce isn’t worse that the pain of the condition itself), and masseurs who hammer the knots and kinks out (That hurts a lot too).

No matter what anybody else says and does, the pain goes away after a maximum of three days soaking in hot baths and taking it easy. Ergo, it looks like I’m stuck with it. A few pounds off the waistline might not be such a bad thing either. In the meantime; pass me the painkillers and I’ll have a nice hot soak and ride this one out like I usually do.

Now where's me rubber ducky?
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