Monday, January 30, 2012
My Back Is Back
I’ve never seen my back. I know it’s there as the posterior of my front and from an occasional itch as it begs for my backscratcher. And I know when it’s not up to the task of keeping me upright, like now.
Walking at a slight diagonal is not the worst thing. The most painful part is going from horizontal to vertical. Even sitting to standing can be a twelve step program. I suppose quadrupeds never dreamed of ambulating like apes.
About half my life ago I played basketball in the park most Sunday mornings. Predictably, I’d hobble home with sciatica on Sunday afternoons. At age forty I was delusional enough to think I was twenty. (I wonder if at age twenty I thought I was ten) It seemed like a small enough price to pay. It all came to a halt when I broke my ankle. But the real end happened when the other players started calling me, sir. The one thing I wasn’t looking for on the court was deference.
I made a decision at that time to opt for a sedentary life. Of course I was on my feet all day as a pharmacist racing around dispensing miracle healings. But I declared myself unavailable for athletic activity. I was going to save myself; my knees, my back and my ankles. It worked. Besides running off at the mouth and an occasional poetic leap I stay put. The stationary bike has taken me close to my 80th year.
Now and then I’ll get a back ache but not high back pain or middle back pain; only low back. It must be the seat of all my depression. But I’ve never been depressed; worried, yes, fearful, I’ll admit to that. Alright, I’ll stop carrying the woes of the world. Right now, I can’t even carry out the garbage.
In the meantime Peggy and other friends have had epidurals sufficient to keep many doctors in many Lexus. I know that spinal stenosis often comes with age. Surely that couldn’t apply to me, could it? Naw! This feels like a simple pain-above-the-ass. I could see a chiropractor who would crack me, sublax me and sell me a fistful of herbs and I’d be cured in seven days. Or I could do nothing and heal in a week.
For the long term I know I ought to be building up my stomach muscles but I’d walk a mile to avoid exercise. There may not be any long term and I hate to think of all that waste. I’m easily bored with regimens especially if they require effort. I’ll take my chances and wait for, Time, that great healer.