Consider the human back

by , under life

Well, not quite this. Mine isn’t silken and doesn’t ripple, nor does it sport yellow skin, blackheads, pimples, enlarged pores and tufts of hair. It just hurts. No longer like hell– on Saturday I could almost imagine that people kill themselves because they’re in pain, but it’s now only a major annoyance. Especially as I’d planned to clean the bathroom, the fridge and the kitchen floor, but those all need movements I’m temporarily incapable of.

I think the ultimate cause is the rib I bruised a while ago in a fall with my bike –sudden hole in the road when I turned a corner, braked sharply, rear wheel slipped from under me– that caused me to stand, sit and lie in positions that hurt the least at the time, but were bad for me in the long run. It started in the middle of the week with slight stiffness, by Thursday I was so stiff that my other half noticed (while I was still thinking I was just being a baby, after all I carried twins to three weeks short of term and never had a backache), and Friday I couldn’t face riding a bike– swimming wouldn’t have been so much of a problem.

So I spent most of Friday either sitting on a hard chair or trying to do normal things very slowly because I had to premeditate every movement. I took ibuprofen, but it didn’t help at all. I could walk to the market and carry heavy oranges, but it took most of my energy and I had to lie down. This turned out to be fairly comfortable and gave me the opportunity to finish The Nine Tailors and start on Murder Must Advertise, both of which we’ve just watched in the version with Ian Carmichael.

When I woke up on Saturday morning I felt stiff but it seemed a bit better, until I tried to get dressed: one small wrong move locked me up entirely. I could drag myself downstairs and sit on the hard chair again, which made it at least bearable, and sent a girl to the supermarket to buy chicken and vegetables for Sunday, and another girl to the pizza takeaway around the corner (which happens to be the best pizza place in town) to get dinner. And phoned Choirmistress that I wouldn’t be in church, fully realising that this would probably make Fr T have to do the service all on his own because Choirmistress herself is still mostly immobile with broken foot-bones.

On Saturday night, there was no way I could get comfortable in bed. I got up at about two o’clock, took paracetamol (this actually did something) and baked prosphora from the dough I’d put to rise in the evening, because merely getting out of bed had taken me about half an hour the previous time and I didn’t want to risk being in a hurry in the morning, let alone dressing to take them to the church. This way, I could take them to the church in my dressing-gown, which I did at about 6:25 –very near the time I’d otherwise get up–¬†went back to bed, slept until 9:30 or so, dragged myself out with the support of the chair I’d had the foresight to put there, took more paracetamol, and decided not even to try going to church. I could hear both male and female voices singing, and later Tertia told me there had been a man and a half and two women and the singing had been pretty decent, considering.

In the afternoon I felt so well that I said “if I’d been this fit in the morning I could have gone to church!” but there were (and still are) some small relapses. Tertia did the cooking, yummy chicken with vegetables in the oven, and I managed to do some last-minute shopping on the bike, exhausting (and scary because of sudden movements, such as braking for a dog; and difficult to get off) but satisfying. I also managed to pack up the recycling stuff and carry it down, as well as put it out on Monday morning.

I still need to get out of bed with a strange maneuver, and watch my movements a lot, but at least it doesn’t hurt all the time any more.

ETA: Fun facts: I can put on slippers (ballet flats), but not socks; and I can put on shoes but not tie my shoelaces. I can undo my shoelaces, though. Also, I tried walking with a stick but that gave a jolt every time I moved the stick ahead for another step. It was more comfortable during the step, but the net effect was less comfortable.

  1. Kathleen

    Oh, as soon as you began I was hit by the memory of the faint nausea brought on by that passage!

    Glad to hear you’re improving.


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