too many words by laura lemay

I feel old

Three years or so ago I hurt my back. I’d like to say that I hurt it doing something cool like slam dancing or hauling kegs of beer into the basement, but no, actually I hurt it doing yoga. There is of course a certain irony in that: only someone as Type A as I am could injure themselves relaxing.

Even with serious drugs and lots of physical therapy it took over a year for me to get over the initial injury. But it was hurting my back that got me into weight lifting and eventually running and then bicycling, so that’s a good thing.

But even now I still occasionally get flareups, usually when I spend too much time lying around on the couch with my laptop. I have a perfectly good desk in my office with an aeron chair, a giant LCD monitor, good speakers for music, lots of light, all the good stuff. There’s no reason for me to lie around on the couch with my laptop. But I do it anyhow, and I mess up my back. Its really stupid.

I did it again this very week, because I was too lazy to actually walk up the stairs to my office, and now I’m suffering for it. Now I have to go through an extensive back fixing routine. Many dorky exercises involving a giant green physioball. Lots of stretching. Ice. Heat. Ice. Repeat. Blue pills. Yellow pills. White pills. I went for a bike ride yesterday, which is usually good for my back. Things were fine for the first 20 miles and then turned bad. Unfortunately I had 16 miles left to get back home again. What started out as a nice warm fun ride turned into one of those “oh god please let me die now” rides.

There’s nothing like a bad back to make you feel really old. You stand around kind of hunched over with your hands pressed up against your lower back in what is pretty much the universal Old Position. You moan “oh, my aching back,” which is pretty much the universal Old Phrase. The only comfortable way to sleep is flat on your back with a pillow under your knees, which approximates one of those wierd-looking automatic adjustable beds they advertise on TV, and OLD OLD OLD I am SO OLD.

On the other hand: taking this many drugs feels just like being 22 all over again. woohoo!