Thursday, April 24, 2008
Back pain is the worst
Several weeks ago I was at the gym. Some of you might not know that I go to the gym, but I do, and I'm usually very careful while I'm there. Two and a half years ago, I was at the gym doing an exercise with my legs and I reinjured the herniated disc in my lower back. I did the same thing a few weeks ago.
Only this time, I knew immediately that I was hurt, and hurt really bad. I immediately stopped what I was doing and began to head home. I was immeasurably inconvenienced when I realized that I had ridden my bicycle to the gym that day. Because the pain this time was setting in so quickly, I knew there was no way I could get on the bike to ride it home. I thought at least I could walk--slow as it may be.
I began, but only lasted about one quarter mile before I collapsed on the side of the road. I laid (I don't care if this isn't the accepted past tense form here. The word is impossible to get "right", so I'm telling all of you to just go with your ear--whatever sounds right, in this case, is) there for about an hour until a woman in her sixties stopped and asked me a question.
"Are you ok?"
"Yeah, I think I'll be fine--I just injured my back pretty bad."
"Do you need anything?"
"Well, um, do you think I could get a ride to my apartment? I live just down the road."
"Oh, I'm actually late to babysit my grandkids. I could call my husband though."
"Oh that's fine--I think I'll be ok."
I don't blame this lady for not wanting to let a 25-year-old stranger into her car. It's just too dangerous these days. I don't know why I didn't have her call her husband, though. I was in a lot of pain.
So there I laid for honestly 30 more minutes. I very slowly regained some strength during that time until I could sit up straight. This was a huge improvement for me. Eventually I was able to get my whole body on my feet and even take a few steps.
Now at least the bike I brought with me was coming in handy: I could use it as a walker so I could walk totally hunched over without having to use my back to keep my body upright. I walked this way nearly half the way home to my apartment before an incredibly nice lady and her son stopped and told me "You look like you're walking really gingerly. Can we give you a ride?"
Sweeter words I have seldom heard. They loaded my bike into their car and within a minute, I was at home in a warm apartment lying on a carpeted floor--much better than the side of the road.
It took only one week to completely heal this time, which is pretty fast. I'm glad to report that I'm back to full health. And I'm no longer embarrassed to admit that there are just some things my body can't do. It's not worth going through that process again.