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.

13 comments:

Sarah-Ashley said...

Jordan that sounds excruciating. I am glad it healed up so fast though. Can modern medicine do anything for this back problem?

Matt , Allie, & Kate said...

!!! I was honestly expecting the last paragraph to say something like,
"then some kid starting pulling my leg, just like I'm pulling yours..." I'm so sorry you had to lay there on the side of the road! I hope you are ok, and I still can't believe that happened to you!

Jordan said...

Hahaha. I wish I would have thought of that. The whole story is true, but had it ended with someone pulling my leg, it would have been much better.

Jordan said...

Sarah-Ashley,

Mostly just physical therapy which is a miracle. If I'm mildly careful throughout my life, I'll be just fine.

Melissa said...

Oh, this is painful just to think about. Thank heavens you've recovered so well.

(I completely agree with you on the lay/lie usage issue)

Elizabeth said...

My friend, Roland, once fainted on the side of the road in Provo and woke up about 2 hours later in the very same spot. I'm astonished more people don't stop and access the situation when they see a young man collapsed on the sidewalk.

bridgerw said...

This was a disaster for you, Jordan, but I can't help but wish that it may have been the beginning of you spending your life in a ditch.

J and E Mayfield said...

Jordan I hope that you didn't have your phone with you because I would have loved to come to the rescue. Next time-know that you can call. I'm glad that you didn't seriously hurt it for good. That sounds pretty bad. And thanks for the grammar lesson... I love hearing the things you learn even though I forget them.

Cassidy said...

Jordan! I am so sorry that this happened to you. I would love to be able to show you some exercises and stretches that might be able to help with this problem. And a massage is certainly in order next time I am in town (or you are in town, should you decide to come on down here.)

Lindsay & Mark said...

I just had the most frightening and dramatic vision of you laying on the side of the road. Although if anyone is going to lay in a ditch, you're the only person I know who could pull it off with style. Please be careful and bring a cell phone with you to the gym so you can phone home.

Brad said...

yikes. that sounds really painful. I believe "lay" was the word you were looking for.

Michael LoGiudice, DC said...

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Bill Mahan said...

ah pain, I herniated a disc a few years ago too...no fun