I’ve wrecked my back, and I’m placing blame for it everywhere but where it belongs: with decisions I make.
I’ve yanked and mashed it in the past, to be sure. But this time I can’t seem to lasso it back from the brink of constant irritation, if not downright pain.
When I had the kitchen ripped apart for renovating, I lost my office. I instead perched on the couch with a laptop, no doubt the pose that has a big red X through it on the how-to primer for proper desk posture.
I lifted too much and painted too much and hunched too much. To mix things up a little, I’d go weed too much. I got my chiropractor involved, who in turn got a massage therapist involved. Both looked at me the same way that I look at a cat who has just barfed on the bedspread.
One day, between treatments from the two of them, I felt great. So I came home and rototilled my yard. This was put in the “too much” category. Back I went.
“What are your plans this weekend? Can you take it easy?” asked the massage therapist.
“Oh, yes,” I replied. “I’m driving to New York State. But don’t worry, it’s a manual transmission, so I figure that’s like a gentle workout six hours each way.”
She looked unconvinced. A week later, when I was back on her table with the failed results of that reasoning handing her a bunch of knots, she again asked if I was taking it easy in the coming days.
“Yup. Going to Chicago, but I’m taking a luxury car. I think the seats even massage my bum,” I said, wondering if the car I was taking indeed had that setting. I like that setting.
“As much as I’d like to be pleased you’re not rototilling, this is not a recommended activity,” she said. “You know that, right?”
I didn’t tell her I’d assembled two heavy bedframes earlier that day. I continued to blame the sports car from the week before.
My chiropractor made my back emit some weird noises before telling me I was probably using very bad form at my desk. On the way home, I stopped and bought a new office chair. In order to take advantage of this astute purchase, I dragged the box into the house and proceeded to assemble it. And undid all the work she’d done that morning.
I got my family doctor in on the equation, and she tossed me some new miracle cream she’d just been introduced to.
“Let me know if it works,” she told me.
I went home and did my stretches, slapped on the new miracle cream, ingested a muscle relaxant and sat at my new chair to work. All of this made me sleepy, so I took a nap instead.
There was really only one big job left to do. After trucking a couple of big bed frames to the cottage last weekend, they needed assembling. With my niece Kat helping, we finally got the huge bolts in place and tightened them. We were both sweating, and while my back was yelping a little, it knew the lake was right there. We stood admiring our work.
“We put it together upside down,” I told Kat.
“I know,” she said. “But when I figured it out I didn’t want to start over, so I just let you finish. I think it looks fine.”
My sister Gilly will be up next. I hope her back is in better shape than mine, because that upside down bed is going to make her nuts.