Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Agh my aching back

Hurt it somehow on Monday, Tuesday I could barely get around, today isn't much better. I don't know what the fuck happened Monday, I don't remember doing shit then, but Tuesday I woke up and practically couldn't get out of bed. Since then, by grace of Advil go I.

So anyhow, today's trash day. I'm supposed to be sweeping and vacuuming and mopping and shit today as well as cleaning the cat box and taking out the trash. Fuck it, I'll do the cat box and take out the trash because otherwise I have two weeks worth of trash next week and that much trash won't fit in the teensy trash can the city gave me (and if I don't do the cat box, the cats *will* rebel on my bed), but the rest of that shit? My back says "fuck that shit" at least for now...

-- Badtux the Gimpy Penguin


  1. Do you ever do any yoga-type stretching? Not any of the formal Bikram-style "adopt this position for 40 seconds and then do the Backwards-Woofing-Dog for three breath cycles" BS. Just slow bending so you loosen the muscle groups and bend the tendons.

    One of the few things of value I got from Mrs. Bukko #1 was this routine of bowing down reeeeeal slowly, then coming back up slow, and leaning backwards slowly, then from one side to another, and then rotating my torso around in a slow circle. The key is to visualize each muscle group as you go, and let them stretch. Slowly. Also, focus on breathing deeply as you do it. I find it both relaxing and invigorating.

    I'm a man of science, not given to mystical bullshit. I theorize the reason this helps is because of the lymphatic system. That's like the body's sewer, which collects waste byproducts of muscular metabolism and other sludge, then funnels it through these poorly defined channels and nodes until the gunk is dumped into the bloodstream just before it hits the lungs. From there, you essentially breathe it out, because the waste products are oxidized when they mix with air in the lungs. Hence the importance of breathing deeply.

    It feels like I'm blowing toxins out through my lungs. The stretching makes me feel loose and limber.

    I think the yoga-heads tripped upon something that works scientifically, but in the ancient eras when it was developed, they didn't have the understanding to know why it worked. So they built a mythology around it.

    Anyway, I'm a hideous fool for violating the lifting rules at work. I'm an impatient SOB, so when a patient needs to be hoicked up higher in bed or they want to get out and sit in a chair but they're too debilitated, I often don't take the time to ask someone else to help or get a lifting machine. I just do it. By rights, I should have killed my back like so many other nurses have. I think the main reason I haven't is because I do this stretching thing. In fact, as soon as I finish this comment, I'm going to do a bit.

    It's too late for you at the moment, when you're in pain, but when you recover somewhat, try some slow yoga-type stretching. Emphasis on the back. You'll be doing it for Western scientific motives, but you don't have to announce that to the hippies.

  2. Bukko, 20 years or so ago I hurt my lower back when clearing fenceline on my farm. Since then, I can't twist a certain way or else it causes it to impinge on a nerve that runs down to my leg and either a) irritates the shit out of the surrounding back muscle, which then clenches up tighter than a Republican's sphincter when a Republican spots a dark-skinned person and causes the pain I'm in, and b) dumps me over forthwith if I twisted too far that way and completely shut down the signal to the nerve. Either way, the disk gets irritated and that makes the surrounding muscles clench up and ache in sympathetic pain, and that's where I'm at right now. The solution is ibuprofen and time. At some point natural aging is going to cause things to degenerate to the point where there's no alternative to spinal fusion, but putting that as long as possible is a Good Thing because outcomes of spinal surgery are nowhere near as good as what surgeons love to claim, because the spine isn't a simple joint like a knee or hip that's easy to replace, it's got *nerves* and *blood vessels* and its own lymphatic system running in it, and it's all too easy to fuck something up...

    Regarding stretching exercises, they do work and I got some relief last night by warming up with other exercises and then slowly stretching out my back. Twisting, of course, is completely out of the question here, that was the cause of the problem in the first place.

    So anyhow, enough of the medical maladies stuff. It'll be better soon enough. The world isn't going to end because I wasn't able to do all the sweeping and vacuuming yesterday. It's just going to look rather grubby for a while :).

    -- Badtux the Gimpy Penguin

  3. So sorry to hear the old spine is being punishing; mine is in sympathy. I helped move the big 4 spout kegerator day before yesterday and my back is still ticked at me. Yeah...I'm living on my tilt table till can find the chiro guy appt.

  4. I had back surgery, a laminectomy, 4 years ago after a disc exploded in my lower back. I knew the exact moment I blew it, too. I was out by the pool & had to crawl inside.

    It sounds like you have a different problem, though. I'm assuming you've seen a doctor about this, so I won't make a diagnosis. Plus the fact that I'm not a doctor, or anything like one, nor do I play one on TV.

    Anyway, that back surgery was short (I walked out 5 hours later) & sweet, & the only surgery I can imagine where you wake up & immediately feel better, rather than in constant pain & looking forward to weeks of rehab or bed rest. I did have to not play soccer for 4 months, but the alleviation of pain was more than worth it.


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