As I limped into my chiropractor’s office on Friday afternoon, the sound system was playing “I Wanna Be Sedated.”
And, as I prepared to get emergency treatment for yet another flare-up of my merciless back trouble, the Ramones were quickly followed by the Beatles singing “Help!”
WFML was playing the soundtrack to my life.
Once again my back has gone bad on me, once again I’m limping around in agony, and once again I’m cursing the fates, my luck, and anything else that comes into my line of vision.
The only thing different from the last two back attacks is that this time the excruciating pain is radiating out of my left leg, not my right.
And make no mistake--the pain is excruciating. It hurts when I stand, it hurts when I walk and it even hurts sometimes when I sit—including on that most important seat in the house, if you know what I mean. Now that's just cruel.
It started midweek when I woke up with a slight discomfort on my left side. I thought I had probably slept in an odd position and that the pain would work itself out. Instead, it worked itself in and now I can hardly walk.
The three-block stroll to the chiropractor’s office turned into a moveable beast as I limped down Church Street like Walter Brennan.
Every step was torture and I had to stop repeatedly to let the pain subside. I work in downtown Manhattan so the area is mobbed with tourists going to see the 9/11 Memorial. It took a lot of effort to weave around these gawkers and still stay upright.
The Long March
On the way back I sat down in Zuccotti Park and stared at a break dancer who was twisting and contorting his body in all sorts of bizarre angles before finishing off with a back flip. Meanwhile, my biggest challenge was standing up.
I don’t get it. I do the exercises that the physical therapists told me to do and I even got cortisone shots the last time this happened. Yet nothing has prevented this third flare-up in just under two years.
The attacks are becoming more frequent and more intense and I’m afraid they’re becoming the new normal.
Any worthwhile exercise is going to involve moving around in some fashion, so I’m not sure what my next step will be if the doctors tell me to do something else.
And, of course, this had to happen in the summer, my absolute favorite time of the year.
I suffered through an interminable winter, longing for the day when I can walk out the door without putting on gloves and an overcoat and go anywhere I want.
On Saturday I limped a hellacious half-block down to Shore Road Park and stretched out in the grass like a sack of wet laundry. Hoo, wee, ain’t we got fun? Today my sister very kindly drove me to a local supermarket so I could stock up on some food.
I absolutely hate being so helpless.
I’ve scheduled an appointment with my pain management doctor, I’m going to see a local chiropractor and I’m praying that this misery passes quickly.
I don’t want to be sedated. I want to live an active, relatively pain-free life. Help me if you can…