Something Almost Quite Bad Nearly Happened, But Didn’t

My back hurts. It seems that, for as long as I can recall, there has been a problem with my back. Possibly problems, not a problem, would be more accurate, but I’ve only realised that recently.

There must have been a time before back problems but that is a distant period, where sensory memories don’t endure, and I frankly find it quite difficult to imagine what it was like. If I attend a sporting event, especially the cricket, which takes all day, I apply some sort of Dencorub/Metsal/Deep Heat product (with oil of wintergreen or Methyl salicylate as the active ingredient) – the lineament or balm stuff that is commonly smelled in dressing rooms, or was, a century ago; it’s hot and makes your eyes water … OK, I’ve never been good at describing what this class of product is, but that’s beside the point. The point is that I need to rub on hot stuff to my neck and upper back, before attending sporting events, as my neck will get sore, and some artificial feels-like-massage assistance is needed to ameliorate the effects of a permanently tensing up body. It can’t always have been like this, but it is now, and it has been this way since I was a young teenager.

(I was hit by a car at 6 years of age – I wonder whether that is the source of some of my infirmities? Certainly seems the source of an injury prone left thigh, which bore most of the impact.)

Proper, sharply rendered recall of spinal weaknesses starts in high school; the onset of stress and tension seems like a catalyst for a lot of these symptoms, both skeletal and muscular. Sitting in awkward positions was not uncommon – I used to hunch over at a desk, and kept a very close eye on what I was writing (very close) and this put pressure on my neck, as it was arching, and necks aren’t meant to arch, for a long period anyway, and I was often wound up like a rubber band which was never really allowed to release, except in sporting activities, and I did a lot of them, but that caused it’s own problems. There was the muscular stretch at athletics that was taught at a training session I missed, and therefore didn’t understand it, and possibly did damage by not stretching my back properly, which I didn’t understand at the time, and what I was doing, which I thought was right, was clearly so close to what was right that no-one pulled me up and gave me advice, and I didn’t ask as I thought it was right and there was no reason to question, and on and on and on. And there was possibly a neck injury, not serious, but overcompensated for by over stretching the back, which made back worse but didn’t address neck. And I didn’t really know about any of these factors at the time, but my school bag was always heavy, as we were given frequent homework, and bags in those days were almost all shoulder bags (in fact I remember being pleased that I had somehow ‘graduated’ from a backpack to a shoulder bag, and besides, losers wore backpacks, didn’t they?) And none of these things can have been good for the average individual, but it’s also possible that I was then, and still am, prone to spinal problems and muscular tension (and it’s certainly possible that I’m prone to whingeing about such discomfort, no question there) and maybe specific injury wasn’t necessary to cause later problems: the way we lived as teenaged school kids didn’t suit my body structure and composition.

Or, maybe not.

But I mowed a bit on the weekend, and did some raking – not much, and not well – and it was hot, and I feel like I have been tortured right now. Not torture with intent to kill, not Ivan Milat firing at tied up live people kind of torture, but as if someone has kicked me as hard as they can, quite a few times, just above my hip, on both sides, but especially the right, and like someone else has got a small hammer, and tapped me for a few hours over the rest of my back. It’s not easy to get comfortable in a chair.

The weekend was good though. At one point it appeared I had broken the mower engine by not checking, and altering, the oil composition or amount or whatever it is, as I just don’t understand what I’m checking and how to check for it. (I can make it look like I’m checking something, wipe the stick thing, dip it again, look at it thoughtfully, and say something considered like, “Hmm”, before putting the cap back on and going ahead with starting up the engine, but it’s an empty pantomime and I decided to drop it, since I wouldn’t know what I was looking at if the evidence was screaming: ‘Emergency!’ And, frankly, I still don’t know what signs I’m looking for anyway.) A refresher is required, it seems. But I am pleased not to have broken it.

And that’s about it. Paper reading and some TV watching and getting really hot outside, and coming in and cooling – so glad that’s possible now.

Published in: on November 22, 2010 at 7:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

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