Long ago in a galaxy far away, I pulled a muscle in my back. It was in grade school when I lost control on a monster slide. It’s just southeast of my left shoulder blade, to the left of my spine. Most of the time it behaves itself but every now and then the little devil gets strained in some way and then begins the slow descent into hell. I have had other back issues but nothing hurts like this once it starts spasming. It’s like a large bird of prey with talons of steel is digging into me at 30 second intervals. Ibuprofen does nothing for it. My chiropractor has been bewildered by it. And applying either cold or heat just makes it angrier.
It flared up a couple days ago at lunch and at first was somewhat mild. But it was just toying with me. By supper time it had gotten worse – by 7:30 unbearable. Every 30 to 120 seconds the bird would clench its grip and I’d be in agony. We raced to the clinic in another suburb, with the knowledge that the Urgent Care unit closed at 8:00 pm and the ER at the neighboring hospital would mean a much higher copay. We made it in the door with 5 minutes to spare. Urgent Care of course was packed with people – lots of little kids who seemed to have more than enough energy for someone whose supposed to be ill. I finally got to see a doctor after about 45 minutes. The doc noticed that we shared a common last name and of course he turned out to be a fellow Scandinavian. Would you expect anything less in this state. Norse Doctor gave me a prescription for pain pills and another for muscle relaxants. It was the later that really did the trick but it took a couple of ’em before they really kicked in. And then I was floating in the nether world – an over-powering urge to sleep and total inability to concentrate. But it worked, the muscle finally calmed down and now I’m back at work, a little groggy but functioning.
And what have we learned today, boys and girls? That next time my back flares up there will be no waiting for it to get better. Muscle relaxants and sleep, preferably with a large cat slumbering on my head.