The bane of my existence for the last two years, my back first caused me problems while being hunched over a keyboard for months on end finishing my dissertation. So in a sense my ruined skeletal structure is a fond memory of the closeted scriptorious torture I saw fit to persevere through. Call it a badge of honor. I think I would have preferred a puppy. Or a cake.
Anyway, the old badge is digging into my side real bad these days. After my degree I followed a path of rigorous exercise and regime that slowly brought me back to some semblance of health (and, moreover, mobility). There’s been some ups and downs, but recently I was OK. Last fall I saw a specialist (who agreed with my diagnosis of “sciatica”) and was scheduled for an MRI, but moved out to BC, and for the most part improved considerably on my own. Earlier this summer was a high point, when I was riding the bike daily and able to hike for hours without much discomfort. Then the teaching gig started in mid-July, and my bike fell apart, and before I replaced it I did some jogging, which didn’t feel so great. But again I was feeling better just recently since I got the new bike.
On Friday, after hitting just two golf balls, I wrenched my back so bad I couldn’t stand up. I’d been to the driving range a few times earlier in the summer and was fine, so this was a complete surprise.
Suddenly I’m in emergency at 11:00 PM, waiting about five hours just to see a doctor. I felt like I did two winters ago in Montreal, when I’d submitted the thesis but hadn’t defended, and slipped on the ice in front of f-ing Future Shop on boxing day. It was a holly, jolly Christmas, let me tell you.
But somehow it’s worse now, with my time outdoors so precious to me, and the fall encroaching…
I suppose I should have done more than just get an x-ray and follow my own rehab, but everything was going fairly well. Now, sadly, I believe it’s time to experiment, since waiting for the hospital to call me back for my CT scan so they can tell me to “go see someone at a clinic” isn’t happening. As much as I’m a devoted skeptic, I’m thinking it’s time to see a chiropractor, this in spite of the fact that I know their dubious lineage (heck, I even wrote about it…). Whatever. They have survived the test of time, so maybe there’s something to it…Hey, the philosopher of science Paul Feyerabend, who was skeptical of basically everything, saw considerable merit in alternative medicine. I think he consulted alternative healers because he had some pretty major back problems — brought on by being shot a few times in the war. So there you go — it could be worse.
The experience of being in a hospital again reminded me why I’m particular about staying healthy — the modern medical system is so profoundly disturbing to someone who studies the philosophical meanings of health that it’s hard to have anything to do with it. Yet there is this strange rational conceit that makes me equally dubious of the alternative approach…But now, I may take the leap.
I tell ya, being laid up really sucks. I don’t do incapacitated well.