I have been blessed with a bad back.
Doubtless there are countless studies that have discovered beyond any doubt that it’s caused by smoking but that’s not what Doc says. He says it’s down to my build. Apparently my spine is built for elegance rather than functionality [not his precise words but you get the drift] and there is fuck all I can do about it.
No matter how careful I am, it still hits at unexpected times.
Once, many moons ago our daughter K8 [who was only a nipper at the time] quite unexpectedly launched herself from half way up the stairs into my arms. The back went crack and we ended on the floor. She thought my writhings were hilarious. The next time she did it, I just stepped to one side and let gravity do its job. There wasn’t a third time.
Another time we took delivery of a lorry load of peat briquettes. I spent a sweaty afternoon carrying them around to the shed, and believe me they are fucking heavy after a while. I carefully bent my knees each pickup and kept my back straight. All went without a hitch and I got the whole load transferred without a single twinge from the vertebrae. Then I went to pick up one tiny piece that had broken off – bang goes the back!
It’s gone again.
I don’t know what caused it this time around but it is fucking painful. It’s quite OK if I sit quietly. It is fine if I stand quietly. Getting from the former position to the latter is sheer fucking agony, and what’s worse, because it’s pain free when sitting down I forget about the damned thing and spring up out of my chair like a spring lamb only to get stuck in an agonising stoop.
I have however found a position that gives me considerable relief.
I just need to sit on a stool – preferably a high stool. I must have something solid that I can rest my elbows on, such as an oak counter. A brass rail to rest my feet on also helps. Once in this position, I need to do a little exercise which consists of grasping a cylindrical glass object about six inches high that contains a liquid. This cylinder must be lifted at regular intervals and a portion of the liquid is removed each time. Once the cylinder is empty, it must be refilled again and the cycle is repeated.
It works every time.