Monday, December 11, 2006

Curse This Wretched Torso Of Mine!

Back in September I glossed over the fact that I painted the drywall of our newly-finished basement storage. Apparently my back did not agree that this was a minor event and for two weeks afterward it was sore. Everything in my low back just hurt and eventually this would cut into the breathing mechanism which, I now know through experience, is partially run by your back! WHY WAS I NOT NOTIFIED?!?!

So after two weeks, which I thought was long but acceptable for a soreness, it started feeling better. I honestly thought that'd be it for the whole ordeal, but I work a desk job and tend to do back-centric yoga exercises and well, apparently my abs felt left out and decided reinjuring the back was a jim dandy way to exact their revenge. Awesome.

A few weeks ago, I hightailed my hind quarters to the doctor who told me, "Yup, you hurt it and you should get a wee bit o' physical therapy so you don't do that again. Your only other option is to give up breathing, and you're not a candidate." She had fabulous heels on, so I knew she had my best interest at heart.

Last week I trotted off to physical therapy. The applied electric shocks to my low back (wee, feels like pop rocks on my skin!) and heat pads and then used an ultrasound machine (as a therapeutic rather than diagnostic tool) and then she gave me exercises to do twice daily to help straighten our this whole musculature problem. It's been a good experience so far, belying Bee's warnings that physical therapists are sadists who chose their profession to put people through pain for poops and giggles. I still have a few visits to do ("Twice weekly for 4-6 weeks!" says the sadist who knows my copay is $40 a visit), but it's been great so far.

The first time I arrived, however, I kept hearing my name said. I couldn't understand it, ripping myself from the (admittedly boring) magazine a few times before realizing one of their young aids shared my name. You have to understand, there aren't a whole lot of Ericas in the world, or at least in this country, so I'm not conditioned to ignore my name. Frankly, I'm not sure how you Sarahs, Kaitlyns, Karens, and Jennifers handle it.

Today, she led me back to my room and set me up with the heat pads. She couldn't resist mentioning to me that we shared a name, but she seemed delighted by it. I didn't resent her for sharing my name, but I guess over the years I've grown to feel a certain ownership over my unusual(ish) name. It may be old, but it's still true "that's my name, don't wear it out." (This sentence sponsored by The Last Time Grease Was Popular). Anyhow, she seemed happy about finding a fellow Erica, so I made the obligatory comment about "the only other Ericas I've known." I mentioned all of them being in kindergarten, and she agreed that all the ones she knew were younger. The only problem is that my statement was worded in the past tense, and the last time that was true was when I was in elementary school. When we swapped ages, I realized she could have been that Erica. For once, I felt old.

At least my back felt fantastic.


Mair said...

ok, I've been resisting, but YOU MADE ME DO IT! I have to tell you about my new "earth shoes", but they are too great and too detailed to tell of in this comment. Oh, if I don't tell it here, everyone else will wonder what I'm talking about.

Earth shoes, people. Best thing ever invented. I bought them recently for our upcoming trek across Uganda (slight exaggeration of what we'll be doing). Anyway, here's the deal: the were invented by a yoga master. They have "negative heel technology" that realigns your posture so that you stand in mountain pose while you wear them. They reduce back/leg pain. The best part??? Wearing them is like walking on a treadmill at a 3.7 degree incline, which means CALORIE BURN, baby...just from wearing the shoes! Also, they supposedly tone your leg muscles.

My experience? They are awesome. Not only are they the most comfortable shoes ever, but when I wear them, my back doesn't hurt at night - neither do my ankles. Check them out. Seriously. Do it.

RedHurt said...

Welcome to the club!! I somehow injured my back mysteriously during the summer after sophomore year (college), and I've never been the same since!! I went without being able to walk normally or breath while sleeping without it hurting for a few months before finally getting my issues worked out in a mixture of stretching, PT and exercise. I too had the great blessing of having the electrodes attached to my back and feeling their sweet relief, but once they hooked them up wrong and it made my butt muscles spasm and the PT doctor just stared and laughed. Jerk. Now as long as I do stretches every morning and run at least once a week, it seems to be enough to keep the inflammation out of my syatic nerve. What you can take away from this long story is that if your back pain totally subsides, count yourself among the blessed and lucky and treat that back with the loving respect it deserves!

Mair, are those shoes only for women, or can I get me some? Will they make me cool, or just help my back?

E.A.P said...

Mair - I am intrigued by these shoes. Man, oh man, they sound comfy and although some of the styles are DON'TS (with all caps), some are quite cute. Now if only I could scrounge up $130. Still, super comfy is definitely worth something. Wowsers.

Redhurt - Dude, I'm sorry. And I noticed every doctor pointedly asking me if I'd ever hurt my back before like, DUH, it'll happen again. I'm not too psyched, but I guess if it's your core and it's involved in most movement, it's not too surprising. I'll just have to find my routine to stave it off. Oh, and I didn't check them out, but I did see men's styles for the Earth Shoes, so we'll probaly all have matching ones next time the posse rides.