Wednesday, October 03, 2007

On my back (but not in a good way)

The Great Mofo Delurk 2007

I am supposed to be at my first ballet class tonight (OK, actually second, but I was out of town for the first). Instead, I've got an Icy Hot patch on my back and have periodically been stretching.

In the same post that I mentioned my love of dance, I also alluded to a few injuries I sustained as a result of that said love. At age 14, I hurt my back. In fact, I am probably somewhere very close to the 20-year anniversary of that. And it remains a constant pain in my ass. Literally. Most of the pain occurs around the sciatic area.

Sometimes it's fairly minor, more an annoyance than a limitation on my mobility. Usually a couple days before my period, I find that it starts to stiffen a bit and just won't relax. It makes me feel a little out of whack, but doesn't stop me from doing anything. On occasion, I've had it go out entirely again, requiring bed rest/physical therapy/physical manipulation (chiropractic adjustment or Rolfing)/medication (Ibuprofen and/or muscle relaxers)/any combination of the above.

I was initially resolved to tell my most embarrassing moment of my back going out. But then I realized that it's a toss-up between two different times.

#1 I'm talking in the living room to my sister and one of her male friends (we were all roommates at the time). My back starts to twinge (even though all I'm doing is standing), so I decide to lay on my stomach on the floor until it passes. Except that my back gets worse and I eventually realize that I can't get up. Even after ibuprofen and muscle relaxers and ice packs. Now I have to pee really badly. Trillian's home by now, so she and my sister initially offer me a plastic container (with the male roommate out of the room) since I can't make it to the bathroom. Except that I can't get into a position where I can relax enough. We get to the point where I either have to find a way to get up or Trillian's calling an ambulance (for which I have no insurance). I have wormed myself across the floor to the stairs at this point and use them to pull myself up. After going to the bathroom, I make it upstairs (all of this with copious assistance) and go to bed until I can go to the chiropractor the next day.

#2 It's the end of the first week of classes during my second year of teaching. What had been a small class the previous year has doubled in size, and I'm still trying to deal with the dynamics of the class. On that day, I'm lecturing about the author we're about to start reading. On the desk to my left are my carefully prepared overheads; the overhead projector is on my right. After making some point, I go to lean back on the desk, coffee in hand. (This is not my classroom. My school generally had offices and we traveled to our classes, so I was unfamiliar with this room still.) My weight rests towards its end. Turns out that the legs on the desk are set a ways in. So the whole thing turns into a lever. My coffee flies out of my hand and lands on the overheads. I catch my balance before the desk falls over, but it rebounds and smacks me in the rear. My immediate concern is for the embarrassment of the moment. But by the next day, I can't stand up straight and end up walking around slightly hunched over for a week or so before I get in to see the chiropractor.

The backache tonight is not nearly as bad as either of those, more along the lines of premenstrual back pain with a little added stiffness--the result, I think, of the extra hours I have been sitting for school, coupled with the extra exercise I've been attempting to fit in.

But here's where I turn to audience participation. Today is "the great mofo delurk" (not my name). So I'll steal a page from Bub and Pie's book and ask a few questions of those who I know are there, but don't hear from (often or ever). I'll stick with only three questions though, and you don't have to answer all three:
  1. Which of the above do you think is more embarrassing, #1 or #2 (or #3: the fact that I shared both stories with you)?
  2. What is your favorite show of the new TV lineup? (Unless you are so cultured as not to watch any of it. To which I would have to say: you are a much better person than I!)
  3. What is one question you'd like to ask me?
Give me something to keep my mind off this back pain!


motherbumper said...

OK - first of all can I tell you that we have almost identical back histories (well I got stuck on my back, couldn't roll over.. ack - #1 far too familiar). I really really do feel for you. So long of short, to answer the first question I'd say #4: none of the above.

Next: Hmmmmm haven't watched everything but so far I'm gonna give Bionic Woman a fair shake, the first episode was first half lamish but total redemption in the last 15 - so that would be my pick.

And for you: what is your Fall TV line-up favs? (I gotta know if I'm missing anything worthwhile).

alejna said...

I'm sorry to hear of your back pain. That sounds awful.

I've been trying to make an effort to delurk today, in celebration of "holiday," but haven't had much time. (Commenting always takes a lot of effort for me.) But, here I am. Delurking.

As for your questions:
1) I think I would find the situation in #2 more embarrassing. It sounds so much more public. But both sound very painful, and I'm sure painful to remember and write about.

2) I'm afraid I'm out of the loop, due in part to a cable deficiency. (A largely voluntary deficiency, though.) I've heard about the Bionic Woman, and am very curious about it. I'm looking forward to the new BSG, but don't know what we'll do if it's not availabe online. (We previously bought the episodes from the iTunes store.)

3) I was going to opt out of asking a question in response to your question. But what the hey. If you were a superhero, who would you be? What would your powers be?

bubandpie said...

You mean new shows, or the new season? The only new show I'm watching is Bionic Woman and I'm enjoying it, but not fully convinced yet.

You must be watching it too - what do you think?

Mouse said...

I'm planning a post on what I'm watching this season, but the short version of the new shows I'm enjoying:
For sitcoms: The Big Bang Theory (Lovable geeks, it's just like home; Trillian and I couldn't stop laughing at the Superman discussion this week)

For dramas: Pushing Daisies (same creator as Wonderfalls and Dead Like Me--very much my sense of humor) and Bionic Woman (they had me as a guaranteed viewer with Katee Sackhoff as the villain--LOVED the fight scene last week!)

Superhero-wise, I don't know that many that already exist, but I've always thought I would want healing powers; I wouldn't be any good with fighting and violence.

(Motherbumper--argh on backs! I don't think it's possible to get them back to 100% once the injury's done.)

cinnamon gurl said...

I pick option #2. I had a similar experience to #1, the day after my first belly dance performance for which I had practised my *ss off. I too had to get my spouse to help me pee, but I got him to help me up the stairs (cursing having only a second floor bathroom all the way), AND help pull my pants down and support me while I whizzed. Good preparation for childbirth and post c-section life though.

showtune said...

I think #2 is more embarassing, being that it happened in front of relative strangers that were supposed to see you in an authority roll. Friends and family can just laugh with you later.
I'm not watching any new shows this season. My wife is hopelessly addicted to reality TV, and thus we watch an embarassing amount of it. Looking forward to the new Project Runway season.

Question: Are there any Canadian products that you have fallen in love with and will find it hard to give up when you return to the States?

Aliki2006 said...


I'm so sorry about your back. I have back woes, too, and it's NO fun!

Mouse said...

Showtune-I will definitely miss the chocolate. Canada has a range of products that just aren't available in the US. While it is possible to get Aero bars in the States (dark chocolate being our preference), it usually requires ordering via an import company. And there are some other dark chocolate things I've discovered while up here that I'm not sure I'll be able to get (easily or at all).

I will also miss having the mix of US and Canadian channels along with timeslip. It has meant being able to avoid some of the time conflicts between shows we like to watch. We'll probably get a DVR back in the States to make up for this.

While both of those items may seem a bit trivial, (sadly) they are pretty big things for me.

showtune said...

Mouse- I know what you mean about the chocolate. I lived in England for 4 months and their chocolate is much better than ours. I still yearn for it. As for a US resource, not sure if there's a World Market near your new home, but they tend to carry a nice variety of "foreign" candy and I've seen the Aero bars there. It's where I go to get my Flake bar fix.

Mouse said...

I'd forgotten about World Market. There's one in my in-laws' city. We'll definitely be headed there!

Lisa b said...

#1 is the more embarassing only because you had to pee but that secret is revealed in the telling whereas #2 it was evident to anyone present.
Hard to say but I vote #1.
I have a similar problem and fell over in front of a class of grade 9s in the first week. I stood up and then disappeared behind the lab desk. Their shock was acutally quite hilarious.
My back pain is higher up and when it gets bad one hip is acutally higher so if you look at me you can see I am crooked. This amazes people.
I had sciatica for a while before and after I had katie. It is awful. I feel for you.
Tell me about your thesis.

Laural Dawn said...

Sorry I'm a little late to this - long week.

1. Definitely #2. I've done similar embarrassing things. And to have the backpain reminder ... ouch!
2. What is your favorite show of the new TV lineup? I'm one of the cultured ones who has not watched any of it!!! I kid, I've been tired and sick and have barely watched anything - just America's Next Top Model (my weakness). So much for culture. Does it count that I just discovered Brothers and Sisters?

3. What is one question you'd like to ask me?
I have about a million because I think you are one of the most mysterious bloggers out there.
What is the best parenting advice that you ever got and put (or tried to put) into practice. and, how did you and Trillian meet?

Mouse said...

The generic version of my upcoming thesis: I'm writing on an author who, until recently, has been much maligned as an amateur and imitator. When other authors in the same genre write something that might be considered contradictory or difficult to understand, standard practice is to dig deeper and try to figure out why they're doing that. Scholars have only spent the last 20 years or so approaching my author that way. I'll be adding to this school by looking at how his portrayal of cities (and how he draws upon earlier works) throughout his work create a nuanced reading. (Asleep yet? Many people in my field haven't read any of my author, and they tend to smile and nod when I talk about my work.)

Best parenting advice: I got a LOT of "my way is the right way and if you don't do this you're DOOMED" sort of advice on just about everything. The best piece of advice (and I don't even remember who it came from) was to trust my (and Trillian's) instincts because nobody else could know my kid as well as I/we did. And that gave me the courage to ignore a lot of that former category of advice.

And the shortish version of how Trillian and I met: At university, in a course that was core to my program and a supplemental tool for Trillian's. We sort of flirted before class for several weeks and then I suggested we study together for the first test--even though I never studied with other people. Our first kiss was the night before the exam and we've been together ever since.

cinnamon gurl said...

Ooh, that really IS the best piece of parenting advice!

Lisa b said...

Oh I love your story!
and that is very good advice. I have found it to be more and more true.