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:
- Which of the above do you think is more embarrassing, #1 or #2 (or #3: the fact that I shared both stories with you)?
- 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!)
- What is one question you'd like to ask me?