Alert readers will notice that this post is backdated to Friday but did not actually appear until Tuesday. On Friday, I hurt my back whilst gardening, resulting in the delay in posting.
I don't know exactly what happened, but I am pretty sure it starts with my futon. I purchased it in the UK, in September 1997, and it has moved around with me for the last 15 years. It is 100% untreated organic cotton --- no foam, no wool, no springs, no rubber, no nothing except cotton. It was always a firm futon, and I kept it on the floor until I got a frame 10 years ago, but in recent years the cotton has become so compressed that it is little better than sleeping on concrete. This bothered City Boy a few years ago and he borrowed a feather mattress topper, which didn't seem to help a great deal. Lately, I have been waking up with sore, stiff hips and lower back and finding it uncomfortable to turn from side to side at night. Whenever I would spend the night elsewhere, my back wasn't sore or stiff when I woke up, although I didn't notice this very often since one usually does not note the absence of discomfort.
Since the futon never used to bother me at all, I attributed it to me getting fatter and more out of shape. (City Boy has been losing weight and improving his fitness and now he finds the futon bothers him less.) The physics are not in my favour: I have wide hips and sleep on my side. Since the futon doesn't give at all, my back has to. This has led to increasing tenderness but nothing I regarded as serious. A new futon was first on my long list of deferred purchases to make once I get a job, but it would have to wait until then.
On Friday, I was bent over pulling weeds for a few hours then went into the garage to get the weed whacker. When I turned it on and leant over slightly to apply it to some weeds along the edge of the garden, I suddenly found that I could not stand up. I figured it was just a temporary cramp, from being bent over weeding, and stretched a bit to shake it off. Since I could bend over, I figured I could just continue weeding by hand in that position until it went away. But I realized in about 10 seconds that this was serious. I made my very slow way back to the house and left a message for my chiropractor. After a long, hot shower, letting the hot water aim at the muscle spasm, I felt a lot better. I drove myself to the chiro and he did what he could but warned me it would probably get worse before it got better. I tried to sit at my computer for awhile, but I seemed to feel worse unless I kept moving. If I sat still, my lower back would stiffen up again. Hence, no blog post. I could have tried to type on my phone but, no, sorry, there are limits and typing an entire blog post on my iPhone's tiny virtual keypad is one of them.
I debated sleeping on the futon sofabed in the living room, which is softer, but decided that was unnecessary. I could not have been more mistaken. I awoke at around 5am unable to move. Literally, I was stuck like a turtle on its back. I could not get up to go to the loo or anywhere. Eventually, I made it to the sofabed, but I could not walk without holding onto something, and I was bent over so far my nose was nearly scraping the floor. Once at the sofabed, which City Boy obligingly let down for me, I could not lie down on it. I tried approaching it from various angles, but there was no way. Eventually, I knelt in child's pose but could not roll onto either side. I was stuck like that. Although normally a stiff-upper-lip WASP type, at this point I lost it. Being essentially frozen, paralysed, unable to get away if necessary, was terrifying. I kept imagining if there was a fire or an intruder. I can't bear the idea of being restrained or immobilised in any way, shape or form. So, even though I knew nothing was broken or permanently damaged, I could not deal with being stuck. City Boy was bewildered, thinking the problem was the pain, and he kept making cracks about me having a low tolerance for pain. That's not true at all; it was not the pain but the disability that was upsetting me. I have to be in control at all times and not being able to move is about as far out of control as one can get.
Since Saturday morning my back has been getting incrementally better each day but I am frustrated by how long it is taking. I told my chiro on Friday that I was planning to go to yoga on Saturday morning. Ha. It's Tuesday and I can sort of walk slowly. I am a loooong way from getting on my bike or doing yoga. I had to ask City Boy, much to my chagrin and humiliation, to pick up layer pellets for the Piranha Chickens as I cannot lift the 50lb bags right now. It took me until this morning to shift a case of glass bottles that needed to be moved. Normally, I move these heavy cases around without giving it any thought but it was quite a job to do it now.
About that futon: I realized that I could not sleep on it again so I bought a new one on Saturday. City Boy carried it for me and slung it right on top of the old one. Now, instead of having a low modern futon bed, we have what looks like a high old-fashioned bed, so high we have to climb up into it. It is a huge improvement, although I had to get a cheap one since this was not a purchase I could afford at this juncture.
I am going to have to backdate posts, and write more than one per day, to catch up. I imagine that once I get a job, many of my posts will be brief, perhaps just photos or links with an accompanying sentence or two, in order to keep up with posting every day. I'll cross that bridge when I actually find a job -- it will be a good problem to have.