I know, I know, in a previous blog I wrote if you don’t want to sound old, don’t complain about your aches pains and ailments. But, you know, the exception that proves the rule and all. Anyway, since law school, thirty years ago, I’ve had these crippling back spasms periodically on just my lower left side. For a long time, I thought, rationally, that they MUST be caused by picking something up the wrong way, or over exertion (me? HA!), or twisting or turning wrong. It took years to figure out that stress, anxiety and mental illness had to play a factor. And being a fat ass. That had to play a factor too. Anyway, after getting them every year or two, and having to be almost lifted into the car to get to the chiropractor so I could get fixed enough so I could crawl to the bathroom on my own, I figured out if I would see the guy every few months on my own, I could mostly avoid these unpleasant spasms, which, for the most part, has been an effective plan.
So, Friday, I get one of these crippling paroxysmal back spasms. I love that word “paroxysmal”. Mainly because its so hard to spell and also because I can’t pronounce it. Now, I’d like to tell you that I did this in some intense twist in yoga class, or by really pushing myself in a forward fold in pyramid pose, or by really pushing myself in Zumba class, but noooooo, I did it driving. Yes, driving. On my fat ass. In my comfy Volvo.
On Friday, my usual day off, I got a massage, saw the chiro boy and was on the way to Yoga class, when the Volvo, flashes in red, “Power System Failure; URGENT” with a red triangle, with an exclamation point, and a voice exclaims; “Danger Danger Mr. Robinson!” The route to Yoga class is also the route to the Volvo dealer and it’s only 3:30 so no problem, detour to the dealer, but then I have this vision of being stuck on the Arthur Ravenel Bridge, the main bridge between Downtown Charleston and Mount Pleasant SC, and being on the 5 pm news, as THAT FAT GUY in the red Volvo who snarled traffic on a FRIDAY happy hour because he couldn’t keep his fancy ass car running.
I get to the dealer and Amy asks what I’m doing there. I’m completely drenched in sweat as the air conditioner stopped working when the red danger danger message stopped flashing so I explained all the messages which flashed, IN RED and said, “Either the alternator/AC belt has broken. or its the apocalypse, or aliens or coming” but my messages are usually yellow, this is the only time in 14 years a Volvo has given me a red message so I was sure the Volvo was going to explode. She got me a loaner car, told me she’d call me Monday and sends me on my way. As I went to get in the loaner car, I realized I couldn’t move. I realized in the midst of all that error message, I must have gripped the steering wheel,and tensed up, like a little girl who was going to have her first car wreck. How embarrassing. But wait, it gets worse.
So, I go home figuring it will be gone by morning. I wake up Saturday morning in time for Zumba class , and it is not pretty. Generally speaking, if you have to crawl off a couch by rolling over to plant one knee on the floor then the other knee on the floor then gradually pushing yourself up while writhing in pain, Zumba class is probably not a good idea, no matter what your brain is telling you otherwise. But, I went anyway. Macho, Macho Man. I want to be, a macho man. (You automatically know something is bad judgment when Village People lyrics are playing in your head. Automatically) I did however, practice some creative profanity during the class that I had not before experienced which I would not have believed possible. Trust me. Pain will enable you to combine curse words in ways you had never thought possible.
I went home and found my stash of flexeril muscle relaxers which I had wished for years ago and which had been left on my front porch by the pharmacopeia fairy in an plain pill bottle with a simple dymo label which said “flexeril”. (and you guys thought practicing the law of attraction didn’t work) Oh, here’s hint number two which I picked up in tonight’s Zumba Class – do NOT go to Zumba on Flexerils…. More of that in Part II of this piece.
In desperation, I emailed my massage goddess and pleaded my case, (I also told her the whole car/little girl story on the theory that she’d be laughing so hard and peeing herself that she’d have to see me Monday, which apparently worked, and I got an appointment). Much to my surprise, and further embarrassment, I learned, after all these thirty years, that my problem is NOT in my lower back, but my pirformis muscle, which, I had never heard of before.
However, to save you some google time, I will just tell you, that from where she was touching my ass, I said, “so when they say ‘that was so scary it made my asshole pucker – this is the muscle that does it’ I guessed from her hysterical laughter that was an affirmative”. She then said something about it wrapping around the sciatic nerve and causing all the pain, blah blah blah. To be continued…… Zumba on Flexeril and Karma for the Electric Slide Part II