Tuesday, August 4, 2009


I picked a half-bushel of Lemon Cucumbers from our five plants yesterday. The plan was to get them to the local food bank this morning, so I put them in the back hallway in the dungeon, the coolest place in the house, where they’d easily keep overnight… or a couple days. The food bank closes in fifteen minutes, and quite frankly, I just don’t have the wherewithal to carry them out to the rig, drive them into town, unload them, wait for a receipt and kind words, and make my way back home without a warm feeling. Instead, I just want to lie down and sleep a year or two. Why? Because my back is killing me.

Nothing quite like yawning and recoiling from the spasms. It’s going on three weeks now. I’m doing the exercises required to stretch out the areas initially affected, yet not the pain has migrated up to the base of my skull while still keeping a home base in the middle of my back. I could feel my neck tightening yesterday and did the necessary stretches for that region as well, apparently not soon or often enough. I’m headed to the massage therapist again this afternoon, it being a week since my last visit.

Pain has been a companion of mine for about ten years. More like a stalker, really, for it is not constant but does lurk, waiting for me to let down my guard. It first showed up in my left shoulder, a pain that severely restricted the movement of said limb. Months of physical therapy gave little relief and it was eventually determined that a three-inch incision might reveal a cause. It did: a calcium deposit the size of a quarter. It was removed, along with about a half-inch of my distal clavicle. More months of physical therapy, years of massage therapy, and a job requiring a substantial amount of physical activity seemed to do the trick. I could again function, but I could still tell my A frame was bent a bit.

Then came farming. Working with my hands on a daily basis, weeding, hoeing, tying, what ever, for the few months I couldn’t close my hands all the way. And then the carpal tunnel. If I fell asleep sitting up, my arms went numb. Still do. But I worked through the pain, and benefited. I’ll give you an example: When we first got our Kubota, we also bought a 55-inch tiller, a big honkin’ piece of equipment that weighs somewhere in the vicinity of 300 pounds. I could barely budge the thing to line up the 3-point hitch. After the first year of farming, I could pick it up off of the ground and move it to where I needed it. I was buff. But I guess there comes a point where such activities, while doable, and absolutely necessary, are not advisable. Know any farmers? Look at the way the old guys walk. Bow-legged and hunched over. There’s a reason for that.

Not that I’m old. Nor do I want to feel old. Yet I do.

The worse part is that the pain short-circuits my brain. I can’t think clearly, for I am constantly tired from poor sleep. I move a certain way in bed and I am rudely awakened. This also is nothing new, as my arms go numb in bed too, and have for years. I have been taking Exedrin PM for the last few nights just to get five hours in. I don’t like to take meds, but I guess that’s part of this aging thing, for one reason or another. I could expand on the list of whys, but now I find myself just staring at the screen.

I’m going to take a nap.

1 comment:

Crash said...

A sad situation, bastin. Very sorry. I have a few years on you and take 8-10 prescription meds, but am thankful none of my maladies hurt. My DW had the pain for years. One day, it broke my heart when we were driving down the road, I looked over, and a silent tear was rolling down her cheek. Later, back surgery fixed it. I sure hope yours can be worked out somehow.