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I hurt my back on Saturday.  Actually, I’ve been in the process of hurting my back for weeks according to the nice doctor at the urgent care clinic.  He hypothesized that working for 12 to 15 hours a day over winter break caused me to scrunch my shoulders toward my neck in stress and hunch over my keyboard, therefore creating this tension in my back which exploded on Saturday.

The irony is that the only position that is comfortable is scrunching my shoulders towards my neck.  So it’s sort of like wanting to eat candy bars because I’m down because my clothes no longer fit me.  There’s that too, but right now, the problem is my back.

The doctor prescribed painkillers and a muscle relaxer — neither of which helped — but I took them over the weekend.  They made me glassy-eyed and drooly, like a zombie.  Except without the pale skin.  Or the penchant for brains.  But everything else was very zombie-like, especially because I’m dragging my body around and groaning.

But I can’t take the painkillers/muscle relaxers during the week because I have to drive the kids places and do work.  So I’m hunched over in pain, trying not to be hunched over because I’m making it worse, and quietly (or sometimes not so quietly) cursing everyone I come into contact with because I’m in a foul mood.  All those smiling people, walking upright without an ounce of back pain.

I wanted to write back everyone who left kind words on my Happy Tears post, thanking them in advance for reading Apart at the Seams, and I’ve been trying to delurk all over the place and leave a lot of comments.  But being in pain makes words feel hazy.  Like I can’t hold onto them for very long before they float away.  So if I owe you an email or a comment, I’m sorry.

I’m off to another lie down with the hot water bottle.  That thing has become my best friend this week.  If you see the book dedication is to my red, rubber water bottle, you’ll know why.


1 Katherine A { 01.07.14 at 7:42 am }

So sorry that you are hurting. Back pain is awful. Hoping that you recover soon.

2 Mic (formerly Raising Mavis) { 01.07.14 at 8:07 am }

So sorry Mel. Back pain is the absolute worst of all. I hope you start to get back your mobility soon. Ugh.

3 a { 01.07.14 at 8:40 am }

Awww – that sucks. Sorry to hear your back hurts. 🙁 Have Josh send you random “Posture!” text reminders? Hope it’s better soon.

4 Valery Valentina { 01.07.14 at 8:50 am }

owww, back pain is no good. Did the nice doctor not say which (if any) yoga exercises you can do to help your neck/back? I always like to be able to DO something to make pain go away. Good luck with gentle stretches and twists, or walking up and down the stairs…

5 Elizabeth { 01.07.14 at 9:22 am }

Hot stone massage, perhaps?

6 Northern Star { 01.07.14 at 9:33 am }

Take care of yourself Mel!

7 Pepper { 01.07.14 at 9:36 am }

Boo for back pain – and muscle relaxers, for that matter. Feel better soon. The internet/email/commenting will be here when you get back. 🙂

8 Lori Lavender Luz { 01.07.14 at 10:14 am }

Wish we lived closer so I could help out with the driving.

I’d bring chocolate and keep your hot water bottle fresh.

9 Aislinn { 01.07.14 at 10:48 am }

Oh no! I’m sorry you hurt yourself. Maybe try a warm bath to relax your muscles? I hope you feel better soon!

10 Brid { 01.07.14 at 10:51 am }

Lay on your back with a pillow at your shoulder blades… Let your head hang back as much as you can. When it starts to open, you can put your arms out to the side or add another pillow. It will open your chest and hopefully give you some relief. When your back’s better, get a roller (a biggish-6″- bolster shaped hard foam thingy), lay on it and scroll up and down your back and shoulders on a regular basis. Hopefully, that problem doesn’t have a chance to set in again.
ps. this is from experience, not from training of any kind, so please take it as that!
Feel better!

11 andy { 01.07.14 at 11:29 am }

Oh no! Feel better soon.

12 Tiara { 01.07.14 at 11:45 am }

Feel better soon!

13 Ana { 01.07.14 at 12:23 pm }

Ugh, sorry. Hope your back feels better, and definitely take those breaks you’ve planned! I love the idea of mini-breaks once a week, btw. Something to look forward to every week is a huge boost.

14 Tigger { 01.07.14 at 1:28 pm }

I also vote for a massage of some type. They usually help my pain levels when they get too high, and they help release some of the tension. If you tell them what’s going on, they’ll know how to best help you! Back/neck/shoulder pain really really really sucks.

15 Laurel Regan { 01.07.14 at 6:55 pm }

So sorry! Really hope you’re feeling better SOON.

16 Catwoman73 { 01.07.14 at 7:33 pm }

Back pain is the worst pain there is. It really is debilitating. Hope you’re feeling better soon. Have you tried massage or chiropractic?

17 Alexicographer { 01.07.14 at 10:36 pm }

Oh no. I’m sorry! A few years back when I broke my arm really badly and had surgery and for several months could only sleep by lying in a recliner (that was itself electric, to keep everything safe/comfortable), I used a TENS unit to wonderful effect. This is a little battery-powered device with electrodes (?) that basically delivers a low-level of shock, over and over again, to your body, wherever you attach them. They sort of tingle and although it sounds dreadful (I guess), it really isn’t — for those people/situations it works for, it basically distracts the pain signal in some way so you don’t feel it as much. You can take it with you and, yes, drive with it — it doesn’t affect your system. Could be worth asking about trying one, if what you’re trying isn’t (as it seems) working.

Hope you will feel better soon.

18 Shannon { 01.07.14 at 11:17 pm }

Agree with all the massage recommendations – with a GOOD massage therapist, you can expect to feel much better! Though a bad massage therapist can make it worse.

Also, have you tried ice? It seems crazy in this weather, but 20 minutes of ice may help. And keeping heat on there for long periods of time can actually make it worse, so limit the heat to 20 minutes, too.

Feel better!

19 Battynurse { 01.07.14 at 11:42 pm }

No fun at all. I would agree with the massage idea. That always helps me a lot. Hope you feel better soon.

20 jjiraffe { 01.08.14 at 12:08 am }

So sorry about your back! That sucks.

I have had chronic back problems since I got into a horrible car accident when I was 20. I’ve tried everything, from Tylenol to an Epidural 2 days before my wedding during a terrible flare up.

The best results have come from acupuncture. One session can last years for me. It sounds counterintuitive, but it really has worked miracles for me.

I hope you feel better soon.

21 Queenie { 01.08.14 at 3:15 am }

Massage and some restorative yoga classes (they are designed for the elderly and infirm) worked for me this summer.

22 Cindy { 01.08.14 at 5:51 am }

sorry to hear you’re in pain, back ache is never fun.
Get yourself off to a physio.

23 Stimey { 01.11.14 at 12:35 pm }

I’m so sorry you’re in pain. I know just what you mean about looking at all the happy people with no pain. I fell down the stairs a few years ago and hurt my tailbone so that it was painful for months, but the first few days when I could barely move without pain, I remembered feeling that way about other people who could move freely. There is nothing like pain to remind you how wonderful lack of pain is. And it is all too easy once the pain is gone to forget how terrible pain is.

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