Pain in the back

I’ve strained a muscle in my back and every time I move or breathe or think, I get a lancing pain, as though somebody is stabbing me under my shoulder blade. This is not much fun, as moving, breathing and thinking are some of my favorite pastimes.

I’m not sure how it happened. Maybe when I had to carry nine pounds of baby and eight and a half pounds of car seat home on Friday, I overstressed things. Maybe carrying baby around in my arms all of Saturday was overambitious. Maybe poor posture, combined with running too hard this morning while tired, did it. It could be any of those, or it could be something else. (Once, in Hong Kong, I needed four weeks of physio to fix a problem with my neck caused by going to the cinema. Robust, I am not.)

This isn’t the worst it’s ever been. There was a period of over a year when I was in my first job, working idiotic hours, when I was unable to walk straight. There was the time I fell out of bed screaming in Hong Kong and had to have a medical professional with the confidence-uninspiring name of "Doctor Billy" shoot me up with a needle full of muscle relaxant in my left butt-tock. (That’s how he pronounced it, with a definite hyphen between butt and tock, like my backside was some kind of cuckoo clock. Which made me feel even less confidence in his abilities: my arse is no miracle of Swiss horological engineering.)

Still, it’s pretty painful, bad enough to prevent me from doing the work I’d planned for this afternoon. I went for a massage for an hour and a half, and although that was quite relaxing, it made no difference to the pain.

We have lots of painkillers in the flat, all the way from aspirin and ibuprofen up to The Stuff They Warned You About At School; things with scary names that have their own section of the black-market drug trade. Things that make the Valium I chucked out because I figured it would be too much seem like, well, not enough. I tried one of the terrifying pills. Either it made no difference, or things would have got a lot worse without it.

Our child has very little concept of our existence, beyond providing her with food and removing the by-products of her digestive system. Thus I got little sympathy from her, but my wife did all the baby feeding and cleaning this evening while I tried to get comfortable. It turns out the only way to avoid constant pain was to be slumped on the sofa, taking up the entirety of it. It’s fortunate nobody was around to witness what would have looked like The World’s Worst Father, lazing on the sofa and letting his wife do all the household chores. If I could have fed my daughter or bounced her on my knee, I would have loved to.

Hopefully a good nights sleep in a warm room,will sort things out. Unfortunately, as the bedroom is an icy 24 degrees for the good of the baby, and the spare room is full of stuff I’ve failed to tidy away properly, I’ll be on the sofa until morning, when I hope to spring rejuvenated back to life. We can always hope.

2 responses to “Pain in the back”

  1. Babies are really heavy things. There was a period in my early twenties when I couldn’t look upwards because it hurt my neck. Not sure what I’d done to it, but it was baby-lifting related. Anyway, I am OK now. Fifteen years or so later.

    Hope you wake up feeling better.

  2. Well, 15 years isn’t so long to wait for recovery… the pills are certainly doing something in the meantime though, although that’s not for necessarily helpful values of ‘something’

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