me, ants and self pity

the earth has rotated on its axis twice and I’ve spent virtually all of that time lying on my goddamn back on my apartment floor.

this isn’t an invalid, somebody-call-the-fire-department kind of problem. I mean, I can get up, move around. and cabin fever will move your ass — yesterday I even got up and walked to both the post office and then to the local insufferable coffee shop before looping on back home through Ledroit Park. but by the time I made it back I was literally dragging a leg.

back pain will put you in a bad mood. while lurching down a forlone and trafficky stretch of Florida Avenue, I fantasized about ordering a small coffee, hearing the ridiculous price, and then righteously telling the barista off. “$4.50? fuck that, fuck this place, and fuck you.” I’d pour the drink out on the floor. glare at an unemployed twentysomething with an iPad and an expensive haircut. shamble outside.

but it wasn’t, it was $2.20. and fuck it, I paid it. “shitty coffee,” I mumbled to no one as I lurched down the street. this is what passes for taking a stand these days.

normally I could go back and remember whether or not I had described my back pain before, but I’ve been writing so infrequently that it’s probably a safe bet that I haven’t. so a quick recap: my back, or the small of my back, has bothered me for a while now. very tense muscles make it painful to sit for too long. and that’s a problem because I work in an office and am on my ass in front of a computer for hours on end. so yes, that’s right, I’m developing back pain. this is how they’ll put me out to pasture.

one day in December I woke up, rolled out of bed and realized that I had aggrevated this pain in some way. so I dragged myself to a walk-in clinic, and then a week later to my physician’s, and then to a physical therapist that my doctor recommended. and that guy worked wonders, he helped me correct my posture (or, at least acknowledge that it’s awful) and showed me how to strengthen the weaker muscles in my back. this in turn has helped my running. a stronger back equals a stronger abdomen, and a strong abdomen makes it easier to run — you aren’t as hunched over, and the core of your body does less laboring.

but, apparently, I’ve been slipping on the posture and exercising. because I woke up on Monday morning and — to use a phrase I’ve been leaning on to describe this sensation — it felt like I’d been kicked by a mule. this is probably an insult to hillbillies and animal handlers everywhere, as mules kick hard. but my back, goddamn. it really hurt. hurts still.

as such, I’m not much good at work right now, because I can’t focus while sitting. standing for a long period of  time eventually calls up this throbbing pain too, so I can’t stand at my desk. and laying out for an extended period just makes you feel like a slovenly asshole … and even moreso when you’re in a communal work room. people stepping over you to get to the copier, rolling their eyes at the overgrown child lolling about on the grey carpet.

I can’t keep doing this. this, this presently, but also this desk job. I like my job, but this function doesn’t work — my body is actively rejecting it. I’m closing in on 30, and I have back pain from a fucking desk job. so something must be done; some fix must be found. becasue I’ve been on my couch in my apartment for … well, we’re closing in on day three. and it just sucks, man. being laid out just sucks.

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2 comments so far

  1. Anonymous on

    When do the ants come in??

    I had some at my place. Couldn’t really lay on the floor due to that.

  2. […] laid up with a back ache. and yeah, that’s a thing; the back ache is a legitimate -ache. I ranted about this earlier, and that got me […]


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