A stiff back

I must be getting older. An otherwise supple and flexible back finds itself stiff and renders me immobile. It all started Monday morning.

I like sleeping with the windows open. What I didn’t account was for the beam of sunlight that was going to hit my face. Perhaps in a state of half-sleep, and deep in the memory of being a two year old wriggling bundle, I turned my head quite sharply without shifting my entire body. I heard something snap. I thought it was a sprain, hit the snooze button and got ten more minutes of precious sleep.

The next two days I continued to ignore my back. Lifted heavy boxes, traveled on a train for close to seven hours, and pumped my system with painkillers.

This is all very funny, because a week back I had carefully charted health seeking behaviour of people. It’s a beautiful chart with stick figures, illustrating how we ignore symptoms till the point it interferes with our ability to get on with our lives. It’s exactly what I did.

Well, anyhow, I call the Minor Injuries Unit, and they tell me that a back strain/ sprain is too major and I should go to the Accidents and Emergency unit. (A&E). A quick cab ride, and I find myself sitting in the A&E for over two hours before someone comes to help me out. There wasn’t much of a crowd, and this was despite the fact that I had done a quick search of recommended A&E units. I went to one with an 85% positive rating. Two hours. Excruciating pain. Made worse with me having to sit upright.

Through this, Shefaly keeps me company on the phone. In fact it’s largely thanks to her that I even went to the hospital, since I seem to think I am invincible and that I can sit pain out. At some point I start howling with pain, and I mean real waterworks. A nurse gives me two painkillers and asks me to wait. Ggrr.

Well, the story doesn’t really end. The doctor prescribed some super strength pain killers and muscle relaxants and asked me to wait for a week. I got back home. Unable even to curl myself to sleep. Sustained by Gobi-Rice. And more painkillers. Took a day off today. Saw three films. All comedies. I guess the pain is a little better today. I can move without wincing. Or howling. Too much.

Turns out that I may have torn a muscle. Not much I can do about it. Except take plenty of rest. But in the meanwhile, anger and rage against the NHS simmers within me. Thank god for Sathi Leelavathi though. It makes life easier.

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19 Responses to A stiff back

  1. ??! says:

    This post should have been titled irony (yours) and idiocy (theirs). A&E’s are bad enough, but weekend call-clinics are the worst.

    Hope the back’s not too damaged.


  2. yuva says:

    torn a muscle.!! thatz horrible pain.. take care.


  3. Sathi Leelavathi! What a movie! So underrated and unknown. Ever since I watched this movie, I’ve wanted a dog – only so that I could call it Sabhapati!


  4. km says:

    You tore a muscle by simply turning?

    *swears never to challenge Neha to a wresting match*


  5. Shefaly says:

    1. Don’t blame age.

    2. I am duty-bound to interfering sometimes. 🙂


  6. Take care. Get well soon…


  7. Banno says:

    Did I miss a post on the stick figures seeking health?

    Take care, get well soon, and see many more comedies while you rest your back.


  8. Suman says:

    Sorry to hear about your back! I kind of thing that comes along with our generation, atleast thats what my parents keep telling me.

    I had to take a friend to the NHS at about half past 10 in the night and we were there till 3 in the morning waiting. I was kind of calm (probably because I wasnt the patient) because I genuinely thought the doctors were busy saving lives as they came in with a knife wound or a gunshot(This was croydon)! But sitting with a back pain for two hours, ouch!


  9. Gauri says:

    Wishing you a speedy recovery Vish 🙂 .. !!


  10. WA says:

    I came across Sathi Leelavathy couple of weeks ago. How did I miss it all this time?

    Hope the back feels better soon


  11. Sathej says:

    Dropped in here from another blog. This post got me to comment. Back pain – quite an issue. And a chronic back pain is among the worst experiences 😦 Anyway, this being a milder one – muscle tear, best wishes for a quick recovery.



  12. Grasshopper says:

    Ok, some practical advice. Sleep without pillows. If you must have a pillow, get a thin one made. Really thin. Painkillers render your body insensitive in the long run, so try to minimize their use.
    Chuck all your high heels for a month. Use only flat heeled, comfortable shoes. Walk barefoot on grass / carpet / road.
    If you would like to try acupressure, buy a rolling pin with spikes for working on your feet from an online store. Or buy those chappals with acupressure dots. Massage your own feet on their outer edges (they represent the back) with oil / cream. Better still, get a reflexology workout done by a professional.
    There is an acupressure point on the hand, near the thumb and the place where it joins the hand. Hunt for the most painful point. It relieves pain.
    All this when you get better ofcource. Get well soon. Mind your posture while seeing those movies, or you might aggravate the condition.
    Take a deep breathing break every ten minutes.


  13. 30in2005 says:

    Better yet?


  14. dipali says:

    Poor you, Neha. How are you now?


  15. Sunitha says:

    Hi Neha, how are you? Hope you are feeling better now!


  16. Still suffering? Poor child.

    Hope you’re better soon. (Merely enlightened self-interest. I don’t understand the poetry, but I love the rants)



  17. geet says:

    Get well soon dear.. i hope its not too bad, lil worried as it has kept u from blogging for quite a while now…


  18. Asterix says:

    Ditto (a few months back) 🙂


  19. Thank you all. Back’s better. Being taken care of. Some gentle yoga, and compresses – and it will back to its bendy and faithful self soon!


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