I was cycling in quite a sedate fashion by the sea last weekend, thinking of nothing much besides the prettiness of the scenery, when things started to feel… I don't know, like I needed to stand up, stretch my back, have a drink of water.
So at the next viewpoint my companion and I pulled over to do just that. Only problem was, I seemed to be locked into cycling position, bent over like a crone. It was quite funny, actually. At least initially.
I hadn't done anything to hurt myself, and I've never had any back issues (although Health24 tells me back pain is second only to headaches in terms of how common it is). I was sure it would pass.
I got a lift home, had a long read in a warm bath, settled down with the Sunday newspapers, waited for bacon and eggs and coffee. There's quite a lot you can do when you're locked in an apostrophe position, and you've got friendly people to sort you out. Only thing was, at some point my back started to go into spasms, and it wasn't funny anymore.
I felt like my muscles were squirming like Sigourney Weaver's tummy in Alien. I was pinned to the bed like a butterfly in a collection. A doctor friend was called: he donned his cape and flew over, via the chemist. At the chemist, he phoned to ask how I felt about a Voltaren suppository. "Rather give me death!!"
I cried (well, what would you do?), and wiggled off the bed so that by the time he got there, I would be in a suppository-unfriendly seating position. (I got the Voltaren injection instead: it's my new favourite drug). To cut a tedious story down, I am now, on Day 4, not partying, but walking cautiously upright.
I have had my first session with a chiropractor and scoured our own ChiroDoc's forum for other people's stories (as you know, misery loves company). I have discovered the sacroiliac joint, and that it is as much fun and almost as expensive as discovering your car's CV joint.
But I have also discovered that my colleague Kyle Boshoff is a good person who'll do the cappuccino run.
So all is right with the world. Happy December.
So glad it's finally upon us!
(Heather Parker, Health24, December 2010)