This goes back to July. I had been having a fairly constant problem with back spasms throughout June and July. Then they stopped.
The absence of pain is the prelude to suffering.
Actually, this really goes back to my 30th birthday, when my wife, in an attempt to assassinate a rubber duck (the one with the key chain to the extreme right of my background), viciously threw me down on the ground in an operator chair. I landed with my back on one of the arm rests.
The tears of my pain were sweet, sweet nourishment to her soul.
The duck escaped unharmed but needing weeks of counseling.
Were I an unmarried male, I would have continued happily in this state, being, as is our manly wont, allergic to physicians. It is not that I am afraid of doctors (sure, go ahead and take that blood. Take as much as you want); rather, I have a great distaste for spending money on something so trivial as my own health.
Tragically, my wife is not as practical and forced me to go to our physician's office. The male nurse-practitioner who saw me said, "Seems bad. Here are some drugs. Go do some physical therapy and come back in a couple of weeks."
And there goes the money.
So physical therapy didn't really help (traction is neither as medieval seeming nor as fun as I expected it would be), and I went back to the doctor. The nurse-practitioner said, "Okay, time to get MRIs."
And there goes more money.
There's a funny thing about MRIs: they don't let you in without a referral. There's a funny thing about referrals too: sometimes your general care provider gives you a referral for an orthopedist instead.
Eventually we got that sorted out and I went for my MRI.
Having never had an MRI before, I always equated it with what I saw on TV, which looks like you're put into a fairly large tube. What I experienced instead left me rather surprised that they did not first put lube on my shoulders and forehead before sliding me in there. I do not have claustrophobia, but I could see why people would.
Other than that, MRIs are fairly pleasant. Once you get past all the sound and the unnerving sensation when you start to feel heat inside there, the magnets add an almost massaging effect.
Once that was done, they gave me my own copies and told me they were sending copies to my doctor as well. I sorta don't know why they gave me copies of my own because I couldn't really tell you much of what I was looking at except that one image looked alarmingly like the succulent shrimp you see in Red Lobster commercials.
Should it be curved like that?
That was in September. The good news by this point was that my back was getting "better." By this I mean that I still had limited feeling in my left leg and looked like a bicycle with oval wheels when I tried to run, but I could sleep in bed and my back was not in constant screaming pain.
I had developed a lovely drop foot that occasionally tried to kill me, though. Twice while wearing sandals I tripped over cracks in the sidewalk because I wasn't lifting my left foot as high as I thought I was. On one of these occasions I was carrying coffee. On the other, I was running from the fly apocalypse that had erupted out of a neighbor's garbage can.
Message to my neighbors and their trash.
The third time my foot up and tried to kill me was while I was trying to step over the hose at the gas station. There's something profoundly undignified about nearly faceplanting at a gas station while wearing a tie because your foot is non-compliant.
And I would have had nothing to blame but my wife's horrible anatidaephobia.
Strangely, a real book.