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Clinch: Despite best efforts, back pain battle wages on

Clinch: Despite best efforts, back pain battle wages on

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Back pain.

Yep, I still have it. It’s still hanging out like an unwanted house guest, settling in where it isn’t welcome, and nicely defending itself against my whole-hearted attempts to kick it to the curb.

I have good times and bad. There are moments when I feel great, am pain-free and feel light as a feather. As I give the day a big smile, I then waltz around and convince myself that I have finally rounded the corner.

Problem is that I’m halfway around that very corner when the pain once again hits me, dang near doubles me over and I do my best to stifle a curse word, moan a bit, and then look at a customer at our antique shop counter and say, as if I hadn’t a care, “That will be $22.98.”

It’s nothing short of embarrassing.

“Why don’t you do something about it?” my family of young men asked on a recent weekend.

“I am doing something about it!” I responded, and I have been. I’ve been to the doctor, taken various medications, and have done stretches and physical therapy like it’s my job.

“You’re trying to do too much!” some loved ones remark. “You need to rest.”

“You need to move around!” others say. “You need to loosen things up a little.”

Then I found myself being studied by a panel of nurses at a family gathering. (They’re the worst!)

“Is Pat taking care of you?” one of them asked.

“Of course he’s taking care of her,” another replied. “He adores her and is in this for the long haul and during sickness and in health.”

“Are you icing it?” one Nurse Nightingale inquired.

“Heat,” replied another, “heat is the way to go.”

“Have you tried massage therapy? Have you been seen by a specialist?”

“Yoga! Maybe she should try yoga!”

Bud, my physical therapist and family friend has worked miracles with me, but my 50-something spine just isn’t bouncing back like it did when I was in my 30s.

So it’s time to bite the bullet and get something done about it, folks. Sure there’s time off from work and a high deductible to consider, but apparently the old back isn’t going to heal itself.

As if my own health isn’t reason enough, I need to do it for my Pat. He and I have always had a nice little division of the household chores. Now, in addition to his own list, the poor dear has taken over doing the dishes, mowing the lawn (I love that job) and feeding the family pets.

Thanks to the assistance of a rolling office chair, I’m still able to do the laundry. (I haven’t let him load the washing machine since the great pink load he turned out in 1992).

This whole back thing started last spring on an early morning with a cup of coffee and an end table and has held its ground through the summer like a monkey, well, on my back.

Last Monday, I stood up part-way and moaned my way to the kitchen counter for a refill of java.

“In sickness and in health,” my Pat said as he changed the page on his newspaper.

I almost think he meant it.

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