Columbia Star

Can’t wave off this pain




Last December I complained when I woke up feeling like “somebody had tied my lower spine in an extremely tight bow for Christmas.” I whined that my body had given me no warning for such pain after I had raked my yard, put up a Christmas tree, and dared to add a few crunches to my fitness routine.

At the time, I thought a little warning pain might have been helpful. If I’d gotten a heads up, I could have made my teenage son rake the yard and haul in that Christmas tree (He’s always looking for an excuse to show off his newfound muscles.). And I would have been more than willing to skip the crunches if I had known I was going to wake up “squealing like a little girl” because my back decided to “delay” the pain.

I even had a little talk with the Big Guy upstairs: “Just give me a small sign to tell me to stop before I go beyond the point of no return with the pain. Is that too much to ask?”

Well, I was wrong. It turns out delayed pain is a lot better than instantaneous pain for a multitude of reasons.

The phrase, “Be careful what you ask for,” is entirely appropriate for my little situation because last week I discovered instant pain isn’t good for the body or the ego.

Sadly, I wasn’t doing yardwork or setting up seasonal decorations of any kind. I was jogging. Actually, I was near the end of my route, so it’s a stretch to call what I was doing jogging, but anyway…one of my neighbors was walking in the opposite direction. I raised my right arm to wave and say, “Hello!” Then, out of nowhere, it felt like someone had jabbed a knife right between my shoulder blades.

It was a like a cramp on steroids. I couldn’t tell if my muscles had turned themselves into a square knot, my spine had jumped the tracks, or one of those evil Canadian geese had taken its revenge on me. Whatever it was, it hurt in a multitude of ways.

I didn’t know whether to cry because of the pain or because this pain was caused by the mere act of waving. I mean I actually injured myself being a friendly neighbor.

How sad is that?

Not too long ago, I was begging to know the source of my pain; now knowing that source was all too painful.

Waking up clueless was sad, but I could choose to blame one or all of the above for my pain. Officially, I chose the Christmas tree because blaming my latest attempt at abdominal muscles or raking was just too sad, but little did I know this wonderful aging process was about to get a whole lot sadder.

My 50th birthday is a little over two months away. Is this a preview of things to come? I don’t know, but if you see me coming and I don’t wave, please don’t be offended. I’m just trying not to injure myself again.

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