I kind of knew this day would come though I’ve been trying to put it off as long as possible. Being 2 meters tall (nearly 6’7”), tall people older than me told me I’d have back problems because of my height. My old boss back in the day, a tall man, had back surgery and was laid up for over a month (it apparently didn’t bother him too much because he managed to buyout a company as he convalesced). I told him I felt his pain. He replied that I hadn’t felt his pain… yet... but that I would. I kind of scoffed a bit on the inside. At the time, I was in my early 30’s, in reasonably good shape and prided myself on my back health because I was a yoga junkie. Fast forward a decade or so – I’m still reasonably fit, don’t feel my age, still exercise and do yoga on a regular basis, though not as much as I would like. But the years, a shitty mattress and cramming my 2 meter frame into tiny Peruvian means of transportation finally caught up with me and I got a herniated disc.
As a safety professional I’ve taught dozens of classes on preventing back injuries and proper lifting techniques to cops, firefighters, and everyday working men and women. I always led off the training talking about Sammy Sosa and the sneeze that injured his back and put him out of commission for a couple of months back in 2004 (he eventually came back, couldn’t hit a ball, got busted for using a corked back and got run out of town without his boom box - Michael Barrett smashed it by the way). This always started off training with a good laugh. A couple of weeks ago I wasn’t laughing. Everyone asked me what I did to it. I would have liked to have said lifting a 50 pound bag of cement or laying bricks or digging a pit latrine but, no, nothing that exciting (beer pong maybe?)
A herniated disc is when the soft cushy disk between your vertebrae bulges out of where it’s supposed to be. When it does this, the disc can push against a nerve that will make other things hurt – in my case, my back, right ass cheek, and right foot. The pain was excruciating. On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being going into shock, I would put it at an 8. I couldn’t bend over to tie my shoes, couldn’t sit, and couldn’t lie down for too long. It f*ckin’ sucked. So, two weeks later I’m taking pain killers (not the Rush Limbaugh variety) and muscle relaxers and am feeling much, much better.
So that’s the last “old man” complaining entry. Do look forward, however, to future parasite, explosive diarrea and/or other odd Peruvian ailment posts.