I must be getting older. An otherwise supple and flexible back finds itself stiff and renders me immobile. It all started Monday morning.
I like sleeping with the windows open. What I didn’t account was for the beam of sunlight that was going to hit my face. Perhaps in a state of half-sleep, and deep in the memory of being a two year old wriggling bundle, I turned my head quite sharply without shifting my entire body. I heard something snap. I thought it was a sprain, hit the snooze button and got ten more minutes of precious sleep.
The next two days I continued to ignore my back. Lifted heavy boxes, traveled on a train for close to seven hours, and pumped my system with painkillers.
This is all very funny, because a week back I had carefully charted health seeking behaviour of people. It’s a beautiful chart with stick figures, illustrating how we ignore symptoms till the point it interferes with our ability to get on with our lives. It’s exactly what I did.
Well, anyhow, I call the Minor Injuries Unit, and they tell me that a back strain/ sprain is too major and I should go to the Accidents and Emergency unit. (A&E). A quick cab ride, and I find myself sitting in the A&E for over two hours before someone comes to help me out. There wasn’t much of a crowd, and this was despite the fact that I had done a quick search of recommended A&E units. I went to one with an 85% positive rating. Two hours. Excruciating pain. Made worse with me having to sit upright.
Through this, Shefaly keeps me company on the phone. In fact it’s largely thanks to her that I even went to the hospital, since I seem to think I am invincible and that I can sit pain out. At some point I start howling with pain, and I mean real waterworks. A nurse gives me two painkillers and asks me to wait. Ggrr.
Well, the story doesn’t really end. The doctor prescribed some super strength pain killers and muscle relaxants and asked me to wait for a week. I got back home. Unable even to curl myself to sleep. Sustained by Gobi-Rice. And more painkillers. Took a day off today. Saw three films. All comedies. I guess the pain is a little better today. I can move without wincing. Or howling. Too much.
Turns out that I may have torn a muscle. Not much I can do about it. Except take plenty of rest. But in the meanwhile, anger and rage against the NHS simmers within me. Thank god for Sathi Leelavathi though. It makes life easier.