Wednesday, October 7, 2009


I woke up this morning after an uncommonly refreshing sleep, turned on the Weather Channel, and vigorously circled my shoulders to work out the kinks.

Bad mistake.

I got an immediate twinge between my shoulder blades, and no amount of stretching or popping would relieve it. As the day went on, the twinge turned into a dull spreading pain; I could isolate it by tilting my head straight back, as though I were looking up at the sky.

My motivation to do any work, or move around much at all, dried up. After a normal productive morning, I spent most of the afternoon almost motionless in my office chair, reading online and doing some light grading. Brisk walks to the library to pick up a book, or to the parking lot to check the mileage on my car so I could renew the registration online -- little errand breaks that normally I would welcome -- I skipped.

When I got home, after a delicious dinner, I went to the front room and sat in an upholstered chair. Leaning my head back was painful at first -- a few seconds of ow, oh, eeyahh -- but once I got in that position, I had no desire to move at all. I believe I could have fallen asleep in that exact position.

The relief of motionlessness convinced me that I could skip my usual half-hour workout. I went straight to the showers. Now I'm sitting on the couch with a microwave heat bag spread across my upper back, helping Cady Gray with a list of rooms in the house and typing slowly.

I don't experience pain or discomfort often, and it always surprises me how pervasive it becomes while it lasts. I feel vaguely chilled, almost like I were coming down with the flu; the hot shower felt like heaven. I feel worn out, as if I could collapse into sleep at any second. The first effect comes from the radiating effect of the pain; the second from the lethargy of motionlessness. But they combine to make me feel not so great, even when the pain's not present.

It's such a minor thing, but it has such a cumulative affect on my mood and on what I can talk myself into doing. Check in with me tomorrow to see whether I've bounced back -- or possibly sunk deeper.

1 comment:

Doc Thelma said...

Hope you feel better tomorrow. If not, get a physical therapy referral ASAP. Upper back pain is tricky and hard to get rid of on its own. It was my upper back going out that led them to realize my shoulder was the culprit, and you see where that's led me...