Sunday, May 21, 2017

Skirmish Style Housecleaning


After two weeks away in the wine country teaching poetry to kids, the house was a mess. Dirty dishes, a septic sink (we don't have a garbage disposal), sticky floors dressed in frilly layers of multiple meals. My first real day back home was dedicated to housecleaning. Ugh.

When I mopped the floors, and vacuumed, my back was well behaved as a kitten. No pain. By the time I got to the stove and the microwave, I was yowling like a banshee, my stupid back spasm was, well, acting spazzy. No rhyme nor reason for it to randomly fire off like that.

So I'm once again lying flat. Waiting for the spasms to stop. Apparently foray and skirmish style housecleaning is the way to go. Ellin Barret said: "The spine specialist and physiatrist said vacuuming, mopping, sweeping, loading & unloading dishwasher or dryer are the worst." No dishwasher here, strictly old school. Rich Arik, who once was an ergonomic consult, said: "Use a board or brick to raise one foot on while cooking, dishes etc. It helps maintain lumbar curvature." The spine is a sadist, I say.

Marsha Calhoun said: "Conducting the forays and skirmishes is one approach, but have you considered going into management rather than being the boots on the ground?" I love Penelope la Montagne's suggestion: "You might want to forego housecleaning altogether."

John Coughlin mentioned petting the cat was as close as he ever got to mopping the floors. Maybe I should get a cat to mop the floors.

Well, I'm certainly not letting my stinkin' back slow me down. The attacks are a bit random. So, if I can manage a repetitive movement or chore and keep moving, then it's less likely to spasm. 

However, when I stop to rest, it's a different story. Comes back with a vengeance. Peristalsis, I can feel it sweep across my lumbar region up to the thoracic. The trigger seems to be when I raise my arms and twist. It's definitely raised arm and sideways motion that triggers it. No rest for the weary, or the wicked. No more doing the Twist either.

One stationary stress trigger is sitting in a hard chair. In other words, the so-called "correct" chair posture that's been drummed into us since kindergarten, can trigger a spasm. In fact, is probably the root cause of this round of spasms. I'm fine if I sit slouched back, with spine curled, legs akimbo and at odd angles. A cranky T8 vertebra doesn't help. One foot slightly raised when standing, brings relief.

It was so bad the other day that whenever my cousin accelerated the car, I'd yowl, then I finally learned to tighten all my muscles whenever we had to stop and start. I had serious washboard abs by the time we got home from all that flexing,

I think this back spasm stems from the same injury that dates back to when I got a spasm from coughing so hard in March... If I had some money, I'd go to a chiaropractor and see if that would help. I'm avoiding taking Flexeril, which makes me googley-eyed, but this has been going on for more than a month. 

The other night, we were outside the Alexander Valley Bar sitting in cold metal tractor seat chairs all evening, which sent me over the edge. I tried standing, but it was too late. That familiar tawny pull in the lower back begins its ascent up my spine. Probably the aggravation point for this round of spasms. Wine didn't help.

Reception is still chilly at home. Neil and I don't speak unless when spoken to. No wonder my back hurts. At least my feet no longer stick to the floor.


Back Spasm 2.0

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