I woke this past Monday wincing with lower back pain. It was too acute for me to drive the hour to my old neighborhood to the doctor who usually gives me the magic shot that calms the spasm caused by a couple of degenerating disks. The time had come to try the local orthopedic doctor.
I called his office as soon as it opened and his appointment giver’s response was predictable. She asked the standard, “How fast can you get here?” question. I learned years ago that unless the patient answers “immediately,” the appointment is put off for a month. I was given a mid-morning appointment.
After the x-rays were taken, the doctor saw me. He rattled off the name of my condition, which was not news to me. He agreed with my old doctor’s diagnosis. He told me he was giving me the magic shot to reduce the inflammation – also expected. He then fired away new orders – orders my previous doctor never uttered. He explicitly told me I could not bend my back – no bed making, no laundry, no cleaning bathrooms – nothing that could put a strain on my lower back. “Total rest for a week and the spasm will be gone.”
I was in seventh heaven, delighted in my decision not to travel to see old reliable. I had found a perfect doctor. I wished Hubby was with me because I doubted he would believe this new magic cure. Dream doc ruined our perfect relationship when he added, “And you need to loose 20-30 pounds.”
He pointed to my “Seniorville 20” - the spare tire I put on around my waist this past year. He explained that the weight dangles from my hips like a lead weight and strains my disks, especially when I exercise or tie my shoelaces.
I think next time my back is in spasm, I’ll go back to my old doctor. His spare tire is bigger than mine is.