Ibuprofen, my old friend --
I've come to chew on you again.
It's been four hours since my last two pills
that take the edge off this pain that kills.
And it hurts even worse than a swift kick in the balls,
or cycling falls...
leaving the sound of groaning
Thursday morning when I tried to put on my socks my back exploded in pain as a muscle spasm gripped it. I dropped to my knees, sobbing profanity, trying to breathe.
Within a minute or two I could move a little. I managed to evade my wife's notice as I made my way to my bike. Maybe I could ride my way out of this. Perhaps spinning the gear would ease the spasm and end this misery.
Then again, perhaps not. I crawled to work at about 14 miles per hour. Once I got on the bike the actual pedaling wasn't too bad. Getting off it was another matter. I could barely drag it into the shop. But what the hell. If I was going to be in miserable agony I might as well be at work. Who wants to waste a day off on that?
Every few minutes I had to sit down as the pain made me nauseous. Good times! I left my wife a phone message to tell her I was incapable of walking across town for a violin lesson. In return, she brought me pain killers and a cold pack to put on the knotted muscles.
My boss dragged my twisted carcass to my house after work. Friday I only left my house to get a massage.
Things are getting better. No disks seem to be involved. Massagiste says the likely trigger was the psoas muscle, a deeply-situated hip flexor. Stretching it as part of an overall campaign seems to be helping, along with fistfuls of my one-time favorite snack food, ibuprofen.
This is the problem with mindlessly cycling hard, day after day, with an aging body. Things like this sneak up on you. I used to be obsessive about stretching and supportive conditioning. Unfortunately, between work, domestic chores and transit time, I have to slice the remaining minutes pretty finely. The weights and stretching kept getting squeezed out. The stretching obviously has to squeeze back in.
I'll just cut back on work.
Pains like this are scary when they seem to come out of nowhere. I felt absolutely fine, with none of my usual warning twinges. It was a classic case. Pain like that makes you wonder if you'll ever move freely again. Prior to the Big Stiffie of rigor mortis, that is.