Generally, I've had a shit January. I caught the worst cold I'd had for ages. Having a bright red nose and streaming eyes isn't really much fun, and the look doesn't really suit me, either. When I recovered from that, our boiler decides to commit suicide, and I spent most of last week shivering my nuts off. It's fixed now, and my house is now warm again.
But now, worst of all, I've managed to royally injure my back. It's my shoulder, mostly, but I've trappped a nerve and it's killing me. After spending possibly the most gruelling Monday at work I can remember for a long time (they're all pretty gruelling, actually, but this one had the element of serious physical pain thrown into the mix. Fun!), my lovely girlfriend booked me an appointment at a back clinic, which, luckily, is just around the corner from where we live.
This was the first time I've ever been to a chiropractor, and I was kinda nervous about what torture he was about to put me through, but as I was in so much pain I couldn't even sit down to have a poo (sorry to be brusque, but my bowels are a big deal to me!) I thought it can only help.
Also making me nervous was the fact that there was a running machine in the waiting room. I don't like running at the best of times, and the thought of doing it in the waiting room in my debilitated state didn't fill me with joy. I was imagining the receptionist laughing at this limping Quasimodo figure trying to jog along on this treadmill like a disabled gerbil. Then the lady who'd been in before me came out. She was walking very gingerly. My girlfriend, who had accompanied me, saw my worried mug and started laughing. This amused me too, but we had to keep straight faces in case the poor woman thought we were laughing at her. Trying not to laugh only makes me want to laugh even more, though, but I managed to keep it together, mostly because I knew that laughing would probably hurt. Everything else I did hurts, so it stands to reason that giggling would probably kill me, too.
So, it was my turn, finally. The chiropractor asked me a few questions, ascertained how much mobility I actually had and then he told me to take off my shirt and lie on the massage bed he had, on which you lie face down, and your face goes into a specially built-in hole. (I've seen a similar bed in the terrible Jackie Chan film The Protector, but Jackie's bed had a naked chinese girl lying under it for him to look at. No such luck in my case, I'm afraid. Just the floor. Luckily, though, unlike Jackie, no-one tried to stab me while I was lying there either, so it's swings and roundabouts.) The chiropractor pours some kind of lube on my back and gets to work. This hurts. I thought massages were supposed to be relaxing!
Then the really fun bit happened. He asks me to turn over and then he cracks my back. Ow. He does it again, higher up. Ow again. Then he puts his arm around my neck, grabs my head and twists it so my neck cracks. Fucking mega ow.
(Those James Bond movies lied to me! 007 always gets a blonde buxom masseuse to give him a rub down when he's injured, and he gets to shag them afterwards in the steam room. I get my neck cracked by a bloke called Steve. Not fair!)
Now, I'm a fairly big guy. I'm over six feet tall, and I weigh about sixteen stone (yeah, yeah, I know, I'm a fat bastard.) but he was throwing me around like I was nothing. He said I had a high pain tolerance. Nice chat-up line. Normally, if I was in a situation where I've got my shirt off, covered in lube and a man is wrestling me, him saying 'You've got a high pain tolerance' might've worried me, but it made me feel cool. Yeah, I have a high tolerance of pain! I'm a rough, tough real man! This all evaporated when I winced and gasped as I struggled to put my shirt back on.
It turns out I have no spinal damage, but the stresses I put my muscles under at work are affecting my joints. So I have to do exercises. The main one involves putting my left hand on my right shoulder, my right hand on my left shoulder, like I'm hugging myself (I was doing that all last week anyway when I was fucking freezing!) and then I have to move my upper body in a figure-of-eight motion. Now this exercise is the first one you learn in junior school when you pretend to be mentally handicapped. If I stick my tongue between my lower lip and my teeth when I'm doing this, I'd look exactly like I did when I was ten and one of my classmates had just done something stupid. So, anyway, I have to keep doing this before I go again, next week.
I'm still in pain, though. I haven't been back to work since Monday, but it is improving. The fact I'm sitting here typing this is a sign of how improved I am. And I've managed to have several poos since. Hurrah!
I'm so bored, though. As I haven't been able to move out of my seat, I've just been sitting there watching DVDs and daytime telly. It may sound fun but it does get tiresome, especially when I'm watching shite like Tarantino's Death Proof or Cash In The Attic. I don't know which is the most gruesome!
Also, because I know she reads this blog (someone has to, I suppose) I'd like to thank my wonderful other half for looking after me. She wasn't really expecting this level of care until we were both in our seventies, but she's doing a wonderful job, and it's good practice for when I'm a septuagenarian with dodgy joints.
Right, gotta go. It's Homes Under The Hammer in a minute, and I need to see how that guy who bought that town house in Weymouth is getting on.