Last time Ming and I were at the cabin, I fucked up my back. There’s no good chair there for me, so I sit on the bed, which means I don’t have back support, as I write. How I care for my back is rather straightforward. But I thought I’d tell you about it, in case you need ideas. Also, I can read it myself, when I’m in pain and not thinking great.
long long time ago
I developed issues with my back when I was at university. Reading at my desk, sitting there for hours, smoking cigarettes, stressed, getting not enough sleep. I was working too much and too busy. Sacrificing the body for the mind–oops.
The first time I really ouched my back, I called my mom. She thought I was having a kidney problem. Not sure why she came to that conclusion. But she drove to me in Santa Barbara to take me to the doctor. Hurting, I could barely get into her car.
The doctor told me to quit smoking. He explained that it’s bad for nerves and the blood flow in my body, which was contributing to my pain. He also prescribed pain pills. I never took even one of them, totally not interested in becoming addicted to them, as drug addiction is an issue in my family.
Walking is the thing that helps me most, with how I care for my back. But I have a few things, so I thought I’d make you a list.
how I care for my back
- Walking increases the blood flow and gives me a good break from sitting.
- Sitting too many minutes in a row is a bad idea for me. I need to get up and walk about.
- Swallowing ibuprofen for back pain used to help me–it helped with cramps too. When I developed a stomach ulcer, I stopped being able to use ibuprofen. Now I might try acetaminophen.
- Magnesium glycinate relaxes muscles. I try that.
- Gentle stretches can help something minor stay minor.
- Reducing my stress overall helps.
- Drinking water is good, just because dehydration makes everything worse. “Lubricate your fascia” someone told me long ago who knows a lot about bodies. I tell myself that now.
- Avoiding known issues is important. I need back support when I sit; washing dishes can hurt me. Lying on my back without raising my knees can hurt me, as well as sitting really crooked. I need to pay attention and be resolute, not to do those things, when I’m beginning to have a back pain issue.
- Asking for help and communicating with Ming about my experiences is important.
- Breathing, crying, and talking about it with multiple people is important too.
- Patience, compassion, and a sense of humor help just about everything.
- Taking it slow, not rushing, taking breaks, and rest are all my best friends.
what doesn’t help
- Hating myself is a waste of time.
- Fat shaming is too. Some fat people have back issues–some thin people have back issues. It’s common. If I shrunk down to a smaller size, my back might still hurt me. Please don’t shame me or anyone else for their fatness.
- Moralizing blamey advice is similarly harmful. Being told I sit too much is not really nice. My whole body has various issues and difficulties. You might not know all of them.
things I want to try one day
Some of my fat peeps with chronic pain recommend a pregnancy pillow. That’s usually a big pillow with a hole in the middle for a person. They can be C shaped or U shaped, mostly. Maybe 3 shaped. You can arrange it various ways to help you get comfortable.
I’ve been curious about them for a long time, but I never tried one. Might sound strange, that I want one, as I’m not pregnant and never plan to be. Maybe we should change the name. Here are some pregnancy pillow suggestions. https://www.whattoexpect.com/baby-products/pregnancy/best-body-pillows-pregnancy/
I take up a lot of room in the bed already, so maybe the 3 shaped one would be a good choice.
Massage would be nice. Will I ever be or feel rich enough, or have a massaging friend who wants to do a work trade? Hope so.
Some people might like a warm compress. When it’s winter, maybe I would like that?
Energy work like reiki and jin shin might help. Acupuncture or acupressure too.
Some prescription muscles relaxants? I distrust stuff like that, but if I got desperate enough, I might try it.
Love to you, your body, your back. Good luck keeping your stress down and your resilience up. Wishing you good communication, support, and comfort. Gentle hugs to you.