OH MY ACHING
1 May 2003
My back is killing me.
Our new rad tech started work Tuesday and the first order of business was doing
precision studies on the new bone density machine (DEXA). The purpose of the precision
studies were, Dr. G says, to make sure that "C" was positioning people right on
the table so that we knew the spine and hip bone pictures that were being taken were
To do this, we are doing exams on about 12 different people, three spine exams, 2 hip
exams, and three heel exams, so he can compare all of the measurements on each of the
patients and determine if C has got it right.
[Aside: I wish I could come up with clever nicknames for the anonymous people in my
journal. Haggie has her "Ms. Monday" and other names like that. I come up with
'Dr. G,' 'T' and 'C', etc. Do you see why I don't write fiction? Absolutely NO
My friends Shelly and Ellen were among the first to be examined--this is the Gold
Standard of exams, and they were getting it free just to let C practice her technique.
After all the exams were finished, I had my turn.
Each exam took about 45 minutes, with the subject getting on and off the table, so C
would have to reposition them each time.
It's not an uncomfortable table, as tables go. About as comfortable as lying on an
exercise pad. Your legs are put up on a block so that it helps the hip bones lie flatter
on the table.
The problem is that my back doesn't like to lie flat. It's the reason why I gave up
sleeping in a bed. When I get prone, my back complains. Sometimes softly, sometimes
loudly. I knew it would be uncomfortable for me, but I was not prepared for how
uncomfortable it would be.
The first exam wasn't all that bad. I expected my back to complain and it did. I
expected it to be difficult to get up afterwards, and it was. Then we did the first heel
exam. And then it was time to get back on the table again.
This time, she decided she needed to have Dr. G check out some things, so I lay there
on the table longer than before while they looked at my spine on the computer screen and
Dr. G gave suggestions about how better to position my body. I don't know how long I was
on the table this time, but it was very difficult to get up, as pain shot through my
The last time I got on the table, she did the spine again and both hips, so it was the
longest period yet. We're not talking hours here, we're talking minutes, but when your
spine is complaining and you know it's going to be bad getting up, each minute lasts an
hour. (I was thinking about what would ever happen if I had to have an MRI--the
combination of the back pain and claustrophobia would require a lot of drugs to get
me into that tube!)
When she finally finished and I went to get up, I saw stars. It took me a good 3 or 4
minutes before I could get off the table and then C had to give me a mini back massage
before I could walk. I limped into the exam room to sit on the couch so I could have a
pillow behind my back. I finally left to come home--I couldn't stand it any more (and I
didn't even think about going to Curves).
This morning, despite a night in my ergonomic (or so it feels) recliner, my back is
still hurting, though I'm not wincing with every step any more.
Cindy tells me that if I get into yoga, my back will
feel better. I was with some people recently who were into yoga and I watched them go
through their routines and marveled at the flexibility, thinking there ain't no way I
could ever do that. I was thinking, when I joined the athletic club, that I would give it
a try. After my afternoon on my back yesterday and looking at the yoga positions my
friends were doing, I'm a bit more apprehensive.
C told me yesterday that it must be the water in Davis because I sure didn't look 60.
I'll tell ya, by the time she finished with me, I felt every single day of my 60 years,
and perhaps then some.