I had promised my Love Interest a bigger bed for her birthday. In anticipation of this she took off the firm pillow top above the less comfortable mattress and placed it in the living room as a crawl space for our daughter.
By some weird coincidence later that day before I ever slept on the pillowtopless mattress I felt my back tweak as I Iifted my daughter who we were proudly told by the pediatrician was in the 99 percentile for height and 80 percentile for weight. At the time I thought nothing of the back pain. From time to time throughout the years when I lifted something heavy I would feel my back “go out”. The first time it happened I went to a chiropractor where he stretched out my back on his contraption and urged me to return, but I found the exercises he gave me to be of more relief and so whenever pain came I would return to those exercises. On this day I figured a swim would help loosen my tightened back and immediately after the pool I did feel much better.
But then came the night time. I went to sleep fine, but in the middle of the night I felt my back and began tossing and turning. With each toss came slightly more pain. I managed through much gritting of my teeth to get to my feet and that was when my back locked. The pain quickly grew unbearable. I wanted to collapse to the ground, but my back would not let me. At the same time my legs were wobbling.
I maneuvered down to the couch which was a terrible idea as it was too short to hold my horizontal six foot one inch body. I’m embarrassed to admit it but I started crying out for help. With a crying baby to deal with my Love Interest finally came out but I had already gotten to my feet. I was blaming the bed. I knew I had to get down on that crawl space and then everything would be ok.
I put as much of my weight on her as she could carry and I laid down on the mattress on the floor. She gave me an ibuprofen prescribed to her after childbirth and ice that I put on my back. She went back to sleep. It was four in the morning and I wondered how I would go to the bathroom when that time came. Obviously our daughter’s diapers wouldn’t fit. I wondered if my Love Interest would have to make a run for me to get those adult sized diapers I always mocked and pitied. That was the least of my worries. At that time the overwhelming pain was all I could think of and I would be happy to lay in my filth if it would go away.
As the morning light came through the blinds my mind wandered. Did I have an enemy who stuck a pin in the back of a voodoo doll in my image? I began writing a letter in my head to the basketball player Larry Bird. “Dear Mr. Bird,” it would say. “I apologize for calling you a pussy in 1991. A bad back is a valid excuse for a 35 year old to sit out a basketball game.”