watch your back

So here's what happened to me yesterday.

The kids had had breakfast, they were dressed and I was bending, packing the last bag when my back suddenly gave way. Just up and left the room. Damn thing. I yelled. The kids came running, full of "you SCARED me Mum" accusations. 

I take full responsibility for the swear words Henry and Tilly learnt yesterday.

My first thought was: how do I ever move from this crone-like hunched over position ever again? Second was: how do I get to the toilet? Is this going to be the most embarrassing day of my life? And third: I can't pick up my baby. 

The phone was in arms reach so I called my wonderful next door neighbour, but she'd left for work. I could call Ad but he was at least forty five minutes away by train. Drugs, I thought. Drugs might solve this. 

I somehow got over to the medicine cabinet and looked up to the high, high shelf where we keep the box of stuff. How the crap am I supposed to raise my arms high enough to reach that? More swearing. Swung an arm. Hit the box. Knocked onto floor. Decide bending is even more painful than reaching. Am so totally screwed. 

But have birthed three babes naturally, the last with zero drugs, so dammit, I bend, I grab, I shuffle to the the kitchen and pop three Nurofen Plus and am about to skull when I remember I'm breastfeeeding. "Do not take while breastfeeding" says the packet. More swearing. The kids are fascinated. 

I somehow managed to pack up the medicine box and pull out some panadol. That'll have to do. I stand, all skewed and bent, in the kitchen until it makes a tiny dint in the pain. 

Then I bark at Henry and Tilly to pick up their bags and wait at the front door while I ponder my 8kg almost-five-month-old and how to pick her up out of her rocker. 

I do a smooth maneuver involving sitting on a chair with her at my feet, propping my arms on my knees and lifting her with one hand onto my lap. Oh yes, more swearing. 

Why did I not consider just letting Henry and Tilly stay at home? I really have no idea. It's like I was on  trajectory that had to be completed. The Thursday morning daycare and school drop off. Immutable. 

I cursed my way to the door, and got outside to the car. I dropped, or perhaps, rolled Ivy into her carseat and the other kids buckled up. 

I got to daycare and threw Tilds out, marvellous self sufficient child that she is. 

I got to school and threw Henry out and bribed him with Angry Birds time on my iPhone after school if he would walk in the gate by himself. (Yes, he did that that one time only.)

Back at home I waited by the car for ten minutes hoping someone would come by and help me lift my sleeping baby out, but then I thought about Nessie and I asking some random passing-by guy to help us carry a toy kitchen out of her house to my car and he totally dropped it, so I abandoned and lugged her in myself. 

Ivy, the most accommodting baby in the universe, slept all morning. Just slept in her little rocker, woke up once for a feed and dropped off again. I lay down flat on the floor next to her on a mattress and played an hour or so of Cut the Rope (an iPhone app way more addictive than Angry Birds.)

Jim and Jen, Ad's folks, a.k.a. The Cavalry, arrived at lunchtime. 

And after some physio and acupuncture I am finally standing upright. Mostly. 

How much do we rely on our backs though? Gosh!

Time to start looking after mine. 

Hope you're looking after yours. 


16 Comments on “watch your back

November 26, 2010 at 10:17 pm

Ahhh Fi you poor thing. Having just spent three weeks with a very sore back recuperating slowly I can totally understand your pain. If it is any help I have been swimming a lot and going in a hot spa with a jet on my back – seemed to loosen the joints and stop them spasming, as well as taking many drugs. It is very hard. Curse my slack core muscles. Hope it gets better soon..

keepcatebusy (Cate)
November 26, 2010 at 10:54 pm

Bummer!! I know exactly what you’re talking about. Have had a dodgy back since pregnancy #1. Glad to hear you are at least vertical(ish) today.
But I think the all time topper for me was getting appendicitis when #1 was 5 months old and still fully breastfed! Yay, that was a fun week or so of recouperation after emergency surgery 🙂 xxx

November 26, 2010 at 11:01 pm

Does this mean you’re not doing your {this moment} this week?


November 26, 2010 at 11:03 pm

ah you poor thing!!
I pinched my sciatic nerve last year (when I was a few weeks pregnant but had no idea at the time) and oh my it was the most painful, debilitating thing…. just awful and my back has never been the same since. Hope you are able to rest and recuperate!

Very sympathetic and sorry sister of pickle
November 27, 2010 at 12:04 am

Noooooo! Poor beloved pickle! That’s a shocker. Glad J&J are there for you and I’ve just put the other grandmother on a plane so will be back with you shortly (ish). Right, once it’s sorted for this time, I want you to start doing some good, back-safe, core-strengthening situps. Start with 20. Poor, poor pickle.

November 27, 2010 at 3:00 am

Oh no!
I hope you feel better and stronger and straighter soon. And your new year’s resolution should be to get a circle of friends who will pick up each other’s babies in case of incapacitation without fail! It’s no good being so alone. But I’ve been there. I like it the way it is now, with other moms in the same boat near by.

November 27, 2010 at 9:31 am

I’ve never had any real back trouble and feel so, so sorry for those who do, because isn’t it the condition that causes the most sick days?

November 27, 2010 at 1:42 pm

mercy, that sounds SO PAINFUL. i’ve had a seized up back, too…. and it’s made me notice how i just don’t think about my back unless it’s locked up like a boulder. i’m glad you’ve had some relief. you sound like a trooper! i’m sure cursing helped 😉

November 27, 2010 at 3:13 pm

Oh you poor, poor thing!
It sounds hellish.
We swear by it.
Hope you are so much better and straighter now.

November 27, 2010 at 3:24 pm

OUCH – and BTW, Nurofen Plus IS OK to take when you’re breastfeeding. According to our friendly pharmacist anyway…

green ink
November 28, 2010 at 11:58 am

Oh Fi! Ouch! Reminds me of my mum bending over to get something out of the dishwasher and she couldn’t stand back up again and was bedridden for week….I think I was 15 at the time….bad backs run in my family and so I am very very careful!! And do lots of yoga! Hope you are feeling better now xxxx

November 28, 2010 at 6:22 pm

I think I might have just figured out how to follow you (I am very untechno-savvy and couldn’t quite work out the typepad login thingy)…so we will see if it worked??!! xxxCate

November 28, 2010 at 11:14 pm

Hi Fi, wish you had rung me please dont hesitate next time! Also, I used to
wonder for a while if i was being mean not carrying a tired (?lazy) 4 year old
when I’d so often see all you mums with toddlers on your backs and babes up front…..and then I thought of my bulging discs and all that pain and nearly dropping Isaac at 2 months when being struck with it all of a sudden…. and decided it wasnt mean…..probably just sensible! I hope you’re much better.. and have been waited on hand and foot by your lovely family! Ness xoxo (school)

November 29, 2010 at 1:39 pm

totally relate. I finally started going to pilates regularly in a studio with a 1:4 teacher:student ratio after I started working again two days a week earlier this year and in the space of two months put my neck out three times. Sure, I was sitting on the laptop on an armchair for a few hours a night trying to get something done for work while O was sleeping, not good, but really, my back just didn’t like me.

Now it likes me. I can almost sit up all the time. even cross-legged on the floor. And I haven’t been to the physio once.

November 29, 2010 at 7:39 pm

how is your back feeling now?

December 3, 2010 at 6:30 am

Sweetie, I hope you’re okay now- just back onto internet and catching up with yoru news. Take care. Much much love for you.


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