Southern Man

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Southern Man Is An Idiot

In the previous post Southern Man mentions that he's had lower back problems for decades. Occasionally it would "go out" (as they say) and he'd limp to the chiropractor, who would do a fairly rigorous adjustment and set things right. And often in the past his lower back and right leg would hurt so much that he could barely get out of bed. And as regular readers know he was pretty much out of action all weekend with severe back and leg pain.

That right leg has been a problem for a long time as well - it's always tense, or numb, or tinging, or burning, or just plain aching. Ice and heat and various ointments never helped so Southern Man just accepted that he had a bum leg from all those years of competitive running back in grad school. Why, yes, he does have a good-size box of trophies from that era. But it's always bothered him that his right leg hasn't been - er, right for a long, long time.

And on top of that a lifetime spent hunched in front of computers has given him a fair case of upper cross syndrome which was finally diagnosed a few years ago and which he's been treating with physical therapy and is much reduced.

Anyway, last week (before the events of the weekend) he'd just found a new chiropractor and had already been in for the initial exam and X-rays and arranged for regular treatment (which he thought of at the time as "preventative" as there had been only minor back pain issues for a year or so) so he was already scheduled to go in Monday afternoon so he hobbles in and updates the doc on the events of the weekend and the conversation went something like this:

Doc: <much pointing at X-rays and technical talk about how Southern Man's hip was way out of whack and how screwed up the nearby vertebrae had become trying to cope with it and that was (a) why you have all these lower back problems and (b) why your right leg hurts all the time and (c) why you're the perfect choice for the letter "C" when doing the "YMCA" dance.>

Southern Man: [thinking, must be more lifestyle issues and age] What caused my hip be like this? What am I doing to cause this problem?

Doc: Oh, this isn't a lifestyle issue like your upper cross syndrome - this is the result of trauma. Something hit you hard on the right hip when you were young and your spine has been trying to compensate for the dislocation ever since. What happened?

Southern Man: <blank stare>

And it finally occurred to him - as a teen he had been a passenger in a car that was t-boned at an intersection. Southern Man's head went through the side glass and his body tore the passenger door clear off the hinges. He was black and blue and sore as hell for a week but after that everything seemed fine so in the manner of indestructible young men everywhere he didn't bother to see a doctor and just forgot about it.

"Something hit you hard on the right hip when you were young..."

This explains everything. It explains why Southern Man always favors postures that curve a bit to the right - always sleeping on his right side, always carrying burdens with his left arm (and leaning to the right for balance), always leaning a bit to the right while standing or sitting (and yes he just caught himself doing it right now). It explains the constant issues with his right leg and why the leg doesn't respond to ice or heat. It explains why he's suffered from insomnia since college. It explains a variety of lateral abnormalities throughout his spine.

There appears to be no explanation of why it took him thirty years to put two and two together, other than plain old stupidity.

So the chiropractor did an adjustment that got the pain down to where Southern Man can drop the hydrocodone (teaching on Monday while high on painkillers was an experience he does not care to repeat) and Southern Man and his chiropractor are on a program to do what they can to correct problems in the hip and spine that have been set for a third of a century. His hope is to relieve the pressure on that lateral cutaneous nerve and actually have a pain-free leg and an occasional full night's sleep. And to no longer look like the letter "C" from both the front and the side.

And don't think for a second that Southern Man feels sorry for himself. He's so very fortunate compared to many others in his own family. Lord, thank you for a lifetime free of serious illness or injury. May Your healing touch be upon all of us. Amen.


At Wednesday, September 28, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So glad you found someone who seems to know the root of the problem and maybe you will be feeling much better soon!

Girl Programmer.

At Thursday, September 29, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are not an idiot, just a typical fellow human. Glad to hear that you got to the root of the problem. You have a good outlook of your situation...hope your family does as well with their health. Praying for others ushers in blessings for the one praying as well. FYI

At Friday, September 30, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Teaching a college course while high on something (in your case pain killers) is common in Callie-forn-i-a. Did you hear in the news this week about an old dude who takes 25 pts off the total grade if someone says 'bless you' when/if a classmate sneezes? Yah...right here in Callie state all right. True story. Middle School kids I think.

At Thursday, November 03, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

YMCA I was once quite a dancer myself. This one,though, dates you Southern Man. I do not miss disco!


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