Tuesday, August 11, 2009


So I started feeling back pain again, similar to but less severe than the stabbing sensations that led me to an Emergency Room visit a few months ago. A visit to the doctor led to mostly similar results, a diagnosis of a displaced rib and a prescription for a muscle relaxer. (But a different muscle relaxer this time around, Soma, and, by the way, Big Pharmaceutical: Really? You're naming a drug after the fictional narcotic of choice in Brave New World? Is that, um, a good idea?)

Since I was seeing my regular doctor instead of an anonymous ER functionary, he suggested a further course of treatment: "I could try manipulating your back." He led me to a separate room, where I flopped down on a massage table, but as soon as he laid his hands on my back, the doc realized there was nothing he could do. "There's too much tension here," he announced. "Your muscles feel as if they never relax."

Me? Tense? Just because I live by the motto A Day Without Flying Into An Apoplectic Rage Is Like A Day Without Sunshine? Just because I've never relaxed a day in my life? What fun would that be? Without tension, my life would have no meaning. Or so I must assume, since I've never been free of it.

Look, it's not that I don't want to be happy, calm and relaxed. Honest! I just...don't know how.