Tuesday, May 27, 2008

When sitting is a pain in the arse


and you are walking bent over a bit, waddling like a toddler, and look like you might be wearing a loaded diaper under your nice dressy pants, life sucks. It’s the lower back pain again for the second time in a year – a very old injury that seems to be coming back to torture me more often than before. A recurring storm.

Since May 4, I've been standing or lying flat. Sitting is uncomfortable but getting out of a chair made me call out, “ow-ow-ow!”, and I have a high tolerance for pain! Good news: as of this past weekend, I’m better and walk like a pain-free person.

Having a desk job isn’t cool when sitting is a problem, so I cut my work days two or three hours short to go home and stand and walk around and walk around and stand. During standing and walking around, I managed to publish a few posts in tiny increments that stretched over an entire evening. Took a lot of miserable photos, too, but here are a few that are not so bad.


I don’t know the name of this common evergreen shrub. Its perfume knocks me out when I step outside and I hate it. Honey Bees love it, as there are always hundreds or thousands of them swarming on its nectar.

It’s my fault that I suffered with the bad back for so many days, for a few reasons.



The pond is growing top speed right now.

One reason is that I have an aversion to taking medication, even ordinary Ibuprofen.


A stop at the pond on the way home from work one day was sweet. I saw a pair of Green Herons (lifer). They were an interesting pair who didn’t sit for long.

Instead of taking medicine, I’m always inclined to work through the pain. Just do it. Work it out. I thought planting a red maple sapling and a few pink Lavenders one evening might help. Big Mistake. Then I started taking the Ibuprofen several times a day out of desperation.

Another reason I suffer is because I avoid exercise. Frankly, I’m tired of blaming my hardware-filled left ankle for not taking brisk walks with my Discman like I used to. Then, I was strong, at least ten pounds lighter, and happier when I walked three fifteen-minute miles every day. Now, twenty minutes of walking to start would be enough but I whine about being too tired, too busy, too hot, too cold, and it’s raining…WaaaWaaaWaaa!

I have a new IPOD Shuffle in the bottom drawer of my nightstand but I have no clue how to use it. Gina? Help me load my Janet’s Design of a Decade and Robert Palmer’s Mercy Me? (Good walking tempos when I need the beat.) My hamstrings and quadriceps shrunk. I know they’re there but I can’t see them.

There were a few times when I completely forgot about my back pain.


I saw a little Green Tree Frog. Can I wake you?

Its cool, sticky, little body relaxed and molded itself into my hand.

Kind of like Bella, who melts into me.

Much better.


Ruth said...

Oh dear...Hope you are better soon. But it sounds like you have figured out why your back hurts. Desk jobs are not kind to your spine. Femail Doc posted an article about a study that showed that taking Ibuprofen reduces the risk of Alzheimers. So take some for your back ;-)
Love that Tree Frog!!

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Poor May! You should use the ibuprofen though, it would help. Is it time to see a doctor about it? Have you tried massage? Maybe the licker sisters can run up and down your back!

Glad it's better.
Like your frog.

Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear about your back! Yuk. But I'm glad you're feeling better. Have you tried chiropractic for it?

LOVE the tree frog!

beckie said...

Mary, back pain can be miserable-I'm sorry for you. I hope you are on the mend. Be kind to yourself!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Nothing worse than back pain. I hope you are feeling better now. Take your ibuprofens and start exercising. I bet Bella would love to walk with you. It must be the season for back pain. My DB has a sore back too. Too much mulching here. UGH...

I loved the sky pictures on this post. Especially the first one.

Anonymous said...

Back pain stinks! I have one piece of advice for you. It's going to sound weird but it really, really helps! Wear a girdle! When my back is out, I wear a girdle and it gives my back support so that it doesn't get worse through the day.

Oh okay, more than one piece of advice . . . heat and ice! They help!

That frog -- so adorable! Congrats on the Green Herons -- they are so shy! You were lucky! Glad you're feeling better! Hope it continues!

Anonymous said...

Soo sorry to hear about your back pain! I don't mind from time to time being behind the desk but I do need to get out and enjoy everything around me! Get better soon!

Peg Silloway said...

Mary, you are the only person I know who can turn back pain into a delightful blog post and leave me smiling. Yikes, I hope you're soon able to forget it ever hurt.

Love the goose parade and that brilliant little frog. But the sunset says it all...ahhhh.

Thanks as always for your unique point of view and your talent with a camera. You are a genuine delight.

nina at Nature Remains. said...

I'm glad you're feeling somewhat better, but might you feel even better if you saw a Dr? :-)

Your froggy is sweet--i'm glad you cuddled him. We seem to be finding the same creatures coming to life.
I've got snakes galore, now--just like the one that cruised your porch.
Even had Fred exploring this weekend!

Susie said...

Back pain can just zap everything out of you. My husband has it from time to time and he's the same way about taking pills. Hope you're on the mend real soon. (your pictures are wonderful and that little green frog so cute!)

Unknown said...

Sorry to hear about you back Mary.
Have you tried yoga? Like you I don't exercise enough so I do some yoga in the morning to stretch. Keeps my back from hurting.

PJ said...

Oh, the cute little green tree frog! I absolutely love them..I miss them after having them in FL. I'm sorry about your back..I have a back strain I'm working through since I moved some cement bird bath and bench (stupid should have called hubby) Anyway, hope you feel better and your bee pic is great and the four little geese...awesome!

Annie in Austin said...

The back pain sounds terrible, Mary, and I hope your walks help a little. I love the photo of you holding the tree frog but am surprised the little creature let you do it - you must send out good vibes, even when in pain!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

[I suspect the flowers with the sickly sweet smell are Evergreen Chinese Ligustrum, in the privet family. They have medium size shiny leaves and unpruned, grow as big a small trees.]

Debbie said...

Wow, Mary, back pain is no fun at all. Hope you are feeling better quickly.

Victoria Williams said...

Great blog. Great photos.
Hope you're feeling better.

Anonymous said...

Mary, I had back pain a few years back; and my medical doctor sent me to a chiropractor. She put me on a machine that stretched my back. It looked like a torture device, but it was wonderful!

Ramblings of a Villas Girl said...

Hi Mary! As a fellow back pain suffer, I know what you are going through. I hurt mine, oh about 20 years ago. Hasn't been the same since. Sitting, standing and laying to long will do me in. I try not to do any of those things for to long. Heat seemed to help better then ice. Take care of that back.

Your pictures are great, especially the sky pictures. Don't know if you have seen or know about Sky Watch Friday, but your pictures would be great for it. If you are interested, visit, http://womtig.blogspot.com Thursday evening when Tom has the site up.

Well anyway take care of yourself and I hate to say it too, you need to get out there and do some walking, it will help. Lisa

jane augenstein said...

Hi Mary.........sorry to hear of your back pain! I know the feeling; we just put up hay this weekend, ouch, my back got me too! Get better!
Glad Julie sent you the picture of Pokey because I just checked out your blog.......LOVE IT!!! Great pictures and stories! Tree frog is darling; I'll keep checking back to see what you are up to next. Your stories make me smile. :-)

Jayne said...

Glad your back is feeling some better. I know you hate to take that ibuprofen, but it does go a long way to help with the inflammation and pain (/nurse lecture).

I can relate about the exercise Mary. I've still not gotten back into my routine either. Always one excuse or another I find, and yet, I know I'd feel so much better.

Alyssa said...

I know just how you feel! I have to be SO careful with my back otherwise I'm in pain for weeks. If you don't want to take drugs you could try acupuncture or a chiropractor (spelling?) But, sometimes some muscle relaxents or pain kills help as you are healing. And yes, exercising does help - too bad you have to force yourself to do it! Also, is there an ergonomically better chair you can have at work or do some stretches every hour or so? I think if I were suffering for such a long time, I'd see the doctor too. You shouldn't let this ruin your summer!! I'd give you a big hug now and hopefully it wouldn't hurt your back!! That little frog looks like a plastic toy....

Cheryl said...

The little tree frog is delightful, and you know Bella is a sweetie...
Mr Practicals got back trouble at the moment...apparently caused by all the time he spends in the car...drives too many miles!!!!
Glad to hear you are feeling better.
Lovely lovely honey bee.....I havn't seen any so far this year. Oh dear.

Donna said...

I'm so sorry to hear you're having back pain, Mary. I hope you'll be feeling better soon. I too am a "no medicine" person. Don't like to medicate ~ besides, it seems like everything you take these days has some kind of side effect.

Your photos are beautiful. Love the little tree frog and your bunny.
Happy days ahead!

RuthieJ said...

I hope you feel better soon Mare. I had that a couple months ago and wound up sleeping on ice packs for 2 days. A Bella on your lap is surely good therapy too!

I love the little green frog toes on your fingers.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mary! Long time, no read. Just wanted to say I stopped by and, as always, really enjoyed your beautiful photos. I haven't gotten back to blogging yet, but am starting to stop by and read a few posts. Cat59

Larry said...

Congratulations on the lifer! Soryy to hear about you back pain-anything like that makes me miserable.I find it hard to get motivated to walk unless I'm looking for birds. I get dropped off a couple of miles from my house so that I have to walk back.Nice photos Mary!

Susan Gets Native said...

*Lifting my ice-cold Coca-Cola to you, and wishing your ass problems work out*

: )

Mel said...

Hi Mary!
I missed visiting you, I managed to find some time to visit some friends :)
I really hope that pain goes away soon and you can happily say you are free from it again!
Love that froggie you found, it's so cute!

JeanMac said...

Hope things are much better now, Mary.

Kathie Brown said...

Mary, another excellent post. Love the green frog. Congrats on the green heron! You always make my day so I've given you an award. Find the info here: http://coronadetucson.blogspot.com/2008/05/blogging-award-from-texas-travelers.html

Anonymous said...

Ugh, sorry to hear about the back pain! I've enjoyed a lower-back injury since my teaching days about 15 years ago. The worst part? Everybody I mention it to thinks they know what'll cure it! My favorite is when someone says, "Ohh, I know a great stretch for that!" For whatever reason, that just drives me nuts. My advice? Hang in there, and enjoy yourself when it feels better.

Appalachian Lady said...

Mary--I had lower back pain a few years ago when I overdid it gardening. I went to a chiropractor who almost eliminated the pain immediately (cracking some bones--I don't know). Anyway, she wanted me to keep coming and pay a fortune but I didn't. I try to get out and exercise anytime my back hurts and that seems to work good (sometimes some ibuprofen too). But, if I ever had the debilitating pain again, I would go back to the chiropractor again.

Love the post--great photos! Hope your back is better soon!

Q said...

Dear Mary,
Playing catch up!
Tree frog made me forget all about everything! Too cute. Nature has a way of taking us far, far away.
Green Heron would be a lifer for me too. Beautiful!
Hope you have relief soon.
Let's just walk around the block together.