Yesterday morning I woke up in the accustomed 4:30 a.m. time frame, yawned with catlike pleasure, rolled over to get out of bed — and felt a hot, stabbing pain in my lower back.
It’s weird when you go abruptly from pain-free to painful. It’s almost like being in a dream that suddenly turns into a nightmare. You wonder what you did to suddenly make your spine and back muscles so uncooperative. Was it a sudden twist as you rolled over to put your feet on the floor? Was it some kind of unusual physical exertion the day before?
Whatever the reason, it’s your fault somehow, and you’ve just got to deal with it. I’ve had back problems before, so the coping patterns are familiar. You move gingerly hoping not to experience that crippling flash, and you walk in a slightly hunched over, zombie-like way, and you pray that whatever happened goes away without too much time or trouble.
It’s an incident that also is a helpful reminder. Those of us who are lucky enough to have moderately good health can’t really appreciate what it is like to live with constant pain. I’m grateful that this happens only once in a great while.