Saturday, November 21, 2009


Here is the second in the series of surprisingly good things that have happened to me lately. I offer it having recently read about the positive mood effects of writing about intensely positive experiences.
My back has stopped shouting. Take this very moment, for example. Where it would have been shouting: “Get out of that chair and take some medicine or I’ll drive you crazy,” it isn’t saying much at all, just a brief whisper or sigh now and then. With a little twinge it prompts: “Keep both feet flat on the floor squarely in front of you.” I may not be able to tell you exactly why it has stopped shouting, but I can tell you this: whoever it was that said silence is golden was a pretty smart cookie.
There have been bouts of shouting over the past few years, but this last one was particularly galling. The shouting started very early in the year and kept on most of the time, with occasional lowerings of volume for a week, or maybe a day. It shouted over the drugs, over the physio, over the walking, the aquacise, the sitting down, the lying down, and particularly over the car motor. Yes, that back can be a noisy back.
“Give me two minutes of silence,” I’d beg. But the shouting went on. When I lay down it shouted, “Get up.” When I stood, it shouted, “Sit down.” When I sat, it shouted, “Stand up or lie down, but for heaven’s sake, stop sitting!” When it came to drugs, it shouted, “Get different drugs!” It was deafening!
Noise is such a distraction. Once you start hearing it, your attention blurs, so I cannot tell you exactly when things started to change. There was no sign of any change three weeks ago, this I know for sure, because I remember how the shouting bothered me at certain events.
When people ask what has made the difference, I have to admit that there is a lot that I simply don’t know about the situation. I don’t know enough, and yet there is too much information to be accurately processed along the line of cause and effect. The change could have resulted from the physio, though I will say that I was seriously doubting the value of that. It could have been the aquacise, or the core muscle exercises. It could have been the almonds I started eating though if that is the cause, you need to know that eating almonds is not a quick fix. It could have been the prolonged effect of the drugs, or the motivational tidal wave that came on when I had to face the fact that I now needed new drugs added to the mix to counteract the damaging effect of the pain drugs on my stomach. Like I say, I can’t tell you exactly what has caused the reduction of shouting, but after all this time and suffering, I am more than a little surprised. Still, that’s not the best surprise.
Here comes the good surprise. The shouting is much reduced, and at the same time (drum roll here!) at the same time that the shouting is reduced, the drugs are sitting in their container, wondering why I’ve stopped taking them.

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