you fix you

i’ve had back problems for almost 6 years now. it’s been a real bitch. last summer i was off work for 2 months because of it. half of my right foot has permanent nerve damage — it’s numb and has constant pins-and-needles sensations. there have been long periods where i’ve been unable to touch my knees in the morning because my low back was so fucking tight. sometimes i couldn’t put my fucking socks on. like i said, it’s been a real bitch.

i think it’s easy when people have problems like i have with my back to look for quick, easy fixes like buying expensive new mattresses and paying for nice massages rather than gritting our teeth and doing the things we don’t want to — like actually doing what the physiotherapist says and sticking with it, exercising and stretching religiously, and changing sleeping habits, for example. we want the solutions to our problems to be convenient and easy. we hope other people, like surgeons and doctors and chiropractors, can fix our problems for us, that they’ll say, “i found one little thing wrong so i’ve fixed it and you should now be good as new!” we hope we can buy the fix we need without having to put in much of our own effort. when one doctor or physiotherapist doesn’t fix us, we want to give up on all docs and the medical system. we don’t want to get second, third, fourth opinions. we don’t want to have to take information from each professional we see, try their different approaches, combine the things that work, and come to our own conclusions about how to treat our problems — that’s a lot of waiting, and a lot of work.

well, tough titties, because that’s what it takes to work through this kind of stuff: patience and effort. if you really give a shit about yourself and whatever problem you want to work through, the sooner you start gathering information and seriously trying different approaches, the sooner you will make progress. remember that unless you are paying someone ridiculous sums of money, they are nowhere near as interested in your problems as you are, and will not give your problems the same amount of consideration you would — they don’t have to live with your sore back every day. you naturally have more invested in the situation. that means you must be your own advocate, that you can’t rely on anyone else to care as much about fixing you as yourself.

in short, if you have a problem, it’s up to you to deal with it. that’s what i’ve learned. i certainly owe a lot to the various professionals who’ve imparted great advice on me but i also owe myself a pat on the back for sifting through the bullshit that a lot of them gave me, for trying myriad different treatments, and for not being content to be fucking crippled at age 35.

so good for you, buddy. you can now touch your toes like nobody’s business, and put your socks on all by yourself. you can run without pain again. you can duck under things again. you don’t wake up aching and afraid of throwing you back out when you step into the shower anymore.

those sound stupid but they’re real. i’m pretty proud of me and the progress i’ve made of late.


i’m a big boy.


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