Saturday, November 28, 2009

Etymological Ouch

As a rule I tend not to mention ailing body parts
either in public or on my blog, because it's boring
and no one wants to hear about your herniated/
abscessed/sutured/festering-disc/earlobe/ follicle/
(Except for teeth: I make this one exception.)
But I intend to violate this commandment Right Now
only because I object to the idiom used to describe
this particular condition.

So: "I've thrown my back out," which implies
an act of intent on my part, as if I've plucked out
the converse side of my torso and tossed it into
the garbage bin. (Or would that be more correctly
tossed into the food waste bin? That's a difficult one.
Don't know if anyone would want to spread composted
human back on their lettuce beds. [Eww.])

We discussed this at the Thanksgiving table, and came
to a conclusion that the phrase most likely originates in
baseball lingo, ie., the pitcher threw his shoulder out.
Voluntarily? Not necessarily, but as there is a significant
paycheck involved in the Act of Throwing Out, one
could argue that because of the monetary incentive,
a pitcher is willing to risk the throwing-out, is aware
of its possibility, therefore some degree of intent
is involved.

I must vehemently assert that there was not an iota
of intent on my part, and absolutely zero financial
incentive. Therefore, I did not throw my back out.
It was the sole decision of my back to contort itself
into this twisted version of hell which it has deemed
to visit upon me. But I would like nothing more
at this moment to wrench it from its skin sheath
and toss it -- bones & all -- into a fire of my own making.

And here's the theme song!
(Substitute the word hurting for watching.)
Cheers! Vicodin!


  1. I am so sympathetic. My back went out (where?) last Christmas and left me having to decide between pain drugs and alcohol. Not a good choice. In my case, it came from the stresses of the extended family and and that didn't help either. I tried mind over matter but to no avail.

    This month, it is my knee which is acting up (?) and I'm left to wonder what I'm trying to avoid now.

    Take care, rest and relax.

  2. blackbird -- tell that knee to "act-down"! What a drag. And having to make the drugs vs. alcohol choice just is not fair.

  3. Holy cow! I'm so sorry because I am not only filled with sympathy, but totally empathize, having been there, done that far too often, and have the fear of it happening any moment if I move wrong, stand too long, etc.

    Heat helps, so does cold, alternating hot and cold packs -- well though, it depends on what kind of injury it is, particularly if it is inflamation rather than bruise as to whether heat or cold is better, or you can benefit from applying both alternately.

    Love, C

  4. Oh, yes. Last year I was all twisted up, on pain-killers and diazapam. It's the worst pain. I hope yours eases up. The words "muscle spasm" don't really convey the agony. Physical therapy helped ease it too. It can happen to anyone.

  5. Why is it that the spinal column and its associated muscles are the most vulnerable part of the human anatomy to injury? So many things can and do go wrong! In my case I have two cervical vertebrae - C5 & C6 - slightly out of alignment, and from time to time my left arm and shoulder blaze with pain. Not often, knock wood, but maybe once every two years or so something triggers the problem and I go crazy for about 2 weeks.

    Meanwhile, great Sting video! How did a kid from Scotland get that much soul? Whew!

  6. Foxessa, ice ice ice!

    Mim -- thanks for stopping by! And you're right -- "muscle spasm" sounds so benign and ephemeral.

    Roy! Yikes. Wait -- C5? C6? Aren't those somehow connected to Bingo?!!
    Here's to a spasm-free & realigned 2010.

  7. Ouchy. I send you good vibrations... and I congratulate you on knowing that being twisted is not a good reason to not resuscitate.

    Here's my recipe for healing:
    - Flat on back or standing straight
    - no - and I mean NO bending, squats, lifting, or riding broncs for at least three weeks
    - hot showers with pulsing water and heat pads to limit spasms
    - a sympathetic and intelligent osteopath helps too

    Best wishes!

  8. Patrice, do you realistically expect me to take a break from my bronc-riding???!!!!

    (Thanks for the positive vibes!)