I’ll never forget walking along Perth Road and being stopped by a man.
“How’s your back?” he said. I didn’t know him. Was I walking funny? Did he know something I didn’t? “Your Tele column,” he explained. “A couple of weeks ago. You said you’d put your back out.”
Well Dave, if you’re reading this, it’s four-and-a-half years on and I’ve done it again.
Dave was full of sympathy because he is one of the estimated 10% of people who suffer with lower back pain, while it’s thought one in three of us have had to take time off work because of back and neck problems.
There I was, waking as normal on Friday morning. I sat at the kitchen table with my coffee and stood up and it went. And when I say “went” I couldn’t move.
I asked my eldest, who is seven, to call his dad on my phone as I clung to the the kitchen units unable to straighten up.
Thankfully (and touch wood) it only seems to happen every few years. I often hear people say they “put their back out” but still manage to shop or jog carefully – but for me it means not being able to move.
The last time a debilitating pang struck (as I told you and Dave right here) was as I was lifting one of the boys in his car seat to the car while living on the Perth Road.
“Help” I screamed at a passing man who looked more terrified than me “I can’t move. My back!”
As one baby rested on the pavement in his seat, the then-toddler had run away into someone’s garden and I begged the man to catch him. He obliged but clearly thought I was deranged.
Back to Friday.
Jamie rushed home while I went to lie down. It’s true what they say – trying at least to do back exercises and walk seems to be better than taking to your bed for days, though the chance would be a fine thing.
After a bit, Jamie had to make a few calls so I edged down to sit at the table again. You know that game “here comes the aeroplane” to encourage wee ones to eat up? Well, my youngest who is three, decided to turn the tables and wave his pasta around my face.
Flinching with pain, I turned to him and tried to smile – just in time to be forked in the eye.
Back pain is relatable, many of you will have your own stories of woe – I’m giving you a virtual pat on the back here in sympathy.
Being forked in the eye is probably a more niche ailment. Thankfully it was a baby fork but still, the pain was very real.
Friday started out just like any morning. By lunchtime I could barely see or walk. The joy of kids.