(c) 2011 Sherman Lambert

(c) 2011 Sherman Lambert

Back is not the word I wanted to choose for today. But sometimes the word chooses the blogger—or so it seems.

My back has been behaving very nicely for several months now, thank you very much. I’ve been skiing, running (very slowly!), doing ZUMBA, yoga, and Pilates. What I haven’t been doing is any PT exercises beyond the ones I do in the shower every day.

Apparently, that was a big mistake. Easter Sunday—yes, the day my husband came down with strep for the first time in over a quarter of a century—my back just started hurting when I stood up after putting on my shoes. That it hurt on the opposite side, but in the same area around the vertebra that had been the problem last time, got my attention.

Uh, oh. I am so not going back to a life diminished by an immobile and aching back. Not if I can help it, anyway.

Just like last year, once again I was the person fidgeting in the choir loft—thank goodness I sit in the back and wear a long robe. In between church services I tried to find some exercises I could do discretely while wearing that robe and high heels. (Yes, this recent pain might be telling me that there is a reason I avoid high heels and that maybe no special occasion is special enough to break out those heels anymore.) However, when the guy with cancer seemed concerned about my back problems, I didn’t think he needed me to go on and on about my own pain.

My family at home, on the other hand, had to put up with my kvetching over my back-to-back aches. At least the dogs enjoyed helping me with stretching exercises by trying to crowd me off my yoga mat.

So after a restless night of not being able to find a good sleeping position, I called my former PT the next morning. I realize I’d only been in pain for around 24 hours, but—can I say it again?—I don’t want to go back to my life from two years ago.

He gave me an exercise to do again and again. This is the exercise that apparently I most needed to continue yet hadn’t.

Today I went to see the PT. Prognosis? Although he thinks I have not done any permanent damage, he does believe I have angered the nerve around that touchy vertebra. I’ve got to go back to doing that basic exercise—several times in the next week—and give up on any movements requiring bending forward or jarring my spine this week. If all goes well, next week I’ll be back in my yoga and ZUMBA classes and doing that turtle-like jog I call running.

And doing that one particular exercise forever and ever, amen. If that’s what it takes to get back on track, I’m in.