A few weeks ago, I woke up and felt a slight twinge in my back. It felt awkward and very slightly painful, but I put it down to sleeping “a bit funny” as it wasn’t all that bad.
Over the next couple of weeks, the pain didn’t go away. It stayed pretty much the same, never fully rearing its painful head (or back), but somehow, perpetually, just “there”.
Last Monday, it got a bit worse. I phoned the doctor in the afternoon – they said to phone back in the morning. On Tuesday I started noticing quite a bit of pain if I turned, stood up, or sat down a bit too quickly. I arranged an appointment with the doctor that afternoon.
The doctor suggested it was most likely muscular pain, and recommended taking ibuprofen three times a day for the next two weeks. Tuesday night was rough – I woke up at 3:30am in a lot of pain. As I’d taken the first painkillers at 6:30pm the night before, they’d probably worn off by this point.
I stayed home on Wednesday and Thursday, attempting to work from home – although it was tough. I could hardly move without being in pain. I came up with an idea for a makeshift standing desk – basically a small table on my regular desk. Luckily the table wasn’t too heavy, but I had to be careful lifting it. That got me through Wednesday. After that, I had a bit more luck sitting at my desk. I’d previously booked a day off on Friday, so was able to rest that day then through this weekend.
For those of us lucky enough to not deal with pain or physical difficulties on a daily basis, I quickly realised how much we do each day that uses your back. Things become a lot more difficult due to back pain or an injury. Showering, getting dressed, going up or down the stairs were all particularly tricky. Putting on socks – normally such a simple task – became something of a mission impossible.
I also noticed just how much we rely on computers. As I usually spend a lot of time talking to people in the office or on the phone, being at home is not ideal. I was able to schedule in a couple of phone calls while I was at home, but for the most part I was communicating via email and Skype IM. Cue lots of typing – and while the makeshift standing desk helped, I soon got backache from standing up for too long.
Thankfully, I’m mostly better now, but I’ll need to be more careful in future. Monday is my first commute in nearly a week – I’ll see how that goes…