"I don't know... they're just coming to me!"
Quick, name that movie!*
Today's topic is bending over. I have a long history of back problems, about as far back as I can remember. At one point, not sure when but somewhere between 6th and 9th grades I would guess, I was diagnosed with scoliosis. And, if you grew up in my generation, you, like me, would promptly freak out at that. Because we've all read Judy Blume, which means we've all read Deenie. Remember Deenie? Deenie was a pretty young thing, on the cusp of popularity at her school. So, like you do when you are a pretty young thing on the cusp of popularity, Deenie tries out for cheerleading. But gasp! Deenie is rejected. And why, you might ask? Deenie certainly asked. I will tell you (and Deenie) why -- and here's the part that always struck me as odd and funny -- Deenie is double gasp! crooked! Not crooked like she runs a craps game in the girl's bathroom between periods. Oh no. Deenie is crooked as in lopsided. Noticeably lopsided. Her skirt hem is uneven, y'all. Noticeably uneven.
So concerned phone calls are made all around, or maybe a concerned note was sent home, but the upside is that Deenie goes to the doctor. Where she is given the horrible, awful news that triple gasp! Deenie has scoliosis. Well, actually Deenie says Huh? Because Judy Blume was all about public service announcements in her books. Taking the totally frightening yet perfectly natural -- scoliosis, masturbation, getting your period, losing your virginity**, not getting your period, wet dreams, etc. -- and making it real for the kids. So in a Judy Blume book, it's not that you get your period and that's all cool and natural, but that you get it in front of the entire state while wearing white pants and gushing blood like Old Faithful. Meaning that the triple gasp! part in Deenie is not that Deenie has scoliosis but that she has to WEAR A BODY BRACE. For like FOUR YEARS. AT SCHOOL AND EVERYTHING.
And this is what sent millions of young girls running to their mirrors to check out their posture. In addition to the scoliosis screenings we were already receiving in PE class.
Anyhow, I was diagnosed in one of those screenings, thankfully no body brace just stretching exercises, but with that plus years of carrying heavy book bags on one shoulder and a few car accidents to boot, yadda yadda yadda, I have back problems. Which culminated in a lovely little instability around my L5 vertebrae when I was in my senior year in college. I had just gotten back from vacation where I'd gone horseback riding. Three days later, I'm hanging around my apartment -- sitting down, mind you -- when suddenly I can no longer stand up without excruating pain. Seems my L5 decided it liked the view from a 45 degree angle from the rest of my spine much better. Major ouchies.
It did this for several years, rather randomly too. Luckily it has mostly stopped doing that. But the upshot is that I've learned through the major ouchies that my bending from the waist does not always equal good things. I squat down to pick things up or else brace one arm on my thigh so that it is my legs doing the work, not my L5. This is a correlation to always lift with your legs.
Anyhow, I seem to have reached the point where my back and ab muscles are strong enough so that bending down this way is now rather awkward. But I still have that fear that if I bend from the waist I can look forward to lying flat on my back in pain for the next three days.
So, what is my point? I guess I don't really have one. My back is sore from slinging file boxes around all day yesterday, and I bend down a lot. It made me think of Deenie. I'll try to do better tomorrow. Perhaps I will share the saga of Freaky Toe and Socky Foot. It has been germinating for a few days now and is almost ripe for the telling.
And on that note...
*Ghostbusters. With the blonde chick who isn't really psychic?
** So, remember Forever? The book we all snuck home and hid from our parents and highlighted all the sex parts? Just me? Okay then. Anyhow, what I remember most from this book is how the girl had sex for the first time on this shag carpet with a scratchy blanket. So instead of the message that you should wait until the time is right for you and not have sex because everyone is doing it, but if/when you do be sure to use protection otherwise you might go through a pregnancy scare or an actual pregnancy, I got the message that when you do it you should be somewhere comfortable. Yeah, I was an interesting kid.