I’ve been conspicuously absent for the past few weeks and I’ve bloody missed writing about stuff on here. I’ve got so much to say. Sadly, it wasn’t hedonistic pleasure keeping me away but a painful neck. I know I keep rolling out this excuse but this one runs and runs.
It all started in 2004. I went to bed at night feeling fine and woke up the next morning with my neck cricked to one side, like some kind of gay mutant pirate with a vacant shoulder space ripe for a parrot to land on. We were off to London that day to see The Scissor Sisters in concert. I loaded up on painkillers and gingerly stepped on to the train clutching my painful parts. It was a painful day, nauseating pain that seared through my arm and face but it gradually died down and my muscles loosed thanks to a cocktail of painkillers.
We were in London overnight and decided to do something we’d never done before (or will again), namely, visit Madame Tussauds. I preferred Louis Tussauds in Blackpool with its hideously deformed dummies which bore no resemblance to anything human, never mind a celebrity. I enjoyed guessing who they were before being proved wrong on looking at the hastily typed labels. “Is it Elton John? Oh, no...It’s the Queen.”
There was an amazing Rose West head too which I thought was pure class, as well as a mechanical tableau of the girl from “The Exorcist” in the scene where she spews the pea soup and shouts “Your mother sucks cocks in Hell!” Naturally I had to shout this for her and got a few glares. Madame Tussauds was dull by comparison.
We trotted through past a Simon Cowell and a Britney and eventually came to a thing which was a horror walk. It warned not to enter if you had a nervous disposition. I have a nervous disposition. We were only a few minutes in and I was all jittery after a man jumped out on us and a woman soaked in fake blood stroked my face in the semi-darkness. A huge bloke in a tattered strait jacket ran at me with a meat cleaver and suddenly my neck went again. It’s never been the same since. I enjoyed the gig but saw it from a sideways view as I was stuck in a spasm.
I’ve spent money on physiotherapy, had free physiotherapy through work, seen chiropractors and osteopaths, been massaged, laid on heat packs, rubbed on creams, popped pills, done exercises, applied cold packs and generally been bloody miserable. I’ve adapted my workspace, done ergonomic assessments and avoided activities that flare it up. I’ve adapted my posture, been taped up to force posture adaptation and ripped the tape off again losing hair in the process. I’ve cycled through a variety of pillow types, worn a collar and not worn a collar. Maybe I should bite the bullet and actually see a doctor about it! Eight years is a long time. It comes and goes but when it’s bad it’s like a toothache down my arm and in my face and I creak and crack like a set of castanets.
Sadly what seems to not help is using the computer. It’s hateful. I love writing and hate to be denied an activity. I will overcome. I think years of slouching over a book, hunching over computers and leaning over the beds of sick people at work have left me misaligned and knotted up. One physio once expressed shock that rather than a sports injury, I had a reading injury. I was very very proud that day. I love my inner nerd.
In my youth, I had aspirations to be a chronic invalid. Not any more, though, it’s incredibly dull. It involves lying on a heat pack for hours watching rubbish television and not the languid hours in a bath chair with a manservant reading aloud to me which I’d hoped for. There’s no airy sanatorium or hunky Swedish masseur to stroke it better. Damn you life for not having me born into a 1930s aristocratic family.
It is on the mend slowly and I’m being cautious. I’ll be here. Sadly for you, this won’t keep me down for long. Right, where did I put those pills and the warm poultice?