Saturday, July 15, 2006

Life's Little Ironies

A waiting room is not my favorite place to be. I'm going to have my fill of one before long - what with physical therapy twice a week for my back.

I find most waiting rooms somewhat sterile in their decor and only moderately comfortable. Often there is not enough seating and what there is is crammed together to the extent that physical contact with the person sitting next to you is hard to avoid.

But I try to be upbeat and ignor the reason I am there. Obviously something is wrong with me. I'm hurting, or sick and most likely cranky because of it. But the bright side is I usually have a chance to catch up on some reading. It's wise to take your own material if you want to read anything more current than 1985.

But back to the back situation. With this therapy thing I look around at my fellow clients and am thankful that my ailment is no worse than it is. I actually find the choice of reading material amusing. This is physical therapy mind you. The magazines include Sporting News, Tennis, Vigor and Sports Illustrated to name a few. Wow. Talk about wishful thinking!

1 comment:

Kathleen said...

That's hilarious--about the magazines, not your sore back, poor thing.

An anthropological take on back pain: it's partly (some would say largely) cultural. Back pain as a widespread medical problem is found mostly in affluent, developed countries. The causes can include things like a way of life that encourages or requires lots of sitting, combined with a lifestyle where machines do much of the work that used to keep our muscles in shape. But causes can also include psychological things specific to different cultures, like "storing" anger or frustration, even depression, in our backs. In other cultures, these feelings also manifest themselves physically, but in different parts of the body.

In my case, I have experienced muscle spasms in my back so severe I could barely move and had to get about with a cane. In every case, my back went out the evening before some event that was causing me anxiety, including, I'm sorry to say, returning to the classroom after summer break (just one more week, that's all I ask!)

Take care of yourself, Mari. I feel your pain!