Wednesday, June 9, 2010

News from the Lumbar Region

Many years ago when the world was young (OK, it was 1985) I suffered a rock'n'roll injury. I was hefting an electric piano into the back of my car at the time. Tech heads may or may not be interested to learn that the machine in question was a Hohner Pianet/Clavinet Duo, a beast so chockfull of copper wire that sound engineers hated it - get it under the lights and it would start to hum of its own accord.

It also weighed a lot: around 0.7 Hernias on the Hammond scale. To cut a long story short (I'm sure you both have many other things with which you might be occupying yourselves) I ruptured a disc In my lower back, causing sciatica and necessitating surgery and much physiotherapy. The latter was especially memorable (the former being completely unmemorable, at least to me, by virtue of the miracle of anaesthesia). Frustrated by the necessity of much post-operative lying about doing nothing, I arose from my convalescent bed far too soon after the op, the result being that all the diodes muscles down my right side seized up, squashing the intervening connective tissue together like so much congealed lasagne.

Eventually I was referred to the University sports physio, an enormous Yorkshireman with arms like thighs who must in his youth have played prop forward for Hull Kingston Rovers. As were I a burger, he flipped me on my front, and pummelled my back with his steam-hammer fists until I was black and blue. "Don't worry about t' bruising son," quoth he, "that's just me". I went into his consulting room a misshapen cripple - I came out walking tall, and didn't have another moment's worry about my back injury.

Until last Saturday.

That morning saw me walking along, carrying nothing more than the clothes I was stood up in, and between one step and the next - click - something went in my back, pains shot up and down my right leg, and all of a sudden Wham! Was in the charts with I'm Your Man. Four days later I am supine and in some discomfort, waiting for some physio or an MRI or something. I have already had several CAT scans...
Cat scan
One inconvenience of this setback is that sitting down in a chair is particularly painful. Computer work is almost impossible ( as is driving for more than about half a mile). I must either lie down or stand up. This is where having an iPad has been a lifesaver. Despite my trauma I have been able to carry on with my work more or less unimpeded.

A couple of posts ago, in my first impressions of the iPad, I wrote that I couldn't compose posts in Google Blogger on the iPad, thus relieving depriving my public of my occasional marginalia.

Au contraire, squire, au contraire.

This post - composed in the wee small hours of the morning, as Ol' Blue Eyes put it - has been conceived and executed entirely on the iPad. Sure, the functionality is a little limited - you can write only in HTML mode, and cannot see how things look in 'compose' mode - but at least one can do something, and my few remaining quibbles with the iPad are disappearing like the pain in my leg isn't, which is why I'm up at this hour to begin with. At least I now have something to do.


  1. And how you felt today Henry. I guess there's no pain in 2010?

  2. Owwww.

    Grrl has a back problem at the moment too - a gym related injury. She's not as bad as you, though. She can still sit down and blog. She also now appreciates the power of a good hot water bottle.

    BTW, parrot scans are better than cat scans. At least they make loud noises, like they're doing something.

  3. Poor Grrl! Please send best wishes.