When my back went snap
We’ve had kind of shitty weather lately (even though it’s August) so a sunny day is a day to embrace. On Monday, the sun shon and I packed up and headed to the local beach with the dog and Caleb.
The tide was perfect. This particular beach has a swimming section but no dogs are allowed so I’ve to scuttle down to the far end and keep a low profile with the other law breakers. There’s such a gentle slope when the tide is going out that the water is only ankle deep for ages. Really perfect for a crawler! I parked up the buggy and set up our beach mat. Caleb donned a swim nappy, t-shirt, and sun hat. Plus a sun factor of course.
Caleb is mad for the water lately. We’ve reinstated the Sunday morning swim, which for some unknown reason we’d been slacking off on, and he loves it. Also the bath is a big hit these days too, and as for the sea? He was in his element. Crawling, digging and splashing about, we had an absolute blast for an hour or so.
Just as I was about to take Caleb out of the water, I went for one last shot of swinging him between my legs with his toes sloshing in the waves. It was all giggles until BAM! My back went out. I’m not sure what happened exactly but it felt like a snap in my lower back and I knew I was in trouble. The pain was excruciating. I have no idea how, but I managed to straighten up to a certain degree and tentatively make my way back to the shore. It was only about 30ft but with the pain darting up and down my back and legs while carrying Caleb, it took me about 5 minutes to make it to the buggy.
I had to stuff a soaking wet baby into the buggy because reaching the ground simply wasn’t an option, and the second the straps were snapped shut I was overcome with dizziness and felt like I was about to pass out. Luckily there was a man near enough for me to call out to and I managed to get his attention. The thought of passing out and either falling on my already messed up back, or having Caleb left sitting there alone, was not pretty. With the lovely Mr Gent talking me though, I somehow managed to get myself to the ground while remaining conscious. I called my husband straight away and he jumped in a cab from work. It was immediately apparent to me that this wasn’t a quick fix, and weighing up the options, Mr. Gent decided I would most certainly need help getting off the beach, so an ambulance was called for. The Ambulance arrived around the same time as my husband and my sister-in-law, who was nearby too. The paramedic gave me gas and air (the same as in labor) hoping it’d relax the muscles and provide enough pain relief for me to stand or be helped off the beach at least, but it didn’t touch the pain and when they tried to move me it was clear I needed something stronger. Queue morphine and a call for back up from the fire department. Jaysus, even writing that just seems like a ridiculous amount of drama for any Monday afternoon, but while I’m not one to overplay an injury, I’m also not an idiot and I know when I need help.
The emergency services were amazing. All lovely, all attentive, all professional, all supportive. It took six burly men to manipulate me onto the stretcher and carry me the five minute walk to the ambulance. I’m sure everyone on the packed out beach got a good eyefull but there was no way I was going to do the Queens wave to the crowd, I kept a firm hand over my face to protect my (mortified) identity.
So there you have it, a beautiful few hours frolicking on the beach with my baby boy and fluffy friend ended in tears. The diagnosis wan’t clear in the end, just undetermined back spasm or something. So Monty Burns posture and no lifting my little man for the time being. It totally sucks, it really fucking hurts, and the 24 hours that I couldn’t feed Caleb due to the morphine was shit, but in the long run I should only be a week or so recovering (I hope).
There is a lesson here too. I have been ignoring niggling back pain for six years now. It was an injury I did when doing a massive clean up in preparation for Alex’s 30th birthday, and guess what? I never had it seen to. So, finally my back gave in. My GP also mentioned that the hormone which relaxes ligaments during pregnancy is still present for as long as you’re breastfeeding. That may have contributed to this happening, but realistically it was an old lingering injury that should have been attended to long ago.
On that note, one thing I know for sure is I’ll be back lifting weights and strength training my core and back after this settles down. I haven’t done any gym work since getting pregnant, which is about 20 months ago and I’ve really wanted to get back to it, but there’s a bigger picture now and I have to address this pronto and get strong again. Also a sports injury physio-therapist is on the list.