The pain in my ass and driving to LA

I have an acute lumbar strain. I’ve been suffering with this for a week. Its’ getting better, but slowly. I’m no longer 24.Though literally a pain in my ass (though mostly right above my ass), the experience has been instructive:

I’ll never really know how I did it. I suspect it awas a combination of abuse over several days – as the situation became gradually worse over several days.

If you can stand up, sit down and walk on your heels and then on your toes – you likely have just a muscle problem. You haven’t screwed up your spine.

A hot bath has been the single most effective treatment I’ve found for it. A hot shower, on the other hand, makes it far worse. Standing in one place and turning in a tight circle (and what else do you do in a shower?) all aggravate my situation.

Chronic pain drives my beer consumption up by 50%. (So that’s three beers/night instead of two – before anyone plans an intervention.) And so you know, Ibuprofin, even at 800mg, is not contraindicated with alcohol. I’m fine. Stop blocking the TV.

A week later, I’m at about 70% (up from my low of 45%), and it only hurts when I do something (like stand, or walk). It no longer throbs at night – and I’m fairly stoked about that.

And I can sit indefinitely – which is quite fortunate. Because I only missed a day and a half from work. There was nothing that preventred me from being able to drive a 16′ moving van to LA to fetch some followspots.

In California, the sign says “trucks and vehicle towing trailers – 55 mph”. The normal speed limit is 70 mph. I now know that “truck” in this sense means something with more than two axles. I didn’t know that on the way in – so I split the difference and averaged 65 mph.

No one wants to see your Ryder moving van in a weigh station. Drive on by. (I actually learned this lesson years ago).

Sometimes I have sat on a Phoenix freeway and thought “this is almost as bad as LA…”. And I was wrong.

If your company issues you a gas card for a particular brand of station, take some time, use the internet, and find all the locations for that brand along your route. There was a Shell station in Quartzsite, and had I known that, I would have saved myself a hundred rads of stress. I coasted into the Tonopah Shell on fumes, and only because I turned off the AC for the last 50 miles.

The guy comp’d my refill of coffee, though. That was cool.

Now you know.