Saturday, December 1, 2007

Status report on my bruised back

I'm half way through the fourth day since I slipped on ice and banged up my back, and I thought I'd end the week with a status report.

When I arrived home after the accident on Wednesday, I hobbled upstairs to my bed and watched a DVD of Santa Clause 3. When I tried to get up from the bed, I couldn't. My back muscles were having severe spasms, one after the other, as I tried to rise up from the bed. My wife had to help me get up. I was pretty sore for the rest of the day. The only way I could keep the spasms and pain away was to stand or sit with my body perfectly balanced over my feet. I knew I'd never survive the bed, so I tried to sleep in a chaise chair. That didn't work, either. I had four extra cushions on the chair -- two for sitting and two behind my back to keep me from leaning back. I couldn't tilt the chair, because I had to keep my body aligned with the vertical. I ended up with 45 minutes of sleep that night. I didn't have much pain when I walked, stood still, or sat straight. I was just so full of stress that I couldn't go to sleep.

Things improved during Thursday. I had fewer muscle spasms, and I was able to get by with two extra cushions on the chair, one for sitting and one for my back. Thursday night was another bad night for sleep -- 2 hours between the night and naps the next day. But, I was able to see improvement in my condition, and that gave me hope.

Friday was a much better day. I was able to walk normally, climb stairs faster, and sit for longer periods of time. Friday night was a big improvement. No extra cushions on the chair, and two hours sleep during the night and an hour the next day in naps. As an experiment I tried taking a nap in my bed and did get half an hour, but when I tried to get up I had several mild muscle spasms due to trying to lift my body off the bed. Later in the evening I actually got sleepy before I tried to go to sleep that evening. In the two previous nights, I wouldn't be sleepy at all until just before the sun came up.

I felt pretty good today, and helped my wife put up our two Christmas trees, and I vacuumed the needles off the floor after we were finished. Tonight will be another night on the chair. I got two hours sleep last night, and my goal is a new PB tonight with three hours sleep :)

I've been worried that I might have a bone fracture. However, I have no tender spots anywhere on my back. When my wife rubs the ointment on my back, she does so with significant pressure, and I think if I had a stress fracture, I would feel pain from her massaging.

I'm very grateful that I didn't have bone fractures or broken bones. At my age, a fall like that could be serious. I'm grateful for the effect of running on my body, and I'm grateful for the supplements that I take to insure that I have proper nutrition.

Until I get more sleep at night, I don't think I'll do any walking or running. My body is suffering from hight stress, and it doesn't need more from walking or running.


  1. As I was preparing to sleep last night, I decided to do another experiment with my bed, and I slept in the bed for an hour. I didn't have any muscle spasms while I tried to get up from the bed, but to avoid the spasms I had to move slowly and keep my body aligned with the vertical. And, after I was up on my feet, I had to stand there for a couple of minutes, to let my back muscles relax, before I slowly walked out of the room. This experiment was good news. My back is much stronger now that it was yesterday afternoon when I attempted to nap on my bed.

  2. I got almost 4 hours sleep last night and made a new post-slip PB. That is good news and a good end to an interesting week.

  3. I'm so happy to hear you don't have bone fractures or broken bones. Indeed, at OUR age, a fall like that could be serious.

    We don't get much snow nor rain, but last week when it did rain we get "black ice" when the oil that lays dormant for months rises to the surface, can be as dangerous as ice! Your accident is a vivid warning that I need to be more careful too.

  4. I had a good 5 hours of sleep last night, so my body is getting stronger. The first hour was in my bed. After that hour, I got out of bed and went downstairs to the chase chair. It seemed a little easier for me to get out of bed than it did the night before.

  5. It's interesting, Bruce, that you call those oil spots "black ice". I think of "black ice" being real ice that is transparent such that the blackness of the asphalt shows through. Those oil spots can be very slick, and calling them "black ice" is an appropriate and wise name.

  6. Great to hear you're coming back with 5-hours of straight, sound sleep. Some bed mattress are too soft for the back, have you thought about putting a board under the mattress to make it more firm for your back?

  7. Our mattress is pretty firm. Before I slipped I had no problems getting my seven hours of sleep. My problem right now is just related to the damaged muscles and also stress from the accident. I've been getting more sleep day by day, indicating my back muscles are regaining their strength and my body is handling more of the stress.

  8. I've been getting 5-6 hours sleep that past few days. Yesterday was a landmark day! I didn't have the dull ache in my back that I've been having, and my buttocks weren't sore. I felt fine the whole day! I did have soreness in my buttocks during the night though -- sleeping on a chase chair isn't the most comfortable...

    I'm still not able to sleep in my bed longer than an hour. I get in and out of the bed ok, but my back muscles are tight when I get out, and I have to walk around for a couple of minutes while they loosen up. Still, I've recovered a lot since my injury on Wednesday of last week, exactly one week ago.

  9. A few days ago I had a breakthrough in getting sleep. I found that if I alternated sleeping in the bed and in the chase chair, I could get 6-7 hours of good sleep.

    When I first did this, I slept in each location for an hour and got 6 hours of sleep that night. The hour in the chase chair gives my back muscles a rest such that they can handle the bed again.

    During the last two nights I've slept in the bed for the first two hours of the night and then alternated the two places with about 1 hour 15 minutes in each place. My sleeping for two hours in the bed is a good sign of recovery.

  10. If you could add another chair you might be able to play "musical chairs!" :)

    Happy to hear your back is healing and you're showing signs of improvement!!

  11. As I explained in my post about my jog yesterday, my tail-bone is pretty sore when I run. I'm doing my buttock exercises to strengthen those muscles.

    The good news is that my back feels fine. The minor soreness that I felt in my back and that started two days after I fell is gone. The only time I have a tendency for a spasm is when I've been lying bed for a couple of hours and then get out of bed. I'm ok as long as I keep my body straight such that my center of gravity is over my hips.

    I'm getting 6-7 hours of good sleep each night, alternating between my bed and the chaise chair, as I explained in a previous comment to this post.