Oh lordy, lordy, lord, I’m suffering from Man Back. Man Back you question? Let me explain a little better.
The man in my life has been throwing himself, body and disheartened soul, into violent, frantic polytunnel site preparation work. This on a long, dry, light-filled summer’s day would be a pleasant enough job: you know the sort of thing; working up a bit of a sweat, mildly but not unpleasantly aching muscles resulting in huge satisfaction at work accomplished. As it is work has taken place during dank, semi-dark days of relentless rain, in a mud morass, a glooping energy-sapping quagmire. Hundreds of tonnes of stone, chippings and an insy-winsy hired mini tracked dumper truck were being sucked avariciously downwards into the bowels of the earth. Distraught, as once again the little dumper slurped to a sinking halt in the quicksand of dirty yellow-grey clay, Olly and him of the wide shoulders and snake hips decided to dig out and stone with frenzied revenge a 50 metre or so of trackway so the work could continue. It did, perfectly, with no more mechanical breakdowns save that of the man’s back.
Sympathy was poured out and hot baths with soothing oils were run. Fevered brows were stroked and tender muscles administered too. Words of praise at works accomplished were sung.
The night was long and difficult. It was full of tossings, turnings, groanings and moanings. Sleep was not a big feature. Being rolled out of bed and asked very loudly if I was being disturbed was. The following morning the pain had become terminal and walking, standing, sitting or lying was no longer an option.
I collected together tinctures for the body, remedies for the psychic and unguents of macerated comfrey, hypericum and arnica infused with essential oils for the back. In case these alternative options were unsuccessful I stocked up with conventional pain killers and ibubofrin rubs.
Another night of restless agitation followed. The man and the back were not responding. Life had taken a downturn. Hopelessness and depression had set in. There was only one thing for it now a back amputation or emergency osteopathic treatment. The latter was chosen and in full ambulance mode I transported the not so patient patient to the osteopath. Within seconds the problem was diagnosed as acute lumbar muscle something-or-other and with appropriate massage and manipulation the said muscle was undone and unstrung and living was on the cards again!
We are progressing – slowly. Of course anything like washing up, picking-up clothes, bringing in wood, emptying the compost bucket, fetching a glass of water and…and…and is completely out of the question. So now you understand; Man Back is (now I’ve experienced it) very similar to Man Flu.