Back Inaction

Two points you should know about this blog post before going any further:

1) It will consist of things you will probably find hard to take seriously.

2) It was not my intent to write this blog, at least not today.

Writing isn't an easy thing to do.  I could go on and on about the mental, emotional, and social difficulties that come with making a go of being a writer.  Honestly, if I haven't gone on and on about those things before now, I probably will at some point down the line.

Here's the thing no one ever really thinks about, though: the physical problems that come from writing. 

No, seriously.

I'm a pretty fragile guy, I will admit that.  I have more ailments than is generally found in a person not living in a bubble.  I drew the short straw in the genetic pool.  But I also exacerbate a lot of my problems by writing.

Let's look at right now, for example.  I'm doped up on pain killers and this is the longest I've been vertical the entire day.  This is all because my upper back spasmed and the got progressively worse over the course of the morning, until I had no choice but to leave work, come home, pop pills, and lie on a heating pad.

And that was my upper back -- it's usually my lower back that goes out.  I was actually laid up 2 days before my wedding day because of my chronic back problems.

This all makes sense if you consider the fact that I spend upwards of 12 hours a day sitting at a desk, and probably another 1 to 2 on a couch in front of a TV.  I was also born Pectus excavatum which, while I had surgery for it when I was five, it left behind some physical issues (and a couple of major scars).  Needless to say, said physical issues have only been made worse by insane desire to write.

Funny enough, my back issues usually take a backseat to my carpal tunnel syndrome.  I've gotten a number of cortisone shots in my wrists to pat down the inflammation, but I've reached my limit.  At my last doctor's appointment I was told that surgery was basically my only option.  So that's something to look forward to.

All this is to say that writing has been strangely destructive to my body.  But who would ever even consider such a thing?  If you had told me 30 years ago that problems that could be attributed to writing would have me laid up in bed, I would have looked at you like you were crazy.

Not for nothing, but this could just be one more reason why writers drink.  Alcohol definitely helps with inflammation and pain, at least in the short term.  It also helps with all those mental, emotional, and social issue I mentioned earlier.  Sadly, it also only helps with those problems in the short term, too.

It'll be interesting to see which goes first: my mind or my body.  Right now, I'd say they're running neck and neck.