Monday, October 25, 2010

Of Backs and Baths

I think it's official: I inherited my dad's predisposition for back injuries.

I've noticed that, a lot of the time when I eat too much, my lower back gets stiff. I don't know if this is from holding myself in an odd posture to alleviate stomach discomfort, or if the excess food does something weird to my bones, but it happens. On Friday, I consumed an entire bag of Doritos in a day, and Sunday I noticed the familiar faint ache in my back. I thought little of it, and went about my day as usual, working and stopping for a gulp of water when I felt thirsty. Well, one of my gulps was poorly timed, and part of it ended up in my lungs. I coughed to clear it out, bent down to grab a box, coughed again, and suddenly there was searing pain in my lumbar region.

Fortunately, it subsided, but not completely. I toughed it out through work, which was probably a bad idea. By the time I left (after 6 more hours of standing at a food prep counter and carrying crates of snacks out to the shopping floor), I was in so much pain I kept getting dizzy, and could only hobble home (unfortunately carrying a rather heavy bag with me) like an old woman, stopping periodically to bend over and stretch my overloaded spinal column.

I pretty much spent today in bed. They say lying around is the worst thing you can do when you have a back injury, but obviously they have no idea what sitting or standing feels like. I figure as long as I change positions frequently and stretch whenever I think about it, I'm doing the best I can do.

And because I felt like a deserved a treat after all that suffering, I topped off the afternoon with a nice hot shower. They say (probably the same "they" that give such terrible back injury advice) that taking a shower uses more water than taking a bath, thus making eco-conscious folks like me feel guilty every single time we shower. Today, I tested the claim, plugging the tub while taking my shower. I took an extra long one, thoroughly washing my face with special exfoliating soap, conditioning my hair, and stopping periodically to enjoy the hot water. When I was done, the water in the tub barely covered my ankles. I don't know about you, but when I take a bath, I definitely fill the tub higher than ankle deep.

So, while my comfort meter is dragging in the dirt, I'm still happy to know that even my most self-indulgent showers are more eco-friendly than I was led to believe. I think the score is even.


Tariq said...

I think a lot depends on the shower head's flow rate. I know there's been a trend in recent years for high efficiency shower heads. They had them in the dorms on campus: high pressure water that *hurt*, especially coupled with the fact that unless you got in the shower by 6:30, there was only cold water. It was miserable in the winter. Dorms make men out of boys, except when they just make boys who hate showering.

Valerie said...

You should have learned to shower in the afternoon. No one does that. My water doesn't hurt! I really like our showerhead. Aside from the fact that it's too big for my hanging shower caddy, which necessitated me spending 25 dollars on a big new shelving system.

Anonymous said...

Ok, so I have to ask, what is a "long shower" for you? Cause I could definitely stay in there for like 30 min. In which case my waters more than a generous ankle's deep...
Man, now I really want to take a shower!!

ps remember those days when we would walk across the AU campus and your hair would freeze to icicles by the time we made it to Kettering? yikes...

Valerie said...

A long shower for me is maybe like 15 minutes. I don't have the patience for 30 minutes, even when the water is soooo nice and warm! I'm glad I don't have to walk to Kettering in the winter any more! I think if I did, I'd be showering AFTER class, and not before!