vrijdag, februari 17, 2006

An old injury revisited.

Back in the early 80's, I lived on a sailboat in the Monterey harbor for a couple of years. That's really not really the subject of the post, but here are a couple of pictures of me, my backyard, and the schooner I lived on.

Maybe eventually I'll write down some of the stories of how I ended up buying and living on a boat, and what the life of a boat bum was like but for this story, the important thing to know is that the boat was moored out in the bay, not in a slip. That means that in order to get out to the boat, I would row, row, row my (little) boat, gently down the . . . umm . . marina

and into the harbor to my big boat.

I usually did this at least a couple times a day because I shared the boat with the best dog in the whole, wide world, Blue, and Blue, being the best dog in the whole, wide world, never ever peed in the boat. Not even on the deck.

She did throw up once in a storm while we were sailing, but then, so did every human being on board, so I didn't begrudge her that. But Blue's not the reason for this post, either, although the life we shared deserves several.

Sometimes, if there was a storm, I wasn't able to row so gently. The reason for this post has to do, peripherally, with one of those times. When the sea was rough and I had to get to land, I would frequently take a shortcut. Instead of rowing all the way in (about 6 - 8 city blocks), I would just row to Fisherman's wharf (about 2 city blocks).

Once there, I would secure the oars, tie the dinghy up underneath the wharf, then, standing on the "seat" in the middle of the dinghy, I would reach up and grab the sides of big hole in the pier decking next to an old diving bell that would take tourists to the bottom of the harbor. Then I would haul myself up through the hole. I had to do this gently, because if I pushed off the dinghy too hard, it was likely to swamp. Once through the hole, it was easy to take the stairs up to the topside of the wharf.

It was a little dicey at times because the dinghy would sway up and down with the surf and side to side with the tide. Anyway, one time while I did this, just after I caught hold of the sides of the hole, the dinghy dropped several feet before I was ready for it. I held on, but by the time the dinghy rose to the level of my feet again and I could drop down into it, I had really screwed up my shoulder. In reality, I also injured my back.

From that time on, I've had trouble with my back and shoulder going out of alignment. I've gone to lots of chiropractors but have only had temporary relief. I've said several times to friends that I feel like someone just needs to take a hammer and pound my spine back into place.

Well. Imagine my surprise today as I'm lying on the table in my manual therapist's office and I see him pick up a mallet. He then gets one of those little rubber things that docs use on your knee to test your reflexes and he places that on one side of my spine. Then, and I swear I'm not making this up, he starts hammering. On. My. Spine. With a hammer.

And you know what? It kinda hurt.

The pounding, in truth only 6-8 blows total, got progressively harder. With the last one, which was very hard, I felt an electric shock and literally saw flashes of light. Then I started laughing because it was so incredibly absurd and perfect. "Ja", he said. "Is beter?"

Ja, beter.

I love this country.


Anonymous Anoniem said...

Hammering at the spine of a lawyer? That was dangerous all the way round ;-) Glad it all worked out.

Btw, I think it's pretty cool that your mom accesses the internet to check out your site and you leave her tips in navigating. Welcome aboard, Scott's mom.

6:29 p.m.  

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