Scott's View: Call me Count Backula
By Scott Anthony
For those who have not heard, I am another one of the walking wounded, one among the gazillions of back pain sufferers around the world who spend their days either recovering from a back injury or nearing the onset of one and it seems that no amount of therapy, book reading, supplements or surgery can stave off the inevitability of another visit by the 'vertebra with a vendetta.'
So for me to climb a ladder, stack some firewood or risk a round of golf, and then have a few days of freedom from a back attack is a pretty good victory, that is, until the other day when I went to get out of my van. Swinging my legs out first, I leaned over to grab a shopping bag and ‘zzzoink’…it was like those cartoons where the freshly-dazed character has little stars and birds circling around their head.
It is my personal theory that human evolution has not progressed quite far enough from the knuckle-dragging primates that are said to be our predecessors and that walking fully upright is an imperfect practice that perhaps should be avoided. As it was, after a satisfying morning of stacking firewood, I was hunched over like an oversized letter ‘C’ with legs. For the next four days at least, I lurched my way around the house, one shoulder higher than the other, half-dragging my right foot: a beast a in bad B-grade horror movie. The dogs even avoid me when I shuffle by and Mrs. A is more than a little exasperated because when this happens, I also tend to moan and gripe a lot.
But, my friends, hope truly does spring eternal and today it was my turn for some goodness. I called my friends Ann and Ed, owners of 'Massage for World Peace', (a quizzical name, but a worthy goal.) I pulled into Ed's driveway and when he saw me slither out of the seat of the van, he said, “Oh NO Scotty…not AGAIN.”
Ed is trained in multiple healing disciplines and he is well acquainted with my history of spine trouble.
He grabbed my arm and helped me into his office, saying, “I’ve got exactly what you need, pal.”
“You mean, a mint julep and a winning lotto ticket?” I wished.“No,” he explained, “something better!” And there in front of me was a strange contraption that looked like a chaise lounge mounted on a triangular stand with straps and leg irons, vaguely reminiscent of a medieval torture device.
“You’re gonna love this, buddy,” he said and he had me lean on the rack portion while he clamped the leg irons over my ankles. “Is this because of that $30 dollars I owe you…because I know I’m late and I ..” “Shhhhh,” he said and he proceeded to tip my feet up in air until small change fell from my pocket and my ball cap went asunder and that’s when I felt a ‘popping’ sensation. “WOW.” I cried. “Did you hear that!” Ed smiled (at least I think he smiled, or else he frowned…I was upside down) and said, “See, pal…it’s called an inversion table…gravity is a good thing if you know how to use it!”
And so there I was, blood rushing to my head, looking for all the world like a piece of ugly, low hanging fruit, but, oddly, feeling pretty good. Ed left me there while he answered the phone and I didn’t mind (though I did begin to wonder if this is how Vampires sleep) and when he returned and tipped me back over, I nearly begged him to leave me upside down. Ed graciously offered to let me come by anytime for a ‘flip’ and I do believe I’ll take him up on this. This evening as I write this, I’m feeling better than I have for nearly a week. And though Ed said there are no side effects, I find that I’m inclined to stay up real late now, combing my hair into a widow’s peak. I wonder if that old tuxedo I have came with a cape?