Sprained Back

Jesus - Sleepy Hollow

I’m glad that a few people like what I did at Central Park and East Harlem yesterday (or maybe it was the day before) because the day before I badly sprained my back while I was turning the mattress and changing the sheet on the futon and I should have just stayed in bed but instead, while looking at the clouds out the window I thought it would be a good day for infrared and so, barely able to walk, I took a cab up to the park, and ended up climbing up and down Central Park hills, making grunting sounds with each step and making my condition worse to the point where today has been a totally lost day – mostly in bed with a heating pad and taking hot showers every few hours and barely being able to get my pants on.

When I told my sister what I had done, she called me an idiot.  And I had to agree with her since even in the cab going uptown, each bump caused me to groan.  I had something like this about 20 years ago, but since it happens so rarely, I wasn’t really sure how bad it was or how to treat it; and at first took Tylenol which didn’t do anything; and even though I had an ice pack in the freezer, I didn’t use that either.

So those shots of Central Park cost me the big relapse, and although I have three print orders to get out, and they’ve been printed, it’s been so painful to even stand up, that I’ve gotten behind with getting them out.

To make matters worse – this morning when I was trying to make it down the stairs – picture Tim Conway doing the shuffling old man – there was a move going on and there were three guys with heavy boxes on their backs behind me – while I tried to navigate the steps.  One part of me saw it as a good comedy; if it wasn’t me I would be laughing; but it hurt to laugh so don’t write anything funny in response to this.

Yes – I know a chiropracter nearby but I don’t believe in those guys.  I’m going to just play it easy for a few days and my suspicion is that it will heal without seeing a chiropracter at the same speed – though having used chiropracters once betore – my experience was that it helped for a while after you saw them – but then it came back again.

I’m sure this is a weird thing to say, considering how much pain I’ve been in, and how difficult it was to bend down and clean out the cat’s box – but I do find it funny not to be able to do the simplest things.  I suppose it’s because I know that in a few days it will be over; and I sometimes see my life as part of a one-reel comedy.  So all I can say right now is: ouch and tag this with sprained back.

Of course if you think about it – it’s not so strange since so much comedy comes out of watching other’s painful experiences.  Watch someone slip on a banana peel – ha -ha.  You slip on the peel – not so funny unless you can sort of laugh at your own pain.  Funniest short film: THE DENTIST with W.C. FIELDS.  Similar situation, MARATHON MAN, the dentist scene, horrifying because you identify with Dustin Hoffman.


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My name is Dave Beckerman. I am a fine art photographer working in New York City.

2 thoughts on “Sprained Back”

  1. This is quite a coincidence, Dave. I’ve been staying in Queens, due to problems that some your readers may be aware of, and a few days ago an old friend of mine from the 80s stopped by and asked for old times sake if I’d like to go to a club in Brooklyn featuring the Fleshtones, a punk band from Queens that we used to follow. I thought I needed a night out to forget my problems, so I agreed to go. Unfortunately, the night was a disaster and I ended up with an injury similar to yours.

    First of all, I forgot that bands don’t get on until at least 10 PM, which is my current bedtime, so when my friend came by to pick me up, I was already yawning. The club is a converted bodega decorated with nostalgic vinyl record covers from the 80s, which is pretty cool, but I ended up spending most of time in the dungeon-like basement on two tattered sofas near the toilet because I drank two Brookln lagers and got the runs. I was also exhausted and the noise from the opening bands was ear-splitting.

    The one band I managed to stay upstairs for was the Twistaroos, with a big gorgeous blonde singer from Oslo, Norway named Vibeke Saugerstan. Vibeke was the cause of my injury. She really had the crowd going with some 60s-type pop tunes, and at one point, she jumped down off the stage and started shimmying in the middle of the crowd in this short, flapper-type dress . So naturally, everyone started shimmying around her.

    Exhausted and plagued by intestinal problems, I somehow got caught up in the moment, and, yes, started shimmying along with Vibeke. By the time she had jumped back on stage and finished her song, I was crippled. I somehow managed to pull a muscle, not in my back like Dave, but lower down in my backside region. This made it nearly impossible for me to put one leg in front of the other without great pain. I limped back downstairs into the basement, where I spent the rest of the night on the beer-stained couch.

    When my friend found me at the end of the night, he had no sympathy. He said I had missed a great show by the Fleshtones. He said he had met and talked to Little Steven Van Zandt, the famous guitarist for Springsteen’s E Street Band and Sopranos star. He said Vibeke came out for an encore with the Fleshtones. He drove me home raving about the show and ever since I’ve been hobbling around in misery.

  2. Go to the chiropracter. I sprained my back picking up the luggage my wife packed at the air port a few years ago. The next day I couldn’t even stand up. The chiropracter was very helpful.

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