I missed a day of work last week due to a back injury. The cause is unclear. It is becoming a pretty common occurrence that I throw my back out, about once a year now. From the time I injure my back to the time the symptoms arise are usually days apart. I blame this recent flare up my son Eric. We played basketball a few days before and it was a hard fought battle. We cannot simply play a friendly game of one on one. We have to play like the loser will be decapitated and his head will be placed on a spike like the Mayans of Copan.

I must win, I can never lose or I will never hear the end of it. Eric is now taller than I am and is 16 but he is still kinda awkward and has not really learned to use his longer arms and legs properly so I was able to squeak by and beat him for what might be my final father/son basketball victory. If I were smart I would retire now while I’m still on top.

The exertion of that game caught up to me days later when I suddenly discovered I could not move. I was out of Ibuprofen so I took what I could find, which was generic Tylenol. Apparently I am allergic to generic Tylenol so the room started spinning which lasted for a couple of days.

The first time I threw my back out was in 2000 after I moved a tv. In the year 2000 tvs were heavy and square, in case there are any children reading this. A few days later I was home alone, my wife left to go to her mother’s. As she was pulling out of the driveway I bent down to pick up a piece of paper and down I went. And there I laid…..for hours. I could not get up, I did not yet have a cell phone and could not even crawl to the landline phone for the intense pain. Suddenly those, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” commercials were not so funny. I could have used a life alert buttons at that moment.

I have not thrown my back out to the point I could not get up since then. Now I have a cell phone and Siri to help me if it happens again. If you tell Siri that you have fallen and cannot get up she starts listing hospitals, their distances and ratings. She will even tell you jokes until until the paramedics arrive.