A ‘crick’ in my neck

Or “How the Entropic Nature of the Universe Exerts Its Influence on My Life Using Soft Sheets”

[Originally published August 2008 in another blog]

Don’t worry, this will be short. The Percocet is in full effect and I’m feeling very sleepy.

Had I known that the best night’s sleep I’d had in months would result in some of the worst pain I had felt in years, I would have… I would’ve…  OK, I don’t know exactly what I would’ve done, but I’m certain I would have done something. And to be betrayed, as I most certainly was, by my own bed linen… Well, that’s beyond the rational mind to analyze.

So, here’s my analysis so far. I remember watching one of those factual TV shows about dinosaurs or paper clips or ice road truckers or some such. The kind of show where all those neat facts should be dumped into short-term memory for later insertion into long-term memory, then later still recalled while you’re on Jeopardy and winning tens of thousands of dollars.

I just sneezed and the resulting spasm of pain has reminded me why I’m writing this, so enough with the digressing.

I was in bed watching one of the aforementioned type of shows and began to realize how incredibly comfortable the bed and the sheets felt. No matter what position I shifted to, I could not get into an uncomfortable position. Everywhere was cool and soft and cushy. It was in this last comfortable position that I awoke seven and a half hours later, apparently not having budged an inch. With a crick in my neck.

Decades earlier I remembered having a crick in my neck—can you have a crick anywhere else?—but I don’t remember it hurting this much. Even before getting out of bed I put the heating pad to work on it, then stretched my neck and shoulder muscles to loosen them a little. After making the traitorous bed (to hide its shame, of course), a nice long hot shower. Which didn’t seem to be helping. Actually, nothing I’d done seemed to do anything but make it hurt worse after a while.

Google is a great resource, but it works best when used. I finally looked up “crick” and “neck” and discovered that it isn’t a tightening of the muscles as I had thought (for decades). It’s when the ligaments of the neck become overly stretched and tear, such as when one is watching TV on soft sheets with two pillows under one’s head and doesn’t move for seven and a half hours. Therefore, there are certain things you should not do if you have a crick.

  • You should not use a heating pad.
  • You should not stretch.
  • You should avoid hot showers.

Note to reader: The lightly-edited section above was the text of an e-mail to my work explaining why I was absent today and would likely be absent tomorrow.  It ended a little abruptly as I was fighting with the spell checker, which seemed to be implying via its frequent use of dotted little underlines that I was quickly losing the ability to spell.  As noted at the beginning of this post, it was written under the influence of chemical happiness and it is to that I attribute my temporary misunderstanding of the word “short” and my renewed relationship with the word “unconscious”.  Jump ahead several hours…

The Perc has worn off.  My neck is alternately cold, wet and hurting, or it’s dry and hurting.  Life is once again a heaping pile of poo.  There are no comfortable positions for me tonight, there are only painful and slightly less painful positions.  The pain meds will have to wait until I become naturally tired.  I’ve slept so much today that I’m afraid their induced sleep will hold little or no actual rest.  All that said, my neck does feel somewhat better.

That’s all for now.  Generation Kill is on HBO.