“There is always a first time for most things!” pontificated my wise friend Sarah, when I told her that now, for the first time in my life, I have a backache!
 
“It’s just, I tell her, that people around me complain to me all the time of aching backs and I was so happy never to have one, but now it seems to me that it could be contagious” I said to Sarah.
 
“Contagious or not, just don’t neglect it!” she said to me.
 
Of course I neglected it, I hate trekking to doctors whose clinics are way off, and where I sit and wait looking at year-old magazines... I am also not too fond of over-devoted friends like Sarah, who became a pain in the neck and called me every day saying:
 
“Well, did you see the doctor?”
 
I had excuses, like my cousin would be isiting me, I always have a cousin visiting me when I need an excuse for something, or I have to visit sick friends, or I have to take my radio to the repair shop, the excuse of having to wait for an electrician or a TV man has been used too often.. And then I finally ran out of excuses and Sarah was really driving me up a tree.
 
So I went to see the doctor. He looked at my x-ray with a very serious expression on his face.
 
“What? What?, I cried, am I going to die?”
 
“No, he assured me, but I see you have an old fracture on your spine, maybe 30 or 40 years old!”
 
Can’t be, I insisted, I don’t remember falling or getting hurt, even as far back as 30 years,, and why should a fracture keep silent for 30 years, not say anything at all and then suddenly decide to speak up?”
 
“This is between you and your fracture, said the doctor, but I’ll send you to some physiotherapy!”
 
Two weeks later, and to Sarah’s great delight, I went to physiotherapy. A young and very pretty physiotherapist by the name of Iris received me.
“When does your back hurt, what causes it to hurt?”
 
“That’s why I am here, you tell me!”
 
I informed her that I do some kind of sports every day, working out in the gym, light aerobics, swimming, yoga!”
 
“I do yoga too, she told me, what exactly do you do in your yoga class?”
 
I stood in front of her and demonstrated some exercises starting with the ‘downward dog’ and going on from there!
 
“Wow, she exclaimed , I could never do that!!! Show me some more, maybe I will learn some of them and do them at home!”
 
She sat down and I stood up and kept on demonstrating my yoga. Suddenly it occurred to me that our roles were somehow reversed, she sat there learning and I stood there teaching.
 
At on moment she remembered her duty and said:
 
“Let’s stop now and I will apply some electrical vacuum to your back, you just lie down on your stomach!”
 
I lied down on my stomach, the table had a hole for my face so that I could breathe.
 
The breathing was no problem, but restlessness was. The girl set the clock to twenty minutes and it’s unbelievable how long 20 minutes can last! I was lying there looking down that hole and counting the minutes until release. I felt trapped, imprisoned, deprived of my living space and miserable all along. Iris was treating somebody else in the adjoining room.
 
“Iris, I shouted, I’ve got enough! I want out of here!”
 
“You are such a nice woman, said Iris, but you are a terrible patient! All I want is to help you!”
 
I jumped down from the table which caused another exclamation of admiration from Iris.
 
“You jumped down, you jumped down, I can’t believe it!”
 
Has she helped me? I really don’t know!
 
My back still hurts a bit, but when I threaten it that I will take it to Iris again, it calms down. Seems I’ll have to manage on my own.
 
Lucca




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