Earlier this month, I was sitting out in the garage at night and fiddling with my new Clearstream 4MaxTM TV antenna (we’re finally getting rid of cable after forty-plus years, but that’s a tale for after it happens). When I stood up from the rocking chair, and it felt like I was hit in the small of my back with a baseball bat (It was definitely a bat from baseball, not cricket). I dropped face down on my work table and stayed that way for I don’t know how long. Finally the pain began to subside, so I pushed myself up. It had been many years since I did a pushup, so my arms didn’t like it. Eventually I was able to stand in a bent position and make my way into the house, slowly. I didn’t alert my wife about it because I don’t complain about such things, except when I’m writing. Besides, something similar has been happening for years. (And she figured it out soon enough, anyway).
Six years ago, when I was still at Exwork, I noticed an ache in my back, but it didn’t hurt all the time, and I didn’t associate it with a time of the year. Five years ago, I experienced short-term achy knees, elbows, and back. Which glucosamine didn’t seem to help, but I still didn’t realize what was happening. Four years ago, my back gave me a lot of trouble, and I noticed for the first time that it was occurring only in the fall. My obliviousness was due my assuming I was simply getting old, and also I just didn’t want to think about it. Oh, I have many times complained about the degristling of joints from lifting, pulling, and pushing heavy boxes, but this was something different. Three years ago, I realized it only happened in November, but I didn’t know why. That year it wasn’t so bad, but my neck bones joined in the seasonal affliction. Two years ago, after a week of using a cane to get around because my left knee felt like it was going to bend backwards and snap in half, I was able to play Wicket Pong with my youngest grandsons for two days during their week off for Thanksgiving. We played for the Golden Stump, and I believe they thought my perpetual position of bowing was part of my technique, but really I just couldn’t stand upright because my back hurt. It was then that I knew for sure it was the weather of November. Last year, it was mainly my back, though I had episodes of other aches all the way to the first week of January.
This year it began all at once, and so far it’s only my back, and now I’m convinced it has to do with atmospheric pressure. The following day I checked the weather channel on my phone and found the pressure read ↓29.somthing; I didn’t record it. But during the week I kept checking, and every time the number was in or near the thirties, I hurt the most. That Saturday I checked and it was ↑30.00 in, and my back was especially tender. I suspect that I function best when the pressure is 28 inches or less. But I need more data. I’ve started recording the daily pressure, as well as temperature and dewpoint, and rate my aching on a scale of one to three: one is fully mobile; two is walking with caution; and three is I’m tempted to borrow my mother-in-law’s walker. She moved in with us in September because she’s 90 and has a hard time getting around. (And that, too, is a tale for later.)
But here’s what’s important: every year on some unknown day of an unknown week, I wake up one morning and my back is fine, and it’s good for the rest of the year. That’s the information I want! What’s the total weather like on that morning? Is it atmospheric pressure, dewpoint, temperature? Or is it some kind of space thing, like gravitational fields on this side of the sun? I want to know!
P.S. After learning that I preferred a gas stove, my grandson, Maestro, promised he’d get me one, someday, when he becomes rich. I’d rather he spent the money on hermetically sealing my office so I can control the atmospheric environment. That’s the kind of thermostat I want: temperature 74, dewpoint 65, pressure 28, astronomical fluctuations 0 (probably need lead as insulation for that). Oh, and I want a urinal next to my desk, and hidden urinals in every room of the house for when I have to venture out.