31 July 2016


Before I start my weekly post I must tell all who commented on an earlier post about the WASHING MACHINE that I have received a BRAND NEW MODEL plus twelve months free insurance. 

Okay, moving on to a new subject: 


For years I have suffered with a wonky back but attendance at a chiropractor’s surgery made living with a wonky back more bearable. It was mainly due to taking his advice and making sure I did my daily exercises. Actually, because I had practised yoga for years I enjoyed the regimented routine I set myself on a daily basis. Joe used to laugh at me but I didn’t let it bother me, in fact I teased him by singing I Can Do Anything Better Than You. Mostly, I exercised when he wasn’t there but it wasn’t to last once he became poorly and my time was spent looking after him. For almost three years I did no exercises. Is it any wonder my back and various other bones and muscles are screaming for attention?

It has got so bad I swear I look twice my age. Anyone who knows me would disagree, of course (koff koff), but it certainly feels that way. I walk like I am a cripple – maybe not but it feels like it - and I cannot sit for long in one chair. Yes, I know everybody should cease sitting for long spells (particularly at their computer) but when pain hits stubbornness and self-pity set in.

My plan to change chairs has been carried out, with the help of my cleaning lady's husband. It had to be done. Even though Joe’s chair is a beauty it's far too big for me. Short legs meant my back wouldn’t reach the back of the chair unless I sat with flailing legs. The chair I used was/is a Stressless, yes that’s the name of it. When I bought it I thought ‘Ah, just the thing for a painful back’ … the very word Stressless was like a soothing balm. Only the word, though, the rest of the chair actually caused more backache.

The chair is quite narrow, designed to fit the back, with support for the lower spine and little room to change one’s position. Once seated there is only a small chance of movement which is unfortunate when the theory is that one should never stay in one position for too long. It was so bad I knew I had to do something about it.  

The first move was to get rid of or move the Stressless and take over the green reclining chair I inherited from my aunt and which Joe used for months on end. It meant switching chairs from one room to another but the cleaning lady's husband came along to do the heavy stuff. Now I sit in comfort, feet up or legs up depending on my mood. It's great!

Apart from the chair, exercises are a MUST for reducing pain in the back. The only problem is that floor exercises are okay until I try to get up. I’m weak, you see, from head to flipping toe and once down there is no way up, least ways not easily.

I had thought about going back to the chiro but with probate still not proven after Joe’s funeral I don’t want to fork out loads of cash. Driving there is also a problem since the car park is acres away from the chiro’s building. Oh yes, and there’s steps! I’m not bad at climbing steps but going down is a nightmare. I blame the eyes and brain as much as the spine.

Remember in the old days when anyone with back problems was advised to lie on a hard board? Yes, I know that theory was quashed, but it is the most effective way to ease painful problems. Now, if only I could find an old door or something similar. Of course, old doors are not usually left lying around so I donned the thinking cap again and decided to go on a hunt round my estate, all five rooms of it.

You will never guess what I found in a wardrobe. No, not a door, not even something made of wood, I found my old zipped leather portfolio case which, I‘m pleased to say, had never been thrown out. It opens to twice its size and the inside is a tough material which will withstand just about any weight. I hope the neighbours didn’t hear my shout of joy as I opened it out on my bed. Oh wow, all I had to do was climb up and I have a footstool if that gets difficult. Actually getting off the bed is easier than trying to negotiate kerbstones in the street. Explain that, if you can!

The first trial on the ‘board’ was like a trip to heaven…. such relief when I pressed the spine onto a hard surface. I was able to do a complete set of exercises and would be able to do more every day.

Mid-afternoon I went for a second go. Lying flat on my back I went through each movement to a count of 20, one knee at a time then both together, then straight into a bit of ‘pedal pushing’ and rocking, and finishing with alternate leg and arm stretches. It felt good but imagine my surprise when lowering the limbs I lowered them onto Charlie, the cat, who had one leg in the air while he washed his nether region.

How long he’d been there is anybody’s guess and he didn’t want to move. If I moved a leg he edged over to take that spot, if I shuffled back, he did the same. The look on his face was a picture, like he’d scored points over me. It was so funny I couldn’t stop laughing and still he didn’t shift. In the end I left him there. Now I’m wondering who IS the boss in this house! 


  1. haha. my cats know they are the boss in our family. they have all of us wrapped around their fingers.

  2. First, I am sooooooooooooo happy to read about your BRAND NEW MODEL WASHING MACHINE!

    *thunderous applause*

    That's awesome, Valerie! And I bet you're enjoying it!

    Second, that last picture of Charlie made me laugh out loud! "Now I’m wondering who IS the boss in this house!" Having had two cats myself, I knew exactly what you meant. It seems that whenever you place something down, such as, a suitcase, a box, or an article of clothing....cats will inevitably make it their "lying spot."

    I had no idea you practiced yoga. I do too! And isn't it great? For me, it's the best form of exercise for my body. It's keeps my muscles flexible and my spine aligned.

    Love your creativity in making the portfolio case into a firm surface for your back. That was genius!

    Have a super Sunday, my friend!

    X to you and Charlie

  3. Never too late to stretch and strengthen again. Bet the back feels better soon.

  4. Never too late to stretch and strengthen again. Bet the back feels better soon.

  5. Ron, I was at a bank this morning, telling the cashier lady about the washing machine. She said, I bet it was a Hotpoint. Yes, I said, and she followed with the news that she had the same thing happen to her Hotpoint. How encouraging is that!

    Yes, I still love yoga. Even though I can no longer do ALL the exercises I can still do some and the vibes are still there for me.

  6. The portfolio was a great idea!
    There are a few very short YouTube videos by a woman who does stretching exercises. It feels good to do them ... so then why do I not do them too often? I should be more dedicated to the things that help as I have some pain issues too.
    Charlie is a cutie.

  7. Good plan indeed. When I went to therapy after my should surgery and also complained about my sore lower back they both told me reclining type chairs are the absolute worst for lower back pain. Go figure....

  8. Mary, thank you so much for your comments on another post. It has been 7 months since Joe died and I am still feeling raw so your sentiments are gratefully received.

    Re exercising, if you can discipline yourself to do them more often you will feel the benefit. Yes I agree, Charlie is a cutie.

  9. Congrats on the new washer, great news! You are so ingenious when figuring things out to work for you. Now if Charlie would cooperate :)

  10. kden, I'm afraid, lovely though Charlie is, he is prone to ignoring me and my wishes ... duh!

  11. Hello Valerie, I would say Charlie is the boss as was our Bridgette back in the day. Great use for the portfolio. Great about the washing machine. Ours is getting rickety but it keeps on ticking for now :) I very much appreciate the kind words you left on my blog recently. Thank you so much!

  12. Isn't it funny how they rule the roost after no time at all? Congrats on the new washer too. Hope the plan works out and you are feeling better soon. And I must thank you immensely for your comment on my soul searching blog post. It made my day and I re-read it when I'm feeling like things will not work out. Take care Val.


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