When I was a young lass of a mere early 20’s, I discovered I could crack my back by violently hurling my leg into the air and across my body, much like a pee-wee league soccer player who, despite valiant attempts, completely misses the ball directly in front of them. I thought this was cool. It made a terrific crack-pop-crack-crack sound and provided a wonderful momentary feeling of lightness, as though my spine was suddenly and happily experiencing anti-gravity. Plus the look of horror on people’s faces nearby was secretly pleasing to me.
Then, in my early mid-20’s, I was told by a medical professional that what I was doing was the worst possible way to relieve joint pressure and that if I wanted to pop or crack a joint (back or otherwise) it should be done with carefully applied pressure; such as twisting slowly in a seat or door frame. He also made me promise I would never, ever, EVER pop my back in such a violent way again. Reasonably chastened, I promised.
So for years after this I tried desperately, and in vain, to get my back to pop again using the less insane gentle methods medical dude had recommended for me. They never worked. Once in a while I was able to convince friends of mine of the big and tall variety to lift me up by the arm-pits and sway me a little, sometimes this worked. Sometimes they’d give me a firm bear hug and that would work too. But I could not get it on my own.
So there I was, uncomfortable, all the time. You might ask why I didn’t pay for a chiropractor. Well, they don’t really solve the problem, do they? You pay them cash money, and they pop you, and then you get stiff joints again and have to pay them cash money again…and the cycle continues. I don’t believe in paying someone cash money for the purpose of posing me in funny positions and pushing on me. Honestly, I don’t think making me lay with my butt in the air, and my face on the table and my left leg hung out to the right and my right foot on the blue dot and my left hand on the yellow dot is really necessary for popping my back. I think they do it just to see how many embarrassing positions they can get you in before you notice the video camera with the red light on by the desk.
As I was saying, there I was for years trying to get my back to give a little, and it just wouldn’t. Until now.
Now I am in my early 30’s and suddenly I sound like a walking Rice Krispies ad. I don’t have to be doing anything. I could just be sitting perfectly still and suddenly I will feel and hear my spine start to pop from the midway point and the cracking will continue, unassisted, all the way up to the base of my neck; Like the ghost of Lionel Hampton is just wailing his mallets right up my vertebrae. (Never heard of Lionel Hampton? Wikipedia is an awesome resource kiddies! Fun fact, I once ruined a Lionel Hampton concert for my parents because I was behaving like a spoiled brat, and didn’t appreciate the musical icon with which they had tried to enrich my burgeoning 6 [7? 8?] year-old cultural IQ.)
You might think I am pleased now that I am finally able to cracken-mein-backen. But, I’m not. Nope. No, instead of being filled with joy and relief I am filled with paranoia.
Because now to me: Joint Popping = Mortality.
I’m like, Oh crap! What does this mean? Did I ruin my back? Has the decay of age already started its march? Has osteoporosis already set in? Do I need to call Sally Fields? If I do will she like me? Really, really like me? What if she doesn’t like me? Is it because I’m fat? It’s because I’m fat, isn’t it? Skinny bitch. You know, I’ve never really thought she was talented. I swear she runs through every single emotion in every scene she does just to cover bases. Stupid Sally Fields.
I’m not someone usually obsessed with death and decay, particularly my own, but the bone-loss thing does worry me. Mostly because I don’t want to be 3’11” when I’m in my 70’s (I’m 5’5” now). Ideally, I’d like to be a spry old gal.
So, I’m taking steps! Yes! I am all “Yay Calcium!” and “Boo…er… stuff that isn’t calcium!” (Pardon me while I take a sip of my Diet Coke). Honestly, I don’t really have a plan yet.
Hey readers (all five of you), got any suggestions? I hope so, because I’ve just realized I have no idea how to wrap this post up… but I’m too lazy to write a new one on a different topic. So, tell me things!