Better Living Through Crimes Against Fashion

I have some back problems. They're not "end of the world" back problems, but most certainly prone to being "abrupt end of my day" back problems. Basically, the right side of my back has decided to wage global-thermo-nuclear warfare the rest of my body, and it's gotten the entire right side of my body to join in it's jihad.

This shit hurts like a motherfucker a good deal of the time.

I've tried everything to fix it. I've handed thousands of dollars over to a chiropractor in Denver whom, I am pretty sure, used it all on midget porn. I've done yoga, but when your stomach hangs the way my stomach hangs, yoga stops being classically graceful and fascinating to watch and becomes something Quentin Tarentino wouldn't be comfortable putting on screen. I've gone to a billion doctors. I've cried. I've eaten my body weight in ibuprofen. This afternoon. Nothing helps.

When I moved up here to Ye Ole Canada, I figured that it might take a while but I'd maybe be able to actually get this fixed, what with the social medicine making sure I don't have to bankrupt myself for help. I went to several different doctors who ran several different tests and all of them were inconclusive at best. My current doctor, whom I am sort of in love with, actually went so far as squeezing me in for a CT scan, which came back normal.

Because guess who's back didn't hurt the day of the scan? Go on, I'll give you three tries.

It's gotten to the point where I know, without any doubt, exactly what the problem is and I have a general idea of how it would need to be fixed, but my doctor isn't about to let someone slice me open without an MRI, and that would take no less than a year to get, so he's told me that yes, I'm probably right about what I think, but just keep taking those Motrin and it'll go away someday.

Which, in doctor speak, means "when your birth certificate expires." I'm just not that patient.

He offered to do some nerve conductivity test, but then forgot. He ordered a bunch of bloodwork for me to have drawn, and I lost the forms. I asked him what to do if this continues to get worse, and he told me to get an exercise ball and do these completely pornographic sorts of back-bends and splits and bouncy things on it. I think he has the hots for me. Or wants me to have more children. Either way, I'm not buying my kids an $85 bouncy ball that's bigger than their head in the name of physical well-being. That's what I buy Guinness for.

The last time I was in his office, he wrote me a prescription that read, not kidding, "Shannon has monster feet and needs orthotics" and wrote me another one that I thought I was mis-reading. I looked at it. I held it up to a mirror. I turned it upside down. I asked a Ouija board. I kept getting the same answer.

The man prescribed me Birkenstocks.

And I figured that it's finally happened, that the province has run out of tax money for medical care and they're throwing any old diagnosis at people just to make them so annoyed, they'll stop coming to the doctor already. Or drive to Seattle. Which would just make my back hurt worse. So I went to the shoe store and talked to a lady forever and bought my very first pair of tree hugging hippie shoes (with my husbands own money, thankyouverymuch FTC) and you know what?

Those bitches Changed My Life.

My back still hurts, but more in a "I have a really good reason to whine today, and possibly get away with not washing the dishes" way than the "I'm going to give this Playdough Thanksgiving set plastic knife to my daughter and let her dig out a chunk of my spine with it" way. I actually feel better when I wear these shoes. A lot better. Like, I don't ever want to take them off better. See, my normal flat feet don't sit properly on the floor, and that throws my entire spine off and makes me stand all funny which throws my back off more, and then everything pinches and tightens up and the entire right side of my body starts talking about seceding from the Nation of Me in revolt. And the Birks? They fix it. They make my feet set properly on the ground. They rotate my arches way the hell up, and keep them there, and they mold to my feet to make sure that everything continues to stay where it belongs. And it makes the pain stop.

They look completely fucking ridiculous with a slinky black cocktail dress on, but I've never been one to put fashion over comfort, so there's that. Don't like it? Don't look down. Doctor's orders, yo.

So I am now officially one of THOSE people who wears brown hippie shoes with woolen socks under them and once I move to Boulder, Colorado and stop shaving my armpits and start humping trees, my transformation will be complete. And I'll be so close to pain free, I may actually be able to notice the other little pains, like all the crotch splinters. Humping trees ain't for the faint of heart.