Monday, March 27, 2017

Low Back Pain

Finishing at a hairdresser, a guest at a West Hollywood hotel had bent over and thrown out her back. Now she wanted “a shot” so she could stand and get back to the hotel.

I’ve cared for several hundred guests with back pain. These are fairly satisfying visits. I deliver an injection which makes the patient giddy, so time passes more quickly. By the following day, the pain is not so bad. Back pain slowly improves even if not treated.

Hotel guests are already in bed, and that’s where they stay. This lady would have to move, and over the phone I warned that the injection would not make that easier. Powerful narcotics work best against “deep” pain such as a kidney stone or heart attack, not so well when it’s sharp and acute. If I were to give you a huge dose of morphine and then touch a lit match to your fingertip, you’d feel the usual amount of pain. These warnings rarely work, and they didn’t work this time.

Beverly Hills treats residents kindly. For example, parking is much easier than in surrounding Los Angeles. If you’re just passing through, Beverly Hills shows no mercy. Traffic lights along Santa Monica Boulevard change simultaneously, so there’s no hope of getting through even when streets are empty. During the rush hour, traffic proceeds a few streets at a time. I cultivate tranquility, listen to my CD book, focus on the car ahead, and never look at my watch.  

Fortunately, the beauty shop closed at five, so I encountered only the patient, her companions, and a few employees. I examined her and then delivered the shot, gave pain pills for later, and assured her that she’d feel not-so-bad after a night in bed. Groaning and supported by friends, she hobbled off.

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