I was reading Rob’s post on his back pain ordeals today and remembered back to when I was in college.

I was working for a local beet farmer driving semi. They had just hired a new hand and he was hooking up a digger to the tractor when I was pulling through the yard with the semi. He flagged me over and I stopped to see what was the matter.

I had a pretty good hunch and it turns out I was spot on. On that particular tractor the hydraulic hoses for the digger were a royal pain in the butt to hook up or unhook.

The new guy had hooked them up backwards and wanted the lever to work the other way so he was trying to switch them around and couldn’t unhook them.

So I proceeded to lend a hand and gave it a good tug. When it still wouldn’t budge I really “put my back in to it”.

That was a huge mistake. I felt something pull and next thing I knew I was on the ground and could barely breathe. (It turned out he had never un-locked the locking mechanism to prevent un-hooking during operation).

At any rate I was in pain.

Lots of pain.

I tried to climb back into my truck to continue driving my shift and after about ten minutes of excruciating pain I managed to make it into the drivers seat only to find that I was unable to run the clutch.

I radioed my boss via the CB radio and explained the situation and thankfully he was understanding and we were not short drivers so he told me to go home and get some rest.

Only problem was I was ten miles from town and over 200 miles from my real home. (It was a Friday evening, so there was no class until the following Monday.)

Well I got into my pickup for the drive back to town and laid the seat back almost flat until I was able to run the pedals without severe discomfort.

On the drive in I realized that there would be no-one I knew back at my dorm to help me out over the weekend so I figured I might get hungry by Monday. (It was a suitcase college and like 90% of the students went home every weekend.)

Well I opted to stop at a Burger King and get some grub. After I ordered I realized my wallet with my money was in my back pocket. In order to reach around to grab it, I needed to twist my back just enough to create immense pain.

I actually had to put the vehicle in park and try to wriggle my wallet out of my pocket. By the time I made it to the drive through window, I had tears in my eyes from the severe pain. The look on the kids face that handed me my order was complete confusion. Looking back I bet I was quite the site!

I ended up crawling through the campus parking lot to the dorm as it was easier than walking the quarter mile.

I spent the entire weekend in my dorm room without food, besides a stale, half eaten bag chips that thankfully my roommates had left behind. I actually slept on the floor cause I had the top bunk in our room and there was no way I could climb up into it.

That was some of the worst pain I’ve ever had. Every breath hurt. In fact it hurt so much that you couldn’t even breathe.

Rob, I know your pain.

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