Ever since I've been using the CPAP machine, I've had back pain, which seems almost certainly to stem from the slightly unnatural positions which I have to assume whilst sleeping. For the last month or so, these pains have lasted for maybe an hour after getting up, but then dissipate. Unfortunately, in the past few days, the pain has been getting worse and longer.
Despite the fact that my wife has been rubbing my back with Ben Gay ointment the past few nights, the pains have continued, and on Tuesday they were extremely strong, lasting all day. I managed a few hours sleep last night, but the pain was so great every time I turned in my sleep, that I awoke at about 2am, whimpering with pain.
I discarded the CPAP mask and tried to assume a different position but the pain was still too great. I tried sitting in various chairs in the living room, but this too was painful. After a while, I remembered the pills which I had been given when I was suffering from bursitis several months ago; I took one of these along with two paracetamol. This combination obviously did the trick, for when the alarm radio turned itself on at 5:30am, my back was almost free of pain.
I was supposed to drive a car today to Haifa for my weekly meeting there (as opposed to taking the train), but it was obvious that I was in no fit state to drive. I decided in the middle of the night not to go, but instead visit the nearest clinic and see a doctor. I waited until 8:30am, then drove the few kilometres to the clinic (the kibbutz clinic is shut on Wednesdays). Fortunately I didn't have to wait long to see a doctor, and she confirmed my diagnosis, that the muscular pain is due to the various positions that the mask dictates. It turns out that the pill which I took was the correct one and that I should continue taking it once a day for the next few days. She also recommended physiotherapy.
Coming out of the clinic and into the parking area of a shopping centre, I was so groggy that I couldn't remember exactly where I had parked the car. I knew which way it was facing, but not in which lane. After five exceedingly worried minutes wandering around, I finally found it, unlocked and drove home, for to sleep an hour or so.
Now I'm not tired, but my back is still hurting mildly (not the extreme burning pain that I felt in my shoulder blades last night), and I've taken my pill. I pray for a good night's sleep. Nowhere in all the CPAP literature has anyone written or warned about such problems.
This afternoon I did some more work on my dvd database program - I added the concept of 'directors', and added some reports so that I can see which actors have worked with which directors, and vice versa. Although I haven't entered much data about directors, it is becoming clear that most directors have directed only one or two films which are in my collection. The few exceptions are Robert Altman and Woody Allen, both directors whose films I saw frequently during the 1970s.