This was no ordinary couch, mind you. It was the longest couch ever created, topping out at over 9 feet. But being the mild-mannered, swell guy that I am, I offered to assist the skinny lady, despite the dread to follow.
So of course the next morning we need to get the beast into her second-story apartment. Ok. No biggie. I’m a strong guy, and she somehow managed to use that previously displayed charm to con two other guys near by to help out. So we got two people on one end of the couch and one on the other. Yep, that’d be me. The guy who thinks he can carry half of a 200 lb. couch all by himself.
Getting over the barriers wasn’t too bad. Getting it in the gate, no problem. Even getting it up the stairs wasn’t too much of an issue, despite all the belly-aching coming from said new-couch-owner about how we were getting it scratched up on the walls along with yelps of “be careful!”
Mind you when I say ‘not too bad, I mean that I was sweating like a fat kid in a candy store trying not to buckle under the load.
So then we get to the stairs. And I go up back first, caring my side of the couch, alone. Half way up the stairs my back starts to hurt. Oh, i can’t stop now! We get to the top, and my back is now hurting quite a bit, and telling me, “Mark, take it easy.” We stand the couch up on one end. It is so tall, it's about 1 inch away from the ceiling. And then we try to rotate it to fit through the door.
Oops. No one bothered to measure.
There is no way that couch was fitting. So back down it went, down the stairs, through the gate, over the barriers, and back into the garage.
I set the couch down. I couldn’t move. My back was spasming something crazy. I couldn’t turn my back without needles of pain shooting down my spine. OWWWWWWW! Every step I took was terrible. I somehow made it back into the apartment and then collapsed on the floor. I couldn’t move a muscle. The pain was excruciating!!
I lay there for a while and Sarah is giving me a massage. No good. Doesn’t feel better at all. Eventually after probably 30 minutes, I get up and try to make my way to the car, and then home. Every little movement, looking out the mirrors, anything, was like getting stabbed in the back by a large knife.
The rest of the day was spend sitting at my computer attempting to do homework, and exhibiting the least amount of movement possible. I was out for the count.
The next morning I woke up, and still it hurt like hell. Bending over the sink to brush my teeth was un-imaginably painful. I called in sick to work and went back to bed. Just laying there was uncomfortable, and after an hour I finally decided it was time to go to a Chiropractor. These fine purveyors of modern medicine employ only the newest of techniques, and if anyone could fix broken me, surely it could be they.
I had remembered seeing a sign for a chiropractor on the main corner near my house. Luckily it was only like 3 blocks away! I hoped in my car and drove on over. I saw the sign and it, indeed was a chiropractor. The top half was the name of the doctor, then there was an arc-of-life symbol, and on the bottom half was nutrition and acupuncture. Whatever, I thought, I just need my back fixed!
So I stroll into the place.
The first thing I notice is the smell of the place. It was like old, moldy incense. To each his own, I thought. I was in too much pain to worry about what the office smelled like. I filled out the required forms and waited.
A nurse came and got me, put me on a machine to measure my body fat and cell water absorption, and all kinds of stuff. Oooooh, this place is ultra-modern, as i've never seen one of those machines before! Once that test was complete, she sat me down in an examination room and began the questions. I recounted the story of the couch moving, and told her basically that was it. She has me lay down and gives me a back-massage for 15 minutes. Well this is nice, I think to myself. I like this chiropractor already! She leaves and in comes the Doctor. He also asks me what’s bothering me and I tell him the same story again. He takes my pulse. And then it starts.
He begins talking to me about paths of life, and multiple pulses and body spirit and what not. Ok. In my head I’m going “I don’t care what you do, Mr. Chiropractor, just make me better!” So he takes my six, yes six pulses, and asks again where it hurts me. I say my middle back. He feels around and then calmly tells me I eat too quickly, I drink too much, and that I’m too fat.
I was a little confused, but how did he know I ate quickly? People have been telling me this for quite some time, and he just happened to say that. Maybe he knows stuff that I don’t. Still contemplating his comments, he lays me down on my back and begins telling me about how Eastern Medicine has been around for thousands of years, and the concept of Yin & Yang, and how he must heal my front, and not my back.
The next thing I know, the guy is sticking needles into my body!!! I begin to protest, and inquire what this has to do with the fact that I simply lifted something too heavy, and he goes on talking. “There are 8 primary highways of healing in your body.” Another needle. “The healing must be stimulated by the needles.” Four more needles penetrate my belly (the fat one, of course). “The good healing then will travel down to the body parts that need it.” You mean my back, doc? The one you’re not touching at all!??
The next thing I know he leaps out of the office telling me he’ll be back in 20 minutes, and throws a hot towel on my face.
So I’m laying on my back, alone in an office that smells, a hot, wet towel on my face, with about two dozen needles sticking out of my body. I’m pretty open minded to trying new things, but what the hell did I get myself into!?
20 minutes goes by waaaay to slowly, and the “doctor” returns, and asks how I’m doing. Well, doc, my back still hurts like crazy, and now there are a ton of needles sticking up out of me! I’d say my situation hasn’t improved much. He calmly tells me not to worry, as the needles are made of stainless steel. WHAT?! I don't care WHAT they're made of! He takes them out, cleans me up, and sends me out to the receptionist. They give me a bunch of herbal digestive pills and then DING, charge me $155 for an hour and a half of ‘treatment.’
I stumble out from the dark office into the bright sunlight, disoriented, confused, with my middle back still in pain and I just couldn’t shake this feeling that I’ve been had.
Walking back towards the car, I slowly get in and sit down. Yup my back still hurts. I look up again at the big sign in front: Chiropractor – Dr. David Noonan. I freeze. I take out the bill they gave me, and I look at business card stapled to the top left-hand corner. It says Dr. Lee Tong - herbal medicine and acupuncture.
It hits me. They were two separate offices!!!
In my pain driven state, I had actually wandered into the wrong office.
Disgruntled, and still in pain I went home and back to sleep.
I hate friggin’ couches.