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Why Don’t We Limp When We Are In Pain?

April 3, 2019

I hurts to walk. It hurts to sit. I woke up twice last night because it hurt.

I injured my back a few weeks ago. I didn’t think anything of it at the time. I was lifting a sheet of metal. It was about 3’x3′ and a half inch thick. I know how to lift. I used my legs, bent my knees. All the “right” things.

I think the sheet of metal was about 175lbs. I didn’t move it very far. And my back was sore when I got done. And it was sore the next day, and the next. Soon, it started affecting how I walked. I found I was “holding” one side. That put pressure on my knees and I started getting shooting pains down the back of my left leg.

Old? Of course, I’m not old! Okay, maybe I’m old.

Anyway, it got so bad I went to the doctor. I was getting ready to take my kids on vacation. I hiking and camping vacation.

Muscle relaxers seem to be the magic bullet. The doctor perscribed some and I can (mostly) sleep through the night.

When I was a junior in high school, I had a really bad English teacher. Not Ms. Thomas, she was awesome, of course. (For any old high school buddies reading this.) This teacher has some unorthodox teaching methods. One of them was to have the students keep a journal for a month. That wasn’t the weird part. She had us turn it in. That was kind of weird. She then graded our journal entries. That was a little freaky.

I was taking this girl named Lori Snyder to the prom. I always fell in love with my prom dates. Lori was no different. I took her in my dad’s big Buick. We had a nice time and that was the end of our relationship. But, I was still infatuated with her a little.

Of course, I wrote about in my journal. And at one point I wrote,

I will be over Lori within the next two weeks.

It typically took a couple of weeks to get over the infatuation, I figured Lori would be no different. Next to the entry about getting over Lori, my English teacher wrote,


Like I said, it was sort of creepy to have a middle aged English teacher not only reading, but commenting on the thoughts of 17 year old students.

I don’t think I ever responded to her, but I thought about that question over the years. Why do we refuse to show pain, or at least attempt to not show pain?

If a dog injures its leg, the dog will limp. If a man injures his leg he is more likely to work hard to avoid a limp. Even if it means more pain.

With my messed up back, I was trying to walk straight and making the injury worse. Even knowing the danger of becoming too tense, I still find myself attempting to “walk normal.”

I wonder if it goes back to somewhere in our ancestory when we were both the hunters and the hunted. Wolves attacking a herd of elk will look for the weak, the sick, the slow. They will attempt to seperate that one from the herd.

Do we avoid showing weakness due to some primoreal urge to not be the weak member of the herd? Perhaps. Perhaps it’s a need to appear strong, or at least not weak.

We hiked all over St George today. If a pack of wolves had stalked my kids and me, I wouldn’t be here to tell you about it.

Muscle relaxers, Motrin and Tylenol.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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