My Raymond was a slave to his lumbago. And I’ll tell you one thing for nothing, back pain is no laughing matter. It got to the point where he couldn’t get comfortable whatever he did, standing up, sitting down, lying out straight on the bed, or curled up into a ball. It didn’t make a blind bit of difference. He was still in ruddy agony. We tried all the cures: crab paste poultice, vinegar baths, plugging him in to the mains, the lot. He was still in agony but his hair did become thicker and more luxuriant. In the end, he was that desperate that he decided to go and see the doctor. When he got back, he told me that the Doctor said that there was no hope for him. That the only cure possible cure was whisky, preferably a malt which had been aged in a sherry cask for at least seven years. I wasn’t having any of that. I bought him some extra strength Anadin, and let him have the occasional small sherry with me.
Of course in the olden days when they did the drawings for these tarot cards, the science of acupuncture was still in its infany. They hadn’t got the hang of using little needles. They used the nearest thing to hand, which in those times was usually swords. If the acupuncturist was a bit heavy handed, the treatment might actually cause more harm than good. It looks like the poor soul on this card has been to see one of them sorts of acupuncturists. It looks like he probably went complaining of earache as well as ruddy backache. Well, one thing is for sure. He won’t be suffering with either earache or backache any more. I think that we can safely say that his suffering has come to an end. And look, the black clouds are lifting, to reveal golden skies over calm waters. The message is clear. All of our troubles will come to an end sooner or later. So there is no point in ruddy well sitting there and moaning about them. You might as well focus on the positives and enjoy yourself.
Four things that you might do this week. (i) Have a good long soak in the bath. Give yourself a treat, add some vinegar to the water. That’ll soak away most of your aches and pains. Check the bottle first though. Don’t go using that “non-brewed condiment” stuff that they try and palm you off with down at the fish and chip shop. That’s a certain road to genital warts. (ii) Go easy on the analgesics. But if you are taking them and the pain persists for more than two or three days, try taking them with a small sherry. Its easier than trying to ring for a doctor’s appointment at eight o’clock in the morning, when you know that even if you get one, all he is going to do is tell you that its a virus that’s going around, and put you on the haliboranges. (iii) Watch out for these unqualified “quack” doctors and unlicensed practitioners. You can usually spot them a mile off, because they waggle a crystal hanging from a bit of string over you as a part of their diagnosis, Most of them are harmless enough, but if anyone ever suggests that you need acupuncture by sword, get out of the surgery quicksticks! (iv) If all else fails, suffer in silence. Nobody wants to hear about your medical problems. Least of all your doctor. On the other hand. Why not give one of your friends a treat by letting them tell you about all their little ailments. A good laugh will work wonders, and make your own little twinges seem miniscule by comparison.