I Went Out And Got Pithed

No, I haven’t begun to lithp. I did actually mean ‘pithed’. Getting pissed would have been a whole lot more fun.

The story begins long ago in a little country school…

Nah, never mind. I’ve got the world’s shittiest memory, so anything I told you about my school days would be pure fabrication. That might be amusing for me (if not for the classmates I’d likely malign) but it’s not what I had in mind for today’s post.

The story actually begins when I learned what ‘pithing a frog’ meant. That was probably around the time I was in high school, but I won’t swear to it. (The swearing comes later. Wait for it…)

For those unfamiliar with pithing, it involves pushing a needle into a frog’s brain and moving the needle around to destroy the brain so the frog won’t suffer unnecessarily while it gets dissected alive. Needless to say, the procedure stimulates the somatic nervous system, causing the frog to kick and twitch involuntarily. I know; quelle surprise, right?

Fast-forward to last week.

I did some renovations on my step-mom’s deck while I was visiting in Manitoba. (No deck jokes in this post, though. Been there, done that.) I replaced a few boards, belt-sanded the whole thing, and re-stained it. That involved a couple of five-hour sessions bent double/kneeling/sitting/leaning forward. My back was sore and tired.

But I was fine. My muscles recovered after a day or two and I carried on, happily oblivious to the impending catastrophe.

I drove home:  twelve hours of straight driving. I got out of the car in Calgary and felt fine.

Went for a walk that evening and felt fine.

Went to bed that night and slept like a baby on our nice new mattress.

And woke up with a back spasm so bad I could barely walk.

Only I could hurt myself doing absolutely nothing.

Four days later I was still crippled, with my back muscles spasming so hard they reached around and yanked my abdominal muscles into the act, too. Every time I moved, it felt as though I had snakes writhing under the skin of my stomach. So I went to the physiotherapist.

I’ve mentioned before that modern physiotherapy techniques are barbaric. This was no exception. I signed a release form for IMS (Intra-Muscular Stimulation), which means they stick needles in the spasming spots and grind the needles around until the victim muscle submits.

You wanna see kicking and twitching? Wow.

If not for the fact that I had my pants around my knees and needle tracks from my ass to my shoulders, I would have loved to have videotaped it just for the laughs. I’m surprised the carpet didn’t melt from my swearing, because apparently IMS stimulates not only my somatic nervous system but also the profanity centres of my brain.

And for a few days I wondered if one of those needles had destroyed my brain, too, ‘cause I couldn’t even think. But that might have just been the muscle relaxants.

I’m much better now, but I have a whole new sympathy for frogs. Maybe I should befriend some so we could go out and get pithed together.

Tho how wath your week?

* * *

Bonus Question: How do you pith a frog?

Answer: Tell him he thuckth at thwimming.

(Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

35 thoughts on “I Went Out And Got Pithed

  1. Pingback: Pithed Again | Author Diane Henders

  2. Pingback: It’s A Conspiracy! | Diane Henders

  3. So the NOrse God of Thunder is cruising along in the sky and looks down to see a voluptuous young woman sleeping naked on her bed. Talk about a lightning rod. So he zips down through her open window and ravishes her all night. In the morning, feeling quite satisfied and pleased with himself, he steps out on the balcony, pounds his chest and roars “I am Mighty Thor”. Where upon the girl hisses “You think you are thore, you thon of a bitth! I am tho thore I can harly pith”.


  4. Holy crap, that sounds awful! You poor thing. Yeesh, I get queezy just thinking about it. Glad you’re feeling better now. By the way, the whole deck repair … impressive! 😀


  5. I’m running at least a full week behind so I found this post about your back and wanted to wish you a complete recovery also. No stranger to back pain here so I can fully appreciate what you’re going through. A lifetime of back injuries can sure take their toll and it all comes crashing down when you get “older”. We’ve been face lifting our kitchen and I can feel every minute of it. Started out with changing a light fixture that went out. Looking at the ceiling with no fixture in the way I decided that now was the time to do a good cleaning and painting. Sure I did. Hubby isn’t allowed near a paint brush or roller so all painting is left to me. Requires a ladder. I have “positional vertigo”. Needless to say it took a good while to finish the ceiling. Then of course the window frames, the the back wall around the counters and sinks, the stove area needed a touch up too. You get the idea. I have found muscles in places I know muscles aren’t supposed to be!
    Oh well, it’ll look better when done, sometime around the end of the year, this one, I think.
    Never did the frog thing in school, always found a way to not be there. I only heard of “Pith” helmets! LOL
    Got to go now and stir some more paint. Somehow my heart isn’t quite into it that much this morning. The thrill is wearing thin I think.
    Oh, and love the progress on the book too. Yep, I’m salivating early, hahaha. Take care of your back, you are too young yet to have to be held down with that.


    • Yikes, be careful on that ladder! And I know exactly how that whole renovation thing goes: start by replacing a light switch cover, and pretty soon you’re ripping out walls. Take care of yourself, too – it’s easy to get carried away with ‘just one more thing and then I’ll quit’.

      Pith helmets always make me laugh. No matter how I try to squelch my inner adolescent, I always think ‘piss helmet’, and the accompanying mental image is devastating! 😉


    • It did actually work (after the pain subsided a couple of days later). But I suspect it’s one of those things where the study of effectiveness is skewed by the people who claim to be healed afterward just so they don’t have to go through it again. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • Actually I did all right with my standing desk. Lots of position changes, lots of stretching, but standing was more comfortable than sitting. Still is. Thanks for the good wishes – I’ll tell my back muscles a doctor expects them to behave and see if that smartens them up. It’s all about authority figures, you know. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Boy, did your week suck! I can think of six or seven things I’d rather have done to me than ANY of that, including refinishing a deck. Maybe eight. Nine, even.

    All better now?

    I, on the other hand, have five fingers. No, skip that. Sorry.

    My week was nothing short of fabulous. I found that I don’t have to have my other knee replaced! At least, not any time soon. I did get stuck by a needle, though, and almost got frostbite on that knee. They freeze the skin before they inflate the knee with a new batch of killer steroid. Should last for three months, and insurance pays!

    It’s odd watching your knee inflate like a balloon. But in my case, it actually feels BETTER, not WORSE.

    Hope you’re doing as well as I am, now!

    And I spy the big jump in progress. If nobody’s told you today that you absolutely rock, please allow me to be the first!


    • Thanks, Sue – I’m feeling better but still getting smaller back spasms every night. Very annoying, but I don’t regret the work – it needed to be done, and it looked so much better afterward! The worst part is that my physiotherapist has forbidden me to go to the gym or even walk any distance. Exercise has always been my answer to pain, but I’m behaving myself so far. We’ll try it her way first… but I make no promises for next week. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I was once asked to dissect a frog in class. Well, rather we should have brought a frog to class for that purpose. I failed the damn test, because being petrified then of frogs, I wouldn’t be seen dead or alive near one. Later in life, I came across the Vedas which taught me about karma. Can’t even kill a mossie now…


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