You put your back out carrying out the iron ash pan of your stove. The pain is excruciating; magmatic spasms of white fire javelin up your vertebrae as you cling to the birch tree in your back garden, the disks of your spine tearing into your lumbar nerves. You lower yourself to the ground and pull yourself back indoors, literally on your belly, a process which takes about forty minutes. This problem will be with you, on and off, for the rest of your life – you will never be able to quite trust your back again. But you are getting older aren’t you? Mid-forties is it? What do you expect? The savage headaches, the bouts of chronic constipation, the aching joints, the failing eyesight, the rotting teeth – they’re not going to get better.
This is an excerpt from Belly Up!