MF: Gregory the Back Gremlin and Karaoke Singer


So a wonderful thing happened today: I got to see a back specialist. Thanks to a fortunate black ice slip next to my car two years back prompted some non-to-be-denied tests in the ER as I walked bent over uttering “ouch ouch ouch” over and over again all chant like. One MRI later it was confirmed what we already knew -my lower back is pretty jacked. The positive side after some testing is that I probably don’t have ankylosing spondylitis like my dad, so hey! Three cheers to my spine not fusing the longer I’m on the planet. It’s just your garden variety arthritis. And phsssbt, I’ve had that everywhere else since I was a tween. However, there was also the problem of a bulging disk and this nerve situation and well… it was still nice to hear “So Ms Bajema, you say you’ve had decent back pain for ten years now? I think I know what’s causing it.”

Seeing the specialist was altogether better because she really rooted into the problem. She looked at my xrays and MRI and nodded her head as she muttered “interesting, interesting”. She got me all flattened out on my stomach and grabbed some pliers and said “I think we have something more insidious going on here. Let’s have a pull and tug. Now try to relax -you may feel a little pressure.” She put a foot against my butt, rammed the pliers into my back and started commanding the monster to get the hell out of there. Needless to say I was a little taken aback by this hands on approach. I think I sputtered “so you’re an osteopath I take it?”

After about ten minutes of this and much blubbering of “why laurd whyyyyy?” from the exam table there was an obnoxious popping noise and suddenly my back pain was gone. I cautiously looked over my shoulder and there; caught between the doctor’s pliers was an angsty looking creature just a dangling and kicking his creepy lil feet. The doctor threw him in the chair and restrained him with some gauze rolls and clever placement of tongue depressors. Then came the interrogation.

I didn’t think the little bugger was going to crack but when he did it was a pitiful sight. Turns out he’s a gremlin and his name is Gregory. Gregory was slumming at a Duran Duran concert one day back when I was fourteen and was distracted by the strange noises I was making as I jumped up and down screaming “SIMON!!!” That moment when I thought all the fangirls had surged and wrenched me over the restraining gate turned out to be just lil Gregory deciding to become a squatter in my lower back. He’s been living in there rent free for years. After a little more prodding we concluded that those rare moments of absence of back pain coincided with nights that Gregory dashed out to the local Village Inn for karaoke night. He sadly insisted “I could really turn me out some Gordon Lightfoot like nobody’s business.” As if he needed to prove this fact he went into his rendition of The Sinking of the Edmond Fitzgerald. He wasn’t half bad except for all of that making our ears bleed business.

As we were chatting with Gregory and trying to convince him it would really be in everyone’s best interest if he found some place else to live he pulled a fast one and was back in my back and slamming all the spine doors before we could catch him again. So I had to settle for getting back onto the table and having the doctor poke me to see which places he punched back the worst and then give me an injection there. After about six pokes good ole lil gremlin Gregory was completely numbed out of his gourd. Sadly he won’t be doing karaoke again for a few months (it totally wouldn’t be safe for him to drive in that condition) but on the bright side he’s not kicking me in the spine anymore either. Yay for no pain! So now I’m going to go down and hit the Village Inn and sing me some Sundown in his honor. My singing is a little rusty. Hopefully I don’t promote any ear bleeding while there.


Minor Fibbing: Gregory the Back Gremlin and Karaoke Singer
is copyright 2015 Bethalynne Bajema. All Rights Reserved.