Mystery pain in the neck

YOU know you're getting older when you can injure yourself by just being in bed.

And I'm not talking about the newlywed hanging off the chandelier, screaming-with-ecstasy-until-the neighbours-call-the-police type of injury, or the catching a toe in the corner of the doona cover and almost ripping a toenail off injury.

I'm talking about calmly getting into bed on a Tuesday night (when there's not even a remote chance of any action), falling asleep and waking up the following morning with an injury and not having a clue about how it happened.

This is exactly what happened to hubby.

On Wednesday morning he woke and tried to lift his head off the pillow. This relatively riskless routine action was quickly followed by a long moan, which I'm guessing was my cue to inquire in a caring, compassionate tone as to the nature of his distress.

Fat chance. I did what any long-time married woman would do in the early hours of a cold winter's morning when she hears someone moaning - pretended to be asleep.

As anticipated and totally true to form, the moaning continued and grew louder.

"Okay I get it, I get it, you're in pain," I answered while doing my wifely duty of rolling over and pretending to care, "what's the problem?"

"I've got a pain in the neck," he said while looking at me suspiciously out of the corner of his eye like it was somehow my fault.

Now I would be lying if I said I have never thought about clocking him over the head with the bedside lamp while he slept. I love him but the man snores like a walrus, but there was no way I was going down for this one.

I was innocent, the undisturbed dust on my bedside table was irrefutable proof the lamp had not been used as a weapon during the night.

"Well don't look at me, you must have slept on it funny" was the only response I could come up with. I have no idea why I said that.

I think it's the universal explanation for rationalising mysterious aches and pains caused during an otherwise uneventful night under the covers.

Hubby considered the "sleeping funny" idea for a minute but quickly returned to moaning when I tried to settle back down under the doona.

"It hurts when I do this."

Well, we all know the reply to this one - "So don't do that."

"It's stiff."

"Oh please let us still be talking about your neck, it's only Wednesday morning, it's freezing cold and I've got to get the kids up soon, I don't think I could cope with anything else at this hour of the morning."

"Yes it's my neck, it's really sore."

"Okay, let's get some perspective here, on a pain scale of one to 10 - one being a Band-Aid, two being a Panadol and 10 being a trip in the Westpac Rescue Helicopter what number are we talking...?"

"Um, about a five or maybe a six, but it could be something serious."

A five or six? Was he for real? The house rules state I don't even have to feign interest for anything under an eight.

"Okay let's try another scale. From one to 10 - one being a bit a of a sookie la-la, five being a drama queen and 10 being an old fart who thinks he's still 21 and can head soccer balls with the young guys."

Silence. Followed by movement without moaning.

Hallelujah, a miraculous recovery.

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