At 6:30 this morning I turned over in bed, three-quarters asleep, raised my head and yawned: something snapped and instant agony clutched the back of my neck and scalp, the kind that makes you groan and breathe in sudden sharp bursts, as if giving birth. Hoo-wee! Tried to sit up, too painful; tried to roll over, too painful; tried to turn my neck, too painful; brilliant! said I. I shall have to remain in bed for weeks on end, in precisely this position, and I really need to use the bathroom. Eventually I figured out how to support my head with my hands so that I could get out of bed and back in; called the university “advice nurse,” who said it sounded like I’d done something freaky to a tendon and I should take a ton of Advil. By this time J. was awake, brought me an ice pack and made me oatmeal (bless her), and gradually things got better. Made it to campus long enough to get some books on Ezra Pound. I still can’t turn my neck very well, so I get to do this amusing Frankenstein shuffle to look at anything to the side.
This sort of thing seems to happen a lot to grad students; everyone’s got a similar story. Our best years!