I don’t know what caused it but I had a massive muscle spasm in my right hip Sunday morning, bad enough for us to call an ambulance to take me to the emergency room around 3 pm. They assumed it was a fracture but all of the tests, Xray, MRI and Catscan, were negative.

They finally found a medication that killed the pain, and I came home around 5 pm Monday. The pain is still mostly gone and for the most part I can get around, but I’m still too light-headed to do more than post this message to the blog. I’m using my wife’s downstairs computer. I can’t maneuver my way to my upstairs study where mine is. (We live in a split level house.)

I see that a lot of discussion is still going on following last week’s posts, especially the one about the Mannix TV show that Michael Shonk wrote up, but I don’t imagine I’ll be able to post anything new for the next few days. The visiting nurse made her first visit about 30 minutes ago, and I’ll be making a trip to our chiropractor this afternoon, I hope.

I’ll have to see if there’s as easy way from me to read my email from here. My wife uses gmail or hotmail, and I don’t. I’ll probably have to add updates to this post to stay in touch.

[UPDATE] 03-30-11. Here’s the culprit, clinically speaking: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piriformis_muscle

Located in men right where your billfold sits in your back packet. I don’t know if a possible cause is having too many bills in your wallet, but since that’s hardly ever true in my case, chances are slim that’s what happened to me. I have pills to take, and they seem to work, but the basic cure seems to be rest. And if something I do causes pain, then stop doing it.

Moving laterally is my biggest problem, which makes getting to my computer upstairs still too tough to do. Right now there’s only a narrow passageway up the stairs and into the room. I’ll be careful and not try to overdo anything I shouldn’t.

Thanks for all the good wishes. This was my first overnight stay in a hospital, though it was only in the Emergency Room. My problem seems awfully minor after seeing the incoming patients and listening to them talk to the the doctors and nurses in the cubicle next door. Everything seemed crowded and chaotic at first, but after a while it was still crowded and chaotic — but under control. The staff seemed to know exactly what they were doing.

David, I think it was you who asked about the MRI exam. It was full body one in a narrow closed tube, though open at both ends. They handed me a bulb to press if I experienced any kind of problem. It took me less than five seconds to press the bulb. It took a small sedative to get me through that. If that hadn’t worked, I think they were ready to use one of the conks on the head that knocked Mannix out every so often.

The blog will be back in business by this weekend, I’m sure, if not before. Thanks again for all the cheer and goodwill!

[UPDATE #2] 03-31-11. R.I.P. H.R.F.KEATING (1926-2011). See Comment #20 and David Vineyard’s tribute to one of the Giants of the world of mystery and crime fiction, followed briefly by one of my own.