national doughnut day is bad for your health.

no. i’m not going to give you a lecture on how eating doughnuts is a poor nutrition choice, or give you a recipe for everything-free doughnuts. that would be silly. doughnuts are delicious and should never be health washed.

instead, i’m going to tell you a story about how doughnuts left me in urgent care.

june 2 is national doughnut day. on the morning of friday, june 2, i decided to be a great coworker and stop at tim horton’s to pick up an assorted pack of doughnuts to surprise my team. a nice friday treat, i thought. surely it would go over well and earn me some doughnut brownie points.

on the walk from my place to the train there is one tims. always very busy, i made my way to the queue and waited for my turn to order. listening to the My Dad Wrote A Porno podcast and trying not to actually LOL in public, i inched closer to the front of the line. when it was my turn i decided on timbits instead of full sized doughnuts as the assortment looked better, and threw in an iced coffee for myself. onto the next queue.

a few giggles later my timbits were ready. i reached for them across the counter.


oh my god. why couldn’t i move? an overwhelming pain washed over my back. what was happening? breathing hurt. moving hurt. the only thing that didn’t hurt was being hunched over on the sales display. i tried to move again.


“are you okay?” a deep voice asked.


“let’s get you in a chair.” a 30-something man helped me move, and placed my purse, timbits and coffee in front of me. “maybe it will go away on its own,” he coaxed.

it didn’t.

i sat in that chair, wincing in pain, for 30 minutes. that’s when anxiety set in and my mind flashed to the worst: was i having a heart attack? i tried to stand up; my knees buckled from the pain. i was one block away from the urgent care centre but knew i would never make it by foot. cab? uber? they wouldn’t be able to assist me out of this chair and into the emergency.

my coworker came to the rescue. she made the 30-minute drive in traffic, gathered up my things and shuffled alongside me to her car. one wheelchair and two ibuprofen later, i was left in the waiting room with the promise of muscle relaxants.

it was about an hour before i got to see a doctor. she found me hunched over the sink instead of laying comfortable in the hospital bed.

“i’m going to get you an injection of pain medication and muscle relaxers before we start.”

i liked her already.

fifteen minutes after my meds, she returned to move me through a range of motion and breathing tests. with my back facing her, she placed her hand along the right side of my spine.

“your entire back is in spasm.”

next, she took out her stethoscope and told me to breathe as deep as i could. not happy with what she heard, she sent me for a chest x-ray to make sure my lungs were okay. thankfully, they were.

with an official diagnosis of “spasm”, i was sent on my way with a prescription for muscle relaxants and the suggestion i go to physio.

“don’t lay around all day,” she lectured. “it will only make you stiffen up.”

it’s like the doctor was reading my mind. the only position i thought would be comfortable was in the fetal position laying in bed.

slowly, with s-shaped posture and holding my ribs in place, i made my way to the pharmacy while calling every physiotherapist nearby. on my third attempt, i was able to get an appointment.

more poking, electrodes, and heat pads at physio, i received another “spasm” diagnosis. sadly, there was no way to snap me back into working order, i just had to take it easy. this meant a weekend full of cancelled plans, and swearing in pain as i moved positions, or tried to get out of bed.

three full days later, i’m still in a good amount of pain. i’m walking quite slowly, but am more upright, and less s-shaped. the spasms have a mind of their own, and attack without a moment’s notice.

this will teach me to make kind gestures. no more doughnuts…unless you bring me a sympathy one.