I have had problems with ruptured discs in my neck for much of my adult life. In fact about the only serious surgeries I’ve ever had, have been on my neck. Three of them, starting in 1985, again on 2005 with I hope the last one in 2010. Now most of the vertebra in my neck region are fused together do using plates and screws and even one is wired together with what looks like bailing wire twisted together. That one freaked me out the first time I saw an X-ray of it. The doctor assured me it was good grade surgical wire. Actually that was the last one and it’s lasted for 9 1/2 years, so I guess he knew what he was doing.
Back in the 80’s a doctor had rigged me up with traction device that worked pretty well. It consisted of a harness that I put on my head. It had ropes and pulleys that attached to the top of a door. The weight was a milk jug filled with water and I could vary the amounts of water to get the weight right. I used 2 jugs that I filled all the way up, so I could really feel my neck stretching out.
It was pretty simple, I’d sit in a chair hooked up to this apparatus for a few minutes, a few times a day. This stretched out my neck and gave me some measure of relief. But it looked ridicules, just sitting there with the whole family eyeing me. After awhile I had to have surgery and then I had no more problems for about 20 years.
In the early 2000’s I started to have the same symptoms again, so knowing if I could stretch my neck out I could get a few more miles down the road before I had to get the spine doctor involved.
One day when I was watching TV I saw an infomercial for a Teeter’s Hangup Table. After doing a little research into it, I decided to buy one. Instead of having a rope and milk jugs, the weight of my own body would stretch me out. If you have even seen these infomercials, you lay on this table with your feet in hobbles and thrust yourself upside down. Something didn’t seem that practical about that so I saw where they had an upscale version that was motorized. Once I got my feet strapped in I could push a button and it gently rotate me until I was hanging upside down, completly vertical. When I was finished a push of the button and it would turned me back upright.
Even though it cost considerably more for this type of an inversion table, it was my health I was thinking about. So money was no object. I have always had the ability to rationalize how spending a little money for good health would reap big rewards, because when I felt good I’d work harder and working harder would make more money. So I ordered it and patiently waited for it to be delivered. (Longest week of my life, knowing relief was on its way).
When it finally arrived I picked out a spare room where there was a TV, that I’d be able to watch while hanging, albeit I be watching it upside down.
In short order I had the thing assembled and ready for a maiden voyage. I really felt it was best to get it going and practice while I was home alone, so I’d have all the kinks worked out before Madeline ever saw it.
I put my feet in the hobbles and strapped them in. I took it slow to start with since it felt a little strange hanging upside down by my heals. It actually made me have flashbacks to some childhood incidents, where Kenny and Jimmy Palmer would string me upside down with a rope around my ankles, thrown over a ceiling joist in the barn.
Did I mention that I hardly ever read the instructions when I put thing together? Especially precautions and warnings.
The warning specifically talked about being sure the electrical cord is routed so that it doesn’t get snagged by the rotation table.
Yep, that’s exactly what happened. Just as I was turned with my head straight down, the electric cord pulled out of the wall socket.
Knowing no one would be home for some time, I couldn’t just be hanging there with all the blood running to my head, so after careful consideration I started working my feet loose, one at a time out of the hobble’s. The first one went pretty well. The second one, not so good. It let me go head first, like a pile-driver move in wrestling, right into the tile floor below.
That’s when I decided to read all the instructions: “In the event there is a loss electricity while hanging upside down, use the hex wrench crank attached to the upper frame to manually turn the table upright“.
I soon grew tired of watching TV upside down. I tried to remount the TV the other way around. But since there was a treadmill in the same room it wasn’t practical to walk on the treadmill with the TV upside down either.
It wasn’t very long until I had to return for round two of surgery and I never flipped myself over again so I could hang from my ankles.
Normal Tetter Hang-Up Table
My Motorized Hang-Up Table