‘back’. heh. see what I did there? back. haw.
Yeah, not funny at all. My back. Yikes! Let me tell you, the only thing weirder than this ‘episode’ was the gratitude with which I received other people’s tales of their back afflictions. Lying in bed for 8 days ….I felt like a mutant…then I learned that another friend had similar back issues so bad she ended up on a morphine drip! Funny how a broken leg? I get it. ….no problem! But a ‘bad back’ ? It takes awhile to comprehend just how staggering it can be. Well…..the stories mounted…friends telling me theirs were worse than kidney stones! Childbirth? Fuggedaboutit!! This kind of back/sciatica/leg-killer was worse than anything we’d ever experienced! I know there is much worse pain – but I’m profoundly grateful to not know what that is. This was a diamond on my personal Mohs scale, a Ghost Pepper on the Scoville….and I hope this remains the worst on my register, 4evah!
Anyway, 8 days…counting…I spent most of the time pretzeled up in pain, finally to the ER (oh, man, do those folks HATE a Musette! LOL! I am not a ‘patient’ -and when a SHRIEKIN’ SHRIKE, splayed across the backseat of a truck, asks for a gurney, don’t bring out a freakin’ wheelchair…GET A GURNEY!!! surprise: they got the gurney. stat!!)….we’re now at 11 days and, thanks to my reflexologist (yes, I live in a no-horse town. But our no-horse town has an amazing reflexologist. Go figure. Sometimes the Universe is just weird that way)…well, I’m typing this from a sitting position! I can walk in the house without much assistance and can walk for a block, now, with the aid of a cane. It’s not some elegant ebony ‘walking stick’, either – this is A Cane, one of those with the feet and I Don’t Care. I’d rather look weird than be splatzed on the sidewalk. Funny how things shift…
So…this happened right before my birthday, which segued into Thanksgiving. So I am going to give you a brief rundown of Birthday Joys and Giving Thanks. Next week I hope to get back to some reviews, including the gorgeous new cat-friendly home scent offerings from Agraria! But for now:
Ann’s charming Birthday post to me. Thank you!!!! I was panting with pain but that put a big ol’ pantin’ grin on my face.
Bedridden Birthday. El O helped me open my gifts the night before and well… I Amouaged to the MAX! Part of it was gifts from lovely friends , part of it gifts ‘to’ (heh – yeah, he doesn’t know he got me that Dia extrait. shhhh!). However, I couldn’t sample anything – pain’ll do that to ya. I just kinda looked at them and said ‘oh, nice’, then shrieked some more. My gifts mocked me from 3 feet away for 3 days. Interesting thing about back seizures: everything stops dead in its tracks. My house resembled Sleeping Beauty’s Shotgun Shack, with everything I’d been doing just left where it was, while the bed and shower became my world. I had a decant of Dia extrait on the nightstand, so wore that for 8 days – talk about First World Problems! LOL!
No cake. But since I didn’t die during this ordeal I figured I could have a do-over, once I am fully back on my feet. Then….CAKE! Maybe. I’m kinda liking the silhouette of 11 days of low-intake.
This painful ordeal distilled everything – and I mean EVERYTHING – into a microcosm. No whining about not being in Paris, this year I gave thanks for being able to sit on the commode. Among other things, I am grateful for the following:
1. Tina (who fixed my back) and Ultram (Tramedol Hcl), both without which I would probably be in a psych ward
2. My bfffe’s prescient early-birthday gift of a fully-loaded Kindle Fire HD. Sleep was connected to painkillers and reading was out of the question. Netflix is My New Best Friend. Couldn’t manage anything heavier but ‘Rosemary & Thyme’, ‘Miss Marple’?: I. Love. You. Add headphones and suddenly you’re in a whole other world. I treasure her beyond rubies, just for herself – but just thinking of a gift like this is the Oriental Circlet!
3. En-suite bathroom. When just getting out of bed takes 15 minutes – and you can’t control your bladder overmuch, a shorter crawl is a blessing.
4. (caution possible grossosity ahead): peeing in the shower. Apparently it is not the shocking thing I thought it was! LOL! Every single person to whom I confessed that it was the only way I could relieve/clean myself said ‘yeah? so? Everybody pees in the shower ‘. Who knew! well, at least 4x a day I was the cleanest broad in Wyoming.
5. Grab bars. When my dad came to live with us, El O installed a stud-mounted grab bar in the shower. Praise Floyd! I will NEVER be without one, ever again. Ditto hand-held shower attachment. Draw your own conclusions.
6. Clementines. Which I craved like Rapunzel’s mother craved rampion. I went through a bag a day. Wth? Since when did extreme pain translate to Clementine lust? Whatever – just glad the store had’ em! A bag a day. I am not kidding.
7. Vanity, thou art sooo weird: I got some Dia body lotion for my birthday. El O kindly opened it and left it on my nightstand. I would shower each time I had to pee so each time I would hobble back to bed, shrieking like a 3rd grade girl and shakily slicker on some lotion and spritz the extrait. And I would make sure I put Tarte Maracuja oil on my face so my eyelids wouldn’t fall off. I even managed to shave my pits one time when the pain allowed me more than the 3 min window before my back re-seized. I must be out of my mind. I was nearly insensate with pain…..but I worried about my PITS? Yeah. Priorities, dammit! I mark that down to my maw – remember the Clean Underwear Rule? Well my mother had a lot of time on her hands, was half-mad and was obsessed with the 60s -70s MD shows (Ben Casey, Dr Kildare, Marcus Welby, etc). I think she envisioned me having some TV-type accident and marrying some young MD who saaaaved me and my Clean Underwear. Something must’ve twisted in the intervening years, though – last week, all I could envision was this scene:
1960s ER, complete with white-capped nurse. Me, panting in pain, writhing on a gurney. The nurse begins to pull off my shirt so she can tap a vein for an IV. Suddenly, she recoils in horror!
Doctor: Nurse! What is it? What’s wrong?!
Nurse: Doctor! I….I can’t! I…I just can’t!
Doctor: Can’t ‘what’, Nurse?
Nurse: I can’t help this woman. I….I just can’t!
Doctor: why not, Nurse?
Nurse: she….she….she has…..STUBBBBLY PIIIITS!!! (as she runs, wailing, out of the ER, the doctor recoils in horror, too, and they both leave me to die on that gurney)
My mother has a lot to answer for.
7a. Fresh sheets. El O was induced to whisk on some fresh sheets during one of my 5-min forays. After 4 24-days in the same sheets….heaven.
8. Food. Water. When you are, in essence, paralyzed it’s one of those things that….well, let’s just say that I was feeling very Blanche Hudson “but ya are, Blanche! but ya are!” When the en-suite is a challenge, the kitchen might as well be on Pluto. A clueless El O left at 6a, not even giving me a piece of toast. At 2p, Tina came, took one look at my starving carcass, went back to her house (the Rottweiler made our kitchen a no-fly zone) …and brought me lunch! It was NOT a rat! LOL! I love her.
9. My friends, irl and virtual. For you all I am eternally grateful! Once I came to, I was able to take the phone calls and read the emails,blog & FB posts & cards that people sent, wishing me well. I hope you all know how much it means to me. This type of malady is very…isolating, especially when you have a clueless mate. I had lots of time to think Baby Jane Thoughts and knowing that you guys gave a hoot helped dispel those Very Dark Moments.
10. My health. I don’t know that I’ve ever really given it much thought before. Yeah, I’ve had fall-downs and lie-downs and busted this/bruised that…but never before did I wonder if I could actually recover from it. I’ve always been a bit arrogant about my ability to will myself through any sort of pain – this episode reminded me that ‘will’ isn’t always enough. Sometimes you do have to let go and let others help. And sometimes, even ‘help’ can’t help – you just have to deal with what’s dealt you, in whatever way’s possible. And it’s given me a greater understanding and sensitivity to others who are in similar (or even direr) straits.
So…what’s been up with you guys, since I’ve been in twilight? Catch a Musette up with the Latest! tell me stories and I’ll poke my cane at random.org and send somebody some fun samples! Who’s busted? How’ya holdin’up? And….let me know what you would like me to natter on about, now that I’m partially mobile again.