Down and Out


Last week my back went out me.

It was the first time I’d ever had this experience.

I’d like to tell you I was doing something wild and exciting when it happened like mountain climbing or sky diving or even snowboarding (because those are things I routinely work into my schedule… never).

Only I can’t.

I was at home, standing up, reaching sideways to grab a notebook out of a drawer when I felt the most excruciating pain rip through my lower back. Clutching it I managed to shuffle myself off to bed in hopes it was something that would be gone by morning. Unable to get comfortable, I couldn’t sleep. Trying to get out of bed, I’m pretty sure I looked like a floundering whale because I couldn’t bend my back enough to get up. I finally slid off the side and realized I was in big trouble.

Trying not to wake Captain Cavedweller I wandered around the house awhile, stiffly moving, holding my back and dragging my now numb left leg behind me. If a hump had mysteriously erupted on my shoulders and a few teeth fell out, I’m pretty sure you could have called me Igor.

Sitting, standing, there was no place that was comfortable, no position in which pain didn’t radiate through my back.

By the time CC got up that morning, I arrived at the following conclusions:

1. Our bathroom sinks need to be elevated at least six inches. CC and I are both tall and when one can’t bend their back at all, one can’t reach said faucet, no matter how hard they try.

2. CC could sleep through anything since I made enough noise to wake the dead in hopes he’d get up and offer some sympathy long before his alarm went off.

3. It is impossible to put on your own socks when you can’t bend over far enough to turn on bathroom faucets.

4. Leg-numbing back pain really does render you incapable of focusing on anything else. Believe me, I tried.

Declining his multiple attempts to take me to the doctor, CC finally dug around and found the last few remnants of three prescriptions he took the last time his back went out. I say the last time because he’d had this horrendous experience three times since we’ve been married. The first time we went to the emergency room where we spent hours while they did every test known to man on him and sent him home doped up and feeling much improved.

I took the pills and hoped for the best. As CC went out the door to work,  I called something to the effect of  “If I don’t have an allergic reaction and die, I’ll see you tonight.”

That must have gotten to him a little bit since he proceeded to call me every two hours throughout the day to keep checking to make sure I was alive.

Mobile, no.

Alive, yes.

It took three days of him having to put on my socks and shoes and pull me upright out of bed before I regained a little mobility. I’ve never been so happy to be able to bend over and put on my own socks.

To any of you who have suffered with back pain or problems, you have my complete and never-ending sympathy. I had no idea how painful, awful, and completely terrible it can be.

She Who Likes Putting on Her Own Socks

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