There but for the Grace of God...

February 2, 2010

How Are You Sleeping? Or How to ruin yourself for Olympic competition for life.

Well, I've done it this time.  In one careless moment, I managed to ruin any plans I had for the foreseeable future.  How did I do this, you ask?  Well, let me tell you, but first you should meet the object of my demise.

Oh, sure, she looks all sweet and innocent, but don't let that fool you.  This child, this imp, my niece, holds the power to fell you in one foul swoop.

It started innocently enough with a:
Aunt Jess, I have to go potty.
Okay, Bug, can you wait just a minute?
No, Auntie, I have to go NOW.

So, there I was, looking up and down the row of seat, filled with people relaxing, enjoying the intermission (did I mention we were at a play?).  The people to my left included my brother and sister-in-law holding a sleeping baby.  Plus whole lot of people on the other side of them.  It looked something like this:

Only with more people in the seats.  I looked to my right and there I saw three small children and one haggard looking grandmother.  Now, I don't want to disparage this grandmother, but as we tried to progress down the row and to the aisle, she would not move out of the way.  I'm serious.  I asked her to move, she was sitting on the end, but she just smiled and shook her head.  There she sat with a big ole purse on the floor in front of her and a kid in her lap, just smiling.  In hind sight, I'm thinking that perhaps the shake was to signal that she didn't hear me, because her hands were full of bratty 3 year old.  But at the time, I called her a b*tch in my head and looked for other options.  There was no one in the seats behind us, so I figured I'd just pick the Bug up and lift her over our seats to the row behind, then climb over myself.  So, I grabbed her under the arms and swung, and when I went to set her down POP!!!

Eeeeeeek!  Did I just break my back?

Pain.  Sharp stabbing pain.  Across my back and down my legs.  I dropped the Bug who whacked her elbow and started to tear up.  That was alright, because I was starting to tear up too.  Holy crap!  Who knew pain like that was possible.  I saw stars.  I saw red.  I saw myself falling to floor and crying like that bratty 3 year old.  Okay, I didn't actually fall to the floor.  I have more self control than that, but I wanted to.

The rest of the afternoon is kind of a blur from there.  I somehow managed to get the Bug to the bathroom and back again.  We watched the rest of the show, went to lunch, and then I gingerly crawled back into my car amidst much wincing and inhaling sharply through my teeth and drove myself home, where the Captain, forewarned, was waiting to help my into the house.  

Upon my arrival I deduced two things.  1.  Riding in a car for two hours after pulling a number on you back will only serve to cause great stiffness and an inability to walk with more than shuffling baby steps, and 2.  Motrin is a useless drug that does nothing to alleviate serious back pain.

I spent that rest of the weekend flat on my back trying to ignore the pain by reading romance novels with graphic sex scenes.  Consequently, there are some activities you should not partake in with an injured back.  It just makes it worse.  If you take nothing else from this post, please remember that.  It's just not worth the pain.

The Captain, bless his heart, was great all weekend.  He made me breakfast and fetched things for me.  He refilled my water glass whenever it went dry.  He was patient and kind.  Until I'd send him running for something and then remember another thing I needed/wanted immediately upon his return.  That looked something like this.

I just love this picture.  It has so much to say.  It says, Come on!  and How much longer am I going to have to do this?  I could tell he was getting slightly irritated, but felt he couldn't really express those feelings with me all laid up on the couch and all.  I tried not to take advantage of it, but sometimes it's fun just to mess with him.  It's good for him.  Seriously.  A side note:  Doesn't it look like he's missing half a finger?

I should be nicer, I know.  Especially considering he was even kind enough to provide entertainment by wrestling with the dog where I could watch.

So, I made it through the weekend and went to see my doctor bright and early on Monday morning, and by bright and early, I mean 1PM.  I was still in a considerable amount of pain, and it showed.  After a thorough examination, (read my doctor always makes me get naked) he determined that I had ruptured a disc in my back.  This was deduced after trying to make me move in all kinds of funky ways and asking a lot of questions.  I say trying to make me move, because there wasn't much moving going on with out almost unbearable pain.  The questions were less painful.  For me at least.  Thinking back on it, I think the doc must have been shaking his head and sighing on the inside, because my mind was so focused on the pain and how to make it stop, all my answers were, well, uhm, maybe it's better if I illustrate.

Doc:  How are you sleeping?

Me:  Well, I try to stay on my back, cuz' that hurts less, but I roll in my sleep.

Doc: Are you sleeping all night?

Me:  Well, I've been staying up late because it hurts so much I'm not sure I'll be able to sleep, and I've been getting up early because I can only lay there for so long before it becomes unbearable.

Doc:  Are you sleeping through the night?

Me:  (Trying not to giggle, because I've just realized what a dunce I am) No.

So, I'm off of work for the next week at least, and am pretty much confined to home.  I'm still in a lot of pain, but the muscle relaxers and pain medication help.  I have learned some valuable lessons though.  I feel compelled to share them with you.

1.  Sympathetic strangers will wince with you with every shuffling pain filled step.

2.  It is possible to put on a pair of socks without bending at the waist.

3.  Your spouse will avoid elbowing you in the side to get you to stop snoring if he/she knows you're in serious pain.  They just move to the couch.

4.  Dogs try to devise sneaky ways of tripping you up when they sense that doing so may actually cripple you for life.

5.  The sciatic nerve is a mean little bugger and should be taken behind the woodshed.

6.  Swinging around 45 pounds of dead weight without training is never a good idea.  Bending over while doing so is an even worse one.  (Thanks for pointing that one out, Bro.  You can't buy sympathy like that.)

On that note, I'm headed back to the couch.

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