So I have this weenie yet butt-kicking cold, and then my back starts to hurt. It’s one of those sleep-injury pains that you wake up with occasionally once you reach a certain age. Every morning for the last three mornings my back (or maybe it’s my hip) has been a little owier than the day before. Then last night it woke me up at 3 a.m. I got up to pee–middle age sleep deprivation multi-tasking at its finest–and almost fell. Pain shot through my right hip and down my leg, which almost buckled. I was finally able to straighten and hobbled toward the bathroom. Stepping over dogs was suddenly a huge obstacle. When I sat to do do my business the pain flared brighter. When I got up, another bolt. When I returned to bed, lying down brought some relief–for perhaps 40 seconds. Then the pain started to build again. Stabby and shooty.
I gave up sleeping and read a while. After some time I started to doze. Mr Moth’s alarm went off–it sounds like a rooster crowing. Instead of turning it off, he had some kind of convulsion, like a fish dying on the beach. It felt like I might genuinely be in danger of getting bounced out of bed. Finally, finally he turned off the damn alarm…and went back to sleep.
And started to snore.
Never let it be said I have no self control. He’s still alive, right?
I read some more. Finally Mr Moth got up and went to work. I tried to use the extra bed space to find a comfortable position, and each shift brought relief but only temporary. I got up and sat on the toilet for about an hour. The seat pressed on the backs of my thighs and kind of made things worse but also eased the pain. Don’t ask how that’s possible, because I don’t know. The relief was welcome, but not sufficient. Around six a.m. I got up and took four advil. They didn’t help the pain, but maybe they helped knock me out after about another hour.
At eight-thirty some little dog started clawing my arm and whining. Making myself look bad, I harped at her to “Knock it off, dog!” But she didn’t, because she has a teeny weeny bladder, and what can she do?
Transitions are the worst moments, the rising and settling. Then the pain escalates into agony, and it doesn’t feel like an exaggeration to use that word. But, dogs. I want her to tell me when she needs out, don’t I? I hauled my agonized carcass off the mattress, stood gripping the edge of the long dresser, waiting for the spasms to ease. When they did, I hobbled to the door. Then came trial by baby gate. When I went to the kitchen for advil earlier, I’d stepped over it. I almost didn’t make it back over, either. Now I bent and grabbled the pressure bar that releases the gate.
There was a noise, like tearing. And a sensation, also like tearing, and also like rippling, across that place that might be the lower back or might qualify as upper hips. And then, pain. Blinding. It’s not just hyperbole. I yelled, and swore, and cried. And somehow, stood up. Since I still had hold of the baby gate, it pulled loose. Two dogs charged around me while I stood there with stupid tears leaking down my face. I saw them dimly through a haze of eyewater and excruciation, capering toward the back door.
I couldn’t put the gate down, because that would have required me to bend over again. Hell, it would have required me to move. I honestly don’t know how I put it down. But I must have, because I see it in it’s daytime storage slot. I followed the cavorting mutts and let them out.
Fabulous, I thought, leaning on the back of a kitchen chair. Now it hurts to stand. At least yesterday I could do that. And today Zor needs transported to her final final exam, and there’s grocery shopping to do among the throngs of people too busy and important to bother being considerate or polite, or heaven forfend, patient.
I made coffee. Instant, with microwaved water, vanilla creamer, and pumpkin pie spice, which I ‘ve been using in everything since long before it became the in thing.
I check to see if dogs have chow, and thank heaven one of their dishes is still full, because feeding dogs without bending over can be done, but I’m sure I’m not up to the challenge. I let them in. I take my empty-stomach pills and start for the office. At least I can walk upright now, I think, with only minor twinges. I remember Zor telling me, “Little victories, ma,” when I was in the hospital and had successfully brushed my hair.
I come in the office, push into the Cessna-like whir of five hamster wheels going all at once, creep to the table where I set drinks (none allowed on the desk with my laptop, nuh uh, Im a klutz and have a cat) and, bracing myself, bend to set the cup down.
It doesn’t hurt.
Praise the cosmos.
I sit, and that doesn’t hurt either. Well, a little. But more on the sitting than the transitioning, and only at manageable levels. I play some Sims Social, and I’m still feeling a little spasmy at the tailbone, but not too bad. I stand up, and that barely hurts either–mostly just achy and throbby, which I’ll take over stabby and shooty any day.
So, anyone want to guess what I’m thankful for today?