No, I didn’t give up armadillo-fightin’ and my momentarily-brilliant-writer lifestyle to become a Bingo caller. If you thought I did, pat yourself on your healthy back.
Sunday morning my L5-S1 disc broke out and rolled into my spinal canal to see if anything had changed since he visited two years ago. He gave me two or three little warnings over the last ten days but I didn’t pay attention. I figured the same disc wouldn’t dare misbehave twice. (Don’t dare your discs.)
The first warning came after I overdid it harvesting plants the night the first KILLING FROST was predicted. The KILLING FROSTS didn’t kill my plants, they killed my back.
I didn’t go to the emergency room on Sunday because I couldn’t walk, and I refuse to pay $1000 for the ambulance. By Monday I could hobble a foot, gasp in pain, drag my right foot, pause, hang onto the wall, gasp in pain, hobble a foot, etc…
My doctor couldn’t see me Monday so I saw the substitute teacher, his nurse practitioner. She ordered me to bed for four days and prescribed ice, muscle relaxants and pain pills. I told her I couldn’t take pain pills.
“Are you sure you can’t take them?”
“Yes,” I replied. No, I’m just saying that for the hell of it. “They make me nauseated and dizzy. Itchy, too. I can barely tolerate Ultram.”
“Well, Ultram’s not very strong. I don’t think it will control the pain.”
RJ spoke up. “She’s tough.”
I smiled toughly. Tried to square my shoulders. Big mistake. I grimaced toughly while enduring another muscle spasm. “I take… Aleve…too,” I said through clenched teeth.
The nurse practioner stared at me. Really stared at me for eight or nine seconds. Was it that unusual for a patient to turn down narcotics? Later RJ said she probably thought I was a martyr, masochist or idiot, probably the latter.
Substitute teacher mentioned the Spine Center, and I would probably need to see the surgeon because this was a recurring problem.
“Not having surgery,” I said. “I just need physical therapy.”
“We’ll see what Dr. Woodall has to say on Thursday. He'll order an MRI when the swelling has gone down. In the meantime, we need you calm, and resting in bed.”
“I am calm but I can’t lay in bed for 3 ½ days. I’ll go crazy,” I told RJ on the way home in the car. Actually, I cried/screamed the words. Pain does shifty things to your personality.
I’ve watched a lot of leaves fall off the trees from my bedroom windows since Monday. I’ve caught up on my Oprah magaines for the year. I was fairly calm until I saw my neighbor, Betty out raking leaves while I was talking to my sister-in-law, Geri on the phone.
“That stings,” I said.
“I'm flat out on my back, can’t hardly move and forced to watch Betty bending over, raking leaves, kneeling and effortlessly doing all the things I can’t do.”
“Well,” Geri responded. “You won’t be like this forever. Don’t compare yourself to Betty.”
“Geri,” I said calmly and very, very quietly. “I was 49 years old a few months ago. Betty is 86.”
“Oh,” Geri said.
I called my CASA supervisor today and explained my health situation. I couldn’t do home visits this week and my court report wouldn’t be finished by Monday. She listened politely and gave me a week extension on my court report. I told her I was exhausted and bored from being in bed since Sunday.
She replied, “Oh, I’d love to be bedridden for three or four days.”
I sighed. Only naïve, healthy people have the luxury to say such a stupid thing.
Causes Jules Jacob Supports
CASA of Southwest Missouri, Master Gardeners of the Ozarks, University of Missouri Master Gardeners, Missouri Court Appointed Special Advocates Association...