Monday, June 18, 2012


I remember that day knowing my leg was sore, but I was determined to get that drafting table out of my apartment right away.  The last bolt threatened to drop a BIG piece of wood onto landlord's precious hardwood floor, so I reached way over, and let it down more or less easily.  From then on I could not sleep at night, couldn't even lie still in bed.  I lived on Espresso Pillows candy at work until the specialist's appointment.

The x-ray of my spine was so scary that I couldn't think of a single question to ask.  He made an appointment to give me a saddle block, and an appointment for physical therapy.  I learned what an ice cushion or ice pad is, and how to make friends with one.  I also became  a big fan of Tylenol PM and of walking.  That was more than two years ago. 

My employer was notified that I could only lift eight or ten pounds, and I had some more movement restrictions.  Luckily, I had freedom to alternate sitting and standing. 

My friends learned about my problem.  I learned to yell in my car (with the windows closed of course) at tailgaters crowding my rear bumper and my spine.  My heart skips a beat when little kids play bumper cars with big carts in the grocery store.  When I fell once at work, I thought my heart would stop. 

Then my employer closed the store for good.  I suddenly see a lot of ads for jobs that require more lifting than I can do.  A dear friend and benefactor recommended me for baby-sitting, but I can't lift anybody much older than a newborn.  Breaking up a fight between two dogs bigger than chihuahuas or a fight in a kindergarten classroom is not feasible.  Shipping plumbing and engineering parts is . . .you guessed it.

I can't run for the train nor from a mugger. Even people dancing scare me sometimes.

Is there a good part coming up here?  Let me see: My physical therapy makes me stronger.  Walking in my new neighborhood brings me not just nodding acquaintances, but smiling and greeting ones.  I'm back to writing a lot more about health and exercises.  And I pay a lot more attention to looking healthy even in moments when I don't feel that way.

When I have a minute, I realize how many people I may have driven past or brushed past who look as healthy as I do, but who also have a "hidden" problem that makes them be extra careful. Makes them wish the rest of us would be extra careful, or at least polite.

I'm still learning to ask for help, which is important.  Receiving help is important.  I know who my real friends are.  Do I think this injury was a blessing?  Not so much, no.