A week ago I learned I had bulging disc[s] that may have been caused by something as benign as coughing fits. I also sprained a back muscle. Do those crunches, people, so you don’t live the last week as I did.
Monday: Coming off my third night of poor sleep, I slip on a Lidocaine patch, down my Rx ibuprofen and head to work. Normally, in this much pain and wanting to take “the good stuff,” I would have called in sick. But our new boss starts today, and it’s not safe to drive with narcotics, so I do without. The Lidocaine makes my leg feel like it’s half asleep, and as I exit the driver’s side, right in front of the new CEO, I fall like a drunk. Great first impression, huh?
Tuesday: I get to switch from ice to heat therapy; what a relief. I now walk bent over at home, holding a heating pad. That night, I hallucinate that someone’s trying to get into my bedroom through a sliding glass door and that I am miraculously cured of all pain. All of the medications are now fully moving through my formerly virgin system, which carries serious consequences the next morning.
Wednesday: I can’t stop vomiting. This also means I can’t keep my medications down. And I’ve become incontinent, requiring the “high absorbency” Poise pads.
My credit card company calls to ask about some unauthorized charges, including 77 cents to Northwest Airlines and $23,000 at one UK restaurant. The latter charge was declined, so I hope they made the crooks wash every freakin' dish in Dublin.
Thursday: I finally get the strongest pain killers out of my system and return to work. I need the distraction. I go to one of our centers to video an Easter Party. Some of the participants, most of whom are in their 70s and 80s, ask me to dance and I realize, watching them sashaying to “La Bamba,” that they can move better than I can. I need to sit down.
Friday: My grandmother, who turned 98 on Thursday, tells me she went for a long walk. I am so jealous. Then I ask if I can borrow some of her Miralax.
Saturday: My new running shoes finally arrive. I use them to get the mail.
And there you have it. In the span of a week, I went from an active 50-year-old runner to a shut-in hunched over her heating pad and asking someone to pick up Poise pads at the grocery store. The good news is it’s now Sunday. I can walk upright and sleep at least 4 hours straight. I also am elated to put butter on my toast after 40 days’ abstinence but will need to pay cash to temporarily fix a major sink leak this morning in "Grandma's" bathroom. I think I'll wear my bulky running shoes with my good pants.