Tuesday, March 15, 2011

When did I get old and creaky?

About 7 years ago I hurt my back pretty badly.  I did it in the most bizarre way you could imagine. In fact, I'll give you a few seconds to try to take a guess as to how it happened......

Any guesses? No? Ok, I will just tell you.  I hurt my back while shoving a casket (with a body in it) into the back of a hearse. It was after a service was over and my Pall Bearers had all left, thinking they had satisfactorily completed their task.  Unfortunately, they hadn't pushed the casket allllll the way in and I couldn't shut the door of the hearse.  The casket was on rollers, it shouldn't have been that big of a deal, right? Right. So I took a deep breath and shoved, hard. Bad idea.  I managed to get the casket all the way in but I could feel it in my lower back. My body was not happy with me.  I didn't think much of it though, just finished out the work day and headed home.

The next day I was standing in the living room and I reached down onto the couch to pick up and fold a blanket, and the next thing I knew I felt a pop and a burning sensation spreading all across my lower back. It was strange and a little scary since I hadn't felt anything like it before. I was still able to move around but it was definitely sore and I was moving slowly.

Over the course of the next 3 days it got progressively worse until I was not able to get up out of bed without help and I couldn't even use the restroom by myself.  I was still married when this happened, and my ex husband was a volunteer firefighter at the time.  He convinced me that I had to go to the chiropractor and figure out what was wrong. I agreed and made the appointment. The next morning before my appointment I explained to EH (ex husband) that since I had been bed bound for the last three days, I was absolutely not going out in public without taking a shower. 

And this is where it all goes wrong......

EH helps me get into the shower and leaves the room so that I can glam up for my chiropractor appointment.  As I was standing there in the shower the pain got worse and worse and the combination of the hot water and the pain made me feel very nauseous.  The next thing I knew, I was getting sick, and falling in the shower. I managed to fall into this weird position of being half in the bathtub and half out.  Obviously, EH heard the commotion and came in to find out what happened. He tried to figure out a way to move me and to help me get up, but I was in so much pain that all I could do was yell at him to "Stop f*ing touching me!!".  I was a sobbing mess and there was nothing he could do. Sooooo what do you think his solution was? Well, call some other fire fighters, of course!!  One of our good friends from the dept shows up to assist EH and his soggy, naked, crying broken wife. This was not my finest moment.  I tried to stay as covered as possible but I am pretty sure that Jeff got more than an eyeful of me.  Between the two of them, they managed to dress me in some huge baggy sweatpants, a giant fire dept t-shirt and two miss-matched socks.  They put me into the car and off to the doctors we went.

I don't actually remember much of what happened at the Chiropractor's office. I vaguely recall him attempting to take some x-rays and trying to adjust me, but all I could do was scream every time he touched me.  In the end, he was at such a loss as to what to do for me that he called an ambulance and sent me to the emergency room. 

Ambulance rides are not fun. Ambulance rides that are being staffed by EMT"s that I knew and was friends with through the fire dept was embarrassing to say the least.  I was a mess. I was demanding pain medication. And they kept giving it to me until I was told I couldn't have any more. At that point the pain was still there, and major, but at least I felt like I could breathe.  We got to the hospital and they wheeled me on a stretcher into the emergency room.  There were no available triage rooms and so some nurse wheeled me up against a wall in the hallway and left me there. EH left me to do something, I won't pretend to remember what it was, I just know that suddenly I was alone. On a stretcher. In a hospital hallway.  And I was drugged out of my f*ing mind.  It suddenly was painfully clear to me that I looked homeless. I had wet matted hair from my shower, mismatched socks, and giant baggy sweats on. I was back to sobbing again and trying to explain to anyone who passed me that I wasn't really homeless and ugly. I was aware that my words were slurred and I was making little to no sense.  They probably all thought I was a tweak.  And after that.... it all sort of fades to black.  I know that they kept me at the hospital long enough for the swelling to go down in my back, did an MRI and informed me that I have a bulging disk.  Of course there was nothing they could do about it, because it wasn't serious enough for surgery. So once the swelling went down and I could relax enough to move without crying, they gave me a bunch more drugs, a smack on the ass (not really) and sent me home.  It was the most painful, and humiliating experience of my life.  And I am so glad that so many of my friends were able to witness it, haha! :p  Poor EH, he was a good sport about it. He still liked me after that, even though I know I was probably breathing fire at him the entire time.

Two days later I was able to return to work. I had appointments with my Chiropractor three times a week for about 4 months after that. Fun times. 
After that little adventure it seems that it doesn't take much for me to throw my back out.  In fact, yesterday I was standing in the office and I was hanging up a Labor Law Poster and I sneezed. That is all it took. I felt it immediately. *Sigh*

So now as I sit here and type this I am taking lots of IB profen and I have my trusty heating pad doing double time. When did this happen to me?  I know I am 30 now, but do I really have to start falling apart like this? :p  Next it's arthritis. And don't even get me started about my carpal tunnel. 

If I don't show up at work tomorrow, Deana is going to have to check my shower and make sure I am not stuck in some awkward position and can't move :p  

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