Wednesday, March 27

get off my lawn! and take your shot glasses with you!

Last Tuesday night, I tried to move furniture, and for a few minutes I enjoyed great success.  I moved a mattress and a big table and a printer. But then I tried to move a box of records. Records, if you don't remember, weigh a lot more than today's music weighs, which is nothing because magic is weightless.

Well, I didn't remember that for a second, and a second was all it took for me to strain the hell out of my back.

Right after I realized I'd lost my ability to stand, I sat gingerly on the box of records wondering why it wasn't the mattress that broke me. And eventually I made it into bed which was the least painful place I could think of to be and where I figured I'd sleep it off because that's what young people do. Well, that and they do shots.

When I woke up (as if I slept!) Wednesday morning, however, I realized almost immediately that my days of sleeping it off might be numbered. I literally couldn't stand up. I got partway up and then succumbed to gravity and pain and crawled sadly towards the bathroom for awhile until the Guatemalan found me and hauled me to my feet via my armpits. I stayed home from work that day because who wants an employee you have to carry to the bathroom?

Late in the morning, I started to be able to stand up, and that was pretty awesome, if the word "awesome" can be applied at all in this situation.  But in spite of my fledgling ability to stand, I felt disheartened. I've never had back trouble before. I've wrenched that sucker all over the place for years and never hurt myself like this. What did this suggest about my youthful vigor?  Was I becoming…elderly?

Well, in spite of this new and disturbing evidence of my imminent elderlyness, I really did try to sleep it off on Wednesday. I slept a lot. And also I did a shot. (I'm young!) Okay, a half-shot. (Not that young.) And not because I have any strong belief that shots save lives, but because while I was laying in bed making a lengthy attempt to roll onto my left side, Raphael went to visit some neighbors. When he mentioned my situation, these neighbors, bless their hearts and in the grand tradition of people leaving us random food items, gave him a bottle of tequila to take back to me.

"Give her this! This will make her feel better!"

Because tequila is a well-known...cure-all? 

Anyway, so there I was on Wednesday afternoon with terrible back pain, old age coming on like a freight train, a prescription for Vicodin, and a bottle of tequila. What was I supposed to do?  In a situation like that, it's kind of a medical free-for-all. It was like I was Penelope Cruz in a Western movie, holed up in a hotel room nursing a gunshot wound and wearing a pistol in my fancy lace-up boots. Obviously the tequila comes in because when I removed the bullet myself with a pen knife, I had to swig it down and then pour it over the wound for sterilization purposes. That's how they did science in the Old West.

Come to think of it, maybe tequila does save lives.

Okay, but no. I'm exaggerating. It wasn't like I was Penelope Cruz with a gunshot wound at all. Instead of performing makeshift surgery on myself and bathing in alcohol, what I did was take half-a-shot of tequila, swallow a Vicodin, and fall asleep again. 

And whether a result of the sleep, the pain meds, or the neighborly good will and supplementary tequila, by Friday morning when I had to drive students out to their survey area, I felt pretty good. On the drive out, I honestly enjoyed the sensation of sitting. “I’m healed!” I thought. “And I healed pretty quickly! My youthfulness remains intact! I'll never take sitting for granted again! Hurrah!”

And then I got home Friday evening and looked around and realized that someone needed to complete the furniture-moving that I had initiated on Tuesday night. The mattress was in the wrong place, for example. And there was a set of drawers in the wrong room. And since Raphael was at school, and I felt young and strong and generally great - a veritable Penelope Cruz in a Western - who better to accomplish it?


Let’s just say that lacing up my boots is kind of a problem again, but at least I still have plenty of tequila left to get me through. Because we elderly folks don’t do a lot of shots.


erika swain said...

20mg of Valium, 1500mg of Tylenol, 6oz red wine, heating pad. Repeat nightly.

Jenny said...

Huh. I didn't need a doctor - I needed an Erika. As per usual.